Meet our Abel Mamas

Abel is proudly female-owned and operated, with a team of exceptional wxmen across the globe. We wanted to celebrate four of whom are mothers - Meet our beautiful Abel mamas and their little ones below.

Name: Marieke Nooteboom
Job title: Commercial Manager
Location: U.S.A
Mum to: Thysa, aged 14 months.

1/ What is the greatest life lesson you have learned since becoming a mother?

The first time Thysa touched grass and was completely amazed by it I realised our days are full of things we don’t see and appreciate anymore, but it’s exactly those things that actually make our world such a special place. Thanks to her, I find myself much more present and marvelling about the most ordinary things. I’m grateful for that!

2/ What is your approach to balancing motherhood and your career? 

This is a constant challenge but I find planning ahead and getting help where needed are absolute musts. I work internationally and across different time zones from my Boston home office which makes it difficult to establish clear boundaries between my work and private life. Since we’ve found a great nanny who helps us out a couple of days a week I feel like we’re getting more into a rhythm, which is nice. I have also started cooking ahead of dinnertime so I can have some quality time with Thysa before she goes to bed.

 

3/ Motherhood is about taking care of others. What are some practices you turn to in order to take care of yourself?

I recently started to get active again. Being an active person by nature, I thought I would start sooner after giving birth. But during that first year, I just didn’t find the energy or time to do it, which is ironic because I know I always feel more energised and like myself once I’m done. 

 

4/ Is there a scent that defines motherhood to you?

Anise. It’s a Dutch tradition to eat “beschuit met muisjes” (Google that) when a baby is born. These typical Dutch treats are made from Anise seeds, which stimulate milk production when breastfeeding and are very tasty too. Our family was so sweet to ship a box to the US and I ate one almost every day in the first weeks after Thysa was born. I just couldn’t stop myself!

Name: Elise Tijssen
Job title: Operations Manager
Location: The Netherlands
Mum to: Moos, aged 9 weeks.

1/ What is the greatest life lesson you have learned since becoming a mother? 

I’ve only become a mother nine weeks ago, but it has taught me so much already. The  cliché is true that it is the greatest life lesson. All irrelevant things in life have moved to the background ever since my son was born.

 

2/ What is your approach to balancing motherhood and your career?

Well, I’m still on maternity leave, so actually I haven’t put this into practice yet. However, I do know I’ll be a better mum to Moos if I’m happy as a person myself. And part of what gives me joy in life is to work for a company that I care about and to continue to develop myself professionally. So, I’m looking forward to going back to work when my maternity leave ends and getting that satisfaction from my job again. And when I’m not working, I’ll be 100% focused on my son.

 

3/ Motherhood is about taking care of others. What are some practices you turn to in order to take care of yourself?

As I’m still in the early days of motherhood, I don’t have that much time in between feeds and changing diapers, but I do love to treat myself to a massage once in a while to recharge and have a moment purely for myself.

 

4/ Is there a scent that defines motherhood to you? 

Ever since I was pregnant, Golden Neroli has become my go-to. The softness and subtlety of this fragrance was everything I needed during those nine months and still, with my newborn, I keep reaching for it. I find it such a calming fragrance. I also don’t want to wear anything too strong or powerful while my newborn is still snuggled up to me most of the day, so the lightness makes it my perfect ‘mama fragrance’.

 

Name: Cath Fitzgerald
Job title: Marketing Manager
Location: New Zealand
Mum to: George, aged two.

1/ What is the greatest life lesson you have learned since becoming a mother? 

Perspective. That nothing is as important as supporting, nurturing, guiding and loving your little one, so remember to let the insignificant parts of life (ironing – I’m looking at you!)  take second place and just enjoy the sticky, messy cuddles with the life you created – while they’re still willing to give them to you!

 

2/ What is your approach to balancing motherhood and your career?

An ever-evolving journey and balance is, in my view, often unachievable day-to-day. Most days one will get the better version of you than the other – you’ll either miss bedtime or the deadline –  and that’s okay. Just give yourself grace, and attempt to swing the pendulum in the other direction when you wake up and do it all again. And on the days where it all gets too much and you feel like you dropped the ball in both departments, remember there are working mums all over the world hiding in the kitchen pantry,  having a ‘sanity wine.’

 

3/ Motherhood is about taking care of others. What are some practices you turn to in order to take care of yourself?

Taking even only ten minutes each day to be completely on my own, in silence, with no one needing anything from me, and being very intentional about what that time is for.  Often this means getting up a little earlier than the rest of the house for a quiet, solitary coffee in the stillness of morning –  before life and the world wakes up. 

 

4/ Is there a scent that defines motherhood to you? 

I was fortunate to start working at Abel just as my son turned two, and discovered and started wearing our beautiful NURTURE fragrance. So for me, NURTURE will always remind me of a transitional time in motherhood – when my baby stopped being a baby, when he became his own beautiful little person, with opinions (oh the opinions!) and a stronger need for independence, coupled with a cheeky sense of humour and appetite for adventure in equal measure. NURTURE to me is the scent that celebrates him growing up and my pride in being his mum as I watch on. 

 

Name: Frances Shoemack
Job title: Founder / CEO
Location: New Zealand
Mum to: Rufus and Arthur, aged eight and five.

1/ What is the greatest life lesson you have learned since becoming a mother? 

Having children (I’m sure it’s the same for fathers and other caregivers) puts everything in perspective. You are no longer the centre of your world, and that really does just change everything. You learn to dig into reserves you never knew existed, love beyond what you thought was possible. All the cliches are true…


2/ What is your approach to balancing motherhood and your career? 

To go all in, with plenty of trust and as little fear as possible. While you can’t be everything to everyone and you certainly won’t get everything right the first time, I trust that if I’m doing things with an open heart and mind, the universe will conspire with me. When that doesn’t happen, I try to be gentle on myself! Letting myself cry on the days when crying is needed, laugh on the others. Above all else, I constantly remind myself to be grateful I get to do both, that it’s my choice and privilege, and that it’s something pretty new in the order of things.

 

3/ Motherhood is about taking care of others. What are some practices you turn to in order to take care of yourself?

You absolutely need to carve out time for yourself in your week (the old adage of putting on your own oxygen mask first). Time in which you can be, turn inward and do something that will bring you peace. For me that’s going to yoga, cooking my favourite meal with a glass of wine in hand, running a bath on a Sunday evening before an early night, and my daily ocean swims with my husband (although the children have started to join these which, while much more joyous, is a little less meditative!).


4/ Is there a scent that defines motherhood to you? 

Lavender. I first started using lavender essential oil to help with sleep during my first pregnancy, it’s since become a bit of an olfactory soundtrack to the boys’ childhood. In the bath to calm before bedtime, under their pillow to help them sleep. When we moved to New Zealand we planted several lavender bushes together in our vegetable garden. My younger son Arthur loves to pick the lavender and arrange in little vases and glass jars around the house or sneak handfuls of crushed lavender flowers under our pillows (very charming if not a little messy!).

 

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