I actually started a personal blog back in 2001 when it was still called "web logging" and "online journaling." It was so amazingly therapeutic for me, and such a thrill to establish a community from all parts of the world who were interested in the same things I was. I've been hooked ever since and started Design for Mankind in 2006 as a way to catalog my ever-growing inspiration files for my day job as a copywriter-turned-art director in Los Angeles.
Oh, there have been so many for me. I'd say the hardest is simply the culture shock of it all - your world truly does shift in a way that can't be explained. I'm a lover of routine, so it's been incredibly tough not really knowing what to expect or what my day will hold with a super moody newborn around the house. I like to think that when Bee's older she'll be less of a moving target, but I suppose our kids will always find ways to surprise us, yes? :)
1. Aden + Anais bamboo swaddle blankets: These are the softest blankets ever, and I use them for everything - burp cloths, swaddles, nursing covers and blankets. We always have them in constant rotation.
2. NoseFrida: Certainly not a glamorous fave, but we use it near-daily and it truly is an incredible tool for stuffy nose babies! (Actually, my husband uses it near-daily, b/c it still sort of grosses me out!)
3. Polarn O. Pyret onesies are my favorites - they're thick, warm and super adorable!
Honorable mention to the baby swing! They're ugly, but magical.
1. Rosebud Salve - I use it for my cuticles, lips and even to tame unruly eyebrows! After all, moms have to multitask all day, so shouldn't our beauty products? :)
2. Organic Bath Robe - This is super cliche, but I'm mad about my bath robe. Bee was super spit-uppy, so I've been changing into this every morning since day one (and sometimes multiple times!).
3. Vitamin B Complex - Another boring pick, but I wouldn't have survived this crazy ride without the energy boost I get from Vitamin B. (Bonus: it helped me stave off a few postpartum panic attacks, so it truly is a huge blessing.)
Oh gracious, I certainly do not. I have an incredible husband that is so actively involved in Bee's life that it continually amazes me. (We often joke that if he could learn to breastfeed, he'd be the perfect mom!) And I think that's the hidden secret of working parents: having a super supportive spouse. I can't imagine making it through these past three months without his endless energy: 3am feedings, rocking her during all-night cryfests - all while making sure I'm taken care of. He's a true gem.
In terms of work/life balance, I think the key for me is to be present in both roles. I set aside 4 uninterrupted hours during the day for work, and other than that, I'm purely focused on taking care of Bee. No work calls/emails/to do lists when I'm on Bee duty, and no Bee time when I'm in the office! The compartmentalization of that really works well for me, and then I can be sure my head is in the game (whatever game I'm playing at the moment!) 100%.
Also, I find that having low expectations makes me think I'm managing my life well. If at the end of the day, we've all got full bellies, a peaceful heart and a smiling face, I'd say I'm doing a good job.
I'm only three months in, so I'm fairly unequipped to give advice, but I'd tell new moms to hang in there. Take care of yourself, and take baby steps. If you can get through the first six weeks, you're golden. Once that baby smiles at you, it only goes up. And three months (so far!) seems like a truly magical age where your newborn transforms into a baby - and you transform into a mother. Just wait; you'll get there.
My two older sisters, who manage each of their 3-kid-households like true champs. They impress me so much!
Thanks for having me, Lauren!
Thank you so much to Erin for your candid thoughts and advice on new motherhood! I can so relate to the newborn stage being such a culture shock. It's truly something that no one can prepare you for. See more of Erin, her beautiful daughter, and her lovely blog here.
P.S. Three more supermoms to check out: