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My Kids Eat Homemade Bread–What’s Your Excuse?

Maria Kang exercises, I make bread.

Last night my husband asked me what I thought about the “hot mom controversy.”

I stared at him blankly. And after lording it over me for a few minutes that he knew about something that happened online before I did, he told me about Maria Kang, who put a picture up on her Facebook page showing off her smoking hot body, with her three very young children in front of her and the caption “What’s Your Excuse?”

And as the internet does, it latched on to her and made her insta-famous. She says that the response has been about 80% good and 20% bad, the bad part being jealousy, claims of fat shaming, and even a link to a post by her husband (now removed) in which he supposedly talks about cheating on her. (Make no mistake: no matter what gets the internet’s attention, every single thing you’ve ever put online will instantly become fair game – keep that in mind while you post link bait.)

My goal is not to pile onto this woman. Spend a little time on her site and it becomes obvious that she has issues upon issues relating to food and health, so her body is something she focuses on more than a lot of other people. And her story is inspirational to anyone who has struggled with weight, as she used to. I like a lot of what she has to say, especially about taking time for yourself and your health.

But it’s the way she chose to tell her story. Either she worded her caption that way in order to get attention, or that’s how she really feels about women who don’t look like she does, and I’m not sure which would be worse.

Any single one of us could put up a picture of something we do well and try to shame other people with it. You don’t make your bread from scratch like I do? What’s your excuse?

Ashley packs impressive, healthy lunches for her kids. What’s your excuse?

Rebecca juggled being PTA Co-President while starting an amazing video website with Nancy. What’s your excuse?

Jennifer makes incredible food for her kids that is healthy and delicious and filled with love. What’s your excuse?

Ann is a surgeon who works tirelessly to raise money for other’s causes. What’s your excuse?

Ilina works seemingly around the clock to help her community. What’s your excuse?

Sharon lives a fabulously interesting life while managing to be a doting grandmother to half of Rhode Island. What’s your excuse?

Jessica juggles three of the most stylish small kids in the world while always looking absolutely fabulous herself. What’s your excuse?

I could go on and on with that list, because every one of my friends has something extraordinary about them  – usually many, many things. And I bet every one of them would jump to tell you what they slack on in order to focus on other things.

It’s the Pinterization of parenthood: our best efforts are put out there for all to see, beautifully photographed, and the rest is swept under the rug.

As I was baking bread yesterday, a giant pile of crap was waiting for me in the guest room. And seeing as it’s been there for a couple of months, chances are it will still be there tomorrow. Fiona couldn’t go to her first robotics practice yesterday because I wasn’t caught up on email and didn’t see the form I had to fill out. Jake had to go to school in sweat pants because all of his jeans were still dirty from a trip we’d just taken. I’m speaking at a conference on Friday and haven’t made my Power Point yet. And all that crap on the counter behind the cooling bread? It gets much worse if you can see the whole kitchen.

But that bread sure looks impressive, doesn’t it? (And it was delicious.)

Embrace what you do well. And by all means show it off (heck, social media runs on envy!). I love looking at pictures of the Star Wars-themed birthday party you created from scratch while I’m making birthday party reservations at the bowling alley (again).

But you don’t necessarily have to put someone else down in order to pump yourself up.

Unless that was your goal all along, because you have a new weight-loss product coming out next month, and you needed the press.

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

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30 Responses to “My Kids Eat Homemade Bread–What’s Your Excuse?”

  1. Justine on October 16th, 2013 8:33 am

    Ha! Love the picture of your bread. I read about this woman last night on Jezebel, and I felt as you do. I like that you call her carefully crafted digital persona the “pinterization of parenthood.” Everyone online has their highlight reel they present to the world, and it’s helpful to remember that in the background there are piles of paper and an occasional cat turd floating in a puddle of rainwater in the basement. Not that I speak from experience or anything…
    Justine recently food day: vegetarian quinoa chiliMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Justine: Ha! Yeah, I think it’s natural to do it, but she did it in such an in-your-face way. I have a feeling that it was more calculated than people think.

  2. Ilina on October 16th, 2013 1:31 pm

    That bread is impressive! You hit this spot on. I would expect nothing less from you.

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Ilina: :-) Thanks Ilina, and thanks for being so inspiring.

  3. Wendi Aarons on October 16th, 2013 2:05 pm

    I just saw her story on GMA this morning and all I could do was roll my eyes at yet another “moms are upset!” story.

    Your response is a good one, Amy.

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Wendi Aarons: We have column inches to fill, Wendi! If we don’t, our editors will fire us! Oh, wait…

  4. Jenna Glatzer on October 16th, 2013 2:26 pm

    Thank you. I think you nailed it. The “What’s Your Excuse?” is needlessly confrontational.
    Jenna Glatzer recently posted..What People Say About JennaMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Jenna Glatzer: Someone said on Facebook that it would have been a whole different ballgame if the caption was “You can do it too!” instead. I totally agree. Needlessly confrontational was exactly what it was.

  5. Kristin on October 16th, 2013 2:31 pm

    Harrison also wore sweat pants to school today.
    Kristin recently posted..Louisville Kentucky with a toddlerMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Kristin: Maybe if we all send our kids to school in sweat pants at the same time we can fool the administrations into believing they OKd it?

