Lexie Ellman | A Boutique Owner Talks About The Transition To One, Then Two, Kids
This series was started to cover transitions and how smart, talented women have made space for motherhood. While a lot of that falls into the career bucket, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, right?
Our feature this week, Lexie Ellman, sums it up perfectly in her first line, “I'm not sure I necessarily changed as much as I have tried to adapt to my new lifestyle; not being the center of my own world.” Motherhood is a transition from focusing on yourself to something so much bigger, and someone so much smaller, which is both refreshing and overwhelming.
Read on for Lexie’s experience opening a women’s + children's boutique a month before expecting and how having a second child has impacted her role there - and life in general.
HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
I'm not sure I necessarily changed as much as I have tried to adapt to my new lifestyle; not being the center of my own world. I grew up as the oldest of five children, so I've always been kind of the mothering type. There are definitely things that have become far less important.
WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I always choose being mom first before anything, sometimes to a fault. I definitely spend less time at work. I opened my store in April of 2015 and got pregnant in May. The whole first year I was pretty much in the store every day. I worked the store, did the buying, the merchandising, got on hands and knees to scrub the floor, did anything and everything that needed to be done.
Now after my second child, I spend significantly less time in the store and doing more behind the scenes. It definitely takes a lot for me to let go and let other people help me. I wish I could commit 100% to both, but I feel constantly pulled. I wouldn't do it differently. I would never give back my time with my kids.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Thoughtful, patient, nurturing.
Honestly, I couldn't describe myself so I asked my husband and he described me that way. I want to be the best mother I can be. I don't want to overdo anything. I want it to be okay for me and my kids to not get everything perfect, but figure it out together along the way. I want them to be happy, healthy and loved.
HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I try to make sure I still take care of myself. I am never at the top of the list, that's for sure. It is important to me to work out, for physical and mental well being. I'll try anything once, but I really enjoy yoga and pilates.
EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
This is my biggest struggle. I luckily have a husband who is available to help with our kids. Our family members also live close by. The neighborhood we live in and where my store is located has a lot of mothers with kids the same age. I find it really reassuring that we can all kind of keep it real with each other. It's okay to not have it all perfectly together all the time.
With my first child, I had a much harder time. I felt a bit tricked, like for example, "how come I never knew how hard breastfeeding was, and why did no one tell me?"
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I am always working on trying to keep everything in perspective and looking at the bigger picture.