Yay! Another #MomCrushMonday: This time with my friend Laura who is the wife of one of my oldest friends from university. Our little ones are only 2 weeks apart so they get to play with each other and we get to experience all the happy milestones and bad sleep habits 😉 around the same time. But also reassure each other that everything is always normal and always a phase. So give it up for Laura 🙂 :
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
My partner Valentin (33) and I (26) live together with our 22 month old son Esca in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Being an international family (Canadian and German) we travel often to Vancouver to be with my family and friends and soak in some “Real Nature” ;). We are currently most excited about planting our balcony garden so we can grow our own food and feed the bees!
How did you experience your pregnancy(s)?
My pregnancy with Esca was an empowering experience. Never before had I been so in touch with myself and the power of my body. Except for the fainting spells that came two, almost three times, I felt healthy and connected to the baby inside my belly. I struggled being my only close friend to be having a baby, but was wonderfully surprised when my older sister found out she too was pregnant. Pregnancy for me was really all about growing up, trusting in my body, and the anticipation of a new exciting chapter in life.
What is the best thing about being a mom?
The most amazing thing about having a child is the responsibility of it all. I never knew I would be so grateful to have someone watching and learning from my every move. Someone who holds me accountable for all of my actions and makes me strive to be the very best version of me I can be. Being a mom means chasing the light even when the darkness weighs heavy, because you have to, for your child.
Another equally amazing thing… watching Esca’s bright light shine through his pure and honest laughter. It is the sweetest feeling I’ve ever known.
What is the most challenging?
The most challenging thing would probably have to be the responsibility again. It’s very challenging to feel like I can’t be a little careless or irresponsible. When I am not my best self, Esca feels it immediately and is unhappy and fussy. He is like a mirror of my inner self and state of being and sometimes that can be hard to face.
What did you never expect before (having a child/children)?
I never expected to forget life before having Esca so easily. He has become such an inherent part of my life, and I almost forget what it feels like to be me before him.
Your favorite place in Berlin with and without child?
My favorite place in Berlin is my apartment. It’s my safe haven where I hide out from the busyness of city life. My favorite place with Esca is by the Landwehrkanal near Admiralsbrücke in a grassy area where Esca can explore and I can watch the water and the trees.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
A typical day in the life… well Esca goes to a Tagesmutter and Vali goes to work and I work on my sculptures and I won’t bore you with the details of how it all plays out. In the evenings we make dinner and generally struggle to get Esca to eat it (unless it’s pasta or peanut butter and jam) and then Esca has his bath, runs around naked and crazy and oh so adorable for half an hour, and then around 8 he goes to bed. The evenings are for netflix, cuddling with my man, and sitting under the moon.
What can we find in your diaper bag?
Diapers’n wipes, nothing special.
What do you love to do the most with your family?
Just being together at home and feeling all the proud parent feels in that half an hour before Esca goes to bed. He really lights up and it’s impossible not to feel incredibly happy watching him run around butt naked giggling and grinning from ear to ear.
What is important to you when raising your child?
It’s important to me that Esca gets my full attention when we are together. I try hard not to be on my phone often when he’s with me, and to include him in the things I do. I don’t want to raise a child who is used to being put second to an Iphone or computer. I also aim to expose Esca to nature as much as I can. The more he loves nature, the more he will grow up to want to protect it.
How do you take little breaks and get some me-time or how do you relax?
My favorite me time is horseback riding once a week on weekends. That takes me home to myself and connects me to my spirit. I also love to sit on my balcony at night and gaze at the night sky. Quiet meditation also does me wonders.
How has the relationship with your partner changed since you have become parents?
Vali and I have had to become very serious in our relationship very fast. In many ways having a child feels the beginning of our journey together. There were years of knowing one another and dating on and off and long distance and so on, but having a child forced us into a new kind of togetherness we had not known before. That has been challenging, but also wonderful. We know now that we will be partners for life, and that is a beautiful thing to have with another human being. I feel so lucky to have found such an incredible person to raise a family with.
As a mom, which 5 things can’t you live without?
A bar or a pocket full of nuts for all the times when I have to feed Esca but forget about myself, my lavender eye pillow for much needed naps, the moon, a cozy bed, a self help/spiritual book on my bedside table.
What are your top 3 tips to other (expectant) parents?
- Remember more often than not that your kid’s bad mood is probably reflective of your own bad mood (at least that is what I’ve found).
- A balance in life with kids is hard to maintain, but a kid benefits more from a happy parent who takes time off than a stressed parent who gives everything they have to their child.
- Don’t sweat every little “wrong” thing your kid does. Sometimes it is truly relieving and so much easier to trust that your kid is just exploring the world in his or her way and whatever annoying thing they are doing they will shortly forget about or grow out of. Relax :).
What is your wish for the future for your child/ren and for you as a family?
I wish for Esca that no matter what challenges and circumstances we may find ourselves in as a family, he always feels secure in knowing that we all respect, care for and love one another deeply and unconditionally.
And last but not least, tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I can touch my nose with my tongue 😉
Thank you so much for the great interview, Laura! If you want to have a look at Laura’s amazing pieces of art and the occasional snap of cutie pie Esca you can follow her on Instagram or you can visit her website.