Mom to Mom with Carmia Leao

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I am very excited to be sharing my first “Mom to Mom” article with you. In our “Mom to Mom” section, we get to meet a fellow “Mom in the Making” and hear what’s going on in her world. Today we have the pleasure of meeting a very special friend of mine that I have had the honor of knowing for several years now. We met years ago on a course, and she somehow crept up beside me and said (in a creepy tone)  “I’ve seen you around, and I have always wanted to meet you, my boyfriend and I call you the Funky Girl !” (ha ha). How could you not want to be friends with someone who introduces herself like that ? Carmia aka Mia has the best introductions. If not memorable ones! She has always brought a smile to my face through her genuine, sincere, and loving nature. I know that she has touched the hearts of many that have come across her path and that’s why I wanted to start this section with her.

About Carmia:

  • My name is Carmia Leao but my friends call me Mia.
  • I am married to Sergio Leao Co owner of Fusion floors, we have been married for 5 years.
  • I have two beautiful children Jesse (20 months) and Giana (3 months old) their age difference is a year and a half.
  • I am currently a stay home mom.

I am at Carmia’s house, busy doing her make up for her first date night since having 3 month old Giana. She is very excited as she will be celebrating hers and Sergio’s 5 year wedding anniversary this evening (Congrats guys!) . While I am doing her make up, we are recording her thoughts and views on “mom hood”.

Tell us a little bit about the season that you are in?

At the moment I am a stay home mom with my daughter Giana (3 months) while Jesse (20 months) my first born attends Daycare. Financially it is a bit tight, but I am hoping to start part time work when Giana is four months old. Which means both children will be attending Daycare. The thought of Daycare can be nerve wracking for first time moms, because you wonder and worry if other people aka “crazy people” will be able to look after your kids! What do you mean “Crazy people” Mia? As in the crazy kids make them crazy at Daycare (ha ha) . But after awhile you and your child get used to it (Daycare) , and it becomes a blessing to both mom and child. Jesse comes home happy, which makes me happy.

How does having a second child compare to having  the first child?

With the first child, you are overwhelmed in general. You are adjusting to new sleeping patterns, you’re feeding on demand,your body is healing from giving birth and your boobs are adjusting to breastfeeding. In the beginning (first few weeks) you feel like its never ending, you start thinking “is this how my life is going to be like forever?” It starts to effect how you feel; you start feeling a bit down, and despondent. But then with Giana, I knew that the “beginning phase” would pass. Which made me more relaxed, knowing that it’s just a phase that would eventually pass. And that season is gradually passing by, for example my husband and I waited three months before going on our first date night! (Which is tonight woohoo). Just keep reminding yourself that it will pass, and your baby will settle into a routine when they are ready.

Team Leao

 

The Challenges

“The Balancing Act”

The biggest challenge at the moment is to give Giana and Jesse equal attention. Sergio and I will “Tag Team”, and swap kids.  For example Sergio will fetch Jesse from Daycare. Then when Jesse is home I will feed him while Sergio gives Giana a bottle. Sergio will then bath Jesse, and I will get Jesse ready for bed. Its a juggling act. (Sounds like you are rocking it Team Leao!)

“Intimacy & Self image”

Another challenge is to keep the romance alive, especially when you’ve had an exhausting day. But sometimes you need to just “take one for the team” (haha) and mentally prepare yourself for “sexy times” . While the baby is asleep quickly polish up ladies – trim downstairs, put some shimmer lotion on and something cute to wear, you may not “feel” like it. BUT it will be so rewarding for both you and your husband. To add to this, I find that I am constantly working on my “self confidence”.  I often don’t feel sexy with my “mommy body“. I keep reminding myself that my husband still thinks I’m sexy even though my boobs might look like “cones” at the moment. Sometimes I wish we could see ourselves the way our husbands see us, and stop being so hard, and so critical on ourselves.

“Getting out vs Cabin Fever”

Something else that I find quite challenging, is trying not to loose my mind while being indoors 24/7 . I am quite a social person and I like being around people . I make sure that Giana and I get out of the house to baby friendly places ; Tygervalley has the best baby changing facilities for feeding and changing, Damhuis restaurant in Melkbos is a favourite, and I love going to the Mugg n Bean by the Paddocks, if it is a nice warm day we will go to Green Point park. Theres something about going out and getting out of the house.

The Blessings

For me one of the biggest blessings is knowing that your children are a gift from God. It’s awesome to know that you can pour Gods love into them! Another blessing about being a mom, is when you and your husband witness your children doing something funny or something cute. Those moments are special because you know that they are YOURS!

Advice for other moms : 

  • Make sure that your relationship with your husband is healthy, invest in it, cherish it, and look after each other especially in challenging seasons, and um “sexy times” is a must!!!
  • Stay connected with other moms, meet up regularly and share mom stories and encourage one another!
  • Make sure you get out of the house with your baby, go for a walk around the block or go out to the shops. The more you do it the more confident you will become when cruising out and about with your baby.
  • Don’t let mommy guilt dictate you, decide what works best for you and your family and just go with it. So if that means introducing a formula bottle sooner than what you originally thought for personal reasons then do it – you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.
  • Remind yourself that this is just a season, you will go on date nights again, you will be able to sleep for longer at night again, it will happen.
  • Be patient and be present in the moment with your baby. They grow up so quickly!

