Margarita

Posts by this author:

How to Create a Healthy Sleep Routine

A healthy and balanced lifestyle doesn’t only comprise of daily workouts and diet plans, but a lot more. And sleep is more important than we think! A healthy sleep routine paves the way for becoming the woman and mother we want to be, each and every single day (and night!).

Having a great sleep is not only necessary for me to be able to successfully handle my busy days, but it’s an important time for your body to rest and recuperate. Our bodies can’t keep going without stopping and recovering – we need to sleep, allow our body to recover, and start each day feeling refreshed! And there would be no way I’d be able to juggle everything on my to-do list without giving myself a break each night!

We always hear about how important having a morning routine is, but what about having a healthy sleep routine?

 

Never an Early Bird Type

Do you wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed each morning? Or do you hit the snooze button on your phone three times, then finally succumb to flipping through IG or FB in the morning before dragging your ass out of bed and rushing through your mornings to make sure everyone gets to school and work on time?

I’ve never been called an early bird – I was the big-time snoozer! Never did I think that I could be a morning person! Instead of getting up each day at 6 am (like I wanted to!) I would typically start my day somewhere between 6:45 – 7:00 am, feeling exhausted, rushed, and struggling to get everyone out the door on time.

I thought that my lack of morning routine was the problem.

I read a book called ‘The Miracle Morning for Parents & Families’ by Hal Elrod, Lindsay McCarthy and Mike McCarthy, which inspired me to create a morning routine and start my day off right. The idea of a “morning routine” is to establish a healthy start to your day, and to prioritize things to do and motivate you to complete them. But each day when that alarm rang at 6:00 am, I reached over and hit the snooze button. Then I moved my phone across the room to encourage myself to wake up and get going. And still, the rebel in me went over to the phone, turned off the alarm, and went back to bed.

It might seem silly, but I felt like a failure. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t excited to wake up each day (was I depressed? did I have a health issue? is it something I ate?) even though I created a morning routine full of things to do each day – gratitude, yoga, lemon water, tea, reading a few pages of a book – and yet I just wanted to get back to sleep until I absolutely HAD to wake up.

That’s when it finally clicked in that perhaps it wasn’t my lack of intention each morning that was keeping me bedridden, it was likely my sleeping habits. I didn’t have a regular bedtime or sleep routine – some nights I went to bed before 10:00 pm, other nights I was still awake at midnight, and some nights I would stay awake all. night. long. for no good reason, despite my tiredness.

It took some time to realise that getting a better night’s sleep was the key in helping me reach my goals for a morning routine. My sleep was paving the way for a better tomorrow (cheese alert!), and so for the past 6 months I tried every trick in the book until I finally figured out what works for me!

Here are some tips and tricks that may help you get a better night’s sleep so that you can start each day with energy and the ability to function all day long – no matter what life throws at you!

 

TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SLEEP ROUTINE

CREATING A NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

I keep reading about morning routines and how important they are for setting yourself up for the day – but if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, chances are your morning routine will suffer. Creating a nighttime routine is so imperative to getting a good night’s sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and ready to charge! Part of your nighttime routine should focus on shutting down that brain of yours – here’s some ways how:

  • Turn off your laptop and TV at least 30-60 mins before bed
  • Stay off your cellphone – no matter how tempting it is to check email or Facebook
  • Brain dump – write out everything you can think of so it’s out of your head and you’re ready to accomplish tomorrow
  • Do something relaxing to physically tell your body that it’s time to unwind – like a bath or applying lotion
  • Diffuse essential oils (I use Aroma Siez, Peace and Calming, and Rutavala from Young Living)
  • Drink bedtime tea (I am loving the Pukka Night Time Tea)
  • Meditation
  • Bedtime Yoga or simple stretching
  • Then jump right into bed feeling relaxed…!

Some things might work better for your nighttime routine than others – I’m still not that great at meditation (yes, even with the apps!) but doing a brain dump of tasks I have to do tomorrow and stretching it out helps me relax and get me ready for bed.

 

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Like anything in life, consistency is key here, and getting to bed at the same time each night helps your body get used to the cycle and will create a natural rhythm that your body is keen to follow. Stick to your bed time and honour it – even if it means that you have to read the rest of that book or complete work tasks tomorrow! Play around with it – I know that getting to bed around 9:30pm means I’ll be asleep before 10:00pm and that’s the sweet spot for me!

