In my previous article I was writing about the “true parenthood” as it is, and I know I said with capital, bold letters, how everything changes. It certainly does. However, changes often make us stronger and wiser while giving us fresh perspective on things. Therefore, changes are not the bad guys, we need to change in order to grow. After this a bit confusing intro, I will just get onto the point. This week I had a pleasure to talk to another fellow mum, for my blog, about her new mommy related business, which grew out of her personal experiences of being a mother. Her name is Sarah Ryan, and this is her story.
1. When and why did you started your “Mama Moments” business?
S: I had hyperemesis on both my children and post-natal depression after my first was born. Going through those experiences was incredibly hard physically, emotionally and mentally, so I learnt the hard way the importance of self care! Because of that I had been wanting to do something in this space for a while – help other mothers look after themselves more, and know that they weren’t alone. Also, my son gets a craft subscription box which he adores – getting post just for you, with a surprise inside, it is very exciting! I had wondered if there was something aimed at mothers in the self care space but when I looked I couldn’t find anything – and so I decided to create Mama Moments! The first box launched in August 2018 so it is still a very new business.
2. What’s the idea behind “Mama Moments” box?
S: Mama Moments is a self care subscription box aimed at busy mothers. The idea is to provide mothers with a regular prompt to prioritize self care as it’s too easy to always put everyone else first and let yourself burn out. My hope is that, because it is a subscription box it will serve as a regular prompt to mothers to take some time for themselves to recharge. Even if all you can manage one day is 5 minutes with a hot cup of tea and a delicious bar of chocolate. Even those few moments can make a difference. And perhaps the next day you could find time to take a bath with a scented candle or some time to journal. It’s not realistic for many of us to take an hour or more for ourselves every day (even if we’d like to) but if you can build some smaller moments of ‘me time’ into your day on a regular basis, you will find that it makes such a difference to your mental and emotional health.
The Mama Moments subscription box arrives every two months and contains 5-6 items specially chosen to prompt self care. Products can include bath & beauty products, positivity prints or pins, chocolate, tea, candles, journals and more! All items are source from small, independent businesses – predominantly Irish, mama-led businesses. Using the boxes to support local businesses, and to create a network of ‘women supporting women’ is very important to me.
3. Do you have some rituals during the day, and what time of the day you work on the brand?
S: In terms of self care I try to make some space for myself every day – even if it’s just 10 minutes with a cup of tea and my book. I’m an introvert so I recharge best in a quiet, solo space. If I can I’ll go for a walk and listen to music or a podcast, or else I might take an extra long, hot shower after the kids are in bed. I’m a big believer in taking those ‘moments’ where you can – you don’t need to have hours to go off to a spa in order to prioritize self care – it really can be as simple as going upstairs with a hot cup of tea while your partner finishes off dinner with the kids. I generally work on the brand at the weekends when my husband has the kids or else in the evenings when the kids are gone to bed. Social media is relatively easy to dip in and out of during the day to keep going, but the rest I like to do when I am kid free and can give it my undivided attention.
4. What were the biggest challenges you came across, while developing your brand?
I face many of the same challenges that all small businesses face, the main one being building awareness of the business, getting the name out there so that people know you exist – and doing that on a shoestring budget from your kitchen table is always challenging!
I think one of the unique challenges I face is convincing mothers of the importance of self care. As mothers, we so often put ourselves last on the list and can feel guilty about spending time or money on ourselves, thinking that everything should go to the kids or the house or our partners. But if we never take time to relax and recharge, we will eventually burn out, so we’ll be no good to anyone in that scenario. My challenge is to convince women that they deserve to take that time for themselves, so that they can be the mothers, partners and women they want to be.
5. How much you think it is important for a child to see parents example that is possible to do what you love and live your dream?
S: I think it’s incredibly important to model activity for our children. If you want them to be readers, then you need to read with them and let them see you reading. The same goes for self care, exercise or building a company. It’s incredibly important to show children that you can be their mama and still be a successful entrepreneur. That you can be there for them when they need you, but still build your own successful business. In my case I always explain to my kids what my business does, so they know that “mama’s boxes” are filled with nice things so that other mamas look after themselves and get treats too. I think it’s such an important lesson for children to understand that their parents need to look after themselves, and that parents like to get treats too!