Meet the Women of #WeAreWeCan: Maata Simeona

In our new blog series, meet the women behind our #WeAreWeCan campaign. We asked these brave and inspiring women to tell us about some of the challenges and struggles they've faced, and share their stories with us. Our hope is that by talking about our experiences as women, we'll recognize that we are not alone and we can help others who might be struggling with similar issues. WE ARE strong, and together WE CAN overcome anything. 

Meet the Women of #WeAreWeCan: Maata Simeona

For our #WeAreWeCan campaign, we sat down with Maata Simeona, age 31, to hear her story. Maata told us about her struggles with self-love, depression, and anxiety after the birth of her first child. Below, read our conversation with Maata and watch her emotional video to learn more about her struggles, how she overcame them, and the woman in her life who inspires her every day. 

Could you briefly share your story with us and tell us about your experience?

After I had my son—my first child—I suffered from depression and anxiety, which also affected the way I viewed myself. I would get so depressed that I didn’t want to hold my baby and I didn’t want to leave my house. I knew this wasn’t normal. Every time my house was slightly out of order I would freak out and I would start having anxiety attacks, so I would hurry and clean it. Cleaning always made me feel like I was in control of my feelings, but, to be honest, I felt like a crazy person.

There were times I would get so depressed and I would feel so alone that I would lock myself in the bathroom and just cry. So many negative thoughts would come to my mind like, “Life would be easier if I just died.” Or, “My son deserves a better mother.” At that point in my life, I hated who I was. Every day was a constant struggle. I hated myself; my self-worth was so low. I viewed myself as fat and ugly, and no one could tell me otherwise, not even my husband.

Meet the Women of Fawn Design #WeAreWeCan: Maata SImeona

How did you find support and regain self-love? What steps did you take to overcome your struggles? Did you find support from other women and moms?

Regaining self-love took time. I had to remind myself of who I was, because before all of this depression and anxiety I was a confident woman. Getting out of the house helped me find that again. I started working out and having "me time." At times, I would feel bad about leaving my house or my child but I knew I needed it. I also sought help from a family counselor who helped me realize I wasn’t crazy and that this was normal for a lot of mothers.

I didn’t have to go far to find support—I found it in daily prayer, and there were strong women who helped me overcome this obstacle, including my oldest sister, Manu. When I felt like I was going crazy or I would have a break down, I would call my sister and she would just listen; having a listening ear made a huge difference. Another blessing occurred when my cousin, Laina, moved to Utah. She had small children the same age as my son, so we hung out all the time. Laina doesn’t know how her kindness and love helped me during the darkest time in my life.

Meet the Women of Fawn Design #WeAreWeCan: Maata Simeona

What advice would you offer other women and moms who are struggling with self-love, depression, anxiety, and body image following the birth of a child?

For women that are struggling with self-love, depression, and anxiety, the advice I would give you is, YOU’RE NOT ALONE. There are so many people around you that love you and are willing to help if you just ask.

Who is a woman that inspires you and why?

One woman that inspires me is my mother. My mom is the most selfless, confident, loving person I know. Growing up she always reminded me that I was beautiful no matter what anyone else said. I was bullied in high school, and I remember calling my mom and crying to her about how some girls were calling me ugly and making fun of me. I could tell she was trying to hold back her tears, but I remember what she told me—she said, “Nau, you are beautiful inside and out. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” I’ll never forget what she told me. I hope I can raise my daughter the same way my mother raised me: to be a strong, confident woman.

Meet the Women of Fawn Design #WeAreWeCan: Maata Simeona

If you could go back, what advice would you give your teenage self?

If I could go back I would tell my teenage self that true beauty comes from within—it’s how you treat others and the way you carry yourself that makes you beautiful. Also, don't compare yourself to the girls on social media or girls on the TV screen.

What do you love about your Fawn Design bag?

I love my Fawn Design bag! I love all of the pockets. Now having two kids, I needed a bigger bag, and it has so much space. I love the style too—it really goes with anything I wear. It’s not your typical bulky baby bag—it’s cute and fashionable. When I saw it on Instagram, I knew I had to have it!  

Photos: Lizzyography