Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... January 11 2013

Name: Melissa Matthews Brown

Hometown: I grew up in Roselle Park, NJ but now live in Fanwood, NJ

How long have you’ve been living in New Jersey? I have always lived in NJ except for the four/five years I spent living it up on the UES in a rent controlled studio (which I shared with my friend Steph and then with my husband!)

Occupation: Beauty Editor (although you wouldn’t think that thanks to the mommy bags under my eyes :)

 When did you first Become a Mother? January 21, 2011 was the happiest and scariest day of my life

 Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? I come from a large family, I’m talking my mom is one of nineteen kids large, family. I have a ton of nieces and nephews. I became an aunt when I was 8!

Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? NOT AT ALL!!! My mom actually said to me after a few weeks into being a mom to Connor (my first), why are you so surprised by everything? I guess when it is not your child you really can’t comprehend the depth of love, time, sleepless nights and devotion needed to raise a child. 

 How would you describe the first year? A blur! Actually, the first year was thrilling too. It was a year of firsts: crawling, walking, laughing…so many moments. I cherish every one!!! 

You just had a second, Matty, congrats! How is having two babies under two? Before Matty was born I was scared to death of having another baby. Splitting my time seemed like it was going to be impossible. Then, he arrived, my angel baby! He is sweet and enjoys sitting back and checking things out. He loves to watch Connor, he instantly makes Matty smile. Are things busy? Yes! Am I tired? Yes! Would I have it any other way? Not at all. I try to stay as organized as I can but two under two is a challenge. The thing that is  the hardest, Matty and Connor share germs. Connor was never sick in his first year. My poor Matty has been sick ever since he turned 3 months old!

 You just moved closer to your family, has this help with a support system being near by? Living closer to my Mom and friends has been a life saver. I wouldn’t survive without their help. I’m lucky to have such wonderful support.

You also JUST went back to work, how is it going? Going back to work is like a daily adventure. Every day is a marathon. From the minute my feet hit the floor until I get to pull them back under the covers at night I’m in constant motion. It helps that I work with other moms so on days I’m brain dead, they get it!

Tips for new moms? Laugh often! This whole mommy business is tough and if you don’t try to take a minute and find some humor in it all you will go insane! What is really funny, most of my conversations revolve around poop and sleep, “how many times did he poop?” “how long did he nap?”

Poop, throw up and pee-pee are the words most used by me these days!


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama November 16 2012

I can’t recall how I found out about Jenny but I ended up signing for her Inner Mama coaching series. The course promised me a chance to reclaim myself and encouraged massive doses of self-care. At the time, I was an exhausted mom to a 5 month old, back at work full-time and desperate for someone to tell me if was OK to take care of myself and that having a night off was actually good for me!
 Jenny’s course not only kept me sane through those  through those early months, it kept me energized and in touch with my passions and desires (that interestingly enough don’t go away after you’ve had a child!). I’ve seen her work wonders & highly recommend her to anyone who’s struggling. I’ve seen the results she gets from her clients and I’m awestruck. Our friend B went from an unsure unhappy worker bee who wanted much more to a new business and home owner and the happiest I’ve ever seen her! 

Name: Jenny Fenig

Hometown: Tough to answer! Grew up in Marietta, Ga., and New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Then went to college in Florida before making my way to the bright lights of New York City to pursue a career in public relations. All have had huge influences on my life.

How long have you’ve been living in the Berkshires? 2+ years

Occupation: Coach and consultant to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-the-making; CEO of www.jennyfenig.com

When Did you first Become a Mother? January 5, 2009. My son Sean decided to come into the world two-and-a-half weeks earlier than expected! Ever since, he’s kept me on my toes.

Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? Um, I knew nothing about motherhood! I heard from some of my friends that having children changed “everything.” I wasn’t sure what that meant. To be honest, I didn’t even know I wanted to have children. Even when my husband Steven and I got married, we were a bit ambivalent about becoming parents. We wanted to have children because WE wanted to become parents … not because you’re expected to have children after you get married. I started feeling the pull towards children a few years into marriage. He was on-board luckily! That being said, I can’t imagine my life without my beautiful children in it. They are sunshine on a cloudy day!

How would you describe the first year? Magical … and exhausting. It exceeded all of my dreams.

