A New Chapter
After a long gap, this is my final blog as Mamabox owner as I hand the reins over to the lovely Heidi.
I have only known Heidi for a short time but what comes across is how passionate she is about supporting other women, how she strives to balance family and business and has a great eye for detail, which is so important in the gifting business!
But what has struck me most of all is that in the process of arriving at this point of handover, all communication and dealings with Heidi have been clear, straightforward and - kind. There has been no need for games or concern that the other party is getting more or less. The vibe throughout is we genuinely want what is best for one another's interests alongside fulfilling our own priorities and respecting the core ethos of why Mamabox was ultimately founded. Makes life so much easier (which is why we need more women in politics) :-P.
Heidi is a mama of two, to 3 year old Declan and 11 year old Michaela, the sweetest girl I recently had the pleasure to meet and who will be helping her mum with all things creative in their new venture. Combining experience gained both professionally and personally, Heidi has plans to move Mamabox in an exciting new direction, so watch this space closely!
When I shared with a few close friends that I was moving on from arguably my fourth baby, the reaction was sadness and regret on my behalf. However, at this point I feel thrilled and grateful that I was able to take this journey, create a product and service that was so well received and for a cause that I have and remain increasingly passionate about.
I have written around these topics in length before on many of our previous blogs but would love to get a few cent extra in before I sign off. Those that are over it, leave now! So, once more for the encore!
Postpartum Support Shouldn't Be A Luxury.
After a few years working in the space of Pre and Post Natal wellbeing and Motherhood through Mamabox but also my other work, it is clear that postpartum care and care of women's health in motherhood, is still hugely limited and certainly not a given. In the West, most of us struggle on some level, whether that is having to be our own complete villages or to deal with what we feel is culturally expected of us as modern women but for a lot of us, unrealistic.
Taking it slow, being just one thing... is not really how it's done here. So many of us feel we have to be it All and for many of us we do - there are bills to pay after all. But, despite personal circumstances and choices around work and home, I believe for every woman during that immediate period post-birth, there is more we can do.
Awareness is increasing, understanding of terms like Matrescense are being slowly but more widely grasped and used. My hope is that our daughters are supported even more so than our generation now, with physical rest and emotional care for mama placed as high on that To Do List as going to see the baby for a cuddle.
We are a culture who are expected to 'Get On With It' after giving birth, as soon as possible. We are praised for getting out and about and for looking well, so we strive to do these very things as this is what society approves of. This society, not all. In some Eastern cultures, where the mother rests for a month, feeding baby, whilst being cared for, fed and nurtured to aid her recovery - they think we are mad!
There is no right or wrong way, but nor should there be such intimidating expectations and comparisons. It should be ok to take our time, to heal in different ways - some of us faster, some slower. For all of us, there should be more nurture, physically yes, especially following pain or surgery but for first time mums in particular spiritually and emotionally too.
But, back to Mamabox and also to me.
Following the birth of the twins last Christmas I struggled to practice many of the ideals that I believe so strongly in around care in motherhood and my 'wellbeing' suffered greatly. For the first few weeks I was lucky to be surrounded with incredible family support and my wonderful ever giving mum (below) for sometime after and beyond.
However the demands and 24/7 rollercoaster of 3 kids under 3 as well as further unexpected news and events around my children's health left me exhausted and emotionally depleted. I felt incredibly lucky to have our beautiful children, yet more tired than I even knew possible.
Thankfully, once I accepted the journey we were on and adjusted to a new reality, I began to assess my priorities and be a bit more realistic about what can be done in a day, a week, a year, which was pretty refreshing!
I learnt that sometimes doing what may look like a little, or just keeping your children happy, fed and vaguely clean is actually enough! Accepting things that would before kids be unacceptable is okay, when you have made peace with the New Normal. I learnt never to buy a white sofa, if you are having kids or know people with kids. I won't be doing that again.
I learnt to accept, with some difficulty and over a period of long drawn out realisation that the shower/quiet cuppa/workout simply can't happen if the needs of all your children aren't met, in this case - pretty much never. This is my reality and I have found being unable to re-charge my batteries hard but it's ok... because one day I will spend an entire week in a bath of Rioja watching box sets.
I learnt that it is all so much easier having let go of expectations around things that were previously in the 'needs' box and to be grateful for so many other blessings, amongst three very needy, noisy ones!
Yet despite all these humbling lessons, I accepted recently that none of us can operate as a robot, with no needs, nor pour from an empty cup. With this realisation, aside from my family, I decided that my main priority for the coming year is to find small ways to slowly refill mine... and although it may be a little later than what is ideal, make a full 'post-partum' recovery, feel strong, present and ready for whatever new challenges and adventures are thrown out there.
So, I say goodbye for now and send out a heartfelt thank you to those who have supported Mamabox, who have purchased our gifts for a friend or family member and in turn made a grateful contribution to a very worthy charitable cause, to those who have shared blogs, liked posts or simply believed in us. It is so very appreciated.
Mama's Supporting Mama's. Women Supporting Women. This doesn't change, even if some of our awesome offerings under Heidi's wonderful vision do, so however you do it, keep sharing the love and being one another's village. Later Sisters, Sara xx