Mothering from Your Weird: Honoring Your Mothering Philosophy with Chelsie Washington

Summary

Chelsie Washington of Weird Mom Podcast, shares how she embraces her quirks, her idiosyncrasies, and her “weird” as guidance for creating a philosophy and practice of mother work that feels empowering. 

Our conversation covers: 

  • Chelsie’s mothering philosophy
  • How her community supported her matrescence, or transition into motherhood
  • The grief she worked with as a new mother and wrote about in Motherly
  • How she encourages critical thinking with her son through her mothering style
  • How she centers herself in her life separate from her roles to others
  • Why she started Weird Mom podcast and how she sees it serving the mothering community


After a couple of years of admiring other podcasts, Chelsie Washington finally decided to take a chance and make her own. In the middle of the night one day at the beginning of the pandemic, Weird Mom Podcast was born out of the desire to shed light on the little known things people just don’t normally talk about when it comes to parenting. Outside of hosting and producing her own podcast, Chelsie is a wife to her high school sweetheart and mother to one fun, four-year-old boy. Even though she holds those roles while also working a full-time job, Chelsie still manages to find time during the week to enjoy her rekindled love of rollerskating.

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Transcript

Drafted by AI. Please excuse typos.

Allie  00:00

Welcome to Episode 108 of rewild mothering. This week’s episode is with Chelsey Washington of the weird mom podcast, a podcast about the things they just don’t tell you about raising a tiny human. After a couple years of admiring other podcasts, Chelsea finally decided to take a chance and make her out. In the middle of the night, one day at the beginning of the pandemic weird mom podcast was born out of the desire to shed light on the little known things people just don’t normally talk about when it comes to parenting. Outside of hosting and producing your own podcast Chelsea is a wife to her high school sweetheart and a mother to one fun for your old boy. Even though she holds these roles while also working a full time job. Chelsea still manages to find time during the week to enjoy her rekindled love of roller skating. my conversation with Chelsea has only deepened my connection with her stake in the world that are weird. our differences, our quirks or idiosyncrasies are all vital guidance and how to create an authentic life and an authentic form of maternal practice that feels empowering to us are weird as a sacred part of our lived experience. And I hope our conversation gives you inspiration to craft your own mothering philosophy that reflects your inner intuition and values and all the other things you might not see reflected in the dominant culture and might even get labeled weird.

Allie  01:23

The future lies on the wellness of mothers.

Allie  01:27

Welcome to rewild mothering, a weekly podcast for soulful mothers to help us mother from our deepest wisdom, our vital energy and our most authentic natures. Each week, in just about 15 minutes, we weave together modern research and ancient wisdom to channel the transformative power of mature essence, the developmental transition to motherhood. I’m your host, Allie Davis, maternal wellness therapist and a mother walking this path with you. Thank you for being here. And let’s dig in.

Allie  02:04

Chelsea, thank you so much for being here with me today. I’ve been a listener of weird mom podcasts for a while and it’s really exciting to have you on this podcast. Thank you for having me. And I’m so glad that you love my podcast. Yeah, it’s really unique. Well, we can kind of get into that. So what’s your parenting philosophy? And how does that connect with weird mom?

Chelsie  02:28

 My parenting philosophy is children are developing humans are not just children, and not just babies, toddlers, they are growing into full fledged human being adults. And so it connects to weird mom because I feel like that’s a little bit different thinking than a lot of parents out there are a lot of mothers, like people tend to think kids are their maybe dogs or that they own their children. But I try to not think of parenting that way. I try to think of parenting as being a guide to being a decent human down the line. Yeah, I love that because it speaks to child ism, you know, not really seeing children as full subjects. And, and I think that’s a huge societal problem. So I really relate to that, too. How did you get here? What was your transition into motherhood? Like it was I had always wanted to be a mother since I was 16 years old. So whenever I was actually actually became pregnant, I was just so enamored and engrossed in every single stage of pregnancy. And then I had my child and I’ve been engrossed in every single stage of this, the good and the bad. And so my transition into motherhood was happy because I was already open minded to all of the trials and tribulations as well as the good times. Not to say that I didn’t have any, like, struggles, of course, with like, having to take on this new role, because I did, but at the same time, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Like I would prefer doing this versus not having a child if that makes sense. Yeah. Well, we talk about mothering identity starting really when we’re children, you know, so you might have been preparing for a specific type of mothering experience for yourself for a long time and I know you’re really close to your family and your mom and how did your support system help you come into your own motherhood? my support system has been great from the get go.

