In celebration of Mother's Day in the UK (global readers are still welcome, of course!) we're sharing some the most intimate and personal moments of motherhood from the perspective of these three amazing new mums, Portia, Kendra and Maya.
I first met Kendra almost 3 years ago. She was introduced as an amazing close friend by my amazing close friend, which instinctively drew me in (most know how this works!). Since we met for the first time in New York, Kendra has moved around everywhere between New York and LA with a new little member to the family, Penny. Now based in Tahoe and working as a photographer and web designer, Kendra is discovering some wonderful firsts, with little 2 year old Penny on her side. We were very lucky to catch up with Kendra sharing some truths about motherhood, baby blues and her inspiring relationship with her own mother.
Follow Kendra on instagram via @kendramenendez
What’s the most important things you’ve learnt about becoming a mother?
To slow down and be present. To let your inner child come out and play. Most importantly, to approach things from a place of love and compassion.
Tell us about your own childhood and how your upbringing influenced you?
My childhood was full of rich experiences and exposure to many different places and cultures. I was born in Los Angeles, and although I consider myself mostly growing up there - I moved around a lot and never really stayed in one place for too long. That experience growing up influenced me and has allowed me to have incredible experiences in cool places, and I've met the most magical humans from all over the world. I met the love of my life like this. This is something that is still quite relevant today - my little family and I have moved three times last year from New York to Los Angeles, and now we are in the Reno-Tahoe area. There's no right way to live life - live YOUR life. Of course, there are downsides to that lifestyle so it's something I am taking into consideration now that I have a family of my own.
My mother was a single mother who came to this country as a teenager with only middle school education. Her circumstances throughout life have been rough and painful, but no matter what she always made sure I was taken care of and supported all my dreams. A true example of the self-less sacrifice and love of a mother. By supporting my dreams, she has made me fearless when it comes to pursuing them. I didn't get to see much of my mother because she worked so much and being the oldest to two younger brothers - I sort of took on the mother role early on in life. So becoming a mother felt natural to me. There's so much more I can say about my childhood but these are some of the experiences that have influenced me.
What hidden truths have you encountered about being a new mum?
You are reborn when you become a mother and your life perspective drastically changes. It's life altering, but in a good way. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting and we have to trust our intuition. Also, It takes a village to raise a child.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with through experiencing motherhood?
Postpartum depression. I didn't think it could happen to me since I consider myself very strong and positive minded. However, it is very common. Your hormones after having a baby are all over the place. Sometimes it can take up to a year to shake the baby blues. I had to lean on others for emotional support, which was also very hard for me - since I usually the one people lean on.
How do you balance a good work and family lifestyle?
I've learned how to manage my time more efficiently, we don't have to work harder to be successful - just smarter. I listen to my body, our bodies are always sending us messages about what we need to direct our attention to. If I need time for myself, I take it. The happiest me, is the best me.
Tell us about your values being in motherhood as the position of a teacher?
Trust your intuition. Be self aware. Always practice kindness. Never stop learning. Follow your dreams and believe in yourself. Be curious and ask questions. Have a plan but remain open for the unexpected.
Three questions that you have asked your mum when experiencing motherhood?
1. How many times did you drop me? I know it's silly but every new mom has dropped their child on accident. You feel horrible, and wonder if your mom did the too because you turned out alright.
2. How did you do it all by yourself? I sometimes get overwhelmed with motherhood but thankfully I have a very supportive partner. I can't imagine doing it alone but I guess you somehow just figure it out. I give major credit to all the single mothers out there!
3. What was my father like with me? The father-daughter relationship is something I lacked. My father was killed when I was 7 years old but my parents were separated since I was a baby. I don't remember him but always wonder how he was with me, how he played with me, and what we did together during our brief time together. I love watching my daughter and her father together, I feel like I get to experience that relationship now just from a different perspective.
What elements of your mother inspires you the most?
She's selfless and has the most caring heart out of anyone I've ever known. She follows and trusts her intuition, works very hard, never gives up, and isn't afraid to take chances. I couldn't have asked for a better mother. Those elements have influenced me greatly and I find myself exuding those same qualities.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I'm looking forward to enjoying more of the world from the perspective of my inner child this year. I'm looking forward to adventures with family and friends (both old and new) and I always look forward to growth - spiritually, emotionally, and professionally.