Julia Eisenstein | Another Mother Her Way
I met Julia Eisenstein at a one-year-old birthday. Somehow in the midst of beautiful chaos, she can make you feel like the only person in the room by her way of listening - really listening (even though she's going to say below that she's working on that). She's nurturing, positive and honest. She's also deeply embedded in the modern motherhood conversation, as a partner and Director of Brand Development in Loyal Hana, a line of clothing for maternity and nursing. I know Loyal Hana for many of the qualities of Julia's - supportive of women, keenly attentive to needs in these early years and design-forward. I think we can all take something from Julia's openness about letting go of some of her spontaneity for structure in parenting, growing comfortable pausing for motherhood, and trusting that time and eventually finding her way to her role in Loyal Hana.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
Motherhood has made me more of a planner. I could have never imagined how much thought, scheduling, and general planning goes into being a parent. Before my son Jonah, I would have described myself as a go with the flow, see where the day took me to type. It didn't take long to realize what had worked for me was not what worked best for Jonah. He needed consistency and structure he could depend on. I've since realized that living in the moment doesn't have to mean you didn't plan.
Also, I can be very obsessive by nature, and it took time for me to accept there is a lot you can't control in motherhood. No matter how much I interfere or think of interfering, children can't be rushed, and the best you can do is be patient, give them unconditional love and space to grow.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I'm a Taurus, and very stubborn one at that, I was so resistant to help as a new mom. I thought I had something to prove by going at it on my own. I was determined to breast feed and thought it should come naturally, and it didn't. My son Jonah ended up in the hospital with terrible jaundice when he was seven days old. It was the best lesson I could have learned seven days into motherhood. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Professionally, I made a choice to stay home with my 1st child. I left a long time position at a Marketing Agency, I didn’t feel motivated, and the work felt trivial compared to spending time with my baby. Initially, I felt uneasy, and a bit lost being home day after day, but we eventually found our rhythm. I loved it, our friends, our routine, I built a schedule that worked, and I was proud of it. It wasn't until I felt confident with where I was that I could consider my next step. My friend Shelley was starting a line of maternity and nursing shirts, and as soon as I saw the prototype, I knew I had to help her share it with other Mamas. The transition from pregnancy into motherhood is a challenging one, and Loyal Hana sets out to ease that transition. Knowing the challenges of motherhood, I am so excited to work for a company that helps new Moms feel confident and beautiful every day.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Attentive, Loving, Dedicated
I would like to be the kind of mother who inspires her children to be adventurous.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I like to move, and I love to laugh. I make movement and exercise a priority and when I can do it with my sister or a friend, it's even better. Before becoming a mother, exercise was important to me as a mental outlet and weight maintenance. After two pregnancies and running after little munchkins I'm more focused on feeling strong and being limber; when I feel stiff, I become a more stiff parent. Exhale's core fusion barre class is my go to. I've had a bad back my entire life, and their attention to form ensures I never hurt myself. I started Exhale when I was pregnant with Jonah 7 years ago, by now my body literally craves it; I don't always like it, but I need it.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I feel lucky that my village feels like a city. I have the best family, and they're mostly here in NYC. We all love spending time together and lean on each other. I love watching Jonah and Beatrice play with their cousins or read with their grandparents; they are growing up knowing that family is so important. My sister and I speak ten times a day. She remembers everything I forget. She'll text me before a storm to make sure my kids have snow pants and warm gloves. She's the best aunt and now Mama too.
Spending time with my friends is a remedy for any ailment; they make me laugh harder than anyone, and nothing feels better than a good laugh so hard you cry. Our household is always a work in progress, but our incredible nanny Luz is probably the reason things don't totally fall into chaos. Lastly my husband Max, he blows me away with his ability to be present and patient with our children. He walks in the door after work, and the crowd goes wild.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
In 2018, I am working on improving my capacity for patience and my ability to listen. Children (and adults) are happier and healthier when they feel heard, and I have learned that one of the best things I can do as a mother is to find just a bit more, right when I am running out of rope.