Band of Mothers is a bimonthly feature on moms who inspire us. Our goal is to cultivate a community of women, mamas, and children. Every other week, we’ll ask a mom 3 questions. Her perspective and stories are what makes up Band of Mothers. This week we’re talking with Lee Caldera.
What was your ‘holy shit, I’m a mom’ moment?
I think the moment it completely hit me the first time I was left alone all day with my newborn son. It was by far the scariest thing I’ve ever had to experience. I’ve been completely independent for so many years that having someone completely dependent on me was almost a nightmare. I didn’t realize that every waking moment I had was dedicated to nurturing this child who could potentially die if was careless. I remember vividly questioning how I even thought I was cut out to be a mother. I don’t think I slept but maybe five hours that week. I guess I never really knew how tough it was until I had to step into those shoes for myself. I thought managing a small business with 35 creative, egotistical people was hard. That was a cake walk compared to motherhood.
What’s the ‘keep it real’ advice you received or wish you had received?
The best advice I have ever received on my journey of being a mom was simple. One of my clients said to me, “You’re doing your best and that’s what matters.” It doesn’t matter that your child is exclusively breast-fed or formula fed, wearing the trendiest clothes or hand me downs, or even if your social media portrays how happy you are being a mom. All that matters is that you are trying your best, being kind to yourself for when you make mistakes, and being there for your child the only way you know how. I think I was so fixated on this idea of what kind of mom I wanted to be. I had this crystal clear expectation of myself because up until that point, I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t realize early on that it’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to not have everything figured out. No one ever does. That’s just it. Motherhood is a shit show and you just kinda roll with the punches until you figure out how to come out swinging. You figure out your new norm eventually. And even if you don’t, that’s okay too!
Describe your kid(s) in 3 words:
Surprising – Mateo has literally never met any of my expectations of who he is. He always surprises me. Whether superseding my expectations or not even meeting them at all. And I’m okay with that, it just means that he is who he is and I have to learn to say fuck expectations. He will be who he is and develop at his own speed. I love him for teaching me how to just let go and be happy with that.
Charismatic – Mateo literally charms the pants off of almost everyone he meets. I don’t even know how, he can’t even speak yet. There is just something to be said about his energy and it’s absolutely contagious and leaves everyone wanting more – especially me.
Relentless – This kid of mine reminds me a lot of his dad but if there is anything that he gets from me, it’s how relentless he is. He knows exactly what he wants and will not stop to get it. I’ve had times where I’m so frustrated with how headstrong he is being and then I laugh about how that is exactly like me to do the same.