One of the absolute pleasures I get in my life as a family photographer is the ability to connect with other Portland moms as well as moms around the world through my social media channels. I get to know about their experiences and struggles, all the joy and the pain we share and my life is better for it.
I hope that you can find the same comfort in this blog series, knowing that you are not alone. This week we are hearing from Maria Berglund. Maria is the Founder and President of In Kind , an organization that supports moms in need. She’s generous and kind and a mom to three boys.
Tell me about yourself
I am a mama to 3 boys (9, 7, 3.5) We live in Oregon, but I am Canadian. We moved to Sherwood in 2013 to be closer to wine country, as my husband is a wine maker. I have always loved helping people, and giving back by volunteering.
When we moved to Oregon I joined the local Moms Club to make friends for myself, and my children. Motherhood can be such a lonely place, it’s nice to feel connected to others who are going through the same things. I joined the club’s board and dedicated my time to bringing moms together for the next three years.
After my third baby was born, I took a break to focus on family. In the spring of 2019 I decided to start my nonprofit In Kind Boxes. I wanted to make more of an impact with my time, and support women in postpartum. I curated a gift box filled with organic and natural essentials for both mamas and their babies. For every gift box sold, we donate one to a mama in need.
At In Kind we believe that everyone deserves the same high standard of care. Now I spend my days volunteering for In Kind while also being at home with my kids. Before I started In Kind, I used to be frustrated that I didn’t know what my true calling was. I love being a mom, and am so grateful to be able to be at home with them and watch them grow. I also know that I need something that’s just for me. Running In Kind is it. Watching our business grow, and seeing people get behind our mission to help moms fills my heart.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
I enjoy being outside- running, hiking, playing at the beach. I also enjoy reading, and playing games.
How do you feel motherhood has changed you and the way people see you?
Motherhood has changed me in that I am more open to my emotions. I never used to cry, and now I do all the time! It has also taught me patience. I feel like being a mom out with my kids can make me feel invisible sometimes, or that people discount my capabilities or intelligence because I have three kids. It truly annoys me.
Do you feel supported as a working mother? What would make things more manageable?
I do feel supported by my husband. He is at home right now, doing distance learning for his maters in teaching, so he helps when he can.
Tell me about your relationships with other women in your life. Do you think women support each other enough? How can we create more community?
I really hold onto relationships with women in my life who are kind, positive and have a good sense of humor about parenting. If you can’t laugh about all the crazy and annoying things kids do, and that we do as parents, then you’re taking life too seriously. Through the work I do on our social pages, it’s all about bringing moms together to lift each other up, and support one another. We are united in motherhood.
Do you have a any parenting hacks or advice to share with other working parents?
Give yourself grace. You’re working so hard, you deserve the same love you give your family.
What would you like your children to know about your motherhood journey?
I love it. It’s hard, but the good days outweigh the bad.