Welcome to Real Women Wednesday
This series was created to empower and inspire women around the globe. Every Wednesday (except last Wednesday) a new Q&A with a remarkable woman who I’ve connected with and/or admire appears on my blog. It’s my way of helping spark your flame. Your spark will turn into a burning fire and passion will be formed. It’s a magical thing! This series will help you gain knowledge into how women live their lives and become the best versions of themselves.
It’s about growing our sisterhood and developing the understanding that all women are divine beings who are created to change the world.
This Wednesday’s woman is Amanda Sanders. I met Amanda when I lived in Thompson, Manitoba. I got to know her when I worked at the radio station and eventually we ran in the same circle of friends.
I’ve got to watch Amanda grow into this confident bad-ass woman who is blogging like crazy, growing a baby and creating her own happy ending with her dog and boyfriend. I knew I liked Amanda the second I realized she went to university in Nova Scotia and it’s been a pleasure to watch her blogging journey grow. Her words are honest, impactful and real. Plus, we’re going to be one amazing momma.
Tell me a little about yourself. What words would you use to describe yourself?
I guess a brief intro works. My name is Amanda Sanders, I’m 28 years old and I live in Thompson, MB. I am about to leave on Maternity Leave to have my first child and I have an almost 2-year-old German Shepherd named Bomber.
Some words I would use to describe myself are:
- Driven, but disorganized
What brings you joy?
My German Shepherd Bomber. While I’m typing this up he is being his normal needy self – but I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
There’s something about the unconditional love of a dog that you can’t help but feel happy around – when they are sad every time you leave, and have this level of excitement when you come back that is equal whether you were gone 20 minutes or 20 days.
There’s also something to be said about having someone in your life that will always need you, kids grow up, relationships change, but a dog always needs you.
When you’re feeling stressed, what do you do?
I do nothing! If that makes sense. I tend to get stressed when there is too much going on around me, so I just need to check out for a bit.
Even if it’s just being by myself or keeping to myself while Jared does his own thing. I just need to have some time to myself where nothing is expected of me.
You’re going to be a mother soon, How has your mindset changed since finding this out?
At first, it was sheer panic! Sure, motherhood was something I was pretty sure I wanted, but things become very real when the nurse shows you that positive pregnancy test.
Since then, I’ve become this person who doesn’t think of myself very often, or I find myself feeling guilty when I spend a lot of time complaining about the hard parts of pregnancy. Growing a person is exhausting and takes a lot out of a woman, but I am still so excited to meet my little one! I’m sure the second that baby is in my arms, I will have forgotten all of the rib pain, nausea, exhaustion, lack of focus and general uncomfortableness I’ve experienced since I found out I was pregnant.
I’ve also realized that as soon as you become pregnant, everyone else tries to take ownership of your body. This is something I’ve personally struggled with, I have people touching me who have not asked if it was okay, and people who are not my OB trying to tell me how I should conduct myself while pregnant and how I should raise my child, it’s been very overwhelming.
When have you been the most satisfied in your life?
I am pretty sure it was about a month ago. Due to my own medical history, I’ve had to get two fetal assessments during this pregnancy. The second one I did Jared was able to come with me and we were able to see our baby who had fully formed features and perfectly healthy!
The most satisfying part was that I got to share it with Jared, he’s been amazing throughout this pregnancy, he’s been at nearly every appointment, and he’s really participated, even when I didn’t really feel like it. It’s a great feeling knowing that we’re a team, and I’m not doing any of this alone.
What does being a woman mean to you personally?
Being a woman means I have the strength to bear children but the gentleness to care for them. When my dog is feeling scared or sick, he turns to me for comfort but also knows that he does not control me.
It means I can rock dresses and makeup when I feel like it, and no one bats an eye. It also means that I sometimes feel the need to prove my worth because I have been viewed as “the little girl” even though I’m currently 28 years old.
Who is your role model and why?
My Mum Donna. She is unapologetically herself, and always encouraged us to be the same way. She mothered the way she saw fit, and she showed us (along with my dad) that parenting takes teamwork.
She also showed me that you don’t have to be the social butterfly to be a happy person. She also fostered a healthy relationship with our own bodies (no scales in the house) and with food (‘just because cake’ was the norm), as well as created a household that held zero judgment on the hard conversations.
