All Our Little Messes

Episode 5 - Motherhood Reclaimed: Building Villages and Challenging Norms with Danika Norman

August 24, 2023 All Our Little Messes Season 1 Episode 5
Episode 5 - Motherhood Reclaimed: Building Villages and Challenging Norms with Danika Norman
All Our Little Messes
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All Our Little Messes
Episode 5 - Motherhood Reclaimed: Building Villages and Challenging Norms with Danika Norman
Aug 24, 2023 Season 1 Episode 5
All Our Little Messes

When I first became a mother, I remember feeling like an island - alone and isolated. But then I met mothers like Danika Norman, a mother of three and founder of Victory Mamas, who took a simple idea of starting a mom's group and turned it into a thriving business. Today, Danika and I are going to share stories, experiences, and insights about motherhood, and the crucial role of community in navigating these early years.

We'll explore the stark contrast between the nurturing communal structures of early civilizations and our modern day society that often leaves mothers feeling unsupported and isolated. We'll challenge the common belief that postpartum depression is simply to be expected, and discuss how this narrative has shifted our power and knowledge as mothers. We will also dig into the medicalization of motherhood, and how it has led to a disconnect between mothers and their children. With Danika's expertise, we'll highlight the importance of support systems like midwives and postpartum doulas in bridging this gap.

Finally, as two mothers who have experienced the difficulties of building our own villages, we will share practical steps on how to find and foster relationships in our local communities. We'll talk about the power of understanding ourselves, initiating conversations, using social media, and hosting meetups to connect with others. Whether you're a new mother or a seasoned one, whether you're finding your village or just interested in the dynamics of motherhood and community, this conversation is sure to offer you both rooted wisdom and tangible solutions.

Follow Victory Mamas on Instagram and Facebook!

Support the Show.

If you like this show and believe in its message, please consider supporting our Patreon. For as little as $3/month, get access to behind the scenes content, early access to podcast episodes and more!

Send any questions or comments to allourlittlemesses@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you guys!

Subscribe to the newsletter here to get periodic updates on blog posts and more!

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Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes content and everyday posts about parenting and marriage.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When I first became a mother, I remember feeling like an island - alone and isolated. But then I met mothers like Danika Norman, a mother of three and founder of Victory Mamas, who took a simple idea of starting a mom's group and turned it into a thriving business. Today, Danika and I are going to share stories, experiences, and insights about motherhood, and the crucial role of community in navigating these early years.

We'll explore the stark contrast between the nurturing communal structures of early civilizations and our modern day society that often leaves mothers feeling unsupported and isolated. We'll challenge the common belief that postpartum depression is simply to be expected, and discuss how this narrative has shifted our power and knowledge as mothers. We will also dig into the medicalization of motherhood, and how it has led to a disconnect between mothers and their children. With Danika's expertise, we'll highlight the importance of support systems like midwives and postpartum doulas in bridging this gap.

Finally, as two mothers who have experienced the difficulties of building our own villages, we will share practical steps on how to find and foster relationships in our local communities. We'll talk about the power of understanding ourselves, initiating conversations, using social media, and hosting meetups to connect with others. Whether you're a new mother or a seasoned one, whether you're finding your village or just interested in the dynamics of motherhood and community, this conversation is sure to offer you both rooted wisdom and tangible solutions.

Follow Victory Mamas on Instagram and Facebook!

Support the Show.

If you like this show and believe in its message, please consider supporting our Patreon. For as little as $3/month, get access to behind the scenes content, early access to podcast episodes and more!

Send any questions or comments to allourlittlemesses@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you guys!

Subscribe to the newsletter here to get periodic updates on blog posts and more!

Buy Me a Coffee!

If you liked this episode, consider buying me a coffee! It'll help keep me awake during late night editing sessions. Thank you!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes content and everyday posts about parenting and marriage.

