reb·el noun rebəl/ Rebel a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country. a person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.
Picture the unconventional advocate for Motherhood and insert our cover girl Nikita Stanley. Drawn by her anti-mom blog philosophy, her fresh and fun take on mothering is what drew us to her community. What we love about Nikita is her unwavering support of new mothers, with a non-judgemental voice for today’s woman navigating this new found extension of self. As a fellow Torontonian, and nursing bra brand champion of Mayana Genevière, we asked Nikita to be the face of our Transcendence Collection (naturally), and at 3 months postpartum, she rocked it!
After convincing her to get undressed and photographed, getting the inside scoop on all things Rebel Mama was a breeze! Check out our interview below along with some behind the scenes photos and insight on the next steps of Nikita’s calling.
QUOTE THAT RESONATES
“Be kind to judgemental people. They are judging themselves the most – and THAT ain’t no easy life.” (And pretty much anything else that is a product of Cleo Wade’s brain)
What do you appreciate about how you were mothered that has influenced your mothering?
I was mothered by 2 women – my mother and my grandmother. It taught me that [motherhood] this is not a one-woman show. It taught me that having multiple hands on deck in the business of raising children doesn’t dilute the lessons/the influence/the love of a mother, but it actually amplifies it. I think being a good mom often means letting other people love your kids and letting your kids love those people too without allowing your ego to get in the way.
What is one thing that surprised you about yourself once you became a mother?
The clarity that came almost immediately after getting home from the hospital. All of a sudden it was crystal clear what and who was important in my life. When I was pregnant I had so much anxiety surrounding all the sacrifices I’d have to make once the baby arrived… but when the time came, it was like everything fell into 2 neat categories: Things that were rendered obsolete and things that were worth fighting to find the time for.
What is your idea of women supporting women?
Let’s call a spade a spade here. We exist in a capitalist society in which money talks. When you spend money on something, you are saying “I support you.” So I think we need to be conscious of where our money is going and more specifically, WHO our money is going to. That’s why I’m so big on supporting small, locally run businesses, ESPECIALLY when they are owned/run by women.
Clearly, support is not purely synonymous with $$$. I think a huge part of it is just showing up for each other – and there are so many ways to do that. When a woman in your life or in your community needs something that you can give – GIVE IT! It could be something as simple as a safe place to vent or a hand to lend. I think the more our daughters see us operate this way, the more likely they’ll be to recreate that “sisterhood” mentality in their own lives.
What do you want women to know:
I want women to know how incredibly powerful they are and how that power can multiply exponentially when we join forces with each other. I think deep down we all know that – there’s something that draws women to one another that’s almost primal. All these social constructs of women being catty and jealous and all that other crap was specifically designed to stop us from realizing our full potential. I think women are understanding that now more than ever and I think that’s why we, as a whole, are currently kicking such monumental ass.
ALL ABOUT ME
What does a typical day look like in the rebel mama house?
I try to get up at least an hour (sometimes two) before everyone else – usually that’s around 6am. That’s my main window of time to work on The Rebel Mama and all the other projects that surround it. By 8am, everyone is up and it’s a clusterfuck of nursing, breakfast making, puree-thawing, Paw-Patrol watching, living room hockey playing, lego building and park going before the babies (2.5y and 6mos) start alternating nap times from about 10am onward.
If the baby is napping and the toddler is playing independently, I’ll usually hop on my computer or get on a quick call with my Rebel Mama partner in crime, Aleks Jassem, to discuss something-or-another before an inevitable disaster arises and pulls my attention back to the babes.
Daddy gets home early from work most days (which is SO NICE) so we’ll usually either go for a family excursion to the park or the grocery store or the grandparents, or Daddy will take the toddler on some form of adventure while I enjoy some quiet time with the littlest one. After bedtime rolls around (everyone is asleep by 8pm), we’ll eat something (unless we’re too tired – it’s sad but it’s true), pour some wine and I’ll either veg on the couch or I’ll write if I’m feeling creative. I try to be in bed by 11pm but I’m addicted to late-night political commentary shows so it doesn’t always work out that way!
When no one is watching, I:
Exfoliate head to toe, then moisturize head toe, then bask in my silky-skinned glory.
How has motherhood influenced your style?
There has been a major simplification overhaul since I’ve become a mom. I used to so enjoy the process of trying on a million different combinations of fun wardrobe pieces to find the perfect ensemble to fit my mood. Now I just stick to what I know will work. The base of most my outfits is jeans, a basic tee or cashmere sweater, with a pair of walking boots or Stan Smiths. I switch it up with my (slightly obscene) collection of jackets, hats and sunglasses and call that a day.
What is your must-have wardrobe item that gets you through the day?
My Mayana Geneviere bras! (We had no influence over this awesome answer)
How did you start The Rebel Mama?
It started as a collection of my random ramblings (pre-babies). Back then it was called “Ooh Nikita” and it remained under that name up until about 2 years ago when my first baby was about 6 months old and most of my content became about the experience of pregnancy and early motherhood. Once I started posting about that stuff in my usual no-holds-barred, unapologetically honest style, people actually started sharing my work! At that point it was like, “oh shit, this is totally a mom-blog now” so it underwent a rebrand and the rest is history.
What advice would you give to women looking to start a blog?
I would say take advantage of the time period in which nobody is really reading your work. That’s the time to practice, to make mistakes, to experiment with your visual identity and to find your voice. It’s so much better to mess up when you don’t have thousands of people watching you. Practice really does make perfect and that’s especially true of writing, so in an ideal world, by the time you’ve built up a solid audience, the copy you’re putting out should be on point.
What challenges have you experienced from starting Rebel Mamas to now?
Time. There is so much we want to do. So many ideas floating around and processes being started and it’s all happened right as I’ve added a fourth member to my family. It honestly feels like there are less and less hours in the day and less and less days in the month. Makes me wonder what I was so “busy” doing before I had two kids and a business to run simultaneously!
What would you say is paramount in building an online community?
I’d say that understanding your audience is everything. Accept that what you’re doing is not going to be for everyone; take the time to get to know the people that it IS for and forget about the rest. Once you’ve got a handle on your core followers, all your energy should go into creating an amazing and diverse experience for them so they’ll get excited about sticking around.
With a blog readership of 30K and a serious social media presence Nikita is up to her elbows in breastfeeding and online engagement. Love her style? Rep it with one of her oh-so-comfy Rebel Mama Jersey’s – they pair beautifully with our bras btw, as Nikita demonstrates below:
Nikita has taken the plunge on her new venture – get in on the unsolicited, uncertified and total expert by experience parenting advice with her new crowd funding venture! Click here for more info and get your hands on one of the first copies of what promises to be a page turning parenting handbook!
A special thank you to Nikita for being a supportive friend and for repping our nursing bras like the lady boss that she is. Follow Nikita and her anti-momming philosophy socially at @therebelmama and online at www.therebelmama.com
XO ~ Nadine & The MG Family