Motherhood Inspiration: Jessica Durando

Motherhood Inspiration: Jessica Durando

We're back with another inspiring interview with a mother we admire! Founder Nikki has been sitting down with friends she loves and looks up to, to discuss motherhood. You can watch each video on our IGTV. This week we're talking to Jess Durando. 

  • Ayla & Co: Give us an introduction: "I'm @jessdurando, business- Happy Belly Coaching, I help mamas redefine self-care and learn simple strategies on how they can start showing up for themselves in every stage of motherhood."
  • Who are you a mom to: "Owen, 3 and Blakely, 1"
  • Tell us about your life outside of motherhood: "I love exploring new cities, trying new foods, outdoor adventures, fiction, stand up comedy, seeing live music (in a pre-Covid world), dogs, desserts, writing and empowering women to stop putting themselves on the back burner so they can show up in their lives as their best self." 

  • How has becoming a mother changed your life? "It’s changed it so much and honestly not completely all at the same time. I was scared to become a mom- everyone had told me how dramatically my life would change and nothing would ever be the same. And in so many ways they were 100% right! My life isn’t totally about me anymore- I have these two little ones that need me. I also get to see the entire world through their eyes now, often through the first time, and it’s the most amazing thing I could expect. All the cliche things- my heart is fuller, life experiences are richer, and a lot of pride and sense of self comes with raising good people to do good things in the world. My relationship has gotten stronger with my husband, and my confidence has increased within myself. However, a lot of my fear was around losing myself and who I was because everyone told me how much life would change. And one of the most helpful things for me was learning that I’m still me- I’m still a whole, complete person outside of my kids. And when I connect with who I am and take care of myself I’m better for them. Motherhood has changed me, but motherhood is also a role, not an identity for me."

 

  • If you started your business after you became a mother, how did it influence the start of your business? Or if you were working before you became a mom how did it change your direction or content? "Before becoming a mom I used my therapy background and merged it with my nutrition certification to help individuals reach nutrition related goals while improving their body image and relationship with food. I still do this with a lot of clients, and love it. However, when I became a mother, I realized how hard it is to meet our own basic needs… to ask for help… to connect with others… to feel connected to ourselves and those around us. Nutritional protocol were great but it was much more about “how do I meet my own basic needs?” “How do I feel like I matter again when life revolves around this baby?” “Who am I?” “Don’t I matter?” I realized how easily this road could lead to burnout, overwhelm, lack of confidence and resentment. I realized how long a mom might be waiting to take care of themselves again- thinking they had to wait until the baby was in an easier phase, or the kids were grown or money wasn’t so tight or time wasn’t so limited. All because moms didn’t understand what real self-care was, or easy and sustainable ways to add it in (that actually made them feel better). And I knew from my own experience how big of a difference it made in my life- how meeting my own needs helped me feel more present and adaptable in motherhood, actually feeling empowered and confident, and realizing I didn’t have to wait until my kids were older for this new version of my life to start. So I became passionate in helping moms realize what was draining their cup and the consequences it had, as well as strategies to show up for themselves again."

 

  • How do you balance the constant chaos of motherhood? In addition, how do you prioritize self care? "First, I just don’t think there’s such thing as balance in motherhood. It’s too hard- there are too many things happening at once, especially when you fulfill multiple roles like wife, mother, business owner, friend, etc. Too often we are trying to give 100% to everything and we just can’t- the numbers just don’t add up. I think the first thing we need to do is let ourselves off the hook and realize that balance might not be possible. We have to do our best to manage ALL the things, prioritize things as they come, and realize that along with all those other non-negotiable things we plan for, our own self-care has to be one of them. I prioritize my own self-care by making it a non-negotiable. And I start small, with where I’m at the time, and build from there. If we go too big, try to do too many things, or focus on only self-comfort over self-care, we set ourselves up to not make it a sustainable habit."
  • Tell me about your "life's Messy Moment" story. "This can be anything funny, or parent related. One of those moments where you just roll your eyes and ask yourself, did that really happen? Oh man, I may need to think on this one! Isn’t all of motherhood a bit of a messy figure-it-out-as-you-go sort of thing? Haha! The first one that popped to my mind is the day my water broke with my son. I was a day overdue and feeling every bit of it. Around mid-morning one of my dogs decided to come in through the doggie door after rolling in poop in our back yard, and belly flop her way all across our carpet. So my husband has her in the bathtub scrubbing her, and at 40+ weeks pregnant I’m down on the floor scrubbing the carpet. And no sooner did we finish with her then our other 80lb dog trotted his happy butt in the dog door, also covered in poop, came in and did the exact same thing. Once my husband tried to pull out the carpet shampooer to give things a thorough clean (especially before baby came home) only to find that it was broken. We headed to Home Depot to buy a new one but they were all sold out, so then we headed to Lowe’s- which meant my overdue self wobbling throughout multiple stores, feeling like a baby was going to fall out at any given moment. And you know how they say some women become really irritable right before baby comes? Well let’s just say God Bless my husband that day (although who knows if it was due to my impending labor or the events of the day.) After Lowe’s we headed to the grocery store to grab stuff for dinner and I decided we would keep it easy- eggs and pancakes. I had no desire to cook a full meal. But we bought pancake mix which we never use, and it wasn’t until after I got home that we realized we needed milk and other ingredients not in the house. Ugh. So as my husband is shampooing the carpet I’m running BACK to the store, where I was asked by random strangers when I was due and attempting to politely answer, “yesterday", lol. After a long day we finally finished eating and went to sit down on the couch to relax until my tiny dog came up and started barking for more food. Annoyed I get up, thinking this is the LAST thing I will have to do that day, head over to the dog food to refill her food ball, and as I lean over I feel a strange urge to pee…badly. At that moment I stand up straight, run to the bathroom, and proceeded to have my water break on the way there. So much for our relaxing night! But 13 hours later my son made his debut and it now it makes for a great story. It’s funny how those moments can interlace into your memories, and it was a great example of how, in motherhood, one moment can shift so quickly from messy, frustrating and filled with incessant annoyances to exciting and overwhelmingly joyful."

