Conversatons with women I've encountered in my life, in person or on social media that embrace the full spectrum of motherhood.  These women inspire me and many others, but like many of us encounter hardships even if they SEEM TO barely break a sweat! I share another look into their lives, light conversation and a few tips that we can all use. 

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MEET abisola lONGE

Consultant,Motivational speaker, Mentor,  Recruiter and Queen Mother of three. 


They say if you ever wonder how a woman will turn out, just look at her mother. This week's mother is pretty much the epitome of what a woman truly can be, beautiful, MULTIFACETED, always evolving, confident, SUCCESSFUL, bold ( just check out her signature lip color...) and sexy damnit (eternally so).  I haven't had the pleasure of meeting in person but am delighted to know Abi's daughter,  Fisayo who is already SUCCESSFUL in her own right. Following them on social media it's not difficult to see their genuine bond and that's what is so beautiful to BE ABLE TO WITNESS. as a new mother it was only right i get some tips form a credible and fine source ( sorry fis, ijs). THERE IS HOPE LADIES! WE CAN BE SEXY, CONFIDENT, BEST FRIENDS TO OUR CHILDREN AND STILL BE OUR OWN WOMAN, nOT SURE IF SLEEP IS INCLUDED THOUGH...

check their amazing q&a on her daughter's youtube channel . AND get in contact with abi below!

 

 

Beyond the title of  “MOTHER” , who are you?

I am an experienced recruiter, consultant, motivational speaker and mentor. The founder of HCDC, a world-class human capacity development firm whose clientele include some of the best and fastest growing companies in Nigeria. I am an LSE graduate, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria, and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and E-Cornell.

I am also a coach and author of the Productivity Plus Planner. “Productivity Plus” supports people in designing, articulating and living their purposeful and productive dream lives.

 

Our children are our blessings truly, but what do you do in those moments you feel on the edge?

Those on the edge feelings are completely different when the kids are young. I don’t get a lot of physical “on the edge” feelings these days. Back then; I did a lot of crying and shouting. I don’t recommend that but at least I didn’t get ill from bottling things up. Lol. 

Seriously, the best way to avoid going over the edge is to have a well-rounded life and social interests outside the home. When you feel on the edge, just pack up and take a trip; anywhere! Getting away from your familiar environment works wonders.

When older children take you to the edge, it’s not about physical exhaustion. Get on your knees and pray!

 

What advice do you have for any mother who is trying to start a business?

Firstly, don’t be naïve. When I left my job, I told my kids I could now spend more time with them. What a joke! They reminded me for years as I burnt the midnight oil in my office!

Next, get very organized and put a great support system in place. Your business will take far more time and energy than you anticipate, so ensure you plan to delegate all tasks you don’t need to carry out yourself. When my kids were young, I prepared spreadsheets for all my shopping, including the market. That way is was easy to adjust monthly/weekly and get someone to do it for me.

Also, learn to manage your time diligently. Schedule quality time for all the important arenas of your life – Spirituality, Family, Business, Friends & Socials, Health & Fitness, and Finances.

 

How do you feel your culture has tried to dictate how one should look or behave as a mother and how have you been able to overcome that?

My culture is highly repressive and misogynist. People have quite strong views about how a woman, wife or mother should dress, act etc. It was very uncomfortable for me when my confidence was low; as I have never liked conforming to other people’s ideals. As I grew in age, wisdom and confidence, I learnt to surround myself with the right people and keep people that don’t share my values at bay. That way, you never really get to hear what they think or have to say. Lol.

 

How do you juggle being your own woman outside of the titles given to you?

I’m most comfortable in my own skin and living my own truth. I have learnt that when you are your own woman, you don’t have to pretend, a skill I totally lack expertise in. I just do my thing. The titles are not really for you, they are for the position people believe you occupy and you must remember that they will abandon you in a heartbeat if that position changed. Luckily, I really don’t have much of an ego, so I just do me!

 

What’s the most challenging stage your children have gone through so far?

Without a doubt, the teen years! My first two actually became unrecognisable. They were a bit difficult to handle and started rebelling. It was a trying time for me as I was quite a strict parent and I had to learn new skills to deal with them. Their transition to adulthood has also been quite challenging for me. The first time I heard a NO to one of my “commands” was monumental. I needed counselling from my friends. Lol. I am now fully reconciled to the fact that they are independent beings that have to make their own mistakes and learn from them; so we have great relationships now.

 

You are clearly a pillar in your community, what do you do for yourself and yourself alone?

