After spending 7 years blogging secretly every Sunday night about my real feelings about motherhood, I finally had the courage to come clean. Even when up to a million readers were checking in to see what I had to say, I still hid safely behind my online persona, Lady Goo Goo Gaga. To others it may have seemed like I had “found my voice” which may have been partly true… yet for seven long years, I wasn’t ready to own it.
Because the culture of motherhood today is one where we are all supposed to be perfect and feel blessed, my snarky take on topics such as the bus stop, helicopter parenting, breastfeeding and making my children lunches, is not the mainstream school of thought. When I started blogging under my pseudonym, Lady Goo Goo Gaga, I confessed my true feelings about motherhood, as I experienced it, mothering 2 boys, born 18 months apart.
Laid off from my job, I found myself thrust into a world of playgroups and music classes with 2 babies, and was horrified at what my life had become, and doubly horrified at what the culture of motherhood had become. In my affluent Connecticut town, women who could previously be found breaking through a glass ceiling were now found making their own baby food, eating their own placenta and boasting on social media about it. After a few interactions with these women, I found I wanted to cry. It was then, that I decided that I wanted be an honest voice for today’s mothers.
I couldn’t believe that I was the only mother who felt like her skin was crawling during play dates and baby music classes. Was I really the only mother that had no desire to choke down a chunk of placenta or puree organic baby food for my child?
I blogged every Sunday night and lo and behold, once I started to tell my stories, women across the country read and shared my blog posts. They would tell me often that my voice was like a “breath of fresh air” and “they looked forward to Monday mornings so they wouldn’t feel so alone.” It became increasingly clear to me that I was writing about thoughts and ideas that everyone had but just didn’t have the courage to say aloud.
Throughout my journey as a blogger, I felt I couldn’t completely come clean. What if people in my town (which I renamed Goopville in my blog posts to keep my anonymity) saw me in the store and yelled at me? What if my children got shunned at the bus stop once everyone found out that I made fun of all of the mothers there, what if they stopped getting invited to birthday parties because mothers would be nervous that I would blog about them?
Plus, there’s the unique situation that I am a makeup artist. For seven years, I got some juicy stories from clients that would innocently tell me their parenting tale of woe while I applied their makeup at Nordstrom or Saks. What if my clientele stopped coming to me for makeup once they realized I was that snarky mom in town who would tell the world about their failures or flaws?
Each year – my audience has grown across the country, and up to a million readers have tuned in to hear what I have to say about modern-day motherhood. Everyone says that what I write – they are all thinking in their head. Yet, everyone is too afraid to admit defeat. Everyone is too afraid to admit that they aren’t perfect. That motherhood sometimes sucks. That our children sometimes suck. That the bar has been set too high for mothers of our generation.
I recently came out to my audience. After 7 years of writing diligently each week – I finally felt I could reveal myself. I was not comfortable for a long time, admitting that I was in fact, Lady Goo Goo Gaga, for fear that other mothers would judge me harshly. Also, I didn’t want my poor innocent children, who never asked to be born to a mother that hates everyone at the bus stop and doesn’t like babies, to be punished for the scandalous thoughts and observations that I put out into the universe.
I am part of a generation of over-achieving, highly educated mothers that were raised to believe we could do it all. Raised by baby boomers who wanted their daughters to feel like they could conquer the world, the mothers of my generation are quickly finding out that “doing it all” is a myth. Many women are leaving thriving careers to stay home with their children and find there is a quest for perfection among “stay-at-home moms” that can be just as challenging.
The bar was set too high for us – we feel empty and listless without a career and so we devote ourselves tirelessly to creating the model, unattainable home. When this perfection isn't what we hoped it to be, we often feel like failures.
I have had countless mothers message me in the still of the night, telling me that they were up breastfeeding and binge-reading my blog, and they felt comfort and relief upon reading my posts. This is so heartwarming and important as a writer, because “binging” is most often associated with “Breaking Bad” so anyone that uses that word in reference to my work is my favorite person in the world. More importantly it means that women all around the world are struggling and need a real voice to tell them that it is okay to have doubts and concerns. It is okay to have fleeting thoughts that you are not cut out for this motherhood thing. It is okay to carefully consider ways that you can suffocate your husband with your Boppy while he sleeps soundly as you breastfeed for the third time.
We are smart. We are educated. We were conquering the world, very recently. Yet, in one fell swoop we find ourselves on the filthy floor of the local library floor waving a polyester scarf to the tunes of Kindermusik. This sudden change is startling to our mental health. It’s a sharp, piercing blow to everything we have grown up thinking about our worth and our value. Is our purpose now reduced to just keeping small humans alive? If so, can we be happy? And can we adapt to the new-fangled ways of mothering? Also, is it really true that they way that our parents raised us in the 70’s – 90’s is no longer applicable or effective?
I am here to announce to the world that motherhood is not always easy, it’s not always delightful and you will very rarely have an urge to run to your laptop and post on social media that you feel #blessed. It took me a while to be able to stand behind this school of thought. But finally, I am comfortable in my own skin. I know that my voice, that sometimes sounds contrary or shouts ideas that are unpopular, has helped countless mothers across the globe, and I can own that.