Did you have a support system near by? No, so I created one for myself. My family and friends from childhood are essentially all down South so I had to find some new friends with babies! This was not hard living on the Upper West Side when I became a mom. I joined a moms support group at the Prenatal Yoga Center and am still close buddies with the 7 women (and babies) who were in our group. Sean actually shares a birthday with 2 of the boys in the group and we’ve done a group birthday celebration every year since we’ve met. Even though only 2 of the 8 of us are still living in Manhattan, we’ll be bonded for life. We went through the greatest transition you can ever go through together. It’s special.

I found support groups so transformative that I partnered with an organization called Mommybites to offer our own brand of support groups for moms in NYC. It was one of the greatest years of my life supporting new moms and workings moms (the 2 groups I led) like that. I’ll always be grateful for that experience. I stopped leading those groups when we moved out of NYC to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
I still lead groups for women though. There is immense power in them. I just now focus on working with women who are on the same path as me - soul-led business ownership. Love it! I even host an annual retreat in the Catskills of New York that is seriously LIFE-CHANGING. It’s called the Retreat for Goddesses. I’m in love with the women who attend. So inspiring! We come together to chart a new path forward so they can uncover, own and profit from their big gift in the world … and build a business AROUND their life so they can be the woman they want to be. www.retreatforgoddesses.com

You have two young children, was it a bit easier when you had #2?   
Yes and no. Certainly having a baby was easier the second time around, but recovering from the birth was a lot more challenging. With Sean, I had a fast labor (3 hours!) and smooth delivery. I wanted an unmedicated birth in a birthing center and that’s what we got.

With my second son, I was hoping for a home birth, but Luke had other plans. That baby was breach and had no desire to turn himself around! I learned that there is only so much you can control in life. Having a C-section was very scary for me because I had never had surgery before. But what are ya gonna do? I had to trust that my baby and the doctors knew what they were doing. I call my C-section scar my badge of honor. I’m proud of it and always think of him when I see it. 
I love having 2 kids. Love that they have each other. Love that they are BROTHERS. And I tell myself that when my oldest is beating up on the youngest :) It will all be worth it!

You used to live in NYC but are now raising your children in the Berkshires, do you miss New York?
Moving out of the city was a TOUGH decision and to be honest, we thought we’d miss NYC more than we do. We’ve chosen to live in Great Barrington, Mass., the #1 Small Town in America (seriously, the Smithsonian Magazine gave us that distinction recently). There is a lot of NYC influence here and many former city peeps have moved here for a different type of lifestyle. We have great yoga (Kripalu is nearby), culture, food, theater and outdoorsy adventures. I like how grounded, creative and independent people in the Berkshires are.
But yes, I’ll always be a New Yorker at heart. Proud I became a parent in that magical city. It was SO much fun. I DO miss food delivery, fabulous kids classes, and just the sheer number of interesting people with big dreams. I come back in for business trips and family outings. We can either drive or take a train in.

Tips for new moms?
Trust yourself. You know your child better than anyone else. Never doubt that bond that you have. Most importantly, enjoy the ride! Best piece of advice I got: “The days sometimes drag by, but the years fly by.” Have fun and remember to take care of YOU so you can take care of your beautiful family.


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... November 02 2012

  

It was bound to happen. I finally get to feature my best friend April on MB. We have been friends for many years and have been through SO MUCH together. I love her. I called her soon after I had my son upset that she lead me to believe that being a new mom was bliss. She simply stated if I told you the truth you would have never tried to have children. She’s right and I am of course happy to have my boy.

Mother of a 9 (almost 10) Olivia and 6 year old Ben, she is originally from Florida but lives in California where she has created shows such as Jane By Design and is currently working on a project for HBO.

Name:  April Blair

Hometown: Los Angeles

How long have you’ve been living in California? 12 years

Occupation:  Screenwriter

When Did you first Become a Mother? January 2003.  It seems like just yesterday that they were born, but they’re already way smarter and funnier than I am.  

Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea?  The sum of my mothering experience pre-Olivia was what I had learned taking care of my black lab, whom I believed was just like a child. If anyone had warned me that having a dog was nothing like having a kid, I would have throttled them.  In fact, pre-birth, the thing I was most concerned about was if my lab would adjust to having a baby around.  I was clueless.  I had no idea how unprepared I was for what life would be like once Olivia arrived.  Life (as I knew it) was over.  I could not sleep in. I couldn’t sleep more than 3 hours at a time.  I could not even get out of the house without an hour of bottle, diaper and stroller packing.  It was shocking.  And upsetting.  And boring.  And amazing.  And I’d never felt that much love.  And, yes, the dog became just a dog.  

