Are YOU an American Mama?
Happy Weekend! Maybe you noticed over this week, but let's make it official: Miss Josi Denise is now The American Mama! When I created this blog almost 9 months ago, I used my name because honestly - a lot of the creative names I first thought of were taken. I also wasn't sure what direction or niche I would be going into, simply that I
needed to wanted to write. A hobby at first and an outlet to post basically an extension of my engaged social media accounts, blogging quickly sucked me in. I went from "oh, yes, I'm a stay at home mom now.. I um, what do I do? Yeah, just stay home." to "THIS is what I do" very quickly as I realized that, truly, this is what I do. I cook every day, I parent every day, I write every day, and I love to be social and share my life with other foodies, parents, and women that like to laugh at life - and more importantly, still live after becoming moms.
Copyright © The American Mama 2013
So this blog is a culmination of my every day life, in a lot of ways. But my knowledge (and passion) is in marketing, brands, and consumer culture. I love understanding what makes people tick, and why. So the next natural step for me was for the little lightbulb to spark that "Hey, I use these brands all the time." and "Hey, I know at least a dozen other women who would love this product!" - suddenly I realized that my career path (marketing, hospitality, food & beverage, events) and my personal life (mommy duties, mommy advice, shopping for our household, cooking big meals for family) are actually an all-in-one package. I started to think "You know, maybe this isn't an in-between jobs hobby while I am pregnant?" and furthermore "What if I took this seriously, instead of a 9-5 fluorescent bulb office job on an unstable company's payroll? Where could this take me?" What a better way to spend my days than sharing with others what we eat, and buy, and how I feel - and more importantly, listening to how they live also? Partnering with brands and services that I believe in and sharing them with people I know will appreciate them is just a natural extension of what I do in my life anyway. I love to help others. So Miss Josi Denise grew, and here we are. I chose to rebrand as The American Mama for a few reasons. For one, I am American to state the obvious. Especially after living in Miami's diverse culture for 7 years, and often being the only American in my workplaces and social circles, I fully accept and embrace my small town American roots. Moving to the suburbs, I was worried about how our life would work out - I had changed a lot since living in "Anytown, America" (you know, Applebee's on the corner, Target across the street, Mcdonald's somewhere down the block) - in fact, I hadn't even set foot (or lived within 15+ miles of) a Walmart in over 5 years. I wore stilettos daily, dyed my ashy blonde roots with highlights, stayed out sometimes until 5am at parties to network, homebirthed my daughter after shopping at Whole Foods every week for 9 months, and I drove not one, but two Mercedes Benz'. My kids speak Spanglish, we eat dinner after 8:30pm most nights, bedtime is sometimes at least 10pm, and I wear eyeliner to grocery shop. My husband is part Cuban and part Argentinean, and between his lounge-house music from working a decade in South Beach hotels, and my punk rock inner teenager, there is always loud music blasting somewhere from our cars or house. Never has my husband pushed a lawn mower, and I do not like PTA meetings or small talk when I order my latte. As much as I wanted a "normal" life for my kids to grow up in like I did, riding bicycles until the street lights came on, remembering me with an apron and country music in the background, and playing in the muddy yard on rainy summer days, I felt like an imposter in my own element. The town I grew up in, 5 minutes away from Kentucky, was mostly surrounded by farm land and people who are genuinely nice. I ran away from that to a glam life of a young city mom, culture, hundred-thousand-dollar events, working 80+ hours a week while my kids attended the best charter schools, and being able to say our life was anything but average. Then it dawned on me - I am still, if not more, very much the average American woman. Like most of you, we are all anything but average in our own way, which is the beauty of the melting pot we've been raised in. Sure, my life has changed quite drastically now in much quieter ways, but my experiences make me unique regardless. And the truth is, every American woman is unique - so unique that it makes us the same. Whether you are aspiring to be a CEO, or a full-time stay at home mom, or somewhere in between.. Whether your kids are from mixed cultures, live with both parents or just mom, two moms or two dads, or maybe you're a blended family after a couple of divorces...Whether you spend your weekends with a glass of wine, yoga pants, and netflix or you are active soccer mom of the year.. There are undeniably that we all, as American Mamas, have in common. We can relate to eachother. Most of us American moms are exhausted behind the smiles. Some days truly, drop dead, tears in the pillow exhausted. Thinking to ourselves "How are we expected to do it ALL?" but