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Stories of women. Monika Tamla

Life roles: beloved former anchorwoman and TV personality, journalist, a powerful and radiant woman educated in Economics and Diplomacy, practical government official, photography enthusiast.

Stories of women. Monika Tamla

Jewelry: WildWoman. Photo: Penelope Russak

Life roles: beloved former anchorwoman and TV personality, journalist, a powerful and radiant woman educated in Economics and Diplomacy, practical government official, photography enthusiast.

Mother’s Day is coming up and you’re the mother of three awesome boys. What has becoming a mother given to you as a woman and what has it taken away?

Becoming and being a mother has made me very rich, giving me the most precious treasure in the world. Now that my sons are 28, 25, and 5, I can say that thanks to these boys coming into my life I have two amazing friends and support pillars and one little munchkin to fill my days with joy.

Becoming a mom, who would have thought one day the little newbie would be taller than me and even smarter in a thing or two. I am proud that my elder sons are awesome and independent and moving vigorously towards their dreams. Moreover, I feel I can rely on them now should I need to.

My youngest gives me a boatload of love and joy every day as, compared to my elder sons, I have been able to spend a lot of time with him during the first five years of his life and be a firsthand witness to him growing up. At first, owing to maternity leave and this last year's “thanks” to the corona crisis.

What has motherhood taken from me? I took a long while to think about this and the only thing I came up with is that when kids are small, you have less freedom and less time to spend by yourself which is fairly important for me. But as the kids grow, you’ll have more than enough time for that.

Stories of women. Monika Tamla

Photo: Annika Annika Metsla

They say behind each man is a woman, i.e. a mother that raised him. What do you think the qualities of a manly man are, have you been able to instill these properties in your sons and how did you do that?

It seems to me that for every human being, not only a man, it is important to be independent while having the skill to consider others and accepting responsibility for your actions. I was very independent as a kid and that’s exactly how I raised my sons – I gave them the freedom of choice, the freedom to make mistakes, yet I also pointed the dangers out there and let them know about social rules. Smart people learn from the mistakes of others, less smart ones from their own mistakes and that’s how, still testing the limits from time to time, they grew to be adult men. It seems to me that at least in terms of independence my child-rearing methods have been abundantly fruitful.

Monika, you’re a well-known person which means you’re watched by the public, society asserts pressure demanding fast pace, elevating youth to cult status, and expecting all females to be superwomen – how do you keep yourself balanced in the midst of all this?

It appears to be that the older a person gets, the less they care about external demands and pressure. Self-awareness increases, you fully comprehend how fast time really flies, and you realize the most important things are peace of mind or inner self-confidence.

I think what gave me peace about mortality and growing old was a pre-birthday talk with my mother years ago when she turned 50 and I 25. My mom looked at me and half-jokingly said: you know what - I constantly feel like I’m 25 but when I go past a mirror, I jump a little thinking who’s the older woman looking back at me. Now that I am about to have lived half a century, I know exactly what my mother felt. Yet I do not jump looking in the mirror and have accepted the fact that I am no longer a spring chicken.

Of course, I try to remain active, cheerful, and healthy and do all I can to feel good. I love long walks in the woods and by the sea, swimming, Pilates and yoga, reading, theater and movies, and some (sparkling) wine in the company of good friends. I believe family and life-long close friends also help maintain your balance.

Have you experienced a midlife crisis? How do you find meaning, passion, and excitement at 45+?

Instead of a midlife crisis, I probably experienced the empty nest syndrome at 40+ and to get over that, I decided to fill the nest again. Lucky for me, that plan worked! :) 

As an incurable optimist, I think at 45+ you should believe half your life is still ahead and dream big about what you would want to do and could do in the next decades. Thoughts have great power! If you tell yourself over and over again that half your life is over at this age, you’ll get the sullen feeling of “it’s all downhill from here”. But you should always give a positive direction to your thoughts…

Which wisdom from your foremothers do you use in your own life and do you have some to share with other women?

I was raised by capable and down-to-earth rural women – my mother and grandmother. My grandmother loved to impress on me that what is truly important is not outer beauty but a person’s character, attitude towards life, and willingness to work hard – “beauty doesn’t feed you” was a message I heard her convey often. Outer beauty is a fleeting phenomenon, while inner beauty – wisdom, goodness, cheerfulness – can be cultivated in time and radiated on the people that surround you. This is how I have tried to lead my life and instead of focusing on the exterior, I have continuously endeavored to advance myself inwardly. What does jewelry mean for you and what is your favorite piece of jewelry? Jewelry for me is a way of expressing myself and my emotions. When I was younger I valued gold jewelry and a classical/conservative style, rather; however, in my 40s I began to gravitate more and more towards boho style jewelry – silver and semi-precious stones. I love large jewelry pieces with character. My favorites over the past few years have been a couple of WildWoman’s silver pieces with black onyx – a large ring and a pendant. But in the summer I love to wear jewelry with more white, pink, and blue – pink quartz, larimar, and moonstone are my favorites then.

Stories of women. Monika Tamla

Jewelry: WildWoman. Photo: Penelope Russak

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