New mom Olesia Anismovich sat down with us recently to discuss what life has been like for the first year of her daughter, Yeva’s, life.
This self proclaimed Girl Mom has faced serious adversity throughout her life from being raised in Russia during the collapse of the Soviet Union (it is intense as it sounds) to traveling to New York City alone as a teenager to pursue her dreams (again, it is as intense as it sounds).
Now, Olesia is an international model who is breaking the mold of what it means to be a working mom in the modeling industry.
We met up with Olesia at her Brooklyn apartment just before all this COVID-19 madness went down and she welcomed us with proverbial open arms and air kisses. Aside from being simply beautiful, she was warm and spirited, and her passion for wellness and healing practices shined through in every movement and word.
Her love for family and motherhood radiated as she shared her experience of her first year of mamahood with us. Topics ranged from preconceived notions on pregnancy to digging deep into her roots for parental inspiration.
It’s Not Always What To Expect When You’re Expecting
Olesia has been around. Since the age of 15, work has taken her across the globe to model in some of the most glamorous cities. When she was pregnant, however, the trips to these places weren’t quite as romantic as the Instagram stories might have you believe.
For a woman who had overcome some serious challenges throughout her life, pregnancy took her by surprise in ways she never expected.
“I always thought I’d never get morning sickness because my mom told me she never felt [any]. I was feeling like the worst hangover ever…for so long. I was throwing up when we were traveling in Italy, and I just was throwing up on the streets in Venice, and New York. Basically all over the world. And it’s something that I never expected to have, but I did have.”
Olesia soon came to realize her early pregnancy experience was the first of many baby-related surprises to come.
Is There An App For That?
“When it came to having a newborn, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve babysat kids before’ and, ‘my grandparents had nine children.’ I just had no idea what to do when I was first given my little tiny baby.”
It seems no matter who you are, imposter syndrome rears its ugly head sooner or later. That feeling of being in over your head in parenting is one we totally relate to and that is exactly why we love when mamas like Olesia share their stories.
“I didn’t know that there were so many little details; How do I feed her? Do I introduce a pacifier? What kind of parent am I going to be? So many little decisions. And they just sort of all piled up on me, right away. I was not ready for that because all the books I read before, they just couldn’t apply. What I realized, no matter how many books you read, no matter how prepared you feel, if your sister had a baby, it’s a completely different experience.”
Where’s the Pump Room?
Olesia has always been driven in her career, however, she finds these days she is more ambitious than ever and confident with her worth in the workplace.
“Definitely speak up for yourself in the workplace. Really know your self worth, your value, really understand that. Absolutely owning that, and letting your clients know that this is how it’s going to be. Right now, my rates are higher because if I’m going somewhere for a shoot, then it requires getting a babysitter, pumping, doing all the work. Missing my baby.
I’ve had shoots where I brought Yeva on set. Requiring a babysitter on set, requiring breaks, it’s your nursing break, or pumping break. I think that’s how we work as humans. It’s incredible how I never thought about it until I became a mom, why are there no private corners where I could nurse or pump at castings? It’s just so wild. I think we should all move towards that world where it’s just completely normal to bring your baby, or breastfeed, or pump.”
Can we get an ‘Amen’? The idea of hiding a huge part of who you are at work, AKA a mom, is quickly becoming an antiquated one, and millenial parents like Olesia are paving the way for that. Employers are hiring you, as a person, for all the talent and experience you bring to the table, and part of that experience is that you are a parent. It influences who you are and there is no reason to be apologetic for it.
Looking to Her Ancestors to Ignite Fire
After the life she’s had it’s no surprise that Olesia is preparing to raise a powerful AF woman.
“I really want to raise this strong, confident woman that knows she has a voice, and can stand up for herself. I will raise my girls as if they breathe fire.
That’s how I want to model it for her, and really support her in whatever decisions she makes, because me coming from another country, trying to find my calling, establish myself, it was a lot to figure out, especially for a teenager. So I know that I will always support her no matter what she wants to do in her life.”
Olesia has often relied on her family history to guide her, both during the birth of her daughter as well as finding direction now as a mother.
“When I was born [in Russia], there was no internet. I came from a very strong family of women. Both my great grandmothers had five and nine children all born at home, with an untrained midwife, basically a neighbor.
I think having that, knowing that strength, it gave me power and it really made me feel very empowered. It changed my mindset. [My mom] didn’t have access to so many things that I have, there weren’t even prenatal vitamins then.”
Olesia’s trust in her strong, feminine roots have allowed her to take on life as a mama with arms wide open, embracing all of the challenges that she encounters along the way. Looking to the power and strength of our past generations, which had such fewer resources than we do when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and parenting, is truly awe-inspiring and inspires us to find the fire breather in us all.
Olesia shared overcoming this fear sometimes means reminding yourself that you are all your baby needs. “You’ve got this. You’re the perfect mom for your child. It’s something that is so true. And realizing that for myself gave me so much more confidence.”