Changing the Narrative When It Comes to Pregnancy
Welcome to another episode of the Messy Mom Podcast. We are both here but we are not learning about Cari (or Bailey) this time. This week, we are bringing in guest, Marnie Madras, a mother of four residing in Toronto, Canada, and the founder of Rumbly, a subscription box designed specifically for moms.
It’s no secret that pregnancy and motherhood can be incredibly challenging, and we often feel like everything is centered around the baby. That’s why Marnie is here to share her insights on changing the narrative when it comes to pregnancy. She’ll offer some interesting points that will make you have that “aha!” moment.
Join us as we discuss topics such as motherhood and entrepreneurship, the neglect of women’s needs during pregnancy, the transitions of motherhood, and of course, Rumbly. So sit back, relax, and enjoy reading this conversation with Marnie.
Balancing Motherhood and Entrepreneurship
We start off our conversation with a chat about the chaos of having kids and being an entrepreneur.
As Marnie points out being a mom of 4 kids, “It is so much chaos. It’s wild. Like at any moment, 1000 things are going on while 1000 things are going on in your mind. But it’s fun and it’s amazing. I embrace it. It’s great. I love it.”
Then she also sprinkles being an entrepreneur right on top.
Cari agrees with Marnie and touches on the challenges of finding balance. She notes that while some of our friends are corporate moms who work in an office and others stay at home, we fall somewhere in the middle. For her, the most challenging part is trying to be happy in that middle zone of, “I want to be present and here for all of my children. But we are entrepreneurs, so it never stops. You kind of have to be everything for everyone and your business, and it’s a lot.”
However, Marnie offers a different perspective, pointing out that much of the chaos is a matter of perception. That often, your partner or children do not see or understand the mental and emotional load you are carrying. She says, “My kids don’t see chaos at all. They don’t see what you’re going through and they don’t see your mind constantly spinning, things twirling and the whole mental load, and my partner doesn’t see that. He deals with and operates in his own way. And, again, I’m going to go back to saying even that mental load adds so much of the chaos. It’s all in me and my perception that I see it.”
Prioritizing Women During Pregnancy
This brought our conversation to a startling statistic she shared: “83% of women feel they are not the priority in pregnancy.” And prompted our first question, as we asked her to elaborate on this and provide her thoughts on why this needs to be changed.
Marnie explains that women go through an incredible amount of change during pregnancy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This period of change is known as matrescence, which refers to the transition to motherhood.
Note: If you think it sounds a lot like adolescence, it does, as both represent a period of significant change. However, as Marnie points out adolescence involves the transition from childhood to adulthood and matrescence involves the transition from “you-hood” to motherhood. And while adolescents receive a lot of support, awareness, and preparation, women going through matrescence have very little.
What she found was that “Women feel in this time, the majority of women, that they’re not the priority of pregnancy. And there’s this narrative that we have in pregnancy that really puts women second to baby. Our priority is the health, development, and wellness of baby. So, whether it’s doctors, family, friends, ‘how’s baby, how’s baby, how’s baby’ and her herself, the second you find out you’re pregnant, you start prioritizing everything you do for your baby.”
Marnie continues, “If we don’t kind of flip that narrative to start prioritizing the woman more in her pregnancy and that she doesn’t start prioritizing herself more, we’re going to continue to see many scary statistics in maternal mental health and continue to hear several really sad stories, with even worse outcomes.”
So, the way you start this journey matters, it impacts everything that comes after it and those early years of motherhood. When a woman does not prioritize herself during this astronomical period of change, the outcome can be much harder than it needs to be or currently is.
Remember, motherhood is a series of constant transitions which start as soon as your journey begins. And as Marnie tells us, “But then there is a period where you will inevitably become a bigger part of your story again. So when you kind of cast yourself aside, and you’re all about your baby, your child, your growing teenager, or whomever, you’re gonna take a stronger role again and be able to look at your life and be like, ‘whoa, what happened to me? Where am I? What do I like? What do I do? What I want to do?’ Where that self-reflection point will come back inevitably at some point and if we don’t try to prioritize ourselves at the beginning of the journey it’s gonna be a lot harder when that moment hits and when you’re like ‘Oh hey me. Okay who am I, what happened.’ So for me, with that statistic I wouldn’t feel that they’re not a priority, it’s like, it’s really when this starts and they have to continue to prioritize themselves because they do matter in this whole journey that forever for the rest of their lives.”
