Super(Bad)Moms: Hilarious Doula Edition

If there’s one type of mom I love, it’s one that surprises you with a well-placed f-bomb. I’m not sure about you, but when I think of a doula, I think of a calm, meditative, woman… that I’d be afraid to swear in front of. Hilarious doula is not something that comes to mind.

Well, many thanks to Alexis Edwards for breaking that stereotype for me. This amazing Super(Bad)Mom is a do-gooder extraordinaire who also happens to be insanely funny. Her professional life is the epitome of selflessness and her blog, Mrs. Mombie, is flat out hysterical. I’ll let her tell you her story, in her own words, because they are incredible.

Tell us about your occupation.

I’m all over the place. I went to grad school for social work and worked full time as a domestic violence counselor for almost 4 years before transitioning to SAHM. That ish (raising tiny humans) is nut bags so I still did contract social work writing home studies for an adoption agency until I became inspired to train as a doula. I certified as a doula in November and have since been working to build a private practice that serves the link between birth and mental health (Birth360). I’m also passionate about sexual assault awareness and want to play a role in educating professionals on trauma-informed care. If all that wasn’t enough, I also blog which is basically a full time job in itself so my real occupation is driving myself bananas.

What are your favorite hobbies? Sleeping.

How many kids do you have?

I have two fuegos (this word is better than ginger mkay). My son Rory was born in 2012 and my daughter Rowan was born in 2014. One is cool, calm and collected (except for at restaurants in Santa Fe) and the other one will cut you.

How sweet are these two?

What is your athletic/workout routine like?

Bahahahahahahaha. Everything you need to know you can read here in my post about my experience at SoulCycle. *Editor’s note: Read this blog post immediately. It will bring you immense joy.

What is something you do to help make the world a better place?

I’ve always been an advocate for human rights. I use my platform as a writer to spread awareness and advocate for equality and I intentionally parent my children to do the same. I often hear mothers say they aren’t doing enough. They wish they could volunteer or be involved in some cause and my response is always this: Mothering is THE most important thing you can do. It’s the grounding work for our future and when we raise tiny humans into compassionate adults, well frankly we are saving the world.

Tell us about something you’re passionate about.

As I said before I’m very passionate about sexual assault awareness. I am a survivor myself and it took me a very long time to tell my story and begin my healing journey. Over time I started sharing more, learning more, and releasing myself of the enormous blame I carried. Once I started to work with other survivors my inspiration grew from their stories and I started becoming more involved as an advocate. I cared more about the issue from a policy level and it became my mission to shift our cultural norms and change victim blaming mentality.

My passion grew even more after training to become a doula. We had to read the book When Survivor’s Give Birth and it blew my mind that I never thought about the ways my history could impact my births (here is a podcast where I speak to this). We may carry our wounds in everything we do, but I want women to know we can navigate this journey in healthy ways and break free from the pain.  

What is one of your proudest parenting moments?

When my kid finally shit on the toilet instead of on the floor.

zero given
One kids pees on the floor while the other watches his 12th episode of Paw Patrol. No big deal.

What was your worst parenting moment this week?

Yelling. Yelling is always my worst moment. To be fair I’m what I call a loud talker. I’m passionate and words just flow out of me with lots of emphasis, but I’m also a firecracker with a short fuse and can go from zero to 60 easily. This is something I’m constantly working on, but I definitely fuck up and yell when I’m frustrated. Like when someone shits on the floor…

What is the most embarrassing thing one of your kids has ever done or said?

Since I’ve been talking a lot about the shitter, I’ll share this. One time I took my kids to the Nature and Science center we have in town. One of the exhibits is a giant dino pit which is basically a sandbox with dinosaur bones. Well my kid shit IN THE DINO PIT. Like in the middle. Everyone saw. A big ass turd fell out his pants. Children screamed. Parents stared. But I just picked up a shovel and scooped that shit out the pit like it was a litter box and moved on with my life.

Tell us about one of your kid’s worst meltdowns.