Carmia’s make up and hair is done, and she is looking gorgeous! Before I go , we quickly take a few fun pics ! You can see that this lady somehow manages to balance being there for both of her children. She knows when to laugh at herself, and when to laugh with her kids. She is real and honest in her approach to mom hood, and I just LOVE that about her! Carmia I hope you had some “sexy times” ! 

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Weekend away with a baby

weekend away featureSo over the long weekend we had a “mini get away” with friends to Wortelgat with a 7 month old teething baby (Eak). Malakai is a very chilled, relaxed baby and is quite content with new unfamiliar faces, he is friendly and is always smiling at the ladies (Hmm need to keep my eye on that) However when our good old friend “teething” makes it rounds its leaves Malakai a little uncomfortable, moody, and quite vocal about it too! So , I was a little nervous to take him away with us (not like I would leave him at home or anything) Nervous because teething leaves him feeling very uncomfortable, irritable and unpredictable. Babies are unpredictable in general, they always keep you guessing like a game of charades! (Baby charades) But none the less, as they say “YOLO”, we took the plunge / cheered ourselves on (aka mentally prepared ourselves) and started planning all of our essentials that we would need for the weekend away with friends. Its not as simple as putting the baby in the car and going, you have to consider what will he/she sleep in, what solids are they eating and at what times, sterilize bottles, have enough diapers and change of clothes, medicine kit , are there enough toys and goodies to keep a crawling baby entertained? etc and OH don’t forget to pack for yourself! (haha) Once all of that is organized , you are pretty much good to go.

One of my besties Rene is getting married soon – so her and her fiancé planned a weekend get away for the bridal party and their partners close to their wedding venue. Their wedding venue De Uijlenes is absolutely gorgeous! I want to describe it in detail so badly for you BUT I don’t want to give away any surprises for the guests! It makes me SO excited for them and their big day! I have the HONOR of being the “maid of honor” (Woohoo,the chosen one haha) for my beautiful friend Rene, and my heart can’t contain my excitement for this new chapter that her and Hein are about to embark on! Obviously we had to practice our “bridesmaids with the bride pose”. 

Check out our poses:

The GirlsThe suns in our eyes smile!1,2,3…...We did it!

We love going away, and having some down time. There’s something about being out of your house, out of routine, away from technology and letting the soul recharge and rest. We packed the car, as in our WHOLE house (literally) We ended up borrowing my dad’s 4×4, and filled it to the brim with baby essentials (camping cot, walking ring , toys galore, bottle sterilizer, microwave – Yip you heard me a MICROWAVE because the house we were staying at did not have one,the house was solar power which in essence meant the microwave kept draining all the power – therefore no microwave sterilizing of bottles. BUT good old fashioned boiling hot water over a gas stove and hoping for the best! “Moms got to do what a moms got to do” And it worked ! He survived! Good to know for future trips). I feel like I am always learning new things as a mom! Any moms with me on that one?

Malakai slept for the whole drive up (Good boy) which was about 3 hours, had to change his diaper in the car, feed him while we were driving around in the actual town. (Multitasking to the max) But once we got out of the car I could see he was so intrigued and just loving the outdoors. (The smells, and sights) and he absolutely LOVED all the attention he received from all of the friends! He loved it so much that he didn’t want to nap . (Oops) He just loved looking at the gorgeous view from his walking ring, and loved chilling on the grass doing tummy time! I think the sights, and company of fun friends distracted him from his teething too be honest, yes he was a little niggly but that he didn’t stop him from smiling and socializing! (Little champ) There were one or two moments where he was struggling a bit with his teething and was very grump, tired and struggling to take naps – thats when I took him to a quiet room and did my best to help comfort him until he FINALLY fell asleep. I always used to feel bad when Malakai would cry or be upset in front of others, not sure why – maybe I was worried if it bothered others,or it could relate to his Colic days and me being anxious all the time (more on that later) But in those moments I remind myself he is only a baby and crying is his only way of communicating with me about how he feels, and I must just love him.

Malakai and Mom KissesMalakaiMalakai enjoying natureMy FavsMy boys

Traveling with a baby is a little bit of a challenge, but once you get going and just do it – it becomes another thing you can add to your “mom belt” of things you’ve achieved and know its doable. And its so worth it making that extra effort, and forcing yourself to go away with your little family – everyone ends up benefiting from it. Just because you have a kid it doesn’t mean that your life should stop, they become apart of your world just as much as you become part of their world. It was so special sharing this gorgeous view with Malakai, and with our friends. I feel so BLESSED living in such a beautiful city (Cape Town)  that has so many hidden gems waiting to be discovered!

