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Name & age: Angela, 34
Baby: Calvin, 18 months
What does being a woke mama mean to you?
Being a woke mama means that I try to put my son and my families specific needs first. As a new parent, it can become easy to fall into the trap of letting other people’s experiences, advice, and books guide the way you choose to parent.
We sometimes get so caught up in doing things “the right way” or following some schedule put out by someone else who doesn’t even know your family. That doesn’t allow us to listen to the moment and hear what WE need at that specific time.
We become so caught up in control and prevention of things in the future. That stops us from allowing ourselves to enjoy today or to experience the joy of seeing our children thrive, grow, and progress at their own pace
What made you choose gentle parenting? And what is your favourite aspect of it?
I am blessed to work in a parent/child program that celebrates and encourages gentle parenting. (I’m even allowed to bring my son with me!)
My mama was definitely a loving, caring gentle parent herself. But in some ways she was limited by her full time job and the fact that she was a single parent. She set a firm foundation for me in regards to knowing how to love and respect my child’s needs.
My job helped show me how to take it to the next level by giving me more in-depth info on breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, natural remedies, present parenting etc. It was also helpful to see so many mothers who actually were living this whole thing out while I’m at work!
Most awesome moment so far?
I wanted to parent gently right from the start, and for me, that meant having an un-medicated water birth. It helped me to establish my goals up front. I was going to do my best to let my son progress naturally with love and support rather than pushing my own agenda based off of my desires.
My labour and birth were definitely challenging, and I would not recommend that for everyone! But once he was born, I felt so free and at peace. He came out looking around; he was alert and calm. The process was so gentle and full of love.
Everything after his birth was done deliberately on our time with my husband, my son, and my needs in mind. It helped set the stage for the rest of our lives!
Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?
My breastfed, co-sleeping baby won’t sleep! I’m so so tired most of the time. I take as many naps as possible, even though it’s hard to decide between napping or getting stuff done — or getting some alone time.
I am often pushed by well meaning people to sleep train, cry it out, etc. But that’s never felt right for us. I am reminded by my co-workers that this will only be for short time and perspective helps get me through.
How do you juggle work with gentle parenting?:
I am majorly blessed to work at a job where I can bring my son with me. It definitely adds a different challenge to my job. But since I work with parents and children who are my son’s age, he has friends to play with and I have people who understand and support me. I truly have it made in the shade on the work front and I am GRATEFUL!
Any advice you would give to new mums?
My advice for new mamas would be to take time to get to know your child and yourself as a new parent. I feel like we sometimes put pressure on ourselves to know exactly what they need so early. But it can literally take months or even a year (or longer!) to truly know who your child is and what they need.
They go through so many changes and phases. And the parent version of you and your partner are whole new people too. Give yourselves time to ease into all of that and don’t feel like you have to have all of the answers right away.
Like what ya see? We’ll be introducing more awesome Woke Mamas. But we want to hear from YOU. Share your stories on social media using #WokeMamas or write your answers here. ❤
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