Sounds from Zapsplat.com

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome back to all our little messes. This is episode five, and today I have a guest for you guys that I'm really excited about. I've been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks. Her name is Dana Cudnorman, and she has a lot of really great insights for this episode that we're going to be talking about. We're going to be talking about building a village and how difficult it is in today's society. So, danica, why don't you just start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Speaker 2:

Cool. So my name is Danica. I'm a mom of three. I basically started my business Victory Mamas and it was built around this concept of needing a village as a new mom and I had found myself in a new community with a lot of fear at the time of what was going on in our country and COVID and everything like that, and I really wanted fellow moms to help me figure out how to navigate early motherhood in light of everything that was going on and I just had a lot of fears around like, oh my gosh, my kids, they need people, they need friends, like how do I?

Speaker 2:

create that for them. And so, yeah, I started my mom's group, which eventually evolved into a business and otherwise. My background is just in marketing and that has definitely helped me along the way. And I come from a family of four girls and you'd think that with that came a really strong village background, but actually I don't think that was true in my case. It's really interesting. So that's part of my story. Yeah, that's me. I'm from kind of from the general North Idaho, pacific Northwest area. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Nice, nice, yeah, and it's really interesting that you mentioned that you came from a family with a lot of daughters, because I also had that experience where I came from family that I'm the oldest of 14, and there's eight girls in there and yeah, there's not that I don't have that sense of community either, which I think is like such a big contrast to what life used to be like, where we had these generational villages where everybody knew everybody, everybody was related. We even lived in generational homes. You look at early civilization, like native cultures and things like that, or even reading the Bible the Old.

Speaker 1:

Testament where they talk about that. And yeah, it's very different from how society is structured now, where we're almost encouraged to figure it out alone.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's definitely a lot of pressure put on us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's this crazy story that I heard through my husband's grandma and she's one of my favorite people who has definitely become part of my village after marriage and in motherhood, and she I can't remember the exact specifics, but basically she was an ordained minister in an evangelical church and this story had been around since the 70s or something like that, and one of the ministers, back when there was some kind of mission work being done, they went to somewhere in South America where it was tribal and this minister missionary fell in love with one of the village girls and they got married and then eventually they lived there for a little bit and then eventually they came back up to the United States to raise their firstborn child and this is around the 60s or 70s and the native South American woman eventually, just one day, left and it wasn't like your typical divorce situation, you know, right, but she was just like this is not how it's supposed to be.

Speaker 2:

She felt so isolated, she could not understand how American women were living as mothers, and I just think that's such a powerful story, however much truth is to it, however much folklore is there, but it rings true because I've lived that and I know what she's talking about. I know that side of the story and it's so true. American primitive cultures know that it needs to be a community effort, that it needs to be. It's like some of the earliest knowledge we have and it's lost right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, and I think it's like even ingrained down into our biology, like we're not wired to be alone ever. No, we start to have major psychological problems when we are alone. And you can see that in society Women are isolated and alone and there's been this huge rise in postpartum depression and things like that. And I feel like I haven't actually looked into this, but I feel like if we start tracing it back, then we can actually see where it started to happen. And even early mothers and I've noticed this, my experience giving birth in hospitals they don't send you home with resources. They don't send you home, even asking if you have a support system. I was never asked if I had a support system when I left the hospital.

Speaker 1:

They would ask me hey, is your car seat? Do you have a car seat? And that was it. That was it. So this is your first appointment, your pediatrician appointment, and then I was sent home and I was basically expected to just figure it out. So yeah, I'm this 23-year-old new mom with no idea what she's doing, but I'm expected to figure it out without any help. And it didn't used to be like that. Everyone used to just take care of each other's children and it was like an expected thing and it was considered an honor.

