New Mom Life

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I can’t tell you guys how good it feels to be writing this post right now. Ever since Sailor was born, the idea of blogging has been this looming thing over me that has always managed to be just out of reach. My big plan in becoming a mom (a plan – how cute) was to take the remainder of 2015 off and then come back to my old life with a bang on January 1st. Adorable of me, I know. The first 3 months of motherhood were extra challenging for me as they are for many (see here and here for more on that). Yet somehow I still managed to think that having my shit together was just around the corner. Then I came back from the holidays to a harsh realization that I was not at all ready to be a working mom. Heck, I still wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a mom period as I was still randomly bursting into tears regularly (you know – hormones, emotions, challenges, personal growth). Yet here I was with a 3 month old baby, and expecting myself to be awesome at it.

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I can understand how this might be a difficult thing to sympathize with since my job as a stylist/blogger gets to largely be on my own terms, and often on my own schedule as styling gigs are temporary and somewhat easy to pick and choose. My own brand/blog is something I get to be the boss of. But while it may seem like blogging isn’t “work,” when you think of it in terms of finding time to properly prep and shoot a unique post that I can be proud of, and then write it from the heart without constant distraction/interruption, and do that with regularity my readers can rely on… then blogging is more similar than you think to other jobs new moms go back to. The circumstances might be different, but the level of challenge is the same. I’m super lucky in that I get to be available for Sailor, but being present for myself and my work is a challenge that takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to rise to. That’s tough in its own different way.

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In sitting down to write this post, my intention was to talk about how I’ve settled into my new role as a mom, especially as a person who was never really excited to have children. My mind is a jumble and I struggle to find the words to describe it because in the 5.5 months that she’s been here, I’ve gone completely from shell shocked/hesitant/freaked out new mom to doting/loving/nurturing new mom. I don’t know how it happened but it did. It took awhile though, and the transformation is still in progress. In the beginning, I didn’t feel immediately changed as a person by her arrival. I felt like the person I always was who just had a bomb dropped on her life. I would try to manage caring for her with the pain of breastfeeding with all my usual priorities like a work To Do list, a clean house, and manicured nails (important things). Each thing felt so impossible, and I thought, how will this ever feel normal? How will I ever get to do something for myself again?

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As 2016 got started, social media was abuzz with friends, colleagues, and fellow bloggers posting about all their amazing goals for the year and how this was going to be “the year.” While I was supposed to feel like this would be my greatest year yet because Sailor is now in my life, I was [shamefully] feeling held back. I was thrilled to be her mom, but also wanted so badly to have my own goals for myself. Incidentally, on December 31st I was offered a styling job that would have taken place in the British Virgin Islands for several weeks. It was a job that would have been my biggest yet in a lot of ways. I turned it down as Sailor was only 4 months and while the thought of bringing her along to be with me there with my mom as our full time nanny seemed somehow doable for a second, there really was no way to work a 12-hour day in a foreign place with a tiny baby, and with her dad left at home. But saying no to work was a very new thing for me. This marked the beginning of a rough patch as I tried to figure out how to be a working mom. Each day would pass and along with all the regular daily challenges of motherhood, if I didn’t also finish some big work project, I would feel like I failed.

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But then one day in late January I finally had a huge a-ha moment. I realized that this is a time in my life I will look back on longingly and wish I could get back. Motherhood IS my goal for 2016, and one that I should never discredit. This is one time that I need to give myself a break, and not hold myself to any resolutions, other than being a good mom to this precious baby girl. No, I’m not going to be able to take every project that comes my way. No, I’m not going to be able to blog everyday. No, I’m not going to always feel like I got a ton of work done in a day. But I do get to be Sailor’s mom right now. It’s her first year on this planet, and that’s the best thing I could be a part of. And you know what? Here’s the crazy part. As soon as I realized that, many of those personal priorities started to find their way back. I booked a fun styling gig which I can do from home on a flexible schedule, and am now managing to blog again with lots of new content on the docket that I’m inspired and excited about (some of the old favorites stuff like outfits, cocktails, home, and beauty, and some new lifestyle categories like baby products that don’t ruin your design-conscious life).  I’ve also been bringing Sailor out and about with me since she was 2 months old which used to feel so challenging, but now it’s like second nature to us and it keeps us both sane. She’s my little sidekick.

