I started this site when I realized how unattainable—and downright exhausting!—the “have it all” mentality really is. I wanted moms to know that it’s OK to make choices, set priorities, and let the nonessentials fall by the wayside—all without apology or guilt.
So of course I was thrilled to learn about the new book Lose the Cape: Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive, which is available April 26 on Amazon.
The co-authors, Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera, are fellow bloggers who sympathize with moms today who feel pressured to be “supermom.” Because really, you don’t need the cape; you’re already super!
I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of the book and interviewing Alexa and Kerry to learn more. Here’s what they had to say.
What motivated you to write Lose the Cape?
We had both been blogging for a few years and were reading commentary on different parenting topics. While we certainly enjoy the many fabulous voices around the web, we thought there was an opportunity to create a guide directed to all types of moms battling various modern mom stresses.
As partners on the project, we bring unique perspectives and tips. Alexa is the voice of that mom primarily staying at home, trying to squeeze in work when she can. Kerry works outside the home in a corporate gig, so some of her struggles differ. We also live in different parts of the country.
Still, despite our differences, we support one another, our different parenting styles and recognize we are both doing what’s best for our respective families. Social media, the press, other moms…each can serve as a reminder that we’re not living up to some impossible “supermom” status, so we wanted to take that message head on and tell moms to “lose the cape.”
Stop trying to be perfect, and simply embrace what works for you.
What do you hope moms will take away from reading it?
First and foremost, we want moms to recognize there is no such thing as “supermom.” As much as we might think the “mom across the street” has it all together based on the “social media highlight reel” and quick glimpses at school drop-off, we all deal with modern mom stresses. Parenthood is messy, chaotic and joyful. Embrace your journey, and do what works for you.
Second, we’d love for moms to walk away with a few new tips and tricks. This book can serve as a guide and perhaps provide a few suggestions from other moms who have endured various mom stresses. Besides our own tips, we’ve gathered suggestions from moms around the country. There is no “one right way,” so we’ve tried to include many ideas to consider as you go through particular phases of your motherhood journey.
What kinds of tips and resources can moms expect to find in the book?
We tackle some of the most common mom stressors. We feature chapters on new mom worries, touching on breastfeeding, sex, sleeping (or lack of sleeping) and leaving your baby with a caregiver. We also dive into chapters on morning and bedtime routines, feeding your family, household chores, your spouse, making mom friends, the social media time suck and finding time for yourself. We additionally included a chapter for single moms, since they face some unique challenges going it alone.
What “modern mom worry” have you personally struggled with the most?
Alexa: My modern mom worries are definitely centered around the whole home/organization/responsibility and ensuring I am not only taking care of all of us but teaching them how to be responsible too.
I struggle with totally screwing my kids up by not being engaged enough, dressing them right, participating in the right activities, and so forth. Like Kerry, I worry about making sure my kids are exposed to enough, but not having an overly insane schedule. I worry that I’m failing at discipline and eating right, and all of those things.
I think it’s totally normal to compare ourselves to other moms and say “how come her kids are sitting so nicely at the table while mine are throwing food at each other?” So, I’m trying to relax a bit, realize no mom is perfect, do the best that I can with what I have, and really lean on my “Mom Squad” when I feel like I’m failing miserably!
Kerry: I’ve probably blacked out certain mom worries. The sleepless baby nights were rough, especially when my maternity leave was up. Today, the activity craze is kicking my butt. I definitely want to expose all of my children to different sports and art classes, but with three kids and two working parents the schedule quickly turns from fun to insane.
I’m still trying to strike a balance of allowing my kids to investigate new pursuits, but also ensure they have downtime and we can just chill as a family.
Do you have a favorite tip from the book?
Alexa: Yes. “Accept the mess!” My husband and I argue all the time over what is acceptable in a home with small children, but the fact is you have to pick your battles. If you want to prioritize a really clean house, DO IT. Something else will have to give.
I, on the other hand, have had to realize that is not my forté, and I want to do other things with my time. So, I’ve learned that it’s okay to accept the mess. To a certain degree at least.
Kerry: I love our chapter on the “Mom Squad.” Sometimes it’s a struggle to make new mom friends, especially when you’re working. For me, I’ve learned I just need to throw myself out there and work at finding my “tribe.” It’s like dating all over again.
You might not gel with every mom you meet, but you should also be open to connecting with all different types of moms.Some of my closest mom friends do not work outside the home like I do, and so our lifestyles and stresses are different. But we respect one another and they’ve taught me new tips and tricks along my own parenting journey.
Anything else you’d like us to know about the book?
We honestly think this is a great guide for all moms. We are not making fun of any style of mothering—we are encouraging all styles. We want you to embrace the kind of mother that you ARE, realize you don’t have to live up to expectations that are often unachievable, but also provide some good tips and resources if you want help in certain areas.
We are in the trenches with you, and so this is a book written in a conversational, fun tone. Think of us as your girlfriends chatting you up over a glass of wine. So add it to your reading list and share it with your friends. It’s a quick read and you can reference it often, depending on the modern mom stress of the day.
Are you ready to stop trying to be supermom and start feeling more relaxed and at ease with your life and your parenting? Then be sure to check out Lose the Cape on Amazon—available for pre-order now and officially available on April 26—and also check out the official Lose the Cape website!