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New mom Sacha Taylor offers insightful perspective on the changes we embrace in those early baby days. The yoga and meditation teacher and ritual practitioner discusses life and wellness with a new baby, and the importance of listening to your body and your changing environment in those days as a new mom.
Sacha, tell us a little about you:
I am an entrepreneur, yogi and pottery maker, and an occasional workshop teacher. I am mama to Cleopatra who turns one in April, my husband and I are both born in April too so it’s a busy month for our family!
What was the most unexpected part of your own motherhood journey?
I was shocked by how challenging my physical recovery was. My baby came out fast and I experienced a good deal of tearing and needed a lot of stitches, so all the mainstream postpartum information saying it usually takes about 6 weeks to recover did not apply in my situation. This gave me a lot of stress because I kept comparing myself to others and looking for ways to help myself heal faster; but really, the only solution was to rest and allow time to pass. I was used to being very active up until giving birth, so resting in bed for many weeks was unexpected.
How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you as a mom?
Even though I read the books, did group therapy with my birth center and generally felt prepared, there was so much I had to learn “on the job” and figure out in real time with a brand new baby. In so many cultures around the world new mothers get more support than in the U.S., so we don’t have a good standard for supporting and initiating new moms into this huge life change. We also don’t have standards for initiating new dads and partners either!
What about in your career?
I was able to spend my baby’s first eight months working very lightly part-time in my consulting business. This was thanks to my incredible support system: my husband, my mom and my business partner. In that sense I was able to ease back into work and find some balance. After those eight months and some new financial realities, I decided to accept a full time position at a company. It’s been difficult in a lot of ways because I miss spending quality time with my baby, and we’re all just tired by the end of the day. I think for companies to really honor and support new moms it’s going to require new paradigms of flexibility and creativity.
Our focus this month is wellness in motherhood. What does that mean to you as a mama? What does it mean for your business?
For me wellness in motherhood has been about slowing down and knowing that I don’t have to do and be everything, everywhere, all at once. Mentally I’ve had to make a practice of not comparing myself to other new mothers, while also building community and relationships with new mothers. For me this also looks like finding time for solitude and also finding time to be social. It’s really a big balancing act, and no two weeks or months have looked the same. I also have to operate on a lot of trust and know that I’m doing my best and that my businesses and job will still be there even when I need to slow down and embrace rest. In reality, when I don’t embrace rest and try to push through that’s when more problems can come up!
As a yoga and meditation teacher and a ritual practitioner I’ve had to let go of what I used to do, like my former elaborate and creative morning rituals, and for now just do smaller and more manageable practices like speaking affirmations into the first glass of water I drink in the morning, or doing my stretches on the floor of my baby’s room while she crawls around. I can’t get stuck comparing myself to past versions of me when I used to have a more involved wellness routine because everything is different now, and it will continue to evolve in the future.
What’s one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a mom?
I don’t think there’s any way to really know this in advance without experiencing it, but wish I had known how huge my range of emotions would be. There have been challenges and stress for sure and there’s also been so much joy, laughter and amazement. I had no idea I could even hold so many emotional experiences all at once, it’s been really powerful.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new mama?
Find or build community by any means necessary. This may take you out of your comfort zone of people you already know, but participating in Mom’s groups and meetups, both virtually and in person has been such a key for me during this first year. Develop new friendships and try not to get stuck in the comparison trap.
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