Surfing Mums & Miracles. Surfing Mums & Miracles.

Surfing Mums & Miracles.

Surfing Mums & Miracles. Surfing Mums & Miracles.

If you’re of the female form, and you surf, it’s highly likely that pregnancy will at one stage of your life alter your relationship with surfing, and after speaking to Mumma’s to be, Maria & Maddie, and new Mumma, Rozzie, it will also re-ignite the relationship in transformational and appreciative ways. As a woman who is not pregnant, and won’t be any time soon, it is hard to think of surfing as being threatening or restricting in any way, as for most surfers, it is a source of freedom. After hearing about the girls’ different experiences with pregnancy and surfing, it seems as though the fears and worries slowly dissipate when they were reminded of the fact that a miracle is leisurely taking place inside of them.

Surfing is something we all take for granted in certain times of our life, like anything really, our able bodies, our ability to read, write, talk – though Rozzie has reminded me of the important lessons surfing brought her, and are transferable into her new life as a Mother. The patience you learn while waiting for a wave is practicing your ability to surrender to a resting baby as you wait for them to sleep, and not to mention those surfing arms strengthening with every stroke as you prepare for those longer moments of holding your nipper in times of transition. This is a delicate piece of wisdom that we all need to harness more often, in that most of the things we do, whether it be a must or a passion, can teach us valuable and insightful lessons that applies to all areas of our life. Taking the bins out for example, is one way for you to go outside and say G’day to the birds and the bees, doing the dishes can be a meticulous test to your desire to do so, but if you add in a podcast or an audiobook, the job aint so bad. Presence is something we all yearn to do more of, be more of, and life constantly challenges this potentiality, because as humans we all want to be more than what we are, we want to surf the wave better and for longer than before, but the bravest thing we can do is to be present, to remember that we are ourselves, in fact, a miracle.

After reading what these surfer Mum’s had to say about being pregnant or already a Mother, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that one day, they were a baby too, and so was I. We all were, just tiny incoherent souls, absent of what we know now, waiting to have our experiences and knowledge impressed upon us. Everyday upon rising, there is the potential of bumping into new experiences that can change how we live, some we can control, and some not. For the ones we can control, I think that it is the most precious thing to be able to soak that experience dry, to drought that experience of all its wealth, because we may never experience it again. For the Mothers out there, I hope you can remember the mothering experience for the marvellous phenomenon that it is, and congratulations, for you are the queens of the world. Keep reproducing, because we need more people to feel the joys that surfing can bring.

In celebration of this, we have teamed up with another proud Mother and surfer, Victoria Boag from Frog Orange, the manifestation of Australia’s first ever wetsuit baby carrier. Surfing, adventuring and babies has never sounded so desirable, so to say thanks to our fellow lady ocean dwellers, we are giving away an Atmosea wetsuit and a Frog Orange explorer wetsuit baby carrier. Details are up on our Instagram!

atmosea
atmosea atmosea
But now, we get to read about Maria, Rozzie and Maddie’s different experiences of their relationship with Mothering and surfing. Go Mums!



Maria’s Answers:


How has your relationship with surfing changed since being pregnant?

Surfing is such incredible fun, an amazing stress relief and great exercise. Since being pregnant I have come to appreciate everything surfing gives me, even more. When life gets overwhelming, sometimes I have found my cure in the waves. It also helped my nausea the 1st trimester and my hormonal downs, which I have quietly had a lot of.

At how many months did you decide it was finally time to stop surfing?

I am currently just over 7 months pregnant and still surfing. My surf sessions have become shorter as I struggle to lay on my belly for longer periods of time. I think the time might come soon when I will get the surf mat or hand plane out instead.

Did you change the way you surfed because of your growing belly?

Yes, I did. I mostly knee paddle now, and have to stick my bum up a little bit, putting my weight on my boobies. But even that is hard now, so at the moment I am half laying on my side. Like a side saddle, ha ha. Trying to catch the waves seems to sort of work still. I still enjoy my rides and my froth levels are very high when I catch a wave.

What fears did you have about being pregnant and surfing?

I was scared I was going to squash the baby or hurt it some-how. Also, slightly scared that it might some-how cause a miss carriage or a pre-mature birth. I tried to google all these things but couldn’t find many answers, so I asked my doctor and she gave me the go-ahead. She encourages moderate exercise during pregnancy and also told me working out can ease back pain and boost a mum-to-be's mood.

How did you deal with the fact that you would have to stop surfing for a while?

I have had “selfish” moments and worried that I am addicted to surfing. At times, I got really upset at my husband that he doesn’t have to stop surfing or stop anything. I get emotional and thought this was unfair but then remembered this small little child is blossoming inside me and I get the honour to have this connection from the very start and then the jealousy wore off.

Tell us some things you have learnt about appreciation while growing a small human?

There are so many things that could go wrong especially in the early stages of pregnancy which you have little control over. I had lots of worries and anxieties going on in my life around the early stages of my pregnancy and was sacred I was going to hurt my baby from this. I had to learn the beautiful practice of doing nothing and getting peace through being OK with relaxing and doing nothing. Which I am still struggling to practice but slowly getting better at. I also have more appreciation of my body and want to take great care of myself by getting some rest, eating well and exercising. So more self-love I would say.

