Super Mama Series: Emily Fossier
Welcome to the Super Mama Series! I created this as a way to showcase actual messy-but-beautiful lives of women who are mothers and live creatively. By no means are any of us perfect, but we are striving to do our very best. Super Mamas are women who mother sacrificially, love deeply, and acknowledge their weaknesses gracefully.
Meet Super Mama Emily Fossier. She is a Louisiana expat that now calls Indianapolis home. Her husband is currently completing his family medicine residency, and she is navigating how to best balance life as a residency wife and a young mother living in a new city. She started a lifestyle blog called the Little Fossi Way to pass the time during her husband’s long hours, and to help drive her creativity. Her life is simple, quiet, and filled with joy. What others find mundane, she attempts to celebrate. When she's not chasing her toddler Pier around, she can be found baking, reading, or doing Pilates. You can follow her on Instagram @emmyfossi and see her beautiful site littlefossiway.com.
"Motherhood has impacted my self-identity in ways my pre-baby self could never have imagined. The biggest thing was realizing that it’s just not about me anymore. In the months after my son's arrival, I quickly learned how attached I was (and am) to worldly comforts, and I had to learn to give up those comforts in order to provide for another human being. Navigating nap times, feeding schedules, and diaper changes are not very glamorous (actually it’s probably the hardest thing you will ever do!) but it’s so worth it. I’ve learned that being a mother is both the cross and the gospel. You die to yourself every single day, whether you want to or not. You are rid over every ounce of self-love and replaced with a Divine Love that stretches you so completely that you turn into a new person – a better person – if you let it.
I wish someone warned me about postpartum depression. I went undiagnosed for an entire year, and thought a lot of those complicated feelings were completely normal for a new mother. I struggled a lot in those early months in particular, but then hit a really dark place the month of my sons first birthday. I realized that these symptoms were not a result of me being dramatic, but a real illness that was affecting my relationships to those around me. I started to resent my child. My marriage was suffering because every little thing was so incredibly overwhelming to me. I couldn’t function and would beg my husband not to go into work because I was scared to be left alone with a screaming baby. It got to a point that I would immediately hand off the baby to Brad and then head straight to my dark bedroom and pray and cry. And...that’s really not normal! It was such a scary time and I so encourage anyone to reach out for help if you’re experiencing something similar.
As for the actual birthing a child into a world, I wish I hadn’t been so afraid of the unknown. I had a natural birth and it was so beautiful...I know every birth is different, but when I look back on that day I feel nothing but peace and joy. Childbirth is not as scary as the movies makes it out to be!
The worst advice I ever received (and continue to get) about motherhood is, “don’t worry it will get easier.” That phrase really bugs me because I feel like every stage of motherhood is hard, and all children are definitely not the same. I totally have caught myself saying it to a overwhelmed mama, but I’ve found that it’s better to recognize the struggles of a new mother (or any mother) and offer to help the best way you can instead of give advice about how things will be easier in the future. The best advice I received about motherhood is to make yourself a priority and don’t feel guilty about it. We, as mothers and women, believe so many lies about ourselves. It’s crucial that when we do have a few baby-free moments to ourselves that we respect that time to truly recharge. We deserve it and don’t you dare think otherwise!
Nothing fills my heart more than making Pier smile. It is the best. I will do any silly dance move, twirl in public, pretend to fall on the ground, jump up and down until I can’t breathe anymore – I mean anything -- to make my child smile. That smile is the most tangible evidence of grace in my life and it just makes my day every day.
My favorite baby item is definitely a wrap. Pier was always a terrible sleeper and I couldn’t put him down on anything. Every surface that wasn’t mama might as well have been hot lava! The only way he would ever nap would be if I wore him, and my favorite hands down is the Solly Baby wrap. It’s organic cotton and breathable and perfect and both Pier and I loved wearing it."
ON THE WORK LIFE JUGGLE
"When I was little, I would tell people that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom when I grew up. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to do just that because I never have felt so confidant, empowered, and comfortable than I do now spending my days with Pier. I genuinely love it and it’s where I am most fulfilled. Becoming a stay-at-home mom is challenging, and frustrating, and demanding...but what job isn’t at times? For me, the difficult days are short in comparison to the joy that comes from being Pier’s mother and getting to witness all his milestones firsthand.
I’m so humbled by the love my husband has for our family. It’s that love that drives him to be so self-sacrificing to us. What I love about our household is that Brad and I are a team in everything. If one of us is having a hard day, the other one picks up the slack and makes sure things gets done. We aren’t perfect at this, but I think we try to mirror our household responsibilities like we view our marriage -- by putting another’s needs ahead of our own. If Brad works long hours, I try to put in the extra effort to make him his favorite dinner or bake something or wash the bedroom sheets – little things that I know make a big difference to someone who works as hard as he does. Likewise, if I’m drowning in toddler tantrums, Brad will pick up dinner or surprise me with flowers or clean the entire house without me even asking him to. It’s those small acts of service that help us recognize that our needs are heard and we’re trying our best to always help the other person.
