Caroline Shnay | Another Mother Her Way
Caroline Shnay was one of a handful of women who inspired me to start Mother Untitled. Her daughter, Lola, and Bodie, were in baby movement class together. I had just gone back to consulting two days a week but was getting comfortable owning the decision to be mostly at home and then I met Caroline, who, after 12 years in fashion, most recently as a Buyer for Scoop NYC, had decided to pause to be home with her daughter. Her immediate warmth, sincerity and general coolness in talking about her career, her choice to be home, getting comfortable with said choice, and her family made me instantly more confident that this chapter of my life was going to be full of interesting and smart women. Read about her serendipitous turn toward stay at home motherhood and how she thinks about this time in her life and her evolving roles.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
Nothing changes your life more than becoming a mother. What I have enjoyed the most about all the changes motherhood has brought me is my sincere appreciation of the small things. Lola is so curious and finds such joy in every little thing she encounters. I'm not a particularly sentimental person but she has brought such light and life to how I see the world.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I started my full time job in the fashion industry immediately after college. I worked for 12 straight years until my maternity leave. I spent those 3 months while on maternity leave completely conflicted, should I go back to work or not? Ultimately I decided to return to work, for me it was the easier decision. Those first few months after giving birth were filled with so many unknowns, all I wanted was something familiar. As fate would have it, shortly after I went back, the company I worked for closed its doors after 20 years of business. I had been the Men's Designer and Product Development buyer at Scoop NYC, a well known high-end fashion retailer. Lola was about 7 months when they closed and by that time I felt much more comfortable with motherhood. I decided to take a break from the crazy world of fashion and spend time with my daughter.
Today Lola is 18 months and I stand by this decision. I admit, there are many challenging days and I often remind myself that this day, this time in my life will not last forever. What they say about motherhood is true, the days are long, the years are short. Lola will grow up and go to school, and hopefully one day have a sibling. My role as a mother will change as will my day to day job, but for this time, my job is to be a mother.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS? WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Nurturing, Empathetic, Tired
I would love to to be a more adventurous guide for Lola. My mother was always on the move, and I hope as Lola gets older I can show her all the wonderful things to see beyond her city life.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I'm addicted to Akin's Soul Cycle Class, i'm not a groupie in the front row wearing a sports bra but I love his spirit. It's a total mind and body workout. I also do Physique 57 and get weekly manicures. The 10 minute massage which always turns into 30 minutes is a serious guilty pleasure.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
In addition to a glass of wine or two, my village is filled with great people:
My husband Sam. He is hands on, and present, a true life saver! He is also a star in the kitchen. Besides from me breastfeeding Lola for her first 5 months of life, Sam has cooked most of her meals that are not from an Annie's box.
My sister Julia. She has been my top resource for all things motherhood related, or if we're being honest, all things period.
Lola's Bubbie and Pops, Gma and Papa and of course all of her other aunts and uncles, I feel so fortunate to have such a loving and close family.
Mom Friends. As a new mother the idea of mom friends was something I wanted but was very intimidated by. Actually, Neha the mother behind this wonderful blog, Mother Untitled, was one of the first mothers I met and connected with. Her easy manner and inclusive personality are so natural to be around. She's also been a wonderful example of how to balance a successful career, even if that career has changed shape, and motherhood.
My part time Nanny who without I'd be lost.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
How many words do I get? Improving myself as a woman has been a lifelong journey. Although we should all strive to be the best version of ourselves, sometimes I get wrapped up in the obsession to do better and be better. Everyday I work on being comfortable and thankful with where I am in my current situation, including right now, staying home with my delicious daughter Lola as well as sitting back row and not wearing just a sports bra in Akin's Soul Cycle class.