IN CONVERSATION WITH CAMERON ROGERS
Interview by Jana Letonja
Cameron Rogers is a mental health champion, community curator and approachable mother who uses her raw voice and relatable humor to cultivate a candid space that reminds her audience they are never alone on their journey. Her career fearlessness, experience working on Wall Street for five years and robust entrepreneurial skills have garnered her as one of Forbes’ ‘Five Entrepreneurs Who are Changing New York’s Wellness Scene’. Through the ‘Freckled Foodie & Friends’ podcast, she prides herself on removing the stigma around mental health across her platforms to provide her close-knit community with an open forum, impactful resources and encouragement to live life simply and imperfectly.
Cameron, you are soon to be a mother of 2. Have you yourself struggled with postpartum depression? Why is this a topic that should be more openly spoken about?
I struggled a lot with my mental health during both pregnancies and experienced postpartum depression around 4 – 6 months after my first child. The reason I share so openly about my mental health struggles in general, but especially during pregnancy and postpartum, is because I feel passionately that this topic should be more openly and honestly discussed.
During hardships in life, it is so easy to feel isolated and alone. I believe that the more we can vulnerably share how we are truly feeling, the more we can connect with others and realize that we are not the only ones going through these down periods. Specifically in terms of postpartum, I feel adamant about sharing because I know firsthand how isolating and overwhelming that experience can be and how permanent everything can feel. There is so much more support needed during the postpartum period than what women experience during birth and the more I can use my platform to shed light on that, the better.
How has this experience been for you?
I felt really confident during the early stages of postpartum. It was just my husband, myself and our child in our apartment during those first months and it felt like such a team effort to get through each day. I was so proud of us for every small accomplishment. Personally, I really struggled when I tried to return to certain aspects of my ‘previous’ life. Whether that be work, socializing or simply being a person in the outside world. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I felt so conflicted about my identity.
How does having your second child differ from having your first in your experience?
This pregnancy has definitely been physically more taxing than the first because I am simultaneously taking care of a toddler, which obviously wasn’t the case during my first pregnancy. With my first, I had the option to be horizontal on a couch or bed as much as possible and to use all of my free time to rest. And with the second, majority of my time is spent chasing around my 2-year old.
What would be your self care and mental health tips for new mothers?
Even if it is just 5 minutes, try to prioritize some time for yourself every single day. I prefer to do this first thing in the morning, but it can be whenever you’re able to squeeze it in. Whether it’s a longer shower than usual, a quick meditation, a solo walk or simply dancing to a few songs with your headphones on, it is so important to still have time for yourself when you are giving so much to others.
How do you find time in the day for yourself as a mom? How challenging is it to do so? And why is it so important to not forget about yourself when you are a mom?
I have always been a morning person, so this is my dedicated ‘me’ time. I wake up about an hour and a half before my son, so that I can have time to do all of the things I want to prioritize my mental and physical health without worrying about anyone else. This time usually includes meditation, some free journaling, a relaxing cup of coffee and some form of movement.
It is definitely challenging to carve out time for yourself and everyone’s schedule, but it is vital. As a mom, it is so easy to prioritize everyone else’s needs and forget about your own. You and your partner, if you have one, are now the people responsible for a human’s life and it can feel incredibly overwhelming in terms of decisions to be made and things to be done. As I learned firsthand, you cannot pour from an empty cup. It will look different for each person, but you have to make sure to fill your cup in order to be the best version of yourself for your children.
Through your podcast ‘Freckled Foodie & Friends, you are removing the stigma around mental health. What are the biggest ‘silent risks’ of mental health issues in the society? How could each individual work on this?
I personally share my experience in hopes of removing the stigma around mental health and reminding everyone that no matter the emotion they are feeling, they are not alone. I believe loneliness is one of the most debilitating emotions and if we all were more accepting of hearing how people really felt and willing to vulnerably share, we would realize that everyone is going through something. As a society, I think we can work on being more accepting of people’s struggles, realizing that we can all have different lived experiences, and validating others’ emotions.
What inspired you to create your own podcast and also creating your close-knit community of followers, with whom you are sharing your resources, tips, recipes and more?
Ever since a young age, I have always loved talking. My elementary school teacher wrote on my report card that if she sat me next to a wall, I’d talk to it. And she wasn’t wrong. For me, the community is everything. We would be lost without it and I don’t think it is prioritized enough. I began my podcast because I wanted a space to have a longer form of conversation with my community and to bring on some of the incredible people in my life who I found inspiring and knew my listeners would as well.
Some of the conversations on your podcast revolve around healing your relationship with your body and also how to keep things steamy in the bedroom. Can you share with our readers your best tips on each of the two?
In terms of healing your relationship with your body, I believe affirmations are one of the most positive practices. When I was struggling, I noticed that my first instinct was to critique both myself and others. The critical voice in my head was loud. Each time I heard that voice, which I pictured as a legitimate devil on my shoulder, I tapped into the positive affirmation voice, the angel on my other shoulder, and would look in the mirror and affirm the part of my body I was critiquing. This eventually heightened the volume of my positive voice and slowly, but surely replaced the critical one.
In terms of keeping things steamy in the bedroom, this is relationship dependent, but for any people out there struggling with their sex drive, especially postpartum, I cannot recommend romance/smut novels enough. I love reading and was introduced to this genre about 2 years ago and it helped so much with tapping back into my sexuality after becoming a mom. My favorite recommendation is the ‘A Court of Thorn and Roses’ series.
You recently moved to New Jersey, where you’re designing your dream home. What excites you the most about this project, about designing the interior of your home?
It is definitely a process and can feel incredibly overwhelming at times, but I am so happy with the space that we are creating. We always wanted our home to feel welcoming, cozy, lived-in and family oriented, and I think we are creating just that. The thing that excites me most about this project is seeing it all come to life and experiencing new lifelong memories with my family.
On your blog, you are sharing travel guides to your followers. What would be your travel guide for the end of this summer to our readers?
If you’re on the East Coast, I cannot recommend the Jersey Shore enough. I know almost all of New York City heads out to the Hamptons for the majority of the summer, but I have always been and will always be a Jersey Shore girl. The beaches are beautiful, it is so much easier to get to, there is a ton of amazing ice cream, the restaurants are great and the vibe is unmatched.