Because Brad is in residency, the biggest ongoing struggle I have is his long work hours. I don’t have any family living close by, so I am alone a lot with Pier. Motherhood can feel very isolating at times, so it’s important to do things that keep your mind busy. I sometimes feel like a single mama and it’s often hard to steal a few moments to myself. I’ve found that if I learn a new creative hobby that it not only keeps my mind off of any loneliness, but it also drives me artistically. Once Pier is down for the night, I’ll pull out one of my favorite hobbies and practice for hours. My favorites lately have been calligraphy, photography, and crocheting.
I wake up at 5 a.m. every morning for prayer time and some uninterrupted coffee. My son is an early riser, so the morning time before he wakes up is really sacred for me. I have to make it happen somehow or my whole day is thrown off. Lighting a candle, diffusing lavender, playing soft music, and getting outside are all ways that help me re-focus my day. I also love to sip chamomile tea all day long as a way to help keep me calm in the midst of toddler-chasing chaos.
I am a big fan of self-care and I know that in order for me to be the best wife and mother, I have to make time for it. I really crave moments of silence throughout my day. If I want to be energized, I have to unplug completely and stay far, far away from technology. I live for those quiet moments of drinking a hot cup of coffee, going on a long walk, and having a solid 30 minutes of prayer time. And if I’m lucky I’ll maybe sneak in a nap myself every now and then!
I think of my beauty routine as self-care because I really love taking time to get ready for the day. I’ve struggled with acne (gotta love those hormones, right?) for over a decade and I have really sensitive skin. I still haven’t found my ideal skincare regimen, but I recently have loved Thayers Witch Hazel with rose petals to use as a toner. My favorite make-up must have is the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. I always get compliments when I wear it, and I don’t get compliments when I don’t wear it, so I think that says a lot about a beauty product. A favorite hair-care product of mine that I didn’t know I needed is the CC Caviar Cream. I love it because my hair is so dry in the colder months and it smells amazing! I’m a bit picky about what I use on my lips, but I’m pretty much addicted to Rosebud Perfume Co. salve, and use it how most people would use Vaseline. My last must have is Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Rose. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve gotten hooked on that stuff! It’s simple, but I love that it’s a tinted chapstick so it brings some color to your face. I never leave the house without it.
Since becoming a mother, fashion has taken a whole different meaning for me. Finding things that are cute, non-restricting, and mom-friendly are my top priority now. I’ve always been in favor of dresses over anything else in my closet. That’s what I’m most comfortable in and it’s the easiest thing for me to think about when I’m deciding what to wear. My ideal outfit would start with a nursing-friendly sundress from Christy Dawn. Those dresses are so comfortable you feel like you have nothing on. In my experience as the mother of an active toddler, you get hot really quickly, so I think a cotton dress is the perfect thing to wear. Funny enough, I also have to have a slouchy cardigan at all times because I’m a wimp and get cold in 70-degree weather. Then I’d finish off my outfit with neutral avarcas, a great pair of sunglasses, and my favorite convertible day bag (that I use as a diaper bag!) from Nena & Co."
ON FAMILY TIME
"My favorite family tradition is a simple one. My husband prays over our son every night before he goes to sleep. It’s very sweet.
My husband and I love literature, so it’s important to us that we instill a love for reading in our children at an early age. I’m a sucker for beautifully illustrated children’s books. There are a lot of them that I love for the sake of sentimentality...my current favorites are those illustrated by Jane Foster or Charley Harper. Pier is also obsessed with the Baby Lit series books and the Touch. Think. Learn series.
Before having Pier, I was a big traveler, and I don’t think having him has slowed us down! Our favorite memory is when we took Pier camping in North Carolina when he was three months old. I thought we were crazy, but it ended up being one of my most cherished memories. I think the best thing you can do when traveling with little ones is be prepared and have low expectations. We always have lots of food, lots of patience, and lots of Daniel Tiger if we are going on a long trip.
My perfect Saturday would start off sipping pour-over coffee with my husband. Naturally, my perfect Saturday would be 75 degrees and sunny, so we’d start the day off with a family trip to the farmer’s market. Then we would grab breakfast tacos from my favorite vendor and have a picnic. Once my son is down for his nap, I’d like to sneak off to Whole Foods and drink a cup of coffee, while reading a good book. Then once Pier wakes up we can go on a family hike until it’s time for bed. I’d end the night with take-out pizza, wine, chocolate, and Netflix. Now I wish it was Saturday!"