Alicja’s interview came to us at the perfect time; not only were we dedicating a month to interviews with mom bloggers, but we were also hoping to get more interviews with “veteran” moms to give us some much needed guidance. She has 10 years of motherhood experience under her belt, and you can definitely tell from her answers. She candidly speaks about taking time for yourself (by reminding us that, “happy mommy raises happy children.”), how being a mom is a privilege, and the importance of having a supportive partner (and acknowledging that support by mentioning him in this very interview).
Please help us welcome Alicja into our Mom of Fame! Also, be sure to check out her blog, Just Redefine, it’s now one of our favorites!
Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I am a wife and mom of three little bombs of energy (my boys are 9 and 4 years old and princess will be two very soon). Besides that, I am a housewife with two diplomas in the drawer and recently a blogger. I’ve made it a mission of mine to encourage other moms to live the full, successful lives they dream about no matter of the size of chaos around them. I am very happy to connect to all the moms reading momfaming blog!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
I’m pretty sure every mom got that advice: when your baby sleeps, you should sleep. I’ve heard various reactions to that. I decided to not treat that literary but understood it as a “when there’s a moment that baby doesn’t need you, it’s your moment for self-care”. There were times when I actually napped but also read books or simply watched TV. Rarely I used that time to catch up on household chores. Thanks to that I was able to take care of my kids with a smile, without the feeling I’m losing my mind. I’m telling this to all my pregnant friends. Happy mommy raises happy children. At this hard, early stage your child will definitely not remember the mess at home, but there’s a chance s/he will remember mama’s smile.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
When I had my first son, I was sure I knew everything I needed to know. I learned how to take care of the baby from my mom when she had my much younger brother. I was finishing my master’s in psychology, I read so much on the subject, that I was feeling almost overprepared. Plus, I hoped some maternal instinct will kick in and guide me. How silly of me 😉 Even though I knew the technical stuff, how to bathe him and so on, everything else was so surprising. The fact that I could spend my days just watching him, the amount of love and worry that I felt every single day, the magic patience that I showed when he was crying (I still don’t know where it came from and where did it go after my third baby). Everything was different than I imagined.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
What a great question. Every mom should answer this to her self! First of all, I see treating my kids as a priority as my greatest strength. It makes adjusting my whole life to their needs easy and natural. This also affects my next point – as a mom I became good at organizing our family life [so that] way we’re not going crazy. I can handle both: controlling everyday chaos and unplanned last-minute events. I’m also quite proud of the contact I have with my kids, they know they can always talk to me about everything and anything. Not to mention, I am able to persuade them to tell me everything I want to know with my charming, easy going way 😉
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
I call it the dark times. I was depressed sometime after having the third child. I felt it’s not really post-partum depression, I just lost myself. Connect that to what I said earlier about my children being my priority and it’s easy to see how scared and guilty I felt that my state of mind may affect my family. I must admit that I still am figuring out what was going on with me, I’m waiting for the moment I’ll be able to joke about it. I was completely overwhelmed with all the roles I’m supposed to play on top of fighting my own problems at the moment.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Becoming a mother is a privilege and a mission. Ask any woman who tries for years to get pregnant. I made a choice to have children. By doing so, I needed to give up a couple of things, but I don’t see it as losing anything. Even when I felt lost, like I mentioned above, it was never about being a mother. The honorable mention goes here to my husband, who is extremely helpful and supportive. He is the originator of my “just redefine” philosophy that I now share on my blog. I’ve definitely changed since I’m a mom. I’ve gained a new identity, a new purpose. From the 10-year perspective, I must say I was an excellent decision.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
Another excellent question! I hope they will observe and learn how to create a relationship with their spouses based on unconditional love, trust and partnership. I want them to know how loved they are and how important it is for them to invest in their own kids. I’m talking about time, engagement, not only money. If they got that, I am happy. All the rest will fall into places.