A pillar? Well I do work quite hard and try to influence all I meet positively so I expend a lot of energy. For me, it’s travel. I absolutely love travelling. My goal is to visit at least one new country every year. I also have a great time with my close friends and enjoy eating out, wining and dancing.

 

As an African mother with three children who are creative in their own right, how do you reconcile with understanding their need to pave their own way and realizing how much more difficult it may be for them choosing unconventional career paths?

I truly believe that “the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose” – Robert Byrne; so I encourage my kids to find their passion. We live at a time where unconventional career paths, though harder to succeed at, provide higher returns, financially and otherwise. So why choose a conventional path if it’s not for you? I appreciate the safety net a conventional career provides, so what I do is constantly counsel them and work with them to help them evaluate their chances of success on the path they choose. They then have the information to decide if and when to change course.  I believe as parents, we are in too much of a hurry to force them down a path. They are young, they have so much time to experiment and get it right, God-willing.

 

I have a real problem with worrying about the distant future, so my biggest fear is creating that bond with my child in his adult years. How have you managed to foster such a close relationship with your children in adulthood?

Worry about the distant future? Don’t do that. It’s energy sapping. Spend the time and energy creating it instead. Decide exactly what you want with him and start living it. I see online what you are doing with him. You have absolutely nothing to worry about!

The best way, in my opinion, is to spend quality time with them from a very young age. Talk to them about almost everything and let them know they are totally, completely, unconditionally loved. In addition, be a strict disciplinarian when they are young and help them grow into respectful and caring adults with a great sense of responsibility. Then as they grow, loosen the reins and help them question and think through their decisions respectfully. The most important thing is to lead them by example. Be authentic, open and transparent. Children can’t stand the pretence and hypocrisy they see in their parents’ lives 

 

What advice do you have for women on the continent who are unconventional in their own way but may not have the support to execute their visions?

Go get what you need from the world. Ask, seek, pray, learn, fall, rise; just don’t give up! Apart from a very few lucky people, support is never just there. You must be very clear and focused about what you want and go for it. Also, remember that the answer to every challenge you face is in a person or a book somewhere; so seek positive counsel and read voraciously. Dream big but start small and grow quick. 

 

How do you want your children to remember you after your’e gone?

Hhmnn. I want them to remember me for enabling them to fulfill their destiny. I want them to talk about me as a strong resilient role model who inspired them to strive for greatness in spite of difficulties. I want them to have great memories of our times together, such that they are laughing and crying at the same time when they talk about me. My greatest joy would be to leave a legacy of a strong bond of love and unity amongst them. I’m not sure how well I’m doing with that though, as I witness some of their fights. Lol


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MEET STELLA

Consultant, Blogger, Mother


Stella is a seasoned blogger. If you aren't following her you're totally missing out!  She's been doing this blogging thing long before becoming an amazing mom. It's been inspiring to see her and her family grow so beautifully. Her shoe game is on point and she will get you looking like money for a dreary work week. I love seeing this lady efforlessly navigate her life. Check her below if you don't know her yet!

 

Beyond the title “MOTHER” , who are you?

Consultant by day, fashion blogger, shoe obsessed woman.

 

Things you do to recuperate from the day?

Watching reruns of Housewives, window shopping online, spa time and reading.

 

How do you survive any type of mom guilt?

I talk it out with other mom friends and my husband.

 

Who is your celebrity spirit mom?

Beyonce, she makes everything look easy and fabulous.

 

Our children are our blessings truly, but what do you do in those moments you feel on the edge?

That’s when I know I need a mommy time...a quiet moment, bath time, music and candles. Also, talking about it helps a lot.

 

What advice do you have for any mother who is trying to start a business?

It’s very important to be organized and have a balance. Plan in advance. Take advantage of any support when you can. It might not always be easy, but the love for your craft will keep you going.

 

How do you balance love life and motherhood?

I plan my schedule and activities in advance. Planning ahead helps me create time for my son and husband. I try to make sure that when my son Nolan is home from school that I make that time to play and read with him. When he goes to bed, it’s all about us. Taking advantage of any babysitting helps for date nights.

 

Favorite children’s toy?

Melissa and Doug puzzles, Magna Tiles,

 

Favorite educational show?

Team Umizoomi, Little Einsteins, Bubble Guppies, ABC Mouse, Skyfall Alphabet& Reading apps

 

How do you want your children to remember you after your’e gone?

The most loving, caring and fun mom...a best friend!

 

Do you have a short and funny first time mom story?

I remember one beautiful summer day we were ready and on time at church. Few minutes later, I heard the grunt, explosive and warm feeling. Come to find out the poo hit his diaper with such force it shot up to his back. His whole outfit was drenched in poo. My husband and I looked at each other like the time stopped. I didn’t know where to start because there was no way wipes could fix it. We had to head back home for another bath time. What a day! 