What skills have you learnt surfing that will be useful in motherhood?

Be persistent. Never give up. Don’t hesitate on the take off. Go with the flow. Impulsive creativity. Follow the energy source. I learnt all these things from surfing and will definitely take these into motherhood.


What would you like the ocean to teach your children?

I think the big mother Sea can teach so much. The sea is so much deeper then we think. The ocean is always moving forward—and so are we no matter how fast, hard, or stuck we are. Always moving like the sea. Everything is always changing, whether we’re at a high or low, it’s all relative and can completely turn around within a second. I think that is a good lesson

atmosea
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Rozzie’s Answers:

How has your relationship with surfing changed since being pregnant and a mama?
Surfing for me has always been a leisure activity and now I think about it as quite a selfish thing. Having a child, you have to become selfless so things like surfing take a back seat for a bit. Just like undisrupted conversations with friends and eating meals while they are still hot. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I’ll be able to do those things again one day but with so much more appreciation. It's the same with surfing. I've only had a handful of surfs in my 6 months of being a mum but appreciate that time so much more. When I am in the water now, I feel a new level of relaxation and letting go.
 
At how many months did you decide it was finally time to stop surfing?
My last surf before becoming a Mum was at Wategos when I was 6 months pregnant. It was busy, a crowded Summer and I suddenly became aware of the precious foetus between me and the fibreglass as well as the large number of learner surfers out there. Not long after that surf I got very sick with Epstein Bar Virus and had to rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. That was pretty boring.
 
Did you change the way you surfed because of your growing belly?
I guess I was less inclined to take as many risks and surfed more defensively keeping an eye of who to steer clear from. I also wore a leg rope so I wasn't tempted to try and dive onto my board to stop it sailing away.
 
What fears did you have about being pregnant and surfing?
Just the worry that I would suffer a considerable blow to the abdomen but I feel like surfing is such a good activity for the small one to participate in that the benefits outweigh the risks in most cases. Just avoid the crowded times.
 
How did you deal with the fact that you would have to stop surfing for a while?
I was way too distracted trying to get well again before giving birth to give it too much thought. 10 years-ago I would have struggled big time as surfing occupied so much of my time and thoughts but these days I have so many projects such as the garden, fermenting and weaving baskets that I share my time between. Surfing is a long-term commitment. It will always be there (depending on climate change), but this special time with small children is so short in the scheme of things. I am happy to sacrifice some surfs with the hope that one day we will be surfing together as a family.
 
Tell us some things you have learnt about appreciation while growing a small human?
I've come to realise appreciation is a relative thing. The smallest things can mean so much when your arms are tied up loving a baby bundle. Having a family member come and hang out the washing has never meant so much to me and a meal dropped off by a friend is like all my dreams have come true. Appreciating my health when I have it (not when it's missing) and not taking my energy and motivation for granted is my new intention.
 
What skills have you learnt surfing that will be useful in motherhood?
Carrying a heavy surfboard under your arm for long periods of time is great to get those baby carrying muscles strong. Working with your centre of gravity is a useful skill for baby wearing and flexibility is awesome for reaching those items in awkward places while a baby sleeps on you. Patience waiting for the next wave is good practise for patiently being with a baby trying to settle to sleep. And then there are those moments on a wave where it feels like time has slowed down. There is nowhere else you should be. No future, no past, just that present moment. That is exactly the kind of bliss you want to capture in those special times with your offspring.
 
What would you like the ocean to teach your children?
I hope that growing up by the water will teach my son to respect nature. It's power and it's fragility. I hope the ocean will instil wonder and a sense of being part of something much bigger than ourselves. I hope he develops a sense of place, a strong connection to nature and grow knowing we are all intricately woven together.

atmosea
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Maddie’s Answers:

How has your relationship with surfing changed since being pregnant?

To be honest, I feel this pregnancy came at a perfect time for me to have a little break from the surfing world in our busy little hometown. And now after 9 months of only surfing here and there I am super excited to get back out there very soon. 

At how many months did you decide it was finally time to stop surfing?

My body and baby told me when it was uncomfortable around 5-6 months when the bump was really starting to show ☺ so I switched to a surf mat which has done the job over last few months. I have still had one or two surfs since then which has been awkward but still very fun!!

Did you change the way you surfed because of your growing belly?

YES!! For sure, I’ve had to tone down the way I surf. I have found a great appreciation for the simplicity and grace of trimming and milking every wave all way to the sand. 

What fears did you have about being pregnant and surfing?

The lack of consciousness and ability of some people at the pass is always a little scary to be around. Other than that the ocean and I are old friends, nothing to fear.

How did you deal with the fact that you would have to stop surfing for a while?

I was fine with it. I have taken this pregnancy as a time in my life to re appreciate surfing and all it has to offer. I have found great joy watching my friends surf or taking my mat out for a little paddle.

Tell us some things you have learnt about appreciation while growing a small human?

Practicing slowing down and appreciate the small moments, spending a lot more time at home, cooking, fermenting, gardening and living a much more simple and slow life. Also spending quality time with my friends and family.

What would you like the ocean to teach your children?
I can’t wait to share the ocean with my family and the knowledge I have about surfing and all the fun it brings. We love spending time at the beach and feel it is a beautiful place to spend your days.

Words by Daini Stephenson