Love them or hate them, selfies are here to stay. Selfies are this generation’s way of sharing little moments of every day life with each other. They are like a photo journal of the ups and downs of life. While some women out there seem to have a lighting crew and are masters at angles and duck lips, many of us (especially moms) don’t have time for that! We are lucky if we get to take a shower some days, let alone curl our hair, apply the perfect ‘I woke up like this’ make-up and find a fabulous backdrop that matches our outfits. But mom’s stories matter too! We are raising the next generation! And we moms need messy hair, foot in the face, silly pose selfies. They remind us of our humanity and that we’ve all had those days. Kudos to these moms for keeping it real! Your photo stories are important and whether you know it or not, encouraging and inspiring. The mom stays in the picture!
I love it when moms tell it like it is. Having kids can be a real cure for hubris. Children can so completely and so perfectly shatter any veneer that’s between you and that cute face. My kids have no problem declaring loudly that my hair is a mess, my outfit could be better (my 6-year-old daughter is a little fashionista) or that I have “kitten breath.” So, stripped of our egos, what we are left with is our honesty. In this social media age of looking perfect and leading the perfect life, we could all use a nice dose of honesty. Don’t you think? When you see these moms telling it like it is with their selfies, you’ll see that you are part of a very exclusive, very messy club. The #MomLife club!
25 I Call This One The Apple-Tree Selfie
Like mother, like daughter! These two are definitely related. I see this selfie and I think about all the ways these two are undeniably connected. I think about silly dance parties in the living room, matching Halloween costumes and that little beauty wearing mom’s jewelry one day. Mama had better get ready for hearing her own words coming back at her in an argument because this little girl is one apple that has not fallen far from the tree. This beautiful mom has no problem goofing it up for the camera. Selfies like these can bring a smile to your face even at 9 pm after quietly cleaning a pile of Legos off the floor before passing out on the couch 15 minutes into whatever movie you’re trying to watch this week. And that little face! She is a natural in front of the camera. No lighting crew needed! Way to make us smile, Mama! We salute you and your silly, wonderful faces.
24 Babies In the Bathroom
If this selfie were a fine art painting, I’d call it ‘Babies Bathing In Fountain.’ The reflection in the mirror, multiplying what appears to be twins really gives the ‘outnumbered and exhausted’ feel to this work of art. Looking at this selfie, I can tell this mama is counting down the minutes until bedtime. If she’s like me, she puts her pajamas on at 6 pm and starts the timer in her head to the moments of blissful quiet and a chance to sit peacefully without anyone touching her. This mom’s got it all, the messy bun, the oversized sweatshirt (love those) and the look of anticipation in her eyes. Will tonight be the night she gets through a whole episode of Game of Thrones? Will they stay in their beds all night or cry out with their sweet little voices in the wee hours for the only one they prefer to comfort them? We’re with you, mama. Pour yourself a glass of wine. You did good today. Even Olivia Wilde has had those hard mom days. Don’t believe me? Check out number 23.
23 The "Keep The Kid Alive" Selfie
Olivia Wilde had moms simultaneously cracking up and nodding their heads in recognition over this selfie that she posted with the caption, “I call this hairstyle, ‘keep the kid alive.’ Products you’ll need: sweat, string cheese, diaper rash cream, chewed up crayon, snot, and enthusiastic spritz of panic.” The chewed up crayon bit had me spitting cold coffee out my nose. In one honest selfie, she poked fun of beauty magazines while illustrating that some days, if your kids are still alive by the end of the day, you made it! The day was a success…A messy, sweaty, snot-filled success. I have two important questions for you, Olivia: 1. Where did you get that awesome fish wallpaper? and 2. How are you still pulling off this look?! Some moms can’t help it and will always be glamorous. Even with cheerios stuck to her hair and spit-up on her shoulder.
22 Baby Totem Pole
This mom must have at least three arms because I can’t understand how she is able to hold a crying baby in one arm, hold a squirming toddler on her shoulders and still somehow snap a selfie. Can this woman juggle or what? The incredible part is that they are all in the frame! I can’t get both my kids in frame when they are all standing on the ground. The blurry pictures are countless and my patience is paper thin. And aside from the messy mom bun, she still looks fabulous. Her make-up is not smeared and her smile reveals a spirit of next-level badassery. I bet there are four more babies stacked on top of the toddler that we can’t even see! The top one is probably spinning plates. Sadly, we can tell just how her little one feels about being the low man on the totem pole. Hopefully this side show act will at least put the poor kid through college. Hang in there, young one! Literally…hang in there.
