Mama Diaries: Loneliness

motherhood living room

This week’s Mama Diary is from Anna Maria. Originally from Poland, this mama of two has now set roots in Boston.

When we first connected, I was already blown away from the honesty in her blogs. So, we concluded that we would feature one of her posts as it pertains so closely to what a lot of mothers currently feel; I know I have felt such strong similar feelings many times. Anna’s words resonate so strongly that sometimes I felt as if it was something from my own diary. Relocating to another city is hard enough – but talk about relocating to another country! That really puts your identity to the test. Imagine having to redefine yourself in a community you’re not too familiar with and a culture that might not be what you’re used to. It comes a time in motherhood that the loneliness seems incredibly unbearable that it certainly makes you question who you really are and what you’re made out of. This is why Anna’s post has become her diary entry.

We’ve carefully curated all photos from Anna’s Instagram account (@anja_mari) in hopes that it can inspire a space that will help lift you up, along with her diary entry that can help validate who you are.

Please enjoy.


 

The dust has settled down, and we are settled in, trying to feel like home is home. Trying to adjust to the new normal that still feels out of ordinary. The new normal of being completely, utterly out of place. We are hoping that our new place will feel in place and like our place, sometime, soon, but probably later than sooner. Sadly I can keep going, oh brother, I won’t…

motherhood mama diary home

And let me tell you, quite bluntly. I feel pretty lonely at times. Quite vividly, on a Monday morning, when the doors behind Cass close and I am left in the quiet house, a house that still needs so much organizing and cleaning and figuring out, a task that feels so damn overwhelming and daunting, like a constant reminder that we are starting from scratch… I am not saying this because I seek pity, I am not saying this because I think anything can be done differently, I am saying this because it is true, and I feel like the lonesome burden is well understood among mothers like myself and maybe even among mothers unlike myself. I think in general humans are battling loneliness, thus I am saying this so at least in this aspect, I don’t feel lonely, see what I did here?…I hope it makes sense.

motherhood hallway decor home

 

I have always been a lonesome type, always longing for something, I think it is a natural habitat of a melancholic soul like mine. Such soul always seeks to fill some void, always. I was always aware of it and grew to coexist with it.

motherhood home

However, the recent state of affairs amplified this feeling, the void, the ache and made me dig deeper into it.

I know that the life I chose a long time ago would involve more loneliness than average. If there is even any gauge measuring loneliness… cause that just doesn’t make sense, but still, my situation, moving away from my family, my country, my language and culture, destined me into feeling like this, more often than not.

motherhood bedroom decor

I was always a “seek to please” kind of a person, I want to do things right so so it is hard for someone to have something against me, because knowing that someone may not approve of something I do is just like a bullet to my heart, as if it could kill me in an instant. Pretty silly and pretty immature and definitely a few weeks of therapy for postpartum anxiety won’t really fix that kind of a personality issue. I also know now that people who want to always keep everyone happy around them are often the loneliest people around. I attest to this. I am slowly learning how not to waste my energy on trying to constantly control “PR status” among my family and friends, but it is difficult to let go of that thought. It requires a lot of trust and self-acceptance and confidence, all virtues I am still trying to grow.

motherhood kids bedroom

 

And yet, I moved distances that broke apart many real life relationships, so naively, I seek, what I cannot keep onto in real life, in the virtual one.

I found friends online, real friends, some I have never met but I know one day I will… But apart from that, an attempt to fill the lone void with social media is a really pooor, poor choice of a remedy. I mean it is easy for a person like me to seek it there, but I know I will never fully find it either. We all know how social media gauges of likes and harts are changing with a sinusoidal regularity. Also… sometimes things don’t mean what they seem to mean, sometimes not saying anything speaks a thousand words too, there is much negativity to be found, even if one avoids it, it will find its way around to invite itself in. so it is easy to feel lonely on there too… I heard term a “hate follow” and it sort of scared me, but then again, if it is something I cannot control, so I really should stop trying.

motherhood bathroom kids

Currently, I feel like life is a bit of a bubble, it is hard to be in this new place surrounded by strangers, but it is also impossible to remedy this with just social media and the virtual world. But I also know it is a stage, a difficult one for a soul like mine that needs to feed off of people’s energy that likes to be surrounded by people, that loves to interact. This motherhood gig is a great one, but I feel like it deprives us of feeling like we are out there, with people, in the world…. I don’t know, maybe it is just me feeling this way… I wish, I could feel that life is now, right here, in the little things, but I do struggle with that, and I constantly seek to fill that ache and void, with something bigger… Because it feels like the little things don’t really do it, at least not all the way, not all of it, maybe it is just wider, deeper, sort of enlarged by everything that happened lately, again…

motherhood dining room decor

I am writing this just a few days before I leave for Poland, I have been writing this for the past weeks with thoughts coming and going, cutting and deleting things, then adding more things back in. Because the topic I am trying to discuss is really complex… I know that the trip will help in some ways, but then won’t help in others, I know, like a Facebook status, it is complicated.