Speaker 2:

Well, so much of it is tied to. In my opinion, it's just once we started to give away our innate knowledge and our innate power in ourselves of knowing our health and knowing our educating our kids, once we started to shift that power away to the quote-unquote experts that's a huge part of this puzzle where the lack of support started to happen. It's like, okay, we give away our power and our community power over to the experts and it's just this top-down model rather than this nice communal level playing field and generational playing like more terrorist rather than just a vertical line. That's how it should be. There should be elders and there should be current, like your own mother not necessarily your grandma, but your own mother who can walk alongside you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've heard of so many moms having that similar experience and it varies hospital to hospital, caretaker to caretaker, you know and it's getting better in some places, but that's not an uncommon experience that women have, where they're just so underrepresented, so not supported, and it's really really heartbreaking for me Well, and it goes beyond not being supported, like because you're so isolated and because you don't have that support system.

Speaker 1:

If something pops up during early motherhood, you have no knowledge to fall back on, and so if you have a health problem or your baby has a health problem, you honestly do feel attacked.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like I and I experienced that like for the first month after I had my first baby, I never left my house.

Speaker 1:

I didn't leave the house and when I finally did, it was to go to the doctor and we were in and out of the doctor's office every week for the first three months and I was really struggling with breastfeeding and just with general infant care. Like I had this tiny little person that I was expecting to take care of and you know, being the oldest of 14, you would think I would have lots of experience with that. But there's a huge difference between babysitting your siblings and actually raising your own. And like nothing had prepared me for that and I had, I had no support and so, like, when we started having like health problems and stuff with the baby like it was a very isolating experience I was, I felt, attacked because I had even the people that I thought were there to support me, like his, his caregivers were the ones that were actively like Attacking me and calling me a bad mother and stuff, and so, like it was it was horrible.

Speaker 1:

It was very isolating and so, yeah, they've like society, especially in the US, and I was. I was talking to my husband about this the other day and I've noticed it is a Problem that is kind of just in the US. So you look at how society is structured in Europe and even places like Canada and their healthcare system and family law is very much centered around Support and community for mothers, even even down to you know, even down to things like paid time off. If you're a working mom, you know there's places in Canada where you get up to a year of paid time off and that's actually written into into labor law.

Speaker 2:

Here. Yeah, it's, it's. That's a tough one, you know. Because, yeah, because like when? So this is a great point for us to go off of like where do we think? Like we can Talk all day long about how horrible it is, but it's like okay, well, where does the solution come from? And, in my opinion, I don't think it should come from the state.

Speaker 1:

No no.

Speaker 2:

Once it's written into laws like that, then it has to be supported with funding, and then that's requiring Taxpayers to financially support you, you know, in your decisions as a mother, and I don't and I don't agree with that, but but I Do think it does need to be more part of our culture.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah it has been taken away out of our culture, like I said for so long, and given to the experts. And you know Like I feel for my own mom, who the way she birthed Versus how I chose to have my children, which was by home birth right, thankfully, with her presence and support there during during laboring for all three of my kids. But she had four daughters, mm-hmm. All Three of them were natural Deliveries, not all of them by choice. That way, like some of them just arrived too soon, you know, alone in a hospital room, you know, without my dad necessarily present. All of them, wow, definitely, definitely not like a Super useful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and just a nurse up until the moment the baby is literally coming out. You know, some in a cold, you know the hospital room and With no pain, help and just I just shudder at the thought of that's so unnatural.

Speaker 2:

So what her experience was like that compared to what my experience was, I mean to her that's huge. That's a huge and it's a huge positive leap. But still, for me, in postpartum, you know, I had a similar experiences. You were Granted it was like 2020 and I felt like the world was ending, you know, and it was all that crazy, just very hard as a new mom, yeah, having your first child and not knowing what you're doing and then all of a sudden the world is shutting down and you can't, is a whole other aspect.

Speaker 2:

But knowing, yeah, that you know, my mom watched me care for my kid for like a week, a week and a half. Then she was like, okay, you got it. Um, that first first, like week, week and a half, was really good and it was really a beautiful time for me to have with my First kid and my mom was there trying to help me a little bit. But she's like, oh, you're natural, you've got it. And then, by week or by month to, the anxiety started to set in where you are, just like I don't know what I'm doing, and then the sleep is not as easy. And so then you're, you know, in a spiral, sleepless, like it just really starts to calm a compound, right, the lack of sleep and the anxiety about it all and not knowing what you're doing and the frantic googling. And this is when I was, this is when I'm still, you know, trusting the experts and Googling the experts.

