“I gained a lot of inspiration, I feel better, I feel like a weight has lifted from my shoulders and I'm leaving inspired,” fitness guru and mother to the most adorable little girl, Indi, explained after taking part in Loaker’s Power Mom panel. Yes, Power Mom—what better way to describe Arias? She along with six other inspiring women (one being Parents.com’s very own digital director, Julia Dennison) discussed navigating all that encompasses motherhood—which for each individual means balancing parenting, career, and self like a boss.
The biggest takeaway from the afternoon: breaking the stigma of what being a mom means. Pioneering their own path instead of falling into the social norm of what a mother should be, making these women unstoppable.
For many, this starts with making changes at home, something Arias has seemingly mastered by speaking up when she needs help. “I happen to have a very supportive husband. We co-parent, everything in the household is 50/50,” she explained as her partner, Stefan Williams, sat supportively in the audience watching Indi. “You don't have to be superwoman 100% of the time. Back in the day, it took a village, you had your grandma, cousin, aunt and whoever helping out and now times are changing, right? Speak up and reach out, marriage and parenthood should be a 50/50 thing.”
For Arias, speaking up goes further than sharing the parenting load equally, “I am leaving with my husband for a vacation for a couple of days. I had to speak up to tell him like, ‘I'm burnt out. I'm tired,’ and he suggested it because I never take time off.”
That happens to be the perfect example of self-care, which was a major discussion topic throughout the panel. Arias said it herself, “A happy momma is a happy child.” Pressuring yourself to do it all only brings on stress and frustration until you burnout Arias stressed.
With all that being said, try not to let that inevitable #momguilt influence your decisions—the panelist all agreed this term should no longer carry weight. (Cough, cough have you ever heard of #dadguilt? We didn’t think so.) Taking time for yourself to focus on work and self-care is only going to set a positive example for your child.
Do you think any of these women allowed #momguilt to stand in the way of their success? Arias wants her child to know what it’s like to have a hardworking, bread-winning mother—just like she witnessed from her own mother. “I'm not going to lie to you, it's draining being a business owner, a mom, an athlete, and everything else along with building a legacy for my daughter,” the self-made influencer told Parents.com. Arias is the first to admit she isn’t perfect and never will be—despite her Instagram that has us thinking otherwise. “I have reached a point in my career where I feel I have a responsibility towards the people who follow me so I try to be as real as possible. It can be scary—I hold myself to a high standard.”
Arias built her own brand and business from the ground up, something she encouraged all audience members to do if that is a path that interests them. “For moms aspiring to have their own business, build from within. Build the patience to know that there is a bigger picture and if you are passionate that good energy is going to resonate with people.” Arias continued, “Don’t be afraid of being looked down upon or that your personality won’t resonate with an audience. Once you are yourself, you are going to attract the right energy, and energy is real.”
Whether starting your own business or climbing the corporate latter, there will be obstacles. Did you know that at every education level in every state mothers are paid 71 cents to a father’s dollar? Unfortunately, realities such as this are real and discrimination in the workplace is something each Power Mom panelist has experienced. “The more we support each other as women, the more education we get. That is how I think we are going to change the world,” Arias encouraged. “Something that really resonated with me in the panel is we are raising the next generation. Instilling the change we want to see in our own kids, that is how we are going to move forward. Also, by speaking up, empowering one another, and making sure we support women’s businesses.”
There is no question that Arias is upholding her responsibility to keep it real. Even after the panel, Arias took the time to personally connect with the line of audience members waiting to meet her. She swapped emails, took over individual Instagram stories, and did what she could to use her platform to promote the many women in the room who have big dreams. As her husband patiently chased after Indie who was growing tired as toddlers do, it was clear we could all take a note from Arias playbook—there is no question that the vacation she was taking that night was well deserved.