FRIDAY Q&A: GETTING BACK TO WORK, HOW TEDDY WILL BE INCORPORATED INTO THE BLOG, POSTPARTUM SELF-CARE, AND MORE

Happy Friday! Teddy is six weeks old today and that means I have my postpartum check-up appointment later this morning. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous after my delivery experience and postpartum recovery have been harder than I was expecting, but I know I’ll be very relieved if I’m healing well and cleared to exercise again. (I’m feeling so much better than I was, but after six weeks it will be nice to get a little reassurance and ask outstanding questions in person!) Crossing my fingers for good news to start the weekend. I hope you all have a great one!

design darling friday q&a

1. Would love to see nursing-friendly “out of the house” clothes!

I haven’t gotten into the habit of shooting outfits again just yet (and I’m still in sweatshirts and leggings more often than I’d like to admit!) but my best purchase so far has been sizing up in my favorite knit oxford shirt. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, once you try one of these shirts, you won’t want to wear any other button-down again! 

2. How has the home construction been going with having Teddy around?

We haven’t done any construction since moving the wall in our master bedroom before Teddy’s arrival! But we are hoping to start work in our kitchen and powder room early next year and I’m sure it will be complete chaos. That said I’m not sure there is such a thing as an easy time to tackle a major renovation and we are beyond desperate for a working dishwasher (ours broke the week after we moved in and apparently it’s so old the parts needed to repair it are no longer available…) to wash bottles and breast pump parts so we want to start as soon as we can!

3. How have your self-care habits changed since having a baby?

I have a much greater appreciation for any self-care ritual I’m able to squeeze in! I’ve felt like a new person the couple times I’ve gotten my hair and nails done since Teddy was born. Even a hot shower or a few hours of uninterrupted sleep feel like a luxury. And I’m really hoping to be able to start working out again next week — I think an at-home fitness routine would be the ultimate form of self-care right now.

4. I love the name Teddy! Do you think he will go by Teddy or William or Ted when he’s older?

Both of my grandfathers were Edward and went by Ted/Teddy so we’ll see! We liked the way William Edward sounded with our last name better than Edward William, but I love both names so I’d be happy with anything he wants to be called! 

5. Did you decide you would go back to work after only a few weeks or did it feel right? (Don’t mean to sound judgey at all!)

I kept telling myself I’d write a bunch of blog posts before my due date and space them out after Teddy was born, but that clearly didn’t happen so I’ve just been taking it day by day! I’m definitely not back to my pre-baby work schedule and honestly I don’t want to be just yet. I feel really fortunate to have this time alone with Teddy and to have a job that supports that flexibility (even if there’s no such thing as paid maternity leave when you’re self-employed!). Right now I’m really trying to focus on writing heartfelt posts about life as a new mom vs. putting pressure on myself to get a new blog post up every day. I will say I wanted to write Teddy’s birth story while it was still fresh in my mind and these more meaningful posts about our new chapter have been incredibly cathartic for me to write, but I imagine it will still be a little while before I’m back to posting six days a week. Thanks for bearing with me! 

6. How are you juggling blogging with a newborn?

See the above! Taking care of Teddy is far and away my number one priority and I know I will never regret taking as much time as I can to love on him at this age. I love getting to sit down and write if he’s getting in a good nap, but that doesn’t happen every day and I’m trying to give us both some grace on the days where work never makes it to the top of the to do list. I do feel guilty for not being able to give both my baby and my business (which was in many ways my original baby!) 100% every day, but I’m trying to remind myself how quickly this stage will pass and trust that we’ll eventually find some sort of balance that works for both of us.

7. How do you plan to include your son in the business of your blog (sponsored posts, etc.)?

For ten years (this month!) my blog has been about the people, places, and things I love so I absolutely plan to incorporate Teddy into my blog going forward! Our accountant walked us through setting up an account where Teddy will receive a portion of all sponsored post income as a way for us to start saving for his college tuition. I totally respect anyone’s decision to handle this situation differently, but we feel really good about how this approach will work for our family!

8. Do you have a nanny?

Not yet! I talked a little about this before Teddy was born and we’re still not sure how we’ll handle childcare going forward. Right now I’m breastfeeding every few hours so it would be hard for me to leave during the day anyway but it’s something we plan to revisit in the new year.

9. What was the biggest surprise coming home from the hospital or in the first couple weeks? I’m due at the end of November!

Congratulations! The biggest surprise for me was how hard my physical recovery was those first couple weeks. I wrote about it in detail both here and here, but if I could offer any advice it would be to prioritize taking care of your physical well-being (for me that meant pain meds, ice packs, and sitz baths) as soon as possible rather than putting pressure on yourself to visit with family, start a load of laundry, etc. I think I could have felt better sooner (or at least saved myself some guilt and exhaustion) if I’d focused exclusively on taking care of Teddy and taking care of myself in those early days. Take it slow and be kind to yourself!

10. Do you know of any Fairfield County monogrammers who can personalize things you’ve already purchased?

We used Nantucket Embroidery Co. in Milford to embroider the dinner napkins for our wedding reception but I would also check out Monogram Mary in Greenwich!

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  1. Once you’re cleared to exercise, Barre 3 offers a great online option. I used it after my son Will was born and found it was very helpful b/c they let you search by pre/post partum. There are workouts that are as little as 10 minutes, they showed modifications and don’t do exercises that may stress areas of your body that’re still recovering. It was a nice way to ease back into things and rebulid my strength before I went back to the studio and I could stop or pause if I needed to.