Introducing our newest feature: The Extraordinary Woman! When we launched the Minou Kids website, we set out to create a one-stop-shop for all the amazing mothers out there–a destination filled with beautiful and high quality goods made by designers–many of whom are mothers themselves. It’s a mom-to-mom thing!
Today we are so excited to talk to Kaitlin, Senior Director of Digital and Insights at Burton Snowboards, and new mom to baby Quinn. She’s a powerhouse working woman who is currently navigating through her newest adventure–motherhood. We caught up with Kaitlin and asked her all about her life as a new mom. Read below.
First off, congratulations again on your little bundle of joy! How has your life changed so far being a new mom?
Thank you! The biggest shift is probably in perspective. It happened slowly through pregnancy but there is now a tiny little human who is solely dependent on me and my husband. It makes prioritizing easy! Now it’s all about proving a loving, healthy, and safe surrounding for Quinn, especially in her teenie newborn stage.
It’s also the biggest life change I’ve experienced, as someone who loves to be social and really loves her work, it’s forcing me to disconnect from work during maternity time to focus on time with Quinn. In terms of being social, I try and get out for lunch, coffee, walks as often as I can. Burlington, Vermont (where I live) has an amazing community for moms with lots of activities for little ones.
Describe an average morning in your household now that you’re on maternity leave. Any advice for other moms going on maternity leave?
In the beginning there was no average morning but now that Quinn is 5 weeks old we are getting in the groove. The day starts with feeding Quinn around 7am. Then my husband takes her to burp and change her while I make coffee for us. From there she gets “tummy time” while I try to get in a quick post-natal yoga session, either on Youtube or through the Yoga Studio app. From there, I check in on email, try to resist checking work email..although I usually do. I also try not to turn on the TV till the afternoon, it’s too easy to get caught it the vortex of terrible morning TV shows.
My advice would be to go easy on yourself in terms of “to-do’s.” As a Virgo I tend to be very list oriented. Do laundry, write that birthday card, clean the kitchen etc…I’m learning–it can wait. It’s about prioritizing Quinn and my own self care whether that means sleeping while she sleeps or doing a quick at-home manicure when I get a free 15 minutes. The other piece of advice is while you are on maternity leave (and if your company is as gracious as mine to offer a healthy 8 weeks paid) schedule something social a couple times a week, lunch, a walk, even a phone call with a friend. It will keep you connected to the adult world and give you something to look forward to between feeding, diapers, burping, soothing etc.
How do you find time for yourself, and what are your favorite self care activities?
I find little pockets of time throughout the day and my husband is a great partner, always taking the baby once he gets home so I can go off and do what I need to do, shower, a workout or an errand.
The other thing, and I don’t know if you would classify this as self-care but to my earlier point of being social, I have 7 girlfriends that I grew up with in Connecticut and we have this amazing ongoing text chain. For the last few years, as all 8 of us have become mothers and some with 2 and 3 kids now, and any given day (much to the chagrin of those back at work) the on-maternity moms will be sending messages, pictures, questions about their kids at all hours of the day/night through our group text (gotta keep ourselves entertained for those 2am feeding sessions right?). This has truly been the most wonderful thing.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far as a mother? Proudest moment?
As a new mother, I know there are so many more of these to come but the first thing that comes to mind in terms of a lesson is to be present. It’s easy to get distracted by the phone, email, etc., but I realize how important it is that I am really there when it comes to spending time with my baby and with Taylor (my husband). Quinn is growing so fast (as babies do) so it’s important to really savor every snuggle with her as an infant.
Proudest moment? It would have to be leaving the hospital. At that point, labor was over, pregnancy was over, bedside nurse support was over, and we had this little tiny peanut in her carseat all ready to go home. We were both overcome with excitement and emotion just thinking of parenthood/motherhood….here goes!
How has your career impacted being a mother? How was being a mother impacted your career?
I’m lucky to work for a company like Burton that is so supportive of family and flexibility. With a female founder and CEO (and mother) Donna Carpenter running the company there is empathy and support at the core. When I found out I was pregnant I was nervous to tell my boss and colleagues but when I did everyone was incredibly supportive and open to flexibility with my schedule to accommodate doctors appointments and maternity leave planning.
Have you come across any unexpected obstacles since entering motherhood?
Living life in 2 hour increments as I pretty much feed Quinn every 2-3 hours around the clock. During the day, by the time she is done feeding, it’s almost time for the next round. Getting anything done in that time frame is well, challenging!
If you were to pull out your handbag right now, what are some of the must-have items we would find inside?
How would you describe your style? Has it changed since becoming a mother?
My style has always been on the classic side, maybe a little bit sporty and very often something from Burton. I do love my basics, lots of black, grey, white. Lately the boxes that have arrived on my doorstep are from Nordstrom – lively nursing bras, Adidas (for my ever- growing shoe collection), and Just Black Denim.
I wouldn’t say my style has changed but being home on maternity comfort has been key, I live in these joggers from Make & Model, it’s the most comfortable fabric.
Check out Kaitlin’s Minou Picks below!