By Gila Pfeffer of The Mom Who Knew Too Much
It’s not often that I get nominated for anything (recent nominations include “most unfair mom” and “most likely to eat that 3rd piece of cake”), so you can imagine my delight at being nominated by not 1, not 2, but 3 separate mom bloggers for the 5 random facts challenge. This challenge asks that you share 5 random facts about yourself with your Instagram followers and go on to nominate some more Insta friends to keep the party going.
Let me tell you, I had to think long and hard about what facts might be both random AND interesting for my modest following to learn about me. I dug deep into the recesses of my mind (and some old photo albums) and came up with a collection of funny ones, poignant ones and ones that I’m downright proud of.
As more Insta-moms were nominated and shared their random fun facts, I was struck by how very fascinating the people behind the accounts actually are. Normally it’s 24/7 parenting memes, dry shampoo memes and yoga-pant-hot-mess memes with the occasionally heartfelt post about an important health, social or political issue mixed in. But here was some really interesting info that added layers of dimension and depth to the people who run these accounts, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging witty banter with.
And I got to thinking…. how much more tolerant would we be of people if we knew a few things about them at the more granular level instead of just their major defining characteristics?
Susan, Janet, and Brenda could go from Marketing Manager for Hallmark with 3 kids under the age of 5 to:
Marketing manager mom of 3 who used to be a bouncer at a hot nightclub, has one leg that is shorter than the other, competed in national level swimming competitions as a teen, can apply a perfect coat of lipstick using her toes and struggles daily with an eating disorder.
She’d become humanized — we’d soften to her because we were no longer reducing her the things that make her so Susan-y.
I propose that we all wear a little badge labeled “5 things you didn’t know about me.” It would melt barriers and take the edge off in a world that is quickly becoming hardened and divided by strong, immovable opinions.
They wouldn’t need to be revealing of personal data (Lord knows we give enough of that away), but rather, they’d signal a drop of humanity and pathos to the rest of the world, a world in which we keep our eyes set dead ahead and growl at anyone who cuts us off on our path to wherever it is that we are going (a career trajectory or personal goal, but mostly Target). We might recognize ourselves in someone else that we would have otherwise thought we had zero in common with.
“You have IBS too, Susan? How do you keep your symptoms in check?”
“YES, Brenda, I have a kid with ADHD as well. You’re exhausted like me? Bring it in for a hug, sister.”
“Janet, I had no idea that you’re a fugitive from the law for killing someone 15 years ago, maybe don’t broadcast that on your nametag.”
It’s easy to think that we are the “normal” ones, in the right on contentious issues, that it’s the screaming chorus in the comments section that is crazy. Scratch the surface and find out that some of the chorus has had experiences like running away from home and living on the streets at 14, performing as an acrobat in a traveling circus, or spending a night in a Mexican jail.
Let’s meet the Susans, Brendas and Karens halfway, let’s show them that we’re making a valiant attempt to get what makes them tick.
But by no means does that mean we have to stop making memes about them.
About the Author
Gila Pfeffer, better known as The Mom Who Knew Too Much, is a freelance writer, blogger and mother of 4 teens. She’s an American raising her family in London and her kids know that their every transgression will likely become a blog post. It’s a fair deal. She’s worked as a fashion marketing director and e-commerce marketing manager in the past. A breast cancer pre-vivor AND survivor, she’s a staunch breast cancer prevention advocate who gives talks and writes in that space. Gila is especially proud of her title “Sammiches & Psych Meds Guest Writer”. Her funny-because-it’s-true content about parenting teens and other life challenges can be found on her blog at www.the-mom-who-knew-too-much.com and on Instagram @the.mom.who.knew.too.much