 

What’s one piece of advice you can give to an expecting mother?

Get as much sleep now because there’s no sleep after. It’s ok to ask for help. Make friends with other moms. Having someone who you can relate to regarding your current phase is always helpful.

 

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone gave you?

How much sleep I will never get and that I will never have any privacy! Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job! 


 
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MEET MARTI

Entrepreneur,  Mother


I've known this beauty for a while now, again through the grace of INSTAGRAM. Her family is freaking beautiful, I mean magazine cover beautiful! With her youngest son almost the same age as my first, it's amazing to have yet another amazing woman on this journey. A business owner and stylish woman to boot, be sure to check her out below!

Beyond the title of  “MOTHER” , who are you?

Ethiopian American. Aquarius. Business owner. 

 

How does your culture dictate a mother’s role? Are you one to abide?

Though I have tremendous respect for my culture, I am not one to abide by most of its rules. I just believe though the sense of where we come from should always reflect in our lives, I believe it is also as important adapting and learning from our surroundings. from people and cultures that don't look and feel like ours. Especially these days where being "other" is so vilified, the only radical thing we can do is try our best to get to know others with an open heart and maybe just maybe we can slowly learn to accept people that don't resemble us or speak like us. That's one value I would love my children to hold on to. 

 

What’s one stereotype you hate about mothers?

That we are expected to be perfect. Any mother would know that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. We all try our best, sometimes we fail, we make mistakes and we learn from them only to  make a different mistake to learn from again. The second is that people feel like they can dump their opinion as they please especially when  you are a new mother. I usually don't entertain unsolicited advice from anybody, when it comes my way, I politely smile and move on. I am not saying I don't ever take advice from others but regardless of their intention, some people tend to be very invasive about their ways. I never appreciate that kind of advice. My motto is we all have the right to be the kind of mother we want to be and that sometimes means to have that space for yourself to assess what are the things that are important to you.

 

How do you survive any type of mom guilt?

I don't. I am guilt ridden a lot of times. I am guilt ridden when my son refuses to eat whats good for him, I am guilt ridden if I raise my voice on them because I have migraine and their screaming drives me up the wall. I finally accepted guilt as part of being a mother and accept the wave as it comes and goes. 

 

Who is your celebrity spirit mom?

Any mom that gives her all to her kids is my spirit mom. I really don't have one specific. But to make one point though not related to this question, I have mad respect to single moms more than ever. 

 

How do you juggle creativity and mother hood?

That is really hard and I feel like I still haven't managed to juggle both to my satisfaction. For now, I am being a full time mother and that will be my priority.  I call my business (Foreign Collections) my third child but it didn't get as much attention as my two human children and I am ok with it. My business for now is my outlet to  keep the creative juice going and it helps me maintain my passion and my sanity. I definitely intend to go full time once my youngest one starts school.

 

In what ways has motherhood improved/empowered you?

I am still learning but I feel like I don't have time to waste on people that aren't about being a light in my life in someway. In the past I used to give so many excuses to keep people that weren't rooting for me and were straight up assholes. Now I have no time to waste, I have two children that expect me to be 100%. Motherhood gave me the opportunity not to apologize where and how I spend my time. I have very limited time for myself and I try to use it wisely.

 

In what ways do you find motherhood difficult?

In my experience reconciling what my life was and what it became after baby was quite difficult. Right before  I had Noah (my first son)  I was changing a career path and I gave myself a goal of reaching a certain point of my career in X amount of time. My plan was to take time off for 6 months to a year to be with my son  and go back to work and that didn't happen. I will be honest It used to bother me a great deal at some point but I also saw what my presence meant to my children at all time and I wouldn't trade that for a world. In hindsight now I am not sure if I ever want to go back to Corporate America again. I would rather put my energy and my time in my own business. 

 

Our children are our blessings truly, but what do you do in those moments you feel on the edge?

I cry and cry some more. Nothing in my life made me softer than motherhood. I am also lucky to have a husband that is calm and always there to jump in when I am completely tapped out. 

 

What advice do you have for any mother who is trying to start a business?

I would say be honest with yourself and see how much you can push yourself to do both. We are all built differently and it is absolutely commendable if you can juggle both and feel fulfilled in doing so. If you are pushing yourself so much to the point of breakdown, it will only bring more guilt and misery. In my case I started trying to do too much all at once and it got to me quick and I had to give myself a break and reset expectations for myself and that is going well for me.

