Here I am with my mom Myrna on the front steps of my childhood home in San Diego. I am about the same age that my daughter Mia is now (clearly I had a love of accessories even then). Motherhood has been a whirlwind for me. When my son Luca was only 6 days old, she was diagnosed with cancer and she passed away a short 3 months later. It was a cosmic nightmare… tending to a little newborn baby while also tending to my mom as she became more ill and frail. Changing his diaper. Changing her diaper. Becoming a mother and losing my mother in the same moment in life was a true test. She was my best friend and my rock. When I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I actually freaked. I wanted another boy. Having a girl meant that I’d only ever get to be the ‘mother’ and I’d never get to be the ‘daughter’ anymore in a mother-daughter relationship. In a sad and selfish way, I wanted someone to coddle me, to nurture me, and to tend to me in a way that only my own mother could. The emotions got all tangled inside of me. But now that I’m on the other side of it, I love having a daughter. I see so much of my mom in Mia. All the best of her - her sense of humor, her strength, her flair, her confidence. It’s truly a beautiful full circle.

These days being a mom has taken on a whole new meaning. Like many women I know, I'm wearing more hats than usual (WFH, playtime, homeschool, cooking, cleaning, etc). It's deepened my appreciation for my mom, for all of my normal support systems - family, teachers, caregivers, friends - as well as shown me how deep my own inner strength is as I navigate being a business owner + mother in this new landscape. There are definitely moments I want to pull my hair out, but when I feel my emotional temperature starting to boil, I try to check myself and focus on how fortunate I am to be healthy and safe when so many aren't. I try to flip the narrative in my mind to be how lucky I am to have this intimate time with my family, to have food security, and to have a career that affords me the flexibility to work from home. And when I reach that point in the day where I need some space, you better believe I'm not above shoving a screen in their hands.

These are the two I do it for, today and always.

xo Ariel

Photo by the lovely & talented Jen Siska for Mother Mag.

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