A Badass Approach to Motherhood

Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it: I have a bone to pick with traditional mommy blogs.

*gasp*

Not personally, of course! I believe in mothers supporting each other and not adding to the “mom guilt” that rears its ugly head on its own. I just can’t hop on the bandwagon that motherhood should be one giant train wreck that we can never master or escape from and that it will be that way until our kids are grown and gone.

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SERIOUSLY?! Talk about depressing and off-putting— especially for women who are motivated, ambitious, high-earners, goal-setters, and let’s just call it like it is: winners.

“Oh no she didn’t...”
Oh yes, I did.

When I fell pregnant with twins, I wanted to read about the journey I was about to begin from other mothers who had “been there, done that,” so to speak. What I came across in almost every post I read, however, only discouraged me and made me anxious of what was to come when I officially became a mother.

To save you some time, let me break down my months of skimming countless mommy blogs into a few key points:

It’s hard— harder than the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Period. Nothing else noteworthy will be accomplished while tackling motherhood (read: 18+ years of perpetual failures and discouragement.)

It will change you. Unfortunately, not for the better. It will change your body, your sleep habits, your grooming habits, your marriage, your work schedule, etc. IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING and you have to learn to accept that.

You will cry. A lot. Probably a couple times a week (at least in the beginning.) You will cry happy tears and sad tears. Triumphant tears and failure tears. You will cry tears from feeling numb and tears from feeling crazy. Clearly— lots of opportunities for crying.

You will never have a clean house (or car, for that matter) ever again. Laundry? Never-ending nor finished. Dishes? Stacking up.. Clutter? Everywhere. Toys? Trip hazards as far as the eye can see.

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 Do I think these statements apply to motherhood? Yes— but, only to a small, limited extent. I do not believe we have to permanently live in the struggle that naturally comes with becoming a parent, especially for the first time; we do not have to feel like we are stuck in this never-ending loop of chaos and that there isn’t an alternate path to take in this motherhood journey.

While there will be moments that we feel defeated and not in control, there are things we can choose to do to stay on course, regain control, and bring ourselves back to a mindset of gratitude and happiness. Is motherhood hard? HELL YEAH! But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we have to let it break us down into a shell of person that we barely recognize.

Why can’t we approach motherhood with a winner’s mentality and badass attitude? I mean— MOMS ARE BADASSES! Who else can juggle managing a household, taking care of babies, working (full or part time,) attending PTA meetings, chauffeuring kids to practices and recitals, homeschooling, and the countless other roles we fill each and every day?

I am sick and tired of every mommy blog telling me that I can’t be productive and feel accomplished at the end of the day while being a mother.

When raising kids knocks us down hard we should be able to pick ourselves back up and move forward stronger, better, and more confident. We shouldn’t have to suffer in the struggle or feel like that is the only way we can fit in and be a part of the sisterhood that is motherhood.

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt the need to share my daily struggles and hide my triumphs in order to feel like I could relate to fellow moms.

Reality check: being a “hot mess” mom is old news.  Being the mom that has her shit together and is killing it, THAT is the type of mom that we should all strive to be— that is the type of mom we are all capable of being.

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 No matter who you are, what your background or upbringing is, what parenting views you have, etc. you can be a badass mother. Period. Now trust me, I’m not trying to promote competition between mothers (see earlier comment on moms encouraging each other and being the ultimate 'hype squad') but I am encouraging healthy competition with yourself.

I encourage you to be a better mother.
I encourage you to be a better wife.
I encourage you to be a better business owner.
I encourage you to be a better employee.
I encourage you to be a better SAHM.
I encourage you to be a better “mom friend.”
I encourage you to be better, period.

“Well that sounds like you’re telling me that I’m not ‘good enough’ as I am...”
No, not at all.

Am I trying to encourage moms to be "perfect?" HELL NO. Perfection isn’t real. There are days that we will struggle and won’t accomplish everything we set out to do but the goal is to learn, grow from our #momfails, and move on.

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 My whole point is that we are capable of far more than we think. We need to start giving ourselves more credit for everything we accomplish and start owning our 'badass badge of motherhood.' I am done reading all the other mommy blogs that tell me that it’s okay to let everything go, including myself, once I enter parenthood. I think motherhood is the perfect opportunity to open our eyes, rise to the occasion, and prove to ourselves just how awesome we are.

I am only five months into this gig of being a first-time mom to twins but I’ve already learned that living up to and owning my role as a ‘badass twin mama’ is far more enjoyable than living life below my potential— not only as a mother, but as a wife, a friend, and business owner.

“Wait..doesn’t that make this another mommy blog that you were just saying you have a problem with?”
Eh, I guess you could say that.

I have a much different focus, however: encouraging women to rise above the chaos that fills motherhood and THRIVE.

I am here to share my journey about being a mom while juggling all the other challenges life throws my way. Working part-time managing our family business, getting back into shape and eating right, growing this blog, raising my babies to be strong, independent people and the list goes on…

I grew up playing competitive softball and earning straight A’s through grade school and college; I am no stranger to pushing through when times get tough, knowing the “sweet spot” is on the other side of the hill if I just keep going.

 I have unintentionally carried this mindset into my parenting style, giving me the boost needed to end most days feeling like I knocked it out of the park. I know I’m not the only mama capable of killing it (no matter how many children you have!) and I want to encourage other moms to stop holding themselves back and start living up to their title of “badass—” because that’s exactly what we are as mothers.

