I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose lately. Since I’ve come to learn that having purpose is absolutely integral to one’s happiness (just think of the lost and lonely “poor little rich kid” in your life, and that point will settle right into your psyche), I’ve been consumed with carrying out a careful evaluation in order to establish what my own purpose is. Obviously a major contribution that I will make to the world lies in the 2ft tall, bright-eyed and bushy tailed life that I helped create; that one’s a given. But I’m not talking about purpose solely in the parental sense. I’m talking about a contribution to the betterment of society – what can I do to make the world a better place, even for just for a few people?
Then it occurred to me… I’m already doing it. My work as The Rebel Mama is making a difference in the way women relate to their roles as mothers. I believe that women can have it all: the family, the lover, the social life, the creative fulfillment, the healthy lifestyle, the professional success… but we need each other’s support to get there. If we can listen, commiserate, laugh, lend a hand, and encourage each other to be honest and brave and tenacious, then we can allow each other the freedom to create our own personal definitions of motherhood and throw the societal pressures out the window. And that’s the message that The Rebel Mama tries, with every post, and with every Instagram feature to relay.
A Bit of Background…
You see, throughout my pregnancy and the early days of motherhood, I felt completely overwhelmed and disheartened by the images and the rhetoric that commonly surrounded motherhood. There was the mother as martyr; the mother whose house was a perpetual disaster; the mother who hates her body; the mother who has lost touch with herself. Terror. Dread. Anxiety.
To my surprise, though, motherhood opened itself up to me as a joyful and inspiring experience, but only once I realized that I had complete control over what being a mom meant for me… that realization changed my outlook on life and my relationship with my role as ”mama” completely.
As time passed, I began to search for women with similar experiences to my own – and boy did I ever find them. I saw them as a band of outsiders who had consciously chosen to go against the grain and take a chance at the delicate balancing act of maintaining the true essence of who they are, all the while loving and nurturing the life/ lives they had created. They were revolutionaries. They were modern day feminists who refused to let society tell them how a woman should act once she became a mother. They lifted each other up and were above judgement and cattiness. They were rebels with a cause. They were my tribe and I was, and still am, extremely grateful to have found them.
That brings me to the purpose of The Rebel Mama…
What does the world need to know that The Rebel Mama needs to tell them?
Well, a huge part of it is that a woman’s experience of motherhood is completely personal, completely unique, and should only be dictated by the woman herself. Her experience should not be judged; rather, she should be supported and encouraged by her community, since motherhood is hard as hell no matter what, and judgement is counterproductive for all parties involved. Equally as counterproductive is the notion that a woman should sacrifice her own happiness and sanity for her kids – does it not make more sense to offer our fullest, most joyful, most fulfilled selves to our families instead?
Self love is paramount. Acceptance and support of other women in similar positions is paramount. Balance is paramount. Not taking everything so goddamn seriously is paramount. It’s time to learn from each other and applaud individuality. The truth of the matter is that we’re all out here trying our fucking hardest to do the best job we can of raising good human beings. Anybody who is talking to her friends, consulting Google at all hours of the night, wondering if she’s doing a good job, IS DOING A GOOD JOB.
Why do we need The Rebel Mama?
It’s time to change the rhetoric about what being a mother does to a woman’s mind, body and spirit. Let’s stop scaring pregnant women about what their future holds and let’s tell the story of motherhood in such a way that will make women more comfortable with the idea of procreation. Why not discuss women who found their professional and creative mojo because of motherhood, not in spite of it? Why not talk about women who actually look better post-kids than they did pre? Let’s tell the stories of women who because of their kids, felt inspired to make the world a better place for the next generation! Women should not be made to feel guilty for pursuing interests outside of motherhood – we are KNOWN as multitaskers for Christ’s sake! That can mean more than being able to warm up a bottle, empty a dishwasher and read a story simultaneously.
Sometimes, we need a reminder of how amazing we are and just how much we are capable of and I’m more than happy to remind women of that at every chance I get.
So, what’s the goal now?
The goal is always consistent growth and constant improvement. I started blogging in 2013. That year, 3,000 people found their way to my site (which was then http://www.oohnikita.com). The next year that number doubled to 6,000. In September of 2014, I made a conscious decision to take my writing career seriously and I vowed to dedicate time and effort into creating meaningful content for the site. I committed to writing weekly tidbits about my personal trials and tribulations in motherhood. I wanted them to be honest, relatable, funny and empowering – lo and behold, it struck a cord and so far this year, 140,000 people have come to http://www.therebelmama.com to laugh, cry, commiserate, and feel as though they are not alone in their unconventional attitudes toward their roles as mamas. So what’s next?
Well, a book, of course! It’s time to transition The Rebel Mama from screen to paper. There is something about a book, a real book, with a hard cover, pages to mark, chapters to reference, that is so special to me. Perhaps it’s my roots in English Literature and the piles and piles of books I’ve collected over the years, but I just feel like written words are more impactful on paper.
I want The Rebel Mama’s Guide to Motherhood to be something that can be passed from girlfriend to girlfriend. I want it to be the perfect baby shower gift for the unlikely mama. I want it to be a reference guide for a veteran mom who wants to explore her creativity; I want a new mom to be able to have a good laugh while her infant cat-naps beside her. I want this book to ignite a revolution that ends cattiness and dispels dowdiness. I want it to reestablish the mother as a human being who is doing her best – maybe she’s not omnipresent but she’s always full of love, wanting the best for her family and more than likely, in need of a little nudge and a whisper that says “you’re doing a great job, girl!”.
I want to show new moms the club they’re soon to become members of. I want them to know that it’s one that’s filled with laughter through the tough times and glass clinking through the good times and support through all the moments in between.
So let’s get this thing published! Is this a book you want to see come to fruition? Is this a movement you want to support? Well there are a few simple things that YOU can do to help…
- SUBSCRIBE to www.therebelmama.com (just scroll down to the end of this page!) to demonstrate to publishing houses that The Rebel Mama already has an existing fan base of people who are eager for more rebel goodness!
- COMMENT on this post and let the world know why YOU think this book needs to happen! Has The Rebel Mama inspired you to create your own definition of motherhood? Share your story now!
- SHARE THIS POST! The farther it goes, the more likely it will end up in the hands of someone who can turn this dream into a reality!
Together we can show the publishing world that The Rebel Mama’s Guide to Motherhood is a book that women want to read, and that this is a book that women will share with other women. As I’ve said before, we can accomplish great things, but we have to support each other and lift each other up if we want to get there. So are you a rebel with a cause? Now’s your chance to prove it by taking action and showing your support for The Rebel Mama Revolution… Are you with me?