A big portion of my “Village” is online
I need to start off this blog post giving thanks and credit to my “real life village”. The family and friends that are helping my husband and I raise Amadeo. I know there’s no way I would be managing as well as I am without their support! I have mentioned before and I will keep saying that you should always reach out to your loved ones and support systems and ask for help when you need it.
However, this post isn’t about my “real life village” its about the “village” of women and mothers that I’ve connected with through my socials and this blog.
Most of the time the daily snap shot of a mom on maternity leave or a stay at home mother is one filled with a lot of, to be put simply, loneliness. Monday-Friday most of your partners, Family and friends are at work for at least eight hours and during all of that time its you, your child or children, maybe some pets, and the four walls of your home.
For twenty-seven years I have been so many things that make me, Vanessa Ravalico. I’m a person who thrives on attention, connection and a back and forth with others. I’m creative and like to express my creativity through many different avenues, I’ve designed and sold jewelry, I’m able to be creative everyday in my childcare career, I enjoy renovating and decorating homes, and I love to diy just about anything for any reason. I enjoy being out and about in my free time and go shopping around the city. I absolutely love spending quality time with friends and family. I love going out to restaurants for dinner and attending parties. I love going to work everyday and teaching children and interacting with parents. The bottom line about me is, I’m an extremely social person and need human interaction for my mental health and happiness. You get the picture.
I’ve only been a “mother” for three months or 12 if you include pregnancy (but id like to forget most of mine) either way in the grand scheme of things I’ve only been a mother for like a minute. There are so many things that just come naturally to us or we have read and done research on, maybe even done a class or two, but id like to say it loud and proud here and now, my god its fuckin hard to feel like “JUST A MOM” when I’m so much more and have been sooooo much more most of my life. That need and desire to be me and have my own identify hasn’t just, poof disappeared because I’ve pushed a human out of my vagina. But the sad thing is that it gets push down like wayyyy down to the bottom of the barrel and you have this human that has made you a mother and literally takes over your life and in turn taking over most of who you are and what you do.
I’m not able to go to work everyday, and realistically even if I tired and made the effort to have human interactions in the real world everyday, fuck, I’m most of the time coming off a horrible night’s sleep and or I’m just exhausted from being a new mom. Going out and doing things is important and I do leave the house as much as possible, but its a lot of work going out with a new born and sometimes just the thought of it can be awful and tiring in its self.
My Little Lamb has been launched and live for a little over a month and I started my Instagram and Facebook page accounts at the end of July shortly before I gave birth. I never could have imagined that this amazingly supportive community of women and mothers on social media would be adding so much value, support and happiness to my life as a mother on maternity leave.
If you’ve read my “All About Me” post you already know that I was put on modified bed rest at around 24 weeks. At first the time relaxing, napping, swimming and watching Netflix all day was awesome, but after a couple weeks of that, I was going insane. I decided at the time to start writing about my pregnancy and about knowledge I have pertaining to children through school and my career in childcare, just to get some of my boredom out of me. I had thought that maybe I would publish my writings and start a blog but it was my closets family and friends that really pushed me to make this idea into a reality, saying that I’ve always been a breath of fresh air and I’d be interesting and entertaining to read.
I never have been in anyway a strong writer or particularly strong in the maths or sciences in my life, so to publish my ideas into writing and have people make judgements on that definitely made me nervous. Now after a month of having my posts out there, the feed back and comments I get are sooooo uplifting and positive.
I can’t even begin to express enough how amazing the online community of women and mothers are. There seems to be endless support, constant positivity and I’m connecting with people throughout my whole day. Also, a lot of my online relationships have turned into really amazing relationships in real life.
I have had and will continue to have my fair share of mom shaming, which I have to say has mostly been women or oddly enough men who are over the ages of 65 and I’m pretty sure that if I were to know the extent of their parenting styles back in the day I would be calling children’s aid on them. Literally in the same breath of someone mom shaming me and my parenting they turn around and say something like, “oh I just put my baby in a dresser drawer all day, they turned out fine.” “I drank and smoked throughout my whole pregnancy, they turned out fine.” “I started giving my baby food at 3 months, your child is going to be a picky eater.” Listen Brenda stop fuckin judging me after those comments, or hey why don’t you shut the fuck up Paul, you’ve never even changed a diaper or where in the room when your child was born, I think I’m doing just fine.
