Woke Mama: Leila

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Want to know WTF a Woke Mama is? Each week, we’re introducing awesome women who are making the world a kinder place, one happy baby at a time.

Name: Lally Loo

Age: 34

Babe: Milly 14 months

What does being a Woke Mama mean to you?

A deep awareness socially and personally. I have always been empathetic to everyone and everything around me to the point of a lot of tears, but since I’ve had Milly i’m on hyperdrive! Was vegetarian now vegan (sings) every step we take, every move we #makeachange…

I’ve never wanted to be someone who goes through life in their own private little square; decisions I make matter for everyone else around me and I always remember that when making them. Deepen your empathy for the world and everyone in it and live with a strength that no one can break.

So many people go through life making judgement of others their day job and focus; don’t let it affect who you are and who you want to be, it’s a personal problem their side I promise. Harness the extra layer of skin you grow as a mama — it’s incredible and I swear, throw any shit at me, it won’t stick! #toughassmamaskin πŸ’ͺ🏽

What made you choose gentle parenting? And what is your favourite aspect of it?

This is interesting because I was trained as a nanny (Nursery Nurse NNEB) back in the 90s!! I’ve loved children since before I can remember and always wanted to work with them, but the sad thing is the things i learnt I wouldn’t call gentle as such (and I imagine it’s still the same) 😭because when I finally had my own child my knowledge was automatically leading me to think I should do self soothing (albeit gently) no breast on demand or to sleep and basically do anything x3 and babe will nail it. When my instinct was SCREAMING this is soooo wrong, i never even attempted it (lucky for Milly), so from day one we were co-sleeping (naturally the best and by far easiest option for us) we boob on demand (because why would anyone deprive their own flesh and blood THE BEST nutrients available to them on the planet) and I carry Milly everywhere (as no matter what people say there is no such thing as too much contact) it’s the complete opposite and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – held & content = confident – not held & worried = insecure πŸ˜”

I know it’s the best way to raise my baby. All the research suggests it’s the natural, most confidence-boosting parenting style and the best bit of all is, I’m so excited to meet the confident, trusting beautiful little lady that I raised and who she’ll become! I am so connected to my daughter, more than I ever thought possible ❀️

Most awesome moment so far?

Watching Milly’s quirky character develop and seeing the beautiful benefits of gentle parenting, like watching her decide she’s had enough boob and roll over like all independent! Or put her arms around my neck and cuddle me to sleep! I have to add that if I hadn’t met my Girl Gang then I imagine I’d still have wobbles/doubts in the back of my head (as we all do). Having a group of friends on the same journey as you is literally priceless & liberating #BestGGever #Gogetyours

Biggest struggle so far?

Defo the beginning – I thought i had this parenting thing in the bag, really natural and overly maternal then BANG — PND or what sure felt like it, smacked me straight in the face. I’d moved home and work for myself (creative social bunny in need of beautiful faces to bounce off), stopped singing and exercising (everything that makes me, me) so I spent the first 4 months waiting for ‘me’ to come back, crying silently to myself, thinking ‘what the fuck is wrong with me, sort yourself out’ but it wasn’t the case.

I kept telling myself ‘it can’t be PND because I’m insanely obsessed with my baby girl and it’s nothing to do with her why I’m feeling this way, she’s the only thing perfect at the moment’ and I’m sad — it took me so long to realise just because you feel sad after having a baby it’s doesn’t mean it’s PND, it’s very normal to feel down and out of sorts at the beginning.

I’m glad I found the confidence to put myself out there in my new community and meet local people (in walks The Girl Gang!) and as we know, once you make one small change everything else slowly starts to follow suit. But please note *I am not the same person anymore* and you shouldn’t wait for the ‘old you’ to return either, because they won’t and I truly believe this is who I have been waiting to be my whole life, I absolutely love, in love, obsessed with being a mother, I just wish I could have got here sooner! #lovethenewme #moreinfoneededinearlydays #outofdatehvs

How do you cope with stressful moments?

I eventually talk to people when things get too much, or write a letter haha! Communication is key. Otherwise i blow like a reactor!! I’m totes pro brain docs, I think it’s the most healthy thing you can do for yourself #bestpresentever (but that’s another story!) Exercise helps massively tooπŸ˜‚ but I still haven’t managed to fit that into my new lifestyle! (14 months later) #Noexcuse #redwine #toobusybeingsocialmama

If going back to work how will you juggle gentle parenting life?

I work for myself luckily so don’t have this to deal with at the moment but now Milly is getting older I’m starting to find it a bit tricky when I’m busy with work to keep her entertained and get enough work done to clock up the hours!! Also the sadness I feel when I can’t spend the whole day on the floor with her kills me (another story again!) I set up my company a year and half before I had my little girl purposely so I could raise her, I know this isn’t possible for everyone but it was the only way for me.

Any advice you would give to new mums?

Do your own research, don’t rely on the info given to you by Health Visitors, it’s out of date and mostly of no use. Read articles, sign up to blogs on info you find interesting, follow awesome mumbloggers (but the good ones only, there’s some crap out there!) trust your gut and go with a flow. Don’t force a routine, let your babe find their own and then mould that to suit you, it’s the most easy, gentle and sane way to do it. Try to relax about it all, it makes for a much happier mama and baby

What’s on your soundtrack to your first year of being a Woke Mama?

As a singer you’d think I’d have some awesome soundtrack of super trendy muso’s however I can safely say ‘Lullaby renditions of classic nursery rhymes’ has got to be it! So lush #highlyrecommended

Like what you see? We’ll be introducing more awesome Woke Mamas. Follow us on Instagram and share your stories with #WokeMamas. We want to hear what being a Woke Mama means to you. Send your answers to usΒ here.Β 

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