We Don’t Need an Excuse: An Article at HuffPo

March 11th, 2014 by Dionna | 4 Comments
Posted in Adults, Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Consensual Living, Eclectic Learning, Healthy Living, natural parenting

Welcome to the March 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Everyday Superheroes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the remarkable people and characteristics that have touched their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


What is #whatsyourexcuse?

Last year Maria Kang (aka the “Hot Facebook Mom”) posted a gorgeous, but controversial, photo. The photo features Kang – splendidly toned and supermodel-beautiful in a sports bra and briefs – posing next to her children. Splashed across the top of the photo is the question, “What’s your excuse?

Kang is back this year with a second photo, published to help promote her new fitness movement: No Excuse Mom – Health starts at Home. Also emblazoned with the “What’s your excuse?” tagline, this photo details all of the excuses Kang could make for not working out: facts of life shared by many Western mothers – we work, we manage our homes without nannies or chefs, we run on little sleep. But we don’t all look like Maria Kang.

Today at Huffington Post I’m writing about why Kang’s #whatsyourexcuse hashtag has missed her intended mark. She wants to empower women, but fat-shaming from someone in a place of privilege is hardly empowering.

And while I agree with Kang that we have a choice in how we interpret her “what’s your excuse” motto, the word “excuse” is loaded.

So hop on over to Huffington Post, where I’m continuing a conversation started by thousands of moms in response to Kang’s photos. You’ll also find some fabulous images of women who have their own challenges, their own goals, their own priorities. Every one of them could ask us “what’s your excuse” for not sharing their goals.

But we don’t need to, because we each have something vital to contribute.

Before you go, here are a few more images of the moms featured in the Huffington Post article. My thanks to each of these women for being inspirations in their own right.

Sara practices

Christina practices

Jessica TLB practices

Dionna practices

Lyndsay practices

Lara practices

Jessica practices

Photo Details:

Christina (The Natural Newborn)
Dionna (Code Name: Mama)
Jessica M. (Instead of Institutions)
Jessica Martin-Weber (The Leaky B@@b & volunteering in India right now to bring clean water and education to impoverished communities. To support a micro business of the women of this are whose profits go to a new school, see A.Ku Designs on Facebook and akudesigns.com . Not everyone can go to India or other oppressed parts of the world, but being aware of the great need is the first step to making a difference that leads to change for the better and such need can be in your own back yard. The next step is to find a way, either through an organization local to you or one on an international level that you can support in some way either through volunteering, financial contributions, or even as simple as spreading the word.
Lyndsay (Our Feminist Playschool)
Sara (Reno Ranch Dog Rescue)
*Christina, Dionna, Jessica M., Lara, and Sara were photographed by Tom Ford (Code Name: Papa); Jessica Martin-Weber’s photo was taken by the intrepid Nate Heldman; everyone else submitted their own photos, and Tom doctored them up for this piece.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 11 with all the carnival links.)

