Miky Gherghe | Another Mother Her Way
I can't imagine raising Bodie anywhere else than where we are but it's quite fun and fascinating to observe parenting lifestyles abroad through social media. One of the women who I follow on her parenting adventures is Miky Gherghe, a woman who committed twelve years to the aviation industry and chose to slow down during maternity leave and work on more creative projects. For Miky, a pause is not simply about career but also pace in life. She combines a gorgeous eye and passion for slow living to create near picture perfect while simple experiences for her and her son, Radu, in their home in Romania. Below, she shares her path to simpler, slower living in parenting and while Romania feels a world away, I love the familiarity of her feelings and experiences.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
I became more organized and started focusing my energy and my time on things that really matter. Or actually, the things that now, as a mother, I appreciate more than I used to before - a silent walk in the park with my boy, or the precious 30 minutes that I offer myself every morning to enjoy a cup of coffee, read a magazine or listen to a podcast while I make breakfast. Only after becoming a mom did I realize how much time I was wasting before. I am more efficient now and can get a lot of things done in few hours of his nap. I am also more relaxed, and if I decide that I should rest or spend the whole day out just enjoying time with my family, I will do it, no matter if the laundry is waiting to be folded.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I've been working in the airline industry for 12 years, but when I became a mom, I realized that I would like to spend more time home, working on something more personal and creative. That's when I started designing baby products and started the Tic Tic baby brand. It came at a time when I was on maternity leave, when Radu was pretty much occupying all of my time, so designing baby products felt like the right thing to do.
I still do work in the aviation industry but am happy to say that I found a balance between work and family life. Luckily I have a schedule that allows me to enjoy a lot of time with Radu - I have some days off in the middle of the week when we decide that he’s not going to kindergarten either, and instead, we go for bike rides in the park and have lunch at our favorite place. Before motherhood, I was a workaholic, always ready to answer an email at any time. Now I am more present and put my phone away when I enter the door.
Our dream is to grow our family business and be able to work while traveling the world with Radu. Become a digital nomad family, rent a vintage RV and run our business while driving through the French countryside. So every effort is worth it.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
The most important thing is for Radu to know that he is loved. That even when I'm exhausted after a huge tantrum, I will find my energy to comfort him and explain to him what was wrong, in a calm manner. It's a hard balance to find as a mom. To be calm and firm and at the same time to support your child while also setting some boundaries.
I am also working on being a cool mom. He mostly eats healthy food, but I want it to be ok if he has ice cream every day during our vacation in Greece. He can get dirty and bring home a collection of sticks and leaves from the park, or be late for kindergarten because he has to finish "reading" his illustrated Petite Larousse.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I go out. Just me and Radu on a bike ride to the farmers market, to have an orange juice or to buy cookies. With my husband for a coffee date, the girls or my mom for a glass of wine once in a while, or as the three of us to a dinner at a nice restaurant when there's nothing to eat in the fridge. I try not to stress myself with things that actually have an easy solution.
That is why I started the Slow Living blog, as a way of sharing my thoughts on this idea of a simple and meaningful life. When I have some time off, I like to write a few lines, whether it's a favorite seasonal recipe, some travel tips or a new artisan brand that I discovered.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
My husband is my biggest support, my best friend, and an awesome dad. We don't have a nanny, and our mothers still have jobs, so we don't get much help, outside the kindergarten hours. But since our schedule is not a classic one, you might find the two of us at the spa on a Tuesday morning. We're both trying to take this parenting role easy, and sometimes it works.
And then there's my high-school friend who has a boy, almost the same age as Radu. So we've been through everything together. Playdates, coffee time with the kids, summer picnics, cooking evenings at our place or long phone calls analyzing some skin rash or a cough. We are so lucky to live the motherhood experience together. To talk baby subjects for hours without being embarrassed or just do online shopping while the boys are building lego castles on a cold winter day.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
Patience and time for myself.
I’m usually very calm and manage frustrating situations pretty well. But I still feel that I need to work on it and learn how to take a moment, breathe and think through my actions before reacting.
And then as a woman, I try to find some time for myself and enjoy it without feeling bad and without having the household activities at the back of my mind.