Last week, I went overnight from being a private Pikesville mother of two young girls to an international headline.
Or maybe I should actually say that about my family, particularly my husband, Brad, and our 3-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, who have brought smiles and laughs to people worldwide — literally.
Here’s some background: For the past six years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mother, raising my daughters, Lila, 5, and Brooklyn, 3.5. In May, after freelancing for a couple of years, Jmore brought me on as a senior writer. I hope you read and enjoy my articles.
Jmore is a great fit for me. I grew up in Baltimore’s Jewish community and am a Jewish day school graduate, so there’s a good chance we know each other. If we don’t, I guarantee we have mutual friends.
My routine is pretty much like any mother’s in our community: I wake up, make lunch, get my girls ready for school, drop them off at school and then either go to the office or run errands.
After I pick up the girls, we head home, eat dinner, spend time as a family and head to bed. The next morning, the routine starts again, business as usual.
Except, on the morning of Friday, July 19, it wasn’t exactly business as usual. That was the morning our family — just a normal Jewish family living in Pikesville — went viral.
And when I say viral, I mean global.
I have a master of arts degree in emerging media from Loyola University, so I’ve studied the term viral, and I have spent time trying to figure out a strategy to get my content to go viral. But honestly, I never actually thought it would happen.
But it did, and here’s how.
Last Friday morning, I woke up and checked my Instagram account, which many people do, to find I had a handful of new Instagram followers. Initially, I thought I was being spammed, but it turns out I wasn’t.
Back in June, I covered an early morning event for Jmore featuring Michelle Obama’s chief speechwriter, Sarah Hurwitz, so Brad took over the morning routine.
During the event, I received a text from a friend with a photo of Brooklyn. The picture was of my youngest daughter at school in her underwear. Apparently, Brad failed to notice that Brooklyn was not wearing any pants.
I proceeded to text him, and a lengthy interaction took place.
The whole situation made me laugh, so I decided to post it on my Instagram (@alizafriedlanderjmore) because I felt my friends and family who knew us would find it funny. I wanted to share it because I knew I had friends out there who could relate:
Last Friday, an influential Jewish blogger and author of “Remarkably Average Parenting” named Ilana Wiles (@Ilana Wiles) posted it on her Instagram account called Average Parent Problems (@averageparentproblems). After reading an article on Kveller, another Jewish parenting site, I chose to tag Wiles because, let’s be honest, this was an average parent problem!
Since Wiles’ post, there have been over 42,000 likes and 5,400 comments on her page alone. If you have a chance, go to her page and check out the comments; they may be the best part. I love how there are thousands of women calling out their husbands and saying they would do the same thing.
What happened after Wiles shared my content was something I could never have predicted! Outlets like Today Show, Inside Edition and PopSugar reached out to write stories about it. Friends sent me stories they came across in The NY Post, DailyMail, The Mirror, Fatherly and on a local news station in Utah. (Click on any of the links to read the full story!) I even saw it on a popular blog in Australia, and someone messaged me on Instagram that they read it Dutch in Belgium.
I’ve never experienced a post going viral firsthand, and I can tell you, the experience is cooler and crazier than I could have ever imagined.
I’m thrilled that so many people can relate to the incident and we’ve been able to put smiles on so many people’s faces. In this day and age, when there is a lot of negative news and information out there, it feels rewarding as a journalist and mother to be able to provide readers with a good laugh.
I giggle thinking I’m just a Pikesville mom, wife and writer who recently started back in the workforce, and am now making headlines internationally.
Actually, if we are being honest, I’m not really making headlines — it’s Brad and Brooklyn who are the real stars, and I’m happy to give the credit to the ones who really deserve it.
Read Aliza Friedlander’s story about a Mother’s Love here.