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So now I’m seeing how this is going to work. I’m finally starting to understand how I might be able to do life my way, as a mom. Yes, in order to do it, I’m going to need help from others, and I’m not going to be able to get as much work done in a day as I used to. But I do get to do it all with this added new title on my name tag. It’s a role that fills my life with inspiration, love, joy, new learning curves and experiences, challenges and more fun and happiness than ever before. All things that will make me better at what I do. I also firmly believe that finding time for myself and keeping work as a priority will make me a better mother.

Thanks for being here, guys. I really do love sharing my life with you and I really appreciate the words of support and stories of your own experiences. I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place for style inspiration in all aspects of life, but I also want it to grow with me and take on new topics as my life does. So you can expect to see all of the old favorite stuff like outfits, styling tips, cocktails, beauty, and home, along with some new lifestyle categories that incorporate things I’m inspired by on the mom front. If you have any requests of things you’d like to see, feel free to send them my way. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy sharing. It’s good to be back!

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On me : Dress / Shoes / Bag / Sunglasses / Watch / Bracelet / Phone case (similar) / On Sailor : Top / Pants / Mocs / Stroller / Stroller organizer / Whale toy / Knit toy (similar)

Photography by Heather Kincaid 


  1. Cinzia 04/19/2016 Reply

    Catherine, I’m so proud of you!*

    *jokes aside, really. Knowing how freaked out you were when you learned you were preg to seeing how great and loving you are with SJS is really wonderful. You’re doing great.

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Seriously, thank you. It’s definitely new for me but what’s not to like about dressing a mini me in pink dinos and flamingos?

  2. You got it girl. Often times we forget that raising another human being is the top priority and the most important work of our lives. And the fact that you get to share it with others is just an added bonus. You are (as I always suspected) an Amazing Mom (and Dad).

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Thank you Jean! It truly is the most important work and I’m honored to get to do it. I learned from the best, of course. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing, Catherine! I’ve been reading your blog [and following you on social media] for quite a while now because there’s just something about you that I’ve always felt I could relate to. And you have the most amazing taste. I’m not a mom yet, but hearing about your journey makes me feel like I could maybe handle taking on that role someday, in a similar way that you have. Keep up the inspiring work!

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Thank you so much for reading and following along, Natalie! And your comment is seriously the best compliment ever. I’m so glad that you feel you can relate and that maybe motherhood could be doable for us “rebelious” types. :) You’ll love it when you decide to do it, I promise!

  4. i LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! Such a heartfelt, great post. You are doing amazingly! I totally recall those first few days/weeks/months of honestly feeling like, why did i ruin my great life by going and having a baby? But you just learn to shift your focus and relinquish some control. Then it becomes the new normal and becomes so much fun. Also, wait until Sailor is walking and talking…you two are going to have THE MOST FUN ever together!! She will be your little baby bff stylist fashionista (she already is). Sending love!

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Thank you Rach!! Honestly, I’ve been watching you do it with grace and it made it all feel more doable to me. You’re so right about the “new normal.” That’s exactly what it is, and it takes months (or longer) to build that from scratch! I can’t wait til Sailor is saying “look at me!” all the time too. ;)

  5. Amanda Kreuser 04/19/2016 Reply

    Hey lady! LOVE this post, and I totally feel you on 100 percent of everything you said! It can be incredibly challenging to pour your heart and soul and time and energy into your sweet little angel and not feel like you’re ignoring yourself—and who you were before becoming a mom—in the process. I think a lot of women feel confused and unsettled (myself very much included) exactly at the point that you did….when you’re supposed to return to “normal” a few months after having baby and you realized your life is totally changed. Reconciling how much you love your beautiful baby but how challenging it is to have so little personal time (or even just time to write an email without interruption) can be tough. But it DOES get easier, it sounds like you’re on your way to becoming that working mama that just seems to have it all together (the fact that you have done any posting at all since Sailor was born is amazing, don’t forget that!!)

