On the silverscreen, they are women on a mission but in real-life these 7de Laan actresses love being ordinary moms to their little ones. Hildegardt Whites and Quinne Brown share their journey of motherhood with us.
New mother and 7de Laan actress Hildegardt Whites loved her pregnancy and is excited to celebrate her first Mother’s Day on 14 May. This is what she shares:
1. How was your pregnancy? Tell us about your experiences throughout each trimester.
I loved being pregnant. The feeling of carrying another human inside me was incredible. The first trimester was tough and I did not feel so good. I struggled with certain foods and I felt like sleeping all the time. Plus, people didn’t really know I was pregnant, but I was amazed by how quickly my body changed.
The second trimester was fantastic! I had lots of energy and I just wanted to show my baby bump. In the second trimester we could meet the baba. I had my scan at 20 weeks and saw his little face and it was perfect. I just wanted to create the perfect little house for him inside my tummy, so I ate all the good stuff for my little one.
The third trimester was where the fun began. The first half of the third trimester was lovely; I was just very hot. My tummy looked so beautiful and I couldn’t wait to meet my little one. I was still working during the first half of the third trimester, but my feet started swelling and my whole body just changed. I was so fascinated with how quickly everything just changed and how ready my body was for my baby.
The second half was tricky – I was so big towards the end. I couldn’t move as fast as I use to. I was super tired… and just wanted to nest! Towards the end nothing really fitted me anymore. My flip flops became my best friend – I loved being pregnant.
2. Who was your support structure and go-to during your pregnancy and why?
I had a great support system. My family and my dearest friends were always there for me. Everybody showed so much love and I felt so special. And my husband, of course, was super amazing.
3. What did you discover about yourself during your pregnancy journey?
I discovered to always be myself no matter what.
4. What have you discovered about your relationship with your husband during this pregnancy journey?
We were great! We embraced every minute of my pregnancy.
5. What did you indulge in while growing your beautiful baby bump?
I loved eating watermelon and grapes, and, of course, anything nice and cold. It was so hot during my pregnancy.
6. When did you welcome your baby and did everything go according to your birthing plan or desires?
My baby came earlier than expected – he arrived on 25 April. I prepared for my baba’s arrival, but I didn’t really plan anything. My doctor had always said that the baby will decide. And he did!
7. What are you looking forward to most about motherhood?
Seeing my person growing up and to grow together as a family.
8. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
It’s such a special day to celebrate mothers all over. Mothers are such strong people and now that I am a mom I understand it better. A mother’s love for a child is greater than anything.
9. Lastly, do you have any advice for women who have just found out that they are carrying precious cargo?
All I can say is enjoy every moment. Love every minute of your pregnancy – it’s an honour to carry this precious cargo. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
Mother of two and 7de Laan actress Quinne Brown honours Mother’s Day as she would any birthday and shares the following:
1. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
Mother’s Day is a day we celebrate our mothers, being mothers and sometimes just appreciating the idea of motherhood. I like that we sometimes have a collective moment where we remember to honour something or someone. I love these days the same as I love birthdays.
2. If you could sum up your life as a mother in three words, what would they be?
Grounding. Challenging. Incredible.
3. How do you juggle being a working mom and making sure you don’t miss out on your little ones’ milestones?
I’m still figuring this out. It’s a daily awakening to what needs to take priority. My schedule is not set and it’s also not created by me. Working with a team and being on call has its challenges and its benefits. I sometimes have gifts of time and then I make sure I am present for my kids; other times I am gone for two whole days in a row and this can be disconcerting for my littles. But we have never had nine-to-five jobs, so this is what my kids are used to. At least one of us is there most of the time, so we don’t miss much. We have been lucky thus far.
4. Who is “the village” that helps you raise your children?
Being in South Africa and close to my sister, mother and fairy godparents is wonderful. Everyone helps or spends time and positively influences our kids, and that’s what we wanted. We were lucky with stunning neighbours and friends in the US also. Here it’s easier on a daily basis though, as we have a nanny, Naomi, who is part of our family and daily lives. We have Ouma and my sister, Esther, who has two boys – her house is our kids’ second home.
5. What has motherhood taught you?
To be present, patient and consistent. To let the small things go and to pick my battles (with myself and the kids). It teaches me daily how to really listen and pay attention. I remember when I watched Charlotte, our first, trying to roll as a baby; how determined she was. I saw how very few of us know how to just do something; everything has a learning curve, takes practice and, most of all, patience.
6. Where do you go in search of guidance on your parenting journey?
Parenting books and advice have a way of triggering my irritated button. I was blessed with some friends who were having their third and fourth baby at the time Charlotte came into our lives. I observed and was put at ease with their easy-going way, learning that each overwhelming phase also passes. I look at what brings my kids ease and a sense of wellbeing and follow my instinct a lot. I make daily mistakes and have to say sorry often. But I adore my mother and my husband’s mom, who is also a super mom, and I very hungrily listen to their stories and advice, leaving what I know doesn’t work for us, but taking what will keep my children safe and healthy.
7. Who is your role model and why?
As a mother, I have a few. Of course, my mom is one. Another is a woman I met in the USA, Sarah, who is raising four kids. Her oldest (13) has autism and her youngest is a little younger that Charlotte. She blows my mind – she is authentic, present, loving and always giving. She was by my side for the five years we lived in the suburbs of Carlsbad. She brought sanity to the experience and was a great inspiration to me as a young mother.
8. Lastly, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself (pre-motherhood) about being a mother?
Dear Quinne, if you become a mother one day, remember this: every insane moment will pass and kids grow and learn and the phases are real. When you feel overwhelmed or like “this crazy will last forever”, remember that it doesn’t. BREATHE, walk away for a minute and look up at the sky. They are little and vulnerable, so be patient and take time for yourself. And please hear me when I say SLEEP every moment you can – it’s the best self-care you can give yourself. Ask for help. ASK FOR HELP.