Motherhood Diaries: Adriana Esperalba
We talk to the mother of two and founder of pioneering Spanish childrenswear brand Bobo Choses to discuss all things motherhood.
Motherhood Diaries is a testament to modern-day parenting; from life-changing tribulations, to joyous milestones - and all the chaotic bits in between. Each month, we’ll uncover a refreshingly honest account from the Liberty community, with the aim to support women who might otherwise feel frustrated, isolated or overwhelmed. Here, we invite all maternal figures to speak openly about their journey to motherhood, find light in each narrative and ultimately, a sense of solidarity.
Mum to Teo and Momo, Adriana Esperalba is the founder and creative director of environmentally conscious children’s label, Bobo Choses. Inviting us to share in her own unique experience of motherhood, Adriana talks openly and honestly about the highs and lows of modern-day parenting, from the awakening of unconditional love to the challenges of being a full-time working mum.
When I was little, I always said I would never get married or have children. Sometimes people laughed at me and said I would be left alone, but being alone was not something that scared me, or so I thought then. I always practiced many sports, played football with the boys, and got along with them well. I didn’t like to wear dresses or play with dolls. I saw motherhood as something I would have to deal with at some point, but I didn’t think much of it. I guess I wanted to show that I was a strong person, and being a mother, a woman, a female, made me vulnerable. How wrong I was! I didn’t consider being a mother until I met my partner and gradually began to feel that I would want to start a family with him one day.
To me, motherhood means love and responsibility. Being a mother is a journey where everything is new, every day and every moment is different. There are moments of great happiness, moments when the journey is more difficult because you are tired and haven’t had much sleep and times when you just don’t know what to do. But that’s what makes it all the more exciting!
Biologically, it is something fascinating; emotionally, it is a roller coaster.
I considered my pregnancies and births as just part of having children, a long process where your body changes completely and you stop being the person you had been before. Biologically, it is something fascinating; emotionally, it is a roller coaster. I did the best I could. I talked to my children when they were in my womb, took care of myself, read some books and attended preparatory classes for childbirth. Everyone glamorises it, but there are lots of hard times too. Thankfully a lot of my friends had recently become mothers and I am also lucky to have a medical father and a nursing mother, all of whom where there to give me advice and guidance.
During both my pregnancies I wanted to eat healthily, take care of myself, play sports, sleep well and be physically fit, but I also worked up until the very last day. The first few months when your body doesn't change much is more manageable and I always felt good health-wise during pregnancy, but as you get to the end, you just want to give birth and your body to go back to normal.
When you are a first-time mother, everyone wants to advise you, but each person is different and has a different experience. Indeed, there were times when I felt this pressure and thought I wasn’t doing well enough because I wasn’t always radiant with happiness, because I decided to give my baby a pacifier when he kept crying, because I breastfed my son until the age of two, or because I took them with me to work.
In Spain, it is not like other European countries where the mother is off for many months after the birth. We haven’t made much progress in this matter, so being a woman, mother, and a worker is not easy. Having your own company helps make schedules more flexible, but you can’t stop working either. With my first child (now 13 years old), my husband and I split the leave by taking two months off each. At that time, I was starting my business, so I couldn’t stop working! Who dares to have children! You want to do everything: be a mother, work, have the perfect house... nonsense! The decision to have children changed my life in every way, personally and professionally, which is why the Bobo Choses project was born with my first child.
Everything is different post-pregnancy. You become a family, and your priorities change. The children go above all else. A few days after having my first child, I thought about how wrong I was when I was a little, about how I thought I might be alone, and about the idea of the “strong woman”. That little person who had come out of me awakened all my unconditional love, and somehow, I relaxed and stopped trying to rationalise everything.
Socially, you end up relating to people who have children because everyone is in a similar situation. Still, we have always tried to keep doing the things we enjoyed doing as a couple with them, such as going hiking, a sushi restaurant, or a concert - my son Teo went to a show of The Cure when he was just three and a half years old. I don't know if that's okay, but I feel like we're more united when we do things because we like to do them, not because it is what's most socially accepted.
Let yourself be carried away by feelings and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
My main goal has always been to be a good mother, and although I don’t always achieve that, there are days when I do pretty well and that comforts me. Listening to them, playing with them, accompanying them in their growth and being by their side when they need me, that is what I try to do best.
If I were to give my younger self one piece of advice it would be to stop wanting everything to be perfect and prove that you are a “strong woman”; you will be doubly frustrated that way. Let yourself be carried away by feelings and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. There is no right or wrong way to do things. Listen to yourself more! Enjoy every moment, kids grow up so fast!