OMG. We were in Santa Fe for my sister-in-law’s wedding. The whole extended family went to brunch at this restaurant downtown. My kid had an epic meltdown at the table. I can’t even remember about what. Probably because his fork wasn’t shiny enough. Who the eff knows. Well it was so bad I had to take him outside. He literally fell out in the middle of the sidewalk kicking and screaming. A woman passed by and turned to me and said “What a brat”. Luckily I maintained my cool and didn’t go to prison that day.

Family photo meltdown.

What is one of your “dirty secrets” you try to keep hidden from other moms?

I’m a pretty open book and don’t generally hide things, except for maybe the dead Christmas tree on my back porch.

What is something your kids do that drive you crazy?

Um, everything? Nah, just kidding (kinda). Let’s pick whining. Holy mother the whining. But more the inappropriate whining. They do their fair share of normal whining. You know, about the 14th snack they need or when they are throwing each other under the bus, but the poorly timed whines are like nails on a chalkboard. Example:

Excited Mom: Who wants to go to the park?!

Whiney Kid: But mom I told you I wanted to go to the park yesterday.

Is it 5pm yet Mom: Say what?! So the answer is you don’t like doing fun things? Alrighty then.

What is an unhealthy food you feed your kids?

Um one of my two kids is a majorly picky eater. All he consumes is waffles and fried chicken.

Oh, and Lucky Charms for breakfast. Ignore the laundry on the table.

What is something you swore you’d never do, but now do regularly?

I swore I’d never be what I was in that restaurant in Santa Fe. My kid would sit quietly and eat whatever meal I served him. Bahahahaha. My kids regularly run around restaurants with bare feet.

Do you have any vices?

Yes, thank you for asking. I enjoy sitting. Carbs. Alcohol. Yelling. Frizzy hair. Holey underwear. Basically all the things.

Alexis Edwards is my kind of Super(Bad)Mom. She is passionate, inspirational, and selfless. Most of all, she reminds me that being a mother is enough. Not only am I beyond inspired by her, but, if we didn’t live thousands of miles away from each other, I would force her to be my friend. Thank God for her blog and Instagram, so I can just pretend to hang with her!

Super(Bad)Mom: Business Mom Edition

It’s nice to be on top. And Erin O’Keefe is an inspirational mama who can tell you what the view is like from there. Sometimes, it looks a lot like paradise.

Erin is a mom who somehow balances motherhood with being a serious rock star in the business world. Not only has Erin reached Diamond Ambassador status at Plexus Worldwide, but she has also twice spoken at the company’s Super Saturday. I was pretty stoked when my boss gave me a free magnet and notepad this year; Erin’s company has sent her on not one, but two all-expenses paid trips to Hawaii — all to reward her incredible work.

Being a corporate champion would be enough for most, but Erin still manages to volunteer at her daughter’s school and gymnastics events. Oh, and she’s a passionate athlete. Erin runs three days a week and works with a trainer another three days. This inspiring fitness routine has helped her run three marathons, two of which benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Erin is a selfless woman who lives to pour her love on others and help other women achieve their goals. Despite her incredible business success, she is, above all else, a mom whose proudest moment is watching her daughter perform at her first gymnastics meet. She sounds pretty damn perfect and enviable, doesn’t she? Anyone who excels in both business, athletics, and motherhood sounds like a Supermom to me. Thank God for the rest of us, Erin comes with some Bad Mom moments to help us even the playing field.

Tell us about an amazing party you have thrown. My son’s first birthday/baptism…we had it at our favorite bar and it was amazing. *Editor’s note: Anyone who has a child’s party at a bar is someone we want to hang with.

What is the most embarrassing thing one of your kids has ever done or said? Some sweet old lady said hello to my son when he was 2 and he stuck his tongue out at her.

Tell us about one of your kid’s worst meltdowns. This seems to happen when we are on vacation…at a nice resort…by the pool.  Serious screaming and fighting with the kids and having to carry my son out of the pool while every mom is staring at me.

This is Erin’s Christmas card. Amazing.

What is one of your “dirty secrets” you try to keep hidden from other moms? I absolutely love being a work at home mom…now that my kids are in school.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed it when they were little and home.  I’m a tad selfish and love my workout time, alone time and to be able to work at home without them wanting a snack every 4 seconds.