21 Co-Sleeping With Bruce Lee
Awwwwww. Aren’t they just darling when they sleep? As a fellow co-sleeping mom, I get this picture on a deep level. One night, I had a dream that I was being hit in the face repeatedly with nun chucks. I woke up to find that my son was vigorously rubbing his nose and consequently elbowing me in the face over and over and over again. I swear, my children magically grow 15 elbows and about 25 knees while they are sleeping. I’ve come up with names for my little ones after a rough night of co-sleeping: Elbow Baggins, Human Nun Chucks, The Kidney Punisher, Crotch Karate Kid, Tiny Tap Dancer, The Boob Destroyer, and Mr. ‘If It’s Tender, My Foot Belongs In It’ Jones. Don’t be fooled by the alert expression on this mom’s face. She is sleeping with her eyes open. It’s one of the first things we master when becoming mothers.
20 The Plaque-Fighting Selfie
Remember the time when we used to be able to do anything by ourselves? We could go to the store, brush our teeth and even poop alone and without little witnesses. For moms, those days are loooooong gone. I haven’t been to the bathroom alone in 6 years. But what a great way to encourage your child to brush his teeth! Smart move on mom’s part. Our kids always want to do everything we are doing, don’t they? He is having a blast! I’m impressed with this baby’s multitasking skills too. He is probably seconds away from jamming that toothbrush straight down his mama’s throat, making it just one of many times she has had to clean up puke since becoming a mother. Easy there, tiger. Perhaps this kid’s got a future in dentistry. He is definitely on the right track. I love the t-shirt, little dude. Keep fighting the good fight against plaque and tarter build-up!
19 The Volatile and Erratic Wayward Hair Stylist
This baby looks horrified at mom’s current hairdo. This was probably one of the very few and far between days when mom actually styled her hair. But everyone’s a critic. This baby definitely has his own plans for mom’s new look. Imagine walking into a hair salon and getting your hair done by a temper tantrum throwing, vomiting, pants pooping, babbling stylist with tiny hands. That’s motherhood. And we are happy to have those little fingers tangled in our unwashed hair for two reasons: 1. They are too adorable to resist, and 2. If they are making a mess of our hair, that means they are NOT making a mess anywhere else in the house. When you see a mom with baby-made dread locks and a lollipop stuck in her hair, there is only one acceptable thing to say to her: “You’re doing a great job, Mama. You look fabulous!”
18 Look What You Made Me Do, Mom
Okay, can we talk about the expression on this kid’s face for a second? That is the face of an unapologetic, sardonic little food critic who clearly has a problem with mom’s last meal. I can hear his inner voice saying, “did you really think it was acceptable to pair goat cheese with goldfish crackers, Mother?! HOW DARE YOU!” If he were a food critic, he would rate that breast milk flavor with a big, smelly spit up splat. And I love the puddle in the top of her pants. He’s not sorry. And he will do it again if she dares to defy his sophisticated palate. This mom has the perfect attitude about it. The look on her face says, “Oh yeah, dude? Wait until I show this picture to your future prom date. Who’ll be laughing then!” She is a worthy adversary, indeed. I just hope she throws the shirt out and keeps the photo.
17 Stay This Little Forever
There is this overwhelming awareness of fleeting moments when you become a mother. Our babies change and grow so fast and it’s hard to soak it all up when you’re busy with day to day caretaking, work and important tasks. We blink and a year goes by. I know that’s why I take so many pictures of my kiddos. It’s my way of keeping them small forever in my mind. It captures moments I may forget with my sleep-deprived, overworked brain, like this perfect moment captured here. In a flash, I can see this child starting kindergarten, learning to tie his shoes, correcting his mother when she tries to help him with his math homework and starting college. It’s a breath stopping reminder to hold onto this moment, right in front of us. Leave the dishes in the sink, return that email later and snuggle up to your baby. This is the only time he will be this little. And all he needs from you is everything…until he doesn’t anymore. As we have heard all older parents say, “Enjoy it. It goes by so fast.”
