Happy Mother’s Day!
Today, we share a recent conversation with Woodlot Co-Founder, Sonia Chhinji . Aside from her gig as founder + CEO of Woodlot, Sonia is mama to Sohin (who will turn three at the end of July) and is expecting her second child any day now!
This Mother’s Day we were eager to get Sonia’s perspective on raising a toddler and navigating pregnancy during a pandemic, and hear her thoughts on how we can better support moms, now, and beyond this challenging season.
To all the moms out there who have been affected in such a variety of ways, we hope that you are feeling the love today, and know how in awe of you we all are. If it wasn’t for all the mothers out there, setting the bar so high for strength and resilience, there’s no telling where we’d be by now!
For all the mothers out there, we hope you enjoy this quick chat with Sonia Chhinji:
US: Tell us what it’s been like being pregnant during the pandemic! How has this pregnancy differed from your first? What has been most challenging for you as a mom? And how have the limits affected how you spend time with your son and family?
SONIA: I’ve said to some friends over the course of this pregnancy that it has definitely felt more isolating as I’m doing things on my own compared to my first pregnancy when my partner could accompany me to ultrasounds and other doctor appointments. I’ve moreso found the uncertainty and changing restrictions difficult as a mother to a toddler, as there are certain activities and experiences I’d love to be sharing with him that are currently out of our reach.
US: Going from one kid to two is a big transition. Do you have some rituals in place now or planned for post-birth to help you transition? What about for Sohin?
SONIA: I recently made a non-negotiable list of daily rituals because I was inspired by some friends who shared that this is the key to getting time for yourself. Each day I want to include some form of movement and meditation in my day, read a chapter of a book, and sit down for a family meal. We communicated to Sohin from early on that mealtime is a communal activity that includes conversation, typically about the day ahead or the day we had. We recently started doing a full recap of the day with him at bedtime because we learnt that doing this can improve memory, for adults, as well as kids. I love hearing about the day from his perspective and I hope this evolves naturally into a gratitude style ritual as he gets older. Rituals are already very present in his life, so getting to see him share that with a new sibling will be very exciting. We like to tell Sohin that his baby is coming, so that he knows that the new baby is his too, and not just ours. We’re all welcoming a new family member together. It’s sweet to hear him say “hello” and “goodbye” to “my baby” in mama’s tummy.
US: So cute! Speaking of gratitude rituals, what are you most grateful for right now?
SONIA: I’m grateful for my health, family, friendships, and the ability to keep on working.
“I love hearing about the day from his perspective and I hope this evolves naturally into a gratitude style ritual as he gets older. Rituals are already very present in his life, so getting to see him share that with a new sibling will be very exciting.”
US: And what are you doing for self care right now? Do you find it challenging to implement?
SONIA: Since I’m in the final month stretch, I am finding movement to be challenging, and in general, I feel pretty tired. My self-care ritual is never constant as I like to check in with myself to see how I’m feeling and how my needs have shifted. Checking in is not meant to be self critical but more of an extended service to myself. If I check in and realize I haven’t had as much movement as I’d like, I’ll take a short walk. If I notice that my mind is racing, I’ll set aside some time to stretch out and meditate. The one thing that I like to keep consistent is checking in with my therapist every month or two. I find this cadence is really helpful in managing my overall stress and anxiety levels.
US: Therapy is so important. What do you wish more moms had access to? What is a message you’d like to pass on to the others moms out there?
SONIA: I wish more moms had access to childcare or that jobs made it possible to work and parent simultaneously with more ease. I like to remind moms that they are doing the best they can with what they have, and that it’s enough. I’ve talked to so many moms and what I hear about continuously is the pressure to be perfect and the guilt of not being perfect. And too often I hear this going on in my own head. And then there’s this idea that as moms we’re not allowed to complain, but in reality, we’re always going to be grieving the former version of ourselves as life changes and we take on new roles and move on from old ones. And that’s okay. It’s okay to wish that you could be as spontaneous and carefree as you once were before you had little ones to worry about and look after. That doesn’t make you any less of a loving mom. Just human.
“Checking in is not meant to be self critical but more of an extended service to myself.”
US: Very true. What do you think it will take for us to see a shift in how moms balance their home and work lives?
SONIA: I hope that witnessing how the pandemic has affected moms will lead to better options in the future. For so long it’s been that moms are stretching themselves between two environments, showing up to both and trying to be everything to everyone. But one positive side effect of the pandemic is that we’re now seeing moms working from home, without childcare, and trying to do it all in one space, and suddenly this is not such an invisible issue. The pandemic has forced us to face some of the bigger problems in our society, and this is one of them. I don’t know the solution, but I know that most change begins with awareness, so I’m feeling hopeful that the light being shone on these different issues is going to lead to some big shifts in the near future.
Thank you to Sonia for sharing with us today!
This Mother's Day, with every purchase of one lotion, you'll get one for FREE, or you can donate your free one(s) to a mama in need by leaving us a note on your order that says, 'Please Donate!'
Donated lotions will be given to mothers through Mamas for Mamas, an organization that supports mothers and caregivers in crisis. Every mother deserves something for herself, but for too many, the cost of something for them, means something less for their children, and this way they can receive something nice without that cost. Mamas for Mamas offers an array of ways to support mothers, and this is just one of many opportunities to get involved, so please check out their website for more ways to give!
Sending love + light to all the mamas today!
All images included are by Jennifer Scott (@agoodchicktoknow)