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Board Certified Music Therapist Lauren Marcinkowski talks about the importance of recognizing the hard work of stay at home mothers. Despite having three teaching certifications, including music, special and elementary education, the mom of two reminds us that you don’t need to be constantly accomplishing in your career to be recognized for the hard work we all do as parents. Her reminder that “motherhood is enough” is something mamas that work inside and outside the home can remind ourselves of in those tough moments.
Lauren, tell us a little about you:
I am currently at home with my two babies, but I have three teaching certifications: special education, elementary education, and music education. I am also a board certified Music therapist. I’ve spent most of my life working with disabled individuals and individuals on the autism spectrum in educational and hospital settings. I actually started my Instagram page as a teacher looking to extend empathy and understanding tips for other teachers who had students exhibiting challenging behaviors. Currently, I focus on extending grace and love to mothers who are going through challenging times with their children!
What was the most unexpected part of your own motherhood journey?
I assumed that since I had so much experience with children, it would be easy for me to parent. How wrong I was! My children are constantly facing new challenges that also challenge me as a parent. Just because you work with kids all day does not mean that it’s going to be smooth sailing as a parent. It is different as a mother.
How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you as a mom?
It takes a village to not only raise a child, but to raise the mother. You become a new person once you become a mom. I used to think that was just a saying, but it’s absolutely true. It’s completely changed the way I view myself and the world. It’s completely changed my life and what I’ve decided to do in terms of my career and mission on social media. I love that Matrescence has specifically created and curated products just for moms. It feels so intentional and makes me feel appreciated in this stage of my life!
As a full time mom, it makes me feel appreciated and that motherhood alone is enough. You don’t need to be doing a million things in your career to be recognized for your hard work. Being a mom alone is enough! Everything else is just gravy.
Our focus this month is wellness in motherhood. What does that mean to you as a mama?
We welcomed our rainbow baby this year, born after a pregnancy loss. While my pregnancy loss was early, losing a baby early on doesn’t make it any less painful. It also doesn’t change the hormonal drop that happens afterward. The intense emotions you feel are only amplified by the hormone shift in your body. I am not sure, but I would be willing to bet that it’s probably common for women who experienced postpartum depression (like I did after my first child) to have these depressive feelings happen again after a pregnancy loss. No matter when the pregnancy loss happens, it’s always difficult and sad.
Wellness is the touchstone I go back to as a mother to help center myself. I know that when I’m not making time for myself that I start to fall apart - quite literally! My aches and pains become much worse. When I give myself time to go for a walk, do a skincare routine, meditate, or otherwise find time for my wellness, I reap the benefits for days on end. It’s essential for my mental and physical health. I carve time out of my schedule and my kid’s schedule for my own wellness. Because a happy mama = happy kids!!
What’s one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a mom?
Not only is it harder than I expected, but more beautiful. I didn’t expect all of the lows, but I also did not expect all of the highs. No one can describe to you what it feels like to see your child smile at you for the first time, give you a hug and tell you that they love you, or that you’re their best friend. No one can prepare you for the overwhelming love you feel.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new mama?
You need to let go of being in control all the time. Yes, try to keep structure and routine, but also know it’s not going to be perfect and that’s ok. Leaning into that let me enjoy aspects of motherhood I otherwise would not have. And also- you’re doing a great job!
Follow Lauren on Instagram