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The Story of a Mother Who Destroys the Perfect Mom Myth

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2024 3:01 am

The Story of a Mother Who Destroys the Perfect Mom Myth

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 10, 2024 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, popular social media influencer and mother Tiffany Jenkins talks about her secret to being a mother....(hint: it's not what you post on social media!)

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18 plus terms and conditions apply. See website for details and we return to our American stories in our special Mother's Day celebration. Tiffany Jenkins is a wife and a mother of three. She's acquired a huge social media following on her blog, Juggling the Jenkins, where her videos receive millions of views.

Tiffany wrote a highly successful memoir, High Achiever, the shocking true story of one addict's double life. Here's Tiffany Jenkins with the rest of her story and what it means to be a good mom. You know what I want to talk about today?

I want to talk about what it means to be a good mom. OK, because listen, if you look on social media and YouTube, OK, let's take YouTube, for example, they have tons of videos of families announcing pregnancies to their loved ones. Right. And it's always so joyous. Everybody's so excited and screaming and yelling. And they're like, oh, my God, finally. Thank you.

Look at these little booties. I'm going to have a grandkid. OK. That was not how my pregnancy announcement went.

At all. I had been living in a halfway house for two months and I started dating this guy and I got an overnight pass. OK, one weekend, I got one overnight pass.

I'm not going to go into detail about what happened on the overnight pass. But let's just say that two weeks later, my body started acting a little weird. I didn't have a job or a car at the time, so I scraped together some quarters and walked my butt down to the Dollar Tree and bought a pregnancy test.

And guess what? There was a baby in my belly. I took a pregnancy test in the bathroom of the halfway house I was living at with six other women. And when the second line popped up, I collapsed on the floor and lost my mind. It was not joyous. I was not excited.

I was terrified. I had just started gaining trust back with my family. What was I going to tell them?

How was I going to tell the owner of the halfway house that I abused the one overnight pass they finally gave me? What was I going to do? I couldn't even take care of myself.

How was I going to take care of a child? I was terrified. I prayed out and I said, listen, technically, physically, I know why this happened, but like spiritually and mentally, I don't know why this happened.

Please help me. What am I supposed to do? I can't have this baby. And it was in that moment that I realized suddenly I wanted this baby more than I ever wanted anything in my entire life. I told my sister.

She was basically like, OK, you're an idiot. I told the owner of the halfway house and he could have kicked me out, but he didn't. He let me live there and pay rent until I could get on my feet. So I married the man who got me pregnant five months after we started dating. And I continued to live in the halfway house up until near the end of my pregnancy. My recovery didn't stop just because I was pregnant.

I had to keep working on myself. I got a job, busted my butt, got a car. We got an apartment and my son was born on my birthday.

It was the greatest gift that I've ever received. When my son was six months old, I found out I was pregnant with the cloister. She burst into the world, a colicky fury of tears and chaos. And I got postpartum depression two weeks after she was born. My bonus daughter came to live with us full time and I was battling postpartum depression full on. I went from being a single sexy bachelorette living in a halfway house to a married mother of three in the span of two years. OK, when it comes to motherhood, I have no clue what I'm doing. I don't.

I don't. In the beginning when I was suffering from postpartum depression, I used to go to social media for support and, you know, to try to see what other people were doing because I had no clue. And I quickly realized that it seemed like everybody else had their life together while mine was crumbling. Everybody's home looked beautiful while mine looked like a hurricane just ripped through the living room. All the moms were posing with their babies looking so perfect and wonderful while I wanted to leave mine in the crib and run out the front door and never come back. I can't explain what that did to me internally as a person. It made me feel like a failure.

It made me feel ashamed and embarrassed. It made me feel like maybe I wasn't meant to be a mom. There was one day, one day especially, where I resented my children just for existing. I didn't want to take care of them anymore. I didn't want to be a mom anymore. So I called my doctor, crying, and I said, is it bad that I don't want the kids anymore?

And they said, come into the office right now. And they got me in that day and the doctor and I worked on a recovery plan for me. Once I started to feel better, I started to write and I wrote for numerous reasons. I wrote because it was really therapeutic for me to tell my truth and to get it out of my head and onto paper. And I chose to share my writing because everywhere I looked, everything looked so perfect.

So I thought maybe if there's just one person out there who's feeling the same way as me, they can read what I've written and see that they're not alone. And that's where Juggling the Jenkins was born. A good mom is not measured by her ability to keep a clean home. Some people have more money than other people.

Some people have more possessions than other people. But none of that matters. Life is going to go by like this. It's going to be over before you know it.

And I promise you that it is not going to say anywhere in your obituary, her house was really clean. We got to stop stressing about the little stuff. We got to stop wasting time beating ourselves up over the little stuff and start spending more time creating memories with our kids, taking them places, putting our phones down, chilling with them, going outside.

When they come up to you and they say, Mommy, will you play with me instead of saying just a second, just get up and play with them. Because I can promise you that neither of you will ever regret that decision. I have to remind myself of this daily. I'm the queen of in just a minute, babe, I'm the queen. I do it all day long. So I have to remind myself that that minute will never come. And I know that and they know that. So it is up to me to make the minutes count now. What makes a good mom?

I don't think there's one answer. A good mom is somebody who doesn't spend hours obsessing about how they aren't good enough. A good mom is somebody who recognizes that they have a problem and does whatever they can to fix it, whether it be addiction, alcoholism, anger, depression, whatever it is, is recognizing that you have a problem, realizing that nobody is going to come save you and doing whatever you can to make sure that you are the best possible mom for those kids. Taking action makes a good mom. But it all boils down to love.

Being a shining example to the kids of what love is about, showing them love and showing others love as often as possible. That's what makes a good mom. And that was Tiffany Jenkins you were listening to.

And what a voice and so straight, straight as an arrow. And by the way, that line in the beginning, what was I going to do? I can't take care of myself. How am I going to take care of this child? By the way, we're never ready to raise a kid. I've had so many people say, I'm not ready.

Well, you're never ready. And she jumped in and raised this child. And what great advice. And moms, good ones, good fathers do this too.

Show them love and show others love as often as possible. I have no idea what I'm doing, she also said. And you know what?

None of us do. Mother's Day stories, Tiffany Jenkins' story, here on Our American Stories. I'm Katja Adler, host of The Global Story. Over the last 25 years, I've covered conflicts in the Middle East, political and economic crises in Europe, drug cartels in Mexico. Now, I'm covering the stories behind the news all over the world in conversation with those who break it. Join me Monday to Friday to find out what's happening, why and what it all means.

Follow The Global Story from the BBC wherever you listen to podcasts. You get a chance to collect daily bonuses. So join me and the fun. Sign up now at No purchase necessary.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-10 04:28:15 / 2024-05-10 04:33:12 / 5

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