Our friends at Loyal Hana featured Totum's founder, Erin Erenberg.
Check out the conversation below.
You started Totum Women because you were shocked at how few resources there were for women after giving birth. Can you tell us a little more about that and how this community has grown along side your own family.
Yes! While pregnant, there were monthly and then weekly doctor's appointments and check ins, then after birth, there were regular appointments for the new baby. Similarly, a parent has her choice of books, websites, products and content on healthy pregnancy and infant care. And thank God for the support of bump and baby. But what about the woman -- the lady at the center of the story who's undergoing perhaps the biggest transformation of her life? Her body, mind, relationships, ambition -- all elements of her identity are in flux. She's got one dedicated doctor's appointment 6 weeks after delivering the baby and is left to navigate this massive transition largely on her own. And as dangerous as the lack of resourcing is the lack of conversation. When we think we're the only ones having a hard time, that isolation can turn into shame. And the very last thing a woman -- especially one who's just given life -- should feel is shame. My sense of shock turned into a sense of injustice, which fired me up to do something about the problem.
What are you currently working on?
More resources and information for women to help them feel whole as they enter and transition through motherhood, focused on four main hubs - mind, body, ambition, relationships.
As a working mom, what do you use to help get you through your work day?
Help from a babysitter, and block scheduling. I no longer believe in balance, so I carve out goals for each hour of the day and just work to stay focused on my goal each hour. For example, I drop off our 7 and 5 year old kiddos at school from 7-8:15, so during that block, I focus on a safe, peaceful drop-off. From 8:30-9:30, I focus on moving my body. From 9:30-2:15, I move forward my various projects for Totum, and from 2:15-7 I'm full-on mothering/wife-ing -- pick up, play time, dinner, then bedtime. Lingering work projects slide back in after bedtime or early in the morning -- 5AM to beat the kiddos awake. It's not easy, but I love being a hands-on mom. So that afternoon mom-block is non-negotiable for me.
Beau 2, George 7, Pearl 5, Arabella 5
Every mother needs to find balance, what does your personal village look like?
Ah, the non-existent village. I don't really have a village. I don't think most modern mothers do, and I think that's why many of us are suffering. I'd love to have my mom, sister and closest friends nearby, but we're all scattered. So what help looks like for me right now is finding support from my husband, our babysitter, and a once/week housekeeper. It's more scheduled than a true "village" of fluid support, which is what I wish most moms had nowadays.
What are you working on improving about yourself as a woman and mother?
One lesson I've been growing in all of my life is learning to love and accept myself as I am. I often think there's a better way or better version of me right around the corner, rather than truly embracing who I am right now. I don't want our kids to feel that way about themselves, so having children has been a powerful lesson in gratitude and loving what's right within and in front of me. Our kids slow me down in the very best way. I learn new things from them absolutely every hour of the day. As they face challenges, I have to stop and think about how to communicate the big lessons of life in a way that's simple, and I find that as I do that for them, I learn something new myself. It's a crash course in some ways, especially having a daughter -- I won't think of her having a poor self-image, so I have to guard my thoughts and words about myself. She models my behavior very directly.
Check out the orginal blog post here.
Thank you to Loyal Hana for the beautiful feature.