Dear Shanay, nice meeting you finally in person! Could you please shortly introduce yourself and your family to our readers?
Hey everyone , I’m Shanay mama of 3 girls, Iyla Wilde is 9, Lenni Mae is almost 3 and Willa Agnes is 6 months
I’m a birth lover, birth and postpartum doula, placenta encapsulation specialist, confounder of Mama Muun which is a postpartum meal delivery service, a wife, from Australia forever dreaming of the beach life.
I can relate… In between Australia and Berlin you lived in New York City for some time. What were your reasons to come to Berlin? And what are you missing from abroad?
New York was so amazing in 2011/2012! I felt like it was a different city than now; I was there for a few years and before that in Sydney. We moved to Berlin as we didn’t want to raise Iyla in the big bad city and her dad had an opportunity to study art. We moved when she was six months old, and I was a stay-at-home mama then. I was modeling, and the german market wasn’t working for me. We moved during summer, and when winter crept up on us, we thought, OMG, what have we done? This is COLD!!
You were working as a model and then decided to become a doula seven years ago. Why did you want to become a doula?
I became a doula or studied to become one in 2015. I had such a positive home birth experience with Iyla that I thought, why can’t all women have access or at least have the support I had the opportunity to have. I loved my doula and kept dreaming of all things birth, and a lot of my friends in Berlin were pregnant, so they allowed me into their birth space, and the rest is history. Also, it’s very rewarding work. I was modeling for ten years and felt a little stuck as it wasn’t going how I wanted it to in Europe. Doula’s work is so important, and I wish more people knew what we do; we are non-medical support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I like to say a professional friend who knows a lot about birth. We guide you, finding your inner confidence to become a parent and birth the way you are meant to and be respected in the process. Birth is treated so medically when it shouldn’t need to be with low-risk pregnancies.
You also co-founded your own organic business „Mama Muun“ – plant based dishes and snacks for postpartum mums. How important are values like sustainability and environmental awareness to you?
Ah! It’s a huge thing for mama muun, and all our packaging is made from plants and recyclable products. The liners used for the inside of boxes are recycled cans and biodegradable containers. We use food products that are fair-trade and organic if we can get our hands on them. We love not only filling parents’ bellies but being conscious about it too on the impact of it all.
Is that why you chose the Naturkind Ida Kinderwagen?
Yes! Everything that touches our babies’ skin – it’s so important to have natural fabrics, down to the washing powder we use and the clothes on the body. It’s much better now that our stroller is made of ecological and safe materials. Babies tend to sleep a lot in the stroller, so their faces and bodies are always in contact with the fabric. We use it daily, making it even more important that no toxins and nasty stuff are around. The quality of the material and frame is beautiful too. We are so happy!
How do you manage having 2 jobs and 3 kids?
I’m not even sure. I think I’m doing more jobs than two sometimes, mama muun and running a doula business. Also, being a wife, a friend, and a mentor gets overwhelming, but I’m grateful for the community I’ve built and the ladies in my life and my husband – I couldn’t do it without them. A tip for working mamas is that they have to be good at time management and always have a backup plan. Ah, and meals!!! In stressfull times ypo often neglect to eat properly. But that´s not a good chocice indeed.
How do you and your husband, who is fully employed in marketing, share the care- and housework?
After many tears on my end, we decided to get a cleaner every two weeks to deep clean the place. It’s just our little treat/self-care to ourselves – life’s too short to fight over who washes what, and I honestly can’t be bothered. I do the cooking and most things, but I think that’s because I need things done in a specific way. But yes, he works all day 9/6 pm, but we always say when you get home, it’s essential to relax. But we are parents; we will relax when they are in bed :) so acting like a team is ideal for us with so many kids.
Your oldest daughter Iyla is from a former relationship. How does patchwork life work for you?
It’s hard; I’m not going to lie. I feel like sometimes me and her dad treat it as almost a job. We have that one job to ensure Iyla is happy, safe, looked after, and flourishing. We went to endless mediation meetings to learn how to communicate. The respect was gone in the beginning, but when children are involved, you have to do better and be the better person. (At least till she’s 18). We are very much a blended family and actually live right across the road from him now – so Iyla is happy!
You just moved from rural Britz to lively and „hip“ Kreuzkölln. How did that change your daily family life?
O so much, we had this beautiful apartment on the top floor with 133 sqm, but nothing around. We are so happy to be back in my old area that is familiar to us. We hardly use the car now, we walk over the weekends and explore the area! The cafes and food are so much better. We also lived on the 5th floor with no elevator, and the new place is on the 2nd floor.
Talking about daily life: Could you describe a typical day for you?
We usually wake up at 6/6:30 am due to our crazy 2.5 yr old. The husband gets up with her if baby Willa is sleeping. We are all up by seven, then breakfast. Iyla leaves for school at 7:45 am with my husband, who accompanies her. Then, at 8:15 am, we (me and Willa) go to take Lenni to Kita. I come back home most days if I don’t have meetings or errands to run. Then Willa naps from 9:30 to 11:30. This is the time for me to work on mama muun, answering emails, phone meetings, etc. We then have Lunch and get Willa happy and sorted. Followed by housework, like washing or dishes. I pick Lenni up by 3:30, then pick Iyla up at 4. She usually has an after-school activity 3x a week, so we rush to them or just go to the park after. Dinner is at 5:30/6, and bedtime begins by 7:30/8:30. But realistically, everyone is done by 9/9:30. This leaves little time for my husband and me, or at least time for myself, but we are used to it now.
You are on the move a lot with two toddlers and a school kid. What do you you appreciate in terms of ‘getting around in the city‘ about your Naturkind stroller?
What I love with this stroller is that when we are out all day, which we are on some days, the bottom is big enough to fit bags, shopping bags, and whatever the girls find along the way at the park, like rocks or sticks usually. And a further Plus is the maneuverability. The stroller runs so unbelievably smooth and is easy to steer because of the moveable front wheels. A huge benefit, especially when you have another toddler…. So it is basically as easy to steer as a buggy but combined with the driving comfort that comes with the big wheels and the swing suspension.
What is annoying to you about motherhood, sometimes?
Little time to myself, not enough sleep, can’t eat or finish a meal or a coffee, the loneliness sometimes during the weeks but having no energy to commit to doing anything with anyone.
What do you like most about being a mum?
The kisses and cuddles, and the I love yous, that this is unconditional.