Ilana Wiles, aka Mommy Shorts, shows us that the perfect mommy is most loved for her imperfections.
The first time I read Mommy Shorts, I had just had my first baby. I was about halfway through my maternity leave, and starting to feel wistful about returning to work when someone told me that this totally hysterical blog would surely cheer me up, with its dry humor and musings about motherhood.
During those long infant naps, I devoured story upon story: the tale of her daughter’s blankie, “boo” (“Poor puke-soaked Boo was wisked away as if it was in the throws of cardiac arrest and the washing machine was the only thing that could save it.”); a post about a long-distance conversation on the eve of Hurricane Irene, and a 9-11 call about an intruder in her house (i.e. baby Mazzy) who had stolen her “downtime, all opportunities for spontaneity, the concept of laziness, assorted vacation possibilities, the brightness that used to be in my once well-rested eyes, adult topics of conversation, bathroom privacy, and the ability to use road trips as a chance to catch up on sleep." All of these brought tears (of laughter) to my eyes.
But the blog also had a certain frankness that struck a chord with me. Mommy Shorts is real NYC mommy -- Ilana Wiles -- living a real NYC life. She doesn't pretend to be the "perfect" mommy. She reveals a wonderfully imperfect balance of work obligations, social commitments and her family. Real life issues that we can all relate to.
As I readied to return to the workforce, and grappled with the guilt that inevitably comes with parting with baby, I read a Mommy Shorts post that solidified my fandom. In examining whether you can be a good mom when you leave your kid in someone else’s care, when you prioritize yourself, or when you pursue your own dreams, she said the words that working moms aren’t supposed to say: “I know I am a better, more patient parent when I do not spend every waking hour with my daughter.” Six weeks later, I got off my couch and got back to my office. And I’m a better, more patient parent because of it.
When we recently visited Wiles in her East Village home, she was busier than ever -- she’s got one more baby (Harlow), a busy advertising career and an increasingly famous blog that is opening doors all over the place. But she’s also got more love and passion for her family than ever. “I Don’t Know How She Does it Either,” she once claimed on her blog, but if you ask us, we think she’s got it pretty figured out.
Here, Wiles invites us (and the incredible lens of Raquel Bianca Creative) into her home and shares with us how she starts her busy day.
6:00am - Mazzy wakes up. If we're lucky. She's been known to get up at 5:30am too. We've made a "No TV until 6:30" rule so she won't have incentive to get out of bed. So far, this just means that half hour is absolute hell.
6:30am - Turn on the TV. Thank God. Mike makes coffee. I drink my coffee from a Mommy Shorts mug, obviously. Edit and hit publish on my post if I fell asleep before finishing the night before.
6:45am - Mike and I negotiate over who will shower first. Whoever doesn't shower first makes Mazzy breakfast.
7am - Harlow wakes up. Feed her. Play a little with both of them. Take photos with my phone if they do anything particularly cute— which is pretty much every day.
7:30am - Do Mazzy's hair, do my own hair and get both of us dressed. Give Mazzy chapstick when she asks to put on my lipstick.
8am - Our Nanny arrives. Hand over Harlow so I can finish getting ready.
8:30am - Mike makes blueberry smoothies, Mazzy picks out straws for everyone, freaks out if there are no pink ones left. We all drink smoothies together on the couch.
9:00am - Mike and I leave for work, take Mazzy to school on the way. Hope Harlow is napping peacefully at home.
Photography by Raquel Bianca Creative.
Tell us how you start your mornings.