Alex Zeplain | Another Mother Her Way
Alex Zeplain is actually the poster child for self-care. She launched her healthy lady, happy baby campaign this past May to circulate the conversation that self-care isn't a luxury or fad but vital to ensuring healthy families. The campaign was a powerful extension of her community, Hello My Tribe, which she was prompted to start after her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, one year into motherhood. Alex writes below about her experience taking a pause from her marketing career to have and raise her son and finding her balance in an entrepreneurial journey that allows her to give to herself, her family and a growing tribe of women.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
To be honest, I feel like a very different person, yet a person with the same core values. It's a bit confusing! Most importantly, time is now my most precious resource--something I honestly didn't think twice about prior to motherhood. How and with whom I spend my time have majorly shifted.
I had a tough time transitioning into motherhood and the lifestyle shift that came with it; I sometimes still do. But becoming a mother has taught me more about the need for acceptance, the power of positive attitude, and the importance of perspective.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I left a thriving career to focus on my pregnancy and motherhood. At that time, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. I quickly learned that this situation wasn't the healthiest for me. I craved relationships and being creative outside of the home. I function best when having a break from my child and using my skills and talents in other ways. Now that I am back to working full time, my husband and I have chosen for our son to spend time at an amazing preschool down the street from our house. This is a big sacrifice for our family considering Hello My Tribe is still in start-up mode, but at the end of the day, it's what's best for our family unit. And there are many pros and cons of being an entrepreneur. Thankfully, I can create my own hours that allow me to spend mornings with Asher, do school drop off and pick up, and take time off when he's sick or school is closed. It's definitely hard to balance and at times I feel overwhelmed with so much on my plate, but I am confident with the choices I have made and extremely thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Loving, patient, mentor. There's always room for improvement, even at what I excel at.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I practice self-care like it's going out of style. At 12 months postpartum, I started on a journey of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Having this brain disease/auto-immune disease shifted so much for me. If I don't take care of myself, I cannot take care of my son; I cannot do my work that makes me happy; I cannot be a good wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc. I focus a lot on eating well, resting, sleep, calming my nervous system, taking breaks, exercise, taking supplements, not sweating the small stuff, cutting toxicities out, etc.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I really didn't understand this village concept at first and now I believe in it to the max. Of course my husband--he's a huge piece of the puzzle supporting me as a mother and entrepreneur and being there for our son. Preschool is also a huge part of my village. My son goes full time and I don't know what I would do without his amazing school and teachers. My brother has turned into such a fun uncle (and babysitter). My parents are wonderful support and a few times a year, my son goes to stay with my-in laws out of town. It's such a great, bonding experience for them and my husband and I get a little break. Friends have become family for us. There are some really important people in our lives that have earned the "aunt" and "uncle" title. We are so incredibly thankful. Lastly, I am lucky enough to be able to hire help, or rather I sacrifice and prioritize this as a need. Regularly, I have help around the house and we utilize babysitters as needed.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I tend to focus a lot of negative attention on my schedule and lack of time. This becomes a big stressor in our family dynamic and something I want to work on. Accepting versus fighting this new schedule as a mother is imperative.