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Q&A with mom of 3 under 5, Nicole Gujral

Step into the world of parenting with Nicole Gujral, a dedicated mom to three, all under the age of five. Nicole opens up about the joys and challenges of managing and nurturing three unique personalities under one roof. She shares her invaluable tips on prioritizing self-care amidst the chaos of daily life, emphasizing the importance of patience and self-discovery. Join us as Nicole provides practical strategies for finding balance and harmony while juggling the responsibilities of both caring for herself and her family. 

 

1. Names and ages of children? 

Jaiden (5), Riaan (3), Anjali (2)  

2. How do you manage to find balance and prioritize your own self-care while caring for three children?  

I try to make self-care a priority because I remember that I’m a better mom when I do. My self-care can look different on a day to day basis depending on my time, but I do try to start my day with it. Starting my day with self-care is a form of discipline for me so I try to practice journaling, or a quick meditation before the kids are up. Every day is not always Zen, so sometimes self-care looks like trying a new recipe, working out, therapy, gardening, time in nature, reading, or even a bubble bath. Once a month I try to book self-care in the form of beauty appointments, because that makes me personally feel good!   

3. How do you foster individuality and nurture the unique personalities of each of your three children?  

The first thing I had to do was detach. Detach from what I imagined or wanted my children to be, and just let them just be who they are. One of the easiest and biggest ways I foster individuality and autonomy would be allowing them to dress themselves. I welcome their opinions and enroll them in activities that they personally like. I try to give them as many choices as I can and allow them to be assertive.

4. How do you navigate the balance between providing structure and routine while also allowing for flexibility and spontaneity?  

I try to think of our routines as more of a rhythm that can ebb and flow depending on the day. By not overscheduling activities we have incorporated free time into our daily schedules so we can have time to be spontaneous. It’s made such a difference in our adventures as a family! 

5. Do you have any go-to strategies for keeping your children entertained while at home? How do these strategies differ from child to child?  

Absolutely, I firmly believe in using nature and water as resources to entertain, and when all else fails DANCE PARTY! My boys love to explore our backyard, and my daughter is starting to follow their lead. All three luckily love sensory activities, so something they all love to do is what we call “car wash”: they literally wash their ride-on vehicles outside and it’s their best day ever!

6. What’s one thing you look forward to most every day as a mother? What’s something you struggle with?  

I look forward to having dinner with our family everyday. We all sit together and discuss our day: we talk about the best part of our day and the hardest part of our day. Connecting and hearing about their day really helps me to understand them more. My greatest struggle as a mom of three is our morning routine. The kids can be a bit chaotic, and I’m trying to have breakfast and lunch made all while simultaneously having 3 kids ready for school by 8 am. It’s so overwhelming to say the least. Another struggle I face is not internalizing my childs unhappy or unpleasant emotions. This is such a work in progress for me.

7. What was the most unexpected challenge of motherhood? How did you overcome this? What was the greatest joy? 

One of my most unexpected challenges of motherhood was the lack of support. I didn’t understand how important it is to have a village throught this motherhood journey. I was luckily able to hire and create my own village, which has been a tremendous support for myself and my family. I started attending mommy-and-me classes and connecting with like-minded moms as well. One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced is watching my child be a kind little human. My oldest, Jaiden, and I were recently walking on a field and he was walking around these tiny little flowers. I asked him what he was doing and he replied “Mom I can’t step on these beautiful flowers because I want them to keep growing”. That little moment created a core memory in my heart that I’ll forever cherish.

8. Have you found any helpful resources or support networks for moms?  

I’ve joined a few local mom Facebook groups as well as attending our local library, which are great for support. I’ve found my own soul sisters with my group of local mom friends as well. 

9. Becoming a new mom can feel so overwhelming. What are a few coping mechanisms and strategies you found helpful in these periods of transition?  

A strategy I was fortunate enough to implement is outsourcing as much as I could as a way to  lighten my load. Dropping and managing my expectations in this short season of life, accepting help wherever I could, and honoring the person I was before motherhood were strategies that worked wonders for me. Whatever works for you, you should that do, judgment free.

10. What’s your best advice for mamas-to-be and new mamas? 

Even though you’ve just given birth to a baby, you’re being born all over again too, mama. Be kind to yourself. There is no one better than you to mother your child. You got this! 

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