Here at mbg, we believe you’re the expert on your own wellness journey, and becoming a parent is no different. Yet from the moment of conception, or often even before, mothers and fathers are told what to do. Our Parenting Paths week celebrates a handful of parents who’ve listened to their intuition and gone their own way. Yesterday’s family broke away from the nine-to-five grind in order to take back their time and spend it watching their kids grow up.
Amanda Chantal Bacon is equal parts collected and whimsical despite the demands of being a single mother and business owner. Just when you estimate she’s too put-together to have had a tough life, her willingness to share her almost unbelievable life journey, full of ups, downs, and plenty of uncertainty grounds her squarely into relatable territory.
The Moon Juice founder is known for her cookbook, West Coast boutiques, and a fan favorite, the adaptogenic Moon Dusts. After fashion magazine Elle published an article in 2015 sharing the details of what she eats in a day, Bacon got a real-life schooling in what it means to be resilient (read: you can’t be everyone’s cup of green juice). Disgruntled commenters called her vegan, herb- and adaptogen-heavy diet unattainable and unrealistic. And to many, it may be, but Bacon marches to the beat of her own drum. And it’s a beat many want to follow.
She opened up to us about her journey through single motherhood—something she doesn’t share about often—her relationship with her 6-year-old son Rohan, her dualistic parenting approach, mom-shaming, and the best words of wisdom that help her through tough days:
On life’s “nonnegotiables” like broccoli:
“Of course going to bed on time, brushing teeth, there are things that are nonnegotiable. Sunscreen is nonnegotiable.
“You know I try to show up curious and open to see what he’s seeing and what will unfold in the moment. I don’t know if he came in this way or if having the freedom and choice just makes his voice stronger, but all of a sudden—I’m sure other parents can relate—you know, he’s like a litigator and he’s got a case for everything! And I mean, he just turned 6. So now I have to fall back on the phrase that some things are nonnegotiable. It’s for your safety and I’m your mother and that’s my responsibility.”
On not reading any parenting books:
“I actually haven’t read a parenting book. People have given them to me. I’ve even ordered them myself, late at night—some like very good-sounding heart-centered parenting book and they show up the next day on my doorstep. And then I don’t read them! It’s not because my son is not a priority. Or parenting is not a priority.
“It just for me in my heart, I feel the best thing I can do is to have that juxtaposition of being firm and grounded in boundaries and also feel very OK with him not always being happy about things. I don’t feel like I’m on the hook to entertain him or make sure that he’s always happy with everything.