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#SUBOOJOURNAL Mother's Day Series w/ Julie Stevanja
At SUBOO we are comprised of an all women team and find our passion and purpose in uplifting our community not only with designs to make them feel confident, but also through showcasing our incredible community around us. This year in celebration of Mother’s Day we’ve dedicated our time to curating a series of Q&A’s with a diverse range of Mother’s in our community. We are delighted this year to showcase three inspiring women and open up the conversation of Motherhood in all its rawness and truth. We hope as a community through sharing stories we are able to find a sense of comfort, familiarity and overall connection.
In our first instalment we virtually sat down with Julie Stevanja, Mother to gorgeous baby Rio and the co-founder behind the much-loved and cult activewear destination, Stylerunner.

What was your biggest fear becoming a Mother?

(Trigger warning) My fears started in pregnancy and I think its a fairly common one, but so daunting, and that's the fear of loss. You are so thrilled when you get the positive news, but then you're anxious to get to 12 weeks, then at 12 weeks you're anxious to get to 20 for the next scan, then it's 26 weeks at which point you're told a premature birth has a higher chance of survival, etc etc. My mum-friends told that the nagging fear never really leaves you. While I actively work to overcome such thoughts so that they don't rule our lives, there is some truth to it. A child is the most precious gift in the world, and you want nothing more than their safety and happiness. But I try to remind myself of a philosophy which I personally resonate with, there are always just 2 choices - Love or Fear - and try to let go of fears and be liberated by love. 

Baby Rio is adorable - what has he already taught you?

He has taught me so much, perhaps most importantly just to be present and patient, and let go of plans or any preconceived notions I had of motherhood and just take each day as they come. There is so much joy in being present together if you let go of expectations. Those idyllic beach days will wait for us! 

How do you find that ‘Balance’ of being a Mother?
It's a tricky one! I don't know if I have it yet. I took proper maternity leave so that I could recover from some burnout and enjoy my time with Rio. I told the team they could contact me whenever they needed, and I have checked in a couple of times, but I know Stylerunner is in great hands. So nearly all of my time has been devoted to Rio in these first few months. At around 15 weeks tho, I gained the confidence and energy to get back into a social life more. It took me way longer than expected, but I just went with the flow and what felt right. I no longer feel daunted taking Rio out with me all day. Tantrums may happen, schedules may slip, but we'll deal with it together and get through it stronger, and he is getting exposure to so many new and stimulating environments. I think he's seen enough of the play mat at home! When I return to work, I'll need to find a new way to manage Balance, but I'm optimistic of finding something that works. 

If you could give advice to any new mum about those early stages of Motherhood what would it be?
Look after yourself and accept help from anyone that will offer it! A neat little hack, buy double the bread and milk, and freeze half for when you inevitably can't get around to a grocery shop and you'd kill for a coffee. Toast and coffee is still a meal! Online shop to top up as soon as you're into your frozen stash. 
Is Motherhood everything you had envisioned? 
It's even better than I imagined! It's definitely hard, there have been tears and exhaustion, and I had a really tough time with breastfeeding, so I'm not saying it has been easy, but I feel like we've taken our time to adjust to all of the changes, and now we have found a rhythm that works for us. It took nearly 4 months of living in robes and messy hair with more than a bit of shell shock, and I'm sure the roller-coaster has plenty more twists and turns for us, but I feel ready for the ride with my hands in the air instead of gripping the safety bar so tightly! 

What has been your favourite memory so far?
I mentioned breastfeeding was difficult (no-one warns you how hard it is!) but we pushed through, and those hours in the middle of the night, just the two of us, while he'd feed for almost hour, were often hard but equally incredibly precious. He was so so tiny, and his little body operating on auto-pilot was so sweet to witness. I loved how even half asleep, he would purse his little lips closed when full, like, "I am 100% done here." There was no budging once those lips were closed! He wouldn't eat another drop. Done. Finito. Move along! 
Mothers are selfless humans! But we still need time to ourselves. What do you do to unwind when you have a moment to yourself? 
What's a moment to myself? #mumjoke. In truth, my husband is amazing and helps with Rio alot. The other day he looked after Rio all day so I could go to a brunch and painting class, a long lunch with girlfriends and get my hair and nails done. The best day! I would say I try to look after myself in my 'me time' with fitness or a beauty treatment (hello brow appointment! Looking at you Kristin Fischer). I've also been getting back into reading books as so many of my friends have published recently, I have lot to catch up on! 
Do you have a personal story you would like to share? 
I was 40 when Rio was born with the help of IVF for which I am eternally grateful. Sending love and prayers to anyone that is trying, or has been on a trying journey. No matter the outcome, you are whole and you are beautiful, and you are loved.

Here are SUBOO we deeply thank Julie for allowing us to showcase her story, advice and the special moments she’s shared with Rio this Mother’s Day.