Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile are first-time authors, have 5 kids between them and have been friends for 12+ years. Trisha Ashworth has produced advertising for American Express, PepsiCo, and Levi Strauss & Co and Amy Nobile has led public relations programs for Visa, Frito-Lay, and Webvan.
These moms are down to earth, straight-shooting, non-judgmental women on a mission to reinvent modern motherhood. Frustrated that real life didn't meet their own expectations of what motherhood would be like, they set out to interview mothers of every stripe, working, stay-at-home, part-time, to determine if they were the only ones that felt like they were really good moms — before they had kids.
Check out their books:
- I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood
- Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms
- I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper: Loving Your Marriage after the Baby Carriage
Congrats to Amy and Trisha for their fantastic Oprah Show April 6, 2009 appearance.
How often do you have dinner with your children? What are the last three dinners you made for your kids? Did you eat the same thing they did?
After interviewing over 100 moms nationwide, we discovered that dinner is a hot button issue for today’s moms. Even if she’s had a perfect day, dinner can somehow push mom over the edge. Whether or not we make dinner ‘successful’ — if the kids eat, making sure the food is nutritious, getting everyone in one room — makes us feel like a good or bad mom. We’ve each had to make peace with how we handle dinner and what it means to us. Some nights it’s takeout, some nights it’s mac‘n cheese — but we’re no longer judging ourselves for these choices.
Do you have a formal or informal support group of working moms that you rely upon for advice/support? How often do you meet? What are three topics of conversation that come up frequently?
We have found that support groups are so important for moms today. We both belonged to moms’ groups after having our first kids, but found that the topics they discussed didn't give us what we really needed — they talked more about sleep schedules and baby gear and less about the issues that we were grappling with, like guilt. For moms to really get the support they need, they need to be honest about how they’re feeling. As one mom we interviewed for the book said to us, "it’s not a real moms’ group unless someone’s crying."
What is the one thing you vowed you would never do when you had kids that you find yourself doing?
We all had a picture in our heads of what motherhood would look like, and that vision was, quite frankly, very hard to live up to. For us, there were things we thought we’d never do, like put on a video in the car, or let them see the inside of a McDonald’s. We now realize that sometimes our expectations are just out of whack, and we need to ease up on ourselves.
What is your best tip for maintaining balance or at least some semblance of sanity?
It’s been a long process for us, but now we realize that after decades of hard-won progress by women before us — and an ever-increasing array of amazing opportunities and choices in front of us — this generation of moms has developed expectations of themselves that are truly insane In order to get a grip, we need to prioritize and whittle down our long laundry list of ‘shoulds’ and truly make peace with our choices. Then we will find a bit more balance and let go of some of the guilt and judgment.
What do you do when you feel totally overwhelmed?