I recently started binge watching Jane the Virgin, and I am officially obsessed. Do you watch? I love the show for so many reasons, Gina Rodriguez is amazing and such a great role model for young moms, but I think the thing I love the most about the show is how accurately they depict new motherhood. Well, as accurately as they can for a show that mirrors a telenovela.
So here are a few things that JTV portrays really well that I believe most of today’s television shows and movies involving motherhood totally fail at:
1. Jane's son Mateo is PRESENT!
I hate when someone on TV has a baby, and then after maybe one episode they go back to living their normal life like nothing has changed and you barely see the baby. In JTV, Jane's son Mateo is almost always in the shot with Jane, and if he's not, they make it a point to comment on who is watching him. #childcareproblems
2. Jane's son Mateo is always eating!
Is that the truth or what? Jane's son is constantly snacking at his high chair or eating from his snack cup. Now I'm sure it's the only way the producers can keep this adorable child actor engaged for the camera shot, but I love it anyway because aren’t your kids ALWAYS snacking? Well, until it's actually meal time and then nothing short of a physical restraint will keep them at the table.
3. They deal with REAL mom issues.
There have been so many episodes that deal with real mom topics. Not just "typical" TV mom topics like crying babies and sleep deprivation, but they go deeper and address things like: Sleep Training, The "Cry it Out" Method, Nursing Strikes, Plagiocephaly, Separation Anxiety, Breastmilk vs. Formula, Mom's Identity, Childcare, Single Motherhood, Mom Guilt, Impact on Friendships, and one of the most annoying things... Unsolicited Mom Advice!
4. They support mom groups!
I recently watched an episode where Jane brings another mom character, Petra, to a moms group.
Obviously I have a personal connection here (YAY MOMS GROUPS!!!) but it is through this group and through conversing with other moms that Petra realizes she might be suffering from postpartum depression. Thank you JTV for bringing this incredibly difficult yet common and important topic to TV.
5. They remind you that every mom is different, and that's okay.
Four of the main characters on the show are mothers, and these mother’s range in age and parenting style. There are old school moms, newage moms, hands on and “outsource” moms, nursing moms and formula moms, and everything in between. But at the end of the day, I feel no judgement on the show. Every mom is doing it her way, and that way is the best way for her and her child, and I absolutely love that.
So if you don't currently watch Jane the Virgin, I highly recommend it for your next Netflix binge. And if you are a new mom that hasn't showered in a week? Jane gets it.
Apologies in advance if this is TMI....
But the other day someone asked me what breast milk tasted like (don't even ask me how this came up in conversation) and I was embarrassed to say I didn't know!!! For no real reason, I've just never tasted it! Is that weird??? Have you? So I'm so curious if I'm one of the rare nursing moms who has never tasted breast milk or if this is common! Indulge me and others for a moment by answering the survey below. Don't worry, it's annoymous.
One of my favorite parts of our weekly sessions in the Momidarity group is the round table highs/lows. This is where we go around and each person gets an opportunity to share something great, and something shitty from the week. And we all nod our heads in empathy at the shitty thing because we've likely been there. Or know we will be there, and we're already stressing about it!
But one of the great things about sharing the high, is that it gives moms an opportunity to brag about something that others outside of the "mom world" might think is mundane, when it's actually important and amazing.
Let me digress for a second and clarify that I am not in support of the passive aggressive mom brag, like when you tell a mom she's looking great and she responds with "You think? Well I don't exercise or watch what I eat, I've lost all the weight from breastfeeding!". I call BS. I'm referring to brags about those amazing milestones our kids reach that only a fellow mom can fully appreciate.
For example, it's hard to brag to Linda, your coworker with grown children, that your daughter did her first 5 hour stretch of sleep last night. While this coworker very likely got little sleep when she had young kids, it's been so long, she just doesn't get how EPIC a 5 hour stretch is!!! And you can't really gloat to Bob, the grocery store butcher, that little Henry rolled over for the first time. Yes, Bob the butcher will smile politely at this news, but it's your mom friends that can truly appreciate how exciting this development is.
These are incredibly important moments that deserve praise, and there is something so valuable about getting to share that with other people who actually get it. So go on mom, brag a little.
It’s 2017 and we’ve officially launched Momidarity! Say it with me Mom-eh-dare-ity...yes, thats how it's pronounced. It’s been an exciting and stressful few weeks but I’m so excited about what’s to come. And since there are so many new faces here, I thought it would be helpful to take a step back and provide a little background about what exactly Momidarity is and why we are so excited about it.
First off, we’re not just a blog, we’re a support group service for moms!
What’s so great about a mom support group? If you’ve ever attended a traditional moms group you probably know that feeling of walking into a room full of strangers, nervous and anxious and praying your baby doesn’t have a blowout, but within 20 minutes feel at ease and empowered because you’re surrounded by women going through the same things you are and are actually talking about it! Plus the baby sitting next to you already had a blowout, so you’re cool.
But there’s more to a moms group than a good gab session with the ladies. Because...
Motherhood is lonely. I’m not just talking about those lonely 2am to 4am hours when you’re up rocking a crying baby in the dark, or trying to soothe your sick toddler back to bed. This whole journey comes with an immense amount of pressure, and as the mother, you’re often the one taking the brunt of it. So mom groups are amazing because if nothing else, they provide that comforting space for you to open up and get reassurance that to some extent, every mom feels the way you do. We all have moments where we feel overwhelmed, anxious, we have doubts about our abilities and our choices, and we feel joyful, our hearts are so full of love for these kids one minute, and we’re ready to scream the next. You’re not alone.
Partners don’t always get it. My husband is a smart and extremely capable man, but when it comes to dealing with issues related to hormones, body image, identity and work/life balance, he just doesn’t get it. It’s funny that the mom, once a total stranger sitting next to me at my first mom group, understood the emotional rollercoaster I was going through faster than my partner of over 10 years.
So why Momidarity?
So yeah, you get it. Mom groups are awesome. But what’s so great about a virtual Momidarity group? Well...
It’s adults only. One thing that sets our groups apart from traditional mom groups is that our sessions are for moms only. In most traditional mom groups, your kids are there with you. It’s a great activity and learning experience for both you and your child, but it’s also really distracting. Our sessions are held in the evening and online so that moms can connect and really focus on themselves and the other moms in the group, without one eye on the kiddos.
You can attend from your couch. This was so important for me, as a full time working mom of two kids, since after going back to work there was no way I could attend a mom group in person. Our groups meet online, where you can still see and hear the other moms, but you can also wear your pajamas, sit on the couch, eat ice cream or drink a glass of wine. INDULGE MAMA!
It’s an online support group. What???
If you are hesitant about the “virtual” format of the group, that’s totally natural. I’ll be honest, if I didn’t direct an office of distance learning as my day job, I’d be hesitant too. But take a look at our testimonial page and you’ll see that was a common concern of past participants, and one that was quickly overcome. And I urge you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, ask questions, share your concerns, help us understand how you think we can create the most comforting experience possible. Even if you don’t participate in a session, you are still part of the greater mom community!
We need your help! We’re a brand new startup and so we need you, mom, to help us grow and tweak our service to make it the best experience possible for all moms out there. All of our sessions are on sale right now so that we meet and connect with as many deserving moms as possible, and make Momidarity as great as it can be.
So will you join us? Yeah?? Great, come sign up here!
Want more? Join one of our Momidarity virtual support groups.
Hi! I'm Jenny and I am one of the co-founders of Momidarity. Read more about our startup here! This blog provides daily rants and raves about modern motherhood. I hope you'll read on and join one of our virtual mom groups, because motherhood is tough, but together we're tougher!