On Instagram, people adore mothers with seemingly perfect lives – the ones with curled hair and calm smiles, holding babies dressed like models in houses that look like magazines. Thousands of strangers follow these women, idolizing their trendy sophistication and motherhood glamour.
Then a mother posts a picture like this, and it starts a social media uproar.
Who is this woman and why is she breastfeeding on the toilet? Why did she not crop out the mess or add a filter or vignette or tilt shift or do something—anything—to try to make this look more glamourous?
Meet Elisha Wilson Beach, a woman breaking the internet façade and telling the truth: motherhood ain’t always pretty. Through every one of her mom confessions, Elisha is showing that real motherhood does not look like a magazine—it’s messy, human and sometimes really funny.
“I want to speak out and encourage moms to be okay with the mess of it all. You don’t need to panic when it’s not perfect. That’s just the way it is. Your kids are not going cooperate when you need them to, the house is going to be a mess,” said Elisha. “I think if moms could accept that, it would make it less stressful on them.”
The photo captures a glimpse of her motherhood truth; how open she is as a person, how attentive she is as a mother and how okay she is with multitasking. Yet it only shows one tiny piece of Elisha’s dynamic life story.
It doesn’t reveal that she used to be a professional dancer in New York, or how this passion led her to become a grant writer in arts and education. It doesn’t tell you how she fell in love with an actor and moved across the country to start her family with him. It doesn’t show you how truly passionate and driven she is to support other mothers, or how strongly she believes in learning to accept and forgive yourself.
The truth is that Elisha is so much more than this picture; every mother’s story runs so much deeper than the still frames they share online.
As Elisha opens up to show her motherhood truths, she is inspiring women to embrace the duality of motherhood—both the beauty and the chaos. With societal and self-imposed expectations on what motherhood should look like, so many mothers struggle with Mom Guilt when they fall short of being superwoman and fail to do everything perfectly.
“I want to help moms talk about all the things they are going through and why it makes it difficult for them…to give them the space to say, ‘I don’t do the dishes every night’, and know that’s okay,” said Elisha. “There are ways we can help each other out and be more supportive.”
With news coverage and likes from around the world pouring in after Elisha’s photo went viral, it seems people are ready to let go of perfection and embrace that sometimes, motherhood just ain’t pretty.
“You know the saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? Motherhood is just like that. If you want to make motherhood laugh, tell her your plans…. they will not work out. Just let the expectations go and learn to laugh about it,” said Elisha.
Now a voice respected for telling the truth about motherhood, Elisha credits her own parents for inspiring her to be this way.
“I think my parents were really accepting of who I was growing up and made me more accepting of myself. They never tried to make me become any one thing or placed unreasonable expectations on me as a person. They always wanted me to do well and try my best,” she said. “I wanted to be a dancer, and a lot of people did not encourage that. But my parents did. They taught me to find my strong suite and pursue it.”
And pursue it she did. Two weeks after graduating high school, Elisha moved to New York to start her career as a dancer. Now a few years and kids later, she’s following her heart on the next mission to bring truth, support and kindness to fellow mothers.
Thanks Elisha, for showing women how to forgive themselves a little more, judge others a little less and learn to laugh at every not-so-glamorous moment along the way.