Welcome to the new home for the Strong as a Mother movement!
Note that I said "new home" and not "new movement". That's because Strong as a Mother, or SAAM as we sometimes call it, has actually been quietly growing for a few years now. You can read the Strong as a Mother story and learn how it all came together.
Basically, Strong as a Mother is a joint venture between Jenna Hobbs and Tamara Komuniecki, borne of the love of our children, and an acknowledgement that mothering them will likely be the most challenging and yet most rewarding job of our lives.
If Jenna was the birth mother of this movement, Tamara is its adoptive mother. This week, we are sharing Jenna's story.
Mother of four (Halle, Hannah, Beau and Thea), 31 years old
Lives in: Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada
What is your mothering story? When and how did you decide to start your family, and then tell me about the decision to grow your family, as well!
To be completely honest, my first baby was not planned. She was a whoops. I was 24 when I had her but I felt so scared because it was not as planned. Little did I know that at that moment I would become who I was meant to be. A mother. Becoming a mother changed me completely and I cannot image it any other way.
What does your day-to-day routine look like with four small kids?
It's a lot of short routines. The first priority is babies, because no one wants to listen to a crying baby. So get them fed and happy. Next is getting my six year old dressed, fed and ready for school. Once she is on the bus, I work on tidying up clothes and such for the three youngest. I always try to fit a tea in there too. Sometimes we make it by 8:30am sometimes it's not until 10:30am, and that's okay.
What do you do to get your work done?
Well I need to be creative here. I am a photographer, so some of my time is spent out taking photos but there is a lot of work in front of a computer.
I wear babies. Always. When you have lots of little ones that want to be held, wearing at least one is always an easy solution. I often get lots of my computer work done after kiddos are in bed.
What has been your worst mothering moment so far?
I have had a few moments where my husband has been out of town. It's usually day five. When I just close the door to the pantry. Breathe. My patience is thin. I am longing for bedtime; however, I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone. There are many moms out there with the same struggles as me.
What is has been your strongest mothering moment?
I think this past year. I have always been very emotional, cry at the drop of a hat. You know, every commercial and movie sends me to tears. Well, this past year I barely cried. How can that be!? I was exhausted and overwhelmed with twins, a two-year-old, and a five-year-old. I think I was in survival mode. I had to just do it; however, now that the twins have turned one, I feel things are a bit easier and I am back to my usual teary self.
What do you wish moms would stop doing (to each other)?
Mom guilt. I do it. You do it. Let's encourage each other to stop. We are fine, just the way we are.
What is your mothering wish for other mamas? What do you like to impart or share with other mamas?
You are doing just fine. You know best for your child. Don't compare yourself to anyone.
You are such a proponent of and role model for fitness and healthy family living - do you have any great tips or thoughts to share for a mom who needs a kick of confidence?
You can do it. You can. There is nothing you can't do. It all depends on what you put in. Start slow. Baby steps. Change one habit. Even if it's to drink more water or to walk a certain number of steps a day. Keep changing a habit here and there and before you know it you'll be well on your way to healthier living.
How did you come up with Strong as a Mother in the first place? Did those words just pop into your head one time, and you knew you had to do something with them?
I organized a group of women to do a fitness class a couple times a week. I surrounded myself with these women. Mothers. I realized that this group was not only about fitness and health. It was something more. Women are so smart, so powerful, so strong. I myself enjoyed this energy. I saw the strength in them. It was kind of like, if they can be a mother to their children, they can do anything. So I decided it needed to be on a t-shirt.
Why did you agree to Tamara's offer of partnership?
I had a lot of women wanting a STRONG AS A MOTHER tee. I wanted to focus on my kids, my twins and pass the torch to a mother who had the means, a mother who saw the meaning as I did. I felt Tamara, a mother, with her shop, Delish General Store
, a small Canadian business, was a perfect fit.