 

motherhood home decor

 

Thank you Anna for your honest words and may you continue to live the life you’re meant to live.

 

You can find Anna’s original blog post here

Mama Diaries: I See You

Mama Diary

From one mother to another, sometimes we just need someone to see our struggles. This week’s mama diary is from Agatha Kerkhoff of Martina’s. Agatha shared her struggle with PPD in her blog several months back (you can read it here) but this time, she’s writing from someone who’s been through the thick of it.

There will be weeks when we’ll get a little more into a mother’s world and the home she’s built for her family, but this week… we’ll begin with some words that might help someone struggling out there to make sense of the weight on their shoulders.

 

Mama Diary

dear mama,

I see you. I see you raising your little ones day by day. I see you waking early, working so you can spend more time with the little ones during the day. I see you trying, trying constantly to get it all done a little sooner, a little faster, a little tidier, a little straighter, a little better, a little neater… There is just so much to do and motherhood can be so challenging.

 

i see guilt.

I see you feeling guilty. Feeling guilty because the house is untidy and there are toys strewn about, feeling guilty because there’s dust on ledges and crumbs on the floor. I see you feeling guilty when they don’t get a well-rounded meal, wear matching clothes, or have their hair done and faces cleaned. I see you feeling guilty when the day isn’t going right, and you think it’s maybe something you’ve done—or haven’t done. You think it’s your fault.

|Don’t feel so guilty| you’re human, I’m human. #humanmama #thebestkindofmama

Not everything needs to be in order ALL of the time. There are children living here, growing here and making memories. They’re getting their hands dirty…making ‘pretty things’. They’re building sand castles, painting paintings, and colouring pictures. They’re dropping crumbs, but they are fed, their bellies are full and their hearts are happy.

Mama Diary

i see tears.

I see you crying. Sometimes the tears just have to fall. Kids can test our patience many times a day and occasionally in the worst ways. I see tears of frustration when the little ones won’t get along, when they’re fighting over something seemingly insignificant. When the day is only half way done, and all you can feel is tired. I see you run out of patience or get frustrated. You feel terrible.

| It’s ok | to feel overwhelmed in the moment. It’s healthy to cry, to process and to listen to your heart.

Take a deep breath mama, and feel the feelings. Step back a moment and realize that you need a moment to be ok. These moments can refuel you, to move on throughout your day with vigour.

Mama Diary

i see disappointment.

I see you’re feeling disappointed, it’s understandable. You’re feeling disappointed because you couldn’t quite get it all done today. Disappointed that it didn’t all work out exactly the way you wanted it to. Disappointed you couldn’t check off those things on your mental to-do list. You’re disappointed in you.

| Lower your expectations | a bit mama, be compassionate and realistic. You’re a supermom, and even supermom can only handle so much in a day. Focus on all you have already done. You’re doing the best you can. Let it be enough for you…it’s enough for them.

 

i see you.

I see you as you are. You are not alone, mama. Our imperfections connect us all. You mama, are moving mountains, every day. You are feeding them, you are loving them, you are doing the best you can.

| slow down| mama. Practice some self-care. Drink that cup of tea and put your feet up for a moment. You need it, you deserve it and it will help you mama.

One more thing dear mama,

“Beauty is defined by the heart inside your chest and the love that flows through it.” Imania Margria.

Mama Diary

One More Day

Long Table Dinner

outdoor long table dinner

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

What we do for others, we truly do for ourselves.

Last June, a group of women and small businesses came together to put something incredibly special to honour some deserving moms in our community who are currently battling the effects of cancer. Every year, we set out to raise funds through the sales of our ‘One More Day’ shirts so that we can surprise the community with a random act of kindness. Once again, this year, we dedicated an afternoon Mama Retreat to help lift the spirits of mothers who often put others above themselves – even while fighting the battle of their lives – and we simply wanted to show them that we care and that there is an army of people rooting for them.

Starting off with a private yoga session from Studio Yoga B, each mama was treated to a session that was simple, calm, and healing. The objective was to leave the world outside and enter the retreat with an open mind and heart. Immediately afterwards all our guests partook in a private cooking class hosted by Jennifer Brott from My Edible Advice. All our amazing produce came just down the road from the Local Harvest and everyone was treated to an amazing farm to table dinner.