Chelsie  04:39

I live really close to my mom and my husband and I we live in the same house as his parents, his sister, so it’s a really big happy family like we all get together. And we all like have a good time and, and so on as it as it relates to support like my mom has opened

Chelsie  05:00

I’m taking my child on the weekend, some time, whenever I need a break, or we need a break around the house, I get help as well. Like, if I need to go to the store, I don’t have to always take my son, because he’s able to stay here with somebody and still have that same love and support. Everybody loves Wade, the star of the show. And so they have no problem taking him on. And just playing with him and doing all that. So I’m really grateful and happy for that. Yeah. And I think that gave you some unique knowledge, really, even through your early early mothering that you wrote about and motherly, can you talk a little bit about your article on grief and mothering? Yeah, so, um, whenever my child was born, I was super attached, right? Like, this is some human being that’s been in my body for at that time, tin mines, and I just met him. And so naturally, you know, whenever people have babies in the family, and people want to come see the baby, they want to come and maybe hold them interact with them. And I remember whenever we brought weight home from the hospital, I was very happy to have such loving support and family come and visit us. At the same time, as people were interacting with him, I was very, I’ll just admit that I was jealous. I was like, I just met this child. And I would like to interact with him as well, like on a one on one level. And so eventually, probably like, a month or so after I started to realize, like,

Chelsie  06:40

Wait is my body which means he’s no longer just my own child, my own being he is his own being, and there are gonna be times in his life that just don’t involve me, because he’s his own human. And then I thought back to my own childhood, and how, yes, I would spend a lot of time at home, my family, but whenever I would go hang out with friends, or even just going to school, that’s a big part of everybody’s childhood. She was not a part of my school day. And I’m sure he shares you, you know, there are parts of her that wanted to be there and see what I was doing or know what I was doing. But she knew that it was like a natural part of life to like, go to school and be away from her. And so when I thought of it that way, I was like, wait, I’m, he’s just a human being. And I need to just guide him, yes, discipline him, because I don’t want to mix up the two and say, Oh, I just let my child do whatever he wants, because he’s his own human, he still gets disciplined. But at the same time, I recognize like, my child is not always gonna do stuff that I want him to do. And within reason, I’m okay with it. Like, I’m not gonna let him run around with a knife. But, yeah, I just got to realize that and as he gets older, it’s gonna get even more difficult as he gets his own thoughts and ideas. So I just had to face those specs early. And I try to keep that in mind as we go through his life.

Allie  08:08

I love that because, you know, you really highlighted for me on some of your first episodes, that childhood isn’t preparation for life, it is life, and he’s always already situated in a community. So your, your way of nurturing and mothering is honoring that and letting go of ownership. It’s, it’s beautiful. 

Chelsie  08:28

Thank you. It’s hard, but I gotta do it.

Allie  08:34

Yeah, so much of mothering is hard, right.

Allie  08:37

But I feel like if people could hear your message, and really internalize it, and practice it, it intensive mothering is really hurting a lot of mothers, this kind of idea that we’re doing it all, by ourselves as the ideal and your way, is about letting down that gatekeeping and, and honoring that other people in his community are going to take care of him a bit differently. And it’s still, you know, on point that’s on purpose. 

Chelsie  09:04

And, and also with that comes with, I’m a new mother. And I know in society, it’s like when you become a mother, he’s supposed to know it all was supposed to have it all together. But in reality, I also had to face facts that I don’t know everything about taking care of a child. Like I did a lot of research. I knew the basics, but there are some things that I just didn’t touch on, obviously. And so that’s where my family and yeah, my family comes in and to kind of teach me and fill in the gaps. Yeah. So what else can a guided you towards your own truthful, authentic form of mothering? I just wanted to make sure that my child is a critical thinker. So that’s also what plays a part in me just thinking that way. It is a developing human. I feel like when I was younger, it was more I didn’t I mean, I got choices.

Chelsie  10:00

But they weren’t like choices beyond maybe what I would want to do, if that makes sense. So a lot of times, it was like, you’re gonna do this. And that’s it. And so that kind of led me to not be as critical, critical thinker as I should have been, or maybe want it to be. And so now I’m raising my own child, I just want to make sure I like he questions, things, not in a disrespectful way, but just in a way to make it make sense for him. And so that he can make his own informed decisions about things. I don’t want him to have to run to us all the time and saying, what should I do, I want him to be able to do that on his own, because there’s going to be a time where he has to do it on his own, and we’re not going to be there to guide him. Wow, I really love this because you’re, you’re connecting him through your mothering, to his own wise counsel, you know, really teaching him to be self reflective and self referencing instead of always out to validate others. Yeah. And, and even like, I’ll give an example. Like, if he gets in trouble or something. I’m not saying, I shy away from just saying, don’t do that. And try to explain to him the reasons why he shouldn’t do that. So that if you want to do it again, because he is, you know, he is a kid, he’s only four years old, he’s gonna do it again, because he has selective memory. I want him to keep our conversation and my and just have him thinking, in his mind, like, Oh, you know, remember last time you tried to do something like this. And mom came and talked to you and said, you know, what could happen if you jump off his couch, you know, you get hurt, you can potentially go to the hospital, and then I want him to weigh his options of like, do I really want to go to the hospital? You know, that’s just one example. But just things like that I want him to have in his mind that those kinds of thought processes

Allie  11:57

is so funny, I do something similar. But my daughter is just about two and a half. And she loves the doctor, this idea of doctor. And so she’s like, Well, that doesn’t sound so bad. Let’s go to the hospital.

