Marek Schultz is a founding member of Wiwiurka. Born in Germany, of Polish descent, he speaks 4 languages and has called Mexico his home for the past 15 years.
Xel Demesa, Brand Manager of Wiwiurka, undertook the task to interview Marek on the occasion of Father’s Day and to introduce you a little bit to one of the minds behind the creation of Wiwiurka.
This is what they talked about:
Xel: Did you ever imagine becoming a father?
No, I never imagined becoming a father. In my 20s, I wanted to travel the world, enjoy life and was not ready at all to become a father.
I grew up in a typical family, mom, dad and a younger brother. A small unit with no extended family that would help me experience different types of fathers.
I also had, and still have, a view of all the challenges we are facing as a civilization, so it wasn’t clear to me if it was a good idea to have children or not.
Xel:Until the time came!
Marek: Yes (he answers laughing).
The challenge of parenthood
Xel: How did you feel with the new challenge of being a father?
Marek: Well, at times I felt enraptured, and at times overwhelmed, like an absolute beginner. As I mentioned before, I didn’t have many references on taking care of a little one. I had to learn from zero, and it was a beautiful adventure because it forced me to question and extract “what is the most important thing of the human experience?”, it helped me develop my communication skills, and if you take it, becoming a father is a great opportunity to start a deep personal work.
Xel: and it multiplied by 3!
Xel: Looking back, what would you advise Marek, the first-time father?
To begin with, I would insist on teaching the baby to bottle feed (hahaha) to be able to be more involved, because in my experience, the breastfeeding period was very dominant, the time dedicated and the intimate bond between mother and child oftentimes leaves fathers
Xel: What else would you advise, aside from having this contact with the baby while feeding them.
Marek: Yes, to be able to have this contact that men obviously don’t experience, there is no biological bond like the one the mother creates during the pregnancy.
Also, I think another important factor is to help your partner, this way you have a little more attention from the baby. I would say as well, to invest more time and energy in personal development, previous to the pregnancy or if not, starting from the moment you know you’re going to become a father. To take seriously the 9 months of pregnancy to prepare, especially in working on your personal history, because what you haven’t solved emotionally is what you bring to your new family, you create a new system and you have to be conscious of the relationship you had with your parents. To understand what happened, to know yourself better, discover false beliefs about yourself, identify the root of your self sabotage, and toxic traits. Where does your sadness and aggression come from? Because all of this will surface, children come to press buttons because it’s natural, and we if we don’t know the answer of why we react in a certain way, we will make the go through things that are not healthy. It would be great to take a workshop of “reparenting” during those 9 months, I would have realized so many things! (laughs).
Xel: And, what have been your greatest challenges as a father?
Well, a constant challenge is to develop a healthy authority, it has taken a lot of work because I grew up with a very strict father, a kind of submissive mother and for me, limits were related to a negative energy of punishments, and I had to learn that children need limits to define their behavior and to build security during their growth and emotional development, they need to know the limit of when their actions can hurt others.
In a family unit, not everything can revolve around the well being of just one person, no one comes first, we are all here, parents and children, there should be inclusion and there should be a balance energetically. Parents shouldn’t always give in, they should think about themselves, their relationship, and this confusion has been challenging. When there’s tantrums, you get strained when not knowing how to stop it, and it’s actually not so difficult but you have to stay firm and have the clear vision of where you want their upbringing to go.
Another challenge has been to find balance in the different roles, between me, Marek as a person, my needs, taking care of my partner and my role as a father, find the balance there, because I think it’s very easy to get lost in the role of being a father, or a mother, or the provider.
And an additional challenge has been not to get frustrated whenever I feel that my daughters don’t look for me as their initial source of support, they solve everything with their mom, because they feel it’s easier to obtain it there and they are girls, so, sometimes it’s a lot of feminine energy.
Xel: What is the main life message you share with your daughters?
Marek: That’s a big question! It’s not easy to summarize, but there is one that imbues our experience as a family, we even have a phrase!: “I am free!” I am free for us means “if you believe it, the potential of human beings is immense”.
What I observe in my daughters is everything that limits them, the embarrassment, the fears, the beliefs, most of that is acquired, and it obviously limits your potential, your connection with yourself, what life can give you and what you can become.
Another message is to make mistakes, make mistakes because that’s where our biggest lessons come from, of course by admitting them and then reflecting about them.
Xel: 5 main values that you share with your daughters
Marek: For me, I’m interested in them being flexible, that they adapt to change, because the external conditions can change a lot and it’s important to flow and have an internal solid base.
Tolerance because here we are all very different, my daughters are different from one another, and that’s a big challenge, oh that was another message as well!, I like to say that there are no problems, problems don’t exist, only challenges exist.
Gratitude is so important, and it’s so difficult to teach it. If you succeed in teaching them gratitude that’s the key to live happy. To remain curious, I have personally started many things and some of them have not been taken to a good level, so I would like that my daughters have the compromise to start something and finish it. The last thing is that they do things with good intentions, clear intentions, no matter what you do but with an intention related to your being, I don’t know if that’s a value (laughs).
Xel: What is the shared activity where you feel the most connection with your daughters?
Because of my personality, I feel fulfilled when we bond in a physical activity, like going swimming to the springs, or walking through the woods, biking, gardening, taking care of the veggie garden together, just to share any experiences related to nature or working with nature, or experimenting and climbing a tree, running around, playing hide and seek, tag, frisbee, or basketball, jumping on the trampoline, etc. I would say that playing is like medicine in relation to your children and it’s a bridge towards this next topic, the message to all parents: to connect and play with your children.
I don’t know how it was before? It would be fun to look at research on the times and the attention given to children then, I’m not saying that it wasn’t a lot of work, but they were together, and children used to be very involved the economy and family activities, I’m talking about 100 or 150 years ago, but the concept of childhood is something recent, anyway, I feel we need to make the most of it, because the years go by so quickly and I think we need to play with our kids.
To hire someone to play with them or delegate, I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I simply feel that it makes us lose an opportunity, because I also consider that the reason why children come to our lives is to help us connect once again with our inner child. They can help you remember to marvel at the details, at movement, at your body, you see that they are not static like us, they love movement, they love to sing, to run around and it strengthens the bond with them, to play, be creative, draw and read.
Find good children’s books, because it’s something that nourishes the soul, read with them, at night or during the weekends, don’t shower them with things, because in the end you don’t remember the objects, you remember the experiences you had, and keep them as far away as possible from gadgets, it’s so important especially if our houses don’t have a garden. I understand that it’s not always possible but look for more moments outdoors, at the park, more time where we feed curiosity, mobility, where they can entertain themselves and not depend on technology, because it creates habits in the years when children are so open. I think this is a very sensitive topic and it gives a lot of points to discuss at a different time.