Navigating the Changes of Motherhood
That led us right to our next topic, where Cari asked Marnie, what her advice was for moms who are trying to navigate those ups and downs through all these stages and changes?
And Marnie has a few tips.
- Awareness. It’s important to know what’s happening. When we go into anything blindly and unprepared, the outcome will be reflective of that. It’s 100% normal to experience changes, transitions, and shifts in identity during this period, and know that you are not alone. Every woman goes through this phase, and each person’s experience of the transition to motherhood may differ.
- Grounding yourself. You have to stay connected to who you are. It’s continuing to do the things that have always brought you joy. So yes, some modifications may be required, but you can still be you, go through all this change, and continue to do the things that make you feel like you.
- Don’t do this alone. Talk, share, and listen. You can do this with a friend, community, neighbor, cousin, podcast, or Rumbly. The journey can be incredibly lonely, scary, frustrating, mournful, long, hateful, and confusing. But it can also be amazing and magical. So, it’s important to find your place in your people of connection. Whether that’s new or from your past, find someone who’s got your back, that comes at you judgment-free, who just gets it and is there for both the highs and lows because there can be extremes on both levels.
- It’s a stage. You’ve probably heard that before that everything is a stage and whatever you’re feeling or experiencing won’t last forever. But through those intense highs and extreme lows, you will hold on to those great ones and ultimately the harder ones will fade. Now, it’s a matter of time, you’ve got to give yourself grace and be present as much as you can.
Bailey related with what Marnie said about making sure that you are staying true to yourself and trying to do things that you enjoyed even before you were pregnant because for her, as a first-time mom, that was really challenging, especially in the beginning, postpartum period.
And some of the best advice that Marnie received was, “Once you have this baby, make sure every day you do at least one thing for yourself. That’s totally selfish. And it doesn’t have to be big, it can be walking to get a coffee or It could be strolling TikTok if that’s your thing. Whatever it is, do one thing for yourself every day, because that will make a huge difference.”
When you stop doing the things that make you feel like you, it makes a big impact.
Shoulds & Shouldn’ts
The last point reminded Cari of how we got started. During Cari’s second pregnancy, exercise was an essential part of her daily routine that made her feel normal. However, she was told that she shouldn’t continue with weight training, which had been a significant part of her life for years. Being asked to give up something that was so important was taking away a significant piece when she probably needed it the most.
Marnie found this interesting because as a mom now, she is constantly throwing those words around to her children, ‘should and shouldn’t.’ You should do this, shouldn’t do that, etc.
She explains, “You hear that as a child, then you grow up and you just do your own thing. Then you become pregnant. It’s like, you’re back to, ‘you should do this and you shouldn’t do that’. And then as a mom, it’s like, ‘I should do this, but I probably shouldn’t do that’. Then you spend the rest of your life like that, but we have these golden years of like, that just stops. But we start out that way and then we get all this control in our lives. Then the second we become a mom again, that comes back. It’s this constant series of shoulds and shouldn’ts and navigating that is super hard.”
Pregnancy Experience Impacts Postpartum
Bailey posed the next question, which asked for Marnie’s thoughts on the statement, “Your experience in pregnancy also impacts your postpartum period as well, especially in motherhood.”
Marnie agreed 100%. She says, “As mentioned before, the way you start this journey matters. Pregnancy is a period that is so often overlooked in the whole journey. We’re hearing a lot now about fertility and we’re hearing a lot about postpartum. And it’s amazing, but pregnancy is like this shadow in the center that’s not getting that much of attention. And it really needs to be because this is a critical moment in a woman’s journey where if we can start this out again, as I refer to this as changing the narrative and prioritizing the health and well-being of the transitioning woman during pregnancy. Then I truly believe women will experience a better, easier, and smoother transition to motherhood.”
We couldn’t agree more.
What is Rumbly
This segmented nicely into the next question, where Cari asked Marnie to share the story behind Rumbly and how it started.
According to her, she considers Rumbly as her fifth baby, and it initially started as a loose concept. She has always been bouncing back and forth between being an entrepreneur and corporate. So, starting her own business was not entirely new to her. But during her pregnancy, she realized that she absolutely loved being pregnant, which unfortunately is not the case for the majority of women. This realization pained her because she believed it was the most magical and incredible time, and she wondered why others didn’t feel the same way.
So that’s when she decided, how can she change that and help more women.
Then amidst her loving being pregnant, she would go into periods of postpartum. She would have dips in mood and she never understood why because she loved being pregnant, she loved being a mom and everything was great. Then after she had third, she took some time to really dig into it, where she realized, she lost Marnie in the process of becoming a mom.
