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.
For our #WeAreWeCan campaign, we sat down with Shae Memmott, age 28, to hear her story. Shae told us about her struggles with multiple miscarriages and feelings of self-worth as a stay-at-home mom. Below, read our conversation with Shae and watch her video to learn more about her journey, how she's learned to cope, and her advice to other women struggling with similar challenges.
Could you briefly share your miscarriage story with us and tell us about your experience?
I have the had the unfortunate experience of going through not one but two miscarriages. I had one before a successful pregnancy with my son, who's now almost two years old, and one before I got pregnant with my daughter, who I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant with. Miscarriage is something I wouldn't wish on anyone, and something that's so emotionally traumatizing. Going from being so excited when you have a positive pregnancy test—and all the emotions that come with it—to learning that all of a sudden you're no longer pregnant is absolutely devastating, to say the least. Luckily, I've come out on the other side and have had the amazing opportunity to have not one but two sweet rainbow babies.
Could you tell us what some of your struggles are as a mom?
I'm fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom to my son and baby girl on the way. I wouldn't trade that job for anything in the world, but it does have it downside at times. I think I'm not alone when I say that I struggle with having an identity outside of just being a mom. It's something I battle with and something that's a constant challenge: balancing being a mom and being Shae.
How did you find support and begin to heal after your miscarriages?
I think the biggest thing that helped me was just talking about it. I feel like up until the last few years it's been such a taboo and something that no one talks about. It's something that no one should be ashamed of and something that shouldn't be looked down upon. In fact, I think it's important to not stay quiet about miscarriage and talk openly about it, not just for your own healing but also for awareness to the general public about just how common miscarriages are. I think having an unspoken commonality between women when you see that someone else has also suffered a miscarriage is healing in and of itself because we're not alone in our suffering and there are thousands upon thousands of women who have or are going through the same thing.
How have you found support and self-worth as a mom?
One thing that helps me is making sure I get "me" time at least five days a week. Even if it's just for an hour or two, I make sure to get out and do something without my son; something that brings me joy outside of being a mom. Typically this means going to CrossFit and getting in a good workout and a good endorphin release. It's also good to have mom friends who are going through exactly what you are—friends who you can vent to and talk about mom stuff with and laugh about your common struggles with. But above all, I think the biggest thing that helps is remembering that the most important and sacred role I have on this earth is being a mother—and when I remember that, it always brings me joy.
What advice or resources would you offer other women struggling with the experience of miscarriage and/or with feelings that being a stay-at-home mom is not "enough"?
The best piece of advice I can give other women is don't keep it all in! Talk about it! Find other women in your community who have had the same struggles—you'd be shocked at how many women have had a miscarriage and you didn't even know it. Making friends with women who know what you're going through is so healing—they've been through what you've been through, and can offer words of encouragement that can ease some of your pain.
As far as feeling like you're not "enough" as a stay-at-home mom, this is something that doesn't just go away—it's a constant battle that takes work and lots of effort. Give yourself a break. Get a babysitter and go learn a new hobby or find an activity you can do a few days a week that brings you joy.
Who is a woman that inspires you and why?
My mom, hands down. She is incredible. I could write a novel about why she inspires me. She's the most selfless person I have met and puts others above herself 100 percent of the time. She is fiercely loyal to her family and loves harder than anyone I know. Not only is she an amazing mom, but she's incredibly ambitious and so smart. She is so forgiving and kind. That woman doesn't have a mean bone in her body, and I hope to be half the woman she is one day.
If you could go back, what advice would you give your teenage self?
This is also a topic I could write a novel about. High school was interesting for me. The high school I went to was extremely catty and cliquey, and I found myself in the thick of all of it. All I cared about was my image and my popularity. I was disrespectful to my teachers, to my peers, and to myself. It's one of my biggest regrets in life. If I could go back and give my teenage-self advice, I would tell myself to just be KIND—kind to my teachers, kind to other students, and kind to myself. I would tell myself that being popular is far from what's important—that it didn't matter what I wore or how I looked, but what mattered was the way I made others feel. What matters is not material, and being kind and loving is far more important than any popularity contest. I hope I can instill this in my children and teach them to accept and love everyone, and to stand up for those who are teased or bullied. I hope I can teach them that above everything else—just be kind.
What do you love about your Fawn Design bags?
Well obviously they are beautiful bags, but surprisingly what I love most about my Fawn bags is how they make me feel when I'm wearing them. I can have no makeup on, my hair in a messy bun, and be wearing sweats, but if I'm wearing my Fawn bag I feel pretty. I know that may sound weird, but it's true. I love that such a functional accessory can do something as simple as make me feel beautiful when I'm wearing it.