Danielle Eva Pewhairangi | Another Mother Her Way
If you are friends with Danielle Pewhairangi from home in the States or you found her on her stunning social media profile, you'll likely be occasionally dreaming of a family adventure on the other side of the world. After graduating Syracuse University, Danielle and a girlfriend thought they'd have one 6 week travel adventure before adulting. They visited fourteen countries before their last stop in Queenstown, New Zealand. Danielle did return home as booked but only to pack up her things and move back. Within one year she met her husband Cole and built her health coaching practice focused on holistic weight loss. Now they're raising their daughter Leila in this gorgeous place. Danielle shifted work to one or two sessions a week to keep herself connected to her practice while she commits this time in her life to Leila. She talks about the choices she's made and what gives her peace and confidence and allows her to truly enjoy motherhood.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
Honestly, in so many ways. I think, for me, motherhood allowed me to become a better version of myself. I’m more patient, more grateful, more empathetic, more responsible, better organized with my time and life in general and it has truly allowed me to step into my power not only as a woman- but as myself. It’s funny because, I don’t know how else to describe it (except stepping into my power) and just feel like a more confident, stronger me. On the other side of things- I’m much more cautious in life, I’m very protective, careful and thoughtful with everything I do from driving in the car to waking up in the middle of the night worried (for no actual reason in the moment) if Leila is OK in her crib or even with the words I choose to use around her.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I definitely would make them again in a heartbeat. I feel like, overall and on most days, Leila enhances each day. However, taking a step back from work, my social life and even ‘me’ time had its challenges - some days more than others- but oh man does the good outweigh the bad. I also feel like the years we have with our children where they need us so intensely are fleeting and I’m very determined to not wish them away, enjoy the moments as much as I can (I mean I’m only human and sometimes I have to remind myself of this) and know that this is kind of a once in a lifetime experience (or maybe 2 given we’re lucky enough to have a second baby). The lessons I've learned, the changes I've made- I would definitely do it again.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Fun, ever-loving and a role model. I would really like to think that I am these things- and I definitely aspire to be so on a daily basis.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I love this question because I know that without taking care of ourselves we really can not take care of anyone else. Especially when Leila was younger, I found this to be a real challenge. I have amazing support around me; my husband who is a born father (truly the most patient and selfless man there is) and my in-laws and other family live nearby as well. However, I struggled to even leave Leila to hit the gym never wanting to choose anything over her or compromise our time together in any way. I was also really resistant to putting her in daycare part-time. What I found was when I stepped out of my comfort zone/house bubble I really started to thrive more. Exercise, healthy eating, social engagements, working part-time, 1:1 time with my hubby and even a bubble bath do so much for my soul. It’s what has allowed me enjoy motherhood so, so much I think. Having things of ‘my own’ and getting back into my pre-pregnancy shape keep me thriving. And of course, the healthy eating and exercising give me endorphins, confidence, energy and a clear head. All of which are beyond necessary for me to be the best mom I can be.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
My husband plays a huge role in this. Leila, Cole and I are like the 3 musketeers or 3 besties when we’re all together. It’s definitely my happy place when we get to go on adventures in this gorgeous country we live in. But, I think it’s equally important for Cole to have his daddy-daughter time with Leila 1 on 1. When they go on their own little adventures or he stays home with her while I’m doing my own thing is healthy for all of us. And definitely like I said in the question above I cherish getting to live my life and have my own breaks to work, be social, work out, explore in nature or just have a quiet breather to myself. It puts me into reset-mode and Im a better mother for it afterwards.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I think I’m constantly working on improving myself as a person and as a mother every day and believe that if we aren’t growing and learning in life we aren’t really living. I want to stress less about the small stuff. I’m getting better at doing this but it takes conscious effort for me.