Mind Over Matter Mums (MOMM) is a well-known, supportive community for Kiwi mums, and the brain child of Maria and Teri - two mums who were looking for support, and found it lacking.
MOMM brings live events to mums and mums-to-be around New Zealand, with the events being a platform for women to connect with other like minded mums, as well as industry professionals, and learn about and support their own health and well-being. In addition to this MOMM also has an online platform that women can access wherever and whenever they want.
As a mum myself I know just how much it really does take a village to raise a child, and I know how important it is for mums to look after themselves...and what happens when they don’t. To be the best mum they can be for their little people, all mums need to have access to support, care, and understanding, and I personally believe this is so much more powerful when it comes from a community of other mums - they understand you, they know how you are feeling.
I am very grateful that I had the chance to connect with Teri and learn more about how MOMM came to be, and what they have to offer. I’m absolutely sure you will find some value here.
Could you tell me what MOMM is, what inspired you to support other mums, and how it came to fruition?
MOMM (Mind Over Matter Mums) is events throughout NZ dedicated to mums/mums-to-be with a focus on well-being, self-care & self-love. MOMM offers a platform for professionals in the health and well-being industry to share relevant info, knowledge, and real-life experiences at our events and online community.
We (Maria and Teri) manage the events, share our experiences & offer support as we navigate through the motherhood journey ourselves.
We met at university where we studied Sport Management and have come from a sport events background. Becoming mothers, we found there really wasn’t a lot of support in the event space for mums, going through it ourselves we got talking and over a couple of texts and wine catch ups MOMM was born.
When MOMM started, what were you hoping to achieve, and have you exceeded your initial expectations?
Our initial plan was to have one expo styled event a year and then we added a couple of warm up events to gain momentum and realised there was the need for more as there isn’t many events out there dedicated to the health and well-being of mums at an affordable cost. Our expectations have definitely been exceeded!
It’s been amazing to meet so many professionals in the health and well-being industry who are so happy to share their knowledge with our growing community.
Within MOMM who are the members in your team?
Maria and Teri both work together on the events and online community.
We’ve stayed in touch since university and reconnected having Harley and Lily within a few months of each other, two and a half years ago. We work so well together.
What kind of people and businesses do you collaborate with?
We invite different presenters to each of our events, they either lead exercise sessions or speak on subjects ranging from nutrition, self-care, postnatal depletion and more. We are extremely grateful for the connections we’ve made and their support.
We have support from brands we love like NO Ugly and Nuzest, plus others that supply wonderful treats in our event goodie bags, you can see our website for more info.
This year we’ve collaborated with Monday’s Lifestyle to start a weekly Mums and Bubs yoga sessions lead by Julie Hazelhurst, she’ll be at our next event – she’s amazing!
Are all your events based around health and wellness?
All our events have a well-being focus! Saturday/Sunday events are generally morning events that have a nice mix of exercise components such as Yoga, Pilates, HIIT & discussion on anything related to mums.
Our evening events are more low key, no workout gear required, with bubbles and nibbles, covering anything from your identity to getting back into a career.
Where do you run the events, and are they one-off occasions or do you have some that recur on a regular basis?
We’ve used a few venues so far, our first few events were at community centres, we’ve had one at Lululemon, and our last two at Marist where Maria works part time.
We had one every month in the beginning of the year and every couple of months towards the end of the year. We’d love to do them every month, but find every 2-3 months has worked best.
As a result of my own experience with perinatal mental health challenges I am a big advocate for more support for maternal mental health, and I believe a lot of work still needs to be done to break the stigma around maternal mental health. MOMM are supporters of PADA - can you tell me why you chose PADA as your charity?
We chose PADA as a charity to support as we love the work they do for kiwi mums, and also Dads! Having a charity component was a large focus for us starting MOMM. We wanted to give back to a charity working in this space, as we know it’s so important. The more we’ve discovered about maternal mental health we’re delighted to be supporting such a worthy cause. PADA are doing amazing work, they came highly recommended from Maria Foy. We are also stoked to be helping run an event with PADA in September – pound the park at Cornwall Park, which is a 5/10km fun run/walk to raise funds for PADA.
On a more personal note, you are a mum yourself - how have you found your own journey as a mother? Has there been any periods of time that you have really struggled with parenting, and if so, did you have the support you needed?
Definitely, it’s a hard adjustment at first and can be extremely overwhelming. It can also be really hard to ask for help at times but we know we can if we need, and we also know where to turn when it all feels too much.
It’s a roller coaster of emotions but all so worth it! We think it’s important to take time out for yourself too, and to take care of your own well-being, hence the creation of MOMM. Some days it’s harder than others to practice what we preach and drop the perfectionism, some days are easier than others, but on the whole we love being mums.
People from all different cultures, religions, and backgrounds have differing views on parenting, motherhood, maternal mental health, and also just on the role of a wife/partner, mother, and the role of a woman in general. With regards to this, have you faced any challenges as a mother, or while establishing MOMM?
Everyone is entitled to their own way or opinion and we trust our own instincts when it comes to our own children. The advice when you first become a mother can be overwhelming, there are so many different views and opinions out there. Even listening to podcasts can be a great tool but it’s hard to take everything you read or hear on board.
We’re big believers in knowing your children best! There is no one right way for all, whatever works for you at that time - do it. We don’t judge as we know first-hand it can be hard work.
What kind of things do you do personally to maintain good mental and physical health and wellness?
Exercise is key! Even if it’s just a walk in the fresh air. Other times yoga, getting to a class, or working out at home with Move it Mama.
Knowing when I need to make time for me or get in extra sleep.
Good nutrition & hydration.
And positive self talk.
Sharing the load with close friends and family.
Is there anything else you would like to share about you, your journey as a mum, or MOMM?
I’m so grateful for this journey so far, and pleased we took on the initial idea of MOMM. We have connected with some very amazing and inspiring Mums who present or come along to our events.
On social media, what are your favourite ‘mum’ accounts to follow?
Love @moveitmama Lisa is amazing and inspiring and keeps it real.
@themotherhoodproject always on point and inspiring.
@balancedmamaproject mamas inspiring new mums.
@fliss.is Fliss spoke at one of our events last year and we love her! We hope to have her back!! She’s a Mama of 4.
@wellnessbyjessica Jess spoke at one of our events on Postnatal Depletion!! Her page is so insightful and educational.
Okay, I think that’s enough...we could go on and on!
If you could offer all mothers one piece of advice, what would it be?
Honestly trust yourself, take care of yourself and love yourself. ‘Be you, do you, for you.’ xxx
MOMM’s upcoming events are announced via their website and social media.
First published in 2019