Sometimes, life is hard. Sometimes, life is sweet. But, most of the times, life serves to bring us exactly what we need to move forward, just in time when we need it the most! Be it a person, a situation or an experience, the cosmic surge is -I’m sure- destined to respond to our inner quests for growth and glory, in the most profound and effective way possible. And, boy, how gloriously we get to grow down this path!
Meeting this month’s featured working Parent was an a-ha experience for me: a cherished moment of glorious growth. A couple of months back, while the Project Mamager gang was running the discovery phase of our little endeavor (yes, there’s a gang and a discovery phase, but more on what’s cooking in the coming weeks!) the universe has granted me with a one-of-a kind opportunity to interview Anastasia Papangeli Felix and capture some of her sparkle for our “How She Does It” monthly ritual!
Anastasia is a rare human breed. Not only because she is a child and infant nutrition activist and blogger, an online community moderator, a translator, and an accomplished content creator and editor for one of the hottest digital brands out there right now. But mainly because, every time she wakes up, she choses to lead the life of a caring free-range working Mom, wholeheartedly dedicated to the well-being of her family, while incessantly inventing ways to give back to the Society. And that’s just a casual day in her schedule: WOW!
She’s radically transparent, frank and direct. And I’ve come to respect that so much in a person, that I feel utterly grateful that life has brought Anastasia into my life’s path. I sincerely can’t wait for you to meet her!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
In a nutshell: Young workaholic professional turn pro-science crunchy mum and went all in!
Since 2012 I’m based in Athens, Greece, and for the last 3 years I’m embracing motherhood, and as of the last year the sweet 9 to 5 professional life! I’ve got an adventurous toddler, a demanding job as a Content Specialist on e-commerce & niche in Beauty & Health, I’m involved in the Babywearing Greek community and I advocate online and in real-life for healthy proper Child Infant Nutrition, and I love every second of my busy, chaotic life! I always believed there are no obstacles, only challenges and this one wouldn’t have been possible to manage without the unconditional support of my partner and a little bit of sleep deprivation.
Stemming from your personal experience, what is the toughest part of being a Mom, and how do you manage it?
Motherhood hit me like a truck full of bricks on high speed during a foggy night on a slippery highway with faulty brakes. It was something utterly unexpected, but really welcomed.
As I never had plans of being a mother, I had little to none experience with real-life maternity & parenting things. The last time I had given a hug to a baby had been when my little brother was one, some 20 years ago… And I went all in!
I enrolled in academic courses, I read every book, article and piece of information that fall on my hands, I studied different parenting philosophies, practices, their impact and effects, and I still do. I saw it as another big project I had to research and create content for; Only this time it would be the most important project of my life, and the objective is not some tailor-made targeted piece of content, but to provide my kid all it needs, and a little bit more to grow into a young healthy adult.
Along the way I felt my spirituality and connection to Tao grow, and these combined made it a bit easier. What, is this it? Every part of Parenthood, you can’t single out just one part, they’re all interconnecting and they’re all rough and tough.
Who is (are) your go-to person(s) when you need support as a Mother? What type of support are you mostly in need of?
Comfort. I’m pretty good at managing every day life, I’m also good at balancing personal and professional life, but I wouldn’t be so good if I didn’t have the support of my husband and my parents. Knowing that they are there to support me, to listen to me, to share a bit of the everydayness and the routine gives me the best kind of comfort and is the best kind of support.
Materials will only get you so far and some days all you really need is a shoulder to lean into, hug you back and say “I see you try, it’s ok, you got this, it’s ok…” This small reassurance, this tiny act of affection, is all the support I felt I needed, and I’m blessed to have it.
What’s the No1 Skill (or Ability, or Knowledge) you have found handy in your role as a Mom?
A long time ago I learned that truth is somewhere in the middle, and that along the way, sometimes, you may have to make the least harmful choice, and it might not be an easy one to make. Knowing how stuff works has helped me tremendously.
The best example I can give are related to colics. There is no known cause, they might be related to the gastroenteric system, and there is no known treatment apart from comfort. They can be from mild to soul clenching, as they were for my kid. Knowing this helped me get through these horrific hellish days and nights with my kid uncontrollably crying until they passed around 3 months old.
If I wouldn’t have known that, what they are, what they do, what’s the purpose of them and most importantly what I can do to help my kid through it, I wouldn’t have stayed calm. I would have probably listened to the whole marketing pushing products on me, and I would probably have felt really shitty because I wouldn’t be able to comfort her as it’s been displayed: you give some probiotics, you run some cream, voilá: Happy baby! Yeah, not really...
What advice do you have for a new Mom?
Listen to your gut. Accept that everything you knew are about to change: from the way your body looks to how your mind works and how you prioritise things and responsibilities. You’ll be amazed about how many fucks you won’t have suddenly to give!
However you feel, however mind-blowing overwhelming and weird it is, there is at least one mum who has felt the same. You are never alone. There is this notion that motherhood is like a hidden society and upon you enter all the knowledge suddenly appears in your mind as if you have to know everything! But nah, it doesn’t. You know nothing, zero, nada.
You have to relearn everything, but most importantly you have to learn your own little kiddo! And that’d be my piece of advice: listen to your gut, listen to your kid; research and not believe blindly any advice that comes your way. Science and knowledge has come a long way and it’s here to help us. It’s not a foreign species, it’s a tiny little human that you made or chose to raise, and together you’ll grow up and learn so many new stuff! Don’t hinder yourself with unnecessary stress, and enjoy all that is gonna come, they’ll worth it. We’re all in this together, and we all gonna make it.