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 & age: Che-Kera, 27
Baby: Isla, 7 weeks
What does being a woke mama mean to you?
Being strong enough to follow my instincts and not do things simply because “that’s how it’s always been done”, “when you were growing up that was the norm” and “just because”. Things change, we evolve and learn new ways of doing things.
More importantly I want my daughter to be able to feel confident in herself and in any decision she makes. To be able to confide in me about anything and everything and ultimately acknowledge her voice — and not to just dismiss her opinions because she is a child.
What made you choose gentle parenting? And what is your favourite aspect of it?
I always have chosen the opposite of the norm.
From a young age I always felt that the strong single parent females I was surrounded by always put their energy into being bitter and in turn affected how they would parent their children.
Regardless of my relationship status or how I was raised, I want to do nothing but be there for her when she needs me and spoil her with nothing but pure love.
My favourite aspect is knowing I will and am doing all I can to raise a happy loving human. I never have felt that any good can come from physical punishment or letting her “cry it out” I want to console and comfort my child, not be the one causing the upset.
Most awesome moment so far?
When she fell asleep on me for the first time, I couldn’t believe that I was now a mum and responsible for another human. I didn’t put her down and wanted to have her sleep on me every nap time and stare at her all day. But I then quickly realised “mama gotta get things done”.
Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?
Breastfeeding and judgement from people who are supposed to support you.
The nights I thought I wasn’t producing enough milk, and the morning I had to give her formula because my nipples were bleeding and cried because I felt so guilty. I thought I was never going to get the hang of it.
But I grit my teeth and jumped right back into exclusively breastfeeding because it’s something I really wanted to do!
Re-charging by having a nap and ignoring the washing and messy house helped a lot. And staying strong in my decisions as a mother: what works for them may not necessarily work for me. Also, accepting that it’s OK to not justify myself to others.
How will you juggle work with gentle parenting?
I had every intention of going back to work after 7 months but quickly came to the realisation that it will be a lot harder than I thought.
I would love the opportunity to work from home and have always wanted to work for myself, but not just anything, I need to be passionate about it! I want to be home with her as much as I can, so have decided to take the full year of maternity.
If I were to have someone else care for her before then, I want them to be just as passionate and patient about gentle parenting as I am.
Any advice you would give to new mums?
Breathe, push through and don’t forget to eat, you’ve got this!
What’s on your soundtrack to your first year of being a Woke Mama?
Maxwell – This woman’s work
Follow Che-Kera on Instagram
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