This week we’re super excited to be chatting with That Mama, Militza Maury, the green living expert behind the eco-friendly blog, Little Green Dot and mama to two little girls (Maria, 6, and Meabh, 3). We chat to Militza about creating the life you want, pursuing your passions and why every Sunday should involve a glass of wine and a session at the beach!
Please tell us a little bit more about your work… what prompted you to start Little Green Dot?
I write a blog called Little Green Dot, where I share recipes, tips and ideas for living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Mostly I share my life and the things I do around my home as I try to simplify and be more green. The blog started as a hobby, my creative outlet. I never imagined it would turn into my full-time job!
How did you originally start on the path to living a simpler and more eco-friendly lifestyle? Did something prompt the change?
Before I had kids, I was a huge product junkie. I loved discovering and trying new brands, all the different scents and the promises of smoother skin and better hair! I got a big wakeup call when I learned that a certain kiddie skincare brand I had been using on my baby was found to have chemicals like formaldehyde. That all those scents I adored using on her, like the scent of baby powder, contained chemicals that could cause my baby allergies and headaches. Here I was using these products, never really thinking about what was in them!
I started looking to organic and natural products, but that brought on a whole other frustration. Deciphering between “green” marketing and the real deal was tricky. And the brands that I did feel confident in, I very quickly realised were too expensive for me to consider as an everyday option.
Then one day, I had this lightbulb moment. I was looking at a bath product, all-natural, organic, but ridiculously expensive. Sure, I could buy it as a treat, but not to use everyday. I read the ingredients, there were only four: oatmeal, chamomile, lavender and shavings of cacao butter. I thought – hold on – I can make that!
Over the next two years, I dove into the world of natural ingredients, learning their benefits and how to use them to create my own products. It started with baby’s skincare products, then our household cleaning products, my skincare, healthy homemade meals… I was captivated and I soon started the blog to share these recipes with everyone.
As a working mama… how do you save time? What are your organisational tricks and tips?
Everyone is different, but here’s what works for me… I assign each day of the week to a particular activity, so on Mondays I work on photography for the blog and do the grocery shopping, on Tuesdays I take meetings outside the house (or meet friends) and on Wednesdays I do marketing for the blog and take the girls somewhere fun after school…and so on. I’m not naturally an organised person, so it takes discipline to keep my days in order, but when I do I find that things tend to get done!
Can you talk us through your career pre and post babies? How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?
Before I had children, I really had no idea what I wanted out of life. I had a degree in fashion design and though I loved the creative side of that world, I just wasn’t happy with the day to day work.
Post-baby, my whole perspective changed. I started spending more time doing things that were making me incredibly happy, making natural products for my kids and sharing my recipes with the world. It wasn’t until a year later that I realised I was living my passion, so I committed to becoming a blogger full-time. Ed note: we love that Militza is creating a life she loves — it’s a sentiment we relate to!
How has having kids changed the way you define work?
I want my kids to see me working hard, and feeling full of passion and excitement for what I do. Being a blogger was not the plan, it was me being true to myself. The fact that I’ve been able to turn my passion into my livelihood is something that I want my kids to know they can do too.
Do you have any tips for aspiring “mamapreneurs” and other working mamas in Singapore?
Finding balance is important and I think us mamas can feel so guilty when we spend time away from our kids. Don’t be too hard on yourself for wanting to invest in your personal development. When you’re at work, do it with all your heart and be fully present and when you are with your kids, do it with all your heart and be fully present.
I wish I had more time for…
Sewing… I don’t want to do it as a job anymore, but I do enjoy the craft.
I always feel saner after….
Drinking a green shake in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening! We’re with you there Militza!
Favourite activity with the kids in Singapore?
I love the simple days when we go for a walk around the neighbourhood spotting lizards, finding snail shells and playing with shy plants.
Favourite kid-friendly restaurant in Singapore?
Mana Mana Beach Club on the East Coast on a Sunday is brilliant. The kids play in the sand, while the parents sip wine in the shade!
Favourite family-friendly holiday spot in Asia?
Bali is amazing… I would say Ubud has been our favourite spot. There’s a real artisanal vibe, friendly people, friendly dogs and the weather is cooler up in the mountains.
Activity that I do not love to do but do it anyway because my kids love it…
Playing my daughter’s favourite game… Mama Dog! I basically have to pant, sniff and crawl on all fours. I think she’s secretly laughing at me.
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?
First I need to figure out how to get the kids out of our bed!
Favourite date-night restaurants?
There’s a restaurant within walking distance from our condo. While the food is only ok, and the wine is decent, I especially like the walk there and back. It feels romantic, walking at night holding hands…
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
That it all goes by far too quickly. All the phases that seem impossible to deal with now (like sleeping in our bed or making me pretend I’m a dog!) will sadly be over before you know it – so don’t sweat it!
Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.
Be careful with judging another mother, even if it is just quietly to yourself. Not only is it unfair to her, but when it’s your kid who snatches a toy or flips out at the supermarket (which will inevitably happen!) that negative, judgmental voice will turn on you, and that is never, ever useful.
As a mama I wish I were better at…
Being organised. When I get into my creative mode, making a recipe or photographing, the whole house gets turned upside down!
My most humbling mama moment was…
When my daughter told me that we are all connected to one another. Kids know things that we adults seem to forget, and I love being reminded of their wisdom.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….
A new recipe idea and how I’ll photograph it.
Bedtime is always smoother when…
My kids are exhausted. Lately I’ve been letting them go for a swim at 6:30pm, so by the time 8pm rolls around, they’re ready for bed.
Even when my child has a family of his/her own, I’ll still…
Want to kiss their faces like crazy.
One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…
Following my passion. I simply can’t be a good mum if I don’t do the things that make me happy.
My favourite moment of the day is…
The moment I wake up in the morning and see my kids (who snuck in during the night!) laying asleep next to me.
These stunning photographs of Militza and her girls were shot by the super talented (and super lovely!) Carolyn from Melia Photography.