Tell us about your family …
We are a crazy little tribe of three. Myself Sarah, my husband Dan and our little munchkin Aria. Dan and I met in Cape Town and after a dating for 8 months (half of that being long distance) we got engaged. Six months later we were married and I moved up to Johannesburg. I am really fortunate to be able to work from home and Dan is an engineer. Although full of quirks, we are a pretty wholesome, salt-of-the-earth family who love nothing more than a good cup of coffee and quality time with our nearest and dearest. You’ll probably find us wondering around the Fourways Farmers Market after church on a Sunday morning or out for hearty, full of bacon breakfast most weekends. As much as we love to go out, we really savour each moment we have together at home as a family. Our little Aria is always full of laughs and smiles and watching her discover the world each day is so fascinating to us!
You have an awesome blog! Tell us everything!
This all makes us sound like a picture perfect family but I promise that we are not! We have faced, and still face so many issues and challenges and I like to keep things transparent on my blog. You will find lots of beauty and baby posts on Mascara & Mimosas but I also include a heartfelt post here and there which I think is so important. I always want my readers to see me as a “real person” and that I face challenges in my life, just like they do. I began Mascara & Mimosas on a whim one evening to document all of the beauty and skincare products that I purchased and loved (or didn’t love…). Once I fell pregnant with Aria, the natural progression to include pregnancy and parenting posts came about. It has been so wonderful to connect with mamas from all over the globe and I learn something new each and every time!
You became a parent not so long ago … what were the best and worst moments so far?
Parenthood has been an adventure to say the least! We have had some amazing highs and some very low lows. The best moment was when I made Aria laugh for the first time and I just knew that she knew who I was. It just warmed my heart so much to hear that joyful, bubbly laugh that I actually burst out into tears. Happy tears of course! My worst moment was when my breast milk dried up. I felt like a complete failure as a mother and I wrote a full post about that over on the blog. I’ve gotten over it now but in that moment I felt absolutely discouraged and disheartened.
What parenting philosophies do you follow?
I don’t think that there is any specific philosophy that we follow. To be honest, we wing it a lot of the time! We go with what feels right for our family and what keeps Aria healthy and happy.
You recently wrote a post about experiencing post-natal depression – why do you think this is still a topic only a few mamas are willing to talk about?
It’s very difficult to admit that you have a “short-coming”, especially as a mother. I think women feel ashamed to admit that they may be struggling with PND, I know that I definitely did. I was afraid that I would be seen as an unfit mother or not good enough. Both of which are completely untrue. PND is so common and it is so important for us to start talking more openly about it.
How did you know everything is not quite 100%? What should moms look out for when it comes to their mental health? What do you want struggling mamas to know?
For me personally, it felt as though I was watching my life pass me by. I didn’t feel like I was in the drivers seat anymore, that life was just happening to me. In saying that though, I was still completely functioning and coping with motherhood: I was taking care of our home and our child as well as running my blog and my small business. I think that that is a very important point, you don’t have to be completely falling apart to be struggling with PND. Even if it is very mild, if your things just feel slightly out of sync, it’s worth going to your GP and having a chat.
There are such high expectations for mothers to be a mom, friend, wife and business woman. How do you keep that balance and how would you define this “new normal” that everyone keeps telling us about?
Oh man, it is so difficult and honestly I still struggle to keep everything balanced, it always feels like I’m failing in one department. I think that at the end of the day, if we are doing our best there really isn’t anything more we can do. I’m sure that this will differ from person to person, so again, if you and your family are healthy and happy, I’m pretty confident that that means that you’re doing a brilliant job.