How would you describe the first year? I hated my body.  I hated my babysitter.  I hated when I was working.  I hated when I wasn’t working.  Hated it.  But then I loved it, too.  Looking at her little face and knowing she was mine was the most rewarding thing I’d ever experienced.  Honestly, it was a roller coaster of emotions.  I think post-baby blues are the devils work, but if you had told me at the time that my ups and downs were largely due to hormones… I would’ve promptly burst in to tears.  

Did you have a support system near by? Most of my support came from my husband, my best friend and my baby sitter… whom, as I mentioned, I loathed because I was jealous that my baby actually liked her.  Which made total sense to me at the time.  The day that Olivia cried when the sitter left, I was absolutely sure that she needed to be fired.  Seriously, she really needed to go. 

You have two young children, was it a bit easier when you had #2? Having my son was easier because life (as I once knew it) was already over, so it wasn’t such a shock to my system. I knew what to expect, which kills a huge chunk of stress.  I had also learned to relax and enjoy when my kids liked someone else enough to let them take care of them. The sitter I had when Ben was born only left recently once the kids were both in school all day.  That they loved her so much only made me love her more and instead of jealousy I felt relief and gratitude. One thing that was more difficult was anticipating/worrying how my having another baby would affect Olivia.  Would she like him, would she feel left out, would I have enough love for both of them, was I ruining her life having another child, etc… In my mind, none of that came true at all.  But according to Olivia, who is currently reading over my shoulder, the last prediction ”totally came true because Ben is the most annoying brother EVER.”  So there you have it.    

You used to live in NYC but are now raising your children in California, do you miss New York? I miss New York daily and am constantly plotting my glorious return, but I’m not sure I could handle raising small kids in NYC.  I’m really impressed with city moms whenever I’m visiting… the strollers, the sidewalks, the subways… you guys are supeheroes.  I think I’d cry if I couldn’t just load my kids in the station wagon for school each morning.  L.A. has made me weak : ) 

Tips for new moms? You have to learn to laugh at yourself and enjoy the imperfections in your parenting. When my 5 year old son quit Audubon camp because it was “bullshit” (yes, I thought Family Guy was a kids cartoon. yes, I’ve learned my lesson) or, worst of all, when I had to tell my kids that their dad and I were getting a divorce a few months ago… There will be times you’ll be sure you’ve failed, but you have to keep laughing and enjoying the moment and remember the old cliche’ (because it’s true)…you WILL turn around one day and that baby will be a distant, sweet, fuzzy memory that has turned in to a really mouthy kid hogging the television and telling you to mind your own business. 

I think the best tip anyone ever gave me… and this is when I was struggling nightly to get my daughter to sleep in her own bed (which she did not do until she was nearly 7)… was to not stress about sleep training.  If they want to creep in your bed at night, let them creep in your bed at night, because one day soon you won’t even be able to get them to sit down on the end of the bed and talk to you for five minutes.  Don’t fight it.  Cherish it.  It will all be over before you know it.  


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... October 19 2012

Jenny is the type of woman that makes you want to brush up on your style and be a kinder soul. I met Jenny in my moms-to-be group almost 4 years ago (!!!) and loved her instantly. Not only is she always so positive, so sweet and Southern but she’s an award winning book cover illustrator. Plus we’re big fans of the blog she runs with her equally talented designer Dutch husband - Erik. Lady’s got Mad talent! 

Name: Jenny Carrow
Hometown: Louisville, KY
How long have you’ve been living in Brooklyn? Ten years
Occupation: Book jacket designer by day, toddler entertainer by night

When did you first become a mother? September 2009

Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? I knew
becoming a mother would be completely life changing, that I would be
probably be exhausted and that I would marvel at every little smile,
laugh, and milestone along the way. This was pretty much all true.

What was your idea of what you felt your life would be like? At the
time I was so focused on the pregnancy and the birth that I didn’t
think too far ahead. I mostly had visions of picnics in the park with
Ellis rolling around on the blanket, evenings at home eating around
the table (little did I know this would be with one hand for the first
year!) and walks around the neighborhood.

