Natalie is the founder of Miracle Mama, a community for Mums of miracles with special needs. She is an inspiring and dedicated woman who is helping other Mums on their journey.
Here is her story...
Tell us about your family?
We are a tribe of 4 with myself, my husband Mauro and two of our most precious creations Grace (7) and Chiara (4) based Melbourne.
We are lovers of nature, travel and the outdoors. I met Mauro studying Naturopathy, it was literally love at first sight. He woo’d me with Italian cooking, coffee and his grounded spirit.
Can you tell us a little about Miracle Mama and how you started this community?
It all started with a blog I created Chiara’s Journey a while after Chiara was diagnosed. It helped me track all of her appointments, therapies and progress, not to mention my thoughts. Chiara was only 5 months old when we were told she had a stroke and as a result was diagnosed with a serious brain injury, that was thought to impede her ability to ever walk, talk or live a long life.
My writing began to reach special needs mums from around the world through email, blogging, articles via HuffPost, Facebook etc. So after years of replying to mama’s who had read one of my articles and connected to it, I decided to create an online space specifically for mums who are raising children with additional needs.
So Miracle Mama is like an extension of my first blog, but with wings to expand and help reach more mums in need. There is something so incredibly healing to come together as women, and in our case, women of special needs children and support one another.
Around this time, I also won a business scholarship which helped me gain more education around starting an online business, as well as training to be a life coach. With yoga and meditation backgrounds, I also wanted to infuse a lot of self care tools into the website.
How do you get through self doubt?
Allowing it to pass. Initially I had a lot of self-doubt, especially when I first became a mother. It’s a huge transition for any woman and this day and age with so much information at your finger-tips, along with the highlight reals of social media, it’s easy to think you’re stuffing it all up!
After my second daughter was diagnosed I learnt very quickly to rely on my intuition more than ever.
I certainly don’t doubt myself like I used to, that’s one of the blessings that Chiara has taught me, life is too fleeting and precious. We have to become very resourceful when life throws extreme challenges our way, and self-doubt is counter intuitive to that.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your journey as a Mum and a special needs Mum?
As a mum: To slow down more, if I knew just how fast time travelled when raising children I would have taken a lot more time to just stop and connect. To celebrate all the milestones more, which in hindsight were incredible miracles!
As a special needs mum: To be honest I don’t think anything could have helped me at the start of the journey. I was so overwhelmed, I cried lots and it took me such a long time to come to terms with her diagnosis.
Perhaps if I had the strong belief that I have now, at the start of the journey that ‘anything is possible, with love, hope and courage’ it would have been a huge help! But I think we come to these internal realisations after living through the journey, grief and all.
Lastly to prioritise my self care, so I could continue to show up in the best version of myself at every stage of my motherhood journey. It took me a while to learn this lesson, too much mama guilt, until I was in hospital for my second hernia operation (that could have been prevented had I attended all the physiotherapy, yoga, Pilates sessions doctors recommended). I realised that unless I looked after myself with the same love and care as I did my kids, I would be heading for burnout).
For Mums and families who are struggling how can they connect with you?
I have also created a closed FB group for mum’s ‘The Miracle Project – Miracle Mama’s where we all support one another.
I’ll be hosting some upcoming workshops for special needs mums in Melbourne, stay tuned as all details will be on the website.
Aside from that I can always be contacted through my website Miracle Mama.
What are your dreams for the future?
That my daughters Chiara and Grace know at the core of their being, they are loved, brave and whole. My dream is that they both live to their full potential in this lifetime. I also dream that all families who are raising miracles with additional needs, that they have all the support they need to live a life beyond their wildest dreams.
I'm in the final round for the Australia's Ausmumpreneur Awards. I would love your support in casting a vote for me here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ausmum17. You can find me under the 'Influencer' category.
Voting takes less than 30 seconds!