Mod Podge Mama

This is for the mom’s who are left out of the carpool. The stressed out moms with no time for yoga but who really want to be zen. The ones with anxiety disorders and depression that the Doctors just can’t seem to cure. The moms who’s mindfulness turns into a mind-fuck. The overweight mom who can never seem to fit in… to anything. The malnourished mom who’s diet relies on scraps she’s served her family that day, who’s tired of hearing from her dad that she looks too skinny. The hippie mom who just can’t seem to be chill no matter how many joints she smokes or times she sages the house. The mom with chipped nail polish or none at all, who is trying to get out of debt and can’t afford luxuries like soft hands and feet. The 28 year old mom with grey hair emerging who refuses to spend $100 on vanity when she could put it towards groceries and her past due car payment instead. The educated outsider who judges before she feels judged. The one who’s closet is filled with black work clothes, watching cool stay at home moms in bright colored lululemon gym clothes pass her by.

We are a mix between the thrift store purchases, leased Victoria’s Secret leggings, hand-me down dresses, school debt we’ve yet to earn a degree from, and Nordstrom’s Rack splurges from 7 years ago when we somehow had it more financially together than we do now. We are the ones who work two jobs to sustain a home while having to sacrifice face wash and Starbucks for Wipes and wine (much more necessary purchases). We are the Wic mom’s who separate our vouchers in organized shame, holding up lines of staring customers with American Express Cards (while the only cards in our wallets are EBT and overdrafted mastercards). We are the mamas who had one too many kids and now can’t afford the freedom of a job because a week of child care would cost more than our bi-weekly check.

I’m not saying we have it harder than the PTA mom or asking for pity. We all struggle differently and despite our challenges, none of us would trade a thing for our precious little world changers and witty little humans.

And I know the ‘cool mom’s’ mean well despite their bitch face, snooty comments or seemingly perfect lives; that they carry their own set of burdens and burried dreams as well. That a full checking account doesn’t equate to a full life. That in the end they are just like us, doing their best trying to raise happy healthy kids and still stay sane.

But everyone always seems to talk about them. From Instagram to Facebook to SnapChat… they’re always the ones envied or applauded. And, well, I think it’s our turn to have a voice. To share our messy moments and see how we can all evolve together. But more importantly, to stop wanting more than we have or are already equipped to provide for ourselves.

To make more happen while making less excuses.

Mod Podge Mama is dedicated to all the mom’s out there who have messy lives but are making something unique and meaningful out of it; even if it is just one glued or hammered piece at a time. This is for the mom’s who need to laugh, need to cry, or maybe just need to be heard. Moms with complicated lives attempting to simplify them in an intentional and creative way. And moms who maybe have fallen apart a few times already and need some extra self love to help them stick through the process this time. So grab your Carla Rossi, Bud Light, or cuppa tea and cheers each other. You’re all about to become best friends.

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Mountain Mama.

I saw a meme the other day about the difference of today’s youth- the photo was two pictures, one with the faded image of children splashing in puddles laughing, the other with the children all staring mindlessly into their devices, disconnected from the open world around them.

My generation and the ones before were lucky to grow up with those not so faded memories of playing in mud and exploring the outdoors, defining childhood as messy and creative and free. With only a land-line and crappy internet to make play dates or download music. 

However, today’s youth have poorly redesigned their childhood behind a screen and a shitty App that everyone uses but no one actually does anything with. They’ve learned that community is equivalent to the contacts inside their fancy, upgraded, communication device; the ones we either grew up without or only used for emergencies. 

Growing up in the mountains seemed to almost protect me from this tragic millennial mentality, preserving the satisfaction of patience and appreciation of old fashion telephone lines. I suppose I can be grateful for terrible reception and (still) overpriced cell phones for that. 

But despite the lack of entertainment that came from the lack of technology in my town and era, despite the hills or highways between friend’s homes and limited shopping choices, I’m so thankful to have grown up in a community and time that held onto the importance of family, fun, and fiscal responsibility. 

Not many kids are lucky enough to remember the weekend pleasure of Blockbuster or grandma spoiling you to Gottchalks and junk food at Raleys. Or the bitter sweet annoyance of Saturday morning chores. Though everyone has their own form of nostalgia, mine has definitely always included acres of shady trees, peaceful scenery, and sawdust or  dirt to play in while my parents worked. 

For a long time I resented the quiet, messy mountain life. Having seen and heard the loud luxury of travel and adventure, I used to think my calling was deep within a book I hadn’t even read from front to back. It wasn’t until I finally did, that I realized it wasn’t the one to define me. And that maybe I’d have to write my own to learn who I truly was.

Deep down I think I always knew I didn’t fit the mold of morality or virtue that my family was so keen to push me towards. Not that good traits and character aren’t within my nature, but the clean, black and white lines of the church they drew me inside, simply wasn’t where I felt I belonged. 

It took a lot of battling and destroying all the images of myself I tried to paint so perfectly for others…to be what they hoped or wanted, before I found myself. Which was right where I started, a mountain girl who sometimes got her hands dirty or scraped her knees, but got back up to play in the sawdust and climb a tree. 

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