When Plum Organics contacted me about participating in their new “Parenting Unfiltered” campaign, I thought— No problem, that’s pretty much what my blog is about all the time anyway.
But then, as the post got closer and closer on the calendar, I started to realize how hard this was. Cara, the person who helps me manage my editorial calendar (yes, I am no longer a team of one), has been calling me every morning when I walk into my office.
“Did you take photos of your morning today?”
“No. It was a complete shit show. I went to sleep late last night and the kids were up at the crack of dawn and I needed to shower and Mazzy refused to put her shoes on and Harlow freaked out because I wouldn’t hold her while I was making her waffles—”
“Yes,” Cara says. “That’s the point. You are supposed to show the shit show.”
“Oh, right. Okay. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
But then the next day the same thing would happen.
“Did you take the pictures?”
“Because taking photos is the last thing I am thinking when I want to strangle myself with my children’s numerous blankies.”
I am not the kind of mom who whips out her camera when my kid starts crying (although I have caught a few). I tend to put the camera away. Not because I am trying to project some perfect version of motherhood. More because I think it’s disrespectful, especially since I am in their faces with my camera all the time.
That’s not to say the occasional photo of your child crying is a problem— I appreciate the humor in a toddler distraught over the end of a Paw Patrol episode just as much as the next parent— but with my kids, who I have documented so much online, I try to reign in the future embarrassment as much as possible.
But please understand— just because I don’t post many pictures of my kids crying, doesn’t mean they never cry. THEY CRY ALL THE TIME.
Mazzy has a lovely fake whiney cry she pulls out whenever I ask her to pause her show and get dressed in the morning. “BUT I’M GOING TO MISS IT!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”
“Mazzy. It’s an episode of Bubble Guppies permanently recorded on our DVR, accessible through On Demand and most likely available on YouTube. You will not miss anything.”
That’s what I think. What I say is more like, “I DON’T CARE! GET YOUR CLOTHES ON RIGHT NOW OR ELSE WE WILL MISS THE BUS TO SCHOOL!!!!”
Harlow has figured out something way more effective than crying. It’s called “screeching” and Mike, in particular, will do anything she asks just to make it stop.
“You want to eat a lollipop at 7am while watching Orange is the New Black in a chair dangling from the ceiling fan? Will it make that horrific sound stop? Yes? THEN BE MY GUEST.”
And that says nothing about what happens between the two girls in the morning.
MAZZY: I want to watch Bubble Guppies.
HARLOW: No. Paw Patrol.
MAZZY: BUBBLE GUPPIES!
HARLOW: *INDICEPHERABLE SCREECHING*
HARLOW: *DINOSAUR SOUNDS*
MAZZY: But I waaaaaaaaaaaannnaaaaa waaaaaaaaatch Buuuuuuubble Guuuuuupieeeeeeees…..
HARLOW: *NAILS ON CHALKBOARD*
And on it goes until we shut off the TV for good and they can make actual water-based tears together. That’s when Mazzy will usually position herself on the couch so she is a hair closer to Harlow than Harlow would like.
MAZZY: I diiiiiidn’t doooo anythiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!!!
MIKE: YOU ARE TOUCHING YOUR SISTER. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE STOOOOOOP!!!!!
The next step is getting Mazzy dressed. She likes to wear one skirt and only one skirt— the one with the flamingos on it. You might recognize it from EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY PHOTOS.
Once dressed, Mazzy eats dry cereal, assorted buttered bread items and strawberries. I have completely given up trying to give either of my girls protein in the morning.
Usually, I help Mazzy get her shoes and socks on while she’s eating because it’s just more efficient that way. And by “help” I mean “I do it for her”. Which also means Mazzy probably won’t learn to completely dress herself until she goes to college.
I also brush Mazzy’s hair while she’s eating breakfast, which sounds sort of disgusting now that I am making this public, but it is what it is.
Brushing is always met with shrieks of “YOU’RE HUUUUUUUURTING MEEEEEE!!!!!”
ME: This does not hurt that bad.
MAZZY: YES IT DOES.
ME: I know it doesn’t hurt that bad because I have been brushing my own hair for my entire life.
Oh, the drama. You’d think an alligator bit off her hand.
Next, Mazzy and I race to the bus, tapping on the door just as the bus is about to drive away. We are those people.
You know how I’ve talked about the bus ride with Mazzy to school being my favorite part of the day? That’s true. What is also true is that Mazzy now has friends who ride the bus and the second she sees one of them get on, she kicks me out of my seat so that she can sit with her friends instead. That’s cool.
And that’s just the mornings. You remember what our evenings are like, right? Also a shit show.
SO. I don’t have exact pictures to go along with these events because you cannot live them and take authentic pictures at the same time, in my opinion.
But I will share a few more “unfiltered photos” that probably wouldn’t do that well on Pinterest.
Here’s Harlow eating spaghetti like a lady:
Here’s Mazzy after she was had a few unsupervised minutes with a pink stamp pad:
Here’s Harlow eating pancakes at a restaurant, which seemed fine until we got up to leave and realized she had spilled a cup of syrup on Mike’s winter jacket:
Speaking of Mike, here he is on kid watching duty:
And lastly, here’s me having a super special moment with my firstborn:
Today, I am giving away three $75 Plum Organics prize packs to people who share #parentingunfiltered photos on Facebook and Instagram.
To enter on facebook, just post your photos on the Mommy Shorts facebook page. To enter on Instagram, just hashtag your photos #parentingunfiltered and make sure to tag @mommyshorts and @plumorganics. Winners will be announced on May 29th.
Plum Organics is the nation’s #1 organic baby food brand and believes in getting the very best food to little ones from the very first bite. They also believe embracing our common challenges as parents is the first step to having a better life.
If that’s the case, thanks Mazzy for the eye roll in that last picture. I feel like a better mom already!
This post was sponsored by Plum Organics. To see more parenting unfiltered photos, click here.