Here’s the truth. Most of the time, I think my blog title is a little misleading: Modern Dayton Mom
I hardly feel qualified to write with a header like this.
When I launched my blog in January 2014, I jumped in with both feet. I made
some many mistakes along the way. (And honestly, I’m still working all the time to truly make my little piece of the internet as great as I’ve always hoped and dreamed it could be.) But the one thing I was very certain about when I launched this blog was the name. Modern Dayton Mom. I thought of it as a play on the phrase, “modern-day mom.” I imagined a cute header with MODERN DAYton MOM or the like emphasizing that not only was I a “modern mom”, I was a local one who was passionate about the town I was from. I registered the domain lickety-split.
And then, I kinda felt like a fraud.
Because here’s the truth. I’m not incredibly modern. I’m average. I’m old-fashioned in a lot of ways. I’m not cutting-edge or on top of the latest trends. Isn’t that what a modern mom is supposed to be?
In some ways, I’ve almost been embarrassed to even share my blog with others because I’ve felt like it’s so misleading. It’s hard to look someone in the eye and say out loud that I’m claiming to be a “modern Dayton mom.” Yes, me with the iPhone 5S from three years ago with no case on it. I’m modern. And did you see my 2007 Saturn Vue with 150K+ miles on it over there? Look at how modern I am! (It runs great and has been paid off for years.) And did you notice that my hair is in a boring ponytail and hasn’t been cut or highlighted in the last four months and I’m still wearing the old t-shirt and black leggings from Target that I slept in and my puffy winter coat is from three seasons ago? Yes, I’m so freakin’ modern.
I’ve thought about changing my blog name to something a little more realistic:
Wannabe Modern Dayton Mom
Not-So Modern Dayton Mom
Regular Dayton Mom
Just Another Mom Blog
Average Mom In Dayton
Mom In Dayton Who Wishes She Was Awesome
But here’s the truth. I AM a freakin’ modern Dayton mom. And the longer I’ve had this blog and had time as a stay-at-home mom to reflect on who I am and what kind of mom I want to be, I realize that there’s a good chance I represent the huge population of other moms in this area that are also doing their best each day. And that’s why I blog.
I’m a modern mom because I struggle every. single. day with finding balance between my family, my home, my friends, and myself. I started out as a working mom with a newborn in daycare five days a week. (Modern moms work.) Then I broke down crying in my boss’s office one day and quit an awesome job I loved to be a full-time parent. (Modern moms also stay home.)
I’m a modern mom because I put my kid first in so many ways, and put myself last way more than I should. I struggle with what the “right” way to parent is, and worry if I’m giving my son too much or not enough attention. If I play with him for a half hour, all I can focus on is all the housework around me that’s begging to be done. If I tell him I can’t play because I have things to do, I feel guilty every time I look over and see him looking bored as he plays all alone. I feel horrible when I hand him the iPad, but I feel so much relief to have some quiet to catch up on email or make a phone call. And at the end of the day, chances are I haven’t showered, I haven’t put on makeup, I certainly haven’t glanced at any of the new magazines that came in the mail for the last two months (let alone the books on my nightstand that haven’t even been cracked open), I haven’t seen a single adult television show all day, and I’m feeling guilty that my husband has to come home a hot mess of a wife after working hard all day – again. If modern moms struggle with finding “me” time, I’m definitely in that boat.
But I’m also a modern mom because there are a lot of modern topics I care about. I use natural cleaning products because I give a damn about the Earth and I don’t want my kids or pets dealing with more junk than they have to. I recycle everything possible. I reuse and re-purpose stuff. I buy organic produce (sometimes). I am passionate about buying locally, especially when it comes to food. I support farmers and local agriculture. I 100% support gay marriage. (Can’t we all just finally agree that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with two people who love each other? Honestly.) In some ways I’m democratic, but in a lot of other ways, I’m a republican. And I’m not crazy about ANY of our current presidential candidates. That makes me modern, right?
I embrace technology and social media. I have an embarrassing number of pins on Pinterest. I stalk Instagram before I go to bed each night. I just put Uber on my phone last week. (Whoa. SO modern.) But the truth is, I don’t let my phone rule my life. I know I’d have hundreds more blog followers if I actually posted multiple times a day to multiple platforms. That’s what modern bloggers do. But I think I’m also modern because I don’t let the noise of social media consume me. I am way happier living in a moment than trying to spend fifteen minutes documenting and hash-tagging it to death. It’s refreshing to take some pictures of my son playing outside and then go back to watching him have fun and interacting with him, rather than staring at my phone the rest of the time and missing all those precious moments that follow. Living in the moment is definitely modern.
I live in a forty-year-old house, but it’s spacious and well within our budget. Some of it is modern (like our new IKEA sofa), but much of it is traditional (like our hickory kitchen cabinets and stone back splash.) I don’t have stainless steel appliances or granite counter tops. If you must know, I have black appliances and a Corian counter top. They came with the house, and they look fine. But does it make me any less modern because we chose to keep our perfectly-good, working-great, not-a-big-deal-if-we-don’t-have-the-newest-of-everything kitchen? Modern moms are frugal, right? The truth is, I would love to have a Fixer Upper kitchen, but there are way better things I could think of to spend $40,000 on. I TRY to be a modern mom and decorate my home, style it, spruce it up as close to something like THIS that I possibly can. I have topiaries on my ladder bookshelves. I have a medallion rug and antique baskets. But it’s because I like how they look or they’re functional, not because I’m trying to impress anyone. Yes, I want my home to reflect who I am and what I love, but my #1 priority will never be to have a perfectly-styled, drool-worthy home. I want my home to be comfortable, clean, filled with more love, and echoing with laughter. I care more about that than gallery walls and chalk-painted furniture. And maybe that’s not so modern of me, but then again, maybe it is…
I deeply love and passionately care about my extended family. I worry about my husband and I caring for our parents some day. I wonder if life would be different if I worked part-time. I question whether I’ll want to have three kids or be happy with two. I get exhausted going to COSTCO, Target and Kroger on a weekly basis. I adore Amazon Prime. I wish I had an amazing body and know I need to work out more. I need to make more fresh dinners and order less takeout. I have an essential oils starter kit, but I hardly use them as much as I could. I volunteer in a non-profit moms’ group to keep me happy and sane. I wish I had more mom friends. I wonder if putting my son in kindergarten at six instead of five is the right decision to make. I want so much more out of life, but feel stuck in a hamster wheel so often. I want to be at the beach. I love H&M, but end up buying so many of my clothes at Target. I fantasize about the Honda Odyssey we’re planning to buy this summer. I’d love to look like Jessica Alba every day, but I always somehow end up looking like… just me.
For these reasons and so many more, yes. I’ve decided I’m definitely a modern mom.
And the Dayton part? That’s easy. I grew up in Troy, performed at the Victoria Theatre in high school, went to college at Wright State University, worked at UD, live in Washington Township, and can’t imagine living anywhere else other than Dayton. There is so much this area has to offer, and sharing all the hidden gems around town is what sparked my excitement to launch this blog in the first place. I’m definitely a Dayton mom, too.
So I guess after all that, I suppose I am truly a modern Dayton mom. And just because it’s the title of my blog, it doesn’t mean that I need to worry about living up to some higher, fancier, trendier standard. It doesn’t mean that readers like you will think I’m a fake. If anything, I hope it will make you see how real I truly am. I’m a real mom with real concerns and real hang-ups and real problems and real triumphs and real successes. And I hope you appreciate that.
Thanks for reading. 🙂