This Mother’s Day, we’re talking to five incredible women who are pursuing their own callings while raising their families—one of the trickiest tightrope walks in life’s circus.
Luz Carreiro, 35, and Aisha Hatter, 29, both embody what it means to mom so hard. Though they live in different countries, speak different languages and have different family makeups, both women are on board with the same mission of showing up for themselves even on—especially on—their hardest days. We also got to sit down on the set of our Mother’s Day campaign with three generations of women who are beautiful inside and out: matriarch Christina Jones (“greater than 50”), a holistic health practitioner; her daughter Pyeng Threadgill, 44, a vocal coach and composer; and granddaughter Luna, 18, a student and musician.
Before 1-year-old daughter Gaia made an entrance, going on grand adventures was Luz’s lifework. Trained as a graphic designer, Luz spent a decade traveling solo to 43 countries. Instead of settling down in one spot, though, she’s now traveling with her family by her side.
“I just knew that I always wanted to explore the world,” says Luz who—along with her husband Nico, whom she met out on the road, their toddler, and their service dog Taz—chronicles it all on social media. (Travel vicariously with her at @bee.traveler on Instagram or TikTok.)
A 9-to-5 in front of a computer was never in the cards for someone so peripatetic. After just one month, Luz married Nico in Las Vegas. They lived in their van for a year, then a cabin in the mountains, followed by a stint along the Tijuana/San Diego border. Currently, they’re based in Mexico City.
“I think our ‘typical’ is that we don’t have a typical,” Luz says. “We never know whether it’s Sunday or Wednesday. That can be fun, and that can be challenging. I’m privileged to be able to do what I love with the people I love most. We always have quality time together.”
The thought of nonstop packing would be enough to deter some of us from an on-the-go existence, but not Luz: “I was pretty casual and comfy before, but practicality has become important on a whole new level. I always need to be prepared to go out, feed my baby, play or sleep.”
After Gaia was born, Luz says it was challenging to love her postpartum body, especially in the swimsuits she wears about as often as the rest of us do jeans. In fact, that’s why we connected: “My Bare Necessities bikinis give me the support I need while making me feel sexy. It’s important for me to not lose my sense of style, or my sense of self, since becoming a mom.”
Luz has always gone with the flow but, a year into parenthood (another adventure of a lifetime), she’s managed to find some firm footing. “I have no idea what I'm doing, and I'm scared about a bunch of things that I never was before. At the same time, it amazes me how being a mother has given me so much confidence and security.”
Kinda like a good bra-sized bikini.
Motherhood was very much not a part of any five-year plan for Aisha, who grew up between Florida and Hong Kong and spent most of her twenties living in New York City. And as she definitely did not expect to become a single parent in a global pandemic, Aisha has been figuring out in real time where and how she wants to raise her 5-month-old daughter, Violet.
The two of them spent much of Aisha’s maternity leave in Florida with family; that support system is why Aisha and Violet are officially Sunshine State girls now. Aisha bought their first home and is working remotely as a marketing strategy manager in the beauty industry. (Check in with her at @aishahatter on Instagram and TikTok.)
“I was really surprised by how much I love being a mom, because a lot of what I saw in the media, especially surrounding single motherhood, was negative,” says Aisha,
“but it’s been transformational for me. Seeing Violet grow has been so rewarding. I can’t wait to learn more about who she is as a person. But let’s not sugarcoat it, there’s nothing I miss more than getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep!”
While so much changes with the transition to motherhood, Aisha agrees that self-esteem shouldn’t be one of them:“It’s more important to me than ever to continue evolving and find ways to adapt to my new life. Everything I wear now needs to have easy access for breastfeeding; I never would have imagined how much of a staple nursing bras would become in my wardrobe!”
As many moms will attest, nursing can easily become a(nother) full-time job. “I nurse Violet throughout the day in between meetings and as soon as work is finished,” says Aisha. “For me, it’s all about creating structure and routine but remaining flexible because babies can be unpredictable.”
Moving closer to family also helped Aisha find more time to take care of herself. “As beautiful as nursing is, it’s easy to feel like my body isn’t mine, so I know it’s important to rest and recharge when I can.” Turns out Aisha’s new favorite ways to relax—a massage, manicure or movie—are the same things she took for granted before having a baby.
“It’s all worth it the minute she flashes a giant smile at me or shows off a new skill,” says Aisha. “That level of pride is hard to top.”
Pyeng Threadgill’s family knows well that same sense of gratification and fulfillment one gets from family: “I’m the proudest of how we support each other’s dreams. Anything important that’s going on in our lives, we’re all going to support that unconditionally,” she says.
Each has learned by the example of the ones who came before.
“My mother went to college at a time when African American women weren’t going to college.
She taught me to do what feeds your spirit, not to follow the norm and do what’s expected,” Christina says.
“And she encouraged me to go after what felt right for me,” says Pyeng of mom Christina. “Don’t worry about what other people are doing, how other people are dressing, what other people have. Do you. Sometimes that can be hard because even your parents will question your decisions and you have to say, ‘I’m taking your advice; I’m doing me!’”
“My mother has shown me how to pursue what you love to do despite the obstacles of the outside world,” echoes Luna of Pyeng.
This Mother’s Day, Pyeng is chasing rest and relaxation. The best gift: “I love a day off, with no obligation, sitting in my pajamas watching TV.”
“That’s something I like giving her!” says Luna. Win-win-win.
Wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, at all ages and stages, who keep all of the plates spinning. However you’ve come to wear the “mom” mantle, we see you holding it all together, no days off. We feel it deeply, and we’re here to support you the way you support everybody else.
From the desk of: Brooke Glassberg
Editor at Bare Necessities
Brooke oversees all the words here at Bare Necessities. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, Food Network and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.
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