Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama... August 31 2012
Like Christine I also started out as a wardrobe assistant and then supervisor so I know what working on a set is like. To be working on 3 shows and running a business is doubly impressive! More of a reason I adore her line for boys Stinky McGee which can be found online and at My Brooklyn Baby and Caribou Baby. I know she is busy , so thank you Christine for taking the time to share your Journey with MB!
Name: Christine Ryan
Hometown: Maplewood, NJ
How long have you been living in Brooklyn?: 15 years: Williamsburg (8) and then Clinton Hill (7)
Occupation: Wardrobe Supervisor at Sesame Street, Wardrobe Stylist, dresser and tailor for three TV shows. AND Owner of Stinky McGee, an accessory company for boys.
When did you first become a mother?: September 8, 2010.
Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea?: I’m the oldest of 5 kids so I had some kind of idea about responsibility, rules and manners. But I had absolutely no concept of how much I could love another human being so purely. I have such a ridiculous amount of new found respect for my mother, but also an understanding of her that I never could wrap my head around before. She was very strict with me and I always found it suffocating. But I swear to my husband now that our son will be known throughout the borough as the boy whose mother walked him to school til he was 18. Seriously.
How would you describe the first year?: Not bad. I had a really terrible time with my son’s delivery so I think everything after it seemed much easier. But that was also something that became very clear to me very quickly: labor and delivery was just the tip of the iceberg. The real meat of it is (obviously) afterwards. I didn’t have much control with my delivery and so I tried to steer things the way I wanted afterwards. No one told me how much nursing would hurt- even when you’re ‘doing it right’- some people are just a bit more sensitive. I remember crying, my husband rubbing my neck and nursing every 15 minutes with a boob that was not pleasant looking. BUT you push through it, there’s a sense of responsibility for this little creature that, if you’re nursing, is just humungous. It’s overwhelming but awesome too.
What helped you get through it?: My husband was and is fantastic. I went back to work, shooting Sesame Street, after my son was 4 months old. I’d pump, pump, pump, run off set, watch the monitor, look at pictures my husband was sending that day so my milk would come in, pump, pump, pump, then run home, feed/eat and pass out. And my husband was home- cool, calm, changing diapers, dispensing bottles and playing with our son. My mom cooked a lot of food for us and I have two girlfriends with kids that were absolutely fantastic to bounce things off of. Also, the beer garden in my hood was a great way for me to feel a bit more a part of a bigger community of parents- not just moms.
Did you start Stinky MGee before or after kids?: After. Stinky McGee was purely a reaction to the lack of options for my son. Kids clothing shops seem to be 3/4 girls and 1/4 boys with some polos and khakis and, if you’re lucky, a little banker’s tie. I think boys are just as interested in accessories as girls.
How do you juggle work and kids?: It sounds trite but my husband and I are a team. I say to him: GO TEAM RYAN! And the poor man hides. So so so important to have a partner in crime. We really split the time with our son and then once the babe is down for the night, a glass of wine and sewing.
Tips for new moms?:
- Watch out for rocket poo. It tends to only want to hit the mom.
- Use a carrier for your kid. I still do and he’s almost 2 years old. It has them learning faster, you can nurse incognito ANYwhere and you can kiss them easliy all day long!
- Support your local momma/baby shops. They are there for you and have a lot to offer.
- Don’t take everything so seriously. It’s so easy to. Have fun with the little one. Remember to laugh :)