Mama & Papa: Carley & Jeremy Mendes
Little ones: Jones Wilder, 2 yrs old & a babe on the way!
We split our time between two places. We spend most of our time in Vancouver, Canada, but our house in the mountains feels more like ‘home’ to us. It’s an off-the-grid place in the remote wilderness a few hours north of Whistler.
I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and I specialize in naturally nourishing mama & baby through fertility, pregnancy, & postpartum. Proper nutrition is essential for both mother and baby, but figuring out what that means can be very confusing and I strive to empower women with knowledge and confidence.
What inspired you to start your business?
As a young teen become fascinated with the effect that nutrition has on our health and functioning, and I’ve always been in absolute awe of a woman during pregnancy. A close friend of mine became pregnant at 16 and she had a health worker visit her to talk about prenatal nutrition. I remember thinking, “Wow, this woman gets to talk about nutrition and be around pregnant women. What a spectacular job.” It really hit me that this would be the most wonderful and fulfilling thing that I could devote myself to. Helping women nourish themselves with proper nutrition when it matters the most.
What are you most passionate about?
The birth of my son deeply reinforced my devotion to help other women thrive during their childbearing years. It wasn’t until I was pregnant myself that I became truly invested in childbirth education. I fully support and encourage any choice a woman makes about the birth of her child, but I often hear about mothers who would have made different choices if only they had known their options. Being fully aware of her options allows a woman to properly make the personal decisions surrounding birth for herself and her baby. I’m all for education and helping women self-advocate… that’s what I’m in it for.
Do you have any hobbies/things you do in your downtime?
Jeremy and I share a love for adventure and the outdoors. We weren’t sure how having a baby would change that, but we’ve been able to include Jones in the things we love. With our trusty Ergo carrier, we’re still able to hike, explore and share that meaningful part of our lives with our son.
How would you describe your parenting style?
I find parenting to be a constant balancing act of pre-planning and going with the flow. Being prepared but rolling with the punches. I knew I’d be teaching my son about life as he grew, but I’m continually surprised to find myself learning and growing as well.
How did becoming a mother change you?
We closely watch and celebrate each time our babies pass a developmental milestone, but as mothers we also have to acknowledge the changes in ourselves. In my son’s short life so far, I’ve become less selfish and much more patient. I really think he’s made me a better person.
What’s the best part about being a mother?
Becoming a mother has helped me understand what’s important and what isn’t. What to fight for and what to let go of. It’s a valuable life lesson that I desperately needed to learn, and I’m not sure anything but motherhood could have truly taught me this. As your priorities shift, the things that were once a concern to you are now seemingly insignificant. “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. This phrase takes on an entirely different meaning once you welcome a child into your life. Part of becoming a mother is realizing all of those clichés are true. “They grow up so fast. Cherish every moment. I didn’t know I could love someone so much.”
Is there anything about motherhood that has surprised you?
I’d been told about the love a mother feels for her child, but something so deep and all consuming can only be experienced, not described. I want to tuck my babies under my wing and keep him safe for all of time, but I’m excited to watch them spread their own wings as well. For now I’ll just breathe in their sticky sweetness as often as I can, knowing it won’t last forever.
Naming your children is always so difficult (or maybe it was just me!) Was it easy to pick your child’s name and why did choose it?
We didn’t find out when I was pregnant with our son, but I was pretty certain we were having a boy. I really couldn’t decide on any boy’s names though! My husband caught him as he entered the world and immediately said “Hey, Jonesy boy”. It wasn’t a name we’d previously discussed, but it stuck! As for baby number two arriving very shortly, I have quite a few girl’s names that I like, but I’m having a hard time with boy’s names again. If it’s a boy, hopefully Jeremy has another surprise name up his sleeve!
Favourite thing to do with your son?
Being a work from home mother is actually quite different than I had envisioned. I had this idea that a baby might quietly play while I worked, but it’s not case! My son is so social and he just loves people. He needs to get out and engage. So I work while he naps and when he’s up we go out on play dates. I’m not quite sure how this dynamic will change with a new baby in the mix… but hopefully we’ll find our flow.
What is the one thing you want to teach your children?
Maintain a positive attitude and a sense of humor. My husband’s sense of humor really drew me to him when we met. He’s hilarious and he keeps me laughing all the time. Now I get to watch our son laugh at him too and he keeps us both in stitches all day. I hope he remembers a lot of laughter and lightness from his childhood.
Have any advice for new mothers?
“It’s never a problem until you think it’s a problem.” And don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. A mother’s intuition is strong… let it be your guiding light.