You know those fridge magnets that say, “PARENTHOOD: the scariest hood you’ll go through” — well whoever came up with that wasn’t lying. Before we move forward, it’s important to note that parenthood, motherhood specifically, is a beautiful, challenging, life-changing part of life, but even in all of its glory, it’s not always a walk through Central Park on a nice Spring day. 

Speaking about the hardships of motherhood seems to be somewhat of a taboo topic due to the fact that women are seen as people who “should” be mothers, meaning everything that comes with it “should” be a breeze. Thankfully, the internet and social media exist as tools to help you find a community of mothers who are willing to spill the nitty-gritty details about motherhood sans the filter.

Cool Moms podcasts, hosted by designer and entrepreneur Lizzy Okpo and visual artist Elise Peterson, aims to dismantle the change the conversation about motherhood to a more realistic one, stepping away from the perfect social media mothers we’re often faced with. Recently, Elle sat down with both hosts to dig deep into what motherhood looks like for today’s day. 

When discussing births, Okpo and Peterson were asked about their experiences and journeys through motherhood, especially as black women to which they both shared experiences that were filled with trauma. Much like the issues Serena Williams brought awareness to after having her daughter, Peterson spoke about negligence on the hospital’s part when she had a belly birth (C-section) with her baby: being ignored while in pain, forced to take laxatives and having her partner forced out of the hospital because “men can’t stay overnight.”

Peterson had a home-birth planned with a midwife, which posed issues due to the fact that home-births are rarely covered by insurance. The usual cost of a home-birth is $15,000 in comparison to a hospital birth which can run about $32,000, however, insurance is more likely to cover a hospital birth because they make more money out of it in the end.  

“It’s all the bureaucracy of dealing with the healthcare system. When you’re working within these government systems, like hospitals, you’re very much reminded of exactly who they think you are. It’s really a symptom of bigger systems at play,” shared Peterson with Elle. 

Okpo and Peterson also spoke about their mental health after birth to which they both revealed had lingering resentment and trauma because their “entryway to motherhood really sucked.”  Okpo shared that her birth trauma sent her home feeling like she “settled to find contentment within the trauma she experienced.”

Their collected journeys prompted the start of their podcast Cool Moms which aims to create a space to have candid conversations about motherhood and what it means to be a woman after having a baby. The ultimate goal for the podcast is to be “a place for mothers to tell their stories as well as providing information” about the aforementioned topics. With hopes that their platform becomes an internationally known hub with limitless possibilities, Okpo and Peterson are onto something great with only six episodes in. Whether you’re thinking about motherhood, want no part in it, are in the process, whether you can or can’t relate, these two power mommas are definitely worth giving a listen to. 

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