Ana Fritsch | Another Mother, Her Way
Ana Fritsch is one of those women who creates villages - in real life and online on her widely read blog, Lucky Penny. Ana's honesty, warmth and style draws women toward her, including myself. Ana raises her two girls, Edith and Lilah, in Brooklyn and has an incredible ability to create adventure or find adventure in the ordinary but layer a vulnerability and humility to her beautiful world that makes you just want to be a part of it in some small way. It is that spirit that's given her the capacity to be a freelance writer, allowing her to maintain herself creatively, while having the time to be present for her girls. Below, Ana shares her beloved voice and perspective on letting go of self-consciousness, finding balance in writing and girlfriends and accepting that something's got to give on any given day.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
I had Edith when I was 24, and despite feeling rather mature for my age, I realize now how selfish I was at the time. It was in those first few months of becoming a mother that I realized I had to take a back seat to her needs and her schedule. It was a real wakeup call for me. I also think I learned to be a little gentler with myself. I used to be so self-conscious, so caught up in what other people thought of me. Now, let's be honest, who has time for that? I'm relatively happy with my body after two kids and pretty amazed at what I've put it through. I also realized after giving birth that these two humans are what is really most important to me in this world and not what that other mom on the playground or person on the subway thinks about me or my choices. I definitely feel more confident now.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I decided when I got pregnant that I was going to be a stay at home mom (for at least the first year). I had just graduated college and it seemed like an ideal choice since I hadn't began a career and starting one four months pregnant didn't seem like the best or likely option. I would make the choice over again and again but I'm happy that I've finally found a balance working for myself and freelancing to get me out of the house while still being able to pick them up from school and stay home without a question to take care of them on sick days. Having that flexibility for our family makes us all a little happier.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
FUN, Generous, Kind
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I recently started working out. I took a SoulCycle class as part of an event with a group of mama friends and I was hooked! Something about good loud music and really sweating makes me feel like for that hour, I showed up for myself. I'm also totally hooked on Dancebody. Nothing starts my day off like pretending I'm an amazing backup dancer to Usher.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I've seriously been so fortuante to connect with an amazing group of moms in my neighborhood. I found every one of them through Instagram and they've become some of my closest friends. To be able to go out to sushi and talk about how the kids are driving me crazy but also are so freaking cute right now and stop to take a picture of our food without feeling ridiculous is pretty great. I also have a babysitter that I trust my girls with implicitly. She comes once a week so my husband and I can do "date night" and the girls look forward to it every week. I think she literally just chases them around the house for two hours while they laugh and eat gummy bears and I'm so happy that have that and her in their lives.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
Oh, so many things. The list is endless. I feel like there is always room for improvement. There's always a better way to talk to my girls, more opportunities to teach them something valuable, and so many ways I could show up for myself more too. Some days I'm an amazing mom and other days I'm a not so great mom but take really great care of myself. I think accepting that someone is always getting a little less than they should is just par for the course. As long as I know I did the best job I could do that day when I go to bed at night and my girls know I love them more than anything else on the planet, I think we're all going to be okay.