For those of you that have been Chasing Unicorns Goddesses from the start, you will know that we have long adored the beautiful Montana Lower. Her infectious laugh, sparkly smile, intelligence, and values make her not only the most perfect Chasing Unicorns model but a life long friend! You may have noticed that for the last little while Montana's incredible beauty has not graced our pages…and all for good reason…she has been focused on far bigger things! Montana and her partner Tom recently welcomed their very first baby girl, Blue Valerie into this world and became the sweetest little family of 3.
The magical transition into motherhood is one we know well at Chasing Unicorns…many of us are mothers multiple times over…but nothing is ever quite as incredible (or overwhelming) as that moment you become a mother and family for the very first time. We wanted to share with you a little Montana, Tom and Blue’s journey, ideals and future insights as a way of celebrating this extraordinary gift of new life and parenthood xxx
Tell us a little about Tom, Baby Blue and your transition into becoming a mother and family.
I think I definitely underestimated the complete mind-body-soul initiation of motherhood. Before this, I think I naively thought of it as mostly a physical thing… But throughout my pregnancy, it's as if I could feel my entire self being reprogrammed and every day it felt like I was surrendering deeper and transforming into the mother Blue needed me to be. I couldn't feel luckier to be so held by Tom at this time. Through all the crazy changes happening, I could always come home to him - in every sense. And Blue? It just feels like she has always been here.
You are an advocate for a more sustainable lifestyle, talk us through some of the ways you have combined this ethos with parenthood?
I think sustainability becomes more about conscious living… In our modern world, there are a lot of things people will tell you you 'need' to have a baby, but we're really into getting back to our primal instincts, and for us, that's about living as simple and no-fuss as possible. We don't have any fancy gadgets or flash clothes, she lives in hand me downs, looks at the tree's for entertainment and relies on my body for anything else she may need. Soon we will move into a bus and re-wild ourselves even further as we travel around Australia. I have dreams of holding her against my chest in her little pouch as I work with the land in community gardens and Tom goes out fishing for the day, we come home and cook on a fire and just live a very slow, connected, purposeful life for as long and as much as we can.
Has your mindset around work, self, and life changed since pregnancy, birth and now in becoming a parent?
Completely. The transformation to becoming a mother has brought me closer to my values than ever before. I feel like having a baby has allowed me to really work on my inner child and unapologetically chase what truly makes me happy. I used to really struggle with balance (at times I still do). But where I once used to spend 12 hour + days working towards my dreams, barely stopping to eat or do anything for myself - now there's no option for that! Looking after her forces me to look after myself and it's something I thank her for every day.
What have been some of the greatest learnings from your journey into motherhood?
Patience and Surrender. I'm a Taurus... A very hot-headed, fast-paced, passionate Taurus - haha! I always joke that Blue (and Tom) have come into my life to really teach me how to squeeze the joy out of every moment. Slowing down is a work in progress, but we're getting there.
We talk a lot about being present – but in this super-connected world, it can be hard. How do you make a conscious effort to be present?
This might sound like a weird one... But nothing has made me more present than practicing 'elimination communication'/ EC... It's a process of looking for signs from your baby that they need to go to the toilet and then putting them over a potty (or the grass, ha!) when they need to go instead of them learning to go in their diaper. We heard about it just before Blue was born and decided to give it a go and honestly, I completely underestimated how much it would increase our connection. Blue is 2 months old and we now generally use one nappy a day (and have only had to change a poopy diaper twice!).
Best ever advice you’ve been given about motherhood?
"Pregnancy will make you the mother you need to be."
And also, my favourite excerpt from 'The Tao of Motherhood' -
"A mother who gives herself completely to her infant meets herself in the dark and finds fulfillment. In the hours between midnight and dawn, she crosses the threshold of self-concern and discovers a Self that has no limits. A wise mother meets this Presence with humility and steps through time into selflessness. Infants know when their mothers have done this, and they become peaceful."
Do you feel that it is important for you to champion women and mothers in the workplace?
It's EVERYTHING. Mothers are people and people need purpose. Of course, raising children is part of our purpose, but for myself and many women, we need something outside of that too. I feel social media and development of acceptance of children in the workplace has empowered many mothers to be able to work close to their children, which I believe is the ultimate goal. The less apologising we have to do for our babies and the more compassion we can have to celebrate this unique situation the better.
What is one thing you wish pre-parent you knew about?
How important it is to rest and absorb the miracle creating life is after having a baby. Thankfully, this was drilled into me while I was pregnant and is something I really attribute arriving in my new role so gently to. But I wish I knew before so that I could have supported mothers around me more in their postnatal period. Luckily there are many more babies to be had around me yet to make up for it!
What have been some of your greatest learnings from this journey into motherhood?
Our babies are often a mirror to what is happening inside of us. This is sometimes too brutally honest and can be hard to swallow - but I feel is something nature has divinely designed to ensure we continue to take care of ourselves, even when it feels impossible.