How would you describe the first year? Aside from a rough few first
weeks, the first year was so special. There were so many moments when
Erik and I would just stare at Ellis and marvel that we had made this
perfect little person. My sense of time has completely changed. Some
nights were so long while the months seemed to fly by. I was worried
about finding a magical balance between work and family and was
pleasantly surprised to find I was able to focus on each thing while
in the moment. Trying to find time to read manuscripts at home was a
completely different story!

What helped you to get through it? My husband has been great at
sharing all of the responsibilities and sleepless nights. This
community was also a huge help. I had lived in NY for ten years before
becoming a parent and I never really felt like I lived in a real
community. A neighborhood with great restaurant, bars and a few close
friends, yes, but not a community. The new mom get togethers during my
maternity leave were a life saver that forced me to get showered and
out of the house each day. I’m still friends with many of these
families and I love seeing what great little people those sweet,
slobbering newborns have grown into. I went back to work full-time
around 14 weeks and had Ellis at the daycare around the corner from my
office. Getting to visit her throughout the day was a huge help during
that first year. I didn’t even mind the commute because I enjoyed our
extra time snuggled together.

You recently announced you’ve got #2 on board, Congrats! How is it
juggling a young toddler while being pregnant? Thanks! For about two
months, Ellis and I had the same 8:30 bedtime. My energy is slowly
returning and I am getting excited and nervous about life with two.
I’ll probably need to stop picking her up and carrying her at some
point since she’s nearly 40 lbs!

We really love your new blog, Jenny & Erik. Is there anything you can
share with us? What can we look forward to? It’s actually a pretty old
blog, as blogs go. Erik and I began it in 2004 to keep family and
friends updated on our adventures. For many years, our cats were the
main stars. It’s morphed into more of a visual diary of our lives as
parents. I love to hear that people check for updates. It’s the best
motivation for me to post more!


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... October 12 2012

Today Kimberly from Red Rose and Lavender shares her journey on MB. Each of these posts have been amazing to read and inspiring to us as mothers and we are grateful for these moms opening up to us, thank you Kimberly!

Name: Kimberly Sevilla

Hometown: Charles Town, WV

How long have you been living in Brooklyn? 20 years, this year

Occupation: Floral Designer owner of a Garden Center

When did you first become a mother? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? I First became a mother in 2008. It was pretty scary for me, I had put off being a mom because of my career. At the time I was an account manager and I handled visuals and installations for clients like Calvin Klein, Barneys and the NFL, most of my co- workers were men with wives who stayed at home or single women who were never going to have kids. I was afraid that when I had children that I wouldn’t be able to work as hard and I had a very demanding job. When my daughter was about 6 months old I realized that I didn’t want to keep up with my demanding job and all the hard work wasn’t worth it, so I figured out something that I could do, and have flexible time to be a mom.  That was opening a flower shop and garden center.

Before becoming a mother what did you know about motherhood? I knew what kind of mother I wanted to be, I wanted the best for my daughter and I wanted to stay away from chemicals and have a natural experience as much as possible. After a year of using cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and only glass bottles, trying elimination communication, micro-examining everything to make sure it was organic, co-sleeping, the works.  I learned how to pick my
battles with baby #2.

Did you have a support system nearby? No, but I found one, an older lady who lives across the street and treats my kids like her grandchildren. She is the best.

Tips for new moms? Get out and meet other moms, talk, your not alone. Develop a thick skin and be thankful that all the strangers that offer ”advice” care about you and your baby, just tell yourself this, really just mean well, it will make you feel better. Ignore moms who say that it just’s get harder, they forget how overwhelming it is when you are a new mom.

We really love your store Rose Red and Lavender. Is there anything you can share with us that you’re currently working on? If parents visit the store, what can they expect? Thanks!! We love kids at the store and try to make it fun for them. This past spring we had an observation honey bee hive on display, I will put it back again this spring. Now we have lots of pumpkins and pumpkin carving kits, old school plastic ornaments and were doing a pumpkin carving demonstration on October 21st http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4353637848#We always try to make it fun.

 


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... October 05 2012

Name: Pilar Vahey
Hometown: Manhasset, NY
How long have you’ve been living in Brooklyn? 7 years
Occupation: mom and freelance art advisor
 
When Did you first Become a Mother? Clifford was born September 19, 2009 and then a day shy of 20 months later I gave birth to Dashiell.
Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? I’ve always loved kids and babies. I thought I was going to be a very intuitive mother and we’d be able to avoid issues by being in tune with each other. I thought there would be a ton of cuddling, heart-to-heart talks and just really getting each other on deep levels.
 
Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? Basically, I had a parenting fantasy, but I was aware that parenting was stressful for *other people* and that *other people’s kids* could be exasperating. I was knocked down to earth with the realities. Cliff’s birth was incredible but I had very difficult breast feeding issues that forced us to feed him formula because I wasn’t producing enough milk. That was the first time I felt like a parent; when I had to make a decision that I didn’t expect and didn’t want to make, but we had to do the right thing for our child and put our egos and expectations aside.

How would you describe the first year? That first year with my first baby was really special. Cliff was a happy, social baby and it was a joy to see the world through his eyes. I really loved being a mom. Making decisions about who we wanted to be as a family and how we want to raise our kids was amazing, but there was a lot of anxiety and stress about those decisions. I wasn’t very relaxed about…anything. It was such a steep learning curve that first year. I wasn’t able to prioritize the importance of things, so I researched as much about baby lotions as about vaccines. Even so, we had a lot of fun and met great friends.

What helped you to get through it? My husband Matt is a very calm person and that was helpful. He loves his kids and we work hard at being parents — even though it’s been difficult at times.

Meeting cool parents here in Williamsburg has been a gift to us. The mom’s group that Jessica organized is an incredible resource, because it is all these moms doing it in our own way. No one has unlimited resources and everyone is dedicated to being a compassionate and creative parent. It was a relief to realize we were all struggling with the same issues, doing the best we can and importantly trying to enjoy this time. And now all those babies who were laying on blankets at the Y Annex are running around and having conversations with each other. The friends we’ve made have been so special and I love that our family is truly known here.

Did you have a support system that lives close by?
My parents are near and Matt’s family is about 2 hours away. We have friends nearby but no one with kids, so there have always been dinners out with friends who know me and support me as a person — even if they can’t relate to the parent side. I do have three girlfriends with kids who live in other cities. They were the ones who sent me care packages with all the postpartum goodies you have no idea you’ll need, baby clothes, books and told me their own parental highs and lows.

I ultimately accepted support from my mom and she came twice a week when Cliff was little, but I really wanted to be with my kids alone. I wanted to do it myself and get to know them and our family without other people’s opinions. When Dash was 10 months, I was ready to have some of my old life back and to start working again. We have a wonderful babysitter who I trust now, so that’s is a luxury.

The best support system are my mom friends. Without them, I know I would have survived the first years, but with their support and humour it has been the greatest time.

When you had baby #2 was it easier or an adjustment for all? Yes some parts were easier, but overall it was not easier. We had our parenting style, knew what to expect and we were already living in a baby-family mode. It was also easier to have the baby outside of my body, because I was sick and low-energy most of the pregnancy. I loved being able to pick up both boys and get out to the park, see friends, and get back into our lives. But the sleep deprivation and running after 20 month old (who was a baby himself) was exhausting and it got me down — I didn’t sleep, so I didn’t eat well, so I wasn’t my best self, so I didn’t feel like a good parent or partner. With a fourth family member, there is just no downtime. I’m not naturally a planner, but I had to learn to plan time for myself. Things got much easier when Dash turned 1, but those challenges still exist and we’ve gotten better at dealing with them. And now we sleep a lot more!

Would you say you are a stay at home mom?
Yes - I’m mostly a stay at home mom. I started art advisory work again last spring with several clients. It’s great to have that part of my life active again. Even though I love being with my kids, I always worry about my career. I’ve come to be ok (most of the time) with living my life in phases. Now is a mostly mom phase while my kids are little, but later I’ll try to transition back into more work and I hope it will be there.

Are the cliches to being a stay at home mom truthful?
There are definitely traditional gender roles at play in our apartment, so in that way it’s a bit of a cliche. I’m handling the majority of the traditionally female things (food, cleaning up, schedules, doctors visits) and because I’m with the kids more I spearhead most of the parenting projects like discipline and potty training. Matt helps out here too, but does the traditionally male thing of going to work.

There is a cliche or perception, and like I said earlier I didn’t understand what parenting was before I had kids, that being with your kids is easy and all cookies and bubble baths. But any parent, working or stay at home, will tell you that being with your kids is a non-stop 24 hour gig. We’re all working our butts off to raise good people. Keeping them happy and healthy takes a lot of planning, problem solving, understanding and patience. I don’t have a moment to myself to really do anything until the boys are sleeping and that includes dishes, laundry, cleaning up, talking on the phone. If I turn my back, someone’s eating a crayon, yanking my clothes off the hangers, or crouching on the kitchen table. Email me if you want to hear a tale of terror about potty training your 2 year old and having a curious crawling 10 month old nearby.

