Motherhood with Kaitlin Tate
It’s a privilege few Aussie mums get the chance to experience; seeing first hand just how women in some of the world’s poorest regions juggle motherhood and careers. For Kaitlin Tait, director of YHER, a company which supports female founded social ventures in some of the world’s poorest regions, it’s all in a day’s work.
“We wanted to provide a more feminine approach to accelerating their businesses that provides a safe and welcoming space (breastfeeding babies are welcome) for women to share and learn from each other’s entrepreneurial journeys,” Kaitlin says of YHER, an arm of YGAP and the business she co-founded in 2008.
Byron Bay-based Kaitlin and her partner Aaron welcomed their son, Finn, into the world in 2017 after a challenging conception journey. “We had a long road to falling pregnant but with the help of IVF we got there,” she says. “We were lucky to have an uneventful pregnancy and birth, and it’s been a wonderful first couple of years with our cheeky and cheerful son.”
Like many mums, the 35-year-old says the transition from running a business full-time to juggling a newborn had its moments. “I definitely struggled with the transition and letting go of some of my former self and embracing a totally new reality,” she admits. “But for the most part I have loved the joy, purpose and clarity it brought me.”
Kaitlin adds that the privilege of “getting to watch a little being that you created grow, learn, experience joy, wonder, love” was one of the most rewarding things about motherhood, “and witnessing that little life stretch you to your limits, expand your heart, and inspire the best version of yourself.”
Kaitlin believes one of the biggest challenges modern mums and dads face is society’s hyper-connectedness and the importance of setting an example to children when it comes to responsible use of technology and screens. Phone use is something she’s conscious of limiting while she’s with Finn, but she admits it’s still a daily challenge.
“I think it is crucial that as parents, we are able to monitor our own screen time and model healthy use of technology for our children – something I have by no means mastered!” she says.
“For me, this means periods of the day when I put my phone away and am fully present with Finn, engaging in mindfulness and meditation to counter the constant barrage of information and stimuli we are subject to these days.
The entrepreneur says she tries to engage Finn in what she’s doing if she does need to use a device, rather than simply being “unengaged or distracted”.
“I’m sure this will only get more challenging as he grows, and I am so interested to learn more about how parents of teenagers are handling this!”
Kaitlin says some of best guidance she’s found have been in the pages of books.“I love Janet Lansbury’s No Bad Kids, How Eskimos Keep their Babies Warm, The Conscious Parent, The Montessori Toddler and The Last Child in the Woods,” she says.
But at the end of the day, the YGAP co-founder says trusting her gut has been invaluable.“You can spend hours on Google and read all the books but every child is different and you know your child best,” she says.
Kaitlin is now embarking on a new project to support women in their transition to motherhood. “I’ve recently launched Matressence,” she says, “a creative retreat for mamas designed for women who are craving a chance to connect back to themselves after taking on new roles, responsibilities and identities after becoming a mother.”
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