CRAZY HONEST ADVICE ON BEING A MOM FROM OUR HBIC'S MOM
AKA Sadie K.'s mom. AKA the woman who birthed our HBIC. AKA the grandmother of #makesweatsexy.
All hail this bad bitch. She immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba at age 7. She raised five (!!) kids. She started her own law practice during a time women weren't 'supposed' to do that. She was a single parent for almost a decade. She ran for Congress in 1992. In her lifetime, Magda has buried her own parents, dyed her hair purple, adopted three dogs, built and sold a kick-ass law practice, mastered a headstand, and kept sh*t real 24/7. Recently, Mama Magda went back to school for her MFA at University of Iowa's insanely prestigious Nonfiction Writing Program. She is currently writing a memoir "Kissing Fidel" about becoming Miami's most infamous politician.
So we sat down with her for some major ball-busting, irreverent, honest-as-f*ck advice on what it's been like to be a mom, a working mom, a single mom, a mom at 23 and a mom at 45. Let's dive in!
Five kids. Tell us about that.
To tell the truth, only one was planned, my second. I was in law school and just 22 years old when I found out I was pregnant with my first. I married my high school sweetheart at 19. My husband and I lived in student housing on campus. My mom lived next door, thank God, because she helped take care of the kids when I was in class during the day. By our third child, our marriage had disintegrated. So then I was a single and working mom for about a decade. Then I met Ira, Sadie's father, and we got married and had two kids. So four girls and one boy. All of them C-sections!
Sounds like a lot of life experience! What was the toughest part?
Raising kids while building your career is tough. Raising kids unhappily married is tough. But parenting is always tough, no matter the circumstances.
With my career, I may have been completely overwhelmed at times, but I felt more in control. I got adulation from clients. I got respect from people who worked with me. Parenting is different. Kids are human beings with emotions. They're looking at you to be their parent. They don't always understand that you are 'more' than just their parent, that you are actually a human being with your own needs and feelings.
So, is that the toughest part? Is it not receiving gratitude?
They say "no one can rip out your guts like your child." And it's true.
You know, part of it is that you don't have the answer. Human emotions are complicated and full of nuance. I wanted to have the answers and fix things, but my kids were their own people with their own internal workings.
The other thing was how different I was raised than my kids. See, for my sister and I, we had to sink or swim. Our parents were figuring out how to navigate the U.S. as adults, as immigrants. I was figuring things out alone.
By the time my generation had kids, expectations of parenting had really changed. I'm not sure I was ever "good" at adjusting to that expectation. I gave my kids a lot of freedom. It was hard for me to do the "touchy-feely" stuff. But, it was a different time for us. And I think it made my kids stronger, more independent thinkers.
That's interesting. So sounds like some good came out of your approach to more hands-off parenting.
All of my kids are very independent. Sadie is a good example. She started this business right out of college, never asked many questions, had the confidence to try things and see what would happen.
That's the big thing I hope I've left my kids with: go deep inside. Be your own person. Follow your path to happiness. Try to find fulfillment. Only you can make yourself happy.
Live your truth, girl! How did you learn to say 'screw it' and do it your way?
I had a big 'a ha' moment very young. I was 23 and I just had my first kid. I had spent weeks not sleeping.
I went to register for finals [at law school] and I had this glow. I felt good, so so good. It was the first time in weeks I felt free. And I wondered why...…it was because I wasn’t with my child. What kind of horrible mom doesn’t want to be around her child?
Love that. It's very courageous to admit that motherhood isn't every woman's "calling."
I felt insecure for a really long time. I listened to the men in my life say that I wasn’t a good mom. Then I heard my children repeat that thought to me. I was gifted books on how to do it "the right way."
Screw it, there is no right way.
It took me some time to get comfortable with myself. I had to make myself happy first.
Any advice for people who want to have kids someday?
If you want to have a kid, you don't need to wait for the 'right person' to show up. Parenting as a single mom was harder than with a partner I trusted, but it wasn't impossible. It helps to have a strong partner, but you shouldn't deprive yourself, either.
My biggest advice is honestly this: wait as long as you can. I think your late 30s is good. Your 20s and 30s are a time for coming to terms with yourself. Your late 30s are a time when you become secure; financially, emotionally, personally.
HOT MAMAS GET THAT ((305))!
Moms, cmon now! It's time to get that ((305)), babe.
We all deserve some time for self-care. Remember (!!) exercise produces endorphins. And endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their partners in their sleep. Hi!
Sign up for a class here.