Gratitude and Grace: 5 Surfer Moms on the Magic of Motherhood

Gratitude and Grace: 5 Surfer Moms on the Magic of Motherhood

In honor of Mother’s Day, our Seea family of moms share their proudest moments, their advice, and surprising truths they learned about themselves. 
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For their bottomless love and capacity for giving, Seea loves celebrating moms every chance we get. 

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked a few moms within the Seea family to share their proudest mom moments, their advice for new moms, and surprising truths they learned about themselves. 

Tell us about a moment when you felt proud to be a mom. 
Amanda Chinchelli (Seea founder): Every day. There is no day that goes by that I don’t feel proud. Annabel is so full of light—everyone who looks at her can’t help but smile.

The day that I was the proudest of myself for being a mom was certainly the day she was born. Childbirth is no joke and I am so grateful to my body to have pushed through (literally) a 10-pound baby. Not many people realize how intense and complex that giving birth is and my thoughts go out to all the mommas out there who didn’t have it as smooth as me.

The moment I was the proudest of Annabel, oh that's hard. A very practical moment was that she was pretty much potty trained at 6-months-old. I was feeling awful about the number of diapers disposed of so decided to try the diaper-free technique. We were working at home at the time and it worked great for her and us. We were able to use one-tenth of the diapers we would have, plus Annabel was so happy without diapers.

Lauren L. Hill (eco-feminist, surfer, writer): I think what I feel even more than proudness is gratitude, for a million little things each day: good health, a clean beach to play on, little slobbery kisses. I feel like proudness kind of implies that I have more impact with shaping this little human than I believe I do. They come with their own gifts, needs, and desires and learning a collaborative language around those things is challenging and wonderful; learning who they are.  

Diina Eudaly (sea hippie, beach lover, wave rider): The moments that I birthed my girls are my proudest. My labor with my firstborn was so long and brutal and after 4 hours of intensive pushing, I remember thinking “I’m going to die” the pain was just unbearable. But then something incredible happened, my husband says I transformed from lifeless to a lion. It was as if I saw my place on this earth and my one job was to bring this little soul earth side safely. My second birth was a walk in the park. It’s an incredibly empowering experience. Being able to bring life into this world is very powerful and I’ve never taken it for granted. 

Chrystal Dawn (storyteller, photographer, surfer): Truth is, I have felt proud to be a mother every moment since Kainoa was born. I remember going to recovery about half an hour after he came out, I was gushing with love and pride for him to all the nurses, and haven't stopped since. 

Taylor Amico (firefighter wife, adventurer, surfer): Motherhood is wonderful and so sweet and surreal and, in all honesty, I still can’t believe I’m a mom. It has been a HUGE learning curve having Byron and just such a sweet thing to experience and share with my husband, Caleb! What makes me proud as a mom is to see how this little human of mine already has such a positive impact on the world and has been used in our lives. Byron has had this incredible way of bringing people together and loving everyone he meets. It makes me so proud to share his joyful goofy spirit and to know I had a little part in creating it! 

Lauren L. Hill and her son, "Minnow."

Now that you are a mom, what would you like to thank your own mom for?

Amanda Chinchelli: Her positivity and culture.

Lauren L. Hill: Patience. I couldn't have imagined how much patience parenting requires, especially when sleep deprived. Whoa. 

Diina Eudaly: I would like to thank her for EVERYTHING!!!! My mother is such an incredible human. She gives selflessly and has always provided a safe holding place for all of my family members. We are very close and I tell her everything. She would often tell me “one day you will understand” and it wasn’t until the day that I became a mother that I completely understood what she meant and why she did the things she did. I want to thank her for being the kind and confident amazing woman and mother that she is.

Diinah Eudaly and her daughters.

What advice would you give to your younger mom self?

Amanda Chinchelli: “Worry less!!" Let Annabel fall and get up on her own feet. 

Lauren L. Hill: I'm a very research-y person. This can be helpful, but also unhelpful at times, with something as necessarily intuitive and responsive as mothering. It's all so unique to each mother and baby, and family. In the early days, because we had a very rough—kinda death-defying—pregnancy and premature birth, I was obsessed with getting the perfect 120-degree latch of Minnow's mouth when he was breastfeeding. I kept reading about how crucial it was to assure a wide mouthed latch.

But now I see my friend’s breastfeeding and their babies have these tiny little, barely open mouthed latches. They're doing just fine with milk production and supply. Babies are really smart. Our bodies communicate so beautifully (most of the time). I'd remind myself to trust in that and not let my mind get in the way too much. 

Diina Eudaly: Give yourself grace. Love your body no matter what it looks like and soak up all the moments. Trust and listen to your gut. You were made to do this!

Chrystal Dawn: Ask for help from the start. Do reach out and let others know how they can help you. It really does take a village to raise a child, call on yours. 

Chrystal Dawn and her son, Kainoa.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself after becoming a mom? 

Amanda Chinchelli: That I didn’t really know myself. I thought I was patient, strong and ready to be a mother. It’s hard to describe—as a woman you are born ready to be a mom but never ready enough.

Lauren L. Hill: Sleep deprivation makes me really angry. I've felt rage like I've never felt before. I was totally unprepared for that. I've also been surprised by how fire-like little ones are. You can just get lost staring and observing, soaking up their bone-warming beauty. It's not something I could have understood without experiencing it myself.  

Diina Eudaly: I was surprised by how deeply I could love something so little so instantly and also how insanely worried I became about every little thing.

Chrystal Dawn: That I am a superhero, no joke. That all mindful mothers are. I always appreciated being a woman and becoming a mother has taken that appreciation to surprising new depths. I am amazed by other mothers and my own—the strength, patience, grace and unconditional love that out-pours continuously 24/7 and the quiet, all-consuming, wild and wondrous work of caring for children, bereft of celebration or support day in and day out. 

Taylor Amico: The most surprising thing I learned about myself after I became a mom is how I can’t do it all by myself. I’ve been so humbled realizing my “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality doesn’t work in raising a kid. It takes teamwork and a tribe. I never realized how independent and stubborn I was/am until having Byron! 

Taylor Amico and her son, Byron.

This one is just for you, Amanda! How does it feel to be the mother of Seea?

Amanda Chinchelli: Overwhelming, challenging and awesome. Very similar to having a child.  Sometimes the weight of the responsibility is suffocating and the stress is exhausting but when I look back and see what we’ve built and the beautiful family we’ve created then I feel extremely proud.

Another similarity to parenting a child is that it is so hard to know the right thing to do. Sometimes it is very frightening so I just follow my gut, which in many cases has resulted to not be the most profitable or business-savvy idea. But it feels really good to know that Seea has become an important platform to inspire women.

My hope is that as Seea grows older she can mature to be more independent, efficient, less wasteful and take good care of our people and the earth. Pretty similar desires I have for Annabel. The simple things you know.

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Thank you for this momspiration!

Thank you for this momspiration!

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