Can you feel it? The shift? We’ve sensed it coming for a long time. The conversation surrounding motherhood is changing. The subject matter is getting deeper and grittier. The image of the mother is being expanded.
When we started rebelling back in 2014 there were not many of our kind out there. Everything we came across felt like motherhood watered down – truths being told with winks and nudges. It felt patronizing. It was maddening.
We knew we had to tell the story of motherhood in a way we felt represented us as individuals. We hoped that if we put ourselves out there, a tribe would just miraculously materialize in front of us. Of course we ended up being right (#bless) but at the beginning, how were we to know how this was all going to play out? Trust me, hitting “publish” on a “boundary-pushing” blog post while nursing a 6-month-old at 3am is not a feat for the faint of heart.
The caveat was that we knew we were saying stuff that mattered so the fear of “what will the people think” disappeared fast.
To our eventual relief, the people who found us felt relieved too. They felt understood for the first time by a parenting publication (and for a new parent in peak isolation status – that’s a big deal).
It wasn’t long until we began to see the shift. More new “rebel” brands and IG accounts emerged. More people started to identify as ‘other’ than the status quo. There was a noticeable dip in fucks being given and we liked it. We liked it a lot.
People stopped pretending to be something they’re not to impress – wait, who are we ever trying to impress again? Society? Nope. Too vague. Forget it. Impress nobody but yourself. (Everyone will be so impressed.)
But I digress.
As far as we’re concerned, if we have helped inspire even a small movement of mothers stepping into their power as unique individuals then we have done a job worth doing. We know it’s easier for the world to paint us all with the same brush – as if half the planet’s female population could possibly think, feel and conduct themselves in the same manner. Generalizing is just easier because women in general and moms in particular are complicated by the very nature of our reproductive organs.
As a sex, women “cost” society a lot (delivering babies and keeping them alive thereafter is expensive – can’t argue with that). But we also contribute inconceivable value to society by way of – oh right – performing the miracle of life, thereby continuing the human race (NBD).
And those things are arguably just the tip of the iceberg of our societal contributions!
The problem is that our value, due to its “mysterious” / “ethereal” / “idyllic” (eyeroll) nature, is not quantifiable in dollars and cents so we are systematically devalued. Categorically undervalued. And worst of all, often treated like a burden.
It can be hard to get people (non-mom people) to agree that we need more support. I’m talking institutional support. Medical support. Mental Health support.
How can we get them to listen to us? To give us 2 minutes out of their day to let them into wtf is going on with us?!
Well, those of us who have the platform to do it have to be loud. We have to be engaging. We have to tell new stories. We have to spill the beans. We have to give the world a glimpse into the reality of motherhood. Because it is beautiful and terrible and complicated.
It’s rewarding and taxing and boring.
It’s liberating and it’s suffocating.
And we should never be afraid to shine new light on it. Illumination is a good thing – we find it’s best to do it as often as possible.
If we have inspired you in any way to illuminate your little corner of the world by committing to ditching the bullshit and getting real about parenthood, we want to hear from you. We are bringing back the REBEL MAMA FEATURE and we want YOU to be seen!
So tell us about you and your connection to TRM. Tag us (@therebelmama) with #myRMstory in an IG or FB post for a chance to be featured on therebelmama.com this month.
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THE REBEL MAMA’S HANDBOOK FOR (COOL) MOMS