 

CUT OUT CAFFEINE

You might know that I used to refer to myself as a coffee snob – would it surprise you that I quit drinking coffee almost a year ago? Yes, me. The girl who loved her French Press dark brews, her espresso shots – always black, no sugar. Gone. No more coffee for this girl and I feel great. And while quitting coffee has definitely helped my body regain its’ natural rhythm, the main reason I quit coffee because of its’ effect on hormones.

Now, hold up – I am not telling you to quit coffee – nope, YOU do YOU! If you love your coffee and want to continue drinking it, by all means please do! But keep in mind of how much coffee you’re drinking and what time you stop drinking it. I still drink tea or matcha lattes, which do have caffeine in them, however I usually drink a caffeinated beverage around 9:00 am, or no later than noon, and only one per day. I no longer feel the urge to have that 3:00 pm coffee like I used to, but I believe that was also because I was suffering from adrenal fatigue…

 

RULE OUT ADRENAL FATIGUE (OR HELP SUPPORT THOSE ADRENAL GLANDS!)

Even after I quit coffee, I was having issues with sleep – it turns out that for me, those issues were caused by stress at work and at home. My body’s stress levels were always on hyperdrive, which caused adrenal fatigue – and this could be dangerous to your well-being for many reasons. For myself, not only did it cause a lack of sleep, but it made losing weight extremely difficult, and I was always, ALWAYS dead tired. I became anti-social, moody, I never wanted to have sex (or even if I did my body wouldn’t cooperate) and this all increased my anxiety and made me a pretty crappy person to be around.

My health coach introduced me to Adrenal Assist and educated me on adrenals in general. All the signs pointed to adrenal fatigue. The Adrenal Assist from Vitanica is full of vitamins, minerals, and superfoods designed to promote healthy adrenal gland function and the ability to handle stress in a more balanced manner. A few days after I started taking it, I felt relief. I easily fell asleep, had long deep sleeps, and woke up bright and early feeling recharged and ready to take on the day! HOORAH!

Please keep in mind this may not work for you, and you might need to experiment with what does. If you think you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, you might want to see your doctor.

 

CREATE A CALM ENVIRONMENT

This might sound like a no-brainer, but creating a calm environment built for relaxing is super important for getting a good night’s sleep. There should be no TV, no cell phones or laptops. Instead, light candles, add art that is soothing, create the bed of your dreams – make sure it’s quiet (or use a sound machine) and dark (with black-out blinds or a sleeping mask).

Creating the ideal environment for sleep will provide no other distractions to getting to bed. I’m pretty lucky that where we live is pretty quiet and dark, but sometimes the moon is shining something fierce and I can’t stress enough how much my sleeping mask has helped me those nights! We also spent a bit of money on perfecting our bed – from choosing the right pillows, having a feather-filled pillow top, and alternating duvets depending on season. It might sound a bit over the top, but once you start sleeping on cloud nine, you’ll thank yourself for prioritizing your sleep!

 

KEEP ENERGY & STRESS LEVELS LOW BEFORE BED

This is also an obvious one, but I’m surprised how many people don’t realise that what they do in the 1-2 hours before bed has a huge effect on sleep! Are you exercising at night? STOP. When you get your heart rate up so close before bedtime, your adrenals are pumping and sending signals to your brain to keep going! Instead of high-energy workouts, try a calming yoga routine and move your high-impact workouts to first thing in the morning.

Also, be careful of what you watch before bed! My favourite thing to do before bed is to watch tv while snuggling with the hubby. But when  you watch tv it stimulates your brain – and if you watch something that’s aggressive, frightening, depressing or intense, it may cause you to have trouble falling asleep. Instead of that heavy documentary before bed, watch something light and fun.

The biggest issues that come up for me before bed are: 1) the kids having trouble falling asleep; 2) work items popping up before bed. These are both things I can’t control and that honestly cause me a lot of issues on some nights (and for some reason, they always occur on the SAME night – double trouble!). Instead of getting angst-y about it, I usually breathe deeply (embrace the zen) and attempt to help the kids fall asleep first before reacting to some work “emergency”, that I’ve learnt can typically be solved early in the morning. Feel free to let your employees or work partners know that you typically don’t check your work phone after a certain time, and that you will respond to their request in the morning – they’ll eventually get it.