As she puts it, “I went into motherhood a really strong and confident woman. Like again, multifaceted and multi-passionate. I had strong, corporate career aspirations. I was traveling all the time. I was very social and I knew who Marnie was. Then when I became a mom, I became identified as a mom and no longer Marnie. And that was among my partner, colleagues, family, friends, it was like, ‘Hey mama’, and I’d raise my hand and be like, ‘No, Marnie, like I still exist.’ So that feeling paired with the fact that I actually love being pregnant, I knew that I had to do something in that space. And where I came to was Rumbly.”
So, Rumbly is a tool to help you achieve the dream pregnancy that you want and that you hope it would be. It’s really rooted in identity, and womanhood but mixing it in a fun way. It offers monthly subscription boxes and themed gift boxes (a great gifting solution!) that are for the woman you are and the mom you’re becoming. Which helps bridge identity, bring support, and bring celebration to the whole experience of motherhood. Women are encouraged to invest in themselves and prioritize self-care once again.
The items can help make the journey more enjoyable, easier, and fun. There is a lot that goes into the thinking behind every item that’s included in every box. You are going through a crazy amount of physical transformation, of mental transformation of growing and changing in every way and you need more support. And Rumbly believes that you deserve that support, more love, attention, focus, and gifts during this time.
What’s Inside Rumbly
This led us into the next point, which was discussing some of the items included in the Rumbly subscription box. We were curious to know what one can expect from it.
Marnie does want to make note that it is a subscription box so like any subscription box there is always that element of surprise and delight. But in every Rumbly box, half the items are for the woman you are and the other half are for the mom you’re becoming.
So, when it comes to the mom you’re becoming, those items are a little more predictable. A lot of those touch more on the physical changes and transformations that you’re going through to help ease those. For example, you can find belly oils, magnesium oils, and kinesiology tape. There are some fun items too such as a Rumbly branded measuring tape so you can measure your growing belly. But it can also be doubled and used to measure the nursery room and everything on the go that you put in your pocket.
Then there are things that appeal to the mental part of the journey. In the first box, you’ll receive a personalized calendar that includes a countdown until your due date. And every week is different cards that are either inspirational, or fact-based, and they’re to take mom on her journey. It’s a playful take on the classic “the baby’s the size of a banana this week” But again, that’s about the baby. So this calendar is all about mom and the changes that they’re going through.
There are also items like…
- games in there to help you reconnect with your partner, your friends and to get your mind off baby.
- pregnancy ankle and wrist weights
There are really things that touch on all parts of the change and transition that’s going on, as well as items that are to inspire you. So every monthly box is also themed, and they’re themed to where you are in your pregnancy journey and what’s going on. For example,
- The first trimester would be more focused on essentials.
- The second trimester is more about getting back to you. That’s when you start feeling good, you’re getting some energy back and you’re trying to encourage yourself to be a little more social, get your mind off baby, and do the things you always love to do.
- The third trimester is more about pampering yourself. Because that’s often when the journey’s feeling really long. You’re not really feeling your best. For example, one of the boxes is a date night for one. That’s just all for you.
We had never heard of anything like this and think it’s awesome, especially for those who are pregnant or hope to have more kids in the future.
That takes us to our final question which Bailey was curious about herself, how did she come up with the name Rumbly?
Marnie says, “Rumbly is the feeling that’s in the pit of your stomach. And we all experience the second you become a mom, that rumbly feeling of what’s right, what’s not right. It’s really about trusting your gut. At the end of the day, that’s the most important advice I think you can give to a mom is just, you’re going to get a lot of advice, trust your gut. That’s that rumbly feeling and let that guide you through motherhood.”
And we couldn’t agree more. Now, this is probably one of Bailey’s favorite podcast episodes we’ve done in a while. She thinks that not only are we learning about this amazing product. But we also talked about a very serious topic and that is the transition from not being pregnant to being pregnant, to having the baby and how we do tend to focus so much on other things rather than ourselves. It’s so important to focus on yourself for so many different reasons. And Rumbly products obviously allow moms to do that during pregnancy and beyond, which is amazing.
This is only the beginning of our conversation on Changing the Narrative When It Comes to Pregnancy with Marnie Madras, Founder of Rumbly. Listen to the full episode wherever you listen to your podcasts.
- https://rumbly.co/ to shop their incredible boxes or sign up for their email list.
If you want to join their community of other like-minded women, check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rumbly_co/
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