Speaker 1:

They had me using an app to track his feet. Yes his diapers like everything it was horrible. I was setting so many timers and googling so many things and pumping and the formula and like yes. Yeah, and like you know, it was funny because once I stopped all that and like I was just like you know what, I'm just gonna trust the child to tell me when he's hungry, instead of just putting him on a timer and force-feeding him. Yeah it was so amazing how quickly that anxiety went away Once.

Speaker 1:

I was just like screw it all. He will tell me when he's hungry. He will tell me when he's tired. I'm not gonna wake him up to feed him because, yeah, you know.

Speaker 2:

It's such a huge step for a mom to take to Rick to realize I know how to be a mother.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I know how to be a mother. It's built in me. It was God-given.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 2:

Got. The Lord gave me this strength and this knowledge, and I just need to tune out everything and listen. And so on one hand you can say I Need all this support, you know, but the more information I took in, the more overwhelmed I became, and so I really needed to stop and and just tune into myself and tune into my own mothering instincts. And my own mothering instincts were Far superior than anything I was reading, yeah, but it also was so Enriched by now my experience of having like a solid village to mother Within, and there's so many questions that I have answered in such a better way than Frantic Googling in the middle of the night, yeah, and so many moms that I am connected to that know so much and have given me resources that I would not have been able to necessarily figure out on my own intuition.

Speaker 2:

But that's a very important first step is like first silence, the noise, get into your heart and your body as a mother, because Without it motherhood is gonna be such a struggle. It's gonna be. You're gonna be fighting your earthly desires. You're gonna be thinking you deserve this or that. You're gonna be Ten times more anxious, I guarantee you, until you just like step into your mother's skin.

Speaker 1:

I like that your mother skin, yeah, yeah, I like that, no, and body it, you know, yeah, and I Mean, and like I think that one of the first steps to with that would be like you, if you can't, if you don't have a family unit either, because, like a common problem with a lot of new moms is, like we're spread all over the globe, like when I gave birth, my family was down in Oregon and I was up in Alaska, so there was 1500.

Speaker 1:

That's a far away, yeah, and like I was not native to the area I'd moved to, and when I got married I kind of drew into myself a little bit and then it got worse when I got pregnant and so like I hadn't actively worked at building a support system outside of my family and so I didn't have anything. I had no support, I had no one I could call up and say, hey, what is this? What is happening? Why is he doing this? Why won't he stop crying? So, yeah, google was my only, was my option. I Googled and so, yeah, like stepping away from Dr Google and just trusting myself and trusting my baby was just, it was a huge, huge first step.

Speaker 2:

Huge first step, but Some moms don't even get there. You know, unfortunately, in our modern culture, like there's some new moms that I know that not new moms, but some fellow moms that I've known and you can tell when they haven't done that because they're you can still sense that they're disassociated from motherhood. You can sense that they're a little uncomfortable with their children. And you can sense that they're lacking their mother instinct. They're not stepping into it, you know, and like.

Speaker 1:

I think the part of that problem too is that we as a society, especially in the US, have taken children out of society. We have tried to remove children out of society instead of building our society around children and recognizing the fact that they are the future of this world and so we have to build that we have to build our society around them.

Speaker 1:

We're expecting these children, these little people who have no concept of the world around them outside of themselves, to build their life around society, and so that's also like we've removed children from society and so they've become like very clinical.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and they're an afterthought.

Speaker 1:

They're an afterthought and so and they're seen as a problem, which is why I mean all of these I'm probably gonna get a lot of hate for this one, but all of the doctor visits that you have to continuously bring them to and just the act of giving birth itself is so medicalized these days, because giving birth and having children is seen as like a clinical problem that has to be fixed.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a medical condition.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. And they're not something that has to be revered and taken care of.

