Relaxing into Motherhood by Luana Ouverney Simonson
I had gone from working with costumes and traveling, to being a full time mother. I used to be surrounded by people all day at work; creative people who would be sharing their amazing and crazy stories with me. I would be hypnotized by the noise of washers and dryers washing the costumes as well as the noise of my own ideas and creative productions I was working on every other month. Suddenly, I was alone in a two story house with a baby.
The pandemic seemed to be a never ending thing while I was learning what meant to be a mother. I went from being confident, one of the youngest and best at my job, to doubting myself.
Everything about my new role was different and uncomfortable. And I couldn’t find anything such as a step-by-step or a how-to guide on how to be a mother. I felt alone since most days my husband worked and my whole family was in Brazil.
I was used to being emotionally stable and confident in what I did before becoming a mother. It was difficult for me to ask for help when a baby depended on me 24/7. My freedom was gone.
Just like childbirth, the more I fought it the more it hurt. I missed my personal space, I missed my working out routine. I missed the fearless, unstoppable, workaholic and money-making Luana. I questioned my values. I felt that the only way to feel accomplished or that I had any worth was if I was making money.
I didn’t relax into motherhood until I embraced the pain, the solitude, but above all, I embraced the Luana that was being born with the birth of Benjamin.
With my baby, there also came comfort, it came in the purest form of love I have ever experienced in my life. After a lot of crying, a lot of support, meditation and reading, I finally realized that when we become mothers, we’re doing the most sacred work we could ever do: we are creating the world we want to see in the future.
It’s hard to believe that my baby Benjamin has already turned one. And this has been by far the most challenging and rewarding year of my life. I’m so grateful I was able to dedicate 100% of my time to his first year of life. Now I’m ready to go back to work and share my new achievements with him.
My life is this paradox of wanting to travel the world but wanting to create roots, the feeling of missing out but the joy of staying in, being a full time mama but feeling the need to split my time between the Luana mother and the Luana creator; being torn between saving the world or enjoying it. There’s one thing I am sure about: as long as I am gentle with my own process and the best mother I can be, the happier both of us will be, because I am the mama Benjamin chose to have and I cannot imagine my life without him.
I met Luana online through my first doula. I am glad I was able to help her through my Good For Mama online course (maybe you can talk more about the course here), which was of great support for her throughout the pregnancy to postpartum.
Luana Ouverney is a sustainably-minded Costume Coordinator and Fashion Stylist, delighted and intrigued by the art of recycling, up-cycling, and reworking vintage pieces.
Born in Rio de Janeiro but raised internationally, she has lived and worked in over 50 countries across the globe. Currently based in South Florida, she is about to go back on tour with Cirque du Soleil, as Head of Costume, this time around with her family.
Luana published the “Eco-Savvy Traveler Guidebook” in 2020, a guide where she shares her experience of maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle as a traveler, which will be published in Portuguese this year, during Luana's stay in Brazil with the circus.