Woke mama: Jen

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: Jennifer Igbokwe age 30

Baby/kid(s) name & age: Esme, 5 months

How did you end up doing gentle parenting?

I think you read and you read about all sorts of parenting methods but in the end you do what feels natural, what feels right. My child feeling loved and secure and happy is important. In the beginning she had silent reflux which luckily by cutting out dairy seems to have disappeared. But it wa tough going for abit. She was constantly in pain and upset and it was so hard to see her that way. So constant comfort, holding her for long periods at night especially just became natural and normal. I do my best to soothe her and let her know I am there.

What does being a woke mama mean to you?

Seeing my child smile, letting her thrive the way she wants to not to suit my schedule or needs. So that her personality can shine through. From day one she has been so bright eyed and curious so we go out most days because I kid you not she will sit so happily on my lap for ab hour on the bus as long as she has things to stare at.

Most awesome moment so far?

She rolled over from stomach to back at about 7 weeks and we were able to film it and share it with family far away. It was awesome because it makes you appreciate smaller things. She will be learning all these new little things all the time and each one is a privilege to witness. I can’t wait!

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

The lack of sleep sometimes can be pretty hard as I was a big sleeper before. Mostly you get used to it. But as I’m EBF even though my partner is great it’s me that does all the night stuff and it can feel abit lonely and hard sometimes.

If going back to/at work, how will/do you juggle with gentle parenting?

That’s a tough one. I’m considering a career change of sorts as im not sure how comfortable I am at the thought of leaving her. I work in fitness. And want to train so I can do pre and post natal work and then hopefully take her with me sometimes and then other times she can be with Dad as he has a flexible schedule.

Any advice you would give to new mums?

Take a deep breath when your tired and frustrated. Forgive yourself, Mum guilt is very real. And live in the moment. In a way four months has passed so quickly and though I am super excited at all the new developments and changes she will go through. I already miss the things she doesn’t really do anymore as she’s growing.

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

Honestly a bit of everything. Whatever suits the mood. Beyoncé for are morning dances sometimes though!

P.S

Honestly becoming a Mum is the best thing I’ve experienced. I suffer from mild depression and was worried having a baby might make it worse. But I would say it has helped my mental health. I have to get up in the morning instead of lying in bed. And I smile and laugh more than I have done in years because of her.

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