Transcript: Why Building a Strong Support Network is so Vital to New Moms

This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Why Building a Strong Support Network is so Vital to New Moms and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.

Helen Thompson: This is Helen Thompson, thank you for being here today. If you are already subscribed to the show, thank you so much, mums. You always are amazing and if you’re here for the first time, make sure you subscribe to the show. Google Podcasts will shortly be closing permanently, so if you are subscribed via Google, please subscribe via another platform so you don’t miss out on each episode.

You will find First Time Mum’s Chat on all the main platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, as well as now on YouTube.

Today, like in every episode, I’m bringing you an amazing woman, Tessia Watson, the author of the international best selling book, Rejuvenated Mums Make Happy Kids, who shares her journey into parenthood. Tessia is a big advocate for mums to create their support systems to ensure they are well supported and to appreciate that it takes a village to raise a child.

I found this excerpt from one of Tessia’s blog posts really hit the spot and summed up very well for me where she’s coming from. “Birth is like a very big car accident and as soon as this accident is over when the recovering part of the process should begin, you are expected to be the main carer of this tiny human, who was also in a car accident”.

The bottom line is that you can’t do this journey alone.

Now, let’s meet Tessia and get on to the interview.

Hi Tessia and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. I’m really looking forward to chatting with you today. Can you please start by introducing yourself and telling us what inspired you to write your book?

Tessia Watson: First of all, thank you so much for having me today, Helen. This is really an honour to be here with you and I’m very grateful, so thank you. So, my name is Tessia Watson and I am a spiritual teacher, an author, and an entrepreneur and most importantly, I am a mother of two young boys aged 11 years old and 9 years old.

So, when my first baby was around 1 year old, it’s exactly when I started to feel that I needed more time for myself. I was with him 24×7, which was a lot, and I needed some me time. So I started to look around in my area, if I could find anything where I could drop him off for a couple of hours, and just have this precious me time for myself. I couldn’t find anything, nothing where I could drop him off for a couple of hours. I thought it was a win win situation for both of us because he could discover new environment, learn independence and have new friends while, I can have some time for myself.

So that’s when I decided to create my own little crèche and to allow mothers to have that opportunity to just have some rest and why we can take care of their children and I decided as well to write about my journey, my story in my book called Rejuvenated Mums Make Happy Kids, I just share the truth.

This truth that I believe is not told enough, that we can be great moms while taking some time for ourselves, while realizing our dreams growing, expanding. We can be great mums whilst doing those things and I think sometimes we just either forget about it or we just don’t think it’s possible. That’s the message in Rejuvenated Mums Make Happy Kids. It’s just a message to moms to not to forget who they truly are.

Helen Thompson: Yeah in your book you talk a lot about rejuvenation, it’s not just another book about self care and about me time. That’s what I liked about the book when I read it, I thought it was brilliant in that respect.

Tessia Watson: Thank you, yes it’s something that I experienced myself and rejuvenation could be so different from one person to another. For me personally rejuvenation practice is all about feeling new and whole again, so you can find different ways of bringing that into your life.

Meditation was one tool, if we can call it this way, that helped me. Reading as well was another one, when I needed a much needed break, exercise, so that’s more rejuvenation for the body was really, really helpful as well, because I was able to just focus on me, no distraction.

It helped as well with my mind to be just less cluttered, I would say and music. I love to dance and dancing was just therapy. It just made me feel at the time so happy, so excited, so I could go back to that mom life, feeling refreshed, and it was really helpful.

Helen Thompson: I think dancing is a great way of releasing all that energy, but also having me time as well. It’s a great way to do it.

Tessia Watson: Yes, definitely. It worked perfectly for me.

Helen Thompson: Hey mums! Rarely a week goes by when I don’t receive a desperate plea looking for help or ways to help improve the little one’s sleep. I know that it’s common to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and unsupported when you’re getting started as a parent. Newborn sleep is of course something that has been discussed on the podcast in numerous episodes.

I’ve interviewed a number of experts who have shared numerous tips and strategies to help you. I know many of you are time poor and need ideas and suggestions that you can include in your daily routine right now. To help, I’ve put together a quick guide for you. This quick start guide includes tips shared by experts on First Time Mum’s Chat that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine to help save you time, sanity and stress Just go to to get your quick guide,

I also noted in your book that you have lots of different quotes. There was one particular quote, Eric Hoffer and his quote, I’m just reading it here, to learn you need a certain degree of confidence, not too much and not too little and if you have too little confidence, you will think you can’t learn. I thought that was fantastic because I talk a lot about that with baby massage and I think it’s wonderful.