  6. Jenni Chiu on October 16th, 2013 2:36 pm

    Spot on. The internet is rampant with the need to put others down in order to lift yourself… and part of that is totally “pinterization” of parenthood. I’m a big fan of bloggers who don’t “sweep the rest under the rug”. I love to see people succeed… but it’s in our flaws- our humanity that we really relate to each other.
    I just realized I “quoted” you a lot in this comment! That just means I like your words. :)
    Jenni Chiu recently posted..The Happiest Depressed Person on the BlockMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Jenni Chiu: Ha! Flattered, thank you.

  7. Shell on October 16th, 2013 5:51 pm

    I’m sitting here thinking mmmm, bread. So that’s why I don’t look like that “hot mom.”

    I do think it should have been worded differently. Take away the “what’s your excuse” and I would have rolled my eyes at the pic and moved on. But with it there, it was annoying.
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: I Drug My ChildMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Shell: Agreed. But as I’ve found over the years, being reasonable doesn’t get you as many readers. Ah well.

  8. Sonya on October 16th, 2013 7:55 pm

    I think her number 19 both pissed me off and worried me more than the rest of her self-righteous BS. Justifying bulimia is never a good thing and calling the “high” you get from binging and purging a “good drug” is DANGEROUS.
    NOT a fan. There are fit moms out there that work their buns off to remain so, and those ladies I respect, just as I respect the blogging moms I have come to know over the years, but this one I have zero respect for. Sorry Amy, but you know I tell it like I see it and she can go suck it.

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Sonya: You don’t have to apologize to me – I don’t care if you like her. :-)

  9. bluemilk on October 16th, 2013 11:27 pm

    This is why mummy blogging has been so important for women – debunking myths of perfection

  10. Korinthia Klein on October 17th, 2013 1:37 am

    This is so well said. Thank you for this post!
    Korinthia Klein recently posted..Who’s afraid of the big, bad Quinn?My Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Korinthia Klein: You’re welcome. :-)

  11. Lindsey on October 17th, 2013 2:42 pm

    This is sooo spot on. If she would have said, “You can do it!” then everyone would have responded differently – oh, so differently. To me, “You have no excuse” is not motivational. And that bread looks deeeelicious!
    Lindsey recently posted..{Mushroom Nature Study: Part 1} Discovering Mushroom City in Our Yard!My Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Lindsey: Agreed. Tone is so important (and I’m not talkin’ about her abs!).

  12. SJ on October 17th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Damn! I thought this was going to be a post on the how tos of making fresh bread for the fam. Bummer.

    (You do make an excellent point in this post though. Excellent point.) ♥

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @SJ: You are not the first person to ask for a bread tutorial – it’s coming! The only problem is, once everyone sees how easy it is, they will no longer be impressed. :-)

  13. Terry on October 17th, 2013 3:36 pm

    This is so awesome! I was all prepared to verbally beat down the premise: That if I can’t bake my kids fresh bread every day, I have no excuse. And as someone who doesn’t list “baking bread” on her parenting resume (but I make a MEAN martini!), well you get the picture.

    I think you have birthed a brand new meme! Congratulations! I guess my entry would have a photo of my… less than perky breasts (in a not-TOO-revealing top, because I have good boundaries) with the words “Nursed for a total of 89 months. What’s your excuse?”
    Terry recently posted..Weaning My Almost 4-Year-OldMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Terry: Ha! Yeah, I admit a was doing some link-baiting myself with that title. But hopefully for a better reason. And the boobs? Right there with you!!!

  14. QueenofLeen on October 17th, 2013 5:19 pm

    Love this post. Stop the mom shaming!

    “@SelfishMom: I make bread from scratch for my family. What’s your excuse?

  15. Danielle White on October 17th, 2013 7:55 pm

    How sad she chose to shame other women instead of striving to empower them and herself more by using uplifting words of encouragement. It is sad how some women do that to their sisters. It just reeks of insecurity. We lift no one up when we put them down, we are just putting ourselves down to.

  16. Toniko on October 17th, 2013 9:42 pm

    LOVE this post! I hope that tons of moms get to see it :D It makes me think about what my phrase would be…if I were feeling boastful LOL But in all seriousness a beautiful way to remind moms and anyone really that looks are not everything. There are a million things out there to strive for and everyone has something that they can be proud of if they search for it. And you know what? If a mom worked her butt off after having 3 kids and her end result was not what this lady\’s results were, oh well, that mom should be proud of what she accomplished and the good health she is doing for her body.

  17. Amy on October 18th, 2013 5:52 pm

    Great points!! Loved this. I’m a Life Coach and work with many people who struggle to own, acknowledge and accept their gifts, what they rock at and what they have accomplished because of what people have learned about ‘bragging.’ Sharing your accomplishments because you are are excited about them is very different than using it to make you feel ‘better than’. When people use their coups and gifts and accomplishments to make others feel ‘less than’ or bad about themselves, THAT is bragging and it’s nasty. Loved your point about everyone having strengths and weaknesses!!! Thanks for the article!

  18. Sharon Couto on October 18th, 2013 9:54 pm

    Amy makes me laugh, smile, pause, think. What’s your excuse? xo!
    Sharon Couto recently posted..Baby Review: Tommee Tippee 360 Sealer Diaper Disposal SystemMy Profile