Speaker 2:

Which is so heartbreaking, because the experience that I had going through home birth for each one of my babies, every single birth was different. Every single birth added something to me as a mother and it is an incredible, transformative experience that every single woman who has a normal pregnancy which is the majority of pregnancies can have this experience and have that ability to get a leg up, to step into their motherhood, and it's just medicalized and it's just sterilized, and so you don't get to have that same type of experience and instead you have so many moms who have birth trauma in our country, which is a whole other conversation.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Birth trauma is huge, and then the postpartum issues are huge and instead of having this like amazing transformative experience, connection to God, I mean literally the veil is the thinnest it will ever be as a human. Yep, it's so thin during the birthing experience. If you birth naturally and with support.

Speaker 2:

I've got intended, you know, in the hands of good midwives or you know, however you choose to do it. But the connection to God and the connection to purpose and the connection to becoming a mother, to stepping from maiden to mother, it's so important and so awesome to have that experience and it breaks my heart how many women are even like, scared out of it and believe that it's so dangerous.

Speaker 1:

They're robbed of that, but that belief and that understanding, like because you know from the very first moment you step into an OB office, everything is very, it's all medical, the blood draws, the tests and all this fear mongering. Oh, if we don't test you for this, then you can't do this when you give birth 100%, and that's a whole other conversation because I know I could talk about that.

Speaker 1:

You work for me, dude, yeah, so don't tell me what I can't do, but yeah, so that's a whole other conversation. But yeah, so, like for the moment, you step into an OB office. It's, and like, I, I, I, I this claimer here I still go to a midwife. I go to a midwife who works in an OB office, but she's, she's amazing, she's just so, so chill. It was so different going to her versus going to my first OB. My first OB was just, it was like he was performing surgery.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because they were surgeons. Yeah, he was so cold and detached and afterwards like this is surgery and that's, and that's where birth, that's where the origins of our modern, modern hospitalized birthing experience comes from, is because they are trained surgeons. Obstetrics is surgery and that's how they were are making, that's how they're like. Standardizing childbirth? Yeah, Because by more and more C-sections, our C-section rate in this country is in ordinary, it's so high for a Western developed country. And why? Because our model is off of profit, it's a business.

Speaker 1:

We even have things like planned C-section. I've actually talked to moms who had a planned C-section and when I asked them I was like why did you do C-section? And they're like, oh, I just didn't want to go through the trauma of giving birth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm just like it's really sad.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, what did he say to you? What did your doctor say to you? Right?

Speaker 2:

How, what there's, but not even, not even. What did your doctor say to you? But for some of these women it's what did your mother say to you. What did your mother say to you? Yes, because honestly, some of it comes from that, where they experienced the previous generation was so traumatic and was so formed at that point that they're like oh, no honey, no honey, you don't want to go through birth, you just schedule a C-section cut out that baby, get it done.

Speaker 2:

it's clean, you don't have nothing to worry about and they are robbed of a huge human experience.

Speaker 1:

I mean, when I was young, I had a very deep fear of childbirth, but I was lucky enough to actually attend a couple of my siblings' births when I was a teenager, and then I also started training to be a doula when I was a 17 or 18 years old, I can't remember and so through my training, I had to go to multiple births and assist as an assistant doula, essentially, and so During that process I actually got to see what birth really was. Even though I was at a couple of births that ended up there was a couple of emergent situations it still showed me what it was. It was the miracle of life. I remember the first time I ever saw a child being born.

Speaker 1:

I just broke down in tears because this was just not at all like Hollywood. Hollywood, you watch a movie of a show with somebody's giving birth and there's screaming and crying and everybody's running around frantically. It's an emergency. What I was seeing happening was nothing like an emergency. It was like this natural breathing kind of thing. She literally just breathed the baby out. It was like, from that point on I was like huh. Obviously there will be pain involved, but it's not the kind of pain that people think is so psychologically damaging that you have to cut into yourself and take the baby out that way, because it's just-.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, pain is a whole other conversation, because pain will be intensified if you're in an environment where your body shuts down because it doesn't feel safe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, once you go into that fight or flight mode, everything becomes that part of your body.

