As a new mom, I believe that we can all learn tremendous lessons from our planet and the majestic animals that survive within its wilderness. Through the brilliance of natural selection, baby animals have evolved through the protection, instruction, and the instincts of a strong mother. When considering the entire animal kingdom, this rings most true in humans. Starting at birth and through the first years of life, human infants are unable to care, defend, or survive without a strong matriarch. Unfathomable to me pre-pregnancy, the bond between mother and baby is instinctive and powerful. The first time I held Scout, I knew without a trace of doubt I would do anything and everything to give our first child a life of adventure, learning, and stability.
Over the first five months of Scout’s life, I have found myself look to nature in search of inspiration and clarity. The lessons I’ve learned have transformed my own life and gifted me with rich and enduring experiences that have made me the mother I am today. Not only do I apply these animal-inspired motherhood hacks into my daily personal routine, but I introduce Scout to them at every chance I get. The following lessons are cherished within our family and, in many cases, the catalyst for raising a wonderful child. Although written specifically for mothers, I encourage everyone to apply these powerful hacks into your everyday routine and overall perspective on life.
Coming across a grizzly bear in the wild is both horrifying and awesome. But coming across a grizzly bear cub in the wild is ONLY horrifying. Mama bears are notorious for crushing anything that poses a threat to their beloved offspring. As fearless defenders of their young, female bears have been known to kill large mammals (including humans) for merely looking at their cubs the wrong way. As a mother, it is important to protect your “cub” by any means necessary. Not only are you serving as a strong female role model for your young, but you are ensuring that no one ever fucks with them. It’s okay to get mad when someone does something to your child that you don’t like— that’s your inner mama bear trying to set things straight. Remember, no one disrespects a mama bear.
Emperor Penguins have incredible egalitarian relationships with their lifelong lovers/partners. This deep commitment results in both parents equally sharing the responsibility of raising their babies. Too often women are expected to be the primary caregiver in human relationships. Out of default (and equally damaging to the dynamics of a family), fathers are typically expected to be “breadwinners” rather than playing an integral role in their child’s upbringing. This often results in slow deterioration of a mother’s sense of self-worth as well as a father’s ability to connect with their child. In our house, we raise Scout together while supporting one another and sharing the duties of having a baby. It is an epic way to thrive and starts the foundation for a positive lifelong relationship within the entire family unit.
The Rhesus Monkey mother (as well as most other mammals with hands) carry their children all the time. They sleep, eat, and play while physically connected during the formative parts of the child’s life. By doing so, baby and mother form a deep connection that will last the rest of their lives. By keeping your children close, you are in tune with their every need as well as ensuring your child develops a sense of trust and security through your presence. You are also serving as a role model in which your youngster learns through observing. Taylor and I LOVE holding Scout! She has slept in our arms during business meetings, sat in our laps at dinner, and rode on our backs during walks. She has learned communication, socialization, and a love for nature through observation and modeling.
Bison mamas are unbelievable in every possible way. One thing that stands out is their devotion to feeding breast milk to their offspring. Because of this dedication, young bison consume milk for over a quarter of their lives! Nothing is more time-tested and beneficial for a growing child than the milk of a mother. Like humans, bison milk is loaded with powerful antibodies that keep their young healthy and strong. It is also rich in valuable bacteria that allows baby bison to have immaculate gut health and a foundation for healthy immune systems. For the greater part of 250,000 years, humans fed babies breast milk. But over the last 50 years, food companies have worked relentlessly to reproduce mama milk without success. Remember: there is NO replacement for mother’s milk! Do your baby a favor and allow them eat the foods they were intended to consume.
Fox mamas spend their days wrestling, jumping, and running wild with their children. Through play, mother foxes are teaching their young critical skills—like agility, speed, and strength— that will help them thrive in life and survive in the wild. Additionally, play helps facilitate the development of socialization and communication. Much like little foxes, human children LOVE to play! Scout has exceptional strength and coordination for her age because we have enjoyed making games out of developmental milestones (sitting, talking, rolling). Play with your young one frequently and ferociously.
You owe it to yourself to start incorporating these animal-inspired motherhood hacks into your daily routines. Look deep into nature and share your inspiration with loved ones to elevate your existence to optimal levels of domination. Whether you want to thrive in business, athletics, relationships, or being an all-around champion, gaze into wilderness and crush life! Happy Mother’s Day!