What is your favorite thing you have learned about yourself since becoming a mother?
I’ve been able to better identify what my true priorities are. I have a tendency to seek validation and measure success by how much I cross off my to-do list (as I’m sure many can relate). This kind of mentality causes me to struggle with being present in my day to day because I’m so focused on the doing and less in the being. Since becoming a mother, I find my priorities have become more apparent — taking care of myself and keeping this sweet little human alive, the rest is just extra! While it’s not easy to be okay with the extra clutter around the house and have to ask for more grace and help during this season. Recognizing my true priorities and treating everything else on the to-do list as “bonuses” has made it a lot easier to let go of what doesn’t get done, and be more present with what is truly important.
What was your biggest challenge or struggle with pregnancy?
Letting go of identity. There was a point in my pregnancy where I had to take a month off of teaching and wasn’t able to engage in physical activity. It was an incredibly challenging month for me physically and mentally. But it also allowed me to prepare for a lifestyle shift when Theo arrived. I spent that month tapping into how I am not defined by my job, the roles I play, or what my body looks like. Through this, I realized when I’m able to let go of what I think defines me and disconnect from identity, I’m better able to fully show up without judgement of self and with more grace.
What is the most surprising thing about being a mother that you didn’t expect?
That is the best job I have ever and will ever have. I love the career and lifestyle I’d created leading up to having Theo. And I always knew I’d want to be a mother if my partner wanted kids. But I would also be okay with not having kids and finding ways to be involved with helping youth. Now that Theo is here, I can’t imagine a life where I didn’t get to be his mom. I’ve never experienced a love and happiness like what I feel when I’m with him. It’s been the greatest gift.
How do you incorporate mindfulness into life as a mother?
When I’m with Theo, I’m 100% with him. We are so into our phones and multitasking (guilty). But when I’m with him, I never want him to question that he has my full attention and what he says and does is important. It’s made me think about this in my other relationships and things that I do. Focusing my full attention on that one thing or one person.
What do you hope your son learns by being a part of Womeness Community?
That how you treat and take care of people is everything. This community is special (if you didn’t know this already). I knew this before Theo, but since having him I’ve seen a whole next level of support and encouragement in this space. You never know what people are going through, and you never know how they are speaking to and treating themselves. The way we speak and treat each other matters and is powerful.
Did you have an affirmation you used/use during pregnancy/birth/motherhood?
Oh yes! We love affirmations here (every month our team shares some with our community, if you are ever in need of guidance with your own affirmations). I practice daily affirmations and now try to practice daily with Theo. One in particular that I used during pregnancy is “This is how we bring our baby safely and happily into this world.”
Life doesn’t go according to plan, and we learned this during our pregnancy and birth. This mantra helped me to focus on what was important, and it was less about the “plan” and more about “the goal”. A safe, happy, healthy baby. And boy is this babe happy! My daily affirmation now is “I am the best mom for Theo”. It feels powerful to say (try inserting your own “I am the best___” the next time you doubt your abilities in a situation you’re in). It takes off the pressure to be the “perfect mom” and gives me space to show up human as I navigate this the best I can with the resources and knowledge I have.
How has pregnancy and motherhood empowered you?
I’ve had to lean into connecting with myself more than ever. Mentally checking in with my needs and listening to understand with an open mind rather than seeking to respond through ego. I’d compare it to the patience and empathy you’d give a child. Do I need rest? Nourishment? Ask for help? Women are STRONG. But we also have a tendency to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. Checking in with myself has forced me to sit in some pretty intense and overwhelming emotions. But it’s also allowed me to reveal a version of me in this new season that I am grateful to get to know.
Anything else you’d like to share with our community?
SO MUCH! I am not a woman shy of words, as you may know. In this moment though, “Respect the process. Things don’t happen to us. They happen for and/or because of us.” This season has been full of moments that have pulled me into trusting myself and respecting the process. Trust that you have the resources necessary and embody what you need to work through this chapter of life you’re in.
I want to share with our community that you are never alone in whatever season you are in. This is an incredible space full of Womeness who seek to support and be there for one another. If you are ever in need of support or community, reach out. That’s part of why this community was created. To create a space where women empower one another.