16 You're Mocking Me, Aren't You
Listen, I’m not proud of it, but I have definitely mocked my children. Sometimes behind their backs and sometimes to their faces. Not my proudest moments, but our beautiful miracles of life really have a way of pushing us to the brink of insanity. They are impolite, impatient and impossible at times! There are moments when the only thing I can think to do is show them how ridiculous they are being by doing what they do. Man, this mother is brave for capturing that moment on camera. I’m with you, sister! I have acted like a toddler more than once: a thirty year-old, whining, yelling toddler. And boy did it feel good! Did I win any intellectual parenting awards on that day? Nope. Did my kids look at me like I was a crazy person? Yep. But I rode that crazy pony into Loopytown like a sleepy, badass cowgirl! And here’s a secret: I will do it again. Shame is like the annoying girl at the college party telling you not to drink upside down from the keg. Screw you, Barb! This beer is going in!...And coming back up later! Just like our unwise parenting choices will surely come back to bite us in the butt later. Se la vi!
15 Mom's Head Is Now A Tractor
This little angel is on the fast track to becoming a construction foreman, I can feel it. Those are not strands of hair she is tugging on. Oh no. Those are levers inside the biggest, most incredible tractor that has not even been invented yet! The look in her eyes says, “Hang on, Mama! I’m building eighth wonder of the world!” Keep on truckin, little one. Your bald mama will be watching from the sidelines, drying her tears with strands of pulled out hair. She will regale your friends of how it all began; on the couch with nothing but a diaper and a headache. No one tells you this, but baby’s hands have the gripping strength of a thousand machines. Earrings are not an option. Bald patches are a certainty; and this little powerhouse is going to build great things! I hope she leaves a little bit of hair on her poor mama so she can look nice at the groundbreaking ceremony.
14 I Did It! I Successfully Sucked The Life Out Of Her!
Well, if this doesn’t sum up motherhood in an instant, I don’t know what does. This mother feels what all mothers have felt at some point in the journey. “I may never sleep again.” When my daughter was a baby, I remember thinking I would sell a kidney just to get five uninterrupted hours of sleep. My neighbor says having a baby offers unequivocal proof that can’t really sell your soul to the devil, because parents would sell that thing in a hot second in return for one blissful, glorious night of sleeeeeep! Isn’t it amazing how much sleep we wasted in our college years? We stayed up late partying or cramming for tests, not realizing that one day we would have this look in our eyes…this absent, shell of a human, what happened to me and who is this person staring back at me in the mirror, look. The mind blowing thing about it is, we would do it again in a second. I miss those all-nighters with my little ones. No one else was around. It was quiet and it was just us. I was all that little human needed. I know I will always remember those sleepless nights. It’s a badge of honor and I wear it with pride. Hang in there, Mama! I promise you will sleep again.
13 The ‘Don’t Embarrass Me Again At Nana’s Party’ Selfie
When they were inside our bodies, we had complete control! We controlled where they went, when they went to bed and how they were perceived by the outside world. What a shock it is when they come out and don’t do anything we expect! This selfie is everything. It sums up the moment this mother has surrendered the illusion of control and embraced the glorious chaos that is parenthood. You know some delicate, fragile stuff got broken that night. But you know what remains unbroken? Their wild, beautiful spirits! Good job, mama, for letting kids be kids and knowing that one day, when we act like the whacky parents they turned us into, THEY will be embarrassed of US! Life’s funny that way, isn’t it? When my son is a teenager, I plan to belt, at the top of my lungs, the song I was compelled to make up just to get him to poop on the potty. It’s called Party on the Potty, and the music executives will surely be blowing up my phone. Boom!
12 The Postpartum Fog Selfie
I just want to take a moment to acknowledge this mother for putting her vulnerable self out there. Brene Brown says that “courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” This mother has so much courage. This pictures reaches into my soul and pulls out a memory of feeling completely lost at the moment when I became a new mother. I had postpartum anxiety with my first baby, and postpartum depression with my second baby. This selfie captures that feeling; the one where I was certain that I was ill-equipped, definitely overwhelmed and had this enormous feeling of love that made me want to hide this precious light away from the rest of the world. For the first few weeks of my daughter’s life, putting her down filled me with so much anxiety. I would sweat profusely if she cried. I slept sitting up with her little body on my chest. I realize now that I had separation anxiety. I didn’t know how to exist without her inside of me. Thankfully, I was able to let go…slowly. Now she is independent and free. My children have taught me so much about life. I brought them into this world and in return, they gave me the world.
