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What went viral this week: A Starbucks-themed playroom + a nanny ad that proves how much moms need support

Another week has come and gone—and while there's still a chill in the air and (quite possibly), January is finally coming to an end. How did your first month of the new decade go, Mama?

It's okay if 2020 hasn't been your year so far, because there are still 11 months left to go to make 2020 the #yearofthemother in your own life. If your New Year's resolution is already old news, set a new goal for yourself and catch up on some of the new stories taking over the internet.

Here's what went viral in the world of parenthood this week.


See all the viral pics of this Starbucks + Target-themed playroom

If you're in the process of decorating or revamping your kids' playroom and need some inspiration, look no further.

Photos of the most amazing, creative playroom are going viral because this setup is just flat-out iconic. And the best part? It pays homage to some of our mama favorites! The playroom boasts mini Starbucks and Target locations (mind blown!) as well as some goal-worthy toy organization. Three-year-old Ariah is the lucky little lady who gets to enjoy this sweet setup, and it's all thanks to her mama, Renee Doby-Becht.

"There were so many comments and likes and all these positive comments," the mama told Good Morning America of reactions to the playroom. "It was mainly moms that were commenting...they were just blown away."

And so are we!

This mom's viral post about marriage is so raw and relatable

As mothers, we are constantly worrying. Worrying about our children and their safety, their happiness and their health. Worrying about our homes. Worrying about our other family members and friends. And sometimes, we're also worrying about something we're afraid to admit: The way our mental and emotional load affects our partners and how they view us.

One mother put this feeling into perfect words.

"I cried last night as I asked my husband if he was tired of me. Because I'm tired of me some days. Pregnancy and birth are hard. Raising babies is hard. But I think the hardest is losing yourself. After each babe, postpartum has gotten worse," Cheyenne Moore writes in a Facebook post. "I don't know if it's being in the trenches of raising multiple children, taking care of a home, working while trying to juggle all of these, or just the pressures of being a mom in today's world."

This is so real: Being a mother can make you feel like you've lost touch with who you were when your partner fell in love with you.

"Some days you look around and it hits you that you have no clue who you are outside of those things," Cheyenne adds. "That life is flying by, and you feel lost in the middle of it. Some days you get a glimpse of your old carefree self. Other days you're navigating the high emotions, the doubt, and the wondering when you will feel like yourself again."

Mama, if you're dealing with these feelings, know you're not alone. And to Cheyenne Moore: Thank you for putting these feelings into words. We know so many mamas feel seen when they read them.

CEO mama's job listing goes viral, proving how much society undervalues care work 

Recently a CEO mama in Menlo Park, California posted a very detailed job ad seeking a "household manager/cook/nanny." She was hoping to find someone who could love and support her 10-year-old twins and herself, but instead, she got a lot of pushback online.

The criticism was instant and intense. The 1,000-word job description was mocked, the woman who wrote it was mom-shamed and many suggested that her requirements (which included "can eat duck eggs" and "likes river swimming") were roasted as unrealistically specific and demanding.

A Guardian columnist concluded their critique of the posting by acknowledging the double standards inherent in the backlash but also suggesting that any nanny working for this woman should be pitied.

"Now, I know what you're all thinking: when a man outsources his childcare, nobody bats an eyelid—and here we are laughing at a single mom who made it and just wants to lean in. That's a fair point—but it shouldn't make us feel any less bad for the nanny," Poppy Noor wrote for The Guardian.

While there is no denying that this CEO's job description is super specific, the person who gets the gig may actually feel lucky. This mom's job post was incredibly detailed but she's also willing to pay incredibly well for a person who fits her household's exact needs, and in a country where most nannies are making less than Amazon delivery drivers, that's a good thing.

In an interview with Slate's Ruth Graham, the anonymous CEO explained she planned to pay $35 to $40 an hour, along with time and a half for overtime. Even without overtime that's a yearly salary of $72,800 to $83,200—with free rent and a car to use.

"And if the person wanted, they could live in our pool cottage, and the rental value for that is about $3,000 a month. They'd get a car that they could use exclusively for themselves; that's valued at about $800 a month. There'd be paid days off, paid holidays, vacation pay, health benefits and the person would get to travel with us. We do some pretty cool vacations. We go to Europe a lot. We always stay in really nice places and have a lot of fun. And we travel to Hawaii, Central America. And when that person would be traveling, that person would only be working eight to nine hours a day," she tells Graham.

The single CEO explained that what she's looking for is a "wife type" nanny, someone who can essentially act as her family's second parent. The ability to eat duck eggs or whatever isn't as important this person's ability to do "to do research, to make good decisions."

She rejects the idea that she's seeking some kind of imaginary unicorn of a nanny and insists the qualities she's describing are common in women in caring roles but undervalued by society.

"It's intelligence, education, analytical skills, thoughtfulness. That's not like a superwoman or super nanny. Most of the moms you know probably have all of that," she tells Graham.

This checks out. Most of the parents at the CEO level are men who have a partner at home, and according to Salary.com, if a stay-at-home mom were paid for all their unpaid labor they would earn upwards of $162,581 per year.

Most households already have what this mama is looking for, but the household manager is not paid.

According to Oxfam, the unpaid care work done by women has an economic value of $10.8 trillion per year, it benefits the global economy drastically and is helping billionaires get richer. "Women are supporting the market economy with cheap and free labor and they are also supporting the state by providing care that should be provided by the public sector," the report notes.

So instead of mom-shaming this woman for looking for help we should be learning from this listing.

According to Jim Moran, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Florida State University, "only about 5% of Standard & Poor's 500 companies have female CEOs." Writing for The Conversation, Moran notes that "there simply are fewer women at these senior levels because of social factors. For example, women perform more family duties than men do. And the need for maternity leave and absences to care for sick children hurts women's careers."

The problem with this viral posting isn't that the female CEO in Menlo Park is too demanding, it's that care work is so undervalued by our society that it's not even seen as work. There's this expectation that mothers can do everything (while still working in paid jobs and contributing to the economy), but we can't. Not without help.

For a CEO, help looks like an $80,000 earning, duck egg-eating, river swimming nanny. For the rest of us, it looks like affordable childcare, paid leave, and addressing the cultural expectations that contribute to mental stress.

This CEO mama in Menlo Park is clearly in the 1% who earns the kind of income that allows someone to travel internationally and employ household staff, but she's making a point that 85% of moms in America agree with: Our society doesn't understand or support mothers and it is time for a change.



When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As a mom of three, I frequently get a question from moms and dads of two children: “Ok, so the jump to three...how bad is it?"

Personally, I found the transition to having even one kid to be the most jarring. Who is this little person who cries nonstop (mine had colic) and has no regard for when I feel like sitting/eating/resting/sleeping?

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