Ask Me Anything: September 2019
How has life changed since having a baby?
How hasn’t it changed?! It’s changed in almost every way. Not necessarily in a bad way though. Andrew and I always say that although it took us longer than we wanted to have Henry, in hind sight we are thankful for those years together - just us. We crossed off so many things on our bucket list in the first 14 years of knowing each other - that we never felt like we were “missing out” this past year. Instead we looked at it like a new adventure, and took advantage of the excuse to hibernate a bit. It has been kind of wonderful.
We haven’t let having Henry stop us from doing much, but everything we do is impacted by Henry in some way. In the beginning it was pretty overwhelming to leave the house or schlep the whole crew up to Vermont every weekend, but I made sure we did it over and over and over until we weren’t phased by it anymore. We all like being on the go, and the change of scenery does everyone good.
We tend to like to shake things up a bit from time to time, and Henry did just that.
in your first year of motherhood - what have you struggled with the most?
Trying to be everything. I think every mom must struggle with it because it’s an unfortunate expectation our society puts on women at the moment. Moms are expected to be the perfect mom, the perfect partner, the perfect business owner, the perfect dog mom - and instagram is the worst when it comes to this. There are crazy expectations out there in regards to just about everything out there when it comes to motherhood, and It’s a large part of why I’ve been less active on instagram since Henry (well that, and holy cow does he keep me busy!). I just had to shut out the noise. I also don’t want to put those expectations on people. I’ve been so lucky that being a mom came pretty naturally to me, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.
The mental load is super intense though, even with being comfortable with all the change , because we are expected to be SO much. I have the best partner in life, but his job is demanding with long hours - so that means most everything falls on my plate when it comes to our family - not to mention my own job. I definitely think I’ve struggled with the mental load of it all the most. Andrew and I talked about it the other day - if there is one thing we did wrong this past year, it was not making more time for me to unwind or just be Abby for a minute (not mom). It’s so hard, because I genuinely want to be with Henry, but I would definitely take more “me” time if we had to do it again.
I guess I’ve learned to be a lot more chill about everything in the past 10 months. I get done what I can get done in a day, and then I let it go. Having Henry has made me prioritize everything, because he really does come first. I say no to far more projects than yes these days - because I just can’t handle the load with only 3 days of help a week. Because on the 2 days where it’s just Henry and I, he is my full focus. And I love that.
How do you make sure you have time for it all? (Family, work, travel, friends, etc)
Haha! I don’t!! I hope I don’t come across that way - because no one in the world can make time for it all. There just isn’t enough time in the day. Right now we are in the weeds of life. That sounds horrible because they are the loveliest of weeds - more like wildflowers - but they are thick and unruly which means a lot has to be put to the side. We try to make time for all the other important things - and have traveled as much as schedules allow - but taking care of our little wolfpack is our top priority. Luckily our friends and family all get it (or are in the wildflowers now too) - so there is no crazy expectations.
Work has been challenging for me personally because I have such limited time. Like I mentioned before, I probably say no to about 80% of the inquires that come through because I’m a one woman show. I’m so lucky to have the time with Henry, and for me personally that was important, but with that comes a sacrifice on how I can more forward professionally. It’s such a short phase in life though…
Where is the best place to do a day trip with a toddler in the Fall - Nantucket or Maine?
Either! Getting out of the house when you have a toddler is a must in my opinion - doesn’t matter where you go! They just want to soak up every little thing outside (and it helps keep you a tad more sane - cabin fever is real!). We are huge fans of Nantucket and Maine! The ferry to Nantucket can be a little harder depending on what age your little one is, that being said - we did it a bunch of times this summer with no issue (other than two worn out parents -cocktails cure that). Just go! And take loads of pictures!
How do you maintain your friendships as an adult with life being so busy?
Luckily most of my friends lives are just as crazy as mine. We all get it. There is no judgement or expectations and that’s why we are such great friends. There are lots of group texts and inside jokes and blackmail that will keep us together through this crazy wildflower stage of our life. And prioritizing girls weekends when possible is a must.
We are also lucky to live close to some of our great friends, and that has been beyond huge this past year. Not to mention, we are surrounded by neighbors who are also friends. Our friend group makes us feel like the luckiest people on the planet.
Thanks for the questions! I always love chatting with y’all! Makes the internet feel a tad less creepy! ;)