IMOMSOHARD Duo Brings Live Show Back to North Carolina
Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley get honest about motherhood in their #IMOMSOHARD Mom's Night Out: Round Two tour
#IMOMSOHARD Mom's Night Out: Round Two hits stages in Raleigh and Charlotte the first weekend in May.
Chatting with Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the two moms behind the video series and now stage tour #IMOMSOHARD, is like chatting with your best witty, sassy and honest-about-motherhood friend. Though both women are from Nebraska and attended the same college, it wasn't until they landed in L.A. to pursue careers that they met. They were single, but "Jen met her husband five minutes after she and I met," Hensley says.
"I think I went on a first date with my husband, but then all the rest for four months were with Kristin along, and then she met her husband and she got pregnant and then I got married two years later," says Smedley. And so the banter goes.
The fast friends went on to each have two children. During those early days of motherhood, they leaned on each for laughs in surviving life with babies and trying to wrap their heads around the trials of new motherhood. Just like many moms before them, the idea of being able to do the same stuff, just with a kid, was quickly demystified.
#IMOMSOHARD on Tour
Hensley's children are now 7 and 5, and Smedley's are 5 and 3. The first #IMOMSOHARD tour took them to a mere 72 cities (shew!). During the summer 2017 tour, the kids and husbands joined them. It was an adventure, but this year's tour is just the moms doing a cross-country tour with stops in Raleigh on May 5 and Charlotte on May 6. This tour takes them to fewer cities at bigger venues, they say, because they are moms after all, and agree that work-life balance is "like a handful of magic beans."
"It’s too hard to be away for any long amount of time, but it’s no picnic being around (our kids) all the time either," jokes Hensley. This tour puts them on the road for four or five days, and then they head back home, have a break, then head back out.
"It seems obvious, but I consistently have to remind people we are moms and (the kids) aren’t props. We have a job, but have to parent."
With the shift of time spent away from home, so has their perspective on their jobs as a parent.
"Now some of the worst stuff at home feels like the best part of the day," says Smedley. "Like making dinner and wresting kids in the bath tub. I have a different perspective now."
And About Work-Life Balance
"Work-life balance are words for a great blog but it’s an unfair expectiation," Hensley says. "Whatever dynamic is at home, a mom is working. And mental anguish comes with it, but you miss those little small things (when you aren't home). I got so bummed when I didn't get to make lunches for a week," she says with honesty and sarcasm in one breath.
Conversation about true-to-life feelings easily bounces between the two friends, and is what makes them relatable and funny. They recognize and embrace that there is no perfection to motherhood, and that there is real value in moms supporting each other.
"Nobody tells a mom she’s doing a good job. Kids are never grateful. It’s nice for other moms to tell each other that. 'Hey that kid is clean.' Acknowledge the hard work that moms do," Smedley says. "Respect each other’s talents and shortcomings, and be their advocate."
Hensley and Smedley agree that when it comes to motherhood passing with a strong C- is OK — it's not about being top of the class.
"We are so polite, but sometimes you need to show up even when (a friend) is having a rough time," Hensley says. "Show up and demand you get together. The house may be a mess, but show up with wine and trashy mags. And if you see a new mom, go up and say 'hi' and be friendly. We are in it together, but the world around us doesn't make it easy."
It's this casual approach and their humor about all-things-mom that makes them relatable on stage. The two women have 1.5 million followers on social media and 120 million views of their web series in less than two years. The video ISwimSuitSeasonSoHard has more than 20 million views. They also have a CBS pilot in production that they co-wrote with the "core of the show being about how womanhood and motherhood is better when you have a comrad with you," Hensley says. If their success online is any indication of what is to come, look for them to hit primetime soon.
What Can We Expect at #IMOMSOHARD Mom's Night Out: Round Two?
We are always taking it up a notch, Smedley says.
"If you haven’t seen us before, you will certainly see us by end of this show," Hensley says.
Get your tickets and plan an early Mother's Day night out out with your girlfriends.
Michele Huggins is the editor of Charlotte Parent Magazine.