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SoCal mom of three Danica Lio understands the journey of matrescence, and she seeks to help moms feel supported as they walk through it. On her blog, The Memoirs of a Mommy, she provides a platform for moms to find community support and drives home the importance of quality time with our little ones, even when we feel stretched thin.
Danica, tell us a little bit about you:
Hi! I am a mom of 3 living in Sunny SoCal. With my background in public health, I have always been passionate about advocating for maternal and child health. That is why I have created my blog, The Memoirs of a Mommy. It serves as a platform for mothers in all stages of their journey to share the highs and lows of motherhood – where an online community can share their journey through the fourth trimester. I’m not only a content creator, but I also work full-time as an IT Consultant.
What did becoming a mom look like for you?
Becoming a mom came a lot earlier than I had anticipated. I was just out of college and hadn’t started working yet, I was unprepared for the journey, nor did I have the proper support. Looking back, that experience is what propels me to connect and empower other moms who may have gone through or are going through the same predicament.
What helps you enjoy the journey - especially on the hard days?
So many things! Seeing my children’s smiles and hearing their laughter. Growing up as an only child, I’ve always wanted a big family. So even when times are so hard, or even when I feel like I have nothing left in me to push forward for the day; seeing and hearing my kids giggles and play together gives me so much joy and a reminder that it’ll all be okay. Also watching their growth and excitement over new things that they learn or feel proud about. It’s a reminder that there’s always something to be thankful for even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.
How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you as a mom?
Matrescence’s Mission resonates with me so much because whenever a family welcomes a new baby, the mother is often overlooked. It’s all about “how’s the baby?” or “Let me take care of the baby”. But the baby is generally well taken care of; as moms we know how to take care of our baby and we continue to figure it out; but we often don’t know how to take care of ourselves during postpartum. We brush our needs off to care for our babies and family, and often we also forget how to ask for that help. We are not who we once were, and a mother is also born. We can use all the help and the support we can get to find the new version of ourselves, too.
What is your favorite part about motherhood? What is the most challenging part?
My favorite parts of motherhood are both the big and small events that create a lifetime of memories. It’s the quiet moments together reading or having a teachable moment and the big tight hugs in between. It’s also the loud, colorful, and messy parts where we are singing, dancing, making a mess or going on adventures. The most challenging part of motherhood is time. Fitting in the time to be all things. As a working mom, I often have guilt that I’m not spending enough time with my family; but also challenged by the fact that time is running out to finish tasks.
What is the best advice you received about parenting and who did you get it from?
One valuable piece of parenting advice I was given by my aunt was to prioritize quality time over quantity. Like I’ve mentioned before, I often have guilt that I have to go to work and that takes time away from being with my kids; or not having enough 1:1 time with each of my kids. But my aunt shared with me that the key is to prioritize quality time that is intentional, even if it’s an hour or 30 minutes. Those moments of meaningful interaction with your child to actively listen to their thoughts, feelings, ideas, or creative stories builds a strong emotional connection with them. Those are the moments that planning a playdate or taking them to a fun place that you’ve been wanting to do as a family can never replace. I cherish those moments the most.
What struggles have you encountered finding balance? How do you navigate them?
It’s really the time. There’s never enough time in the day to do it all, and I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay to not do it all. Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I know it’s time to reevaluate my priorities then start setting up a strategy for the day or the week. This can include: time blocking my tasks, prioritizing by urgency and importance; also evaluating whether what I’m doing serves me and my family well.
Anything else you want us to know?
I am really grateful for the connections I have made through this platform and I’d like to thank Matrescence Skin for giving me the safe space to share my story.