My real-life name is Tanya, but I’m also known as the creator, writer, digital cartoonist and *star* of Comic Strip Mama™!
Ultimately, being a parent is the most rewarding and challenging role I have been blessed with in this life and I have often thought to myself that I feel like my life is nothing but a hilarious reality comic strip series! I said this out loud one day to my little Lexie and *taa daa* “Comic Strip Mama” was born!
Ever since I can remember, I have effortlessly communicated my thoughts and sentiments through writing. When I came up with the “Comic Strip Mama” concept, I also found out how creative I was with the digital illustrations. Who knew?!
My comics, my blog and my social media platforms are simply all about encouraging others to make the best of the busyness, craziness, chaos, frustrations, challenges and INSANITY of life and parenthood and STOP taking life so seriously! I inspire others to focus on the positive, recognize the blessings and find the humor in everything. I also promote the power of respect, love, laughter and living life to the absolute fullest!
No matter what you are faced with in this life, you have the power to determine how you react to it (as long as you have a shred of sanity left) and this is something I have learned over time. Throughout the challenges life and parenthood, I have suffered many tragedies and hardships that have involved suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, terminal illness, health issues, failed relationships and physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse.
My life used to be a random rollercoaster of highs and lows and stress and depression. For many years I lived a terribly dark, disturbing and miserable existence. I was bullied throughout junior high and high school and decided to drop out when I was 15. I was a rebellious runaway teen. The kind you see on those talk shows on TV. While I was living on the streets I was abused sexually, physically, emotionally and mentally. I lived a life of lies, self destructive behavior and deception and I put my parents through pure hell.
I am a "teen mom". I got pregnant at 16 and had that baby at 17. I have been married and divorced and I was a single mom for several years. My step-mom battled two types of cancer and my father died from a terminal illness. Eventually, the stress and the pain that I collected built up and wallowed in over the years started to affect my own health and well-being. It was a wakeup call! Enough was enough! I had three wonderful children to live for and I was determined to be an amazing mama, person and positive role model!
Throughout most of my life I would never accept accountability for my actions or choices. It was much easier to blame the past and the bad things I lived through for my anger, negative attitude and reckless behaviour. Eventually it occurred to me that I was just making selfish excuses and I was choosing to live that way, because I could. Over time, I learned that if I changed my attitude and my way of thinking, it would change my life. So I embarked on a mission to leave the anger and the negativity behind once and for all. No more lies, no more depression, no more self-destructive reckless behavior, no more taking life way too seriously, no more false expectations and no more setting myself up for failure.
The only time I look back at the negative past now is to remember what I have learned, to help someone else learn from what I have lived and to see how far I have come! Today I am a happy and strong person, mother and entrepreneur who focuses on the positive, recognizes the blessings and finds the humor in everything! After 21+ years of mamahood, I have established myself as an *expert* in being an AWESOME mama and role model and I have 3 awesome children (ages 21, 18, and 10) to prove it!
Of course I am still faced with insanity and challenges that life throws at me on a daily basis. Life is STILL HARD. That hasn't changed. However, what has changed is my attitude about dealing with it all! Last year my physical health ended my administrative career. Instead of succumbing to the disabilities I was faced with, I decided make the best of my skills and talents and I turned my comic strip hobby into a self-syndicated webcomic business, Comic Strip Mama Enterprises Inc..
I am often asked how I have managed to get through life without completely losing my mind! Well, it certainly wasn't and still isn't easy and it's a LONG story, which is why I wrote a book, STAIRWAY TO AWESOMENESS. By sharing my tragedy-to-triumph "survival story" about how I got through it all and the changes I made along the way, I hope to help others find the same strength to live a happier and positive life. My book is now available on AMAZON!!
My Comic Strip Mama venture so far has turned out to be more than anything I imagined it becoming! BUT! Above all else, it has given me the opportunity to reach, entertain and inspire others and I think it just might be my calling! I never ever feel sorry for myself anymore. I always focus on the positives and the humor and I encourage everyone to do the same!