I work in a very conservative office, and somehow I found that a lot of my non-maternity shift dresses actually worked. When they couldn’t stretch any further, I relied on Rosie Pope – I wore her pieces to speaking engagements and meetings, and always felt appropriate and comfortable.
Don’t read any of the parenting books! And if you do, take it with a grain of salt – they can really stress you out. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to fit into molds or setting impossible expectations, just trust your instincts. When the parents are happy, baby is happy.
Daycare vs. Nanny
I had a really hard time deciding on childcare, but we ended up at a daycare that’s absolutely the right option for us and our needs. It’s convenient and a sustainable solution long-term for us. My advice is to go for the least stressful option that you’re able to support long-term.
First 3 Months Lifesavers
1. The Brooklyn HUI listserv is like a support group for moms. You can find everything from a pediatrician to hand-me-downs, and it’s going on all hours of the night, so you never feel alone when you’re feeding at 2am. 2. FlyCleaners – this app saved me! They do laundry pickup and drop-off anytime between 6am and midnight. 3. The BabyBjorn carrier was a revelation when I realized I could do anything when he was in there. I would put him in and even clean the house. Plus, babywearing is such a nice way to bond.
The Name Game
Jack is my maternal grandfather’s name, and he inspired my interest in the public sector, so I wanted to honor that. He was a union organizer, fought for worker’s rights, and later on devoted himself to helping the developmentally disabled – he’s a great example of the impact one person can have on the world.
My husband’s maternal grandfather was named Alphonse, and he was a Belgian fighter in the resistance during WWII, which was a very dangerous thing to do. He built his family’s home with his own two hands, and my husband has always looked up to him.
Mars is a reference to the greek god and obviously the planet and sort of represents the potential out there in the world for our son. I thought it was a crazy name, but there’s tons of Mars in Brooklyn!
Back to Work
The most surprising thing about going back to work is that having a baby made me more productive and better at managing and delegating projects.
I got a lot of great advice from female executives that I look up to when I became a mom. They were supportive and essentially it came down to: Focus on finding the right balance for you at that particular moment in your life. Nothing is static, there is never a perfect time, but you will figure it out.
We spent some time on Long Island with my family recently, and we went for a walk in Hither Hills State Park in Montauk on this beautiful, special walk next to Napeague Harbor. It was an overcast day with my father, my husband, Jack in the backpack, and my parents’ dog Gracie – Jack looked entranced by everything around him. It was such a wonderful moment.
3 Hours Alone
You would definitely find me at a Jivamukti yoga class. I’ve yet to figure out how to do that regularly with a baby.
Can’t Buy Enough Of
Hipp Organic formula and Bambo diapers.
There’s An App For That
I loved My Baby’s Beat because I could hear his heartbeat between doctor’s visits. And Diapers is our savior since it’s not easy to buy everything in stores where we are in Brooklyn.
QT With Grandparents
My husband’s family is in France, so we FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Skype with them all the time. It’s amazing how special that experience is, even though they are so far away.
Hanging In The Neighborhood
We live next door to Roberta’s, and the first wave is a lot of babies, so it’s fun to meet up with friends for dinner. It’s known for the pizza, which is always delicious, but I also love their scrambled eggs and homemade bread, and anything fresh from their garden. Fitzcarraldo has outdoor seating and we love bringing him there. Vinny is the chef, and he makes an incredible farinata, a chickpea pancake that comes with fresh tomato and cheese.Those are our two favorite local spots!