From self-loathing to self-acceptance and ultimately self-love, it’s a struggle most can relate to, but feel too ashamed to talk about. For Alex Winkelman Zeplain, having her first child was an emotional roller coaster in Postpartum Depression that she didn’t quite know how to get off of. Opening up about her feelings and turning to others for support helped Alex find her footing along her journey through motherhood, and from there Hello My Tribe was born. The digital platform and community unites mothers at every stage of their journey to support and grow together.
I connected with Alex over Hello My Tribe’s exciting new event, Girl Party. Esperos is proud to sponsor the Swag Bag Bar at the party for moms happening Saturday, September 22nd. Get to know more about Alex, Girl Party and the positive vibes she’s spreading in our Q&A!
I have a natural curiosity about motherhood and many of my friends are starting to have kids, but I am not a mom yet. What can I learn from Hello My Tribe?
Although we have a big focus on motherhood, we are for all women...for the women thinking about fertility, for those who are trying to conceive, for those who have experienced loss, for those who want might want children in the future, for those who have friends and family members who are mothers...we are community for all.
What difference has Hello My Tribe made in your motherhood journey? Was that the hope when you started this community?
Behind the scenes, Hello My Tribe has allowed me to use my creativity and professional skills I was so missing when I first became a mother. I feel so fulfilled with this work. And Hello My Tribe has brought so many wonderful people into my life. I was terribly lonely as a new mom. Hello My Tribe has completely changed that for me.
What has surprised you about your experience with Hello My Tribe?
Thankfully, this type of work comes naturally to me and majorly fills my cup in the best of ways, especially with the positive impact we have on others. I'm surprised, yet not surprised at all, at the response we are getting to our mission and work. What we are doing is so needed -- evident by the amazing engagement of our community, members, and partners. Personally, balancing being an entrepreneur and mother have been a huge challenge for me, but I try to live Hello My Tribe's beliefs to the fullest -- that motherhood is a team sport and that guilt-free self-care is a necessity.
As a woman who wears many hats, what roles in your life are most important to you? How do you find balance between them?
Just thinking about this list is a bit exhausting. Mother, wife, daughter, entrepreneur are most important to me. Of course, being a sister and friend are also crazy important to me, but with this life you have to prioritize.
You've really opened up a dialogue about Postpartum Depression, an often stigmatized aspect of motherhood. Was that difficult? What inspired you to share your own experience with PPD?
I am someone who wears my heart on my sleeve, and I often don't have a filter. Once I realized what was going on with my own experience and that I was committed to making change, sharing my story came easily. And now people are constantly sharing their own stories with me, which in turn makes it easier to continue to talk about. There are a few people who I don't discuss this journey with simply because they cannot relate or don't have empathy, but that's okay because I have 100% found my community that does understand. My favorite quote right now that will hopefully inspire someone else to share their story: Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
What are three things about PPD that you want any woman, mother or not, to understand?
- It can happen to anyone
- It can show up months and months after giving birth, maybe even years
- It doesn't make you a bad mother
The good, the bad and the misunderstood, you're finding a space to talk about it all, and celebrate it all! Yes! So let's talk Girl Party, the kick-off event is happening September 22nd, at our favorite event space, The Refinery! Esperos is beyond excited to help support it. What can women look forward to most?
This is an opportunity for our community to come together in person. We are so pumped about it. Women can expect a night full of fun, treats, and much needed attention. We want women to be able to let loose and to be spoiled, even if it's for a few hours.
All proceeds from the silent auction are benefitting Mother's Milk Bank of Austin. Why did you choose them?
The Mother's Milk Bank at Austin does amazing, life saving work. I was blown away when I learned more about donor human milk, the issues with giving preemie babies formula, and the issues with informal human milk sharing. We could save so many preemie lives if more women knew how to donate their breast milk. And the new mothers who are going through the major struggles of delivering a baby early, having a baby in the NICU, and/or having a child with a medical condition, need our support.
What are you most looking forward to about Girl Party?!
Meeting our women in person and having so much fun that our cheeks hurt. And feeling like the hangover the next day was 100% worth it, even while having to care for children.
Now it's time for my favorite question! If you could choose any Esperos bag to carry, which one would it be and why?
Black Rolltop Backpack! I have tight shoulders and neck, almost always carry my laptop with me, and always need two hands available so I am 100% a backpack girl!
What items do you always carry with you in your bag?
Sunglasses (1), chapstick (4), headphones, reusable water bottle (5), sunscreen (3), lotion, and concealer (2)...ALWAYS.
Want to be a part of the first ever GIRL PARTY?! Get your tickets here!