 

What is something no-one can tell you about motherhood, that you have to experience yourself?

Breastfeeding. No body told me that in the beginning it HURTS that bad.  The pain was something that I couldn't comprehend at the time. But I say this: it will pass and it will be just as mundane as changing diaper or giving your baby a bath. It will get better.

 

When has there been a time you’ve been given unwarranted advice and just wanted to say “ Fortunately for you, I’m not your fucking mom!”?

When I had my first son, Noah, I was going through major postpartum anxiety that I wasn't  sure what it was at the time. I used to hold my baby through his naps twice a day for couple of hours each time. Though a lot of advises came from a good place but it used to shake me to my core when people used to tell me I am spoiling my child etc. All my anxiety want me to do was comfort my baby with my body and soul and wished others would shut the fuck up. So I learned to mute that noise and did what felt right to me. 


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meet joy adaeze

Entrepreneur,  Blogger,  Mother


I have to thank social media for aligning me with amazing women. I have yet to meet  Joy in person but can only assume she has a warm personality from our constant communication through text, email and instagram. Our sons aren't that far in age so I'd definitley love to plan a little family day when we visit New York!  Joy has her own natural hair brand ( yaaaasss black girl magic!) and is also a style and beauty blogger. Be sure to stalk her below and check out our convo!

Beyond the title “MOTHER” ,who are you?

Joy Adaeze - style blogger, founder of natural textured hair brand CurlSistas.com 

 

How does your culture dictate a mother’s role? Are you one to abide?

Being Nigerian, moms have a traditional role of being the primary caretaker. My husband, Obi, is also very hands on (he's the best!) so I feel that is one way we are a modern family unit. I definitely take pleasure in cooking (when I'm not completely exhausted lol) and I try not to have the house looking like a war zone lol! But it's great that my husband gives lil Obi a bath every night, feeds him and puts him to bed. That's become their bonding time- it's really cute to watch  And it helps me out A LOT!

 

What makes you an unconventional mother? 

I feel that moms can be sexy and of course, be amazing moms. Even though I run after the baby in sweatpants all day, when it's date night I want to look hot! Preferably in a sexy bodycon and heels complete with full hair and makeup. Yasss!

 

What’s one stereotype you hate about mothers?

That we have to be a certain type of mom to be a "good mom". If you are taking amazing care of your baby and yourself, you're a good mom! (Give yourself a pat on the back mama)

 

How do you survive any type of mom guilt?

I tell myself that all the hard work will pay off for my baby.

 

Funny first time mom story

so it was the baby's first Easter and he was about 3 months old. We were about to leave my in-law's house and all of a sudden the baby starts screaming his head off. I start freaking out! I'm thinking OMG he has really bad gas right now, yikes! I had forgotten his gas drops at home that day. My husband and I rush (lol) to the nearest Walgreens and ask the pharmacist for advice about said gas. She advises us- all the while the baby is SCREAMING his head off. They didn't have the drops we usually use so I got something similar. We give it to him and get in the car to head home. Baby is still SCREAMING, I'm freaking out, hubby is like "yo, chill", I'm like "nahhh I can't, the baby is crying"...We get home baby is STILL SCREAMING. I call my BFF (a fellow mom) for advice meanwhile hubby is holding baby trying to calm him down. He finally burps a few times and things start to calm down. Now I know- it was just gas, babies get gas -it's not the end of the world. Now that I'm a more experienced mom I can look back at this story and laugh! 

 

WORST advice you’ve ever been given?

When the baby was a newborn, I was looking online trying to find ways to cut his nails (they were sharp as hellll). I came across some Youtube videos saying to use nail scissors. How weird, I thought. I asked my husband to get some from the store. I looked at them and decided immediately that this was a dumb idea. I waited till the baby fell asleep and used baby nail clippers instead. Those worked great and I've never cut him by accident. (Giving myself a high five lol)

 

How do you deal with crying fits? 

If he's just fussy and nothings really wrong, I try to make a funny sound to make him laugh. Or I'll try a good ole round of peak a boo! Usually does the trick! lol

 

How do you balance your love life and motherhood?

Hubby and I try to have a couple date nights a month- either movies or dinner or something fun. I feel like it's so important to keep things fun with your partner or else it really becomes all about the baby. 

 

Favorite educational show?

we LOVE Little Baby Bum on Youtube! It's truly the best.

 

How do you want your children to remember you after your’e gone?

As a mom that was loving and caring and ALWAYS had their back no matter what. 

 

Did you enjoy your pregnancy?

