Our next featured mom, Flavia Bates, is a mom-to-be and expecting her first baby girl in June. Originally from São Paul, Brazil, she shared some of her favorite memories of her own mother and how becoming a mom has shifted her perspective.
First off, you truly are glowing. How do you manage to look so amazing throughout your pregnancy?
“Haha, thank you! I have been incredibly lucky because I’ve had a really easy pregnancy and that’s helped a lot. Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve always tried to stay as active as I can and keep a healthy diet, especially since I know this baby gets all her nutrients from what I eat. I can’t seem to say no to ice cream though.”
No one should ever have to say no to ice cream! Now, as a mom-to-be, what do you think will be the hardest part about being a mom once your little girl is born?
“There are so many scary things happening in today’s world. I think the hardest thing is to think that no matter how much I try to protect her, there are always going to be things happening around her that are outside of my control.”
It’s only natural to worry and want to protect your child from anything and everything. What do you think will be the best part about being a mom?
“Oh, I’m sure there will be so many things but I think simply being able to show her the world and sharing so many of her first experiences will be super exciting.”
Having a child brings about so many firsts and new memories, it’s an exciting time. Speaking of memories, when you think back to time spent with your own mom, what’s one of your favorite memories with her?
“The first time my mom came to the U.S., she had just retired after working her whole life. She had never had the opportunity to travel abroad in the past. We went to New York City, just the two of us. It was Christmas time, so the city was beautifully decorated for the holidays. It was amazing showing her everything and just seeing her so happy. She still says that was the best Christmas of her life.”
Christmas in New York is unforgettable. What an incredible time to have spent with your mom. If you could only use five words to describe your mom, what would you choose?
“She’s caring. Wherever she goes, she captivates people because she truly cares about their lives and what’s going. She’s a great listener and always has the best advice. She’s also super energetic and can’t sit still. I have no idea how she can possibly have so much energy, but she does.
I would also say sensitive, she seriously cries about everything. My mom is also incredibly intelligent. She can talk to anyone about anything and is constantly trying to learn more about the things she doesn’t know. And young—regardless of her age, she has a very young soul and open mind. She looks great for her age too!”
She sounds like so much fun to be around and an ideal role model for any girl (especially her future granddaughter). How has your mom been a model of strength in your own life?
“My mom has always been a great example for me because even though she was a working mom, she always made herself present in all the moments in our lives. As I grew up, I became aware of all the hardships she went through raising me and my brothers but she never allowed any of that to affect us— we had such a great childhood.
I don’t recall ever being in a stressful environment. She always made sure we had all the resources we needed to thrive and be happy. I don’t know how she did it but I hope to be able to do the same with my daughter.”
I think all of us feel that way about our moms. Their strength, willingness to support, and just overall resilience is inspiring. Do you think it’s easier or harder to be mom now versus when your mom was raising you in Brazil? Or, are there any differences in the way you’ll raise your daughter here versus back home?
“It’s definitely harder now. As much as the internet and other technologies have made life easier, they’ve also added a new set of challenges to parenting.
“I don’t think that being a mom in the U.S. will affect the kind of mom that I want to be, especially when comparing it back to raising a child in Brazil. But it is definitely important to be able to pass my culture onto my daughter so that she can be proud to be Brazilian.”
If you could only say one thing to your mom, what would you say?
“She’s the one person who has given me life and has always given unconditional love, so I truly hope I can be to my daughter what my mom is to me. I would also tell her she was right about me only understanding some things when I became a mother.”
Final question. What would you be willing to give up in life, just to be a mom?
“I feel like even though she’s not here yet I have already had to give up so many things. I’m sure there will be many more but I think being selfless is such an important part of being a mom and I wouldn’t change anything. I know it is all going to be worth it.”
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