How many times have you wished to befriend a certain someone just because you had seen something inspirational in him or her? How many books have you kept reading because they brought light and positivity when you needed it? At one point in our journey we all require a bit of guidance therefore we tend to follow role models for one reason or another.
That’s why I’m planning to make a habit in regularly sharing stories with you about successful mothers and their secrets in breaking challenges that come with our amazing but quite tough job of raising a child. And hey, after-all we are in this together!
My first chat is with the beautiful raw vegan spirit Irene Arango, mother of a 1 year old charming baby girl, who is also a raw food chef and cofounder of Nama Artisan Raw Foods – the increasingly popular raw vegan hotspot in Notting Hill, London.
When one meets Irene, one’s blown away by her uplifting energy levels. And, if even possible, her friskiness becomes even more contagious when she’s around her beautiful daughter Ariana. Although a very busy yummy mummy herself, wife and career woman, Irene took the time to share with us a few of her motherhood secrets and rules to live by.
1. You’ve become a mum shortly after starting your own business. Must be absolutely excited Nama is getting so much attention these days, but how does this work for you? Share with us a bit of how your life changed since Nama and Ariana made an entrace into your life…
My life is what most people would call CRAZY BUSY 🙂 but I love being a mum and I love running my business and somehow it seems it is possible to do both. It does require a lot of commitment and even more sleepless nights but I would not change a thing. I usually wake up at 6-6.30am with Ariana, make her breakfast and play for a couple of hours, then work while she naps in the morning, make lunch, have lunch, take her to nursery, work for a few hours, return home, make dinner, put Ari to bed and work for a few more hours. I do have to say I am very happy that I have a fabulous business partner Rich, who has helped me a lot the past year so I can dedicate time to my daughter. Some lucky mornings I get to have a nap too when daddy (Eric) plays with her at 6am and makes her breakfast. Thanks God for daddy’s time!!!
2. How does being an entrepreneur may affect or influence your personal life? We know now 9 till 5s don’t really apply to you…
My mind is always working. It is really difficult to stop thinking about work when work has become such a big part of our life, but I rather enjoy it to be honest as I love so much what I do.
3. Do you have a long term plan? Are you the type who enjoys making the most of the present moment or are you carefully planning the future for you and your family?
I don’t know! I kind of go with the flow most of the time, but with every decision I make my brain is always considering implications and opportunities on the long term without me even being conscious about it until I start explaining it to someone else.
4. Is there any guilt to your choice of being a working mum? Talk to us about the list of sacrifices most mothers usually have, is there any with you?
Well, there is always the guilt of leaving your child behind under someone else’s care. I think that is a common guilt most mothers share. I do feel very guilty if I use the time I leave Ari at the nursery for something like getting my nails done instead of working, but hey, we all have guilty pleasures right? 😉
5. Priorities – how do you decide what’s more important in order to keep a healthy balance between work and raising a baby?
Ariana always comes first, there is no doubt about that. I can sacrifice myself as much as needed in order to give her exactly what she needs. I often do have to put the business before some of my own needs, but it is also what comes with being a start up, self funded like ours. We are the labour as well as the operational support, admin, accounting, etc etc so there are always a thousand things to do.
6. In your opinion does a mum have to give up or alter her social calendar in order to become better at parenting?
I think you want to alter your social calendar to spend time with your little one. Not sure it’s a sacrifice to do this. I love staying home with her nowadays. When I do go out I have a fabulous time because I also have to choose very carefully what events I plan to attend and when I go out I go in the mood to ‘give everything’ on the dance floor or wherever we go so it is always liberating and lots of fun.
7. I’m sure the balance between your successful career and being a good mum has a lot to do with a healthy time management and a bit of discipline. Share briefly your key tips for improving the efficiency of a busy mum’s daily schedule.
I am not sure I have the right formula, but I have gotten much better at time management 🙂 I can do most of the work during nap times and between her bed time and mine, with random phone calls and emails sent throughout the day while Ari is playing. I do have to say that I am a very fast reader and that is an invaluable skill when your time is limited and I have come to really appreciate this skill.
8. And finally I’m sure all mums would like to know this. You breath health, you sell health for a living and you look amazing! How do you keep fit and healthy yourself despite being a busy mama, wife and professional and why is it important to make time for ourselves and not neglect our diet?
The only thing I do is home yoga. I do a short session of 30min everyday (either morning or evening) and I walk with Ariana everywhere I can. I really think pram pushing is a pretty good exercise if you keep a decent speed and it is amazing as you can talk with a friend while you do it and the kids love it. Sometimes I go to a live class too somewhere like hot yoga as I love it but it is challenging to find the time so I’m mostly a home base yogini nowadays. Completed by a healthy diet, you’d have the energy to cope with your work and child plus with all other unforeseen daily challenges, that’s why you must make time and have a good balanced diet.
More about Irene
Studied MA Communications Management at London Metropolitan and has a University Journalism degree in Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Irene’s thoughts on raw cuisine: ‘Raw food is about creativity, natural flavours and beauty and I just find it inspiring, nurturing and DELICIOUS!’
Among her dear interests one can easily notice her love for yoga, reading and travelling, but what is most impressive is her passion for cooking, or rather uncooking as she calls it while giving a cheeky wink and a big grin…:)
So mums out there, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think successful mums are made of and how we could get even better at this demanding job. Can we make parenting more fun by following successful parents’ steps while adding our own creative twist? I’m eager to hear you out…