11 The Stand Off: You Go To Sleep. No, YOU Go To Sleep!
I can just hear it. “I not tired. I no go sleep.” My son is never tired. Ever. Even when he is passing out in his car seat with a pretzel stick hanging out of his mouth. Even after I get him a drink of water, rub his back, sing his favorite song, read him a story and beg. Oh yeah, I’m not above begging. If I say to him, “son, you seem tired,” he takes it as a dare. He fights sleep like Winnie the Pooh fights his love for honey…the love for honey is always the inevitable victor, it wins every time and it’s so cute to watch the struggle. Hearing that sweet voice trail off in the middle of the sentence, “I’m not sleepy…” might be the most adorable surrender I have ever witnessed. I hope this mama packed some patience, because this little firecracker does not appear to be backing down soon. This is a stand-off, no question about it. The person with the most zzzzzzz’s wins.
10 The Breaking Bad Selfie
As if moms don’t have enough jobs to do, this mom perfectly demonstrates one of the more painstaking of the long list: the referee. They were so sweet when they were little and unable to hit each other! What happened? When I became a mother, I had no idea I would be mediating World War III in my living room every night for the next 18 years. We spend all this time nurturing these beautiful lives out of a single cell in our bodies, only to prevent them from killing each other every time we leave the room. This selfie captures the moment when the phrase, “use your words,” has ended in complete and utter failure. While this mom is breaking up a fight (probably the tenth one of that particular day), I know that under those sunglasses, what she would really rather be doing is sunbathing on a beach while enjoying just one minute of peace and quiet.
9 The 'I Guess I’ll Keep You' Selfie
I look at this one and I know what this mama is thinking. “You stink and your foot is in my face AGAIN…but I guess I’ll keep you.” You know this child owes his mama big time for all the sideways sleeping, stinky diaper having, temper tantrum throwing times. That’s what unconditional love is! Saying I’ll keep you. You can stay close to me even when all your human-ness is showing. I often think about my children taking care of me one day. When I’m an old lady, I’m sure I will be stinky, inconvenient and will occasionally have fits of senility. I hope they remember these moments when they were loved no matter what. How we are treated by our children when we are old really is a reflection of how we treated them when they were young and unable to care for themselves. I hope I am treated as well as I work to treat them. Otherwise it’s a loony bin nursing home for me!
8 Is That An Ounce Of Dignity I See In There? Let Me Get That For You
You’ve set the stage for the perfect mama and baby photo session. You’ve got the stripy headband that matches your cherub-like baby’s stripy shirt, you put the eyeliner on and even managed to brush your teeth. Now is your chance to prove to your college friends that you still look good and your mom game is on point! Then, right as you snap the picture, your adorable drool monster reminds you that dignity is a thing of the distant past. Oh yeah, that baby thumb is lodged deep in her gums and her perfect selfie moment is once again ruined. Good thing that kid is cute! My friend has a theory that if babies weren’t cute, there would be packs of feral toddlers roaming the streets at night. I think she’s right. These two are definitely still ridiculously good looking. And now mom doesn’t need to spring for that root canal she’s been putting off!
7 The Life Skills Selfie
First, my child, I will teach you to take a bite out of this food. Then I will teach you to take a bite out of life! These two foodies are serious and clearly have an appetite for life and fine cuisine. They are not messing around and I pity anyone who gets in their way. Don’t you dare try to take anything off their plates. As Janet Jackson says in the Nutty Professor, “you try to take food off my plate again, you’re gonna pull back a nub.” That is the clear vibe these two are sending here. I see a future chef in this selfie. While can’t quite tell what they are grubbing on, it is making my mouth water. I hope this little one opens her own restaurant when she grows up. If this photo is any indication of her passion for food, I’ll have one of everything!