Yes! The first trimester was a bitch with all the nausea but 2nd and 3rd were much better! I was feelin' my cute bump and loving his kicks. I had to be induced at 38 weeks due to complications (I had gestational hypertension at the time) but honestly I would have been happy going the whole 40 weeks : ) 

 

What was your biggest pregnancy craving? 

Pizza! but ummm this may be more a regular life craving!

 

What was the first month with a new born like?

It was every emotion possible! Frightening, amazing, scary, beautiful, miraculous, exhausting, happy, confusing, every single emotion. I look back and miss those times thoUGH! He was so Little and just so cute! 

 

When has there been a time you’ve been given unwarranted advice and just wanted to say “ I’m not your f*cking mom”?

Never really. 

 

your final words of encouragement for any mama you think might need to hear something you wanted to hear.

As a new mom or a mom in general, we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves. Each and every day in every way possible, we are doing the best we can for the good of our baby. I'm learning everyday that I need to take better care of myself, too! Make sure my nails are did (lol) do my hair, buy a cute new outfit, go out for drinks with the ladies. We DESERVE it! So just remember to take care of yourself and don't ever feel guilty! Happy mom, happy baby and happy hubby! (Blessings to all the moms out there!)


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MEET ZENA 

Blogger, Philanthropist and Mother


Zena is another woman i've know for years, we attended the same boarding school in swaziland, and i remember looking on her and her friends as these cool untouchable form fivers (any one who's gone to boarding school understands the hierarchy of form and ranking lol!). we never really spoke then but i was pretty close with her brother (may his beautiful soul continue to rest in peace) before i left boarding school. hearing of his untimely passing was a heartbreak. to see how this woman created something out of tragedy is so amazing though, her efforts to equipt schools in tanzania with the materials needed to ensure quality education for everyone is truly a legacy her brother can be proud of. I am so happy i actually got to know her more even if it's long distance. my trip to tz is long overdue! STALK HER, SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP BELOW!

Beyond the title “MOTHER” ,who are you?

 I am a creative being. I feel at peace when I am in my creative space, and I believe it makes me a better mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.

 

In what ways has motherhood improved/empowered you?

Motherhood has made me deal with fears I had not expected or even thought existed. It has also made me realize I have a lot more strength and patience in me that I did not know I ever had.

 

In what ways do you find motherhood difficult?

I struggle with balancing a full time job, being a good mother and partner. I also find it difficult to put myself first. I feel guilty at times when I have ‘me time or mummy time’.

 

Funny first time mom story

My daughter breastfed the longest compared to my son. When she was around 13/14 months we had gone to a family get together at my in laws. I am Tanzanian and our family get togethers are like mini weddings (i'm even embarassed to say so!) and mind you the families were still celebrating my daughter and my husband as the first son and grandson to have a wife and child, anyway you get the idea, there were a lot of people. So we are all there, chilling, enjoying food, drink and music. And then my brother in law asks me if I was ok, I said yes. Then he says ‘are you sure you are not sick?’, I then said with confidence ‘Ya, I’m great’. he was like you have like this liquid stuff coming out of your shirt on your chest.’ I mean I knew exactly what it was, and I realised I had forgotten to put on breast pads. So I looked down my shirt and I just said to him ‘oh that, it’s just breast milk’, you should have seen the look on his face!

 

WORST advice you’ve ever been given?

well i wouldn't call it the "worst" but not the best advice ever given, was to have have the first child in the first year of the marriage.

 

How does your culture dictate a mother’s role? Are you one to abide?

In my culture you get married and you're expected to have children immediately. I got caught in the pressure of doing what everyone else said and was doing at the time. Don't get me wrong I love my children and I wouldn't change it or my life now for anything but it is also advisable to take at-least 2 to 3 years to enjoy the marriage and get to know each other before children. 

 

What’s the most challenging stage your child has gone through so far? 

The most challenging stage my child has gone through so far and she has over come it was her self identity. She went to a school were most of her class mates were Caucasian girls with long blonde hair and blue eyes. If you know my daughter she's very girly but at the same time will flip a Karate kick. Anyway she would ask me why she didn't have hair like "Katia" who was her Russian classmate. It was then I realized that I had taken for granted the whole of issue of identity, I thought at 5 she was still young. 

 

the most fun stage?

The most fun is discovering their creative side just like her baba and mama. With a dad who owns his own Advertising Agency and a creative mother they are having the time of their lives.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR CHILDREN'S FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?

MY DAUGHTER plays piano, sings, dances and acts and she paints too. she ENJOYS SHARING all these exciting things with her little brother who is obsessed with Legos, Ninjas, Karate and food! (Chapati BEING his favorite!)

