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!