I also grew up to watch her graduate high school, get her Library Tech Diploma, become a full-time Library and Distance Education Instructor – all while raising three kids and working a myriad of shift work positions along the way.
If you could tell yourself something one year ago, what would it have been?
2017 is not going to turn out the way you expected!
First off, I will say that I (now) feel extreme guilt for some of the woman-on-woman hate I’ve participated in when I was younger. I have been in some harsh competition with other women in the past, and it wasn’t really necessary in hindsight. At times these competitions were over a man, and I was so insecure in myself that I didn’t see my own value, and trust that those around me would see that value.
So I would do the ‘mean girl’ thing and tear other women down to get what I wanted.
Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I have lost friends doing this. I even went so far as to say that it was so hard being friends with other girls because they are always catty and fighting. Well, I now know this isn’t true because I discovered my own self-love and see the own value in myself that I have a great set of women friends now. I don’t need them to explicitly tell me they aren’t going to steal my spouse away from me because I know it’s a strong and lasting relationship – and has absolutely nothing to do with any of them. It took me a long time to get to that place, but it’s a nice place to be.
I think we as women need to see our own value and beauty and realize that it has absolutely nothing to someone else’s value and beauty. We aren’t in one-on-one competition with every single woman in the world because we are all sisters who should be supporting each other and focusing on the positives, rather than the pettiness society has created. Why does my journey in becoming a mother need to be compared to someone else working hard to start their dream career?
They are vastly different but also both wonderful, and should be treated as such. Let’s all be those positive, loving girls you meet in the washroom at the bar, but out in day-to-day sober life too!
Who are your favourite cultural heroines? What appeals to you about them?
I grew up wanting to be Anne Shirley and Wonder Woman, they were both women who had men around them who tried to do things for them, but they proved themselves more than capable. Each had their ideals and their goals, and they stuck to them, despite what was originally expected of them.
They are emotional, sometimes irrational, but they accomplish what they set out to do. Yes, Wonder Woman is a superhero and Anne Shirley is a school girl who becomes a teacher – but the basics are still there to link them as strong women.
What are your thoughts on being able to connect always with social media? Do you ever need a break?
I sometimes feel like Social Media is the bane of my existence. I have a hard time remembering life before we knew every single detail about everyone’s day. As a blogger, and through my job (which I will be on Maternity Leave from once this comes out) – being on Social Media is a necessary evil to bring attention to what you’ve created or what you’re offering and it’s physically and emotionally draining.
My blog Instagram has more pictures of my dog recently because he’s naturally photogenic and I just haven’t had it in me to be “Instagram Perfect” (which of course we all know is an unattainable standard).
I also don’t get any creepy comments when I post pictures of my dog, I’ve learned that sharing your pregnant journey in a public forum brings forward some people you weren’t intending as your audience (to put it nicely), and I have since started posting my “Bump” pictures on my private Instagram.
Do I ever feel as if I need a break? Absolutely. Social Media is a mental health straining monster that we have become too dependant on, and for my own sanity, I need to walk away and exist without knowing what my friends did for their workout or had for lunch that day.
Tell me a quote that you live by or read when you’re needing a boost of inspiration.
I actually have this one tattoo’s on me – “The Time to Hesitate is Through”, it’s from the song “Light my Fire” by The Doors.
My mum always said that I was born a few decades too late because she feels as if my personality and interests would fit better in earlier decades. I got this tattoo for myself for my 25th birthday, about a year and a half after I moved home after university, and I was stagnant.
I had spent too much time waiting and not doing the things I wanted, partly stifled by a past relationship that ended badly, partly out of fear. If you want something, don’t wait, this may be your only chance!
Hello, me again. I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Amanda for taking part in RWW and answering these questions. Her answers about being a mean girl really hit me in the heart. Let Amanda’s words be a reminder that we need to treat each other with softness and kindness. There’s too much negativity in this world to add more competition and hate to it.
Thank you, Amanda, for being part of my Real Women Wednesday series.
Are you wanting to read previous RRW posts? Catch up here.
If you’d like to be featured on Real Women Wednesday, email me at email@example.com or reach out to me on social media. My handle is @thebookofmolly.