What is something your kids do that drive you crazy?  Ask for a snack or a drink every 4 seconds when they are home.  Throw their backpacks and coats on the floor when they walk in the door.

What is something you have allowed your kid to do this week that you know you probably shouldn’t have? Play on their ipads for like 8 straight hours.

What is an unhealthy food you feed your kids? Gushers…ewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Are there any dangerous activities you let your kids participate in? Nothing crazy dangerous,  but I let them climb and jump off everything.  My daughter does back handsprings on our bed, my son jumps off bay windows, whatever.  It doesn’t bother me.

What is something you swore you’d never do, but now do regularly?  I let my kids eat crappy snacks and drink soda.  I only let them drink soda at restaurants but swore I would never even do that.

What is something you do or say in front of your kids that might horrify other parents? Go away.

Do you have any vices? beer, wine, tequila…yum. *Editor’s note #2: Erin, let’s hang.

Any final Mama Confessions you want to get off your chest?  I sometimes travel for work and I love love love being able to do it alone. I have zero mommy guilt when I travel and I use it as a time to recharge my battery. My events seem to come every 6-8 weeks, right before I have a total mommy meltdown.Thank you Plexus.

Erin is us. She lets her kids watch iPads for hours, feeds them the crap they beg us for, and she loves a good drink. She’s also a dedicated, enterprising woman, making her dreams come true. Doesn’t that mean that we can be those things too? I think so.

Super(Bad)Mom: The World Traveling Mom

When I was thirteen years old, I went sledding at a local golf course with a friend. We were meeting a group from the all-girls school that I would be attending the following year. I was the outsider. Middle school girl politics being as they are, I was a bit nervous. As soon as I reached the top of the hill, a blonde girl I’d met just once before grabbed my arm and ingratiated me into the group by inviting me to ride on the back of her sled. I hopped on and went for a ride that’s still going on twenty-three years later. Whether it’s convincing me to ride a zip line, stay in a grass hut in Panama, or start a non-profit, I’m incredibly grateful to still have this blonde girl by my side, convincing me to take a plunge.

Now it’s my turn to make her take one, as I forced nominated her to be Mama Tries Blog’s very first Super(Bad)Mom!

My friend Lea is the ultimate supermom. She’s also incredibly humble, meaning she answered only three of the questions for the “super” portion of Super(Bad)Moms, and only with one to three word answers. The “bad” mom portion was much lengthier. It’s a good thing my first featured Super(Bad)Mom is a friend I can call out on her BS, because the joke’s on her — instead of writing the supermom portion in the question/answer format I planned, I am writing a narrative about how fabulous she is (which will make her cringe to no end).

A quick glimpse of Lea’s Facebook page reveals an enviable life and family. She is a gorgeous mother of three ridiculously adorable little boys, all under age 6. She and her husband not only manage to dress and feed the boys everyday, but also make sure they are all enjoying life to the fullest. On a Saturday, she’s likely to invite our family on a hike when we are still in our pajamas and trying to figure out how we can stay like that all day. Seriously, they go on hikes – a lot – with three energetic little boys, one of whom is a baby!

When she’s not taking advantage of local offerings, Lea is bringing her family on a boatload of vacations. I have low-grade anxiety for at least a month before taking my kids on a trip an hour away, but she takes her boys on incredible vacations at least four times a year. They have passports for God’s sake! I don’t even have the patience to bring my kids to get passport photos taken, let alone travel outside the country with them.

How does a full-time teacher and mother of three children continue traveling the world? In Lea’s case, it means taking on even more responsibility. Lea excels in everything she does. Determined to continue living her dream, she became a consultant for Rodan & Fields. In less than two years, her “side hustle” is not just giving her some extra spending money. She has built a thriving team, won awards, and has even created training videos for other consultants around the world – all while continuing to teach and raise an amazing family. On top of all that, she saw a need in her community and proactively filled the void, starting a local chapter of the Lady Project, a non-profit women’s social and philanthropic group.

