Life After Baby is a series to celebrate the journey of motherhood. To take an inside peak into the most memorable and vulnerable experiences we all share as mothers.
You may have heard of this amazing biz mama, Dr Kristy Goodwin, because she seems to be everywhere we turn, having just launched her first book ‘Raising Your Child in a Digital World’. After connecting with Kristy online, hearing her on one of many podcasts and reading her book, we knew she’d have loads of wisdom to share with us in our Life After Baby Series.
Raising kids in the modern world is a tough gig. Not only do we as mamas have endless to-do lists but unlike our parents, we are raising our babes in the fast moving digital age. It’s difficult to know what the right approach is. We love Kristy’s take on ‘Balance’ where she talks about seasons for rest vs hustling. And we just know you’re going to love her parting piece of guidance. We are super excited to share this interview with you so don’t delay mama. Dive in below.
Sum up in one sentence what it means to you to be a Mum
Motherhood is an incredible blessing and journey that teaches you to love (you really understand what it means to love unconditionally) and learn (it’s the ultimate ‘cracking open’ moment to understand who you really are and what you value) in the most amazing and unexpected ways.
If you had to pick one, what’s been your most memorable experience as a Mum?
It really are the micro-moments that make me melt. Walking home from school the other week and my younger son, Billy (2) was explaining, in his broken 2-year-old-dialect, to his big brother Taj (5) about what he’d done in the day. It involved the beach and looking at diggers and falling over and hurting his knee.
They were holding hands and Taj showed such interest in what Billy was saying and compassion when he described his sore knee. When Taj planted a big kiss on his brother’s cheek and responded in the most genuine way it was such a simple, but special moment. So I try and bank all those little moments that add up to the big stuff.
Share with us your most vulnerable mama moment
I delivered a lecture at Uni when my first son was 7 weeks old. I’d (naively) agreed to do a one-off lecture before my son was born. I was unaware of how difficult it would be to actually leave him (I was breastfeeding, so it involved lots of pumping in the weeks leading up to the lecture and lots of tears as I left him with my mum for the first time), drive for over an hour to deliver the lecture, deliver it and return home (totally unaware of the engorged boobs factor).
I got the initial date wrong (blaming baby brain on that one), so was halfway to driving to Uni when I rang my colleague only to discover it was the next week! Turned up the following week to deliver the lecture, in a lemon-coloured dress and all was going well until a student’s newborn baby started to cry in the lecture.
I had a HUGE let-down in my lemon dress. #awkward I realised at that point that my old life of striving and pushing and achieving wasn’t congruent with motherhood. I’d tried to push my old life into my new role as mama and it just didn’t work. IT was a really vulnerable and powerful moment that forced me to reassess what I wanted to build a soulfully successful business and be the mum I wanted to be.
What’s one thing you have learnt about yourself you didn’t know before becoming a mama?
I’ve discovered how much joy you can find in simple pleasures. Laughing at someone’s toes wiggle, or jumping over waves, or laughing at characters in books. I’ve really learnt to appreciate and look for simple abundance.
Balance. It’s an individual thing so how do you define it?
I strived for balance early on and got caught in a tangled mess because it was so hard to achieve. I’ve learnt, over time, that my life needs to have seasons and I need to have boundaries around what’s important to me when those seasons get busy.
There are busy, hustling seasons and then there are seasons for rest and restoration. I’d love to say that I weave these seasons into each week, but that’s not the rhythm that seems to work for me. So I need boundaries around the things that I value the most- family-time, self-care, friendships, exercise and green-time during those busy seasons.
I’ve found that when I consciously and intentionally set boundaries around the things that fill up my cup, then I feel a sense of balance and feel restored and invigorated to cope with those more demanding situations. When I don’t have boundaries during busy seasons, I have a tendency to overwork (3am starts) and get overwhelmed and my body literally shuts down.
Finish this sentence
I secretly wish I could… run a digital detox retreat where mamas get to unplug in a luxurious setting and plug back into their lives and their essence. It’s on the vision board and the cards for 2017!
I combat self doubt and overwhelm by… calling my mum, or sister or another mama, and verbally downloading. Nothing is as bad as it seems once you’ve articulated it. Journalling is a second favourite. I find my thoughts lose power when they’re written down.
I’m most inspired by… Women seeking soulful success. A type of success that’s meaningful to them and not necessarily following the standard prescription of what success looks like.
My current affirmation/mantra is… Simplify to amplify.
My yoga practice is… Doing some basic moves after a run along the beach. Nothing beats taking in some deep breaths filled with salty air and pausing to hear the ocean. Sheer bliss!
What’s your one parting piece of guidance for the mama tribe?
Unplug from time to time. Don’t miss the micro-moments because you were digitally distracted. Those times at swimming lessons when our kids glance up at us for a smile , or validation that their swimming is improving can be totally missed if we’re glued to our phones.
Capture moments to your own hard-drive first, before you pull out your smartphone. Establish firm boundaries around when you’ll use your gadgets, otherwise they have the perennially potential to distract us and our kids will emulate our habits too.
Dr Kristy Goodwin is a leading children’s technology, learning and development expert (and mum!). She arms parents and educators with research-based information about what today’s digital kids need to thrive online and offline. Kristy takes the guesswork and guilt out of raising kids in the digital age. She translates the latest research from a range of disciplines including neuroscience, developmental science and technology, into practical and digestible information, tips, and tricks for parents and educators so that they can feel confident and assured that they’re raising healthy, happy and balanced kids in the digital age.
Connect with Kristy: