Be Your Definition Of A Great Mom
Affectionately hailed as the “anti-mommy bloggers”, Aleks (the blonde) and Nikita (the brunette) believe that the kindest thing moms can do for themselves (and their sanity) is acknowledge that there is more than one formula for a healthy family dynamic and more than one kind of woman who can be a good mom.
How did you meet and what inspired your partnership? What were your career paths before starting Rebel Mama and how have they influenced your success?
We met on a busy dance floor back in 2008 but didn’t really hang out until destiny put us on the same beach together in Tulum in January of 2009. At the time, Aleks was running social media accounts for a few big restaurants and nightclubs here in Toronto and Nikita was a personal shopper at a high-street boutique. Obviously we didn’t realize it at the time, but in hindsight, the jobs we had back then have informed so many facets of The Rebel Mama — namely our signature style and bomb IG feed!
There’s a lot of pressure on women to be perfect mothers. What is your response to that pressure?
Well the societal pressure is a total waste of time. It doesn’t take into account YOU and the specifics of YOUR life so [we’re of the opinion that you should] pay it no mind. If you’re putting the pressure on yourself — to be a better person, to be a better woman — that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Motherhood can be an excellent catalyst for evolution.
Motherhood can be an excellent catalyst for evolution.
Balancing motherhood and life (not just a career), is hard. What have you learned and what advice can you share?We’ve learned to take our own personal wellbeing(s) seriously. You can’t do anything well if you’re exhausted, so you have to make sure you’re being honest with yourself and the people around you. If you need help, ask for it. If you need a break, take one. There is no need to be a martyr. Make sure you’re looking out for yourself. A happy and healthy mama makes an excellent addition to any family.
What do you do with alone time? Any self care rituals, practices or favorite places?
First, we roll a j (file under: perks of being Canadian). Then we go ham on our houses and make them spotless ie. no toys in sight. Then we treat ourselves to a long shower, a good face scrub and a whole system of oils and serums. After that we may light some candles, throw on some funky tunes and organize something (organizing relaxes us #virgolife) or if we’re in the mood, we’ll call our girls and arrange a night of food, drinks, laughs and inevitable dancing. We tend to go big or go (happily) home.
We’ve learned to take our own personal wellbeing(s) seriously. You can’t do anything well if you’re exhausted, so you have to make sure you’re being honest with yourself and the people around you.
How do you maintain a great working relationship? Do you have any advice for friends who want to go into business together?
Make sure your strengths are different — that way everyone does what they’re good at and nobody is stepping on any toes. Also, get your working agreement down on paper super early in the partnership so everyone knows what is expected of them and develop an exit strategy should shit ever hit the fan *knock on wood*. Finally, make sure you have fun together. Running a business with someone involves spending A LOT of time with that person, so actually enjoying each other makes it 100x more awesome.
What has surprised you most about motherhood, thus far? Any advice for first time moms?
It really surprised us that not all moms are down to stand together in solidarity with each other. The mama drama stuff is bizarre and we still can’t quite wrap our heads around it. Our advice for first time moms is don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any of this is a competition. Don’t feel like in order for “your way” to be right, every other way must inherently be wrong. Just focus on you. And your baby. And your family. And what works for you. As for everyone else, offer them love and empathy and leave it at that.
Don’t feel like in order for “your way” to be right, every other way must inherently be wrong. Just focus on you. And your baby. And your family. And what works for you.
If women could do one thing to help each other through motherhood, what would that be? What do you hope to find in the bellybrief community?
Women just need to be honest about motherhood. We do such a disservice to each other when we sugar coat things, keep our stories secret or refuse to admit how hard it is. We hope that in sharing our stories and our honest tales of motherhood with the bellybrief community we can help the mamas here realize that they’re not in this shitshow alone. We’re in it together.
You’ve co-written a book The Rebel Mama’s Handbook For (Cool) Moms. How did you find the time to make it happen? What were the biggest challenges and what has been the most rewarding part of the process?
We made the time! We boughtthe time, actually. We launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay for childcare for our kids for nine months — we figured if we could make a human in that amount of time, we could write a book in it too, and we did! The biggest challenge was maintaining all the other facets of the business while writing (not to mention attempting to maintain personal lives). The most rewarding thing is when women write us to tell us how much they needed to read a book like ours — one that didn’t leave them feeling anxious and overwhelmed. We also love nothing more than when childless people tell us we make them less terrified about parenthood.
We hope that in sharing our stories and our honest tales of motherhood with the bellybrief community we can help the mamas here realize that they’re not in this shitshow alone. We’re in it together.
Has your personal style changed since becoming mothers? If so, how? What is your daily uniform?
Our style hasn’t reallychanged but it has definitely become more streamlined. It’s a lot of denim (high-waisted Levis, usually) and simple tees or silk blouses tucked in with either sneakers or statement shoes. Skincare has been amped up, whereas makeup has been toned down. There’s less time for accessorizing too — for Aleks, outfits are usually topped off with her signature gold necklaces and a pair of oversized cat-eye glasses; for Nikita, “accessorizing” tends to equate to a red lip, statement earrings, bold footwear and giant shades because there are some dark circles that not even NARS under-eye concealer can stand up against.
What’s next for Rebel Mama?That information is classified. If we told you, we’d have to kill you.
Just kidding. We’re going on a tri-city U.S. Book Tour! More details coming soon!