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.
Kids: Oliver 10, Zachary 6, Darwin 4 and Ezra 18 months
What does being a woke mama mean to you?
Being aware and being open. It’s a mindset that means I don’t have all the answers, but I am open to trying different things, going against the grain and following my gut.
Being a woke mama means being able to stop, pause and start again from a place of love. It’s modelling to my children that although I get things wrong, I never stop trying to get them right.
What made you choose gentle parenting? And what is your favourite aspect of it?
I chose to parent the way that I do as it is what felt right for us as a family. Never really following any extremes, but sitting comfortably in the middle.
My favourite aspect is the connection I have with my sons, both physically and emotionally.
Most awesome moment so far?
There are too many to count between the four of them. The first time they all independently said they love me are ones I will never forget. Especially as two of the boys have speech delay, so these words never came until they were four years old. It was worth every second of waiting.
Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?
My biggest struggle would be my own out of line expectations of my boys. They say comparison is the thief of all joy and this is so true.
My boys all have strong personalities — and throw anxiety, sensory issues and autism into the mix as well — just having four kids, it can get a bit much.
I’m not perfect and I shout, more than I want to, and I hear myself saying the words I always said I wouldn’t: “Because I said so” and “STOP SHOUTING” (which is shouted at them). D’oh. But I always say sorry and try and explain what emotion I was feeling and explain what I should have done instead.
Having children with additional needs, particularly speech delay and Autism, means that meltdowns are inevitable. I try to remember that it is an expression of how much they are struggling internally and try to bring them back to a place/state of calm — and if that doesn’t work, just be there, ready for them.
How do you juggle work with gentle parenting?
I think if you are working, or even if you are not, the main thing is to make time to be present with them. Jump in puddles, go collect leaves, see who can draw the biggest rainbow or just lie on your bed talking about nothing at all.
As with most things, it’s the quality of the time not the quantity, in most cases, that really matters.
Any advice you would give to new mums?
Take time to just be. You and your baby are not a source of entertainment. Lock yourself away every now and again and just enjoy each other.
Listen to your gut always — remember you are the only true expert on your children.
Last but not least, be kind to yourself. We’re all pretty much making it up as we go.
What’s on your soundtrack to your first year of being a Woke Mama?
I want to say something really cool, but it would probably be something cheesy like “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. Lol
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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