Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

After Davina Rhine’s son was born 10 years ago, she felt alone. Yes, she has a supportive partner who is a hands-on dad. But she was among the first of her friends to have kids, and she lacked mentors and role models to whom she could relate. Rhine, who lives in Lochwood, was a young college student, into punk-rock music, tattoos and the local art scene when her son was born. Everything she read about parenting seemed to have little to do with her own life. “Everything I read said I should be able to work 60 hours a week and go to school and cook these amazing dinners and make every play date,” she says. “That’s the image that’s pretty much shoved down moms’ throats.” That “super-deluxe model” mom, as Rhine calls it, isn’t realistic. So she decided to write her own book. It took about eight years to research, write and edit (she was working full time and going to school part time), but in December, Rhine self-published “Rebel Moms: The Off Road Map for the Off-Road Mom.” The book is a collection of stories from real-life moms from all over the country, as well as some whom Rhine met in our neighborhood. There are artists, boxers, teachers, writers, nurses and “vocal neighborhood momma-misfits,” Rhine says. She hopes the book will help women avoid becoming burned out and frustrated when they can’t live up to unrealistic expectations. “It’s for the activist mom, the rocker mom,” she says. “They tell you how to be a mother, be yourself and find your own way.” Rhine couldn’t find a publisher she liked to publish her book, so she started her own small press, Rebellion Press. She is submitting the book for review to feminist and parenting magazines, and she even sent it to her favorite book reviewer at the New York Times. She is planning a nationwide book tour this spring. After that, she plans to work on publishing a compilation of “healing poems” for rape victims. In the next three years, she would like Rebellion Press to take submissions and publish about one book a year, all funded by her job as a team manager for an international security company. She says she wants to offer a medium to voices we might not otherwise hear. It’s the same ideology that drove her to write “Rebel Moms”: “So that moms anywhere can find mentors they can relate to, especially if they’ve had hard times in their lives.” Find “Rebel Moms” at or Smoke and Mirrors Art Gallery, 1920 N. Haskell.


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