Broadcaster Sile Seoige describes motherhood as a simultaneous mix of “magic” and “challenge”.
The 39-year-old is brimming with love this morning as she tells Independent.ie about her eight-month-old son Cathal. A yoga enthusiast, she tries to keep things natural and holistic where she can, she says.
Cathal gets a baby massage every night before bed; and Síle also uses a natural remedy Marimer nasal spray twice a day to help prevent colds.
“You just do your best. Some days you feel like you’re nailing motherhood, other days you feel like you’re making a bit of a mess of it, but I think that’s just the way it is, and you’re kind of just on this constant hamster wheel of feeling like you’re having guilty moments and proud moments, and everything-in-between moments, so you’re just doing your best.”
“I really try and put the phone away when I’m with him. I don’t always succeed, sometimes you have to answer your phone for your work, but I’m really aware that right now I’m trying to limit technology and certainly in the evening, we don’t watch TV anymore, the telly is off. We’re just turning off all stimulus as well when it comes to a certain time of the evening. I rarely have the TV on at home during the day.”
“I don’t know how easy it’ll be going forward because I’ve some friends of mine that swear by things like Baby Einstein on the iPad – that that’s the only thing that keeps them sane and they can get some work done around the house. But we do our best, we’ll try.”
Síle describes her partner Damien O’Farrell as a natural father, and she concedes that for her, like many women, mother guilt is real.
“I just think he was one of those guys who was born to be a Daddy. He’s brilliant. It’s amazing because it’s adding another dimension to your relationship isn’t it. You’re now parents and you’re working together to provide for this little being, and it creates lots of different layers.”
“He’s very hands-on”
“Cathal just goes absolutely nuts when he sees Daddy coming in on the bike around the corner [in the evenings after work] so the reaction says it all. We’re loving it. We’re having the time of our lives you know, it’s hard, jeepers it’s hard, but it’s magic.”
She added: “[Mother guilt is] real… it’s cracked… Mammy guilt doesn’t just kick in when you have a baby. It kind of kicks in when you’re pregnant, from something maybe you might eat and you go, oh should I be eating that, and then you start to feel guilty, it’s crazy.”
“We need to drop it, and I’m constantly having a little inner dialogue with myself when I’m going down that route… It’s real, it’s potent.”
“Keeping it as simple as you can is obviously the best thing [in motherhood], from your food to routine… the simpler we keep things the better it is.”
These days Sile admits that she doesn’t get to practise yoga every day on her mat, but she carries the philosophy with her everywhere she goes.
The yogi added: “Separate to your positions on the mat, yoga is about being aware of your words and actions, and when you feel like you’re getting stressed… the breathing, it all comes back to the breath really and just chilling.”
“Babies are natural yogis aren’t they?,” she muses. “He’s on the floor and I’m looking at him going, if only I was able to do that the way you’re doing it. He’s twisting to the side and the next thing he’s in Cobra and I’m like wow, if only my back would bend like that.”
“I’ll do breathing with [Cathal], and the second he sees it, he’ll smile. He feels more relaxed. He just smiles up at me and he relaxes. He doesn’t quite do the breathing yet but it’s funny how seeing me do it relaxes him.”