Tessia Watson: Yes, I love as well this quote and It’s very true. Some mothers sometimes just feel that they don’t need to know more about it probably because they’ve had quite a nice upbringing but when you close that door of learning more, you just have less opportunities to make progress because we can always be better than where we are now or what we are now. So when you open that door of self education and growing as a parent, wow, you will just witness beautiful results and that’s what I did. I had a beautiful upbringing but I just wanted to be more, to be even a greater mom than my mom was to me. She was a great, great mom.

That was my objective and I knew that learning from people that have been there before me, learning about their mistakes, learning about their triumphs. would definitely put me in that place of being better than I am and that’s absolutely what I’ve done. What I loved about it is the confidence I had when situations were occurring, I was just relaxed because I knew in advance how I could handle that situation. If I give an example, I remember the time when my first one had a tantrum in a supermarket and I’ve learned about that before, so when the situation occurred, I was like, okay, whoa, I didn’t know that it would be like so loud and so crazy but I stayed so calm, so centered and patient as well with my child, just because I had the knowledge ahead. So I was able to really manage and handle the situation, meaning remaining very, very patient and calm with him.

Even when we were out of the supermarket, I just talk nicely to him and say that I understand his frustration, but it’s something that I couldn’t give him and I’m not, you know, let it go just because he’s losing it in terms of his emotions. I was so proud of myself these days because I didn’t lost it. I was in charge and it was a success. This was thanks to learning, because I’ve learned about tantrum before it happened for my child, so I was just aware of it. When you get this awareness, it just makes your life so much easier, so much more peaceful and you feel that you are in control.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, it’s interesting you say that you learned from other mums and learning how to build that confidence because every mum goes through it in a different way, but learning and observing what other people do and then taking it on board and learning for yourself builds up your confidence.

Completely. To be a better mum or be, yeah. So what would you say was one of the biggest learnings as a mother of two that you would share with mums who are commencing or about to commence their parenting journey?

Tessia Watson: For me, the biggest thing that is life changing, literally, is to build or create your support system. As soon as you know that you’re pregnant and motherhood is your journey, you have to create or build your support system because you can’t go in that journey alone. So either with your partner, or if you have your family, that’s brilliant, but sometimes it’s not the case. Sometimes you don’t have your family around you, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you reach out to people, even before the baby is born, to just make sure, okay who can help me if I need any help in terms of childcare or in terms of if I need emotional support as well? Who can support me, who can help me and you really need to plan ahead because when you are in it, you can still reach out and I hope you will do and I highly recommend parents to do that, but I didn’t and because I didn’t, I suffered because there was no one to rely on to help me, to support me and I didn’t even know that I could have someone.

So there are lots of professionals in this world, for us to help us, but sometimes they just don’t come to you, you have to go to them and for me, it’s the most important thing. These proverbs, these African proverbs that says it takes a village to raise a child. It’s absolutely true. The child cannot just rely on the mother, because if it’s the case, then it’s too draining, it’s too tiring for just one person to be there 24×7 for the baby. So it’s something that mother has to keep in mind, it’s very, very important. That’s, I would say, the most important thing and when you want to still have time for yourself, you need the support system. Without it, you’re just going to be always with your baby all the time. So it’s gonna be too difficult at some point to just find yourself, be with yourself.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, you said at the beginning that you set up a creche. Did that help? Did that give you any support that you felt that you needed or was it too difficult not having that time to yourself?

Tessia Watson: It was very difficult because I was just losing myself. I was not able to remember who I was. I was just mom, every single day. I’m not saying that I didn’t love it. I absolutely love it, but I love myself as well. I love being with my friends as Tessia and not always all through the day just being mom, mom, mom. So, it has been difficult for me to not be able to do things that I would have loved to do while I was taking care of them full time and it could have been different if I had the awareness that people outside can help me and just being willing to just reach out. It would have been so much different.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, because I know the chapter in your book is about staying at home as a working mum. That must be very hard if you’re staying at home, working and you’re on your own. It must be a hard thing to do, so are there any tips you’d give to a mum in that respect?

Tessia Watson: It would be the same thing, the support system. If you need a nanny, if you need a babysitter, if you need a maternity nurse, whatever it is you need, the solution is outside, waiting for you.

