I think one of the biggest fears that new mothers have is, "Oh my gosh! What's going to happen to my body?" I was a swimsuit model when I first got pregnant; I had no idea how this was going to turn out. The first thing I want to say is that just embrace Mother Nature. I always wanted to be a mother, so whatever happened would have been okay. But what I did learn was a couple tips and tricks along the way, and I really, really believe in belly binding. It's an age-old secret that's been around for thousands of years. It's not for everyone. It's not the most comfortable thing, but I did it, and I actually got back in shape with baby number three and four. In my thirties, I got back in shape much easier than I did in my twenties with my first two children. It's a simple concept; I created a product called Tauts, it's like a corset--it's a compression garment. You wrap it around your belly. I wore it for forty days and nights. We're hearing a lot about belly binding right now. There's a lot of talk in the industry about it, because certain people who are in the tabloids are doing it, but it really works. So, forget about all that and embrace the fact that this is a natural way of getting your belly back. It supports all this baggy baby skin. It reminds you to keep your core engaged. It kind of retrains the muscles--and I believe, and it's known to believe, that it helps shrink the swollen uterus much quicker. The support feels great. I did that and it really, really helped.
I think also for new moms--"Get out of your sweats! Blow dry your hair! Wipe off the baby spit and drool! Put on some perfume! Remember the woman that you were before you had children." I think it is so easy to get into a rut, where "Now I'm a mom, and I'm just someone's mom." You've got to remember who you were before you became a mother. You're still someone's wife. You're still a woman--you're still a sensual woman, and I think you really have to tap into that energy. Do something for yourself. Exercise--it's not just for your body; it's for your head--it's for your mind, body, spirit. You're going to have more energy. You're going to have better everything if you exercise! I think it's really important to remember who you were before you became a mother--not to lose your sense of self, even though this new role, becoming a mother, is overwhelming. Pick your little spots and do something for yourself. Take care of yourself. Take baby steps. Embrace the changes, and take care of yourself.
I don't think there's a secret to success of really managing that work/life balance--that struggle. I think a lot of working moms feel guilty that they're not at home, and I think working moms who are at home feel guilty that they're not at work, so it's kind of a vicious cycle. I think communication is key with the children. They know mom works; that's real life--mommy has to work. I try to help prepare them. I try to call, like let's say, for a family meeting when I have a deadline or a project coming up and I know I'm going to be very busy for a period of time, so that they can know what to expect. I try to get really organized. I try to plan a lot of things for them during those times to sort of just buff it out a little bit for them. I also know, for example, on a day like today, I've got a long work day and I've got a commitment at night--I'll maybe cuddle a little bit longer with them than the night before. Maybe I'll have a little bit more sentimental connection with them in the morning over breakfast, when I know I'm going to be gone for a whole day. I try to prepare them; I try to tell them exactly what I'm doing, so they know what to expect. Also, as a working mom with a very busy professional life, I try not to schedule too much in my social life, and that's just a personal choice that I have. If I have a long work day, I want to try to be home for family dinner. I want to try to put my kids to bed at night if I've missed part of the school responsibilities during the day. That's something that I've just personally made a commitment to my family. If I'm busy during the day, I try to be home at night, and vice-versa--just to try to buff it all out, to try to make it all a little bit easier. I think having those open conversations with your children--so that they can get prepared and know exactly what you're doing--I think that makes a big difference.