Wortelgat Lake 2Wortelgat LakeWortelgat View 2Wortelgat View

 

Pics taken by my talented hubby Rash Ferguson who does all sorts of creative free lance work from design,to video editing to branding you name it!  (Check out his work)

 

 

Your Life Message

So its 3:09 am . Saturday.I need to be up at 4:30 am. (Sigh) I couldn’t sleep, and I was left pondering a few thoughts. (Don’t you just love that when that happens, especially when you should be sleeping and dreaming?) So, I thought seeing as though I am up , I might as well write it all down and get it all out of my system.

I was thinking everyone’s life has some sort of message . (Whether we realise it or not)Some people you meet along the way will touch your hearts in a profound way – maybe through what they’ve said to you, or maybe because they walked a journey with you, or maybe they inspired / moved you just by how they do life. I have always been intrigued by people’s stories, ever since I was a little girl – I always found myself wondering about people. (Curious Cas) I loved playing “spying games” as a child (My brother will know what I’m talking about, he was the worlds greatest assistant)I think because I always thought people were a mystery, I wanted to figure them out, and KNOW “what makes them tick?” PLUS climbing /walking on walls, hiding in the trees whilst taking notes, and sipping on some Milo (the drink of champions) , and lets not even get started on my cute spying clothes – what’s not to love ?! I was a spy on a mission! (Insert Mission impossible theme track)

Today I still feel like a spy – obviously I don’t walk on walls, and hide in trees (UH, that would be kinda creepy!) But I am still fascinated by people – what motivates them, what inspires them, what gives them the courage to keep on going, what drives their passions and creativity, why do people say and do certain things the way that they do it? I am just fascinated by people! I think that this fascination with wanting to understand people has helped me when I write plays, it has helped me to define characters clearly, it has given me insight when I direct and coach actors, it has also helped me to devise certain games and activities in Drama Classes that allows for young people to unleash their thoughts / feelings / ideas in a relaxed environment.I believe (through what I have observed) that people have a message to share with the world.

A life message. Some may know what it is, others are still finding out what there message is.But once it is found – and they start sharing it with others – their life and the life of others will be changed. (In a good way, and in a profound way) I know without a shadow of a doubt that God blesses us with gifts and talents, and when we start using these gifts and talents to help / serve/ bless others – we will find purpose and passion (Like no other) to help fuel and drive what we do and how we do it. Some times we don’t know what are gifts or talents are – and thats okay.

{Find YOUR Life Message}Maybe start by asking yourself what is it that you LOVE doing? (Often our gifts are aligned with that) Ask family and friends what they have seen or noticed to be your strengths. Also maybe ask yourself if you could leave a room filled with people (or maybe just one person ) What would you want them to know or feel .(Sometimes we are already leaving a message behind without realising it , know your message and be more intentional with it, you never know whose life you might impact or change)

So my question to you, is:  What is YOUR Life Message?

 

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& Breathe

I think every relationship between a mom and child is unique and is different. (As it should be)We as moms are actually growing in our capacity (to love,manage our time,etc) as our children grow and develop. I had no idea that I would have the capacity to juggle working full time, and being a mom , a wife, a friend and serve where I can at church.

Some days feel like an “Amazing Race” just to get out the front door in time for work. There are some days where I am so tired, that I am not even sure if I am awake or a sleep or dreaming. (haha) But then I feel so inspired to know that God knew what I was capable of carrying, and I am sure he will add more to my load knowing that I can handle it. And handle it well. (woohoo)

{Refocus}

Being a mom is challenging but it is truly thee most rewarding thing we could ever do! Sometimes moms let the challenging side of it get too them, and they forget to focus on all the good things that comes with being a mom. Of course there are going to be “those days”, where you just want to cry because you’re so tired (that’s happened to me a few times) or you just want to hide some where like in cave like Gollum.But then maybe in those moments take a “time out” moments.

  • Have a bath if you’re into that (with chocolate) or a shower. (chocolate optional) 
  • Go to bed early. (Extra sleep -if possible-where possible can do wonders for the soul)
  • Journal what you’re feeling (Often journaling helps to reveal personal insight and revelation)
  • Speak to a friend (Friends are there to encourage, support you)
  • Schedule time to do something that you enjoy doing.

Remember a refreshed mom – means a happy baby, and more love to give. And lastly but probably the most important of them all is be GRATEFUL for the season you’re in, don’t wish it away – be thankful for your child . A heart that is grateful, often starts to feel a sense of motivation and a refreshing sense of focus – because you remember that there is purpose behind what you do. You are a mom blessed with thee most gorgeous child that loves you no matter what, that relies on you to feel loved, to feel special, to be fed, bathed, changed, to be taught the ropes.  (Refocus) What an honour !!!

{That Mom}

I love those moms, who are honest about where they are at as a mom. I love moms who are relaxed as they discovering this “mom world”. (They don’t let the pressures or expectations of being a mom get to them,they laugh it off and approach it one day at a time) I love those moms who encourage you , cheer you and your child on. I love the moms who have a good sense of humour about parenting. (They know when to laugh at themselves) Those are the moms I allow to speak into my world, those are the moms I love sharing stories with and giggle with.Those moms add strength to my world, and encourage me to keep on going with my head held high and with a smile on my face! Find those moms, they are out there!

You too can be that mom, just breath, refocus & keep on going!

x

 

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Malakai & Mom