Vanessa Rivera is a mother to 3 beautiful children, but she’s also a writer. On her blog, The Life of AIVAX, she captures various moments of motherhood and distills them into beautifully-written poetic prose. She also manages to balance her family life and her writing without caffeine coursing through her veins—props to you, Vanessa.
Below, we learnt more about Vanessa’s daily rituals, like how diffusing lavender in her son’s room at night soothes him to sleep. Or, how she and her husband go straight into binge-watching-mode to decompress after their little ones are down. When asked about the hardest part of motherhood, Vanessa admitted it’s wondering if you’re doing your job well enough, then added: “…the reality is that we’re all great mothers and we just need to remind ourselves that every now and then.” That’s some advice we could all heed a little more often, don’t you think?
What are the daily rituals that keep you grounded when things get chaotic?
Using my lavender essential oils throughout the day, whether in baths, the diffuser or applying it to our clothing or bedding. Eating at least one sweet, usually a piece of chocolate. And lastly, keeping the kitchen clean. Seeing the kitchen clean makes me feel put together.
Tea or coffee?
Neither, but I’ll take an ice-cream shake any day!
How has becoming a mom changed your outlook on the products you use for your children, your home and yourself?
Becoming a mother has definitely made me more aware of the world around us and all the harmful chemicals we are exposed to daily. As a mother, I feel it is my duty to protect my children as best possible from these, so I have definitely become more cautious with the products I use on my children, at home, and myself.
My go-to dinner would definitely be baked salmon. It takes about three minutes to prep, it’s done in twenty minutes, and it’s very nutritious! I usually pair it with baked asparagus and red potatoes. I’m not a great cook, so I love healthy meals that don’t require too much effort and anything that’s pretty much impossible for me to burn!
What object/space in your home is most special to you?
My bedroom! It’s where I gave birth to my youngest son. It’s where my husband and I binge on Game of Thrones and a million other shows after the kids go to bed. It’s where my kids and I cuddle every morning before starting our day. It’s where I’ve breastfed all my children, day and night. It’s where we play hide-n-go-seek. It’s also the quickest room to clean, so that’s a plus!
Hardest part of being a mom?
I think the hardest part of being a mom is wondering if you’re doing your job as a mother well enough or not. As a mother of three, it’s really hard to balance everything, especially giving affection and one-on-one time to all three equally or sufficiently. I think it’s an insecurity many mothers have, but the reality is that we’re all great mothers and we just need to remind ourselves that every now then.
Best part of being a mom?
The best part of being a mom is the unconditional love our kids have for us. I mean they literally love us no matter what. They don’t care if you didn’t do your hair, if you can’t keep a tune, if your socks don’t match. They just love you and think you are the funniest, most beautiful person in the world, and that is the best feeling in the world.
Favourite essential oil and why?
My favorite essential oil is hands down lavender. Life as a stay at home mom to three little ones and one fur baby is definitely chaotic, but using lavender has been a game changer for our home. Especially to calm our two-year-old’s aggressive behaviour and night terrors. Since we’ve started using lavender, his attitude has mellowed out dramatically and he is so much more at peace with himself and everyone around him. We love lavender!
How do you weave essential oil products into your day?
As I mentioned earlier, I use essential oils for everything now. I use them for baths with the kids and myself. I use them when we are sick. I use them with my son every night to help him sleep. I use them when I’m stressed or need to re-energize myself. I pretty much live by essential oils now.
“Happiness isn’t found, it’s created.” – unknown
Photos by Vanessa Rivera