As both an influencer and a mother of five, author Naomi Davis is no stranger to the importance of balance. Her debut book, “A Coat of Yellow Paint: Moving Through the Noise to Love the Life You Live” offers a lively perspective of motherhood, fostering good mental health and overcoming the criticism of others.
Naomi Davis started her blog, “Love Taza” in 2007. It’s a labor of love that has evolved alongside the changing state of the internet; becoming a platform where Davis explored raising five children, being married, and living authentically and candidly. Filled with an introspective collection of heartfelt and lively experiences, Davis wrote “A Coat of Yellow Paint: Moving Through the Noise to Love the Life You Live”, as an intimate glimpse into the converging identities of motherhood and adulthood.
Noise, whether it be the opinions of others, distractions, or failed expectations, can feel impossible to completely ignore. That’s why Davis’ commitment to sharing an authentic side of herself to her audience, is a side that includes insecurities, frustrations, and setbacks. Moving through the noise, as Davis puts it, allows surrounding commotions to meld into deeper wisdom.
And as “Love Taza” has grown, Davis has seen the impact of sharing her experiences firsthand—and it’s something that continues to inspire her and much of the content that she creates.
“I’ve loved being able to connect with and inspire other women who are navigating the ups and downs and motherhood. I appreciate other women’s vulnerability and so much of my mothering comes from women who have helped me feel more confident. I hope these essays can push this forward,” Davis said.
Motherhood is an experience that is felt and understood in entirely different ways. One size does not fit all. Yet, mothers are continually subjected to unwarranted critique, unfair expectations, and the opinions of others. While motherhood isn’t an identical experience, Davis finds significant power in the vulnerability that occurs when unconventional paths are shared with the public.
“I’ve always really wanted to strive for that vulnerability, but wasn’t able to fully grasp it. Once I hit my thirties, [vulnerability] is something that I’ve really had to navigate. I’ve grown up in the online world, which has allowed me to figure out my own strengths and vulnerabilities by owning my own story. That can be difficult for anybody, whether you’re a parent, influencer, or a woman—because there is a lot going against you. Stepping back and finding that self-love allows you to realize how powerful it can be when you hone in on that feeling of love for yourself. I’m more comfortable with the vulnerable parts of my life that are more difficult to share.”
Davis uses this fact to her advantage, writing and reflecting on the ways in which she has learned to be a mother, including the troubling process of being subjected to criticism on how to parent from the people around her. Considering that the world of influencing thrives off of both constant performance and visibility, it’s imperative to learn how to separate your experiences from the internet versus what happens in real life.
With that, Davis has had to amend her relationship with the internet by separating the toxic noise of critics and haters and take a step back. “Remember that the online world is not the entire world. The person on the other side of the screen is going through a lot if they’re lashing out. It’s another human being, another person who gets nervous like me, and we have to keep that in check. The internet is a beautiful thing, but you can’t place your self-worth on what other people think about you.”
Boundaries are very important to Davis. When it comes to sharing aspects of her children’s lives, Davis says its crucial to ask permission before sharing, saying, “I’m sure that I’ll make plenty of mistakes, but you just have to make sure that they’re comfortable with it. It is very tricky navigating the relationship between internet and social media and how does that transpire with raising our families.”
When writing the essay “Shoesies” which navigates the unsolicited confrontations from strangers on how to mother, Davis said: “I had this moment where I realized that I’m so grateful for the journey that I’ve been on that led to my confidence in myself; and that I’m doing the best I can. It was a great visual of where I’ve come from. I can experience that same memory of ten years prior to when I was so new to motherhood. It’s been really nice to revisit that newfound love. I’m able to say I’ve walked an unconventional path, but I’m really proud of the woman, girl, and the mom that was trying her hardest to show up. I wish I could hug me ten years ago in that Target parking lot.”
The introspective nature of the content Davis shares is a warm reminder of the power of being kind to yourself. There is power in simply “checking in” and setting boundaries that are best for both you and your mental health—in motherhood and beyond.
“If I could say one thing to a new mother, it’s that you got this. You’re doing a great job. It’s so important to get that assurance and give them that boost. There is so much power in stepping back and saying, ‘Hey mama, how are you doing? How can I show up for you?”