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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
Photography by Heather Kincaid