Join us as we chat to Skye Jennifer, a mother of 3 as she opens up about her journey through motherhood and shares her some unique and meaningful tips!By Emma
Join us as we chat to Skye Jennifer, a mother of 3 living in Yorkshire with her husband, her son Rio and 2 twins Eliza and Cecelia! Whether you’re planning, expecting or just a boss mom, check out Mapiful’s guide to a unique Mother’s Day celebration this year, and read on to hear all about Skye’s story and find lots of meaningful motherhood advice!
I think nothing could beat the feeling of seeing your little ones thrive, develop and grow. Watching them everyday shape into the little people they become is just truly amazing. On a personal level as well, I’ve learnt so much about myself as a person and I really think you learn about strengths in yourself you never knew were there. I doubted my ability when my twins were on the way and I was equal parts excited and nervous and wondered how I would manage with three under the age of two. Rio turned two the week my twin girls Eliza and Cecelia were born so they’re very close and I love seeing their relationships with each other grow too. I adore the baby stage- there’s nothing quite like being in that newborn bubble. But watching their personalities develop is just amazing.
1. Every phase will end. The nights can feel lonely and long- they will end and you will miss the cuddles in the dark where you can only hear one another. The difficult toddler phases will too pass as they learn to understand how to express their emotions and communicate their desires and needs. All phases do pass and at every difficult time- try to see the positives and appreciate what it’s teaching you and your little ones.
2. You are your baby’s mother and your choices are the only ones that matter. I often received advice and for the vast majority of the time I asked for it or appreciated it, but occasionally as a new mum you’ll receive ‘advice’ without asking for it and it can make you question what you are doing. Being polite but assertive really helped me… ‘thanks so much for telling me about your experience I hadn’t thought about that, but I like to do it the way I am already- this works for us.’
3. Don’t be afraid to lean on those around you- ask for support if you need it. I’ve yet to speak to a mother who finds motherhood easy. If you have anyone offering to help with chores, give you a rest or just keep you company- it’s not because they think you can’t cope, it’s because they care and want to make you feel cared for too.
I think it’s great to have preferences but to keep an open mind and always trust your instincts. I believe this applies to most parenting subjects really from the birth plan, feeding preferences, general routines and parenting/ family habits. If being a mother has taught me anything it’s how quickly things can change, how suddenly young children can go through different phases and everything you know be thrown up into the air to make you question how you’ve done things before and make you wonder if things will ever be the same again.
When I had Rio I wanted a water birth and only gas and air but that all changed as I was in labor for over 30 hours. I had an epidural and assisted delivery with an episiotomy. He arrived at 9lbs 13 oz. which is why I struggled to deliver him! I was so fixed on wanting to breastfeed I was really upset when I realized the only way to breastfeed was to move to combination feeding. It was the best decision I made, he was an incredibly hungry baby and always seemed to want more even after a long feed. I combination fed Rio until he was 4 months old and he really lost interest in feeding from me then. There will always be times you have to break away from your plans and expectations as parents as all babies are different and all babies and young children change. My experience was very different with Eliza and Cecelia.
I planned for a vaginal delivery but needed an emergency c section. I delivered them without having a single contraction. I tandem fed them and had a more successful experience with breastfeeding, only needing to top them up occasionally and fed them until they were 18 months old. I did things quite differently but I felt far more confident the second time round and I think yes, it was because I had done it before, but it was most importantly because I hadn’t really got my hopes up about anything. I knew that at the time I would know what felt right and I was much more relaxed with decision-making.
Usually our mornings are very busy. I try to wake earlier than the children some days to do a quick work out and get ready before they are up for the day. We usually have a little play time, watch tv or do coloring in before breakfast and then get ready for the school run. Rio’s school is a 5-minute walk which is so lovely. My husband works from home so I don’t need to take Eliza and Cecelia with me so it’s nice and relaxed. Before the pandemic we would usually meet with friends 2-3 times a week. Over the last year we’ve explored more local parks and just try and get fresh air once a day. I usually do a set activity with Eliza and Cecelia twice a day- our favorites are painting, play dough, sticker books and coloring in.
I’ll catch up on emails, admin and content around their mealtimes and once they’re in bed. They stopped napping at 2 years so I encourage a little quiet time once we’re home where we read or do a quiet craft activity. After Rio is home from school we usually go in the garden or spend time in the playroom before dinner time. I like to have 2 nights in the week where I spend less time with technology and focus on my self-care. I think it’s so important to take care of your own needs as a mother, having some alone time and time to do what brings you happiness outside of motherhood. Even if I have just half an hour to spare I’ll have a bubble bath, read or have a mini pamper with a face mask and paint my nails.
Motherhood has changed me in so many ways. I used to work as a regional manager in retail and decided to leave when Eliza and Cecelia were born. I studied undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law and was always certain I wanted a career. I went straight in to this role after University as I didn’t want to be a solicitor. I enjoyed it and had two promotions there so it was a shame to leave after six years of building a career in a niche industry, but it was the right time. So I’m now a stay at home mum. Although my Instagram page is now my small business, I do miss having a career but I am so grateful for the time I have at home with Rio, Eliza and Cecelia and I still have something to keep me driven and focused outside of my motherhood role. Although I have much less time to dedicate to self development and self care-I am more patient and more aware of my strengths and abilities than ever. I have also learnt the value of practicing mindfulness which I am so grateful for, it’s really changed my perspective and brings me more happiness than ever.
I diarize self care so it becomes something I am aware of needing to schedule. I have a list of things in my diary that I enjoy doing just for myself and I like to pick from that list and make sure I do at least one a week. I think self care as a mum can feel non existing to some but the way I like to see it is looking after your holistic wellness doesn’t mean you have to set aside hours of time. It’s using snippets of time you have to make that time count. In half an hour you can do something that brings you great happiness, calms you, rejuvenates you or just makes you feel like you’re also just yourself as well as being a mother.
We haven’t been greatly affected by the pandemic as I’m always home and my husband is an IT consultant who is based at home. But being limited as to where we can go out and not being able to see all family and friends has been incredibly difficult as I’m sure it has for everybody. So keeping in touch regularly with loved ones has been very important to us. We love spending time in nature as a family and have discovered many more local places to us which has helped keep us positive and excited for adventures at weekends. Home schooling was incredibly hard for us as my Husband was still working full time and Rio had 3 video lessons a day with follow up work which was difficult to juggle with Eliza and Cecelia.
I’m very proud that we got through it and gave it our best shot. I think all parents should be so proud of what we’ve all achieved. I think having a structure to your day or week is very helpful and we have tried to keep as much of a routine as possible for the whole family so it’s easier to adjust. Being open in talking about our feelings as a family has been valuable and discussing things in an age appropriate way.
What’s the best advice that you would give other moms?
We teamed up with 6 more amazing women for our new IGTV series that honors the incredible journey of motherhood. We hope this series lifts your mood, gives you tips, and helps you connect with mothers around the world!
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