In honor of Mother's Day, we interviewed two Local Eclectic mamas -- our Founder & CEO, Alexis Nido-Russo, and our Customer Experience & Operations Lead, Caitlin Kerr -- all about motherhood.
How has becoming a mother changed your everyday life?
kerr: I have a routine now, that I never had before. My life is much more predictable, but I like it that way. I spent my 20's being young with no schedule, so when I finally had my children I was ready for something more stable and "homey". I make my coffee every morning before work now. That's a small change, but something I never did before babies!
nido-russo: Where do I begin! On the surface, my actual routine is very different...my life basically revolves around Soleil. I have a lot less time to workout, watch Netflix, read, nap etc. Babies need a lot of attention...constant attention. That means I have to be a lot more efficient with my time because there's basically no time for work once I get home.
What is the most rewarding and challenging aspect of being a mother, respectively?
kerr: The most rewarding aspect is watching these kids blossom into their own selves. It is so cool to see how they change and grow. How they form their personalities and opinions. It's exciting to watch! The most challenging aspect of being a mother is that I will worry about these two for the rest of my life. It is a heavy thing to be a parent and have constant worry about the happiness, safety and growth of someone. I think that being a parent has brought me closer to my own mother because I get it now. I get the struggle of giving all of your energy away to these kiddos and of worrying no matter how old your kids get. It is a humbling experience.
nido-russo: Rewarding has been experiencing a whole new emotion. The feeling you feel when you become a parent is indescribable. It's a new kind of love but love isn't even really the right word because it's so much more than that. Challenging has just been finding time to do everything else in my life while being a really present and engaged mother.
Do you have any tips for full-time working mothers?
kerr: Make lists or have your husband or partner remind you! I forget essential things in the morning and then have to drive all the way back home to get them. Not very efficient. Let family help. The best is when my mom is in town and my husband and I can relax a bit more then normal. Find childcare that you trust. There is nothing worse then being worried about where your kids are.
nido-russo: Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Stay patient and treasure the mornings, nights and weekends you have with baby. I also highly recommend the sleep training books I read...Soleil has been sleeping through the night (7pm-7am) since 12 weeks.
What inspired the name of your child / names of your children?
kerr: My daughter Jonnie-Rose was inspired by my late father, John. I really wanted to honor him in someway and we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, so thought John or Jonnie would be good. Also, I worked at a coffee shop with a Jonny and I thought she was so cool:) Her name always stuck with me. We got my son's name, Otis, when we were in labor with our daughter 2 years before. The Elevator that we took to the Maternity Ward was an Otis Elevator and we thought that was a good name for a boy, if we were going to have a boy. It stuck around after and when we had our son, it fit!
nido-russo: I can't remember where I first heard the name -- probably Punky Bruster! -- but it was on a long list of names we had to choose from after she was born. It actually wasn't even one of my top names prior to her birth but after Nick and I met her, it just felt right!
What is your favorite parenting book or magazine?
kerr: I loved Bringing up Bebe and I like the online site Mother Magazine.
nido-russo: I have a few! I love the two sleep training books I read, Cherish the first 6 weeks and 12 hours of sleep by 12 weeks -- I followed many of the tips in those books early on because I was determined to have her sleeping well! I also love Bringing Up Bebe. I read that book while I was pregnant and it's what originally made me determined to have her "doing her nights" by 12 weeks!