 

WATCH YOUR ALCOHOL & SUGAR INTAKE

So, this may seem obvious (or maybe not…) but the amount of food you put in your body closer to bedtime impacts your sleep habits. Too much sugar, too much food, too much alcohol – it all makes your body work harder to get to sleep. Try having a “cut-off” time for eating – whether it’s 7:00 pm or whatever works for you – do not eat after that time. This allows your body to digest food easily before it’s time for bed. The same for alcohol – if you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or after dinner, that’s great, but make sure you’re not overdoing or drinking right before you go to bed. A glass of wine just before trying to get to sleep does not go hand in hand – although some people say it helps them get to sleep, it’s the quality of sleep that’s lacking.

 

Once you get your sleep routine under control, creating a morning routine that’s buzzing and full of positive energy will be so much easier! Getting my sleep routine down has helped me manage my life SO much better – I’m less grumpy and frustrated, my anxiety doesn’t seem to spark up as much, my kids and husband are happy that I’M happy, and I just have so much more energy to get things DONE!

 

Looking for more reading on getting a good night’s sleep?

Share:

The Top 10 Benefits of Being a Minimalist Family

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

There are so many benefits to embracing a minimalist lifestyle, too many for one blog post. As a minimalist working mom I struggled with helping my wannabe minimalist family understand the concepts, finally learning to lead by example and hope that some of it sunk in.

Over time, I’ve seen my children flourish in a minimalist home, I’ve watched our relationships grow into a happy and connected family. Like I said, there are so many benefits to becoming a minimalist, but after some thought, here are my favourite benefits of becoming a minimalist family.

1. Space

It seems obvious, but having less stuff creates more physical and mental space. Have you ever cleaned out a drawer, removed every last thing, and then found yourself not wanting to fill that drawer back up? It’s because open spaces are inviting and clean. Physically, we feel better in a space that’s uncluttered, neat and tidy. Calming spaces also take off the mental load that afflicts our daily lives, and this applies to children as well. When a kid has a calm and tidy room, there is more focus and space to play, and less crazy in my home. Minimalism can provide the space in our lives that you didn’t even know you needed.

2. More Time

The less stuff you own, the less time you spend on repairing, fixing, maintaining, and cleaning it. It also takes time to purchase items – planning, researching, driving – time that would be better spent spending time with your family! The less toys your kids have, the less time spent cleaning up, and the more time spent playing! The less stuff you have, the more time you can spend enjoying your kids and your partner. Time is truly precious, and minimalism can grant you that precious time for your and your family.

3. Saving Money

It sounds too good to be true, but minimalism saves you money. The less stuff that you buy, the more you can save! As a modern family it can be tough to save money when it seems that every last thing is costing us money – but as we trim the excess and learn to live with less, you suddenly have extra money that you can save with. Teaching kids about saving money is infinitely more important than teaching them to spend it.

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

4. Focus

Removing distractions in your life can help you concentrate on what’s important, and also help you focus on your family’s future. All the stuff that accumulates in our homes affects our minds, a messy space = a messy mind. It’s easier for the kids to do homework or be creative on a clean desk in a tidy room. It’s easier to work and read in a space that’s calming and bright. Minimalism can provide a clarity of mind for you and your family, at work and at home.

5. Experiences

The less stuff you have, the more time you have to experience fun things with your family. When your weekends become wide open you have the time to go on that road trip, the hike you’ve always wanted to do,  or just spend the day wandering your neighbourhood, exploring parks, window-shopping, and spending more time outdoors with your partner and kids. Bonus: instead of buying toys, books, and other stuff for presents, buy tickets to a concert or a play! Becoming a minimalist family can provide a ton of fun experiences for all!

6. Self-Confidence

As a mom, my life is much better when I’m embracing minimalism. I’m more confident in the way that I parent, in my relationships, and in myself. I feel more together. I know where things are (most of the time!), I am happier in my home and in myself. And as someone who works from home 80% of the time, it really helps me feel organized and focused, which brings about more self-confidence in my abilities to be a working parent. Minimalism helps me be a better mom, partner, and woman.

7. Good for our Environment

The less we consume, the better for our environment. Minimalism makes you think twice about all the packaging that goes along with the stuff we buy, suddenly reusable shopping bags and buying in bulk starts making more sense, not only for our wallet, but for all the extra waste we’re bringing into our homes. And when we’re done with an item, we start thinking of ways we can repurpose and reuse, gift or donate, before just throwing it out.