 

 
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MEET NDEYE FILLY 

Curator, Artist, and Mother


I have known Filly for over a decade now! It's weird writing these words and thinking how life has changed from my Highschool days in Senegal. It is also beautiful to see how she's grown into an amazing woman and mother.  It's no a no brainer to me that she would venture into the arts! I really love seeing her create with her other half whose also a talented photographer. Check out our talk and stalk her below!

Beyond the title “MOTHER”, who are you?

I am a creative and have worked with a non profit for over 5 years. I am now learning to tap into my inner talents such as styling, curating events and executive producing on short film projects and I've started picking up the camera.

 

What’s your thought on the “snapback” struggle?

I believe the SnapBack struggle is real. Not every body is the same when factoring in genetics. and if you add post partum depression to it for some it may contribute to the SnapBack while others might gain even more weight. The mind is our best friend and worst enemy. Two years post partum I have found my self overweight. Dealing with a deep depression unable to  even get back to dancing or anything that I love. All this played against me getting back into shape. 

The one thing I learned during this course is that you have to embrace your body and the changes that come with it: until you learn to accept it your body will not connect with your mind and you will stay stagnant.

 

First thoughts when you saw your baby for the first time?

She’s here. I’m a mother, I brought another life into this world. I was very nonchalant about what was happening because I was lost and confused. 

 

Things you do to recuperate from the day?

I usually just sleep, Get under the covers and sleep as much as I can. 

 

What makes you an unconventional mother?

Since birth I have made it my duty for my child to be involved in the arts as much as she could,  No matter how tiny she was. I continue to surround her or make sure she is surrounded by people that allow her to express herself and not limit her while expressing herself. I find it important for her growth, Something that I did not have growing up. Also, in THE senegalese culture, parents are not normally affectionate towards each other in front of their children and I always show her that this is a normal part of being human. 

 

What’s one stereotype you hate about mothers?

That your happiness solely comes from just taking care of your kids and knowing they are okay or That your'e a mom now you should be happy. 

 

How do you survive any type of mom guilt?

I am currently living with a mom guilt of having my daughter back in Senegal while I am in Los Angeles trying to get myself together. Everyday I wake up I feel horrible knowing the first 5 years are very crucial for her development and life habits and I took the risk of not having her around her parents. The only way I survive through it is by trying to connect with her as much as possible. 

 

WORST advice you’ve ever been given?

"Now it’s all about the baby, you can’t be selfish anymore." This is the advice given to many mothers and they go on in their motherhood sacrificing their peace of mind and dreams thinking it’s a great gesture.

 

In what ways is your child like you? like their father?

My daughter has her father's free spirited personality and loves to tease and joke. She has my personality in that she is already very nurturing: she does not like to see anyone hurt or sick. At 2 she already makes it her duty to make sure you feel better. 

 

What’s one thing you wish for your child’s generation?

One thing I wish is that she grows up with as much inner peace and confidence to take on the many obstacles that comes with being a bi cultural, Black woman in society. I hope she does not lose herself through it all. 

 

How did you choose your baby’s name

I wanted to find something that pertained to heaven and angels because I truly thought their names with reflect their personality. And my husband and me both wanted a name not so commonly used. So we chose Jannah meaning heaven in Arabic and Almaz meaning diamond in Amharic after his best friend. 

 

When has there been a time you’ve been given unwarranted advice and just wanted to say “WELL, I’m not your fucking mom”?

Oh sooooo many times, How I should SnapBack or else my husband will get another woman in front of a crowd during a ceremony Lol. I just stared at the woman and told her that should not be a concern for her and that my husband is not shallow. She was so upset and offended that as my aunt I would talk back. I was like welp! 

 

Favorite mommy mantra

Cut yourself some slack you are doing the best you can.


 

MEET CORTNIE ELIZABETH

A blogger, designer, entrepreneur and mother.


I MET CORTNIE through the blogosphere a few years ago and finally got to meet her in person at the grand opening of a boutique in miami. fast forward a few years later we are mothers a few months apart and She ofcourse moves to miami just as i'm moving out! Its been a pleasure to watch cortnie grow into the woman that she is now. Her little family is absolutely goals! I'm so happy I get to share a little bit of her with you guys below! be sure to follow her!

Beyond the title “MOTHER” , who are you?

A loyal gal that loves hard (I was actually born on Valentine's Day if that says anything), a business owner to Love,Cortnie Handbags & Little Love Baby, a blogger when I have the time, a wife, a sister & my 9 month old's personal assistant. 

 

What’s your thought on the “snapback” struggle?

