He has taught me so much, perhaps most importantly just to be present and patient, and let go of plans or any preconceived notions I had of motherhood and just take each day as they come. There is so much joy in being present together if you let go of expectations. Those idyllic beach days will wait for us!
How do you find that ‘Balance’ of being a Mother?
It's a tricky one! I don't know if I have it yet. I took proper maternity leave so that I could recover from some burnout and enjoy my time with Rio. I told the team they could contact me whenever they needed, and I have checked in a couple of times, but I know Stylerunner is in great hands. So nearly all of my time has been devoted to Rio in these first few months. At around 15 weeks tho, I gained the confidence and energy to get back into a social life more. It took me way longer than expected, but I just went with the flow and what felt right. I no longer feel daunted taking Rio out with me all day. Tantrums may happen, schedules may slip, but we'll deal with it together and get through it stronger, and he is getting exposure to so many new and stimulating environments. I think he's seen enough of the play mat at home! When I return to work, I'll need to find a new way to manage Balance, but I'm optimistic of finding something that works.
If you could give advice to any new mum about those early stages of Motherhood what would it be?
Look after yourself and accept help from anyone that will offer it! A neat little hack, buy double the bread and milk, and freeze half for when you inevitably can't get around to a grocery shop and you'd kill for a coffee. Toast and coffee is still a meal! Online shop to top up as soon as you're into your frozen stash.
Is Motherhood everything you had envisioned?
It's even better than I imagined! It's definitely hard, there have been tears and exhaustion, and I had a really tough time with breastfeeding, so I'm not saying it has been easy, but I feel like we've taken our time to adjust to all of the changes, and now we have found a rhythm that works for us. It took nearly 4 months of living in robes and messy hair with more than a bit of shell shock, and I'm sure the roller-coaster has plenty more twists and turns for us, but I feel ready for the ride with my hands in the air instead of gripping the safety bar so tightly!
What has been your favourite memory so far?
I mentioned breastfeeding was difficult (no-one warns you how hard it is!) but we pushed through, and those hours in the middle of the night, just the two of us, while he'd feed for almost hour, were often hard but equally incredibly precious. He was so so tiny, and his little body operating on auto-pilot was so sweet to witness. I loved how even half asleep, he would purse his little lips closed when full, like, "I am 100% done here." There was no budging once those lips were closed! He wouldn't eat another drop. Done. Finito. Move along!
Mothers are selfless humans! But we still need time to ourselves. What do you do to unwind when you have a moment to yourself?
What's a moment to myself? #mumjoke. In truth, my husband is amazing and helps with Rio alot. The other day he looked after Rio all day so I could go to a brunch and painting class, a long lunch with girlfriends and get my hair and nails done. The best day! I would say I try to look after myself in my 'me time' with fitness or a beauty treatment (hello brow appointment! Looking at you Kristin Fischer). I've also been getting back into reading books as so many of my friends have published recently, I have lot to catch up on!
Do you have a personal story you would like to share?
I was 40 when Rio was born with the help of IVF for which I am eternally grateful. Sending love and prayers to anyone that is trying, or has been on a trying journey. No matter the outcome, you are whole and you are beautiful, and you are loved.
Here are SUBOO we deeply thank Julie for allowing us to showcase her story, advice and the special moments she’s shared with Rio this Mother’s Day.