Whether it’s work, her family, entertaining, or supporting her friends, Lea is the epitome of a supermom. Her drive and ambition are inspirational and have made me a better person. Without her encouragement and example, I never would have taken the steps to start this blog.

She had a baby three months before this was taken. It’s not right.

Because here’s the thing – Lea isn’t perfect. There are no perfect moms. Just perfect Facebook pages. Lea is just like every other mom begging her kids to eat breakfast and stop fighting each other. As I’ve written before, that’s where the inspiration lies. If we know women like Lea also struggle with day-to-day mom life, we can certainly work our mom asses off and accomplish some of the great things she does, too. When I saw her ability to juggle chaos, a full-time job AND a side gig, I was out of excuses. It was time for me to be proactive in making my writing dreams come true, too.

Now that I’ve made Lea seem like the ultimate Supermom, I’ll let her tell you about her Bad Mom moments.

What is the most embarrassing thing one of your kids has ever done or said? My five-year-old, Eamon, recently announced to a table of guests that his mom LOVES spicy foods, but sometimes it gives her diarrhea.  Really I had just gotten over a stomach bug, but thanks for that Eamon.

Tell us about one of your kid’s worst meltdowns. Not really a meltdown, but when Eamon was two his eye swelled shut from a bug bite. We brought him to the ER and they gave him steroids.  The doctor warned us that the steroids may make him a little hyperactive, but we poo-pooed it and went straight to a restaurant for dinner. Big mistake! Eamon became delirious at the packed restaurant and was laughing extremely loudly and then proceeded to throw his food. He nailed another table across the restaurant with his corn on the cob. We took our food and bottle of wine to go!

Restaurant dinners with kids are always more exciting when one of them spills his milk.

What is something your kids do that drive you crazy? All 3 repeatedly asking for refills of drinks at the dinner table.  We keep a gallon of milk on the table now.

What is something your kids have done this week that has annoyed you to no end? I caught one sitting on my bed pillow with no underwear on. *editor’s note: I really wish there was a photo of this one.*

What is something you have allowed your kid to do this week that you know you probably shouldn’t have. Bought Pokemon cards as a reward for expected behavior.

What is an unhealthy food you feed your kids? We frequent the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru for munchkins more than I’d like to admit. I also let my kids eat jars of salsa con queso — so I can eat it, too.

Are there any dangerous activities you let your kids participate in? The boys love to jump off the couch onto a pile of pillows, topped with a dog bed.

These boys like to keep playtime safe.

What is a typical morning like at your house? I pretty much have a panic attack every weekday morning trying to get all of us out of the house by 7 AM. Maybe once every two weeks it goes smoothly, but most days you would actually see me and Jerry sprinting around the house getting all the things together that we should have the night before. Add an uncooperative kid (or two or three) and I pretty much lose my mind. It takes me the entire car ride to work to calm back down. Sometimes I worry that I am creating anxious children and that they will have childhood memories of their mom yelling “Eat! Take another bite! Eat faster! We are going to be late!” As of now they do not seem concerned at all though! They could not care less if they’re late, and I think they just wonder why Mommy goes mad every morning.

“Why Mommy goes mad every morning.” We are not alone, ladies. We are not alone.

New Blog Series: Super(Bad)Moms

Moms so rarely get the recognition that they deserve. Moms get shit done on a daily basis, yet rarely receive any accolades. At the same time, we try to hide our faults for fear of judgment or that our facade of perfection will be shattered. This leaves moms feeling isolated, defeated, and inadequate. Not anymore!

Mama Tries Blog is thrilled to announce a new blog series: Super(Bad)Moms. Super(Bad)Moms will feature incredible, inspirational women who are perfect on paper, but beautifully flawed. These amazing women are not superhuman. They are real.

For me, that’s where the inspiration lies. Because if we can share lows, we can certainly work our mom asses off and accomplish some highs along with inspirational women whose lives we often see as unattainable.

Remember – there are no Supermoms. There are just moms who hide their “bad” side better than others… until now!

Our first Super(Bad)Mom will be featured this week!
In the meantime, if you are a Super(Bad)Mom and/or know someone who is, and would like to be featured contact me at: contactmamatriesblog@gmail.com.