It's kind of unfair! Right?? Like, I just created this life, carried & nurtured it for almost 10 months. I gained 30lbs too, but somehow I expect to "snapback" in weeks. There's pressure from society/social media, but the worst is the pressure we put on ourselves. I lost the majority of my weight pretty quickly, but there's a stubborn 5lbs that's just chillin' around my waist. I can't be that mad though because I have yet to step inside of a gym. *shrugs* I'm ok with where I am 9 months later, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my toned abs. 

 

First thoughts when you saw your baby for the first time?

I pulled her out of me! How crazy is that? I felt a sense of relief. It was a long labor at about 24 hours. All of that waiting, all of the wondering about how things would go and what she would look like. She was here and she was healthy. I also say relief because her heart rate dropped minutes after I had already been pushing. I sensed the urgency of having to get her out quickly. She had to be suctioned out. It was surreal. Like an out-of-body experience. It was pure joy hearing her cry for the first time. 

 

Things you do to recuperate from the day?

Lounge on the couch with one of my tv shows/a movie after a hot shower and drink hot tea. Isn't showering the best when you have children? Let me rephrase that: Isn't showering the best when you have someone to watch your child? In that moment it's just you under that hot water. Sometimes I just stand there and swat like I'm rocking an imaginary baby (out of habit). I look forward to that time lol. 

 

What was your biggest pregnancy craving?

Oh Lord, where do I start? I don't drink juice. Just water and tea. In the beginning of my pregnancy I craved orange juice which eventually turned to apple juice. I didn't want tea at all. I started eating cereal again. Heavily. Pancakes were important, often. Peaches were my jam. And still are. Before peach season rolled around I took to the internet to see if I could order some from anywhere. I needed them. I found some, but they were maybe $80 for a dozen. Wth, no. At the end I craved oatmeal cream pie cookies. I hadn't had one on years, so I have no idea where that even came from. I figured if I bought just one from a gas station I'd be good. 4 gas stations later and none had any. I was trying to avoid buying them from the store. There were 12 in a box and because I had no self control I knew I'd eat them all. I was right. And maybe 5 boxes later I tried to quit them. It worked for maybe 2 weeks and I talked about them daily lol. I bought my last box and finished it. I'm doing good now lol. Somewhere during the oatmeal cream pie binge baby arrived. I even packed some in my purse for my hospital trip lol. 

 

What was the first month with a new born like?

Ummmm a challenge. For at least the first couple of weeks I was in pain. My lady bits, my nipples were tore up from breastfeeding and the swelling finally decided to arrive. My legs, ankles and feet were really swollen. While it didn't hurt it was a little uncomfortable. On top of having to adjust to this completely different life, it was a little overwhelming. The pain got me the most though. I just remember crying in the shower one night. Like, sobbing. I also cried a few times while nursing because my nips were so jacked up. I was determined to stick it out with breastfeeding. The first couple of weeks were definitely rough. Once my body started to heal it got a little easier. 

 

What’s one thing you wish for your child’s generation?

I really wish they'd take a step back from social media. It's toxic. I don't want her to be consumed with her phone, or celebrities, or superficial things. I want her to take the time to enjoy and really see the things around her.  

 

What’s one thing you fear for your child’s generation?

Safety. This again goes back to social media.  I feel like it's so easy for kids to get sucked into stuff because the simply just don't know better. Predators, bullying, etc. I want her to enjoy the endless things the internet has to offer, but I want her to be aware as well. 

 

What advice do you have for any woman giving birth the way you did? Would you change your birthing experience?

Keep calm lol. I labored for about 24 hours. I did over 10 without an epidural before I just couldn't bare it anymore. I didn't want to be the chick screaming in the other room. I heard some of that while I was there. It was important to me to focus that energy on delivering. With every contraction I was quiet. I took deep breaths and exhaled out of my mouth. I kept my eyes closed too. Those things are no joke. I'm not sure I'd change anything though. As long as it took, it happened the way it was supposed to. My doctor was there, the nurses were wonderful. Hell, I even made it to the hospital. Baby was healthy...it's all that mattered. 

If I could change one thing I may have gotten the epidural sooner if I had known I would be laboring for as long as I did. My plan was to go without one, but baby girl had other plans. Plans to take her sweet time! It took me forever to dilate. For-ever! I was only at 1cm when I got to the hospital! I walked the hallway for 2 hours and that only got me to 2cm. It wasn't until I got the epidural hours later that I started dilating faster. 

 

How did you choose your baby’s name

My husband was driving one day and saw "Aria" on the side of a building. We liked it, but ended up switching up the spelling to Arya. Anyone else would think we got her name from Game Of Thrones lol. 

