Guest Contributor - Amanda Laramee
‘Hot Mess,’ ‘Chaotic,’ ‘Busy,’ these are the words that naturally flow out of women’s mouths. In fact, it feels like it’s the standard. If you’re not overwhelmed, frustrated, a hot mess or a combination of the above, then you must be doing it wrong. As a mom, healthcare professional, and business owner, I feel a combination of these things on the regular, but I do not want it to be the standard for myself or for the girls I am raising.
Raising the Standard
About 6 months into my maternity leave, I began doing the personal work of challenging some of my own insecurities and fears so I could raise my children in a different manner (honestly I was praying none of my insecurities would ever reach their bubble) and although the personal work continues, I am realizing that it’s not about self-help and just making my family’s life better. I am realizing it needs to be about more. I don't know about you, but these past two years have brought a lot of challenge, growth, expansion, and rethinking on how I want to show up. Not only as a women's coach, but also as a mother, a consumer, and a member of this complex, beautiful world, and community I am a part of. I am all about living intentionally. Not perfectly, just intentionally. My children started as my ‘why’ and they continue to be an anchor, but throughout the past 2 years my views have expanded and my intentions alongside with them. Now it's not only ‘how do I want to show up as a mother’ but also ‘what impact can I make on the world my girls grow up in?’ and ‘how do I ensure others are equitably supported on their journey?'
The world of motherhood feels like it is reactive, surviving, busy and chaotic, and unfortunately many of us allow this to overflow into our everyday decisions, including fashion for ourselves and our kids. Yet I believe that we as caregivers and mothers can create such an impact not only in our own lives but also by leading the way for our children.
The Impact of Reacting & Surviving
What would happen if we traded the chaos, busyness, overwhelm, comparison, retail therapy and fast fashion with intentional action? What would happen if we chose to pause just for a minute to see our impact? Do we even know what our impact is? I mean, I love supporting small, locally owned businesses but I must confess I am pretty quick to look elsewhere for a cheaper deal and faster delivery. Sure, the packaging is ridiculous with copious amounts of plastic and yes, I know it’s from across the world and although I have no idea what conditions the product was made in, I’m pretty sure that someone probably cared enough to make sure everyone was cared for along the way. I mean that is common practice, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, not! Equitable, Sustainable, Transparent practices are kind of a rarity. Now I am going to make my second confession today and let you know that I am not an expert in ANY of these topics, and that’s okay. For more information, check out Hernest Projects 2030 Roadmap to see what these terms actually mean in action. But again, it is not about perfection, it is about intentionality.
We go to the moon and back to care for, encourage, support, and give opportunities to our children, yet we rush and react when it comes to making choices that not only impact other children and communities but also the world our children are growing up in. As a woman, as a mother, I have an amazing opportunity to demonstrate to my children the importance of how I engage with others and the impact it can have. How I use my privilege responsibly to effect positive change, how the focus of life cannot be simple platitudes of ‘self-care, self-help and instant gratification’ but rather demonstrating choices that are respectful, thoughtful, proactive, and intentional.
The Good News
But here is the good news. It does not need to be either/or, it can be both/and. We can choose self-care and comfort AND sustainable, equitable practices. We can choose fashionable, thoughtful clothing AND minimal environmental waste and emissions. It just takes intention. It takes supporting those communities, businesses, and individuals that are pushing industries to do better. It requires breaking the mold and expectations of ‘hot, chaotic mess’ and challenges us to step up and take responsibility for our impact.
If I have learned one thing over the past two years, it is that women are going to change the world and it’s going to be through the humans we raise and the intentional, impactful choices we make. Some of us will be pushing industries, some of us will be shaking up the culture and some of us will be choosing to shop where loungewear promotes sustainability and social justice. I for one cannot think of a better union than that.
Amanda Lamaree is an Occupational Therapist, IIN Certified Health Coach, mother, and wife. Encouraging mothers to release the mom-guilt and live intentionally; she is a counterculture voice that supports and encourages mothers to (re)discover, (re)connect and (re)define their motherhood journey.
Amanda Website: www.amandalaramee.com