Today Adrienne Frohlich reflects back to her first year of being a new mother. Adrienne, now a mother of two, is the designer of the Nurse Purse a functional line of nursing bags that are chic enough to work in your daily wardrobe.
Name: Adrienne Frohlich
Hometown: Bronx, NY, currently living on the UWS
How long have you've been living in Brooklyn/New York? All my life except for being away for college and grad school
Occupation: Speech Language Pathologist / Entrepreneur
When did you first become a mother? 8/9/10 A truly unforgettable date!
Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea?
I had nieces and nephews, and I worked with kids for years, but nothing really can prepare you for the day to day of being in it.
How would you describe the first year especially since you went back to work after a few months of maternity leave? It was so hard to leave my baby and go back to work at only 10 weeks, especially when I felt like I was finally just starting to get the hang of things. On the other hand, it was nice to be required to shower and be out of the house before noon. The sleep deprivation was really hard; it makes it difficult to feel like you are doing a good job when your brain is not functioning at full capacity. I am really fortunate to work in a profession that is primarily female. My coworkers and bosses were all really understanding and supportive, whether they had kids of their own or not.
Did you have a support system near by? I am very lucky to have a twin sister (who lives in Brooklyn). We were both pregnant around the same time. First my son was born and then my nephew was born about 3 months later. Our mother died when we were in our teens, so it was especially nice to be able to go through both the experiences of being pregnant and giving birth, to our children together. Our 2 younger children were born about 3 months apart as well.
Tell us about the Nurse Purse? I designed a bag you would actually want to carry for your breast pump. When I went back to work, I was so frustrated carrying that black nylon breast pump bag everywhere. I swear I could spot other women on the subway a mile away who were pumping by their black bags. Part of my work involves going to people’s homes all over the city, and so it was especially frustrating that nothing else could fit in the bag, and I wound up schlepping 2 or 3 different bags all over town. I was so surprised that with all the amazing diaper bags and other fashionable gear for moms that there was no alternative for carrying your pump – I initially just wanted to solve a problem for myself, but the more people I talked to, the more I realized this was a problem for lots of women out there, so I decided to try to make it available for everyone.
My younger son just turned 1 a few weeks ago, and although I’m still nursing, my journey with pumping has come to an end. But it’s still my go-to bag for what I need to carry every day. I wanted to make something that was functional beyond those months you are pumping.
Tips for new moms?
One of the most irritating pieces of advice that I got was people constantly telling me ‘enjoy it!’ especially during my most stressed out, sleep deprived times. But I think it’s important to be able to put things into perspective. If you have to be woken from a deep sleep at 3AM, there are worse reasons than to nurse and cuddle with a sweet smelling adorable little baby, right? I really try to appreciate all those little moments, and focus on how happy and lucky I feel, rather than how tired I am going to be the next day.
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