“We have to take care of each other, and this is our way of reaching any moms out there who speak our language. We want to pass something down to fellow mamas that they, in turn, can pass down to someone else – it’s our way of creating a stronger community, through transparency and inclusion.”
Meet The Rebel Mamas, Aleksandra Jassem and Nikita Stanley of THE REBEL MAMA. They’re the mommy-group-dropouts and new bestselling authors you’ll want as your BFF. If you haven’t found your mom tribe yet, then listen up.
Tell us about the The Rebel Mama, what inspired you to collaborate and launch this site? The Rebel Mama started out of desperation. We got pregnant within weeks of each other and after hunting (separately and together) for a community/blog/publication we could really relate to, we continually came back empty handed. So we took charge, combined our talents (writing and visual storytelling) and started our own website: a safe space for mommy-group-dropouts who weren’t willing to forfeit their identity to fit some bizarre “perfect mother mold” – the rest is history.
You are not the typical “mom blog,” so to speak, so who is your audience – describe this woman to us: Our community is made up of women who are done with the status quo. They’re change makers. They’re smart, they’re multifaceted, they’re inclusive, they’re feminists, they’re funny, they tell it like it is and they don’t have time for bullsh*t.
“Our community is made up of women who are done with the status quo. They’re change makers. They’re smart, they’re multifaceted, they’re inclusive, they’re feminists, they’re funny, they tell it like it is and they don’t have time for bullsh*t.”
After the great success of your site, you’ve also recently launched your first book,The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for (Cool) Moms which has already hit bestseller status. What inspired this book, and why is it unlike any parenting book out there? We relied so heavily on our little rebel crew at the beginning, and used it as a crutch to get through some pretty dark times. We have to take care of each other, and this is our way of reaching any moms out there who speak our language. We want to pass something down to fellow mamas that they, in turn, can pass down to someone else – it’s our way of creating a stronger community, through transparency and inclusion. Why is it not like any other parenting book? Well, for one it’s BLACK. And PRETTY. And rife with profanities.
What are the kinds of topics you cover in The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for (Cool) Moms; and perhaps the most surprising one? The book is broken down into the stages of early motherhood: Pregnancy, Postpartum, Babies, Toddlers, and Siblings. It covers everything from postpartum hair loss, to locating your mama soulmate, to dealing with a sassy threenager. There’s also a section at the end on what we call “Mama Drama” – basically it addresses all the out-of-your-control crap that somehow manages to creep in and slay your life once you have kids. Everything from dealing with changing family dynamics to balancing emotional labour scales. It’s the stuff we found most difficult about transitioning from maidenhood to motherhood; stuff we couldn’t believe nobody spoke openly about… so we made it a point to change that.
WORST ADVICE NEW MOTHERS RECEIVE? Sleep when the baby sleeps. Shall we also clean when the baby cleans? Please.
Can women truly “have it all?” Why or why not? And what does “having it all” mean to you? Well, one day we will be able to have it all… Right now it feels like we’re in this strange limbo where “having it all” also means “doing it all” which is a really easy way to burn out, fall into depression, etc. On a positive note, we’re seeing this trend of Dads really stepping up to the plate and helping with the childcare and home maintenance, which is a big step in the right direction. In the end it will come down to incentivising men to get involved in domestic life so that women can participate fully in the public sphere; which will likely have to happen on a federal level. Maintaining personal identity might be the biggest struggle for the new mother, even the seasoned mother, as motherhood can be truly encompassing – what suggestions can you offer in terms of maintaining personhood into early motherhood? Asking for help when you need it is huge. Don’t try to be a hero and end up a martyr. Lean on your village if you’re lucky enough to have one and when you do carve out the time for yourself, don’t squander it all on trash TV (although we’re both guilty of falling down a Kardashian rabbit hole from time to time). Read, create, look at art, exercise, cook, WHATEVER. Just do something that feeds your soul. That’s how you not only hold onto your old identity, but it’s also how you discover new facets of yourself and that’s such a beautiful (and necessary) thing.