Laura Genova | Another Mother Her Way
Laura Genova is everything I imagined when I dreamed up the women in the living room of Mother Untitled - thoughtful, kind and so smart. She worked ten years in finance prior to having her son, Blake, and considering what would allow her to be more balanced and inspired during this chapter. Now she prioritizes presence with Blake while exploring a long established interest in fabric and design. She brings her chic, soft and considerate tendencies to her new kids' pajama line called Deklan Collection. You can pre-order from the Deklan Collection and support the brand at iFundWomen this week - I've already ordered mine for Bodie. Read about how motherhood finally prompted her to part from the traditional path, how her own mother has taken on a special role and what she's adjusting in anticipation for baby #2 coming soon.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
Despite the challenges, motherhood was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. On the surface I feel more confident and comfortable in my own skin than I ever have before. If I dig deeper the most notable change is my increased propensity to take risks with my career. Prior to my son Blake being born I was often tempted to leave my corporate job and follow my passions, but my fear of failure held me back. As a mother I feel like there is so much truth in the saying: There's no better time than the present. Now my biggest fear is missing out on timeless memories with my children, so my most recent decisions have been made with that in mind.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I left my corporate Finance career and followed my entrepreneurial spirit with hopes of creating a better work/life balance. After my son was born I felt the need to be present at home, but I wasn't ready to surrender my professional ambitions. At the time, I spent a lot of time shopping for Blake and experienced a lot of frustrations with infant/toddler clothing, particularly pajamas. To help free mothers from this frustration and to fill a very needed void in the marketplace, I decided to bring my own collection to the market- Deklan. Over the past year I've been working with my mother, a seasoned textile graphic designer, to do so. I've always had an affinity for small, independent brands and I'm excited to finally announce our launch, which went live last week through our crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen. Even if things don't work out as planned with my brand, I would absolutely make this decision again.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Proactive. I'm constantly reading and talking to my mom friends about the best classes, schools and pediatricians available. Also, my eye is always on the look-out for developmental queues and important milestones. Having a child is such a massive responsibility and I don't want my son to miss out on enriching experiences because I didn't do my research.
Present. The biggest reason I left my corporate career was to make time for my family. It doesn't need to be 24/7, but when I am with my son I do my best to give him the attention he deserves.
Loving. Most importantly, I want my son to know he is loved unconditionally.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
Self-care has always been extremely important to me. My one daily, non-negotiable ritual is taking a shower and doing my hair and make-up. As I'm pregnant with my second now, this has been especially necessary because it's one of the few things that helps me to relax. On Sundays evenings, I have a ritual that entails wearing a moisturizing face mask and diffusing lavender essential oils. An occasional yoga class, date night, girls’ dinner, or mani-pedi is great for mental health as well.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I wouldn’t have had the choice to “mother” on my own terms if it weren't for my husband’s unwavering support. I feel lucky to share an equal partnership with him where he is happy to pick up household chores and put our son to bed after a long day of work. We’re lucky our entire family lives nearby so they often help us on the weekends with childcare. Then there is my mother who has been an absolute lifesaver on so many occasions. She lives in NYC and comes over often to babysit and/or cook for us. She‘s truly been a guiding light and has helped me tremendously in bringing my brand to life. Last but not least, we have a sitter who my son adores. She comes over during the week so I can dedicate time to Deklan and take a little time for myself.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I'm working on bringing spontaneity back into my life. Having a schedule for feedings, naps and activities at home helped me get through the first year with Blake. However, as he grows out of the infant stage and into a little person I'm trying to let go of some of the structure we've created. There is something to be said about living in the moment without an overly planned agenda. Patience is another one. I realize I'm going to need a lot more of it as I get ready to welcome baby #2 into this world.