I am so excited to introduce you to the fabulous Rachel Panton! Rachel is mother to 5-year-old Judah. She is also the founder of Women Writing Wellness where she serves as a ghostwriter, editor, and writing coach for women who have powerful stories to tell. Rachel teaches writing at the University of Miami and enjoys sleep, outdoor exercise, reggae parties, and hanging out on the beach. Woo hoo – go Rachel! xoxoxoxoxo
What’s the best thing about being a mum? So there are two best things for me. The first best thing about being a mom is all of the lessons my son teaches me about who I am and how I show up in the world. He keeps me present and reflects back to me how I show up; the good and the bad.
The second thing about being a mom is watching the evolution of this little being come into his own from the moment he arrived into this world. Every day for him is full of excitement and learning something new. It’s just incredible to watch another little human being grow into their own person; into their own purpose, with their own ideas and thoughts.
How did you feel the moment your son was born? Well, after 22 hours of labor, the first thing I felt after my child was born was relief that he was safe, alive, and finally here. And then an immense love just washed over me like a pouring rain. I never knew I could love anything or anybody like that.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known before you became a mum? I wish I knew how bad-ass I am and all women are. I was raised by a feminist so I think I always had some understanding of the badassness of women but after 22 hours of labor I looked at every woman like “you are a freaking goddess!” The fact that you went through that and you’re walking around this planet like it’s not a big deal is amazing. I felt as though I had graduated into another tier of womanhood. I thought, “This is what y’all have been up to for the last however-many-millennia? And y’all didn’t tell nobody?” Not just the birth but also the postpartum stuff that happens to your body and the lack of sleep made me conjure up a strength I didn’t know I had. So there was an immediate awareness of my value as a woman, my strength as a woman, and my connection to other women. If I could get through all of that I could get through anything, like juggling the difficulties of being a working mother. I’m stronger than what I thought I was.
What do you do to take care of yourself? I work out regularly, I eat well, and I also get enough rest now that my son is on a regular sleeping schedule. I think the first two and half three years of his life I was sleep walking and I developed chronic bronchitis trying to do everything and be all things to all people. And then I realized that I have to be my number one client. I have to be taken care of before anybody else because if I’m not good I can’t do the work I need to do and I can’t be the mom I need to be. I realized that I had to say no more often to what other people wanted and say yes to me.
What holds you back? I’m a firm believer in whatever holds me back has to have something to do with my own limiting beliefs, so if I ever feel like I’m being held back from something then I start to investigate the belief behind that thinking (i.e. I don’t have enough time to get everything done, I’m not good enough, etc.). Then I get to work on dismantling those thoughts so that I can move forward and have a breakthrough in that area of my life.
Describe a beautiful moment in your life. A beautiful moment in my life is any moment when my son takes the time to give me kisses. Those are tender moments that center me and affirm for me that I am loved and that I am raising a young boy who will be an affectionate, loving man someday. I also savor them because I know the day is coming when he will be pushing me away and telling me to get off of him.
What are you grateful for today? I’m grateful today for 1) my own awesome mum, 2) a healthy, thriving child, and 3) wine and coffee . . .