Here’s to strong women!
March 10, 2017
It was International Women’s Day on March 8. International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality. The trending quote of the day that came up on my social medial feed was “Here’s to strong women…may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them”. In my opinion, perfectly said however, as I read this quote I thought to myself, how many of us practice what we preach?
The stereotype that has surrounded women for years is that we are catty, bitchy and in competition with each other. I have recently (and reluctantly) become the subject of this stereotype. Without feeding the haters and the gossip train, the main point of this blog post is to express my disdain at being associated with this negative message, and instead spread a message of love for my fellow woman!
May we know them
If this was Maria 10 years ago, an 18 year old girl fresh out of a private all girls school, then my response to an attack probably would’ve fulfilled the stereotype. Now, as a 27 year old mother to a baby girl I am simply not interested in the hate. I have surrounded myself with strong, successful women. From my mother to my best friend, to the Insta mama’s that I admire so. I follow hundreds of women on Instagram, who were once stay at home mums and were then inspired by their children to create their own businesses from children’s wear to lifestyle blogs. Prior to having Myla, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that community. Their courage to try inspired me to create My La Label. I may not know these women personally, but I feel like I do! I follow their journeys, I laugh when they laugh, I cry when they cry and I relate to their lives so much. I have never once felt resentment towards them. Their continued success personally and professionally inspires me to keep going, when I feel like giving up in any aspect of my life.
May we be them
May we be them indeed? In my life I have worked full time, purchased a few homes, earned a bachelor of business and started my small online store; however, the greatest achievement of my life thus far is my marriage and Myla. I may not be making millions through My La Label, live in a mansion and have a wardrobe to rival Kim K, however I am happy! I believe that in order to be a strong woman you need to be content and happy within yourself and the life you live. The problem with today’s society is that we always want more from a bigger house, to a flashier car. This yearning for more leads to feelings of jealousy and hate and results in personal attacks and online trolls. If you are truly happy in your life and yourself, then you will only spread that happiness, and hate will have no room in your heart.
May we raise them
As I said earlier, my response to a personal attack 10 years ago would’ve been that similar to what you saw in Mean Girls, however things have changed, I have changed. As a mother, I am conscience now more than ever of the example that I set for Myla. I strive to teach her to be a strong, confident, intelligent, compassionate woman. I strongly believe that when women attack other women it comes from a place of self-hate, insecurity and self-doubt. If I can raise a strong woman, who is confident enough in herself to celebrate other women’s achievements rather than resent them, then I’ve done her proud. Myla will learn more from what she sees rather than what she is taught; therefore I strive to demonstrate confidence not doubt, admiration not jealousy, and love not hate.
There are endless mummy bloggers, creators, entrepreneurs and business women today. Every one of them is simply working towards their own dreams. They want to be their own boss. They want to find a way to stay at home and raise their babies whilst contributing to the household income. They want to get in touch with their creative side. They want to blog and tell you about their own experiences. Guess what guys? There is plenty of room for all of us. Women need to celebrate women, not tear them down! If someone comes at you with hate and jealousy fight back with love and hope that it’s contagious. Be the change you want to see in the world. Here’s to strong women…may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!
60KG of Post Baby Me
February 13, 2017
The pressure to bounce back physically after having a baby is paramount more than ever in a 24/7 world obsessed with social media. In the months leading up to Myla’s birth and following, it felt like my news feed and television set was riddled with the Tammy Hembrows of the world. Women who give birth and days later display figures that I didn’t even have pre pregnancy. This is simply not the reality for most women. I wanted to share my baby body journey with you in hopes that you won’t beat yourself up over your baby weight. Finally, after years of hating my body and yearning for everything I’m not; I have learnt to love the skin I am in!
In the years prior to having Myla I was insecure. At 169cm tall and weighing 57 to 60 kilos I thought I was fat and would cringe at the thought of summer. Summer meant minimal clothes therefore my body exposed. I couldn’t hide my rolls behind the winter coat, or my cellulite behind the skinny jean. My BMI was 20 which was within the normal range of 18.5 to 24.9 yet I still woke up every day and without fail would find something to pick at.
In my first trimester I didn’t gain a single kilo. Sounds good, but I thought I was ahead of the game! By the time the second trimester came around I figured I was doing fine in the weight department so I ate, ate, ate! I actually didn’t enjoy the hunger that came with pregnancy. I was hungry 24/7 and found eating to be a chore! I tried to eat healthy but the foods that kept me fuller for longer weren’t exactly fruit and vege. Daily trips to the bakery were a regular occurrence…I was screwed. The last recorded weight that I have logged was at 35 weeks and a half weeks pregnant. I was 76 kilograms which meant I had put on 16 kilograms; woah. No wonder I stopped weighing myself! Myla was born at 40 weeks and 10 days therefore one can only guess what my final weight would’ve been. Bottom line – I had a lot to lose and was a little overwhelmed to say the least.
If you know me then you know that my relationship with exercise is love hate. We go through our honeymoon phase where we’re together every day. We then get used to each other, fight and don’t talk for weeks. Myla was born in May. By the time I got the balls to go for a walk with her it was friggin freezing outside (freezing for a Queenslander). I might’ve gone for 1 to 2 walks a week if that…and my eating wasn’t great. I had breastfeeding issues early on in relation to milk supply so I ate anything and everything to try and get it going. When breastfeeding ceased I was depressed (not really) and continued to eat carefree. My focus was on being the best mum I could be and not on my diet plan. It wasn’t until Spring that I began to reassess my eating habits and up the anti on the weekly walks. Finally at Christmas I was back to my pre-baby weight of 60 kilograms; 7 months postpartum.
It took 7 months to get back to my pre-baby weight! I am sure I could’ve lost the weight quicker but at what cost? I could’ve dieted from the get go, but that would’ve affected my milk supply (and my mood). I could’ve exercised, but that would’ve meant less newborn cuddles with Myla. You’d think given my history, that my post baby my body image would be at an all-time low but it’s actually not. I have a c-section scar that is still healing, stretch marks on my hips (they appeared at week 37), saggier tits, jiggly bits; and I swear my butt has flattened yet my mindset has changed! This summer I have posted more bikini pics than ever and that’s simply because I don’t give a fuck. This is me. I’m not going to sit on the sidelines, hide from the camera and watch every one else have the fun. I promised myself that I will not set a bad example for Myla, and I’m doing my very best to adhere to that. The words fat and skinny have been replaced by fit and healthy in my home. In a world where 35% of children are concerned about being overweight, I know the language I use will have an implication on my daughter. Children learn more from what they see rather than what they are taught. I’m just trying to be the best version of myself I can be. I’m done trying to be someone else. I hope after reading this, you are too.
Active for Viv
I have joined the #imovebeCAUSE campaign. I move in the month of June because I am proud aunty to Vivenne Rose Kobas 🌹 Vivienne was stillborn on the 30th July 2015 at just 24 weeks gestation. Her presence in our lives was short but profound. She has touched my heart and will never be forgotten, especially by her parents Michael and Tarryn; and little sister Eva.
Please go to https://imovebecause.everydayhero.com/au/active-for-viv to donate to Bears of Hope. Bears of Hope provide support to families who experience the loss of their baby. Please help me reach my goal and raise $1,500 for a great cause this June!
I aim to walk, walk, walk! Once a week I will try a new walking trail in the Brisbane/Gold Coast area.
I encourage you to join the #imovebeCAUSE campaign and support a cause close to your heart. | #ActiveForViv
WE RAISED A TOTAL OF $1,814.80 FOR BEARS OF HOPE. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO DONATED TO THIS AMAZING CAUSE.