Speaker 2:

That's why labor stalling and all the interventions that happen in hospital. That's why it's a pain. Obviously that's a whole other conversation, but yeah, it's sad, it breaks my heart. Birth trauma is a real problem and I try to spread the word as much as I can of the glories of home birth and mid-birth free care. If you can at least do that Postpartum doulas, postpartum doulas Postpartum doulas are amazing Postpartum doulas.

Speaker 1:

I had one woman who, while I was training to be a doula, she was like oh, I don't know if I could be a doula, I don't know if I could be there and be responsible or something wrong. I'm like, well, there's other types of doulas. There's this huge, huge need for postpartum doulas, because women don't have a village, they don't have a support system. So a lot of times, the postpartum doula that you hire is your village and is your support system during the first couple of weeks after giving birth. And so that is a huge, a huge mission that I think a woman would definitely be blessed to take, because there's definitely a huge need for that.

Speaker 2:

It's funny that you say that, because my own mom trained as a postpartum doula and was planning to put it to use for all of her daughters having their kids, but she really did not step into that when it came time to actually do it. At least for me and I think part of that for her comes from a place of like difficulty seeing how different my experience is versus how hers probably was. We haven't really talked about that a lot.

Speaker 2:

It's just about giving her grace and her experience versus my experience. And yeah, I'd love it to look a little different, but I also consider myself looking for how much support I have compared to some women out there that I know. So it's just not ingrained in our culture. We're not the third world where it's still a part of their entire structure, societal structure. It's so far gone, unfortunately, but it is kind of like coming around again.

Speaker 1:

And yeah, that was the thing, because the first time I ever heard the whole it takes a village phrase. I was just like, oh, hillary Clinton was the first thing that popped into my head. And then I think I was probably like 14 or 15 and my dad had repeated it and he was he's a very politically minded person and so, like Hillary Clinton said it and so I was just like, ah, so, and like he was talking about how she wants the government to raise our children and everything else. And I never questioned it, I never looked into it. And then, a couple of years ago, I was like, huh, I wonder what it really is.

Speaker 1:

Because I was like raising, like you know, taking a village, because I'd run into, you know, like social media influencers or whatever who are talking about their village. And so I started looking into it and it's like it's not letting other people raise your kids, you're still their parent, you're still raising your own children, you're just building a support system. And, like you said in the beginning of the show, it's it's building a village so that your kids can have one as well, so that your kids can have friends and your kids can have a support system as they grow up and so that your daughters can have that support system in that village. It's like a multi-generational thing that it needs to be.

Speaker 1:

It really needs to be rebuilt in our society because, yeah, we have been robbed of that and yeah, yeah, so what advice would you give to people who don't have that support system and don't have that village? Like how would you tell them to build that village from scratch Ground?

Speaker 2:

zero. Well, I think that, like that first step that we talked about, where you got a step, you got to silence the noise and you got to, like, step into your natural, innate motherhood wisdom, and it's there, it's deep in grain, and every single one of us, if you birthed a child, it's there, I promise you, and it may take a lot of work to get to, but it's there. God gave it to you. So you know, that's really important. It comes from knowing yourself well. It comes from knowing, like, what you want out of life, well, and so you've got to get clear on those things.

Speaker 2:

And so, like how I continued to figure out how to build my villages, I was like, okay, I'm looking for a certain type of woman, one that is like-minded, right, what am I into?

