Real Mothers. Real Stories. Real Moments: A Day in the Life of Jen

Posted by Joanne Ma on

The journey in motherhood is different for everyone as we all walk in our paths. Although our paths are unique we often cross each other and not know it... unless we lift our heads up high enough to realize there's more of us on the map than we realize. What I mean is... we often feel like we're the only ones going through something so hard and difficult that it feels weird to talk about it. Weird because you're not too sure why you're feeling this way and may sometimes even feel ashamed of the overpowering emotions. That is, until you realize another mama has experienced the EXACT SAME thing. 

Jen Wilson is the founder of VONBON organic children's apparel. I met Jen at the Make It Show in Vancouver when she just started her business. I immediately fell in love with her products as she was one of the first here on the West Coast to create organic, sustainable modern children's apparel. I basically gave her my credit card and told her not to tell me the total. Just ring it through. Just take all my money. Almost four years later, I still feel that way whenever a new line drops. Although VONBON is now one of the leading brands in children's apparel in Canada, it's Jen's dedication to her community that keeps me going back and I'm sure it's one of the reasons why many continue to go back. Jen has the ability to make you want to do more, want to do better, and want to get involved. She advocates for positive social change within her own business and you can see that transfer over whenever she's with her children. With social media becoming a place where everyone is sharing their lives, Jen is committed to sharing her true authentic self. Her stories on Instagram shares how life is like running a business and being a mom of two. Story short... she keeps it real, folks. Something that is SO needed in this "social world." From being a successful entrepreneur to a (super)mom, it is rare to find someone who is so committed to showing how real life can get with kids. She's been an amazing supporter of mine, not just professionally but personally. So when I read Jen's diary entry, I was in tears. We've been really close friends for a while now and still I had no idea she went through such strong emotions postpartum. I teared not because I was sad. I teared because I too was there and had not shared it with anyone. I guess we had crossed paths in our journey of motherhood but didn't know it... until now - when we finally looked up. 

This is her story...

I saw it again today. Tucked at the top of my closet, I just happened to catch a glimpse of it as I was walking into the washroom. I stopped to take a longer look. It’s sharp edges perfectly outlining my fist, made my heart sink for a second.

In a moment of furry, three months prior, I punched my fist through a clear plastic storage container in the top of my closet. I can’t remember exactly why I did it, but both kids were crying and we were late getting somewhere. I was in such a rage, I honestly didn’t even remember it happened. The tiny dried droplets of blood on my hand didn’t even trigger the memory that afternoon. It wasn’t until later that day, as I passed by my closet and saw the hole, did it all come rushing back.

Maybe I should just get rid of it?
No. It’s a good reminder that I’ve experienced some really difficult moments in the past six months. Moments when I felt so frustrated, so angry, that I couldn’t even control myself. All I could do was scream, slam a door or a drawer. Just thinking about it makes me feel so ashamed. It’s not the woman or the mother that I pictured myself being. I always thought I was stronger than that. I thought I was more loving, more understanding, more patient. I thought I was more in control. They sure don’t cover this shit in prenatal class. What the hell is wrong with me?


I randomly stumbled upon some Facebook article one night in bed. A mom had written about her experience with Post Partum Depression and how she felt so uncontrollably angry and irritable, that it made me question whether I was experiencing PPD too. I have never heard it described like that before. I have heard so many people say they have had PPD but never really heard what they felt like when they were going through it. I honestly never even considered it could be Post Partum Depression. Never did I feel depressed. I didn’t feel withdrawn or a lack of attachment to my children. My energy levels were good. I had the “normal” baby blues and crying bouts after both pregnancies. But every mom I’ve talked to has been through that.

Every. Single. One.
Then I did the thing that I tell myself NEVER to do with health related topics....I googled it. I read every possible diagnosis and symptom on PPD and PPA. An hour later I felt more confused than ever. Only one, maybe two of the symptoms I could honestly say I had experienced.

Three months later I feel happier, I feel stronger, I just feel better than I did then. It doesn't mean I don’t still have times where I feel irritable... really irritable. I just have a better understanding of why and how I can move through it instead of against it. Some days I’ll see the broken box and just laugh. Laugh at myself for even acting that way. Laugh because I just feel happy.

Motherhood sure has made me take a serious look at who I am and sometimes it’s not always the prettiest version of who I thought I was. It sounds so cliche, but my babies make me want to be better, react better, live better and love better. Only now as I’m sitting here writing this does it hit me like a punch in the face... just how important it is for me to take care of me, so I can take care of them. So, as hard as it is to leave them, to literally hear them cry as I walk out the door, I am reminded that having my own passions and profession play a huge role in me reacting better, living better and loving all of US better.

And the journey continues.


A Day In The Life

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  • Thanks for opening up Jen and sharing this Joanne. What a powerful read as I remember living in our downtown apartment and hitting the wall so hard the plastic cover for the light fell. I was ashamed but looking back 5 years later know it was the hormones and lack of sleep. However I’m reminded daily how I don’t want to return to that place. Keep up the good work!!

    Jessica on
  • Thank you for such a raw story.

    I’m a new mom of two and some days I just don’t understand why I can’t seem to pull it together when it looks like everyone else is. How can I not do this when women all over the world are?

    It’s a great reminder we all struggle. Thank you!!

    Ash on
  • Motherhood is hard. It’s overwhelming, frustrating, joyous and even anxiety filled. Everyday I probably experience one of those emotions and need to remember, it’s ok, most mothers feel this way and they are there to support you. It makes it easier to cope. There is no hand book but there is also so much information on how to’s and what to’s and don’t do’s. Sometimes I wonder if it is my instinct or something I read in my sleep deprive state.
    Anyways, Jen, thank you for keeping it real, I appreciate your stories on Instagram and know that your babies love you and in the end…it all comes together.

    NIcole on
  • It’s takes a lot of courage to write something like this and to open up and share another side of yourself.
    I applaud you Jen! You are doing such an amazing job!
    xx Sharday

    Sharday on
  • Thank you for this. You don’t even know how inspiring you really are…when we can see each other with struggles and moments that are raw, it makes us feel more human together. Love your truth and your stories aways. ..

    Diana on

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