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

8. Productivity

With less stuff to worry about and clutter up our lives with, we’re suddenly able to do more of the things we actually want to do. That task you wanted to do forever but kept putting off, you can now do it. Embracing minimalism helps remove the overwhelm I always felt when thinking of “all the things I have to do”. Because now, I do the things I WANT to do, things that help serve my life and my family’s life, and not just meaningless tasks I needed to do. And you feel pretty good getting things done!

9. Relationships

Trim the excess, own less, and allow your relationships to grow. Spending more time with your kids doing fun, silly, and creative things will open you up and show your kids who you really are as a person, instead of a stressed out maniac (like I used to be!). And you learn more about the person your child is becoming as well. I read somewhere that you should stop becoming attached to the stuff in your life, and start opening your heart to the people in your life. Growing your relationships with your spouse or partner, family, and friends brings real value to your life. Minimalism helps you focus on people rather than things.

10. Life Lessons

Introducing your children to the concept of minimalism and being happy with less stuff is one of the most important life lessons you can give them. Consumerism is being rammed down our throats at every turn, but living a life that isn’t burdened by stuff and all the attachments of wanting and owning things brings true joy. Teaching your family that joy and fun isn’t found in the things we own (and that that stuff ends up owning us) is a HUGE life lesson. Becoming a minimalist family is step 1!

 

What are some ways that minimalism benefits you and your family?

 

Like this post? PIN IT!

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

 

Want be a minimalist family?

Are you looking for some support from like-minded women like yourself?

Join our Facebook Group!

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Share:

How Minimalism Changed My Life (& Can Change Yours, Too!)

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

At the beginning of every year, we are so full of it, aren’t we?

Not only are we going to lose 20 pounds, incorporate a new diet plan (vegan/keto/atkins/whatever), become more calm and centered (meditate!), workout three times a week, be a better wife/girlfriend/mother, get that promotion or launch/expand your business, learn to speak Italian, and finally learn to keep our home clean. all. the. time. (Declutter!)

Resolutions, amiright?

And then what happens by the end of February…?

Do you even remember half of them?

Do you even know why you chose them?

What if we flipped that list upside down and started with the one crucial resolution that can actually change your life? Like actually, with real results!

For me, embracing minimalism changed my life, and is a contributing factor to my everyday life as a mom, as a wife, and as an entrepreneur.

Whenever I’m feeling extra frustrated or aggravated, or if I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed OUT, I simply take a look around. Not only is my head a mess, but so is my home. And suddenly the lightbulb goes off, and I realise that I’ve allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the clutter, again.

Minimalism isn’t a “do once” purge of all the excess. It’s a way of life that brings me calm, focus, and happiness. It gets rid of all the extra clutter to make room for what matters in life – not only in physical space, but also mentally and spiritually.

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

Do you feel overwhelmed right now? Have you felt stressed out recently?

Life is busy.

Add kids, a husband, work, and a social life (HA! what social life?) and it’s no wonder your New Years’ resolutions don’t become reality.

But what if you trimmed the excess, got rid of everything that doesn’t serve you, and had the time and space, both mentally and physically, to go after what you really, really want?

Becoming a minimalist isn’t about white walls and bare shelves.

Truly, I believe minimalism is an individual process that’s different for everyone, but there are common factors that can be prescribed to everyone:

  • Get rid of the things you don’t need, you don’t want, take up space for now reason, serve no purpose, things that you hate, things that you hang on to for “future use, maybe”, and things that you don’t use on a day-to-day, or week-to-week basis.
  • Clean up your digital life! Reduce the number of emails you have, reduce the subscriptions, get to inbox zero at least once a week, organize your folders, delete, delete, delete, (OR ARCHIVE AND BACK UP!)
  • Stop buying things. Stop online shopping. Don’t start a new and expensive hobby because everyone is doing it. Learn to live with less, learn to live with what you need, and refill accordingly.
  • Start saying NO. Your time is precious. Make sure it’s well spent.

Easy, right?

The most important thing is to remove that which does not serve us – in our homes, in our social lives, in our schedules.

Once you remove that, you make room for happiness. You make room for joy. You make room for passion.

You make space for all those things in your life that you think about, that you dream about, but you’re burdened by all the things that keep you busy in life.

Life can be full and wonderful!