Speaker 2:

I'm into really old fashioned things, like old fashioned skills. Right, I know that I really want to learn how to sew, how to can, how to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the things that grandma used to do that I never learned from my grandma. That's the kind of woman that I'm into. They're probably conservative and or, at least you know, appreciate traditional values. And if I can find that kind of woman around me, then I know that I'll at least have one person you know to rely on, yeah, and so I just like put that idea out there. And then I was like I can probably use social media and so, like some thoughts that were bubbling in my head over several years actually just started to come together. And then one night, in a fit of inspiration, I was like I know the name and I put together like all the little brand assets and I just started Instagram, so I utilized social media because I was like looking for anything that's out there, like that in my, in my community, here in North.

Speaker 2:

Idaho, and I was not really finding exactly that, and so I was like I'm going to just build it myself, you know, and so it's always an option to start. Whatever it is you're looking for yourself, look and see if it's out there, but if it's not, let that be a kick in the pants to like do something about it for yourself. And that's the glory of our modern world, right Like right. We don't have to just rely on this village that was already built around us, that maybe we hate everybody.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I see like, for a lot of reasons, I kind of hate social media because I feel like it's isolated mothers even further. Yeah, but it can be an amazing tool to to bring people together and, like I've, I've met some people through, you know, the use of things such as, like just the peanut app, for instance. I've met some moms through the peanut app, where I have a hard time actually carrying on a conversation and then taking it from the conversation online to an actual in real life meetup. But in spite of that, I've actually used social media and modern technology and I've actually made a couple of connections and we still talk and we're still friends and we still meet up and our kids are friends and yes and no, it's definitely an amazing tool to use, yep.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but that's how I was able to leverage like a platform, I guess, for Victory Mamas, for the Moms group that I started is. I was like you know what? I have a bread recipe that was passed down to me from my mom that I've been making for 10 years. It's not sourdough, but it's a solid bread recipe that I use in my own family every single week. So I'm gonna share this one thing that I have and see what happens, and I just put it out there. I don't even know how people found it.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, it exploded though.

Speaker 2:

But the first class that I held first meetup you could call it first gathering was eight women who trusted me enough to come into my house and learn a bread recipe for me from a perfect stranger on the internet, and I had to trust them too, that I could share my address with them, right, and they wouldn't murder my children, and so, yeah, so I even I did it that way and I also, concurrently, was connected through a social media group, the Freedom Keepers, to a different mom's group that is larger, and it's just amazing, right, I love these moms so much and we're such a force, and so in both cases, social media was my tool To meet all these moms. But the cool thing about Victory Mom is about my mom's group that I started. Is it started with social media? Right, but the priority is to meet in person and to learn something from someone in the community.

Speaker 2:

So how I structured it is I. The idea was like I have these things that I want to learn. There's got to be someone around me that knows it, and I want to meet them. First of all, I want to talk to them, and two like maybe I can learn some things about motherhood while I'm at it, or at least we can like commiserate the difficulties, because at that point in my life I was still holding onto a lot of that like whoa, it's me as a mom, and a lot of that like isolation, right.

Speaker 2:

But now that I have such a stronger village around me, I wallow a lot less in that, which is a cool, I think, byproduct of the positive outcomes of a village. But yeah, so it's like if you leverage people around you while you're building it yourself, you're basically calling upon people to step into that. And so, yeah, I was like okay, so I'm gonna start. I'm gonna start just like you go in class. Like okay, I'll start. I have this recipe, I have this bread recipe, let me do a class. Then, from there it just snowballed. Someone was like okay, well, I've been sewing my whole life. It's like great, I would love to talk to you and I would love to pick your brain, because I did not.

Speaker 2:

I was not raised sewing. I took one like summer quilting course because my mom threw me into it, you know, and it was not part of our daily life. We were not brought alongside to learn how it used to be, which was kind of the more I don't know past couple centuries in our country type way of doing the village.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was just a way of life before modern technology came in and just made everything easier and made us all lazy. Yeah, and toys, you know.

Speaker 2:

Rather than just learning how to be a human, toys were thrown into the mix.

Speaker 1:

We don't need those skills anymore.

