The Good & The Bad
I think it’s important for women to share both ups and downs because that’s just reality. I want people to be able to relate to my blog. And when I do mention something I’m struggling with, I’m always blown away by the empathy and intimate comments people leave – it makes me feel like I have this meaningful relationship with people I have never met.
People have come up to us in the most unexpected places: on vacation in Amsterdam, at a wedding in Charlottesville, Virginia. I love it! For years, it was just me, alone with my computer on my bed, so it was really nice to have people approach me. Some of my good friends are people I met through the site.
Kids on the Interweb
When the boys were babies, I was totally fine with sharing their photos and stories because everyone goes through the same things (lack of sleep, hiring childcare, etc). Now that Toby is older, he is starting to become his own person and he goes through things in life that are specific to him, and I’m becoming much more careful about what I share about him. I feel really connected to my readers, so our family life will always be a narrative thread on the blog, but long-term, I want to put more focus on the women’s lifestyle stories, like house tours, recipes, style, motherhood, and essays from other women.
I love Dinner A Love Story: Jenny Rosenstrach is so smart and wise. I’ve gotten really into The Atlantic in the past year – love that it’s more lifestyle driven. And South African-based Miss Moss has great taste and finds such cool stuff online.
She’ll Never Ever Ever…
I’ve never covered dieting. I’m so not interested in it. People have enough pressure on them. Plus, I want the blog to feel like an escape.
Having a personal blog forces you to take lots of photos and have a journal of your family life – I’m really grateful for that!
The Old Debate
We recently made the move from Manhattan to Brooklyn. I thought I would miss the West Village, but I love our new hood Carroll Gardens – it’s like the West Village but without the annoying stuff like tourists, massive crowds, loud ambulances, and delivery trucks. We think about moving to California (my twin sister lives in San Francisco) all the time, and Instagram is not helpful in the depths of winter! A backyard sounds amazing, but we love New York.
The Perks of Raising Kids in NYC
1. I love playground culture here so much. After I had Toby, I felt isolated in the beginning, so I would take him as a newborn to the playground, sit on the bench, and talk to nannies and moms. I never had to plan it, and there were always people there, which I found so reassuring (still do).
2. You can breastfeed in public without any fanfare. There’s so much going on at all times that no one is phased by it.
3. The diversity. Toby’s exposed to so many different cultures at school, and we love taking the boys to try different kinds of ethnic food. I asked where they wanted to go for dinner the other night, and one said “falafel” while the other said “sushi” – I loved that!
The school system can be stressful to navigate. And it’s so expensive! That’s the real bummer. I would love for my kids to be able to run free a little more. I try to never say, “be careful” because I don’t want to nag them all the time, but it would be nice to live next to more woods or parks so they could wander freely.
I get so nostalgic when ages and stages pass by, and I didn’t anticipate that. When your 1-year-old becomes a 2-year-old, there is some loss there. You love each phase so exquisitely that it almost hurts when it’s gone. I want them to grow up but I don’t: it’s so bittersweet.
Drawing The Line
I would never write about anything that would embarrass my family. I don’t cover something if it isn’t my story to tell, and I am very cognizant of privacy. I usually don’t share something that’s really hard until it’s over because if you’re writing about something while you’re in it, the reader can feel the weight and heaviness of it all. It feels more balanced when you have come out the other side and have perspective to share.
Dealing With Postpartum Depression
I had postpartum depression and anxiety with both boys. I remember having all these awful thoughts and feelings – I’m a bad mom, my husband doesn’t love me – that’s the illness telling you that, it’s not actually happening. It sounds hokey, but my mom told me to come up with a mantra, and when your mind starts spinning, repeat the mantra. Mine was something to the effect of: I’m trying my best every day and aiming for just good enough during this time. Going on walks and feeling fresh air on my face was helpful. And watching mindless TV like Friends helped relax me. For women going through this, I recommend talking to a doctor. This is a great website where you can find a specialist and support groups near you, which is such a relief. Also, just know you’re not alone or going crazy – this happens to so many people. You’ll be so proud of yourself when you look back and see how you got through something so hard.
Secret Talents & Obsessions
My guilty pleasure is The Bachelor. I’m addicted to the show. I’ve also recently gotten into reading psychological thrillers like Gone Girl and The Girl on The Train. And for secret talents, I can fake a bunch of accents, including random regional U.S. accents, like Chicago or Southern California. (Have you ever seen Amy Walker? She’s my hero!)
Perfect Family Moment
I really love family bike rides. My husband is a wuss and won’t take the babies on his bike, so I have Anton in front and Toby in back. Toby is singing behind me, and Anton is playing with the bike bell. We are headed to a park or a playground. Of course, Alex’s bike is a cool vintage Schwinn with a special gold bell, and my bike is so lame with a hamburger bell.
Dinner With Kids
I’ve actually found if we take the boys to kid-friendly restaurants, they get more rambunctious than if we take them to a quiet grown-up spot. I think the calm makes them more calm. We love the Odeon, and when we take them to our local sushi spot Koto, they are on their best behavior. For more family-friendly places, we love to ride bikes to Brooklyn Crab for seafood and mini golf, and the Brooklyn Beer Hall feels very European, so you feel cool and the kids still have fun.
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