 

What advice do you have for any mother who is trying to start a business?

It will be hard, but it's totally doable! Being a new mom it's hard to set time aside or make plans to do something at a certain time. You're basically on your baby's time now. Just plan to get things done when they nap. Even if it's something small everyday. I'm still learning to balance my business with being a new mom. I got her a swing which also helps with more hands free time. But now she is moving. Keep a play pen handy!

 

When has there been a time you’ve been given unwarranted advice and just wanted to say “ I’m not your fucking mom”?

Ugh. I remember taking my daughter to JoAnn's when she was maybe 2 months old. I didn't want to leave her home with dad because she was not taking a bottle aka I was breastfeeding. But this older lady came up to me and asked how old she was and then had the nerve to tell me she was too young to be out. I was livid. And to this day I still wish I had something smart-assey to say. It still pisses me off. There have been plenty of other times, but that one stands out the most. I'm just waiting for someone to tell me to go into a bathroom to breastfeed. 

 

 

mEET Carmen

A designer, blogger, entrepreneur and mother of one.


I first met carmen through instagram. let me rephrase that, i've only met Carmen on instagram, but have felt quite a sincere connection from her. 

AS A NEW MOTHERS ON THIS JOURNEY IT WAS QUITE EASY TO BOND OVER DAILY STRUGGLES AND MOM TRIUMPHS. I ENJOY WATCHING CARMEN AND SEEING HER SHINE HER LIGHt in HER SINCEREST SELF, not to mention her absolutely beautiful little girl (buy the gun now pops! lol) SO IT WAS ONLY RIGHT THAT I SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HER. IT WAS FUN READING THIS TINY INTERVIEW AND I REALLY HOPE YOU GUYS WILL BE INSPIRED BY IT AS I AM BY HER!

 

STALK HER BELOW!

Beyond the title “MOTHER” , who are you?

 I’m a business owner, fashion designer, blogger, and scorpion woman.

 

How did you deal with postpartum depression or pregnancy blues if you had any?

I had to give myself a break. Honestly endless conversations and pep talks from me to me, like “Girl you just had a baby! You brought life into this world, that’s no easy task boo!”. 

 

What do you do for yourself and yourself alone?

Self care is major to me, remembering my wants and needs is MAJOR. I had to realize that it’s impossible to take care of and raise a little woman if I can’t take care of myself first. Self care for me comes in the form of candle lit baths, girls nights out, my favorite wine, shopping and not going to the kids section, and weed when I have taken care of all my responsibilities lol.

 

Favorite mommy and baby activity?

My favorite thing to do with G is go to the park, I love watching her learn and interact with other kids.

 

What’s one thing you wish for your child’s generation?

I feel that their generation will be the ones to fix this fucked up world in so many ways. Racism, sexism, health, and even taking care of the Earth. I think they will see how fucked up the world is and be the ones to change it.

 

What’s one thing you fear for your child’s generation?

I fear that this new age may make them feel like they aren’t enough and they they will do things for other people instead of themselves.

 

Did you enjoy your pregnancy?

I loved my pregnancy. My only complaint was nerve damage, I was carrying really low and sometimes I would literally feel like my legs would give out of that I couldn't move. It didn’t happen too often but often enough.

 

What was your biggest pregnancy craving?

All breakfast food! If I didn’t go get breakfast I would make it, and not just one thing, a full breakfast, french toast, eggs, bacon, fruit, orange juice. Then I’d serve it to myself like breakfast in bed lol.

 

One baby item you can’t live without?

Anything that crinkles!

 

how did you choose your baby’s name

I used to work for a school’s drama department and there was an über sweet little girl named Grey, she was literally the best kid in every way. I thought her name was cool and tucked it in the back of my head. When we found out I was having a girl, Roman (baby fava) recommended the name and I immediately agreed. We spell it Grae.

 

How were the first days of nursing? What words of encouragement can you provide to a first time nursing mom? If you bottle fed/feed, what advice do you have for mothers who may feel guilty for bottle feeding?

You know I have to be 100% honest, it was HARD & PAINFUL….but worth it :) Getting that latch is hard but my nurse was super helpful. Also coconut oil or nursing cream helps a lot. I know it’s hard but don’t give up! And don’t feel bad about bottle feeding, I know a bunch of women who felt inadequate when they couldn’t nurse, DON’T!

 

When has there been a time you’ve been given unwarranted advice and just wanted to say “ I’m not your fucking mom”?

Alllll the time. People do it naturally, and social media makes it worse. I try not to take it personal and keep it moving.

 


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