Woke Mama: Ria H

ria h

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: Ria

Baby: Lula, 6 months

What does being a Woke Mama mean to you?

To be socially, mentally and spiritually conscious of how the choices that I may make each and every day will impact my children and every other human being I interact with.

I try to be compassionate, empathetic and pleasant to every person I meet. I truly believe our energy is infectious so I choose to spread happiness and love every day.

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

When my son was born, I felt a societal pressure to try the ‘crying out’ method once he reached six months old and this felt so unnatural to me.

I couldn’t bare to see him alone and upset so my husband and I quickly decided this wasn’t for us and abandoned it.

We welcomed our son into our bed and found that co-sleeping really worked for us. Ironically, when he was around 18 months he naturally progressed to wanting to sleep in his own room which I believe is because he felt ready and supported.

We have also chosen to co-sleep with our newest addition, our baby daughter, which feels absolutely the right thing to do and is my favourite aspect of gentle parenting.

We all sleep harmoniously and I strongly believe this is because of the nurturing and loving environment we’ve created.

Most awesome moment so far?

Giving birth to my daughter in a birthing pool with her younger brother watching. How incredible is that?!

I was lucky enough to have my son in a birthing pool also, so it was wonderful to be back in that environment again as the water really calms me and relieved the labour pains.

When my daughter was born, they immediately bonded and fell asleep on the bed together which was absolutely magical. The love between them is unreal.

Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?

The biggest struggle has been adjusting to having two children with different needs because of the age gap between them (7 years).

I’ve found putting my son in extra curricular classes after school a few days a week has allowed me the precious one-to-one time with my daughter while she is young and given me the space to rest, recharge and prepare for the evenings.

By creating space, my daughter is content, my son is happy and I feel balanced and ready to collect him at the end of the day.

How do you juggle work with gentle parenting?

Because I am a freelance presenter, no two days are the same — which can be brilliant as I’m my own boss and get to choose what projects I work on.

The downsides can be that work is inconsistent and promising projects may suddenly fall through. Staying positive, healthy and motivated is key.

Being a second-time mother, I have chosen to parent differently to when I had my son — he was in full-time childcare from 1 year old.

This time around, I intend on looking after my daughter full time and will likely put her into childcare on a part-time basis when she is much older around 3 years old.

I feel toddlers really benefit from the social aspect of being around many other children at this age and it also helps prepare them for school.

The great thing about technology is that it has truly revolutionised the way we work. I no longer need to physically be in an office to do my work.

I have camera and sound equipment at home so can record voice-overs and film pieces to camera from home and when I need to go away to film, my family and incredible network of mum friends step in to support me.

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child!

Any advice you would give to new mums?

Trust Your Instincts! Your intuition is there to protect you and the world is so good at telling us what we should and shouldn’t be doing, buying and feeling.

You do what feels natural to you as you know what is best for you and your baby.

Trust your body and your ability to care for your children, you are instinctively connected and there really is nothing else that is more beautiful and powerful than that.

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

Let it All Go, Rooting For You, Who Am I – London Grammar

Say Something Loving – The XX

What Lovers Do – Maroon 5

No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley

Follow Ria on Instagram and subscribe to the awesome Wonder Women TV — which Ria created and presents — and hear from trailblazing women who work in the media, tech and music industries *all the heart eye emojis*

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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