Speaker 2:

Play with this toy, because you don't need to learn.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that was my three-year-olds, or my four-year-olds, for anybody who hears that, this is a parenting family podcast.

Speaker 1:

So you might hear children in the background occasionally. So yeah, and like it's funny, you mentioned, you know, the mental funk that you found yourself into and how that was kind of lessened after you surrounded yourself by these women and started learning on from them and leaning on them when you needed help. Like mental health is a huge part of like building a successful village and a successful community of women around you. Like don't be afraid to ask them for help and because that's like that's the way it should be, we should use them for support and they should use us for support as well, because you know, we're kind of we're all in the trenches together. So yeah, it's true, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a huge part of that is is like taking that step from it being surface level to to jumping down into a deeper relationship and building those personal relationships.

Speaker 2:

And that's something that I was not, that was not ingrained in me as a child, and it's something that I've struggled with my entire adult life, is how to build solid relationships, because I don't know if it was part of my, my childhood being raised in a small town where things were just like arranged and we didn't really have to like work for anything Right. My parents didn't do a great job at teaching me social graces. I don't know what it is that is like broken in me, but it's just always been really hard for me and it still is. You know, I don't have it all figured out by any means, but but yeah, I think it's not necessarily that like I've leaned on these people super hard and like hard times or anything like that, but it's even just like having conversations Right About this kind of stuff, like how you and I are talking and being like wow, I'm not crazy, I'm not I'm not alone in my thinking this.

Speaker 2:

Right, you've had that experience too as a mom. Cool, like I'm not doing it all wrong, you know?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I haven't completely failed, you know, and I suppose beyond that too, because like once you realize you have like a common problem, like sometimes you're like okay, what can we do to fix that common problem?

Speaker 2:

How can?

Speaker 1:

we help each other and that's kind of like the start of the whole the village. That's that's the start of your village is like how can we help each other? So, totally yeah, yeah. So before we close, do you have any words of encouragement for anybody who's struggling to build their village?

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I would just say, like it's not an impossible thing. You know, there was probably a point at which it felt impossible for me and that was just like what am I going to do? Right, like, you know, right after I moved here and we were into our new house, and I was overwhelmed, and and it's just one day at a time, you know, with any new undertaking it's just one foot in front of the other. So, you know, start to know yourself well, like I don't know how many personality tests I've taken in my life. I've taken a lot and I like, really, I really know myself pretty darn well and I think that's a really important thing to do is just get to know yourself really well, then you'll figure out what you're looking for.

Speaker 2:

And that will like make you be drawn to certain people and you'll be able to spot them out a lot easier.

Speaker 2:

And then, you know, you may be in a public place where, like, you're at the beach, for instance here in North Idaho, at our lovely Lake beaches, and you see a mom who you're like, she looks like she's very like minded, like she's into the same kind of things that we're, you know, and I even met a mom that way and I struck up a conversation with her and I was like, hey, you know, and our kids were kind of playing with each other a little bit and we got to talking and oh, you guys just moved here too, cool, you know. And I told her about Victory Mamas and so she ended up coming to one of my Victory Mamas and supports it, you know still, so there's just just like, get yourself out there, know yourself and put yourself out there and utilize social media. But then, like, get in person, make in person meetings a priority, like, stop, stop relying on other people, to like make the thing happen. You know, show up and make. You know, start meetups, start whatever it is.

Speaker 2:

You know, even with your podcast, veronica, you could start a local meetup and say hey if you're, if you're a local North Idaho mom and you like my podcast, come, you know, to my monthly meetup and we'll like talk about all this stuff in person. So we have our own support system.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely All right. Well, thank you very much, Deanna, because this has been an amazing conversation to have with you, and I'm hoping we can have something like this again.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sounds good. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

Yep, thank you. Thank you so much, everybody. Bye, bye.

Challenges in Village Building Today
Challenging the Medicalization of Motherhood
Impact of OBs and Need for Support
Building Solid Relationships and Finding Support