Brave Mama in My Family Story #3 - Leigh Van Der Horst

February 01, 2016

Brave Mama in My Family Story #3 - Leigh Van Der Horst

Leigh is the editor of the online magazine Mama love Magazine. I love browsing through the magazine Leigh's put together. It touches on many aspects of mama life and the section I love most is the Beauty section. Truth be told, time is not on my side, and dressing sensibly (to run after kids who sprint and preventing babies who tug at anything)  yet fashionably is important. The Beauty Section in the magazine is a lifesaver. It recommends easy ways to look fabulous and is perfect for every busy mum. 

I'm really honoured to be able to interview Leigh, and have her share her brave story with us. Leigh is a brave and strong mum. Her story is one about courage dealing with her mum who was stricken with cancer, and being a pillar of support for her mum, at the same time, her children while handling her own emotional storms. I hope Leigh's story will support and encourage you, especially mamas who may going through similar situations. And know that you are not alone.

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Brave mama in my family_Leigh Van Der Horst_Heart in Box_Gift for mum_pict 1

 

1. Tell us about yourself, where you are based and a little about your little one(s). 

 

I'm a 40 year old mother of 4 lovely boys, a wife, a Nurse, an Author and I run ‘Mama Love Magazine’ in my ‘spare time’! My family and I live in a beautiful coastal town on the Mornington Peninsula and get to see the water every day which is SO good for our souls! 3 of my ‘little ones’ are not so little… 15, 12 & 11! My littlest has just turned 4. We are a sports mad family, committed to some sort of sporting activity every day of the week and I am officially the ‘taxi mum’ often with more boys than my own filling up the empty spaces in my car! I do love being a mum of boys though. There is a certain simple and honest existence being the mother of boys. As long as you can handle good doses of noise and mess, then you get through it! I do escape every so often however for some girl time with my friends… It’s necessary for my mental health!

 

 

2. What is the most difficult/challenging thing you had to deal with in your mama-hood journey? 



By far the most difficult thing was losing my mother to cancer in 2008 when I was 32. At the time my eldest boy was being heavily bullied at his school and my heart was literally being ripped out of my chest. I somehow survived the horrible reality of watching my beautiful mum die of Cancer and I took the appropriate steps to improve the quality of my sons' life. Looking back, I think I went into some sort of ‘Lioness’ mode… Very protective. It all worked out fine. I certainly learned about inner strengths that I didn’t know I had!

 

"I learned about inner strengths that I didn't know I had!"
- Leigh Van Der Horst
 
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#Brave Mama In My Family

 

Brave Mama in my family story #3_Leigh Van der Horst_Heart in Box_Gift for mum

 

3. What is the bravest thing you had to do as a mama?

 

I had to shield my boys, very young at the time, from my mums declining health. Cancer is a terrible disease, it really strips everything from the person suffering and I knew that my little boys would not understand why their Nanny was sick and I just didn’t know how to tell them that she was going to die. While I was running to and from my home and the Palliative centre to care for her and be her main support, I had to continue being a mum and try to not make a big fuss out of the situation. I knew it would be hard for them to comprehend, especially my oldest boy and wanted to keep them happy for as long as I could.

 

"I had to continue being a mum and try to not make a big fuss out of the situation"

- Leigh Van Der Horst

 

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#Brave Mama In My Family

 

 

 4. Is there another brave mama who inspires you? How has she inspired you?

 

I ADORE Julia Watson. She writes regularly at ‘Five Fairies and a Fella’ and has not long released her first book ‘Breakfast, School Run, Chemo’.  Julia has bowel cancer and deals with it all with such courage. She is a mum of 4 beautiful girls and all she wants is to live long enough to watch them grow. Something we take for granted. She fights every day and shares a lot about the emotional journey on her blog. I appreciate her courage and honesty as lots of people don’t like to hear about Cancer and its affects but it is important to understand what others go through, I think. 

 

"... all she wants is to live long enough to watch them grow. ... She fights every day..."
- Leigh Van Der Horst
 
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#Brave Mama in My Family

 

 

Brave Mama in my family Story #3_Leigh Van Der Horst_Heart in Box_gift for mum

 

5. What would you say to another mama who may be going through similar circumstances?

 

You just have to dig deep and find your strength. It is there and often we don’t know until we are really pushed to our limit. In life, although we can be devastated by certain events, we can also be very blessed as we have an opportunity to see things in a completely different way. If you take the challenges on, and in turn, learn from them, you become so much more grateful and aware of how rich your life really is.

 

"If you take the challenges on, and in turn, learn from them, you become so much more grateful and aware of how rich your life really is."

- Leigh Van Der Horst

 

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#Brave Mama in My Family

 

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There is just so much gold in this interview. So much for me to take back and reflect. Dear mums, let's learn together from the challenges that come our way, and be thankful for what we have been blessed with. 

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. 

Have a week full of joy!

 

xx Meng

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find Leigh at:

Website: http://mamalovemagazine.com/

Instagram: @mamalovemagazine

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mama-Love-Magazine-868282896592466/

 




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