6 My Mom Made Me Wear This
This baby is not nearly as happy as her mom is with this look. If that baby could talk, she would be saying, “Really mom? A bee? How original. No, I get it. I’m just a cute little bumble bee to you. This may surprise you, but I am not here for your entertainment.” This mom is taking advantage of the opportunity to dress her daughter up like the cute little doll she is. And who can blame her? My daughter’s first Halloween costume was a bumble bee too. She had no idea what was going on or how absolutely adorable she was, but I remember. Hey, listen child. I gave you life. The least you can do is let me dress you in cute baby costumes for as long as I can before you are old enough to protest. It’s our right as mothers! We made you! Now let us put you in a bug costume so we can parade you around the neighborhood.
5 Bubble Beards And Belly Laughter
These two sum it up. Bubble beards and belly laughter. These are the moments that will stick with us as parents. This mom is all of us. She probably has things on her mind, bills to pay, lists of tasks to do. But she took the time to be joyful. I often get too busy to remember to laugh. I get pre-occupied with bills and doctor appointments and life. But this is what life is all about! The sound of my kids’ laughter is the best sound on the planet. This photo reminds me to make that laughter one of my top priorities. Sometimes you gotta stop and smell the bubbles! And let’s be honest. Bubble beards are hilarious. Every. Time. Don’t believe me? Try having a serious conversation with someone who is rockin a bubble beard. Try to do it with a straight face. Go on. I dare you.
4 The C-Section Selfie
Yep. C-Sections are not pretty. They are not easy either. That is the point of this post-op c-section selfie. The mom here wanted to illustrate that it’s not all lollipops and rainbows for those of you out there that may have harbored the idea that c-sections are the easy way out. She wrote, “Look I know it might not be my best angle (or is it?) but who wouldn't take selfies hours post birth so they can see where they sliced you open and yanked out a whole person (if you couldn't tell I still couldn't see past my still inflated uterus). This is what you really look like a few hours post c-section.” She goes on to say, “To anyone who thinks it's the easy way out, well try having a 6-inch gash in your abdomen like a gutted shark who had the body parts of the surfer it ate retrieved! That's then sewn back together with fishing wire while it feels like your vital organs are trying to escape.” Ouch! As a two-time c-section mama, I can attest to this. No matter how you slice it (no pun intended), bringing a human being into the world is anything but easy.
3 The 'Please Put On Your Shoes' Selfie
It’s not fair of me to post other courageous, honest mom selfies without including one of myself in this all encompassing struggle of motherhood. So, here is one of my honest selfies. I posted this on Instagram with the caption: Me, after I said "get dressed we're gonna be late" 1,574 times. And then, of course everyone has to poop right before we walk out the door. I'm pretty sure this is just my face now that school has started: a cross between "Are you kidding me right now?" And "I'm so tired." Back to school after a long weekend ...I'm up I'm up! Totally got this.” To quote the lovely Brene Brown again, “If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked alongside me, I’m not interested in your feedback.” I’m in the arena, mamas! And my ass is getting kicked on a daily basis.
2 Normalize Breastfeeding Selfie – Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano has been an advocate for women all across the country. She has a reputation for posting selfies of her breastfeeding babies with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding. I’ve read that women are missing out on an important lesson in motherhood and breastfeeding because they don’t see other women breastfeeding openly in public. Many women are shamed or asked to cover up when they are nursing their babies. Alyssa Milano is fighting back with her honest selfies showing that breastfeeding is a natural, normal right that we have as mothers. In her Instagram post, Alyssa added this poem as a caption to this breathtaking picture of her nursing her baby: “Ah, the joy of suckling! She lovingly watched the fishlike motions of the toothless mouth and she imagined that with her milk there flowed into her little son her deepest thoughts, concepts, and dreams. ~Milan Kundera”
1 Even Madonna Is Tired
Ladies, if Madonna, the pop icon, legend, symbol of woman power and tenacity says mom-ing is hard, that means it’s hard! She has conquered the world and motherhood still has her looking like this. So give yourselves a break! Madonna has the best make-up, personal trainers, yoga instructors, and hair stylists and guess what? Mothering is still hard. Even for her. So cut yourselves some slack! Embrace the bad hair days. Say ‘who cares’ to the stains on your shirts. Laugh it off when the kiddos keep you up all night. This time is so short. But hopefully our lives will be long and there will never be a shortage of coffee and cuddles. If the queen of pop can do it, so can we! And just like Her Majesty, we can do it in style. To my fellow sticky haired, spit-up stained, pajama wearing mamas out there: I see you. You’re doing a great job. And you look fabulous!