But from this online community I have yet to have any sort of negative feedback or mom shaming. (hey I wouldn’t care even if I did) This community has been giving advice when I’ve reached out and asked, and sent me so many messages that me talking about how I feel has helped them relate or seeing comments from women who are experiencing the same thing have had a positive impact on them. See this online adventure has been able to blend my past pre-mommy me into the women that I am now. I would now recommend and want to read a mom blog from every single woman out there, but if its more your thing to just read other moms posts or visit their socials, what I’d like to say to you then is keep reaching out. Keep having these connections and share your struggles, achievements, raw moments with other women throughout your loneliest times and let the responses uplift you and reassure you that your doing so great and you’re by no means alone in this CRAZY, lonely new chapter in your life.
Let’s continue to fill the loneliness with online connections from wonderful women out there in this cyber universe.
From the bottom of my heart thank you for being my online “Village”.
These are some AMAZING women and mamas that I follow on Instagram and love connecting with and I highly recommend checking them out! Each woman brings something beautiful and wonderful to the table and adds value to my new life of motherhood! Some have online blogs but some just have their Instagram blogs, I recommended checking both out!
Roxanne is my amazing MAMA! After my mom and dad got divorced my mom decided go to school and follow her passion for helping people through aesthetics. She has worked in different spas in the city as well was a part owner of her own spa for many years. My mom has been able to create her own perfect serenity in her home to service and take care of her clients well being. Follow her account and I HIGHLY recommend taking some time away from constantly giving yourself to others and let my mom take care of you and help you re-charge!
Ilona is one of my very best girlfriends out of high school was Ilona Smyth! She is the most powerful business women I’ve ever met, she has so much drive, hard work, and dedication behind her company and any project that she touches. She was one of the first mamas I knew and got to see and be apart of her raising the most AMAZING son and brightest boy I’ve ever met. I recommended following her to see and learn all the amazing things that go one in our city revolving movies and television, her exciting travels, and sneaking some peeks into the beautiful life she’s created for her son.
Erica is a gorgeous mama and friend of mine with an incredible eye for style and has so many amazing suggestions of where to experience fabulous family outings all around our beautiful city of Ottawa. I always love to see how and where she’s going to travel with her gorgeous fam jam, spoiler alert its ALWAYS fabulous!
Erica is a mama after my own heart. She has two beautiful children and puts her life out there for her followers to view, weather its pretty or not so pretty. She’s figured out that living and sharing her life honestly has brought her great experiences and connections as well. She’s hilarious and shares her struggles with mental health openly and in my opinion there’s no one more valuable then that in a world of pretty filters and staged shoots!
Natalie is an Ottawa Photographer who I’ve been following on social media for almost 10 years! I love that Natalie is constantly growing and changing what she’s doing but its always the most beautiful creative content you’ve ever seen! She has a beautiful little family that she shares with the world and even though I’ve never met her in person I feel like I know her and we are friends, that’s how amazing she is on social media!
Mercedes and Natalie are sisters and a dynamic duo of all things that are beautiful in my eyes. Mercedes like her sister is mutli-talented and how I met her was on set while she was acting in a lifetime movie. One of my best friends is Ilona Smyth and I used to book back ground for her casting company, Smyth Casting. Not only will you see beautiful inspiring content from Mercedes instagram from her cooking, baking, crafting, paintings, and much more but she puts out the realness of motherhood as a new first-time mom to her beautiful daughter.
Sarah is a wonderful women and mother that I’ve been able to work with and discover through starting my blog. She is my go-to girl to document my families most precious and beautiful moments as well as growth as a family. She’s had some natural disaster adversities right before giving birth to her daughter but her hard work and dedication to her art is opening so many doors for her as a creative. If you’d like to document your families with stunning professional affordable photography you need to book a session with her asap!
Rasha was our wedding decorator who transformed our day into the royal wedding of our dreams. Every step of the way this passionate entrepreneur mama bear made me feel like her most important bride. (brides trust me you will want to have someone that makes you feel this way!) We’ve used Rasha’s décor backdrops and décor pieces in our baby shower and hopefully future events as well! Follow her account for everything dreamy and beautiful!
I will Definitely be featuring and recommending more women and mothers who I get inspiration from on social media in the near future so stay tuned! I also often feature accounts that I love on my Instagram stories so check their as well!