Maybe there’s a cliche that we get too wrapped up in our kids? I’m guessing this is true of all parents, but more so of stay at home parents since we focus on our kids all day. My friends without kids have heard scary stories about marriages on the rocks after the kids are born and how the parents talked too much about their babies and didn’t focus on each other. Yeah - we’re totally 100% guilty of that. We had plenty of other things to talk about before our kids were born (and we still do), but do you want to hear my opinion on “Bridesmaids” or a sweet story about how Dashie calls squirrels cats and meows at them at the playground? I’m going to own this time with my boys, because this is really the good stuff. It’s hard and crazy and hilarious.


Tips for new moms?

1) The most important thing for children is to see a happy, fulfilled parent. Do whatever it takes to get you to that place. It’s a mix of personal time, family time, time with a partner and time dedicated to some kind of pursuit. That pursuit might be work (or might have to be work), but it’s very personal and every parent has to do what’s right for them.

2) There used to be an amazing quote on the homepage of kellymom.com. It was something like: when we’re giving from a positive place, our children benefit. But when we give out of guilt, no one benefits.

3) Don’t forget to laugh. Once they’re in bed even a disastrous day becomes comedy.

Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... September 28 2012

Vanessa was a friend of mine from high school and while we weren’t the best of friends (she was one year older than me) I do remember her being rad & playing volleyball. Part of me is jealous that she gets to raise her boys in El Paso. Its such a magical little town but I see that magic translated into her blog Tried and True. I’m sure you will too! In fact, I saw one of her posts while I was pregnant with my second and had no idea it was Vanessa until I clicked through the About page! 

Hometown: Sunny El Paso, Texas

How Long Have you been living in El Paso?  I grew up in Austin, Texas but I’ve been here long enough to consider myself a native of El Paso.

Occupation: SAHM and Craft Blogger

When did you first become a mother? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? Jack was born just days before 2009 and here I am, more than three years later, still trying to figure out the motherhood ropes. This job is harder and yet, more rewarding than I ever could have imagined!

Before becoming a mother what did you know about motherhood? Not much at all. For nine months during my pregnancy with Jack and then later, when I was expecting Max, all I did was read and research what it was going to be like, how I was going to feel, what my life was going to become. While some of that information was helpful, most of it was thrown out the window once the reality of being responsible for a new life set in. 

How would you describe first year as a mom? Amazing, exhausting, transforming. I don’t know if it takes this long for all mothers but I spent a good part of the first year learning how to trust my natural instincts and intuition, learning how to forget everything I may have heard or read and trust that I know what’s best for my son. I think that’s a really tough lesson in a time where we have, for better or worse, an almost endless supply of information is at our fingertips.

What helped you to get through it? Long walks along the canals behind my house.Conversations with other new mothers. Dates with my husband. Squeezing in some sort of creativity whenever possible.

Did you have a support system near by? I’m so lucky to have both my parents and my sister in the same town as us. I love knowing that my children are making memories to last a lifetime with people who adore them while my husband and I catch a movie. It’s a win/win for everyone.

We really love your blog Tired & True. Is there anything you can share with us that you’re currently working on? What can we look forward to? I have a guest post on another blog coming out later this week that includes two of my favorite things right now…washi tape and instagram! Who doesn’t love those, right?

When I get a little bit more free time (in, um, four years), I’d love to write a book on robot crafts. I have a ton of projects I’ve been saving. 

Tips for new moms? Go easy on yourself and try to stay away from comparing your house/your children/your marriage and most importantly, yourself with anyone else. You are, quite simply, amazing.


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... September 28 2012

Vanessa was a friend of mine from high school and while we weren’t the best of friends (she was one year older than me) I do remember her being rad & playing volleyball. Part of me is jealous that she gets to raise her boys in El Paso. Its such a magical little town but I see that magic translated into her blog Tried and True. I’m sure you will too! In fact, I saw one of her posts while I was pregnant with my second and had no idea it was Vanessa until I clicked through the About page! 

Hometown: Sunny El Paso, Texas

How Long Have you been living in El Paso?  I grew up in Austin, Texas but I’ve been here long enough to consider myself a native of El Paso.

