Meet the Mommy Whisperer: Lyss Stern. In her latest book, Motherhood Is a B#tch, she shares the truths of motherhood in all its candid glory. This trendspotting and witty mother of three is also the founder of Divalysscious Moms, a national New York City-based network and event company with a database of millions of mothers and mompreneurs. It what began as a way to get her groove back after giving birth to her first child, as well as help other mothers in the same position find themselves post-baby, DivaMoms has grown to include a database of a million moms across the country and is the premier network and event company for the New York area’s well-heeled moms.
Tell us about your background; how did you become a writer? After having my first child, I found myself feeling torn between settling into the role as a new mom and missing the fabulous and sexy woman I was before having children. As amazing and rewarding as motherhood is, it’s not easy, especially for women who are used to feeling unfazed and being constantly on-the-go. I became a writer to help reassure mothers like myself that it is possible to reclaim that power and sexiness, while also being there for your kids and having the best time with them as possible!
Give us the story behind the book, what inspired you to write it? I have three wonderful children and in the process of raising them, it’s very easy to lose yourself in all the madness. You become so wrapped in mommy duties that you forget to set aside much needed time for yourself to re-center and breathe. As easy as it sounds to just step back for a moment or two, things aren’t always that simple, especially for new mothers, and goes further than just doing a quick breathing exercise. I wanted to give an honest take on motherhood and offer tips that actually help re-establish the style and strength that many mothers feel they lost after having children.
What are your thoughts on the ‘have it all’ mentality among women, and surrounding motherhood. Do you believe it’s possible? This mindset can be overwhelming for many mothers who are still trying to get everything together, especially when they see other women who give off the impression they’re balancing their lives flawlessly, when newsflash; even the most put-together women have a breakdown every now and then. I do think women can “have it all,” (that definition is different for every mother) however it takes a lot of hard work, self-reflection, and being able to step back and honestly laugh at yourself. At the end of the day, it’s essential to take everything in stride and do the best you can as a mother and more importantly, a woman in the world.
How can women find their way back to themselves, their passions, and their personhood after becoming a mother? Why do you feel it’s so prevalent that women seem to lose their identity to motherhood? Indulging every so often in the activities that you once had more time for can help women keep that individuality, while still being completely invested in their children’s lives. If putting on a cute new outfit and your favorite pair of heels is what helps make you feel refreshed and confident, then by-all-means; be your most fabulous self. Prioritizing is key and setting aside a little time every week to be your own woman can help mothers see past the two-dimensional concept of motherhood and reclaim the things that made them strong, independent women to begin with.
There has always been a significant pressure on mothers to devote their whole selves to their children, and often times this translates as putting their own personal wants and needs aside for motherhood. Being a mom requires women to take on so many different roles that it’s easy to lose sight of that fun and spontaneous woman that lives inside each of us.
Why do you believe it’s important to maintain a sense of personal identity and passion, especially as wife a mother? Personal identity is what keeps us motivated and grounded; being reminded that you are an individual is an extremely important key to staying positive and driven towards being the best mother, wife, and most importantly, person, possible. Having a passion for life past mothering keeps things fun and interesting, plus it sets a great example for children as they grow up to see their mother as ambitious and accomplished, reassuring them that no matter how hectic things get, they can handle it and will have a strong and supportive mother to back them the whole way through.
“Newsflash; even the most put-together women have a breakdown every now and then. I do think women can ‘have it all,’ (that definition is different for every mother) however it takes a lot of hard work, self-reflection, and being able to step back and honestly laugh at yourself.”
What do you think of the “mommy wars?” Where do we go wrong as women in our lack of supporting one another? I feel like “mommy wars” cut mothers short, no matter what side of the fence your argument is on. Mothers deserve validation, however finding it in attacking other women on their decision whether or not to pursue a career after having kids is not the way to go. Raising children is difficult, hands down, and mothers more than anything understand that. Giving into cattiness is extremely unfair, especially when it is crucial for women to unite and support each other through the trials and tribulations that is motherhood. Stay at home moms can learn a lot from working moms and vice versa; as mothers we have to so much to share and it’s only right that we uplift our fellow women around us.
Why do you believe it’s important to tell the “real” story of motherhood, and being a woman? Why should we be truth-tellers? It’s important to give a truthful look into motherhood because mothers are often seen as perfect otherworldly beings, when in actuality there’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into raising children and the errors and doubts are what make us better mothers, and people in general. Honesty helps reassure women that they’re not alone in the many different roadblocks we encounter being a mother, and that it’s normal to have feelings of sadness and anxiety when finding the happy median between maturing as a woman and maturing as a mother.