When I decided to write more about my motherhood journey and others' on this blog, I didn't really have the confidence. Why? Because I had only been a mom for 2 months at the time, I am young and still clueless about all this -- so who am I to talk about motherhood online? Plus! there are thousands of other mothers around the world who already got their blogs out there, why should I make one and be just a face in a crowd?
But then Mr. Man convinced me that everyone has his/her own message. He actually just mentioned it a few days ago. What you write about, what you experience can never be identical to those of others, because we are all different! Made of different sets of habits, past experiences, cultures, beliefs, etc. So why not learn from other mothers instead and get inspired? Besides, if you say"why start something, it's nothing new anyway" every time you have an idea, you will end up inventing nothing, right?
So I started to learn from others and stumbled upon this extraordinary mom-blog called mama-maya, a beautiful and an intimate blog about the journey of a mother of three lovely kids, Marcia Josephine the M1 (6), Micah Joshua the M2 (4), Maxton James the M3 (1). A diary-keeper herself, Maya has always found writing to be therapeutic. And to read the words she's written is like "going on a time machine," she described.
More than just to share her journey, Maya intends her blog to be a record-keeper for her children to later know her story, the joys they bring her, and to understand why she does the things she does...
"I want them to know me. Because I know that my brain would never be able to contain all these stories. I write, so I can remember, so that I can tell my children about my journey. These early years, these so-called golden years, they will not remember. When time has passed and we’re old, our memories would have failed us and we have nothing to tell them, our children would have only seen the end result of our parenting. They wouldn’t have known of the journey. I write, so they may know"
What a thoughtful motivation.
I've never really thought about blogging and writing that way. And I've never been so speechless about answers given by my interviewee, because they are just beautiful enough that I do not really need to do that much editing on them.
An inspiring mother, a word enchantress who is into Sara Bareilles' Brave & Katy Perry's Roar at the moment, here is Mama Maya :)
First of all, what's it like to have 3 kids? Did you actually plan to have 3?
Having three kids is, well... let’s just say that there is never a dull day in this house. My husband and I always wanted more than one child, but we’ve left the planning entirely to God. We just did our part :) Our M3 caught us a little by surprise. We were quite comfortable being a family of four and while the subject of a fifth member did come up once, we agreed to take it off the table and revisit again only after the World Cup in 2014. But God intervened, and now that fifth member of our family sometimes sit up with my husband at night, getting excited over the play. He supports the Netherlands. Or so I’d like to think.
You're called "mama maya", have you always wanted to be a mom?
Honestly, I used to dream about being a woman of power, sitting in the corner office of an international corporation. But never in my wildest dream have I ever imagined being a mother to these three little beings. But I’m here today, I am a full time mom and I want to own it. I have tried the whole working-mom thing, the part-time working mom thing, you know, always attributing myself to some kind of job or a title on a business card. And it wasn’t until I really submit myself to this role that I really found satisfaction. More than that, I actually found myself.
And if I look back, I don’t think that any dreams would be substantial enough to even describe the thrill that is motherhood.
I decided to leave the corporate world (she was the General Manager of Marketing of Kenny Rogers Roasters Indonesia! - moz) and become a full time mom at the end of 2011. It wasn’t an easy shift for me. I knew in my heart that this was where I was supposed to be, but it took a lot to brush off the insecurities I had as a result to the decision. But things went uphill the moment I owned up to motherhood. Being a mom was what I do, and it’s tiring sometimes as all jobs are, but I get to see my children grow with my fingerprints on them and that’s the joy, right there. I love it. That’s what being a “woman of power” is to me now.
“Mama Maya” is something my friends used to sing out to me from the monkey bars back in Grade 4. The song went: “Mama, Mama Maya, we wish you joy... we wish you joy!” I guess that kind of stuck with me... and that could have very well been a prophecy, I don’t know. Haha.
3 things that motherhood has taught you so far :
- Firstly, is to completely depend on God. There is no way I could ever do this on my own. My children are His children too, and He has every best interest in their lives. I believe that He is taking care of them just as much as He is taking care of me. Then I can focus on being a warrior instead of a worrier :)
- Secondly. I used to joke to my husband, that “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” is the bedrock of our marriage. But who knew that there could be so much truth to find behind what seems like a really selfish statement? A mother’s heart is home for her children. We must guard our hearts to ensure that they have a nice place to live in and to come home to. (Ouch! A slap on the face right here! I guess happiness is a choice, not a result -moz)
- Thirdly, I need to be the person I want my children to be. Because no matter how much convenient it would be for me, “do what I say, not what I do” is textbook and isn’t that applicable in life. (Well, not in mine anyway.) Being a mom has forced me more times that I would have liked to expand and rapidly grow into a better person.
Why did you choose to 'put yourself out there' and blog about your family for public to read?
While I wrote of my experiences, I realized that there were others who were going through the same things as I was, at that exact same time. There were others who were waltzing through the same season as I was. I found that I had a thing or two to share.
If I’m not posting a diary entry for my children about their updates, I particularly love to focus my messages on inviting readers to relax and take care of themselves. So many moms get sucked into mothering and so wrapped up with the day-to-day that they forget that they are also people who need to be taken care of just the same, that they were wives before they were mothers, and that to admit not knowing everything is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Mothers fight hard battles everyday, and sometimes, all we need is just a friendly encouragement.
So I share and I blog mainly to encourage. But while I thought that I was telling stuff, I was actually learning, because these people also had volumes to share.
Any positive impact you've gained from blogging?
The positive impact of my blogging, other than to find a community, is to get writing gigs. I now ghost-blog for a couple of sites, write copy for websites, translate books, and basically get to do what I love from the comfort of my own home, while still having the time to drive my children to and from school. What started off as a hobby has evolved into a financial support for my family on more than one occasion and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
How do you make the time to blog with three kids running around?
Words seems to flow in silence. So, I usually write after my children are asleep. Or when my husband extends his kindness to me by letting me have some quiet writing time while he watches the kids. Having Grandma around is also a great blessing. At Grandma’s house, chocolate is the norm and Mama’s rules don’t apply. They love it there and Mama loves to score some time for herself. It’s a win-win.
Any other blogs you religiously check?
There are many I randomly check, but I really love visiting Melissa Jordan on www.braveinlove.com, Jen Lula on www.jenloveskev.com, Ashley on www.thehandmadehome.net, random stories and updates on www.mommiesdaily.com or www.theurbanmama.com and Naomi on www.lovetaza.com because really, who doesn’t love a New Yorker Mama? :) But mostly I’ve learned to keep up through their IG feeds.
What's next for you and family? Any upcoming project / holiday plans?
Next for our family is probably the ongoing work in progress towards entrepreneurial/financial freedom. We’re still trying to find the rhythm between raising our children and growing our business while learning to dance to the music. Other than that, holidays... yes! That’s always in the books for us... we love to travel. The kids are praying for a winter holiday this year, so we’re working very hard to make that happen.
A piece of advice for new moms like me :) ?
Parenting is a continuous process. Never stop learning. Never stop educating yourself. Never be too “mature” to learn from your children, because they can teach you a lot of things.
Always make the time to remind yourself that you are doing a good job, to give yourself a pat on the back and to tell yourself that you are a good mom. Cut yourself some slack. So what if beds aren’t made once in a while? We’ve never heard of people dying of an unmade bed, am I right? (I am sighing in relieve, thank you for this, mama maya, I can't help but to call you 'mama' too -moz)
Forgive yourself, a lot! Nobody is perfect anyway :)
Also, when you’re busy taking care of everybody else, don’t forget to take care of you.