Social media feeds are full of memes and videos poking fun at the ups and downs of motherhood, and the daily struggles parents go through as they raise young children. And Erin Napier, for one, is not a fan.
The star and designer of HGTV’s Home Town took to her Instagram Stories earlier this week to share her thoughts on “mom humor” videos, writing that they can be seen as offensive to women struggling with infertility.
“Instagram is always showing me videos of ‘mom humor’ where the moms are glib and whining about life with little children. Would love to see less of this,” Napier, who shares daughters Helen, 5 and Mae, 1, with husband and co-star Ben Napier, wrote.
“I know the difficulties and stresses of motherhood are real and taxing,” she continued, “but there are so many women in the world struggling w[ith] infertility who would kill to have that life. Let’s flip it on its ear and keep in mind how fleeting and special this hectic time is.”
Although it is true that people should be mindful of others’ difficult journeys to parenthood — whether they involve situations like pregnancy loss or in vitro fertilization — it’s also okay for those with children to view funny memes or videos, and laugh about the madness of parenthood.
It’s a balance. Embrace and enjoy the chaos, yes, but complain about it, too. It’s hard and it’s not always fun, and finding a lighter side is often what it takes to get through the difficult parts.
Napier, 37, who is notoriously private when it comes to her children, previously posted about being sensitive to those facing infertility. She shared her own experience with the dreaded “more babies” question in a touching post on Instagram in 2020.
“‘Why not just have a baby?’ It’s such an innocuous, harmless seeming thing to offer a mama who’s missing the sweetness of babyhood as her toddler grows up. And it seems so simple to offer that same advice to the couple who’ve been married 10 years. The truth is rarely that simple,” Napier, who welcomed her second child, Mae, in 2021, wrote.
“There are women I love who want babies desperately and their bodies won’t let them. Women grieving miscarriages that happen in secret. Couples trying to adopt, who keep finding disappointment through fostering when the baby is given back to drug-addicted mothers. People awaiting trips overseas to bring home a baby that feels like it will never come because of travel bans. Mothers in their 30s whose bodies have stopped making another baby an option suddenly. Please, I gently urge you. Think of those people before you offer that advice. That simple question can be so very hard to answer sometimes ❤️.”
Napier has also embraced a simpler approach to parenting amid the current prevalence of modern technology and screen-time luxuries for kids and teens.
“I am so thankful I grew up without the crushing pressure of social media,” she wrote in another Instagram post, featuring a photo of herself as a “highly sensitive, artistic” 11th grader. “… The criticism or silence of ‘likes’ would’ve hurt me deeply.”
The home designer added that she and her group of friends agreed not to give their children smart phones until they are older and have “fully developed emotional minds.”
“That way, they can’t say ‘but all my friends have one,’” she concluded. “Is it mean to keep them from communicating with smart phones? I don’t care. I’m also keeping them from finding a distorted picture of who they think they need to be, porn, hate, the criticism of strangers. Childhood is so short. We’re gonna savor every last second of our girls’ that we can.”