Palisadian Shines Light on Humor, Chaos and Joys of Being a Parent
By MARIE TABELA | Contributing Writer
When it comes to parenting, no matter what the internet or influencers tell you, no one has all the right answers.
It is inevitable that the day will come when the kids are embarrassed by Dad’s full-volume song of choice at school pickup. It is unavoidable that there will be days when Mom feels like she is the only one in the whole house who got the memo that cupboards are actually able to be closed after they have been opened.
All we can do in these moments is laugh, and no one has captured the essence of these relatable experiences better than the Huntington’s very own Sharon Brecher.
Brecher is the mastermind behind popular Instagram account and blog Miserable Moms, a space where parents can check in on her lovable character, Miserable Mom, and laugh while simultaneously saying to themselves, “Yes! I’ve totally done/thought that!”
Brecher’s website offers both hilarious and heartfelt blog posts on everything from failed juice cleanses to working through turning 50. Her illustrated posts, which can take hours or even days to create, play on both her own experiences as well as the experiences of others, creating a multifaceted character that has a little something for everyone.
“We all go through life,” Brecher, a 20-year resident of the Palisades, explained. “Life has challenges, and sometimes they’re huge and sometimes they’re just because something weird or annoying happened during your day. I think it’s fun to stop and shine a light on that, and realize that we are all the same. It also takes the air out of it, and we can all laugh at it and realize that we are not alone, it’s OK and it’s actually kind of funny.”
While Brecher has managed to perfectly capture the spirit of parenting, marriage and middle age in the 21st century, becoming a social media maven was never where she thought she was headed. While she admitted that Miserable Moms was something that was completely new to her, her background as the former educational director of Future Kids in Pacific Palisades, as well as her time working at Disney Interactive as a consultant for educational software, may have helped pave the way for her future success.
It wasn’t until her daughter was ready to be dropped off at college, though, that the seeds for Miserable Moms were fully planted.
“I was so emotional,” Brecher shared. “I was excited for her, and nervous, and I didn’t know what it meant for me as a mom. When we flew home, I was just like, ‘Now what?’
“I woke up the next morning and had a lot to say. I had a lot on my mind. I sat down at my computer and I just started typing, and I actually spent about a year typing and coming up with this idea for these illustrations.”
From there, Brecher wrote a heartfelt book on her experience and life as a parent sending their firstborn to college. While the book is not yet available, her blog features the same tone and spirit on life and parenting.
With categories such as Midlife Unfiltered, Questionable Parenting, Starvation & Torture (aka diet and exercise), and Holiday Havoc, she touches on topics that hit home for just about everyone. After she got her thoughts down on paper, next came the illustrations themselves. Armed with colored pencils, crayons, magazines, scissors and glue, she got to work creating images based on her swirling thoughts.
After working with an illustrator to help make the characters come to life and her husband gifting her an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, she was off and running.
“I take pictures and take characters from the original library and manipulate them [and layer that with my own drawings],” Brecher explained. “It’s chaotic in a good way, in the way that shows what a mom’s life is like.”
Brecher also features drawings of her real-life muses, her husband and children. With the unwavering support of her family, she has been able to grow her Miserable Mom community and produce even more content.
“This could not be a thing without my husband and my children who [truly] have my back,” Brecher reflected. “They get it. They enjoy it. They support it. They are my unpaid interns.”
Check on Miserable Mom and her delightful family, as well as information about the much-anticipated book release, at @MiserableMoms on Instagram and miserablemoms.com.
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