Tara Clark Modern Mom Problems
Tara Clark is a force of the parenting world. Her Instagram alone brings joy and laughter to hundreds of thousands of people. Tara is an author of self help humor books ” Modern Mom Probs: A Survival Guide for 21st Century Mothers” and she is the voice of a generation of 21st Century Moms. Before Tara Clark started Modern Mom Probs, she was worked at Nickelodeon. Tara is one of our favorite Moms. She knows how to uplift others and bring joy and laughter into their lives. She makes the busiest Mom feel like a person again and be able to laugh and confront what is going on in life with more ease and confidence. At the least, she gives everyone a great laugh and laughter is the best medicine.
We spoke to Tara Clark about everything from parenting to modern Mom problems that the 21st century Mom is facing.
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Tara Clark, you are an expert on parenting and have hundreds of thousands of followers across your social media circles. Tell us how the super successful @modernmomprobs came to be!
I originally started my Instagram account in February 2016 as NYC mom probs, where I was sort of lampooning parenting in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I was looking for a way to connect with other moms online and laugh about motherhood together. One year later, we moved to the suburbs, where I was no longer experiencing New York City mom problems. I then changed the name to modern mom probs and the account has exploded from there. It seems that I’m not the only one experiencing modern mom problems. It’s a pretty common experience for many modern parents living in the 21st century. I’ve been very lucky to build the digital village we currently have.
Describe the first five years of parenting for you to us! What are some memorable moments that stand out?
Wow, the first five years!? Yikes! Just for context, my son is now 8 years old. I have to say that the last three years so far have been much easier than the first five years! My son was prone to really bad tantrums from 18 months to 3 and ½ years old. I sometimes joke and say that’s the reason why we have just one child. I am very happy that phase is over.
The tantrums definitely stand out as something memorable from that time period. I wish that social media was where it is now in as much as there are so many resources available to parents. I really could have used a lot of help during that experience. Now on Instagram there are so many talented therapy accounts who offer advice on tantrums, such as Big Little Feelings, Psyched Mommy and Happy as a Mother.
On a positive note in the first five years, there is nothing better than baby snuggles on the couch.
It’s no secret 2020 was absolutely crazy! Now that it is 2021, should parents set new goals or aspirations even though we are still in the midst of a pandemic?
I’m not a huge fan of setting resolutions for resolutions’ sake. I am a huge fan of setting goals or having aspirations. Goals are still important as long as they are achievable and not incredibly lofty pie-in-the-sky-no-one’s-ever-going-to-do-it-even-if-we-weren’t-in-a-pandemic-kind-of-thing. My son woke up yesterday and told me “Mom I have a new goal.” It’s funny because he’s not a terribly goal-oriented child. He said, “I have a new goal to hit XYZ level on my video game in the next year.” That’s excellent! I was so thrilled to hear that because even if it is just a video game and even if it’s something that we’ve been doing at home during the pandemic, it’s nice to see people are still looking to the future and having hope to set goals.
It’s still important to set goals. Last year I achieved most of my 2020 goals, except for traveling or buying real estate. But I definitely hit a few of them, such as writing my book. I’m happy to report I got a book deal during the height of the lockdown. It’s getting published this spring. Things are achievable during a pandemic.
- There are a lot of parents struggling with mental health as they are parenting through a pandemic. What is some top advice about getting through this tough time while parenting?
Everyone is struggling with mental health during the pandemic, not just parents. Whether it’s grandparents, young adults, adolescents, it’s a very trying time for everyone right now. The loneliness, separation from our loved ones, the loss of a sense of normalcy and what used to be, working from home with kids. The list goes on…
My biggest things to keep in mind:
- You’re not alone. Professional help is available if you need it. Seeking help is not a failure, in fact it shows your strength. There are phenomenally trained therapists out there that would be more than happy to help and talk you through your dark days.
- Put your phone down and go outside. Just put the phone down. Stop scrolling! I’m saying this as much to you as I am to myself. Sometimes I need to heed my own advice and put the phone down, walk away, talk to real people, stare at a tree, breathe some fresh air, go for a run or a walk because it really does wonders.
- In a world of social media and sharing absolutely everything, we see parents sharing absolutely everything about their children. From their first word to their potty-training fiascos, parents are filming and sharing photos of their families every step of the way through the parenting process. Why do you think that so many families are sharing their children with their followers?
Right now, content is king and whether it’s Tik Tok, Instagram or Facebook, people are constantly looking for more content– what could be posted that’s funny, relatable, and what could get the most likes or shares. It’s a hamster wheel of content creation and publishing to stay relevant.
I do understand why people share these things with their followers. There are many instances that you want to be relatable as possible, and you want your audience to know “Hey, you’re not alone in your experiences. Look, we’re going through the same thing right now. We’re in this together.” Even if that means scooping poop out of the bathtub.
Why do you find so many celebrities are not sharing photos of their families with their audience?
The biggest difference between celebrities not showing pictures of their children versus regular people or influencers is that influencers don’t have the paparazzi staked outside their homes, coming after their family. The majority of influencers don’t have the reach that someone like a Kristen Bell has. There are no people staked outside of their homes in the bushes wanting to get a shot that’s going to make them tens of thousands of dollars so there is a real safety issue. I absolutely respect families who do keep their children out of the spotlight. It’s a personal choice. While the celebs chose to be a public persona, their children did not or have not yet made that choice for themselves.
Do you think there will be a trend of influencers not sharing photos of their children in the future? Why or why not?
Again, it’s a personal choice for everyone whether they’re celebrities or influencers, if they decide to share their children online. For me personally, I show my son very sparingly in any of my content. He may be in the occasional video, or sometimes I’ll show the back of his head. I never show my husband because he has his own career to focus on, which has nothing to do with mine. I respect him on that one.
Since content is king right now, people are looking for more content for their social media platforms because society is ravenous to consume this content. TikToks, tutorials, memes, everything! Everyone is scrolling for miles consuming this stuff. I don’t necessarily think that influencers will stop showing their family photos especially for sponsored posts, which often show products in use by a family.
Of course, it’s on a case-by-case basis because each parent does what they feel is best for their family. I do sometimes think about the children when they grow up will they say, “Mommy, I really wish that you didn’t show photos of me in the bathroom.” It is sort of an invasion of the kids’ privacy especially if they can’t consent at that point. My son is 8, so he now is aware of social media and the things that go on with it. I can ask him, “is this okay to post? Is that not okay?” I often think about the comedians who make jokes online about their kids, myself included. At some point, the kids are going to be able to read the memes that we write about them for good, bad, or indifferent. It’s something to keep in mind when we create content.
If parents are going to showcase their families online, is there a way to do this safely?
Again, it’s a personal choice whether or not to feature your children online. If you choose to, there are several ways to do it safely. Many times, it’s a matter of camera angles, such as only showing the back of the head, a hand, foot, or shooting from a distance. Another way is strategically placing a digital sticker or graphic over the top of babies/children’s faces to maintain privacy, which is something you see celebs doing on social media recently. My friend and fashion model Mara Martin told me that there is an app that can actually erase those digital graphics. So even though people are working to hide the privacy of their children, other people are using technology against us to erase those measures.
Ultimately, you can only do what you feel comfortable with. But personally, I enjoy the use of clever photography and camera angles.
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