Raising Our Littles in a New Generation of Modern Motherhood
Fresh off the heels of Mother's Day, I spent some time reflecting on who I was before I was "Momma". (It even inspired me to write this piece about my mom before she was a mom.) I became a mother over five years ago, although sometimes it feels like much longer. The further I step into this life journey, the more abundantly clear it becomes that we are raising our littles in a new generation of modern motherhood. I recently read the perfect sum-up of motherhood in 2017 on Facebook, via Bunmi Laditan (author of Confessions of a Domestic Failure), and it struck a chord:
"How to be a mom in 2017: Make sure your children’s academic, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met while being careful not to overstimulate, understimulate, improperly medicate, helicopter, or neglect them in a screen-free, processed foods-free, GMO-free, negative energy-free, plastic-free, body positive, socially conscious, egalitarian but also authoritative, nurturing but fostering of independence, gentle but not overly permissive, pesticide-free two story, multilingual home preferably in a cul-de-sac with a backyard and 1.5 siblings spaced at least two years apart for proper development, also don’t forget the coconut oil.
How to be a mom in literally every generation before ours: Feed them sometimes."
Here's to all the mommas doing motherhood their own way. It's about lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. Leaning in, asking for support when you need it.
During my first pregnancy — and later after his birth — it became apparent to me that the western world (corporate America, cough) expects many women to navigate this tremendous, life-altering journey rather on their own. Five years ago, Facebook was the big thing, and it gave me an all-access click to friends and family scattered around the world, as well as online mommy support groups. Back then we were living in Chicago and I only had one other friend with a kid who could relate to this new chapter in my life. All my family lived in Florida and Texas. With a new baby earthside in my arms and on my hip, I realized how important community (virtual and IRL) was going to be for me. While technology can have drawbacks, it has helped me to battle isolation as a new mom and redefine motherhood, in a way.
Motherhood is not about losing yourself but about redefining yourself.
Now fast forward five years later and three children under my belt, I am learning also that it’s pretty darn easy to lose yourself in motherhood and to fall into society’s traditional definition of a mom. (Mom jeans, anyone?). Over the last few years, Instagram has become the hot new social media ticket, opening up doors to an even greater, vaster community of mommas from all walks of life. Some are fashionistas, some are foodies, while others are amateur DIYers, Scandinavian interiors enthusiasts, expert Lego-builders. Some go to work, others stay at home. It is on this visual platform that I gain daily inspiration about mom life, style, food, home décor. Instagram has also given me an avenue to connect with, and be supported by, like-minded modern mommas — and vice versa. I've met some in real life while others are virtual friends, and all of us are mommas just trying to do our ‘thang, in our own way, in this new generation of modern motherhood.
Not A Rose Girl blog has been a lofty concept in my head for years — read more about it here in my first post — but well, three kids happened! In the last few months, my interest to turn it into a reality was recharged with encouragement from friends and family. I'm excited to see where this blog will go, how it will evolve and grow — essentially, much like how motherhood goes. Join me as I redefine motherhood by refusing to be ordinary — let's do it together, shall we?