Pheonix Wild is a wounded woman healed, a powerful new mother, and a rebel for the people. She speaks loudly about things that matter. She speaks out for women, for nursing mothers, for new parents and for a better America.
We chat with Phoenix about finding strength in your own voice, the social pressure to ‘bounce back’ and how creating a family should be more abundance and less restriction.
Did you have a perspective on breastfeeding before you became a mother, and what does it mean to you now?
I was so oblivious before. I’d never seen a woman breastfeed until I started. I’m 25.
Before I became a mother, I honestly never really thought about breastfeeding beyond the stigmas I’d heard from other young maidens who were not mother’s either. So, it was pretty negative. “Your boobs will be saggy.” “It’s painful.” “You won’t have freedom.”
Unfortunately, I just kind of bandwagoned with that frame of mind. I wasn’t against it. I just didn’t have an opinion. And then I didn’t really feel provoked to think more into it until I found out that I was pregnant.
Then all of a sudden the experience was all about my son, and zero percent about what I was afraid of.
Now that he is here, it’s kind of like an insecurity that I didn’t know was there for mother’s everywhere. I go about my life, and when I’m amongst people I don’t know or in public and I need to breastfeed I get shy sometimes. Or feel ashamed. Once I get settled into it though, I feel liberated because I realize that mothers have been doing this since the beginning of time. They’ve just had to hide in our recent way of life.
Birth is “a gradual escalation of an experience your body has been training to do for 9 months. PREGNANT MAMAS. you are ready. you are strong. your are wise. you will make the perfect size baby for you and you and your baby are a team. I believe in you human.
Describe your birthing experience, and your first few weeks of new motherhood.
My birthing experience was a whirlwind of the unexpected.
I spent night and day dreaming of a magical quick birth. Then found myself 26 hours into labour, thinking that my son must think I’m a fool for trying to plan his entrance so gracefully.
We planned a homebirth, but ended up going to the hospital. We anticipated our midwives lack of support, and she was pretty close to evil for our whole experience.
I thought I would birth standing up or squatting but he came out as I was on my back. It was crazy.
The first few weeks of his life were sort of a beautiful dream.
I cried when I took showers because I missed him being in my belly, and I couldn’t leave him for more than 30 seconds without feeling like the world was going to come to an end.
I’ve never been the same, I wouldn’t go back to being without a child for anything in this universe.
You’ve been really open about having some deep hurt in your past, “sexual abuse, self hate, bullying, religious oppression, eating disorders, drug abuse and lack of love from a real man” and about your Instagram art beginning after “two failed attempts at suicide and a few weeks stay in mental health facilities”.
Tell us about your headspace now, and how you’ve found such a strong and positive voice?
I think that for a while, I was pretty annoyed with Instagram. I still find myself separating from social media for weeks or days just to detox. I think it’s a bit scary for me to have THAT many people supporting me and validating my voice.
But, without Instagram I would still be a lonely girl dealing with a lot of emotional issues. So, my headspace now is of that initiative. I get a high from inspiring women and men from all walks of life.
Transitioning away from being a bully to myself had a lot to do with Instagram. I am so thankful.
How do you think we create a more supportive society for new families, and do you think the social media ‘village’ is making things easier or harder?
Support, understanding and love. That is what new parents need.
I think that there is a big transformation that needs to happen - people who haven’t had a child need to understand.
I sometimes feel like my old friends are afraid to talk to me, for fear that I’m going to ask them to babysit or talk to about poopy diapers or some shit. Like. I’m not. But if I do, you should be there. Offering to assist before I need to beg.
I shouldn’t have to fear that if my baby is coming along that you will be annoyed.
Like shut up with that BS. Mother’s are much stronger women after birth, and I think it is intimidating. But it should be encouraging.
Reproducing and creating families is part of being human. But, there are a lot of these basic principles we just don’t understand because we weren’t taught - new families are just expected to figure it out. And that’s not fair. Nor is it very nice.
My friend and I are working on creating a new support community that nurtures new parents, and will allow friends and family to get actively involved. Support is the key.
I think social media can help to connect and mend that feeling of isolation to a certain extent, but as we all know social media can only go so far.
Finally, what was the best advice your mother ever gave you?
Don’t treat people out in the streets better than you do your own family. It will only make you lonelier.