Rebecca Smith | Another Mother Her Way
Here's what you need to know about Rebecca Smith. She was absolutely one of those women that made pregnancy look gorgeous. Low key elegance is her thing. She founded RECLINER, a sleepwear brand that I've mentioned before (here) and has become a wardrobe staple, if nighties can be such a thing. She had her son, Roman, 4 months ago and had just gotten off a conference call, while pumping, when I wrote her asking how she was adjusting to motherhood while still managing her business. I caught her while balance was obviously on the mind so she agreed to share her very funny, very candid take on finding room for her self and her business in these early months of a whole new world.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
My memory fell out of my head. It was totally bizarre and terrifying. I have to write everything down now which is so annoying because I have a thousand ideas a minute passing through my brain. I never used to forget a thing. It sucks. Also, my nails grew like crazy but I have no time to get a manicure these days.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I decided to work from home for the first few months; a number of friends had professed that babies sleep so much in the beginning, so you can actually get a lot done. Not true (for me anyway). My boy had fomo right out the womb. He wanted to hang out. Consequently I found myself scrambling for a nanny pretty early on. First we got a night nurse which freed me up to work in the evenings. It also possibly saved my marriage. Sleep deprivation can burn your house down.
Would I make those choices again? Getting help, yes. Basing plans on other people's experiences, no. That was one of the hardest things in the beginning - cutting through the noise to look at your own experience wth open eyes and get to decisions that are right for you.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
I’d call myself a mother that is -
What kind of mother I'd like to be?
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
Sometimes I shave my legs. That would have been my answer a few short months ago. Truthfully, I'm low maintenance. I wear bright lipstick to give myself the illusion I'm taking care of myself. Last week I had a haircut and that was kind of a big deal. I do take bubble baths more often these days. Simple pleasures suddenly become priorities in early motherhood. I want so badly to be the person getting massages regularly but it's not me. I do take Vinyasa yoga twice a week - it's the perfect balance of relaxation and concentration which for me is incredibly soothing.
Since I’ve come out of the fog of the first few months of motherhood I've got back to work on our new home in Clinton Hill. I'm very particular about the things that surround me in my personal space. They give me joy and serenity and inspiration in that way they take care of me. That's one of the reasons why I started my sleepwear company, RECLINER.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I have diverse friendships in my life and these give me a great sense of perspective. I've always drawn inspiration from a range of relationships as I've gone through big life changes and motherhood is no different in that regard. I do have some very close friends in NY and Chicago who are a few months ahead of me in motherhood; they have been able to give me the 'danger up ahead' signs of stuff like growth spurts etc. There are so many changes in the beginning that it's been extremely helpful to have those cues just so you don't feel like you're going insane when they suddenly turn another corner and you have to switch gear again.
My husband and I talk frequently about our ambitions and make sure we get that vital alone time to keep our marriage balanced and our brains on stuff other than baby. Our bedroom has been a baby free zone from the get-go (so we can go and hide there together when he screams. Just kidding.)
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I kind of envy women who can just 'be' in motherhood. I find it hard to be still and I'm constantly trying to work on that - just slowing it all down. Motherhood challenges me immensely in that way. Breastfeeding has helped me to better accomplish that sense of being in the moment. There are times now that putting my boy to sleep feels almost meditative, but I've had to gradually train myself in that - my nature wants me to launch into the next thing all the time. Motherhood has a habit of dragging you right back into the moment. I had to learn to let go. I’m still learning to do that, but it works for the Buddhists, so that’s got to be something to aim towards, right?