    You have such an amazing, inspired approach to everything you do in your life, I know that goes double for motherhood! Loving watching the process! xoxo –Amanda

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Thank you thank you thank you, Amanda! Such kind words. And yes – us career driven moms sure have a lot on our plate in this first year (and forever, I guess!). Personal time and goals are just so important, no matter how small or trivial they may seem. Thanks for your words of encouragement and for doing it all a step ahead of me so I can learn by example! ;)

  6. Oh, I feel like I’m reading my own words with this post! Thanks for the honesty, and the reminder that little ones first years on the planet are, kind of a big deal. :)

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Hi Katie! I’m so glad you can relate. Makes me feel a lot less crazy. You’re so right – raising a new human is a BIG DEAL! xo

  7. Thank you for writing this. It’s such a sincere post. I’m not a mom (maybe one day), but I like that you let everybody in to one of your greatest challenges. You shared something real on the internet–that never happens! Instead of just posting adorable pictures (although I do appreciate that–your little girl is beautiful), you told the behind-the-scenes story. And I really, really appreciate that.

    1. thelifestyled 04/19/2016

      Hi Sarah! Thank you for your lovely comment. It means so much to me. I like to keep it real as much as possible. I figure otherwise what’s the point? Thanks for being here!

  8. Welcome back Catherine! You hit the nail on the head – such a tough balance to find and it sounds like you’re on your way. Sailor is a lucky noob

    1. thelifestyled 04/20/2016

      Thanks girl! And thanks for doing it first so I can see how it’s done. ;)

  9. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. Mine are 6.5 and 8 now and I’ve worked the whole time but only incrementally. I missed out on what seemed like EVERYTHING. I didn’t travel for 3 years for work. I breastfed both for 15 months because neither would take a bottle. Whose knew babies don’t take bottles. My first cried for 9 months straight. In retrospect I gained everything. It’s made me who I am today. I learned to prioritize and I learned to say no. You give up so much adjusting to the new normal but the time really does fly. You can always have a great career but your kids will never be two years old again. I don’t regret a second of the time I chose to spend on them instead of my business. My business definitely suffered but I always said I can fix the business in my fourties. I have cool kids that I like to hang out with and I’m still married ten years later. It’s all about choices.

    1. thelifestyled 04/20/2016

      Thank you Cameron! Ugh Sailor is in the not taking a bottle thing right now! It’s SO not cool of her. WTF? Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts on motherhood.

  10. I love this post! My baby girl was born the day after Sailor and I started following you whilst we were both heavily pregnant (looking for mama style inspiration). I also have a 4 year old and can totally relate to everything you have said! I still struggle at times to just be in the moment with my children without thinking of the million other things I ‘should’ be doing. Then I remind myself that they are little and so reliant on me for such a short time! Motherhood is the most wonderful and challenging role for any woman to take on. You seem to be handling it all with grace, style and humour! Thank you for keeping it real! Looking forward to seeing more! Xx

    1. thelifestyled 04/21/2016

      Hi Anna! Oh congratulations to you on your new baby girl and happy 6 month birthday to her tomorrow/ 6 month anniversary to you becoming a mom! I’m so glad you found me when we were in the same exact spot in our pregnancies. I love connecting with other moms who are going through all the same stuff!

  11. Thecia 04/22/2016 Reply

    Catherine, l love how you are so transparent, honest, and real. I’ve followed you for some time now on Instagram, and reading about your journey makes you even more relatable. It took me a lonnnnnggg time (I mean a long time!) to get excited about children, but I have a feeling I’ll experience a lot of the same emotions that you have once I become a mom. What an inspiration you are. Thanks for being to open and vulnerable with us. What a blessing!

    1. thelifestyled 04/22/2016

      Wow, that is SO nice. Thank you so much Thecia! Comments like yours are what make me want to keep sharing more of my reality. I too really like honesty on the internet! Thanks for following and sharing your experience as well!

  12. Just stumbled across this post a few months after you wrote it, but it’s particularly relevant to me now as I am expecting my first baby next month. I have no idea what motherhood holds in store for me, but as I start to “wrap up” my work projects, I really wonder how I’m going to handle work and being a new mom. I’m in a business development role with a pretty demanding schedule, and the thought of going back to 50-60 hour weeks with an infant is really daunting to me. Even if I manage to get a little flexibility, how am I going to manage looking put together and on the ball (kind of an essential in sales) while I am going through all the new mom craziness?

    I’d love to her how things are going for you now that your baby (who is ADORABLE, you two are the cutest) is a little older!