If you’re tired of living in the chaos that surrounds you, I encourage you subscribe to this blog and join me in taking the steps toward a motherhood experience filled with more happiness, gratitude, well-deserved wine, and accomplishment. We are capable of so much more and I want to see all of us, including myself, do better.

XOXO

Erica, one badass twin mama

 

P.S. This blog isn't for you if you aren't a fan of curse words or reality because, let's be honest: shit is about to get real (about motherhood) and I'm not going to hold anything back.

Not All Mothers Are Created Equal

Some women are naturally better at being a mother.

It’s well known that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Regularly evaluating our abilities—through discussion and self-reflection—creates the opportunity for us to learn, grow, and improve.

Unfortunately, it’s become taboo to evaluate one group of people’s skills and abilities: mothers. It’s as if constructive criticism and encouraging personal development are not allowed in the same conversation as anything related to being a mom. Without this key growth tool, most women never take advantage of opportunity to reflect on their maternal performance and make changes that will help them improve.

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The truth of the matter is, not many women want to honestly discuss how they are handling motherhood because it’s a sensitive subject for those who are struggling more than they’d like to admit.

I mean, look around: The vast majority of ‘mommy blogs’ on the internet celebrate all of the missteps and fails that a lot of moms typically go through and place these issues on a pedestal. Instead of using them as lessons and opportunities to grow, they focus on convincing others that it is the way that it is and to embrace it.

You’re trying to tell me that perpetually struggling the entire time I’m raising my kids is inevitable? This mama ain't buying into that bullshit and I urge you to do the same. That’s why I’m flipping the script on motherhood—encouraging other moms to self-reflect in order to grow, rise above, and do better.

Don’t get me wrong; there is no shame in struggling. There IS shame, however, in knowing that you are, and not doing a damn thing about it.

Mommin’ is a collection of skills and abilities that you use every day to fulfill your role as a mother. This role requires you to multi-task, manage, supervise, console, clean, budget, cook, schedule, coach, counsel, listen, delegate, discipline, nurture, lift, teach, chauffeur, plan, motivate, love, work, and the list continues. Some women naturally fall into their responsibilities as a mom, while others “struggle with the juggle,” so to speak.

Does that make one mother more valuable than the next? Absolutely not. No person is inherently more valuable than another, regardless of their strengths. It simply makes every mother different, traveling a different journey that is all her own.

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 If you feel like you’re drowning and can’t keep your head above water tackling all of the responsibilities of being a mom, I want you to take a step back and think about the reasons why. I may not know you, but I do know this:

It’s not because you’re incapable.
It’s not because you’re a bad person.
It’s not because you’re not good enough.

It’s likely because these skills don’t come as easy to you and you don’t have the right mindset. There is good news though! Even if you haven’t fulfilled your position thus far as you would’ve liked to—whether you have a 5-month old or a 5-year old + more—you can start working towards a happier, empowered motherhood experience today because it all starts with you.

The first step is to cut the crap and acknowledge that you are struggling; I’m not talking about in a light-hearted joke during coffee or an Instagram post about your 5-foot-high pile of laundry with the hashtag #momlife.

Stop making excuses why you keep fighting with your partner;
Why the household chores never get done,
Why your children suffer from a lack of discipline,
And why your body is in the worst condition its ever been.

After finally being honest with yourself, you need to write down all of your strengths and weaknesses on a piece of paper. Better yet, you need to get a journal and use this list as the first page of a new perspective and fresh plan. Make no mistake, you cannot compare your list to anyone else’s. Every single woman will do a great job at some things as a mother, and not-so-great at others—remember, not all mothers are created equal.

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 After you’ve made your list, it’s time to hold yourself accountable. Talk to your partner and get together with fellow moms; lay it all out on the table everything you are having a difficult time with. Openly admitting your weaknesses, instead of hiding them and pretending they don’t bother you, is the only way you will no longer be held back by them. You must also give permission to your loved ones and close friends to tell you like it is when they see that you’re struggling with something. Just as you need involvement from your loved ones to be held accountable, it’s just as important for you to be a positive supporter of other mamas’ journeys as well. Together, great things happen; the same principle applies to personal growth and development, especially as a mom.

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 If you don’t feel like you have anyone you can openly trust and depend on (I certainly hope you can trust your partner, but that’s for a different blog, different day) to help you climb out of your current position, I want you to reach out to me. Yes, me. I want to hear your stories, your obstacles, your struggles, and your wins. I want you to know that no matter what, you have at least one person here that will encourage you on your journey to be better—even when society is trying to tempt you to be satisfied with less.

It’s about damn time we change the conversation from celebrating our “never-ending problems,” accepting that they are normal, to acknowledging that the struggle does not have to be inevitable. We can be so much more, do so much more, and suffer so much less—we just need to get out of our way and let those who are close to us offer constructive criticism and encouragement when we need it.

Hiding behind humorous posts on social media ends now.
Saying passive-aggressive comments to our partners ends now.
Pretending that we are happy with how everything is going ends now.

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You may not be the same mama as the next but your family deserves your best. You may not be as much of a natural as some other women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a badass mom. While it may be your initial reaction, don’t be envious of others doing better than you (right now.) Befriend them. Go out for coffee—or even better, wine—and ask for their guidance and support. I can assure you that they will ask for the same in return in the areas they struggle with. No matter how much a badass mom is killing it, she will always have room for growth and improvement.

The journey to our “best self” is hard, but it never ends; if it did, we might as well be dead.