Occupation: SAHM and Craft Blogger

When did you first become a mother? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? Jack was born just days before 2009 and here I am, more than three years later, still trying to figure out the motherhood ropes. This job is harder and yet, more rewarding than I ever could have imagined!

Before becoming a mother what did you know about motherhood? Not much at all. For nine months during my pregnancy with Jack and then later, when I was expecting Max, all I did was read and research what it was going to be like, how I was going to feel, what my life was going to become. While some of that information was helpful, most of it was thrown out the window once the reality of being responsible for a new life set in. 

How would you describe first year as a mom? Amazing, exhausting, transforming. I don’t know if it takes this long for all mothers but I spent a good part of the first year learning how to trust my natural instincts and intuition, learning how to forget everything I may have heard or read and trust that I know what’s best for my son. I think that’s a really tough lesson in a time where we have, for better or worse, an almost endless supply of information is at our fingertips.

What helped you to get through it? Long walks along the canals behind my house.Conversations with other new mothers. Dates with my husband. Squeezing in some sort of creativity whenever possible.

Did you have a support system near by? I’m so lucky to have both my parents and my sister in the same town as us. I love knowing that my children are making memories to last a lifetime with people who adore them while my husband and I catch a movie. It’s a win/win for everyone.

We really love your blog Tired & True. Is there anything you can share with us that you’re currently working on? What can we look forward to? I have a guest post on another blog coming out later this week that includes two of my favorite things right now…washi tape and instagram! Who doesn’t love those, right?

When I get a little bit more free time (in, um, four years), I’d love to write a book on robot crafts. I have a ton of projects I’ve been saving. 

Tips for new moms? Go easy on yourself and try to stay away from comparing your house/your children/your marriage and most importantly, yourself with anyone else. You are, quite simply, amazing.


Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... August 17 2012

Motherburg are big fans of Lindsey’s blog - Beautiful Madhouse. Not only is it a super real account of motherhood (couldn’t we all use a touch of real when we talk about parenting?) but the stories are awesome and Lindsey’s sense of humor are infectious. As step-mom to one and momma to 5 she’s also our mommy idol! Plus she’s a kick-a** birth doula & restaurant owner! 

Name: Lindsey Bliss
Hometown: Pompton Lakes, NJ
How long have you been living in Brooklyn? I lived in Williamsburg for about 8 years and have 2 businesses in the neighborhood. We recently moved to Glendale Queens once my twin boys arrived.
Occupation: mom, birth doula & restaurant owner
When did you first become a mother? I became a step-mom first about 8/9 years ago and had my first baby 6 1/2 years ago. I have a total of 6 kids. Bella 16, Mia 6, twins Birdie & Hazel 3, and twins Rocky & Lucky 13 months. 
Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Before becoming a mother I was introduced to motherhood through my step-daughter Bella. Motherhood scared me a bit. I wasn’t sure I could even take care of myself let alone another human being. I never thought I would have any children but Bella opened my heart to the idea. Now I am the mother to 6 kids and couldn’t imagine my life any differently. 
How would you describe the first year? My first year as a mommy was both magical and insanely difficult. I spent time mourning my child-free spontaneous lifestyle and at the same time I was so in love and amazed at this wonderful little being I made. I never knew I could love someone so much. It went by so fast that it is a bit of a blur.
How did you get through it? I got through the first year because of my supportive husband. He made it possible for me to really embrace and love being a new mother. I also enjoyed hanging around a group of other new mothers who I could drink wine with and vent to. I found this type of support essential when I became a new mom. 
Do you have close friends or family near by? Did it help having a family member/friends close by? My family is close by and visits regularly. I adore my family and friends but I haven’t really found them as helpful as I would have liked them to be. I’ve learned to be very self sufficient and to rely mostly on my husband. My crew can be a bit daunting especially with two sets of twins. In NY people are so busy with their own lives that there isn’t any extra time to help out with all my little trolls. Which I totally understand.You’ve been a mother for 6 years now, what lessons have you learn? I have learned that a positive attitude is the key to successful parenting. I smile even when I don’t want to and it works. Also every parenting hurdle eventually passes. Your baby will eventually sleep I promise. There is no one size fits all parenting solution for every kid. I wish there was one sometimes. 
Tips for new moms? Smile. Breathe. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take a few minutes each day just for you. Even if it’s just your morning shower. Cherish those 5 minutes. It makes a huge difference.