For the month of May, I want to feature 31 women who continue to touch my life through their kindness, friendship, humor, passion, and determination. Each of these women have some great secrets as they open their doors and let me into their "mommy world". Their stories bring us back to the realization that we all go through struggles, make mistakes, and sometimes need to "fake it until we make it" as parents. Join us as we celebrate these mothers throughout the month of May.
Welcome to day 28 of Bulldog’s Mommy Blog Project! Today we get to feature a woman that I totally admire because she does not care what other people think of her. She is all about raising an amazing little boy, teaching him about the circle of life, and having fun as she does it. She's a “Honey Badger” of a mother, she does not care what you or I think about the way she dresses, what she does, or who she is. She protects her love ones. She is filled with love, but don't mess with THIS honey badger: she does not take SH*T from anyone. Before we learn more about how this ultimate bad ass of a mom tackles life, parenting, and mistakes, let’s learn about the parenting tip of the day.
Parenting Tip of the Day: Help your kids deal with loss or disappointment. Let’s face it: we want to see our kids happy and shield them from any harm or hurt. It’s difficult to see them sad and it’s easier to “brush things under the rug”, or ignore the issue. Our kids see us as all knowing and a fountain of knowledge. They often need to lean on us for support and understanding through all types of situations, whether it is being hurt by a friend or understanding the feeling of loss from a death in the family. Here are some tips when facing difficult life situations with your kids:
- Talk about it. Be sure to acknowledge the event. It can be difficult to know how to start, so begin by expressing your feelings about the situation. This can help guide and validate the feelings your kids are facing.
- It is a BIG deal: EMPATHIZE. Your kids do not yet have the large array of life experiences you do. This may be their first time dealing with a hurtful situation or a death of a person. Remove your filter of experience/ reason and step into their shoes. They may infact be feeling overwhelmed, even if you know the situation or feelings will pass.
- Allow for time and a place to heal. Your kid may need time to think about the situation alone or be given a place to relax/ regroup. Designate a place in your home that allows for this safe feeling, or take your kid for a walk through the park.
For more info or tips click on our website: Parent Coaching
I met Rebecca a few times at different parties. She was just so chill and comfortable as a mom. Once we were at a party and she was able to hold a conversation with me, discipline her kid, and enjoy a glass a wine. Over the holiday break, one of my best friends in Chicago asked Rebecca and I over for a wine and cookie party. I never say no to wine nor cookies. I got there and Rebecca was talking about how it upset her that moms pick at each other, compete, and throw each other under the bus. She shared hysterical stories about motherhood and her home birth. I was mesmerized by the love she has for her family, and how she is so strong and confident. She went on to explain the birth of her child. After her son was born, she grabbed him all covered in goo, and didn't listen to all the racket around her from the family and midwife. She told them all she was done and headed to bed with her newborn son. So, from that story, I decided that she was MY honey badger. When I get nervous about facing mean mommies or tackling rough teens, I think "What would my Honey Badger do?" I realize that Rebecca is my inspirational alter-ego.
Please welcome the mom that inspires women to just be cool with who they are, Rebecca Benedict!
Name: Rebecca Benedict
Location: Chicago, IL
Mommy Title: Artist, Weekend Work Warrior, and Hodge-Podge Mom
Favorite Social Media Site: Facebook
Mommy Status: Married
Number of kids: 1
Walk me through a day in your household.
Weekdays we wake up at 7am or 8am. It’s nice cause a lot of other moms are up so early. My schedule is a little different: I work day to night on the weekends. Weekday mornings, we usually eat fruit and hang out, then eat breakfast and get ready. I take my son to daycare and then go to the gym, run errands, do some cleaning, and maybe then be a little nice to myself and read a book. I later pick my son up from daycare and we run more errands. Then we do quiet time for about one hour. We go to the park if it’s a nice day out; otherwise we do an activity that I find on Pinterest. As our day comes to an end, we eat dinner, read 3 books, and sing 3 songs.
What is your favorite room in the house and why?
I love our kitchen. My son can play and we dance. We have a lot of dance parties. I also like to cook. I only wish I had a house that would have the living room and kitchen connected. The bathroom is my second favorite. I go there to hide from everybody. I will stand in the mirror and pick at my face. I will just want to be alone and do anything to distract me so that I allow myself to just let go.
What is your favorite time of the day with your kids?
I think it is after we get back from school and we are hanging out. Also, in the morning my son is calm and chatty. We love to just hang out, cuddle, and have some great quiet time together. My son’s also pretty good about being put to bed, regardless of all the steps: “I need to pee”…“I am thirsty”…and it goes on and on. Once we get through all the steps though, he goes down pretty easy.
What is a unique family tradition?