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

I became a mom at 22 years old, it was unexpected, it was a surprise, and it completely changed my life. After my daughter’s birth, I spent years battling post-partum depression while trying to fit into this new role of motherhood, and trying to maintain an identity that I wasn’t even sure existed anymore. I threw myself into different passions all the time, I was a wedding planner, real estate agent, cupcake baker, hairstylist, retail salesperson, and I was constantly trying new things, but nothing stuck.

I wish I could go back there and give that young mom a hug. A huge hug that goes on for a little too long.

I wish I could tell her that there’s nothing wrong with her, and that it’s not her fault that “nothing is sticking”. It’s because she hadn’t found her true passion yet. I hadn’t found my true passion yet. I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life, and here I was raising a little girl with my boyfriend, while trying to still go out with my girlfriends and live a lavish life that I didn’t even know I didn’t want or need.

We moved 5 times in 5 years.

And with each move, we purged. We got rid of more stuff.

The first few times I was very sentimental with all of my “stuff” because I had spent a lot of money on these things.

But over the years, I realised that this “stuff” no longer served any purpose in my life. It wasn’t helping me in any way. It was time to let go.

To donate. To gift. To recycle.

Over the years, I realised that “stuff” was just stuff. I had purchased things to fill a void, not to fulfill any life dreams or bring joy to my life.

The me of the past had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of adulting to experience. They were hard lessons that I had to learn. Buying stuff doesn’t make you an adult. Having a full set of glassware doesn’t create a home. Spending money doesn’t equate to happiness.

We moved across the country with only a couple of suitcases.

The rest of our pared down stuff fit into ten large cardboard boxes and would be coming on a later date once we figured out where we were going to live. The funny thing was, once we found a space to live, and the boxes came down, there was only 1 box worth of items I wanted to keep.

I realised I was no longer weighed down by all the material excess – it did not. make. me. happy.

And it was only in those moments of calm and peace that I began to focus on my purpose as a woman, as a mother, as a wife.

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

I’m not perfect – no one ever is, no matter what their Instagram looks like!

I tend to find corners to throw junk in. Shove things away to deal with later. But it catches up to me, and I find myself purging and wishing I just followed my minimalist path regularly, rather than intermittently, but it happens.

But as time goes on, it gets easier, I promise!

I tend to be a bit more practical when it comes to minimalism. I’m not holding up objects to see if they bring joy to my life. I’m wondering why there’s a bunch of boxes sitting in the corner of my office, and I answer: because there’s no room to put it away, there’s no space for it. The subsequent process is to make a space for the useful things (file folders, printer paper), and get rid of the excess.

That’s all that other stuff to me is: excess.

If it’s not useful or doesn’t serve me in anyway, it’s gone.

And once that stuff is gone, it opens up my space and provides me a calm and peaceful surrounding to be creative. To focus. To work hard on things that truly matter to me.

Maybe those things are meal planning, losing weight, and learning Italian. Maybe those things are scheduling family activities and time-blocking my week.

Given the space and the opportunity, we can create a life we are truly happy in.

 

 

Share:

The List of All Good Things That Happened in 2017

Are you ready for 2018 to begin?

I am. Definitely.

2017 wasn’t a wash, it wasn’t a failure or a disappointment. But it wasn’t an amazing year either. There was a lot of reflection. A lot of time to think and change, think and change… I think I’m still changing, evolving, and learning more about myself.

I am definitely ready for 2017 to be done with and 2018 to begin!

I don’t typically look back on the year and look back on what I’ve accomplished, but I think it might be necessary to focus on the positive.

 

 

So, without further ado, I present to you:

A list of all good things that have happened in 2017.

  • I grew a business, created some great things, helped people succeed, and then sold my client portfolio.
  • I went to Israel on a blogging trip! An amazing experience I look back on fondly and often.
  • I went all in on my husband’s construction business, taking the reigns and helping move it forward. I’ve realized we’re actually a pretty great team when we put our minds to it.
  • I went on a family road trip across BC, travelling to places none of us had been before.
  • Our whole family tried a vegan diet in August, and being meat-free has stuck! We no longer eat meat and stick to mainly plant-based meals, although we do indulge in cheese occasionally.
  • My daughter has become quite the athlete in downhill mountain biking, winning races and truly enjoying the sport. I’ve been quite proud of her.
  • I’ve found some renewed purpose in my life.

So, although I’ve come across quite a few negative aspects this past year, many of which gave my head a shake and confused me and made me think twice about EVERYTHING I was doing and who I am. I’ve come out the other end of it doing alright. Feeling alright.