somehow we pull through, and strangely, find pride in the days that we come close to super mom status. If we are working, we feel guilt for the time lost with our kids. If we are at home, we question our purpose sometimes and wonder if we are missing out on vital career years. Most of us are financially unstable, or at the very least, always looking to find new ways for our family to save money. If that means clipping coupons to stretch grocery money, or just limiting your budget for purse shopping to balance kid's extracurricular activity costs, we all do it. Most of us are the main purchasers and managers in our household. Even if you have a partner to willingly help shop, and (bless your soul) cook for you - you still most likely write the list, and keep a mental inventory of every household and family issue in your head like a thousand web browser tabs open at any given moment of the day. You have to make choices for your family daily, sometimes the hardest of your life, and even with a great partner by your side, a lot of the choices are ultimately yours to make. All of us American mamas experience pregnancy (or surrogacy, adoption) in our society. Married, single, teen mom, moms over 40 - we are all judged, and unfortunately - judge eachother. We are pressured from day one to become the ideal mother, with a baby suckling on one breast while you sip a green kale concoction in the right hand and effortlessly complete a few squats, all while skyping an interview for an upcoming client. You're eating soft cheese? *gasp* You're not enrolled in a prenatal yoga class? You paid how much for IVF? You give your baby what? We all experience it, and learn from it. We all worry that we are not doing the best for our children, or that they will turn out one way or another based on what environment we provide for them now. We are burdened and also overjoyed with the task of shopping for a whole new range of products, from baby bottles to strollers to burp clothes to developmental toys. We all relate to one another and rely on word of mouth to make sure we are making the best choices to raise the best generation, or at least not the worst. And most importantly, all of us, as not-so-average average American mamas know what it means to be a woman in this country. Even that phrase - I bet it conjured up at least a dozen images when you read it. Because truthfully, it means so many things. And sometimes those expectations, from media and society, from men in our life, from the internet, from our elder generations of women, and from ourselves - can clash severely. Being a woman in America is in so many ways a freedom we should be so grateful for daily, but in the same sense, we all know it can be a struggle and sentence all on it's own. In the past century, our American ideal for the female gender has changed so drastically in a rollercoaster fashion that it's hard to even stand by your own beliefs, if you had any to begin with. From conservative housewife second only to her husband to carefree hippie, then career barbie to red-carpet ready postpartum, then in some ways we've come back full circle to more moms staying home with the little ones, finding alternative income sources with or without our higher educations, more people caring about what is in their food and baking from scratch, and more women realizing that natural and simple usually prevail above all else. An American Mama is in many ways, a leader of our society. We dictate the future, often without even realizing it. We feed the mouths of our families and determine the direction that corporations will take regarding products, we raise the little boys and girls who will make a difference in 20 years, and we make a statement daily with our appearance, lifestyle choices, relationships, and confidence of what is to be expected of a mother, and women after they become mothers. And that is something to be proud of, and embrace to the fullest - but most importantly while coming together and benefiting from the experience we have as a collective group of powerful American moms. So TheAmericanMama.com will remain a place for recipes, fresh family ideas, inspiration for women in and out of motherhood, and appreciate of all vintage Americana culture. I offer you an official welcome, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and invite you always to share yours! I also ask that if you notice any links not working properly or "spots I missed" when converting to the new logos, etc - please shoot me an email at email@example.com or comment on the post and kindly let me know! With the name change, most all of my social media handles have also been switched, so please be sure to follow if you are not already. (If you previously were, there should be no change.) A note about Facebook: For some reason, pages are allowed to change their url (once) but to change the actual name of the page requires a request and review. My change has been approved but they apparently also require a 14 day waiting period, and notification to all Facebook users who "Like" the page. If you are a fan, please expect a notification in the next 10-12 days, and if you aren't yet - what are you waiting for??
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