Location: The Residence, Central Park South, Manhattan
“Making it up as I go along,” is probably not the most appropriate answer to the question, “What’s your parenting style?” but it is the most truthful one. Motherhood is many things. It is hard, and it is always one hug away from wonderful. It is confronting, and it is enlightening. It is messy, and it is full of endless surprises. It’s a delicious dare, and it’s a daze. Despite all of its different sides, I found some personal truths along the way.
On that first moment of motherhood:
TRUTH: Awe followed by love followed by confusion followed by love followed by fear followed by love in 0.3 seconds. My sense of the surreal mixed with serious self-doubt started to kick into high gear the moment I held Parker for the first time. There he was and he was so very tiny. What if I’d sit on him by accident? I’d found myself sitting on Wally’s stuffed bear all the time, and this little human I was holding, wasn’t much bigger than Teddy. How could I not let him slip through my fingers while bathing him? What if I’d give him a soap rash? Overfed him? Underfed him? What if he’d hate me for all of the above? I immediately loved Parker but it took me a while to trust and love myself as a mom. The story so far? I never sat on him by accident but I did cut into his little finger with a baby nail clipper. Still feeling very guilty about that one!
On maintaining a moment for myself:
TRUTH: Before Frederick and I had Parker we didn’t realize how much two minutes of peeing alone could feel like a mini vacation! When Parker turned two it didn’t take us long to learn that it’s a toddler rule to somehow always supervise your parent’s bathroom trips. Haha! #itsfunnybecauseitstrue
Making time for myself means waking up before Parker and Frederick do. I love to start the morning on my own terms, drink lots of coffee (I tend to bite before my ninth Kazaar Nespresso so I make sure to caffeinate myself), read some pages in a book, cuddle with Wally, look out of the window and breathe in a still sleepy city. This way I don’t feel rushed into things and I can slowly change mind from, “Nope, no, I do not like what is happening right now,” to being excited about a new day.
On hilarious #MOMeries:
TRUTH: When Parker was three years old, Frederick and I took him and Wally for a walk. Right before we walked into the park, Parker noticed a big truck in the street. At that time it was his favorite car. He got excited and started to shout, “TRUCK, TRUCK, TRUCK!” But he had a hard time making the TR sound and pronounced it as F. So there we were, staring at our toddler boy, jumping up and down, waving his little chubby arms, screaming the F-word at the top of his lungs.
Another funny #MOMery? Iron Man is Parker’s favorite Avenger. He has an Iron Man toy character that makes all kinds of shooting sounds. Somehow, Iron Man ended up in my bag. I must have pressed a button because Iron Man started making shooting sounds while shouting, “Iron Man, locked and loaded!” in my bag while I was sitting by myself in the metro. No matter how much I tried to turn it off, it didn’t work so I let it shout and put on my best poker face. I definitely raised some eyebrows.
TRUTH: Motherhood is awesome. And rewarding. And funny. And crazy. And tiring. So sometimes Parker and I run around town together like we’re on our tenth can of Red Bull, and sometimes we lay on the couch and I tell him, “I would die for you but I really don’t want to make you dinner.” Both are okay. (Thank you Universe for Frederick who loves to cook and for healthy take – out options!).
TRUTH: It takes a Metropole to raise a child! I must admit that I am a bit biased here. I’m a city-kid myself and growing up in the city was one big daily adventure. It still is. The city has so many great activities for families. There are the museums, the parks, the cozy cafes, the book stores, the restaurants, the playgrounds, the carrousel, the Zoo, and all the different neighborhoods. Frederick, Parker and I love to just walk out of the door, and let the city take us somewhere new.
On letting your inner kid out:
TRUTH: Adults — parent or no parent — should play more. And read more children’s books! It’s so much fun to look at the world through a child’s eyes (whether your toddler, or your toddler-self!). We like to plan family #TGIFs and our last one involved building a tent right in the middle of our living room to have a campout with Pizza and S’mores!
Parker and I can turn any Lego brick into a story, Frederick and Parker can be preoccupied with saving Cybertron from Squidworth and Plankton. Parker loves it when I read in the voices of Mickey Mouse or Sponge Bob, Patrick Seastar, Dr. Doofenschmirtz, or Ferb. The world can be a playground when you turn it into one.
On the mom bag:
TRUTH: I like big bags and I can not lie! Size matters. I carry an XXL lamb leather bag by BALLY. It’s sturdy enough to hold my wallet, sun glasses, lip gloss, drinks, toys, books (mine and Parker’s), snacks (Parker’s and Wally’s), baby wipes, Parker’s zip up hoodie, Parker’s socks, Parker’s left sneaker (because the other one was taken off somewhere along the way but who needs two shoes anyway?)….. You get the point. My arms have never been in better shape.
On things I learned about myself from becoming a mom:
TRUTH:I have no problem with eating another human’s cold nuggets. Baby wipes are great facial cleansers. I can catch a three year old’s puke with my bare hands (true story, we were in a plane, Parker got plane sick). There are those who drink 5 glasses of sulphur water imported directly from Pompeii before their morning Barre Class taught by a Russian dance master, and then there is me. I open my laptop to find a piece of rice cracker with Nutella stuck to my screen. The culprit has left a couple of tiny finger prints. I can’t help but curse and smile. The biggest lesson mommy-ness (or should I say ‘mess’) taught me is that life happens when you’re busy making plans. And when it does…. You can’t help to love and feel loved in return.
Shagreen serving tray, AERIN / Candle, Penhaligon’s / Sophie wears: denim cache-coeur top and slim leg trousers, CH by Carolina Herrera. / Parker wears: Navy hedgehog T-shirt, linen pants and loafers, Tartine et Chocolat