And looking forward to a new year with GLEE.

Tell me, what are all the good things that happened to you in 2017?

Share:

Motherhood and Creativity, the New Work-Life Balance

Margarita Wyld: On Creativity and Motherhood

For years, I have struggled with the self-confessed ‘work-life balance‘. I’ve written about it many times (read here, here, here, and here), I’ve pondered it in my personal journal, and, as the years go on, I’ve come to reevaluate this unrealistic notion of a ‘work-life balance’, and also how it applies to me and my life.

In retrospect, I wasn’t really looking for balance, instead I realized that I am looking to move forward and harness my creativity.

Moving forward means pushing my creative boundaries in writing, drawing, designing, curating, and even cooking. It means never staying still and, instead, feeling that energy and the vibe that being successful provides – especially when I have created something out of nothing. And what I realize over these past 12 years since becoming pregnant and becoming a mother to two children, is that I was never looking for balance in “work” and life, but rather, I was looking for a way to foster creativity despite the mundane, tiresome, and sometimes wretched aspects of life.

There were many times that I viewed being a wife and a mother and a homeowner as a bother. And that’s when I would fly off the ledge and succumb to the oppressive guilt of having negative feelings towards motherhood and housewife-ery and throw myself into those roles, headfirst, suddenly becoming the perfect wife/mom/homeowner for a short time before erupting into anger and tears and anxiety because I wasn’t being nourished by these roles. I didn’t get gold stars on my soul for having a clean bathroom, or cooking the perfect meal every single day.

And then I would give my head a shake and throw myself face first into the opposite – an entrepreneur, an artist, a writer, a designer – I have a million and one ideas at all times. I would work all hours of the night to develop these ideas, and spend my days trying to produce them – all the while ignoring the needs of my family, my home, and myself. I felt selfish. And then I would finally explode from exhaustion, doubts and fears would take over, and I would then succumb to the guilt of forgetting to sign school forms, or eating out too often because I was just too busy to cook… and then the cycle would start again and I would refocus my efforts on my home and my family.

I am consistently inconsistent in this regard. New ideas sparked creativity, but didn’t necessarily make me happy. Taking care of myself and my family made me happy but it also felt like something was missing. I would struggle with these emotions for years trying to figure out how to balance these two parts of my life.

And then I went to Israel. By myself.

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour Tel Aviv Beach

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour Tel Aviv

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

VibeMommies Vibe Israel Blogging Tour

The idea of leaving my family for a week on an overseas trip was both terrifying and exhilarating. I had never flown on a plane without my husband or kids. I had never adventured around the globe. And my twenties were spent growing up with my husband and our kids, not with roommates or the freedom of allowing yourself to grow with random people who were just brief plot lines in the story of your life.

I was going to Israel on behalf of Vibe Israel, who had chosen me and 4 other mom bloggers to visit their beautiful country. The idea behind the trip was part culture shock and part ‘we’re not as different as you think’. We were meeting Israeli women, mothers and their families, to see the experience of motherhood and raising a family in Israel.

Prior to visiting Tel Aviv and its’ surrounding towns and villages, I had read so many articles about motherhood and creativity. Most notably there is the triggering ‘Secret to Being a Successful Mother and Writer‘ by Lauren Sandler, ‘Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid‘ by Rufi Thorpe, ‘How Motherhood Affects Creativity‘ by Erika Hayasaki, and ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mom‘ by Kim Brooks. Each include personal stories and points of view, but the underlying argument is how creativity affects motherhood and vice-versa.

I admit, there were times in my life, especially in the world of postpartum anxiety and depression and diapers and breastfeeding and no sleep, where I couldn’t imagine a better time. I didn’t think things would get better and I would watch myself dissolving into a hot mess of a woman, angry and unsatisfied. And then, of course, I would shower, put on a clean outfit, and write, draw, and have adult conversations and would feel like myself again.

The women I met in Israel amazed me. Why? Because I felt like so many of them were just like me – creative, not satisfied by a ‘typical’ life, always moving forward to develop new ideas, creating amazing businesses, art, and movements – and all the while, they were mothers. Mothers who had found a way to build a satisfying and creative life, and still hold their families close to their hearts.

They weren’t afraid to speak their minds, and they weren’t worried about societal values or being ambitiously polite. Their creativity drove them forward to becoming successful businesswomen, artists, and philanthropists, and the whole time, their families are what pushed them. Everything they did was for and because of their family.

