Introduction by Emma Martin:
I was very keen to share the wonderful words of Sam with you all. I first met her at a covid secure meetup for new mums at 2 weeks postpartum, her warmth, empathy and kindness really struck a chord with me. Having struggled so much with the newborn phase first time around, I just KNEW there and then, that Sam would be the perfect support for me with my 2nd born as a postnatal doula. Sam is so strong, and uses her life experience to help others, which is just amazing! I hope that you’ll enjoy getting to know her too!
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Sam and I am a postnatal doula, mother, writer and cancer survivor. My postnatal business is called MummaBaby Space and I work in the Guildford area, caring for new mothers as they transition to motherhood. I am a self confessed knitwear junkie, yoga bunny and I don’t go far without a pair of straighteners! My favourite place to escape is our family apartment on the south coast of Devon, overlooking the ocean with coastal walks , Devon cream teas and a good book. My daughter keeps me on my toes but makes me so proud and my black Labrador is my partner in crime, my spirit guide and bestie (well, along with my hubby and my human friends!)I love walking, singing, dancing, writing and cooking and I have to have a bubble bath every evening.
What does Mindfulness mean to you?
Mindfulness, for me, is transient. It can come and go for those of us juggling, working and running a family, but when it is present and we can make that time or be conscious of it, it is peace. It is a peaceful heart, a quiet mind, a kind inner voice and a gentle being. When we have the space to acknowledge it and coax it into those busier moments, it can dilute the judgment and soften the edges. Some days it can be more conscious and other days it can be more distant but having the awareness of mindfulness and striving for a regular practice to quieten the mind and tune into ourselves, can help us develop invaluable skills in dealing with the more stressful areas of our lives, deepen relationships and raise our own vibrations and inner confidence.
Why did you want to become involved in the ‘Mindfulness in a box’ project?
As a postnatal doula I adore the idea of the Mindfulness in a box project. Every mother needs those mindful moments to quieten the mind and perhaps gain a little clarity, in what can be a hugely transformational and vulnerable time. Having something tangible to help physically stop and pause and bring us back into the moment, such as making and drinking a cup of tea, is key for wellbeing and inner peace.
How do you incorporate self care into your busy week?
Every day I walk my dog, rain or shine and if I am on my own, it can be the perfect way to connect with the universe and mother nature and give me physical and mental space to clear my mind and just be. I have a bath every evening and find it quite hard to sleep without one. It is my wind down and my moving from doing to being, in the evening. I start most days with 10-20mins of yoga too. My daughter is not allowed downstairs until a certain time so that I can have that quiet time to stretch and feel my body, connecting with my thoughts and tuning into any anxieties and worries I might have at that time. I am naturally an anxious person so carving out this time for me, has become really important for managing those feelings that can so often get in the way and start my day the wrong way.
Tell us more…
As a postnatal doula, I am caring and nurturing amazing woman all through my daily routine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally I absolutely adore my work and the connections I make with new mothers and women who all have their own stories, their own goals and dreams and all want to be the best mothers they can be. Holding that space for a woman, as she transitions to motherhood is an honour ,but it can be intense and challenging too. We are all only human. Most of the time, these moments fuel me and my desire to support and comfort, and stoke a deep passion within me to serve, but after having four breast cancer diagnosis over the years too, I appreciate the importance of self care and nurturing my own self care too. In this profession, it is so important to practice what we preach! We will often say to new mothers, if you are being well looked after and cared for, your baby will be too. It applies to anyone who cares for and looks after anyone else, in life.
How do you balance running a business and being a mum?
It can be a juggle but being a mum of one can have its advantages. If, during school holidays, I am working, I can arrange a club or a play date or, with restrictions still being what they are, my husband is working from home, which can provide a little more flexibility. My daughter is now ten years old, and that is making a huge difference since she is more independent and she and I are now moving slowly into a very different phase of parenting, which can require a whole new crash course in tween dynamics! So far this year I have been fortunate enough to have a few clients on my doorstep in the same village I live so with home schooling at the start of the year, and as lockdown eases, it has been wonderful being able to walk to work a few doors up or down and know I am only seconds away from my daughter should the need arise.
What is the best quote or words of wisdom that have helped you during this past year?
Self care is not selfish!!! I swear, I live by that!