The Mom Project idea started after I read the following sentence on another ABQ Mom post.
“I saw two women making fun of another lady for the way she was dressed at school drop off.”
That’s all I had to read. After seeing this unfortunate announcement, I couldn’t sit still. Something had to be done. This mother wore high heels and a dress. So what? Was she hurting her child? No. Was she screaming at her child? No. She was likely dropping him/her off and headed to work.
We tend to tell our kids to be all-inclusive, to play nice, but are doing the same? Not always. This is why the Mom Project is so important to me.
With the invention of social media, people somehow decided it was okay to be complete jerks to others, just because they are different than we are. It also gave people the notion that they are experts in EVERYTHING.
Do you formula feed? You are poisoning your baby.
You are still breastfeeding at age two? If the child can ask for it, he/she is too old.
How can you wear heels all day? I could never do that…
I sent out a PSA on Facebook, calling moms from all walks of life.
I don’t care if you drive a Mercedes or a hooptie. If you are an older mom or a teen mom. I wanted moms from all stages. I wanted to put them all in a room and show that we can all get along.
Guess what? It worked!
People were talking and laughing. Our kids were all running amuck like, gasp, free-range kids! My only rule was to show up in the style of clothing that they wear 90% of the time to school drop-off.
I was the only one in heels and a blazer.
Don’t even ask about Mondays and Fridays.
I probably look like a completely different person. This is when The Fit Stroller Moms meet up for our morning runs. Many of them weren’t able to attend the actual Mom Project event, so I took separate pictures at other gatherings they host. Talk about a bunch of different women setting aside our parenting differences and just having fun getting our endorphins pumped. I have never witnessed anyone in this group judge another person. We have our military families. (Thank you for your service.) Our stay-at-home moms, work-from-home moms, work-away-from-home moms, loud moms, quiet moms, peaceful parents, attachment parents, strict parents. We have it all. It is typically hard to make mom friends, but not here.
Some formula feed, some breastfeed.
A few are super healthy, while others enjoy all food. Several of the kids watch tv. Some don’t. We witness children watching iPads in their strollers, while others scream because they want to get out. When the Fit Stroller Moms see a counterpart about to meltdown, we step in, offer comfort, throw baby showers for those who are expecting, host playdates, and themed parties. I think most of us are from different states/countries, but we all have something in common. We mamas are just trying to get fit and have an outlet from everyday life.
Another sweet friend who couldn’t make it supported me in another way. She wrote the following.
“Two very different women right here;
She’s heels, I’m sneakers,
She’s fancy, I’m jeans.
Our lifestyles are different;
She’s active, I’m… not,
She’s flaquita, I’m fluffita.
Although we met many years ago, we couldn’t say we’re best friends, heck, maybe we could simply say we’re distant acquaintances, but tonight there was One that brought us together for a very special night, and that’s #JESUS. Although we live very different lives, this #selfie represents the rawness of life. It represents two women that have overcome many obstacles…”
She hit the nail on the head. Everything I wanted to teach from this project and blog entry.
For the Mom Project . . .
I instructed each lady to write down two things.
On one paper, write down what you judge people for, on the other paper write down what people judge you for. I didn’t ask them which was which.
My beautiful friend that I met through Fit Stoller Moms, happens to be a high-end photographer. She ever so graciously offered her services to me for free for this project. (If you need an incredible photographer, reach out to Michaela Thompson Photography LLC. You will not be disappointed.)
If the point of the story wasn’t clear.
Please do your best to set an example for the generations behind us. Lift other women up. Motherhood is a hard job and no one is doing it 100% correctly. As long as what you do works for your family, that is what matters most. Put the phone down, quit the scrolling, eye-rolling, and time-wasting. Pour that energy into yourself as a mother, and your world will be much sweeter. (I need to practice the putting down of the phone, too.) It doesn’t hurt to have other mom friends who are there to hang out and toss the judgment out the window. Remember, these kids are watching.
Originally published January 2020.