“That is something I see as a Doula: everyone wants to hold the baby, but no one wants to hold the Mom.”
Moms can do anything is our newest concept of monthly Instagram live, where Cath, Label K’s founder, discusses with an amazing person to get some inspiration on various topics.
During this first live, Cath had a chat with Marlene (@ggglueckskind), an amazing woman and a Mom of 2, who is fulfilling her life dream: being a Mom and a Doula (someone who accompanies women during their pregnancy, their delivery and just after the baby is born). We had at heart to interview her because we share the same mission: Helping Women and Moms.
✨Discover their discussion below or have a look at the video! ✨
Can you tell us a bit about your Mom journey?
Being a Mom was always a life dream for me since I was about 16, and it was quite a long journey. I have to say, I didn’t know how exhausting or challenging it would be to be a Mom!
What was the trigger that made you know that it was your life dream, your journey?
M: I always knew I would be either a doctor or a marketing expert. I have been a marketing expert for about 8 years, and I loved it. In the middle of my career, we decided to start a family and to have kids, but we have seen that the journey is not as easy as you wish it to be. Two miscarriages and a long journey later, I found my Doula who helped me to take it a little bit easier, and 6 months later I was pregnant with my first son! I had a wonderful pregnancy and then an unpredictable caesarean section, but I had a healthy baby and I just was a happy Mom! Then I thought I couldn’t be the only woman needing a Doula, needing help: so, I decided to change my career and learn how to help Moms, how to give them everything they need for their pregnancy.
C: Yes, I think it’s quite a journey to become a Mom and that there’s a lot of things we don’t say about miscarriages. I had some myself and I know a lot of women who had too, it’s a little bit taboo and it shouldn’t be: we really have to understand that it could be part of the process. And to have a partner, like a Doula, could really help to find more energy and more serenity.
"I couldn’t be the only woman needing a Doula, needing help!"
Could you share with us the roles that are important to you today?
M: The most important role for me is to help Moms visualize and realize their full potential as Moms and as Women, before, during and especially after the birth. When I had my baby, I was tired and completely overwhelmed with the feelings and the emotions. When we had visits from our families, everyone wanted to hold the baby, and I asked “But who wants to hold the Mom?”. That is something I see as a Doula: everyone wants to hold the baby, but no one is holding the Mom.
C: That’s true, and as a Mom you don’t really want everyone to hold your baby but sometimes you need a real hug! We should wear a t-shirt that says “Give me a hug”!
M: I have a t-shirt with “Mom needs some wine”! :-)
How do you manage to find a balance that works for you?
M: With two boys of 2 and 3.5, this is really one of my biggest challenges. I have now found a way: getting up at about 6am with my oldest son. I am doing a 5-minute meditation to calm down and start the day, I make a big coffee for me and a hot chocolate for my son and we watch Fireman Sam for about 30 minutes: it really became a ritual we both enjoy. Then I hear my youngest coming and it means that the day is ready to start! At about 8am, I start working, and during the day, I try to take a walk 4 times a week for about 2 hours with my youngest in the stroller. Thursdays and Fridays are my free days dedicated to my sons, my family and the housework.
"With two boys of 2 and 3.5, finding my own balance is one of my biggest challenges."
C: And as a couple and co-parents, what is your balance, and how do you manage to find it?
M: To be honest, we have had one evening as a couple in the last 4 years. The kids’ grandmothers live at about 1,5 hours, and so we always have been a team of 4. We are now building a house 30 minutes away from my Mom’s, so I think it will be getting better!
Would you have any tips for women who want to change the balance in their couple, who are not satisfied with how it’s working today?
One of my most important tip is to take time for you. Selfcare is very important: it might take the frustration out of your partner! Being a Mom is wonderful but it’s really the hardest job.
"Being a Mom is wonderful but it’s really the hardest job."
As a Doula, what do you love the most about your job?
Sometimes, it’s really just a “Thank you” from the Moms. For us, it changes everything.
In your experience, how can Moms feel better about their body after giving birth?
I would always recommend enjoying every moment: the time is short, and no one can give it back to you! And, we should never forget that our body is a wonderland.
It’s so nice as a Doula, to help Moms remember that they are doing their best!
