These best friends are on a mission to redefine what it means to be a perfect mom
When asked to describe the ideal mom, you might conjure up an image of someone who bakes cookies from scratch, keeps a clean house, and volunteers at every school fundraiser. But since 2018, self-described cannabis moms and sex-positives Jamila Mapp and Erica Dickerson have used their podcast, Good moms bad choices, to shred those outdated ideas in favor of something in a more realistic (and fun) way. And with thousands of loyal listeners and more 140,000 followers on Instagramthe pair has amassed a following eager to get their message.
Now Mapp and Dickerson have come out with a new book, A good mom’s guide to making bad choicesThis continues to turn the idea of what makes a good mom on its perfectly polished head. With candid, no-holds-barred conversations about their unique paths to motherhood, these ladies give women the freedom to be their fun and sexy selves while still being present for their children.
root I caught up with Dickerson and Mapp about their new book and the friendship they say has enabled them to keep it real.
Best Friends and the hosts say they wanted their book to take an honest look at the challenges and transitions that come with motherhood in a way they haven’t seen before. And they hoped that by sharing their stories, they would help other women who had once felt ashamed, feel seen.
“All the books I read about motherhood weren’t written by women of color. And a lot of them didn’t emphasize the ways you can take care of yourself,” Mapp said. “We wanted to write a book that honestly spoke to women like us about the experience of motherhood.”
“One of the things I learned from our podcast is that a lot of women feel lonely and ashamed of their choices — good or bad,” Dickerson added. “We went so far with the stories because it allows women to feel safe and understood.”
Through their stories, Dickerson and Mapp emphasize that being a mother doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself — even if that means smoking a little weed and having sex. “Moms have sex. This is literally why we are moms,” Mab laughs.
But this book is much more than a permission slip for smoking a joint now and then. Mapp and Dickerson use humor and honesty to help other women recognize past trauma and move on as their authentic selves, something they say will ultimately help them become better parents.
We (other women) wanted them to understand that there is freedom and peace in choosing yourself. Forget what other people say, because at the end of the day, it’s your happiness and your peace that counts — especially when you’re a mother,” says Mab.
From their birth plan to their relationships with the fathers of their children, the single moms are honest with readers about how things in their real lives didn’t always line up with the things of their dreams. But they say they’ve found strength in their friendship and stress the importance of cultivating positive relationships with other moms you can’t count on.
“I don’t think I would have experienced this much radical healing and honesty if I didn’t have this friend who gave me the courage and confidence to do it,” says Mapp.
At the end of the day, the ladies hope their book helps change the idea that women should appear the way our culture defines them as ideal. And it’s a message they hope their daughters will get from the book – when they’re old enough to read it.
“I hope they see their moms as human. I think too often we paint moms as these superhumans (which we are). We have feelings and we make mistakes,” says Dickerson. “There’s a lot of power in being authentic, and I hope we show our daughters that that is the great power of being a woman — our softness and our ability to nurture, but also to be strong, to solve problems and achieve strength through.”
“Every experience I’ve ever had has made me the woman I am today and I’m not mad at it. I love who I am. And I think women need to hear that,” adds Mapp. “And if it takes us to be so raw and vulnerable and say all the crazy taboo stuff, then dammit, I’m here for it.”