TikTok’s ‘After Hours with Amanda’ on Why Not Knowing Everything is a Good Thing

Social media isn’t always the most hopeful place, but thanks to Amanda Bouldin, it’s a little bit brighter. Bouldin rose to fame on TikTok as “After Hours with Amanda,” sharing uplifting messages and stories of her life as a mom of three girls–but she doesn’t just share the highlights.

Bouldin also uses her platform to get honest about the mistakes she’s made and lessons she’s learning along the way, including from her own kids.

“It feels ignorant to me to tell my kids that I know exactly what’s right one hundred percent of the time,” she said on Ten Minute Talks with Meagan Lynn. “Because I absolutely don’t. I’ve never been a parent. They’re my first group of children…as I go year after year, so do they. They reach new ages. They reach new levels. They reach new situations, so it’s always all new.”

In part, what’s endeared Bouldin to her millions of followers is her honesty. When her house isn’t perfectly put together or she’s having a particularly stressful day, she doesn’t shy away from showing it.

“I always think of myself as a safe place where they can come and be like, ‘Oh, look at Amanda, just acting like her massive amount of laundry that she hasn’t folded in four weeks is totally normal,’ because that’s encouraging for people,” she said. “Not being good at everything means you’re a human being and being a human being means you’re approachable; being approachable means that other people can find comfort in that and they can find relatability.”

With the individualism of social media culture and amidst the isolation of the pandemic, Bouldin says it can be easy to forget that we’re not the only ones struggling with our problems, which is why she shares hers.

“It breaks down these walls because the minute someone admits to you they’re struggling, there’s this comfort that comes in that we don’t even know. It’s almost like your body breathes, where you’re like, ‘Oh, me too,’ and there’s this beauty that happens,” she said. “I’m okay doing that because I realized that somewhere out there someone’s going to take a sigh and that’s what I want for them.”

As Bouldin is comfortable admitting she doesn’t know it all, she also sees not knowing everything as a good thing.

“I think in life or in parenting, not knowing what you’re doing means that you’re doing something new, which means you’re growing. And if you’re growing, it means you’re learning,” she said. “When you’re okay with not knowing what you’re doing, you’re open to everything, and that’s a really great place to be.”

What’s more, Bouldin says recognizing we don’t know everything is recognizing that we need each other.

“What’s weak in you is strong in someone else. I always think it’s interesting when we start to see things as not needing to be good at everything but then finding things that enrich us, that with our talents, we can enrich others,” she said. “It creates this beautiful body of people in your life.”

“If you look at the human body, it’s made up of all these different parts; my right arm can’t do what my left leg can do, but they work in tandem with each other,” she continued. “I think that’s what life is about. I think it’s about creating this wonderful human body of people that surround you, that can work in tandem so you can all support one another.”

Despite her optimistic outlook, Bouldin isn’t always positive. Through watching her brother lose his battle with drug addiction, she learned the importance of looking for the good.

“It’s a really dark place to see that happen and to experience that, so for me, I look for the positive because I just don’t think there’s any value in staring down the barrel of the negative. It’s always there. It’s waiting,” she said.

To cope with anxiety, Bouldin has a few practices she turns to meditation, reading a daily devotional, ice rolling, and taking five minutes of silence for herself in the morning and at night. When Bouldin is overwhelmed with negativity, she’ll journal her feelings to process later or take a minute to write down three things she’s grateful for.

“I don’t think that gratitude erases or takes away from what people are struggling with, and I don’t believe in toxic positivity because I dealt with mental health issues in my family,” she explained. “You can’t be positive all the time, but I think that you can eventually get to a place where you can look for the silver lining because living any other way, I think it would destroy me.”

While Bouldin’s wisdom often comes in the form of parenting advice, her audience ranges in age from kids to adults, and she says we could all benefit from learning to re-raise ourselves and overcoming the negative thoughts we’ve internalized over time.

“I think a lot of the problem is that as much as this whole world is made up of adults, it’s actually just a lot of wounded children walking around. We all have so much internal hurt that we weren’t allowed to deal with or weren’t told to deal with, or wasn’t even talked about because it was very taboo,” she said. “I think that a lot of good could come from healing our inner child versus focusing so much on all these other things that make us better adults, like get a house and get a relationship and get married and have kids and 401(k)s.”

For more from Bouldin, you can follow her on TikTok and all social media @afterhourswithamanda and listen to her podcast After Hours with Amanda.

About the Author

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Meagan Lynn

Meagan Lynn is a host and writer at AfterBuzz TV, actress, and social media manager. Outside of AfterBuzz, you can find her hosting and producing Ten Minute Talks. She loves singing, listening to inspirational podcasts and consuming copious amounts of movies and television shows.