Onto a trickier question now, when we have different roles that are so important, sometimes guilt can be part of the process. What makes you feel guilty and how do you manage it?
M: When I have a lot to do and my sons want to play with me, I sometimes just tell them “We’ll do it tomorrow”. Then, in the evening, I really feel guilty about it. I often think that they are so little and so helpless, and that only 10 minutes are enough to play with them or to read a book. Now, I try to give them 30 minutes for those activities. Also, we do the housework together, that’s very funny and we do it as a team... Even-though sometimes it’s more work than when you do it alone but whatever!
C: I am a little bit of a feminist myself, so to hear that two boys are participating to making the house clean, it’s also nice! My older son is 6 and he’s used to do that because he went to a Montessori school, so now he’s really helping! Sometimes when I am alone with my kids, he’s vacuuming, helping to set the table and everything. If you start the habit young, it could really help!
Are you able to find any time and energy for yourself? And if yes, what are you doing?
M: I have to be honest: it’s not as easy as it sounds, because I often feel really empty. My husband is away 4 days a week and I am alone with the kids. So, what I do is to always try to continue reading my favorite fashion magazine and watching my favorite TV show, no matter with or without the kids, and these are 30 minutes of my “old life” that I won’t give up. I also try to take either a bubble bath or a walk. Easy but good... However my last bubble bath was disrupted when I heard my youngest coming into the bathroom and heard a “Hello!”.
C: It’s not always easy, at the end of the day you are so tired, and when the kids are in bed and that you’re done with your day at work and your day with your family, you’re like “Okay, just give me a break, nothing should happen in the next 30 minutes!”. At the beginning kids take so much space that it’s not easy to remember we also exist as a person. We put so much pressure on us to be good Moms, but we also need to be good human.
M: Yes, I often say “You are a Mom, but you are still You”.
"I often say:You are a Mom, but you are still You.”
What is your support system to make all that happen? Do you have any people that help you?
My Mom! I always say she is some kind of a Superwoman because she showed me that Moms really can do anything. She was a single working Mom, and she proved to me that we can do anything!
"My Mom was a single working Mom; she proved that we can do anything!"
Yes, totally we can!
Would you have any tips to share for finding the strength to live your dreams?
M: As simple as it sounds, it’s to visualize your dreams and to work for them to become true. And to always believe in yourself! It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams, you just have to know what you want! Being a Mom is to feel so empty sometimes and so full of energy some other times, and in these moments where you are full of energy, you really can do anything. Everything is possible then, and it was during one of those moment that I decided to change my life completely!
C: How did you find the strength to find a new job, with everything you already had to manage?
M: My husband and my Mom both said it would be difficult, and I think that gave me the strength to show them that I could do it! Usually we say we need support, but sometimes the fact that people are challenging us could do the trick!
"It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams!"
When you were at the beginning of being a Mom, what was the best way to support you, and what is the best way to support you today?
At the beginning, it was just to hold my baby in my arms, full of love. It was really the best support!
And now, it should be having one day just for me.
As a woman, what is your super cool but yet super easy Mom look?
Dresses, dresses, dresses! I love to take one in the morning and to just put it on to be ready. And for my second pregnancy, the first thing I bought was a beautiful pyjama! Even at the maternity ward, it could be nice to have one!
What is for you the coolest place or concept to go on holiday with kids?
My husband and I really love to go to a place called the Forsthofgut, which is a family hotel here in Austria. We go there for 1 or 2 days: the kids have fun, and we have fun with the kids. And we are very lucky because we live in the middle of a ski resort, so we nearly are on holiday every day!
C: This is really nice! And how do you manage to go skiing with kids?
M: Skiing or swimming with two kids is a bit stressful, but we are always trying to do that as a family. My youngest son is in its stroller and my oldest son loves skiing with my husband. We also do Nordic skiing, which is less stressful and much easier than regular skiing, and we can do it as a family of 4. I recommend it, you will have a lot of fun!
What is your favorite kid’s products, the ones you would recommend to every Mom and Mom-to-be?
Kids don't need a lot of things really, but I would say the Stokke Tripp Trapp evolutionary chair, a Doudou and a sleeping bag!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would like to share something an older woman once said to me: “There are two blissful moments every day: when the children open their eyes in the morning, and when they fall asleep in the evening”.
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