Motherhood Series / Issue 5. Brazil / Meet Roberta
Tell us a bit about you and your family
My name is Roberta and I live with my husband, Ricardo, and my daughter, Mia (3), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ricardo and I met in 2004 and we never left each others side since then. With only a few months dating, I wrote him a love letter saying we were going to have a daughter together. I know it sounds crazy writing something like that so soon to someone, but what can I say? I just knew it. And I gave him this letter exactly at this beach, where these photos were taken. It's called Joatinga beach. So, it's always special to go back as a family to this place. Especially when I'm having those tough days. It's like everything just go back on track and life starts to make sense again.
Do you work alongside motherhood?
Not anymore. I used to work as a fashion journalist but I decided to quit my career to look after Mia. It was not an easy decision, for sure, but I just did what my heart was saying and now I couldn’t be happier.
What does motherhood mean to you?
For me, it means transformation. It was completely life changing. I got pregnant with Mia three months after losing my father and a baby (in the first trimester of pregnancy). I was so disillusioned with life... Mia came as a light, to shake my world in so many ways. I'm such a different person since her, she made me know love in the most altruistic form. I feel kinda cheesy to say those things but it's so true. I feel I'm reconnected to myself, she makes me remember my essence. With her I can show all my vulnerability without any judgements. Plus, I found a fierceness inside me that I could never have imagined.
What’s the most rewarding and the most challenging part?
The most rewarding part is the genuine love. She shows it to me every single day with the most simple gestures. It's the hug she gives me with no specific reason required. The "I love you" said thousands and thousands of times like it was the first time saying it, and the gratitude she shows me when we spend a wonderful day together just playing and enjoying life. Now, let's talk about the challenging part. For me, it is definitely to reeducate myself. If I want her to be a nice human being, I have to be the example. And how can I be this example making so many mistakes and catching myself with so many flaws? How do I want her to learn to deal with her feelings when I'm constantly losing control of my emotions? These type of conflicts are always going through my head. I know I don't have to be perfect, but changing some automatic and impulsive reactions, will make this journey much healthier and lighter. I just want our relationship to be based in respect, love and empathy. But that's why I'm always saying I learn much more with her than the other way around.
Paint us a picture of daily life as a mother in Brazil?
We do co-sleeping, so I always start my day with Mia playing the strings on my hair. That's the way she shows me she is about to get up. She’s done this since she was a baby. As I'm not an early bird, I feel so lucky that she sleeps about 12 hours a night and wakes up about 10:30am. We are both vegetarians, so breakfast is usually a smoothie made with strawberries, banana, chia, coconut oil and cacao rice protein. As she is 3 years old, school still isn't mandatory, so Ricardo and I decided to enter a holistic online program where we can do activities with her in our own rhythm and in a way it suits our family values. People tend to underestimate the importance of playing but we believe that by playing, she will learn so many things at this age. I really don't care if she already knows the whole alphabet or can count up to twenty. Honestly, I just want her to be happy, have a big heart and care for people. So, I prefer to let her guide me through her incredible imagination. Each day is unique with her as Mia creates the most wonderful worlds in her mind. I love to watch Ricardo and her playing together in the most creative ways. He becomes a child with her and they can spend hours and hours just on their own universe. I also love to end up our day at the beach, watching the sunset, collecting shells, dancing in the sand and having a huge açai bowl together. Before bed, there is always a story time.
Is there anything passed down from your mother that you’ve taken on as a parent?
To trust my daughter's capability and let her try by herself if she feels she can (of course, when is something that doesn't put her life at risk). My mom always encourage me even when I thought I was not gonna make it. I remember the calm and trust she had letting me climb all those bars and playing structures at the park when all the other moms were having a small heart attack.
What do you look for when choosing clothes for your children?
Comfort, fabrics, cut and colours. But I also love clothes that tell a story behind them. You know that feeling when you look at a dress, for example, and you can totally picture a scene with it? There are clothes that immediately take me to another place.
What do you like about Nellie Quats?
Exactly this, that I can imagine a scene in my mind with each piece of the brand. They have so much identity and gives me a feeling of freedom that is exactly what I think childhood should be. When I look at Nellie Quats clothes I always imagine a child exploring nature, walking on the grass, running through fields, receiving fresh air and being extremely happy.
What’s your favourite piece from this collection?
Must say it's the Mother May I Dress. So dreamy!
A big thank you to Roberta for sharing such a special and personal insight into her life with us.
Find more of Roberta’s beautiful photos on her Instagram account @betaclaper . She takes the sweetest photos.