As I imagine most pregnant women can relate, these nine months are a time when even total strangers feel the right to give input. From unsolicited birthing stories to highly invasive questions, boundaries seem to fly out the window. And, no matter how hard we try to block them out, those words can cause tremendous confusion. I’ve never been through this before; so, while I can try to shove off unwanted opinions, it’s hard to completely shake them. What if I do have that same horrible experience? What if I haven’t felt what you felt–is there something wrong with me? These days, my internal dialogue gets easily jumbled, even by well-meaning comments. So, I took the proactive approach and sought advice for a first time mom from five of the most extraordinary, powerhouse women I know. As entrepreneurs, they approach motherhood with such integrity + grace while remaining honest in their struggles. It’s an honor to receive their guidance and be able to share some nuggets of wisdom with you.
p.s. the image above is my mom + me just shortly after i was born. it’s a treasured gem because, as the youngest of five, baby photos are few + far between
Anna Liesemeyer, Creator of In Honor of Design and mother of five –
I’m not someone who experiences ‘friend crushes.’ I’ll usually just admire someone’s traits without having that I-need-to-know-you-personally feeling. But ever since coming across her beautiful blog, Anna has been the exception to that. Now a mother of five, I’ve followed her journey starting from nugget number three. Whether posting style advice, sharing travel diaries, or giving honest reflections on motherhood, I am completely enamored with her writings. It always feels as though you’re reading some letter from a friend. And continually cherishing her faith-based approach to parenting, I’ve found myself going back through the archives for input as we prepare to expand our own family.
Sarah Dubbeldam, Owner + Editor in Chief of Darling Magazine, recently a mother herself –
As I consider how my life + business may look a bit different following baby boy’s arrival, Sarah’s drive and entrepreneurial savvy serve as tremendous inspiration. While she so evidently puts family first, her commitment to the Darling Magazine publication never wavers. With integrity and an impeccable aesthetic, she offers an empowering message to all women through her personal life as well as the mission of the magazine. I adore watching the ways in which her precious baby boy has enhanced all angles of her lifestyle and so evidently brought joy while still letting her pursue her passions.
Shalice Noel, Creator of Shalice Noel, mother of four –
You know how it can be hard to believe that people are equally as gorgeous on the inside as they are out? Meet Shalice. Not only is this style blogger a total model-worthy stunner, but she maintains such a sweet, approachable demeanor. After connecting at New York Fashion Week last fall, I’ve wished our East-West coasts weren’t at such a distance. She blends high + low fashion into always-Pinnable outfits while keeping family at the forefront of her priorities. I constantly stalk her Instagram stories where behind-the-scenes snaps always include captures of one (or all four) of her California-cool kids.
Katie Noble, Owner of Katie Noble Photo, mother of one –
I’m going straight for the big cheese with this one: in the past five years, Katie is one of those irreplaceable friendships I feel was ‘meant to be.’ She was our wedding photographer whom I didn’t meet until the day of the wedding. So to feel that comfortable and secure right off the bat speaks to her phenomenal-ness. As a wildly talented artist, she couldn’t be cooler, more down to earth, and crazy committed to her craft. Whether it’s weddings, editorials, or floral arrangements on the other side of the lens, Katie embraces every opportunity with zest and commitment. Since becoming a mother to one cute-as-a-button daughter, I’ve witnessed her translate that same amazing energy into family life. Her approach is loveable and laidback–a balance I hope to implement myself.
Tara Foley, Founder of Follain healthy beauty store, mother of one –
Boston can feel more like a big town than a metropolis. The great part about that is, when someone’s making an impact, word gets out. Learning of Tara’s healthy beauty company a few years ago was like discovering a diamond in the rough. Since that first visit to their Beacon Hill store, I’ve encountered numerous brands that employ clean methods, wholesome ingredients, and unique missions. She maintains such a high standard of excellence in everything related to their store–from staff to aesthetics to products represented. And, since becoming a mother to her little boy, she’s exceeded all of those accomplishments in the personal realm. As I watch her business continue to develop, I aspire to those levels of diligence which maker her a Boston force to be reckoned with.