Motherhood, Part I: CHWB Moms on Emotional Wellbeing

by Lindsay
May 3, 2021

Motherhood. It’s exhausting, time-consuming, inspiring and purpose-giving. It makes you question everything, while also giving you the feeling that you know it all.

Even though it’s a beautiful journey that both mom and dad go through, it’s proven that motherhood can drain mom’s resources while making her susceptible to mental, emotional and physical health challenges.

In honor of the month when we celebrate mother figures everywhere, and Physical and Mental Fitness Month at the Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB), we sat down with representatives from each service at CHWB to hear their experiences and points-of-view on motherhood and emotional wellbeing. In this week leading up to Mother’s Day, we will celebrate some of the mother figures on staff at the Crosby Wellness Center, the CHWB Welcome Desk, Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen, Winter Park Health Foundation, a co-owner and the primary developer of the CHWB, and one of our family physicians from AdventHealth. Each representative also shares health tips on how you, too, can focus on your wellbeing.

On Nourishing Your Working Relationship

Sharon Haw is a baker at Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen and shares her experiences working with her daughter, Chef Collette Haw. 

I have two girls, Collette and Nicole, and I have taught them to like what you do and do your best at it. One of the lessons I taught them both is to take care of your health and yourself along the way. If the caregiver is not healthy—mentally and physically—then you can’t help others. Several of us get monthly massages and acupuncture to help with our daily health.

I have worked with my daughter, Collette, since 2016. We do have our disagreements, but we work through them and respect each other’s opinions. We are very close as a family, but we also respect each other’s space. We all work hard but we have a great time spending time with each other on vacation and weekend outings.

I have always liked baking and baked for my girls and for others—birthday cakes, wedding cakes and holiday chocolates. Our family goes way back into being in the kitchen. My mother is a very good cook and baker taught by her mother. My grandmother was a chef for the Johnson family for many years. The kitchen is the center of our homes.

Robin Parent is a Controller at the Winter Park Health Foundation, co-owner and primary developer of the Center for Health & Wellbeing, and shares career advice for working moms.

I have two daughters, ages 21 and 23, and I’d say the favorite thing about being their mom is watching them navigate each different life stage. Whether they are killing it or barely making it through, they are learning and growing and becoming strong young women. They continue to amaze me. Of course, being their mom, I think they are extraordinary! 

My career advice would be to keep one foot in your career if you can even while your children are young. I’m thankful to have been able to go part-time for many years and then was able to return full-time. This was truly a gift as I was able to be ‘room mom’ and in that ‘car-rider’ line with my girls but I didn’t have to give up a career that I had worked hard for. Even if you decide to put your career on hold to raise your children full time, keep in touch with co-workers and people who will be supportive. Have some connections if and when the time comes that you decide to return to your career.

On Managing Your Physical Health

Dr. Arianna Becker is a Family Medicine physician at AdventHealth and shares health advice for mothers.

I have two children. My son, Wes, is 3 and my daughter, Sofia, will turn 1 in June. My favorite part about being their mom is being able to watch them play, laugh, and learn new things together.

Motherhood and becoming pregnant can be a struggle at any time. Unfortunately, I know firsthand how devastating a miscarriage can be. Some women struggle with infertility, and some are on an emotional rollercoaster going through the process of trying to adopt. Many women who have these struggles feel very isolated and alone, and then adding a pandemic on top of everything makes it even harder.

That being said, staying in tune with your emotional health is so important. Moms need to make sure that they find healthy ways to cope with stress, so that they can stay organized and keep up to date with their own preventive health care as well as their children’s. We have a family calendar that lists all of our doctor’s appointments and the kids’ upcoming vaccinations, so we can make sure we’re on the same page.

Center for Health & Wellbeing’s Free Community Education Program

Motherhood and Mental Health – A Look at Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes occurring after giving birth that are attributed to the chemical, social, and psychological changes associated with having a baby. Join us for Motherhood and Mental Health – A Look at Postpartum Depression (Webinar) on Monday, May 24 at 11 AM. Radio personality Laura Diaz will talk candidly about her first-hand experience with postpartum depression. She’ll share information about her symptoms, what this time in her life was like, how to ask for help, what worked, what didn’t work, and the difference between postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Let her story inform and inspire you or the mothers in your life.

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