Helen Thompson: I can relate to that one, cause I think a lot of mums don’t want to ask because they feel that they need to do it themselves, that they’re supposed to be this super mum that can do it without support.

Tessia Watson: Yes, but the super mom is the mom who knows she needs to be in top of her shape, mentally, emotionally, physically, for her children and to do that, you need people to help you with your children, because it’s impossible to have all the energy required and being so emotionally stable and mentally stable when you’re tired all the time. It’s impossible, you’re just so tired.

So we all know what does it feel when we’re so tired. We get frustrated lot, lot quicker, lot quicker. We can lose it really fast, we all know this. So to avoid that is to avoid being tired and how do you do this? By delegating, by accepting support and even if you don’t know that person, nowadays we have this recommendations system where you can check the references, and you can hear from other mothers how great is the person and this is something that can make you feel more comfortable with the idea. All the moms will tell you how that person was with their own children. So you can trust.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, I can definitely relate to that because I do nanny work and babysitting myself and I get a lot of recommendations from mums, but I guess if you’re a first time mum, it’s hard for you to give your child to somebody else to look after, because you’re so close to that child and you’ve bonded with that child, and you find it hard to think that somebody else can look after that child better than you can.

Tessia Watson: It’s not about that. I understand that because I felt that as well, but when the person comes in and you start to bond with that person, you easily start to feel absolutely comfortable with the idea of leaving your child with that person because now the person is part of the family, and you just trust the person. Yes, you don’t trust at first, but after one, two, three, four weeks, you start to feel that, oh, you know what, it’s okay. It’s okay to leave the baby two hours with her, or whatever. There is no pressure in it. You just do it the way it works for you. So if it takes three weeks, a month, a month and a half we’re all different and that’s not a problem. I really think that they need to consider it that option because it’s an option that will help them connect with themselves and just be able to do things that they love to do as well.

So it’s not something that you have to do straight away, like, oh, I just had the baby and I need to, no you can take your time with it and I’m sure the right person will come in and with time you will trust that person and you will be comfortable with this idea and you will start to enjoy doing things that you used to enjoy before becoming a mom.

Helen Thompson: I think it’s also about trusting your intuition when you’re interviewing that person too. When that person arrives in your house, you know within yourself if that person’s right, and if you really trust in your own intuition And vice versa with the person, the nanny or the babysitter, they can pick that up as well, pick up that energy and you can sense if the person’s right for you or not.

Tessia Watson: I agree completely. Sometimes we just put that aside, intuition, which sometimes brings so much results when we just rely on it so I agree definitely with you. You feel it, it’s the same when you choose a school for your children, you just get in, you just feel that, oh, this is the right one. So, we need to trust more our, intuition and our feelings.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, and I think for a mum who’s just had a baby, it takes time for her to trust that intuition. Would you agree with that?

Tessia Watson: Yes, I definitely agree. This little one is just a miracle. So precious, it’s not that easy to let it go.

Helen Thompson: Thank you so much for being on here this evening my time and morning your time. Is there any other tip that you would like to pass on to a first time mum?

Tessia Watson: So, you said what would be my two biggest lessons. So the first one was this support system. The second one is self education and continuing and learning. You can do that through podcasts, books as well, watching videos, you have as well parenting support groups on different social media and I think this is the best way to be the best version of yourself as a mother. self education. Knowing and knowing more, it’s not only gathering the knowledge, but it’s applying the knowledge because the intention is to change the end results, right? So, you gather that knowledge, you apply the knowledge, and then you see changes happening, occurring, and then that’s when you learned.

Helen Thompson: Thank you for all your inspiration. It’s brilliant to hear a mum saying that, because I think it’s so important.

Tessia Watson: Yes, it is.

Helen Thompson: So if anybody wants to find out about you, or find out how to get in touch with you, how would they go about doing that? How can they find your book?

Tessia Watson: It’s on Amazon, so they can easily find it there. The book is called Rejuvenated Mums Make Happy Kids.

Helen Thompson: And are you on Instagram or anything?

Tessia Watson: Yes, Tessia Watson on Instagram, on Facebook, on LinkedIn as well.

Helen Thompson: Okay, well thank you so much for being here.

Tessia Watson: Thank you so much for having me, Helen. Thank you so much.

Helen Thompson: Thanks mums, you are amazing and I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you hit the subscribe button because in the next episode I’m chatting with Emily Miotto about her experience of postpartum depression and how she healed herself by connecting with her intuition and inner wisdom.