Family is the core of their creativity and it is what drives them to success.

 

Tal Tenne Czaczkes: On Motherhood and Creativity

Tal Tenne Czaczkes: On Motherhood and Creativity

Tal Tenne Czaczkes: On Motherhood and Creativity

Home of Tal Tenne Czaczkes

Home of Tal Tenne Czaczkes

Tal Tenne Czaczkes is a conceptual artist, inventor, and designer, who lives with her husband and four children in a perfectly imperfect home, located a few steps away from her art studio. Tal is well-spoken (in English and Hebrew) with a quiet smile that explodes when she laughs. When she became a mother, she realized that success comes from connecting to her inner child and involving ‘play’ in everything she does.

Her studio, like her home, is filled to the brim with discarded toy pieces, vintage dolls, collectible cars, and an explosion of colour in every corner. The intersection of chaos and pure, unadulterated happiness.

As a mother, Tal went through a time of her own malcontent, trying to figure out this new landscape of motherhood and how it connects to her creativity. She learned that by embracing a childlike view it helped her connect with her children and sparked creativity in her work.

 

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer On Motherhood and Creativity

Esther Liebersohn Namer is a mother of three and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bosco, an app that gives parents the comfort of knowing their child feels both free and safe. When I first met Esther at SheSpace Studio in a hip neighbourhood of Tel Aviv, I was immediately drawn to her – she was chic, smart, and her smile radiated warmth. And she turned a common parenting fear into a technologically advanced solution.

My daughter is 11, and I have yet to give in to buy her a cell phone, yet in Tel Aviv it was very common for a child at that age to have a cell phone. Teachers even use WhatsApp to give homework to their students! Esther recognized that while kids having a cell phone is common place, she created a way to ensure kids are safe on their cell phones by creating Bosco. The app alerts parents to cyber-bullying, shaming, and other unhealthy behaviours to help keep your child safe.

As a mother to three and an activist, Esther is passionate about preventing bullying, shaming, and eating disorders. Back in Tel Aviv, in that hip little spot over cava and cookies, Esther wowed me with her intelligence and her accomplishments. What amazed me more is that she did this all as a mother, because she was a mother.

 

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich on Motherhood and Creativity

Ofra Abramovich is a mother of two and founder of Mamanet, a mother’s Cachibol-league. I was lucky to share dinner with her at the lovely Claro, and listen to her inspiring words and passion for self-care as a mom. Essentially, she created Mamanet because she was sick and tired of moms not prioritizing their own needs. So, instead of being the ‘soccer mom’, the mom becomes the star of the game in Mamanet. Such a simple yet profound thought, because it brought up so many emotions in me.

How many times have I played taxi to my children and my husband? I make sure everyone is at their activities, on time, which are typically social and active, while I get to sit in the car or on the sidelines. Before that trip to Israel, I couldn’t remember the last time I did a yoga class or a mom meet up, something that was just for me.

Ofra took the time to create a league, which is now worldwide (even in Vancouver!), that encourages moms to put themselves first, be active, and be social. Ofra’s words are perfectly quoted on Be A Fun Mum’s blog: Invest in yourself as a person; like the ripples of a stone thrown in water, it will be a gift to your family.

 

The women I met in Israel, the ones noted above and many more, proved that creativity and motherhood can indeed co-exist. My “all or nothing” attitude was a hindrance to my life and wasn’t serving me in any way. Being a mother and being a creative, serial entrepreneur are both a part of me – so why did I think they couldn’t both shine together, in harmony?

My time in Israel invoked such deep emotions in me.

For the first time my eyes were opened to the idea that women could have everything they wanted in business, in family, and in life, and that I could also be that woman. I can be that loving wife and mother that has time for both her family and her business. I can be that home owner that could have her perfectly imperfect space that’s sometimes messy, but always full of life. I could be that creative woman with ideas flying all around her while still holding my children close to my heart.

The long elusive work-life balance doesn’t exist for me, nor is it something I ever really wanted. What I wanted was a life that allowed me to be creative and a mother, without sacrificing either. And it’s something I had all along, and a trip to Israel showed me that.

 

 

Want to learn more about my time in Israel?

The 10 Best Things I Did in Israel

Read the 10 Best Things I Did in Israel

Some photos were taken by myself, many of the photos in this blog post were courtesy of the amazing photography Sharni Sadicario

Share: