The Juggle Is Real. Meet Maria, Mama of 2 + Restauranteur

2 Restaurants + 2 Babies, meet this amazing mama and hear her struggles, errrr.... her juggles.

How many kids do you have, and how old
Have 2 girls. A 3 year old, and another under 1.

What do you do for work and how do you manage that and your babies
I own Chau Veggie Express located at 5052 Victoria drive & Granville Island Public Market, in Vancouver, BC. To help with little Hazelnut + Cove I have my parents as well as my partner, which helps during most weekends. There's also the option of my friend’s daycare Monday-Friday and I am currently in the process of hiring a live-in nanny from abroad.

How do you kick start your day
I kick start my day by having morning kisses and cuddles with the girls, which reminds me to enjoy the moments that I have with them and to remind myself that life feels a lot easier with love & is more simple than it maps out to be in my head for the day/week.

How do you end your day
I end my day with a pot of herbal tea & more cuddles while singing songs with the girls in bed, before we fall asleep for the night.

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Night Time Rituals

I end my day with a pot of herbal tea & more cuddles while singing songs with Hazel in bed before we fall asleep for the night.

What was a big surprise for you during labour/what were you not prepared for
Biggest surprise for me during labor was that I felt like I needed to climb the walls with my fingernails during my contractions. I kept screaming that I change my mind. I don't want to have this baby anymore. Take this pain away. I was clenching into my doula staring into her eyes with my crazy eyes - help me!

I didn't think I was going to be relying on my doula that I rarely knew as my only guide through it all.  I was talking and feeling completely normal in between the contractions and then I felt like I was another person (possessed) during the contractions. I definitely couldn't have done it without her (Cherie).

I was not prepared to have the numerous strangers in the delivery room, confused about how I felt with a bright spot light shining over my vagina, and not being able to control my every emotion or bodily functions... and I was not prepared for the aftermath of healing "down there" after giving birth for like 2 weeks.

Needing to pee was absolute torture and I don't need to mention the pooping part... even worse! I guess during labour is so crazy and intense it goes by like a dream. It's really the healing part and adjustment period that was deeply felt.

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When baby arrived, what was one of your first thoughts
When baby arrived I honestly felt like a baby stranger was pushed into my room and all I could feel was this lost little puppy needed me to take care of her. After a few days I was feeling alright... I think I'm done playing mommy. Who do I give her back to? I just wanted to get back to my usual life schedule again. My work needed me and I missed having my sleep... my independence.

Looking back on baby's first few months, what is something you wished you knew
Looking back I wish I was less focused on adjustment and my extreme emotional lows and simply spent more time enjoying every single breath of my new born baby. Also not to make any major transitional decisions during the first year of baby like moving or changing work etc...

What food(s) do you love making your baby girls
Any time I am able to blend veggies into any dish and she loves it - I feel like I've succeeded. I also make her a powerful breakfast of green savoury steel cut oats sometimes for breakfast. I like adding nutritional yeast, chia and flax to her food.

Do you make time for "you time" / "self care"
I always need to remind myself to make time for self-care, something as simple as dinner with the girls or a spa day or yoga. Rather than feeling like a mom all the time, self care will help me feel like there's me in there somewhere.

What are 3 products you can't live without

  • Abeego: Now with so much more fruit cutting and food saving I love this reusable beeswax wrap!

  • Doctor Bronner's Eucalyptus Soap: Nothing smells better than clean hands!

  • Glass Tupperware from Costco: Love packing fresh cut fruit or having an empty one when out eating somewhere. With a baby there's always left overs. I feel like I'm helping contribute to a better earth this way!