OF THREE BIRDIES
Get To Know Jolanta
Jolanta Kartasova is a blogger, wife and mother.
Originally from Riga, Latvia, she currently resides in France with her husband Eric and their three beautiful daughters, 2-year-old Anya and 1-year-old twins Mia and Luna. We caught up with the supermum to explore the honest, beautiful and at times difficult reality of being a mother. Read our candid and inspiring interview with Jolanta.
What Does Motherhood Mean To You?
To be selfless, and to be willing to be selfless.
To actually love not to go to the bathroom by yourself, to share your bed with a little ninja, to have sticky jelly fingerprints all over the house, to trip over numerous toys in the middle of the night. Motherhood is having dreams that are for others rather than yourself. It’s learning how to appreciate every little moment, every second in between with little tyrants running around driving you totally crazy. It’s about dealing with teething, tantrums in public, repeating yourself again, and again, and again, biting your nails and discovering dirt stuck under it. But it’s also the sweetest kisses you’ve ever gotten, angelic smiles that give you a reason to wake up in the mornings, the grand power to kiss away boo-boos and hurt away. It’s the most wonderful, amazing, aggravating, and joyous adventure you can ever embark on.
How Did You Feel The First Time You Found Out You Were Going To Be A Mother?
To be honest, I had the darkest thoughts, anxiety and fears. I didn’t know what to expect, and I wasn’t ready to raise a little child being a child myself. I fell into a deep depression that lasted until the last day of pregnancy. However, everything immediately changed after the nurse put a baby girl on my chest. With her birth, a part of me died. I was no longer the selfish, immature, careless and irresponsible girl. I became a mother.
Is There Anything About Motherhood That Has Surprised You?
Love. I heard other mothers talking about an unconditional love, I read about it in books, I saw it in movies, but I never really knew how it actually feels when you love someone so much that you would take their place if it meant they would no longer hurt. It’s the deepest love you’ll ever feel.
It’s the most wonderful, amazing, aggravating, and joyous adventure you can ever embark on.
How Has Motherhood Changed You?
I had never seen myself as a parent. I actually never wanted to have children. But like my mother likes to say: “Never say never because it comes back in triple!”
My motherhood journey has just started, but it has already changed me in profound ways. I am not the same person I was before I had kids. Every challenge (and there are many, trust me) has taught me and helped me grow in more ways than anything else I have ever done. Now I know the power of wipes, and what the true meaning of multitasking is. You won’t really understand unless you have experienced it yourself. I’ve learned so much and I keep learning every day thanks to my girls who are probably better teachers than I am.
When you have kids, life takes on a new meaning and fullness. Sooner or later, somewhere between night feeds, diaper changes and never-ending laundry, you start to forget what life was even like before the little ones came along. For me, the most challenging thing is to stay who I am. I keep reminding myself that I’m not just someone’s wife and mother. I’m a human being who has her own needs, passions, hobbies… A LIFE after all. Little things like a fast shower, hot coffee or Netflix when they are asleep can really keep you from losing your mind completely. It can be challenging sometimes but you have to remember that happy mother means happy kids. This is the only way it works. Unfortunately, I had to experience a very deep PPD to understand that.
How Do You Juggle Everything & Make Time For Yourself?
You see, for me, it’s a no big deal if kids cry in their cribs while I’m taking five minutes shower. Also, we hired a nanny that comes twice a week to help me with the kids. We can barely afford it but my husband made it clear that my happiness and mental health is his priority. I know so many women in early twenties and late thirties that just can’t get out of depression because their kids physically and emotionally exhaust them. I do everything I can to have time for myself and do the things that make me happy. I can’t be a good, loving mother and give my kids a happy childhood if I don’t take care of myself first.
What Has Been The Best Thing About Being A Mother?
It’s all about the little things. I love the way they smile, the way they eat, the way they sleep, the way they interact with each other and react to different things. I love the morning smiles and the slobbery kisses they give me. Every little thing is so special. They create magic around them and they don’t even know it. I just wish that this sweet and innocent baby toddler phase could last a little bit longer because nothing is better than to see the world through your their eyes.
What Is The One Thing You Want To Teach Your Children?
I’ve only had little time to teach my kids about the vast world I know so little about. It’s actually a very big responsibility to raise three helpless creatures into healthy, happy, loved, spirituality-rich, smart, self-sufficient, fearless and determined women. My job as a mother is to give them a happy childhood, teach good values, and prepare them for their first steps in life. Oh, and to give them a normal taste in music. I’m sure that life will teach them the rest. I can’t be with them every step of the way as they grow older, but I’ll always be there for them if they need me.
What Advice Would You Give To New Mothers?
I don’t know much about motherhood, but I do know that nobody knows a child better than their mother does. Just listen to your child (even if she doesn’t speak yet) and follow your instincts. Don’t follow ‘instructions’ and ignore all ‘experts’ that seem to always know better, even when they don’t have children of their own. All your child needs is a loving and caring family and sometimes, milk. Oh, and do not buy white clothes!
And Finally, Any Tips On Raising Three Girls and Twins?
I always say that attitude is key. I know that sometimes it’s hard to stay cool when your world has been turned upside down, and all you want is to escape. But it takes a positive attitude to achieve positive results. Your kid just split carrot juice all over her new Ralph Lauren dress? Take a deep breath. It’s really no big deal. It’s just a thing. She didn’t do it on a purpose. She doesn’t even know how it happened. So why spend your time and precious energy to be mad or yell at her? You’ll just create a negative impact on the child and on yourself.
Your child cries on a fully booked plane? Stressing out about what others think won’t calm them. What will definitely work, (besides iPad) is your calming smile. Children feel our emotions and read from our facial expressions, they maybe don’t always understand what we say but they understand our voice intonation. So if you want to survive the first year of total madness that you simply can’t avoid, try to change your attitude about it and see what happens. It’s not easy for sure – I fail more times than I succeed. But it’s definitely worth trying.
With thanks to Jolanta X