  • I Am A Super Hero — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she learned the hard way exactly what it means to be a real super hero and not a burned out shell of a human simply pretending to be one.
  • Quiet Heroics — Heroism doesn’t have to be big and bold. Read how Jorje of Momma Jorje is a quiet hero…and how you probably are, too.
  • Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about the different types of “superheroes,” ones that come in with a bang and ones that come in with a whisper.
  • Silent courage of motherhood in rural Cambodia — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings marvels at how rural Khmer women defy the odds in childbirth.
  • Super PappyMother Goutte‘s little boy met a superhero in checked slippers and Volkswagen Polo, his grand dad: Super Pappy!
  • An Open Letter to Batman — Kati at The Best Things challenges Batman to hold up his end of the deal, in the name of social justice, civic duty, and a little boy named Babe-O!
  • My Village — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the people who helped her to become her best self.
  • 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me — Children are amazing teachers, when we only stop to listen. They remind us to choose happiness, to delight in the small things, to let go and forgive. There is so much we can learn from our children. Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a few of the lessons she’s learned.
  • Could you use some superpowers? — Tat at Mum in search shares a fun activity to help you connect with your own superpowers.
  • Like Fire Engines — Tam at tinsenpup tells the story of the day she saw a surprising superhero lurking in the guise of her not entirely mild-mannered four-year-old daughter.
  • Everyday Superheroes — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her list of Walker Warburg Syndrome Superheroes that have touched her life forever.
  • My Superhero of the Week: Nancy GallagherTribal Mama muses about the transcendent things her superhero mom has done.
  • My choice in natural birth does not make me a super hero — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, discusses her thoughts on her experience with the perception of natural birth and putting those mamas on a different level. Does giving birth naturally give cause for an extra pat on the back? No! All mamas, no matter how they birth, are superheroes.
  • Someone’s Hero — Sometimes being a parent means pretending to be a grown-up, but it always means you are someone’s hero. Read Mandy’s lament at Living Peacefully with Children.
  • Growing into a Super Hero — Casey at Joyful Courage shares how owning our behavior and choosing to be a better parent, a better person, is an act of courage.
  • A Math Superhero — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes that her 7-year-old daughter’s superhero is an MIT-trained mathematician.
  • It Starts With Truffula Trees And Tulips — Luschka of Diary of a First Child takes a hard look at the realities of her relationship with her mother, and through this post goes on a journey of discovery that ends in a surprise realisation for her.
  • We Don’t Need an Excuse — Maria Kang (aka “Hot Mom”) asks women #WhatsYourExcuse for not being in shape? Dionna at Code Name: Mama asks Hot Mom what her excuse is for not devoting her life to charity work, or fostering dozens of stray dogs each year, or advocating for the needs of others. Better yet, Code Name: Mama says, how about we realize that every woman has her own priorities. Focus on your own, and stop judging others for theirs.
  • It’s not heroic when you’re living it — Lauren at Hobo Mama knows from the inside that homeschooling does not take a hero, and that much of what we choose as parents is simply what works best for us.
  • Superheroes, princesses and preschoolers — Garry at Postilius discusses why his preschool-age son is not ready for comic book superheroes.
  • The Loving Parents of Children with Special Needs – Everyday Superheroes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares posts with resources for parents of children with special needs along with posts to help others know how to support parents of children with special needs.
  • Everyday Empathy — Mommy Giraffe of Little Green Giraffe shares why her secret superpower is everyday empathy.
  • The Simplicity of Being a Superhero — Ana at Panda & Ananaso explains what superheroes mean to her wise three-year-old.
  • My Father, The Hero — Fathers are pretty amazing; find out why Christine at The Erudite Mom thinks hers is the bees knees.

4 Responses to:
"We Don’t Need an Excuse: An Article at HuffPo"

  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    I agree — no excuses are necessary. We all prioritize and concentrate on what we consider important, and it’s useless to judge other people for their priorities. Love the photos!

  2. luschka   luschkavo

    I love this Dionna! Very creatively done and yes, while I’d love to look even twice the size of Maria Kang, that’s just not where my priorities lie right now!

  3. Tat   muminsearch

    If I have to be completely honest here, I love Maria Kang’s photo and I did find it empowering. Not necessarily in a way that I’m empowered to go and get a body like hers… but that I can achieve what I want to achieve. I love the rest of the photos, too and I’m sure all of you ladies (and myself included) have our own challenges with what we practice and sometimes we have to battle with excuses to do the right thing by our own values. Sometimes we even give in. But what’s important here is that we have these values (our strong core).

  4. Tam   tinsenpup

    Your Huffington Post article is absolutely spot on. Kang looks very fit and healthy. That’s awesome. She should be proud of those photos. In talking about her own journey and the way she does things, she has the potential to instruct and inspire. In the end, however, she chooses a particularly obnoxious way to get her message across. Shaming people is not helpful; it’s not inspiring and it’s not effective. So I’m left wondering who all this benefits.

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