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We asked, you answered. As we look back on the mamas we featured in 2023, we highlight the best, most vulnerable, and most inspiring answers to the question: "How have you found balance in the journey?”
After losing her own mother at a young age, stay at home mom turned marketing agency owner Edil Cuepo wasn't sure how to prioritize her needs in her early days as a mom. But when Edil's daughter was found to have a life-threatening brain tumor, Edil was forced to slow down and lean on the community around her to get through a difficult time:
“Self-care to me is slowing down, taking hot showers, watching mindless reality TV, and reading a good book. I just try and listen to what my body needs at any given point in time. When I’m feeling stressed, I try not to rush myself. Sometimes we feel the world is going to end if we don’t do “x” or “y.” But really, it doesn’t.”
CEO of a thriving superfoods business, Philosophie, wellness expert, yoga teacher, couples therapy coach and mother of three, Sophie Jaffe drives home the importance of surrounding yourself with a strong community, loving yourself first and foremost, and above all, trusting your intuition in motherhood and in life:
“My own mental health and sanity is THE most important priority. I love me more than anything else. I took most of Friday morning off to go get a massage and practice some self-care. It is THE reason I was able to give so fully to my superfood company this weekend and be so present and attentive to my children. There are SO MANY ways to check in with your body and reset your nervous system. ANYTHING that brings you into the present moment & brings you JOY activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Being the perfect mother doesn’t exist and NEVER HAS. And if there’s one experience that teaches you to expect things NOT to go as planned, it’s motherhood. You are following your heart, your intuitive voice to guide you. Even when you screw up, even when life gets messy, even when you forget. Even when you need/WANT a break. Let go of that guilt. When it comes to motherhood, you can look up how to do this or how to do that and read tons of articles and parenting books that will all tell you some version of the same thing, but ultimately, it comes down to YOU and how you choose to be a parent and whether or not you’ll lean in, let go and trust your intuition.
Trust that you KNOW, your primal intuitive body KNOWS.”
Wellness is so important to Rachael Williams, she even included it in her Instagram handle. The model, licensed Aromatherapist, and new mom shares the importance of enjoying the journey and making time for stillness and self care:
“Wellness is what I aim to practice everyday. Whether that is a walk around my neighborhood, spring cleaning my home, painting my nails or simply laying on the sofa in silence, it’s something that I know my mind and body need daily.”
Mom of two Susannah Dale learned firsthand the difficulties working moms face trying to balance it all. She stumbled across the term “matrescence” as a new mom and felt both validated and angry at once, learning there was a very real, science-based explanation for the emotional journey she had been going through. Inspired to do more for other moms, she created The Maternity Pledge, a series of wellbeing steps that companies can adopt to ensure they go beyond statutory requirements for maternity leave:
“I'm very lucky that both myself and my husband are self-employed. It means we have much more flexibility, but particularly in my previous role as a wedding planner I would sometimes have to work evenings and weekends. I've never been able to take a traditional maternity leave in the way some of my peers have and when my boys were younger I found it harder to find my “village” because I had to work during nap times or be at home to do a call. As they've grown up and I've changed careers I've found the balance easier to manage.”
Twin mom and business owner Maia Alejandro shares her thoughts on the importance of community, and how having that village helped her through the difficult process of being a new mom. She reminds us how unique motherhood is for each of us, and the importance of embracing and loving our body, our journey, and ourselves.
“There were times in history where women were surrounded by a community after childbirth; I think that we don't do this enough today. My grandmother made it a point to help me on my breastfeeding journey by making me a soup passed down through generations. Her thoughtfulness is part of the reason I breastfed for as long as I did, even despite so much difficulty. I personally felt so deeply isolated as a new mom, and I think that focusing on community care which centers the mother is key to the postpartum health of the entire family…Loving the new me means embracing my new priorities, my new body and the new sense of freedom that comes from watching my kids be so authentically themselves.”
Allison Robinson saw a need for new moms like herself, and she filled it. The CEO and founder of The Mom Project was shocked when she first learned how many mothers leave the workforce after having children. She set out to bridge the gap between organizations and moms, by creating opportunities for companies and professionals to grow and thrive while giving moms the ability to not be forced to choose between career and family:
“While on maternity leave with my first child, I read a jarring statistic that an estimated 43% of highly skilled women leave the workforce after becoming mothers. I started to imagine a future where women would not have to choose between parenthood and their careers. Inspired by the birth of my first son and on behalf of moms everywhere, I founded The Mom Project in 2016.
Every mom’s journey is unique, and at The Mom Project, we strive to provide opportunities that meet the needs of our moms no matter what stage of life they’re in. From remote and hybrid work to part-time and contract roles, we offer something to fit any situation. While getting moms back to work is our ultimate mission, we provide guidance and support along the way to make it possible for them to get there…The underlying theme running throughout every one of our offerings is the same: communicating to moms that their contributions are important, their needs matter, and they have an entire community rallying behind them and rooting for their success.”
How do YOU find balance and prioritize wellness as a mama? Share your story on our Instagram and join the conversation!