Super Mama Series: Camille DiPaola
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 Camille DiPaola. Cams is a wife, mama of three, and wannabe photographer/ home decorator/ stylist/ professional antique shopper...and some other stuff. She shares her attempts at all of these, and a bit of her journey through motherhood in a slightly unfiltered way, because motherhood is messy (& that's okay!) on her blog, Cams & Co. She also contributes to The Mom Edit, a site dedicated to mama style. You'll also want to follow her on instagram @camilledipaola to see her photos of curating beauty in the ordinary, witty stories, and killer mama style.
"[Motherhood] has drastically changed how I see the world. It isn't about me anymore...it's about other humans. I give it all for them. It has made me see other women so much differently now, too, because I can see and feel how strong they are. It's amazing how motherhood has changed me. I don't even know how to explain it. I know love now, like never before. [The most rewarding part of motherhood is] seeing your children give back what you have given them. The worst advice I've gotten is to read books on motherhood and pregnancy. I tried reading What to Expect When You're Expecting. It gave me anxiety. Too much information! I really have gotten by just fine with asking those that I love and respect for advice...and also learning it all on my own.
Before giving birth? [I wish I knew] that it's okay if it's not perfect. No need to worry. BREATHE. As for birth, well...there's no way to know what's going to happen, but you can do it. You can do it."
ON THE WORK LIFE JUGGLE
"I was working part time and running my own tiny blog when I got pregnant for the first time. However, it was a challenge anyways. I was used to doing things my way, in my own time...and being able to just go when I wanted. I was a lot more selfish and concerned about me, but motherhood changed all of that. I went through a dark time with our first, where I doubted myself a lot, didn't feel like myself, and it took me quite some time to adjust. I am on the other side of that now, though and I can see how much motherhood has fine-tuned me, so to speak. I don't feel like a wimp anymore! I am more confident, industrious, creative and less self-involved. Basically, motherhood was exactly what I needed to push myself forward in the right direction.
There was also a challenge with our first -- neither one of us know exactly how to split the responsibilities. I didn't know how to ask him for help and he didn't know what I needed. I can remember one night, it was a few days after I had our first and my husband asked if I would iron his clothes for work. I almost lost it on him. How could he? Doesn't he know I just pushed out a baby?! I mean, really. How dare you! I think about it now, and it's obvious...he didn't know. I didn't communicate. I didn't ask. I just wanted him to magically know what to do. Well, since then I have gotten better with being upfront and honest, and we both do a pretty good job of sharing the load. It took some time though."
"Basically, motherhood was exactly what I needed to push myself forward in the right direction."
Managing my time [is my biggest challenge lately]. I am easily distracted and will find myself just clicking around on my phone or wandering from room-to-room with no real direction. I am trying to write lists and make goals for myself this year."
ON SELF CARE
"I like to sit back on the couch, or even in bed, and catch up on shows or a book I'm reading. I have to have that time to just be alone and rejuvenate. It's the introvert in me.
It can be hard, but my husband and I are pretty good about getting the kids down at 7/7:30 and then we just relax, talk, watch a show or movie...or even just go to bed. I do try to get out on a semi-regular basis as well to spend time with a friend or run a couple of errands. It's just nice to have quiet time to think, and it does wonders for me. Whenever I take the time to kneel at the side of our bed and talk to God, I feel so much better. Stretching and breathing is also one of my favorite things to do...or just a quick walk outside with the kids."
HER FAVORITE PRODUCTS & WHAT TO WEAR
[For kids books] I really like any of the Usborne books. They are so inviting and interesting.
ON FAMILY TIME
"The beach has always been my favorite. This past summer was the first time we took the kids by ourselves. It was so relaxing and fun! It took me back to the times when me and my family would go as kids.
[On Saturdays] we love being lazy, making waffles, sipping cups of coffee, watching a movie...and then getting out for an hour or two as a family, or spending time on a home project and actually getting it finished that day. Amazing."