Stephanie Portell Reminds Us That We Are “More Than Mothers”
During a recent conversation with a friend, where I was discussing a rather eye-popping book I have coming out on February 13, 2018, I was told that I should also consider writing a “parenting” book. I guess there is something to be said for raising four-plus kids on your own, without nary a dud in the mix.
There’s a lot to the job...much more than any one mother, writer or book could ever cover, in my opinion. And I’m learning every day through the many amazing mothers that I am fortunate enough to interview as well as the handiwork I’ve observed by those from afar. I’ve seen it in Texas over the last few weeks and through Chance The Rapper, in my own backyard. And I’ve experienced it, many times, myself. We are, in fact, 'more than just mothers' and never is this more apparent than when the chips are down and our efforts realized by the hands we’ve birthed, held and raised.
It is for this reason that I was drawn to mom blogger, Stephanie Portell, whose blog “More Than Mothers” captures this reality beautifully then expands upon it using the same depth, thoughtfulness, meaning, fearlessness, caring, intelligence and love that makes mothering the toughest job in the world and a community effort.
What is your full name?
What is your personal mantra?
"Be someone who took risks instead of remaining stoic in life. Be someone who would rather be on a quest for something meaningful than chase unfulfilling comfort."
Tell us about you and your life.
I live in St. Louis MO with my two boys, ages 3 and 7. I’m a single mother, part-time writer, and book lover, who is trying to keep sane while my kids purposely try to make me insane. I love connecting with other mothers through writing by helping them to realize that we all have strengths and weaknesses in our mothering styles -- none of which makes us bad mothers, rather 'human'. My goal is to help moms relate to each other and support each other, finding and emphasizing the common denominator between us.
What is the name of your blog? When was it launched?
More Than Mothers and it was launched at the very beginning of this year in January. Very new!
What is the primary focus of your blog?
My primary focus is to encourage the attitude among mothers that we are more than just that. We were separate women before kids, with separate dreams and separate identities, and we continue to be today, except with kids to care for, love, and mentor.
What is your favorite social media outlet?
Facebook and Twitter
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Don’t be afraid to start because you think nobody will enjoy your writing. Don’t be afraid to start because you think only your mom will read it or your sister. Put yourself out there and I promise, you will be shocked and ecstatic about the results!
Share the name of a blog you read regularly (besides your own).
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
I write for a couple of websites on a regular basis. One of them is TheToddle.com, a new website that focuses on research based articles to inform and empower parents. I write for Disney’s Babble.com a few times a week, and am also a medical professional working with cardiologists. I also just finished an assignment writing for a remote start up blog and am always looking for more opportunities! I would love to be able to one day write full-time and make a difference in the world.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
I support *Every Mother Counts with everything in me. It's a cause very close to me as I was almost one of these statistics. Every day, two mothers in the U.S die from pregnancy and maternal complications and I am beyond grateful I was spared. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. They encourage audiences all over the world to support them in their goal of providing maternal health programs all over the world. *Winner of Good Housekeeping's "Awesome Women Awards 2017" - (The Health Savior/September Issue, Page 79)
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I want to be someone who communicated words that helped mothers feel like they were not alone. I want to be remembered as a mom who loved her children with every part of her but also loved herself enough to chase her dreams.
Yes, we are More Than Mothers and our job description is exceedingly complex and expands daily. This is why social media, television, and magazines are perfect mediums for the mothering community. We work in real-time and so must our answers come. One mother, writer and book to cover the gamut effectively? Nice thought and inarguably flattering but I, alone, would barely scratch the surface. There is much more to parenting-mothering than that and more women than me needed to do the topic justice. I’ll pass and stick with the one I’ve currently written for the moment!