Our family has a strong connection to death and spirits. I created this alter in our living room and put pictures and stuff of my mom, relatives, and people that I lost. Between the ages of 2 to 17, I lost lots of people. So many people have died in my life. I often talk to my mom, and all the people that I’ve lost. My family makes it a tradition to talk to the dead. I explain to my son that we all turn to dirt and the connection to nature. I walk him through the circle of life. My son gets exposure to death, and it is not morbid in any way. He gets it, and learns how people become part of the earth again. On Easter, it is all about the re-birth for us. We actually found this dead bird on the ground. My son saw the bird covered in dirt and he was able to see how the connection back to nature happens. He now has his own theory about how people die and become an animal. Spirituality is normal in our home. It’s passed down from my mother. We are also musically inclined as an added plus.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed?
I make mistakes when I’m overwhelmed and I say dumb shit. I am definitely better than I used to be and now I try to walk away when I’m upset. When I am arguing with my son, it’s usually about something stupid like putting on his socks. Instead of yelling, I walk away and start doing something else. I don’t say mean things to my son when I refer to the stupid and dumb shit I say. I mean, I am yelling about something stupid. I just tend to yell a lot and end up repeating myself. So now, I quit what I am doing and walk away. My son ends up coming after me. If he is not listening, I will put him in a time out and talk through the situation. I layout why his behavior was not ok and why he is in a time out. I want him to understand and take some time to think about his actions.
What is the best “uh-oh” story?
When his molars were coming in, my son was biting everybody. I am SERIOUS, he was biting everyone at daycare. Teachers would talk to me with ALL this advice, like putting hot sauce in his mouth. I would smile, nod, and say ok, but inside I was thinking, “SHUT UP, I will not do that!” One night, I was folding clothes and my son followed me into his room. I had no idea he was behind me. I was standing up and trying to get his clothes on a shelf. All of a sudden, he bit my leg and my knee jerk reaction was to smack his head really hard. I felt awful, but honestly he never bit anyone again! It was a huge "uh-oh", but I am really happy the biting stopped!
Which celebrity mom is most like you and why?
You mean like a cartoon? Would that work? I am obsessed with cartoons! I don’t know who I would be like. You know, moms don’t really stand out on TV. Maybe I’d be like a smarter version of Jess (actress Zooey Deschanel) from “The New Girl”. I am a bit like her: I make jokes and I DON’T GIVE A SHIT. I am corky, but I hate that word. She is just different like me. But, as a mom, I have no clue which celebrity I would be like.
What is your favorite website or blog?
I don’t do too much stuff on the web. I would say Pinterest. I have a DEEP addiction to this. It’s the best! I can get science projects for my son, organizing ideas to redo our place, and find out how to clean stuff.
What advice would you give your younger self?
In life, be calm and let it unfold. Don’t make presumptions. Be patient with yourself.
What is your go to outfit?
Yoga pants and tank top.
What is something you are pretending to know about but have no clue?
I really don’t know how to be a parent.
What have you learned from your kids?
That everything is temporary. You can only pay attention to what is happening right now. Don’t get upset at something right now, cause everything will change. Be patient in these moments.
If you could ask the universe one question what would it be?
How do I do all the things I want to do? Things such as being a good human being, being a good mom, finding time to be with my husband, and making it financially? How do I do it all?
What is the looming task on your to do list?
There are a few of them: finishing school, putting on an art show, and writing a kid's book. You know, there is so much to do. I’m also headed to pick up my mom’s piano so I can get back into music.
Closing thoughts, mantra, or advice:
Just be human. We are all trying to be supermom: we compete and “one up” each other all the time. We need to all just be more supportive, and human to each other. Honestly, sometimes I yell and I am being a REAL DICK. Sometimes my house is really messy, but who cares! We just need to support each other as women.
Rebecca is a great “say it like you mean it” kind of mom, and also a gifted artist. She shares her art work through her blog, MOSTLY LAUGHING AT MYSELF. Visit her blog to see this art, hear some funny “mommy rants”, and laugh your ass off reading this blogger go on about her life. Just as her blog title says, Rebecca just goes at it and doesn’t mind taking a few funny jabs at herself. I recommend it!
I would like to thank Rebecca Benedict for her blunt honesty of being an authentic mom. Rebecca is a mom and a woman who’s not the least afraid to live life the way she feels is right for her son and family. She encourages growth and self-expression in her son, and is upfront about her parenting challenges. This “Honey Badger” of a mom attacks life just the way she wants it, marches to the beat of her own drum, and truly just “DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT!” about what others think about it. We all need to be more like a Honey Badger!
Until Next Time...
Be Strong*Be Brave*Be a Bulldog
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Filed under: Mommy Blog Project