Feeling hopeless? Nihilistic? Convinced that the human race is going to hell in the proverbial handbasket? You haven’t experienced existential depression until you’ve gone on social media and found any conversation related to parenting. Pick a topic—breast feeding, co-sleeping, home schooling, vaccination—and you’ll quickly be neck-deep in a vat of vicious vitriol (we’re feeling alliterative today) the likes of which you haven’t seen since you and your uncle got into politics at the table last Thanksgiving. Nothing, it seems, fills us with rage or the desire to rip another person’s face off like someone raising their offspring in a manner with which we disagree.
After you’ve marinated in the dark side of parenting, head over to #IMomSoHard for the antidote. Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley are a duo of comic moms who bring the hilarious about the real shit that moms worry about: Spanx, trying on bathing suits, sagging boobs, lying to your kids, post-childbirth lady parts that resemble “a basset hound with its head out the window, just flapping in the wind,” and of course, wine. Lots of wine. They mock themselves and super-mom culture mercilessly, fearlessly jump into physical comedy that has us on the floor laughing until our faces hurt, and make 20+ million moms watching YouTube feel a lot better about having squishy abs, facial hair and ass anxiety.
“We’re all doing our best. Let’s just lean into being like hopefully a strong 6.5 on the Richter scale.”
In other words, the self-deprecating moms of #IMomSoHard have turned being weird into a comedy empire. That’s why we’re proud to call them Rare Breeds. The now-infamous “trying on a bathing suit” video that nearly broke the Internet was Kristin and Jen at their best: real, vulnerable, and funny as hell. Kristin told us that she had bought a swimsuit that day and was terrified to try it on, and in true best friend fashion, Jen replied, “This would make a great video!”
What we adore about these women is that they had the weird nerve to go through with it, knowing their fans (who, like all of us mere mortals, are self-conscious about our bodies) would love them for making it okay not to be flawless portraits of yoga goddess perfection. “Our job as moms and women is just to support each other and have a good time at the beach,” Jen told us.
She goes on to say, “The swimming suits became a talking point about the bigger issue, which is that there’s this thing we do to ourselves as women, [which is to say] ‘I’m not a perfect body, so that means I can’t do anything. Kristen and I give each other permission to not be perfect, which is great. We can give ourselves permission to not kick our own asses all the time.”
Kristin and Jen are actual best buds who grew up in Nebraska, and they were doing comedy before teaming up to Mom So Hard. Their comedy, which is a rough 50-50 mix of written routines and improv riffs on topics ranging from other’s goofy laughs to Kristin being pregnant at her wedding, connected instantly with a nation of exhausted, cynical moms because it declared that being a mom doesn’t mean you can’t go to a dark place, knock down a mimosa at 11am on a Wednesday, swear like a sailor on leave, and push back hard against the people who judge you without having the slightest idea what you’re juggling every day.
“We go until we hear no.”
And boy, did these moms connect. They’ve gone from being admirers of Mindy Kaling, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Amy Schumer to their by-God peers, with their own book, standup special on Amazon Prime, and millions of fans on social media…for starters. In part, it’s because they’re so giddily, self-effacingly ridiculous. They talk pubic hair and girl crushes, sleep deprivation and trying to converse with other adults in baby talk, and we’re pretty sure that Jen once came dangerously close to sucking snot out of Kristen’s nose.
“You have to be aware in order to be a comedienne. You’re aware of what your differences are.”
These moms are sarcastic, caustic, profane, and fearless, and they totally get how being a mom can make you want to go to a dark, cynical place—especially when you feel like the whole world is watching and judging while you’re just trying to figure out how to or poop while holding a crying infant—and they go there for you. They give you permission to be happy while not being perfect, which is amazing.
Being joyfully, unabashedly weird isn’t just a virtue for Kristin and Jen. It’s their operating system. It’s that way for all Weird Rare Breeds, because we know that weird is in the eye of the beholder. One woman’s bitter rant is another’s comedy gold. The trick is to remember that none of us is normal…and honestly, why would you want to be? So don’t front. Take that dark, wine-fueled oddity that bubbles below your surface and let it out to play. Like #IMomSoHard, we bet you’ll find there are a lot of people who think just the way you do.
If you’re inspired by this episode and ready to turn your vices into virtues, get your hands on a copy of our explosive new book, Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous and Different. It’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM, Porchlight, and Audible.
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