Chelsie  12:12

But he’s like, Yes, I will get hurt.

Allie  12:16

That would be amazing. Especially with COVID. She’s always wanting to go see people, oh, no, how are you adjusting your mothering or doing things different during this pandemic, 

Chelsie  12:29

I work full time. So now I’m working from home versus working physically where I work. And so having to do that I’m having a work virtually is kind of like, I’m spending a lot more time with him. So I’m getting to know him more and more versus back then. And I’m spinning, even though my patience wears thin a little bit more these days, I’m also trying to make sure I still give him enough patience. Because, you know, it’s hard for them to like he wants to go to all these places. And we have to explain to him, No, we can’t go right now, or this place is a little too crowded, so maybe not. And I just have to keep that in mind. Like, it’s our time for him to so I have to take a lot of time. Like I’ve ended the day for myself to just kind of regroup or if I wake up early in or if I take some time for myself then to kind of start today. And just so I’m able to give my best as a human being for myself, and also give him my best, because he also does virtual school. And so that’s frustrating in itself, but I just had to take it day by day. Yeah. It sounds like you have really kind of put your needs in alignment of like the grand scheme. You know, if you’re not, if your cup isn’t full, you can’t continue to pour it out. So what does your self care taking time for yourself look like? A lot of time? Well, one thing I’ve taken out recently is roller skating. So at the end of the day, I’ll like go outside and roller skate and listen to music for an hour before it gets too dark. But for times where I can’t do that, like I do exercise as well. I fell off now but I used to meditate in the morning as well for like 10 minutes. And then just really like I really value being completely alone. Because I’m always around people throughout the day. So I really value just being alone with myself and when I can. And so I’ll just sit and just do something for me like I’ll watch a show or I’ll just sit and scroll on my phone even just being by myself and not having to be a role for anybody is really relaxing to me.

Allie  14:51

Well, what else do you want to share with us about your podcast or about how you’re supporting mothers in a pandemic  with this mothering philosophy and connections. 

Chelsie  15:04

Well, so my podcast is called weird mom and it was born out of and pandemic and wanting to finally take the plunge and actually make a podcast. And so it’s about trying to give new perspectives on being a parent as well as bridge the gap between Is this normal? And am I the only one who thinks like this, like I don’t want, I know what it’s like to feel alone in a crowd of people. And so, you know, when people say something that I relate to, I get really excited. And I’m like, Wow, I can’t believe I’m not the only one, even though there’s billions of people on this earth. And of course, you’re not the only one, but to actually hear it kind of makes you feel gives you comfort. And so that’s what I want to be for mothers and even fathers out there like me, because I do have dads on the show as well. And I just wanted to bridge that gap, and make people not feel alone, and make them feel even though people are weird, maybe make them feel a little less weird or less, less alienated? Because of the way they think, yeah, we can we can sometimes feel shame around our idiosyncrasies, you know, and so it’s nice to find belonging with a, you know, a community of affinity on a podcast, and that’s what I feel about your, your approach and tracking the weird and mothering. I love it. Thank you. Yes, I am definitely tracking the weird. I’m a weird individual. And I used to hate that. But I’m really using it to my advantage now because it’s like, I know, nobody is normal out there. But there are those people and I like to think I’m one of them just let their weird flag show. And it brings other people who are not as confident enough to let their weird flag come out. Weird side.

Chelsie  16:59

It gives them confidence to kind of let down their guard and say, You know what, I’m okay with how I am. Yeah. So you’re building a sisterhood of mothers that define mothering their own unique way and find empowerment in that. 

Allie  17:13

Well, thank you so much for coming on this podcast and talking to us about your unique form of I’m going to call it liberatorily weird mothering.

Allie  17:24

And I look forward to keeping you know, I’m connected with you through your podcasts and maintaining that it’s been so nice to meet you. 

Chelsie  17:32

Yeah, it’s been really nice to meet you.

Allie  17:38

Thank you for joining us. I hope you found support, guidance and inspiration for your mothering journey. To help you on your path I’ve created a free mindful outdoor experience to help you restore deep connection and belonging in your life as you root into the wisdom of Mother Nature. To download go to rewild mothering.com slash Mother Nature, and I’ll link to that in our show notes. May her wisdom be with you this weekend. Always. Talk soon.

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