On mater mea’s Instagram page, we regularly have moms from around the world take over our account to give us a sneak peek into their lives or to drop some knowledge about a topic that matters most to them.
Publicist and special event producer Simona Noce is the latest takeover mom to grace our page. Recently making the jump from 9-5 to full-time entrepreneurship, Simona explains how she makes room for self-care while managing her work as the head of a blended family and two companies.
I am from Ghana, West Africa; moved to the states (New Jersey) in 2001; and transitioned to Washington, D.C. to attend the best HBCU ever ? @howard1867! Well, I fell in love with D.C. and never left! Thank God I didn’t, because I met my bae (who is now my fiancé?) @panamajackson of @verysmartbros and now we’re raising three very wonderful and sweet (read: hyper AF) kids in expensive Washington, D.C.?: a 9 year old, a 2 year old and a one year old. Yep, I had them back to back because obviously I love being stressed out. I’m a bonus mama to our eldest daughter, so totally team blended family here!
Currently, I’m a SAHM/WFHM (I left my full-time four months ago)! We have a wonderful nanny who comes in two days a week so I’m able to get a breather on those days and head to my Wework space running @tnm_forever (my special events firm) and @districtmotherhued (an organization I co-founded alongside @chocl8fashnpr—the DMV’s premiere organization for millennial moms of color). Whew!
Life can be very busy for us, and as a mama of three, I’ve come to learn that my motherhood journey isn’t perfect, but Grace is. Folks ask me how I do It all. I don’t. I try to, but Grace and Perspective is what keeps me going… and I’m happy to share a little bit of that with you. So let’s step into #nojudgment zone and come right in ?
Do you struggle with trying not to drop the ball? We are so hard on ourselves as moms! What are you hard on yourself about when it comes to being a mama?
Yep. This happened. Man. Tears. Not from them but from me ?.
It almost seems easier to have kept my 9-5 than to transition into being a SAHMompreneur. Never-ending laundry, dishes, “Mommy Mommy!”, snack time, nap time, my own emails to send and then this??!
I sat on the floor and cried, cause mamma exhaustion is real. And totally okay. There are many moments like these where I almost faint and can’t capture on camera??. Our sweet little ones can wear us out?.
I’m sure that’s how God feels about me sometimes—I liken my motherhood journey to my relationship with Christ. Just when he is working things out for my good, here I go creating the most unnecessary mess for him to clean up. But he still does, in a loving way. Just like my mama role. That perspective has helped increase my patience as a mother. But I’m not God, so I needed to find something to keep me from falling out. I’ve decided to take 60 seconds to sit and repeat, “Mess happens and that’s okay. You got this Simona, because His Grace is Sufficient for me.”
It’s my own affirmation. If softens the blows a bit for me ?. How about you? Am I the only mama facing WTF?! Moments? How do you regain your cool?
Children are God’s mail system, sending us sweet reminders and lessons through them and teachers of what we need to learn the most. For me, most of my frustration in juggling motherhood, career, and social life is just that; juggling it all and getting overwhelmed when I don’t have time! The world can add to the list our endless to-do list: overtime, work events, birthday parties, appointments… the list goes on! Coincidentally, my kids tend to act out when I’m super busy. It’s a lose-lose for all of us. So I decided to hit the pause button and take a week off from work to spend more time with my little people. Here’s what they taught me.
- If there’s ever a choice between children or work, choose children. There’s plenty of time to choose work.
- While work/hustling/entrepreneurship is a beautiful thing, it is absolutely okay, and necessary, to hit the pause button and take a vacation—or in my case a staycation. If you don’t decide to take that break you deserve because you’re worried about getting ish done, or others getting ahead of you, your work will take all that you give, and won’t give it back. Because it doesn’t care about you the way you should care about you.
- Sebastian’s (my eldest son) reserved and cautious manner—not allowing people or things in his space till he’s fully ready—has been my gentle reminder to fearlessly protect my space, peace of mind, and heart. Similar to his experiences, people may be slightly offended, but my boundaries matter.
- Roman’s unparalleled and contagious joy gives me so much life. My sweet and funny reminder that there is joy in the now, IF I choose to focus on that, and that alone. Plus little dude gives zero …. I’d like to be like him when I grow up so no one can steal my joy.
Thankful for the reminders that my babies give me when I’m tempted to go on full speed. It’s totally okay to be still and present with them. that’s when I am my best self. What have your children taught you? What barriers prevent you from being present?
Self-care. We all crave some self-care. I too crave a weekend to myself or even a shower to daydream without being startled by a little finger poking at the shower curtain, followed by little eyes peering around saying, “Mommy, you take a bath?” ? But, I don’t always have that time to get away and do all that stuff. So I changed my perspective & redefined self care for myself.
Self-care for me is this glass of @nandosusa sangria in my hand on a beautiful fall day in D.C. with my kids. Listen, y’all have no idea how at peace and happy I felt cause Mama needed some wine! I’m doing me and my kids are doing them by wearing these dragon and lamb costumes they wanted to wear. See, isn’t It great when we all get what we want??! The best part about it was I was with friends!
A craving for self-care, at times, stems from not being able to do the things we once could, or be the people we once were, freely, with the people we once hung out with. So I’ve had to change that narrative for me—to do what I enjoy without being completely away from my children and finding child care. Folks always share how impressed they are with me “always being out at fun events with the kids.” Well, this is the reason why.
Self-care for me also means communicating with my childless friends and saying, “Hey, are we going to this festival? I’ll bring the stroller, my Mommy sippy cup, and the goldfish.” Or finding a mom squad that likes to do the same adult things I like to do, even with kids in tow! I actually started to enjoy bringing my kids out because they get to explore the world through their mama’s interest as well! Especially in D.C., listen we like to brunch and live for a good Restaurant Week so whatever I can do to keep me happy, too, is my self-care.
What does self-care look like for ? Do you have a mom squad?
I probably look like I need help. I do. lol.
Mothering some days can be really easy, and most times it’s tough, but it’ll always look like this: me desperately trying to push through and hold It together?. Pretty much life in general.
My kids see and hear mama have very frank conversations with God, “What the heck, why isn’t this working Jesus?” or “Yes! Thank you, God, for coming through in the clutch!” They look at me like I’m crazy, but one day they’ll understand that their mama was a lady that ran on Chai lattes and Christ.
They don’t have to see me have It all together, nor do they only have to see the end results of prayer or hard work—that Is not what our children require. (I’m trying to remind myself that). I’d prefer my children see what it took for Mommy to do X, Y, and Z so if and when they reach a point in life where they find themselves in mommy’s position, they’ll have the tools to sustain. So I am embracing opportunities for my children to see Mom desperately need Christ, for they will know that their superheroine is only one because of Grace and Mercy.
More is caught than taught, and that’s a lesson I’m trying to teach through my life. What lessons are you sharing with your little ones through your actions?
Thanks so much for rocking with me today! I’ll leave you with this: Even though we strive to be better mothers than we were the day before, our children love us just the way we are. And love us actually because we are the way we are. Ourselves. For everything we are and for everything we are not. What a sweet and gentle reminder for the mama who forgets to see (and applaud) herself, caught up striving to be the mother she thinks she’s supposed to be. Grace is the name of this game.