NOT a Mother's Day Gift Guide
Dear Moms, & People Who Have Moms or Know Moms,
I’m sitting here on my first real vacation since starting Rasa. I’ve worked almost every day, including holidays (and through most of my “maternity leave”) for the past 2 years. It does indeed require a certain kind of insanity to want to create something from nothing.
And, as any mom can tell you, my “non-working hours” are just a different kind of work. Albeit, both types of work are filled with joy and purpose. But they’re time spent dealing with other people’s needs.
I remember clearly as my team left the Rasa Casa one day with me surrounded by my screaming children, with piles of legos and smashed crackers and crayons and books all over the floor.
I think then they got it: a mom doesn’t truly get time off.
What they don’t see is all the other layers, the built-in expectation in today’s world:
A “good” mom should cook all the (fresh, organic, whole food) meals; maintain a thriving career; lovingly and patiently mother her children with healthy boundaries and guidelines while also still being very fun and keeping the kids engaged with educationally enriching extracurriculars; keep the house clean; and be a good friend who listens, texts back quickly, and makes time for a social life.
They should look good, get daily meditation or *some* form of self-care (“It’s necessary!” screams Instagram), exercise and generally look like a babe who’s ever-ready for an impromptu photoshoot; get at least 7.5 hours of sleep; wear clean, stylish clothes; go on regular date nights with their partner (“Partnership will die without date nights!” screams society); go to therapy to heal the natural pains of life; be happily available for a vital sex life with their partner; stay abreast on social media…all while being a whole, vibrant, well-adjusted human who is clear on their goals, desires, and passions (vision-boarding optional).
I’m calling an end to the tyranny of modern motherhood.
It’s ACTUALLY impossible to do all of the above. People on Instagram may look like they have it together, but what you don’t see are the most important parts. For example, I may look good doing IG stories on the Rasa page, whatever. My house might even look halfway clean (it’s not). I’m not showing you the dirty parts of my house. And I’m not showing you the nights after I get the kids to bed and am suddenly hit by a dazed depression and fits of tears peppered by thoughts of “I just can’t do this anymore.” Yes, even with daily adaptogens. (File under: Adaptogens Are Not a Substitute For a Healthy Lifestyle.)
I’m saying this to you as much as I am to myself: we MUST hold more reasonable standards for moms in society. We must LET MOMS BE, imperfect and flustered as we are.
Here’s something we can all do: support each other. Let down the guard that says “we must keep up appearances.” NO ONE DOES, so let’s all stop f*cking pretending.
The thing we’re all most deeply missing in today’s world is TRIBE. And I use that word intentionally and not in the vomit-worthy-culturally-appropriative way. 🤢
We used to live in familial tribes. Moms and dads and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents living together, everyone watching out for the kids and supporting one another. In tribal communities, there was room to have a hard day and for others to pick up the slack. Moreover, you didn’t HAVE as many hard days because everyone was chipping in more.
(OK, OK, we also weren't bombarded with social media and information overload and keeping up with the freaking Kardashians and all that malarkey.)
Not to idealize or overgeneralize tribal life. It has its pitfalls. But people being overloaded with parenting duties wasn't generally one of them. (Don’t believe me? Please check out the only parenting book I ever recommend, which is deeply relevant to non-parents wanting to heal childhood wounds, as well.)
My wish for us is to somehow, in even the tiniest of ways, reclaim the tribe. It will have to be tailored to modern life. It will have to be realistic. And in today's world, it will have to include social distancing.
As one, teensy-tiny little measure in this direction, I’d like to invite you to join me in using the hashtag #momsafezone on social media. Use it when you’re posting something you’re praying not to be judged for. Use it when you’re patting yourself on the back for choosing to support a mom in some way. Use it when you’re declaring: “I’m a safe space for moms.” Use it when you send a text to a mom that starts with “Can I help in any way?” or ends with, “I know you’re busy, please don’t feel pressured to respond.”
And yeah, of course we want you to buy Rasa (duh, we’re a business), especially because of how helpful Rasa has been to so many moms. But we know Rasa rests on its own merits and you’ll request it as a gift or buy it for a mom in your life if it feels like the right way to support yourself or a mom you love. (& if so, please visit here).
Thank you for reading and for taking a stand for moms.
💛 Lopa, a #momsafezone
Author: Lopa van der Mersch