Meet The Mama Behind "The Courageous Mama" Blog and Design Shop
This article was written by a sweet friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous.
For Lauren Berowski, writing is the ultimate conduit and mechanism that helps people learn about the world and navigate mental health struggles.
Through a blog she created called The Courageous Mama, and her career as an adjunct English professor, she helps her community do both.
Lauren herself works through depression and anxiety daily, and notices that writing provides solace. Among many therapeutic means, writing also connects Lauren deeply to her grandmother who passed away at an early age. Her grandmother was a writer, just like Lauren is, and whenever Lauren grabs a pen and paper, she feels comfort – it’s like it’s a hug from her grandmother.
Writing also helps Lauren understand her mental illnesses, and she constantly writes about her own struggles. She invites her students to do the same.
“With mental illness comes so many thoughts that flood your brain at one time that you feel like you can’t quite grasp what you need at that moment,” Lauren said. “It’s therapeutic because I can actually use language and be rational when I’m writing things down, or I can be completely messy and that’s OK.”
As an adjunct professor for first-year college students, she allows her students to experience that same healing. As Lauren realizes her students are young adults navigating this world just like she is, she believes fate brought her where she needs to be in life. She believes her purpose is to provide a familiar safe space for her students to come to if they need to vent, while also teaching them the foundational English curriculum. Though she teaches classic writing and critical skills, she allows her students free writing time for them to let out all their thoughts out, too. In those moments, she allows their writing to be messy, and encourages her students to just get out what’s on their minds, if it helps their souls.
Lauren is also a new mother and has felt the effects of postpartum depression. Her writing skills and empathy towards others motivated her to start The Courageous Mama, a blog where she discusses her newfound motherhood. Though she loves being a mother and feels incredibly fortunate to have her daughter Cecilia, she noticed that people don’t typically discuss the hard parts of motherhood – the loneliness, sadness, isolation and confusion that can accompany the sheer joy of raising a child.
Lauren’s blog allows others to share their postpartum tribulations, as well, and to seek out friendships and relationships. She started this blog in a quest to highlight honest, vulnerable and authentic stories from people.
Her intent is to discuss topics that people feel deep inside but are oftentimes afraid to share. By creating this community, she cultivates the space for others to write and participate – and continuously provides writing comfort into others’ lives in a positive manner.
Article topics include traumatic pregnancy, pregnancy during the Covid-19 pandemic and finding balance in life. Another article topic depicts a parent who is working to overcome mental health issues.
She continues empowering women through another part of her business. The Courageous Mama also produces and sells clothing geared towards mothers, aunts and women in general. “Cool Aunts Club” and “Empowered Women Empower Women” are just two of the many messages she writes on the shirts.
She believes this is what she’s meant to do and that’s what keeps the blog going, even when some days it’s hard for her to overcome her own mental health issues. People have reached out to her thanking her for her openness and for sharing her struggles, and she stays connected with them. She’s proud of them and watches them overcome life’s challenges.
“Right now, with the way our world is, we are very social media-based … I think an important thing to note for yourself is that not everything you see is what’s exactly happening. I think it’s important to give yourself grace and ask for help and realize that being vulnerable is actually a strength rather than a weakness," Lauren says.
Along with preparing new articles for the blog, Lauren has been creating a line of mental health awareness apparel and accessories, which will available on her website starting August 15th.