Although we have closed the door on our online apparel shop, we will still continue to raise funds this year in various ways with some of our community partners in order to continue supporting some of the most vulnerable families in our community. More on our community projects to come, but here’s a look back to that amazing summer afternoon:

 

https://vimeo.com/225281675

 


 

Thank you to our incredible sponsors:

  • Confetti & Sparkle Party Shop
  • Make Good Workshops
  • The Swank Social
  • Creative Wife & Joyful Worker
  • Sugar Plum Sisters
  • Rockababy
  • Juice Truck
  • Marsh & Mallow
  • Good Citizens Pilates
  • The Market by Spruce Collective
  • Saige and Skye
  • Salmon’s Rentals
  • Culver City Salad
  • Batch Sweet Kitchen
  • Canvas Candle Company
  • Numpfer
  • Pink House
  • Minimoc
  • Three Corners Artisan
  • Highstreet
  • K’Pure Naturals
  • Greenhouse Delight
  • Elma Voth
  • Jack Coffee
  • The Local Harvest Market
  • Makers Anonymous
  • Wood Pecker Tables
  • Chalkboard Art by Emily
  • Studio B Yoga
  • Kardz Kouture
  • Noreen Schulz
  • Saje Natural Wellness
  • My Edible Advice
  • Leah Alexandra Jewellery
  • Original Six Marketing
  • The Local Harvest
  • The Orchard Chilliwack

Purposeful Nursery

baby room nursery decor

More than just a nursery. 

One of the most exciting things about being a first time parent is planning the baby’s room. Putting together what will be (essentially) the sanctuary of your first-born child. Getting a project like this always makes me incredibly giddy. It means being able to bring a mother’s vision to life and hopefully making it everything she thought it would be, if not more. But what makes these projects so special is the time I get to spend with the soon to be mom: Getting to know her, listening to her dreams, hopes, fears, and sharing mom stories. The journey in motherhood is not easy and sometimes lonely. If we can let another mother know that she’s not alone (ever) in this journey, it may really help her during the harder days and nights. So designing a nursery doesn’t just mean meeting the needs of the baby, but also meeting the needs of the mother.

I had the pleasure of putting together this baby boy’s room and I cannot be happier with how it turned out. Light and airy, gender-neutral, and lots of natural wood tones was the goal for this magical room.

 

baby room nursery decor

We left the walls white as this space was a rental unit and the parents preferred not to commit to a specific colour. Rather, we broke up all the whiteness with some wall decals (Urbanwalls) and made a feature wall right by the changing table.

nursery decor baby room

We changed the hardware from a used dresser to match with the new crib and everything else just fell into place.

 

These IKEA drawers were actually meant to be floating drawers such as bedside tables but we added footings to it to create a low level table play area for the active toddler years (always thinking ahead…).

Having a place to hang all the little items that makes a mama smile is a good way to remind her of all the positive things to come. We really took advantage of the one wall that wasn’t taken up by the crib. This area will later be a place to stick family photos, artwork, and even little love notes for the little one to see while playing (have a quick read about how this helps with social and communicative development in our Functional Design blog)

nursery decor baby room

One of my favourite things in this room is the incredible macramé (Saige and Skye) and custom floral ring (Posie and Pine) above the crib. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room and the combination of the two works of art is beyond words.

macrame nursery

This mama had an incredible collection of books for her little one. So to display them all, we hung a dollhouse on the wall to add some extra shelf storage for the books. The books can easily be exchanged out for other toys in the future. The rest of the books are in the crate box on the floor for accessibility (more on our Functional Design blog. Seriously, it’s good stuff).

nursery baby decor

When renting a space, it is imperative that things can easily be moved around. Furthermore, being in a condo means sacrificing space for location. So the goal was to create a room with multi-functional furniture that can be used not only for this temporary home, but for their future forever home. And I think we did just that.

baby room nursery decor


Get the Look:

Crib: Babyletto Scoot 3-in-1 Crib (white/washnat) – Westcoast Kids

Crib sheet: Organic Bamboo Fitted Crib Sheet – Numpfer

Macrame Wall Hang – Saige and Skye

Custom Gold Ring Wall Hang – Posie and Pine

Palm Branches Wall Decals – Urbanwalls

Chunky Knit Heart Blanket – Lil Fox Shoppe

Lighting – IKEA

Rocker – Rove Concepts

Pegboard – Sprig West

Modern Baby Book – Mushybooks

Low Cabinets – IKEA

Custom Wooden Acron Garland – Coral and Cloud

Modern Kids Side Table – Wire Home

Wooden Dollhouse – IKEA