 

  • How has becoming a mother changed your life? "It’s changed it so much and honestly not completely all at the same time. I was scared to become a mom- everyone had told me how dramatically my life would change and nothing would ever be the same. And in so many ways they were 100% right! My life isn’t totally about me anymore- I have these two little ones that need me. I also get to see the entire world through their eyes now, often through the first time, and it’s the most amazing thing I could expect. All the cliche things- my heart is fuller, life experiences are richer, and a lot of pride and sense of self comes with raising good people to do good things in the world. My relationship has gotten stronger with my husband, and my confidence has increased within myself. However, a lot of my fear was around losing myself and who I was because everyone told me how much life would change. And one of the most helpful things for me was learning that I’m still me- I’m still a whole, complete person outside of my kids. And when I connect with who I am and take care of myself I’m better for them. Motherhood has changed me, but motherhood is also a role, not an identity for me."

 

  • Tell me about your "life's Messy Moment" story. "This can be anything funny, or parent related. One of those moments where you just roll your eyes and ask yourself, did that really happen? Oh man, I may need to think on this one! Isn’t all of motherhood a bit of a messy figure-it-out-as-you-go sort of thing? Haha! The first one that popped to my mind is the day my water broke with my son. I was a day overdue and feeling every bit of it. Around mid-morning one of my dogs decided to come in through the doggie door after rolling in poop in our back yard, and belly flop her way all across our carpet. So my husband has her in the bathtub scrubbing her, and at 40+ weeks pregnant I’m down on the floor scrubbing the carpet. And no sooner did we finish with her then our other 80lb dog trotted his happy butt in the dog door, also covered in poop, came in and did the exact same thing. Once my husband tried to pull out the carpet shampooer to give things a thorough clean (especially before baby came home) only to find that it was broken. We headed to Home Depot to buy a new one but they were all sold out, so then we headed to Lowe’s- which meant my overdue self wobbling throughout multiple stores, feeling like a baby was going to fall out at any given moment. And you know how they say some women become really irritable right before baby comes? Well let’s just say God Bless my husband that day (although who knows if it was due to my impending labor or the events of the day.) After Lowe’s we headed to the grocery store to grab stuff for dinner and I decided we would keep it easy- eggs and pancakes. I had no desire to cook a full meal. But we bought pancake mix which we never use, and it wasn’t until after I got home that we realized we needed milk and other ingredients not in the house. Ugh. So as my husband is shampooing the carpet I’m running BACK to the store, where I was asked by random strangers when I was due and attempting to politely answer, “yesterday", lol. After a long day we finally finished eating and went to sit down on the couch to relax until my tiny dog came up and started barking for more food. Annoyed I get up, thinking this is the LAST thing I will have to do that day, head over to the dog food to refill her food ball, and as I lean over I feel a strange urge to pee…badly. At that moment I stand up straight, run to the bathroom, and proceeded to have my water break on the way there. So much for our relaxing night! But 13 hours later my son made his debut and it now it makes for a great story. It’s funny how those moments can interlace into your memories, and it was a great example of how, in motherhood, one moment can shift so quickly from messy, frustrating and filled with incessant annoyances to exciting and overwhelmingly joyful."
  • How did you hear about the Ayla Bag? "From you, on instagram!"
  • What are you most excited for about the bag? "I want to say the versatility and the fact that you thought of everything but let’s be serious, it’s the vacuum!"
  • Tell us one place where you would use the Ayla Vac! "My children’s car seats are where snacks go to die and I’m sure we could feed a village in Africa with what’s left so I’d start there. Also, I’m not afraid to vacuum a child if I have to, so I think I would use it daily."

 

Make sure to give Jess some love on social media, and follow us to catch these interviews first on Instagram live!

 

 

 


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