Today, we are excited to spotlight Winnie Kemp, an inspirational mama who works full-time outside the house, has two gorgeous little boys, and just provided us with the best pumping tip we have ever heard!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, when did you start your family, etc…?
I grew up in Lake Forest, IL, and I'm a mom of 2 - Atticus, 2 years, and Booker, 4 months.
What are your new mom must-haves?
Rock n play sleeper. I kept this next to my bed and the babies slept in it in the newborn months. I could reach over and grab them in the middle of the night to nurse and plop them back down, all without having to leave the comfort of my bed. Bravado nursing bra and tanks -- I love these, comfortable and supportive. If you have to go back to work and plan on pumping, I love Freemies. So much better than the Medela horns that probably haven't been redesigned since breast pumps first were invented.
What was the best part about being a new mom, for you?
Cuddles. Lots and lots of baby cuddles. Also, when they start to smile and giggle, it is the best thing in the world-- better than ice cream, rainbows and baby panda cams combined.
What was the hardest part about being a new mom?
Being a mom is 24/7 and you are never off duty, even when you are sleeping. Not having time to yourself is really hard. Also, making time for your relationship. It takes a herculean effort, but a date night here and there really does wonders. I also started doing a nice dinner once a month with a close girlfriend. It gives me time to catch up with friends that don't have kids and also it's time to be just myself and not the role of wife or mom.
What is your most trusted resource?
My sister and sister in law, who both started having kids slightly before me, so they've been through everything 6 months to a year before I go through it.
How on earth do you juggle two??
I give my husband a lot of props for stepping up and taking charge of our toddler. Going from one to two kids is very hard on the dad, harder than zero to one. When I have both kids it's difficult to keep an eye on Atticus, who is very energetic and mischievous, while not completely ignoring Booker, who is generally very chill. I would say having a solid schedule helps a lot so you can plan and take advantage of the solo time you have with each child.
Are there any key pieces of advice you would pass on to new moms?
Follow your instincts. Something awakens inside every woman once you have a baby and you have to trust in yourself even when you think you have no idea what you are doing. Read a lot of books, talk to a lot of moms, but only you know your kids best.
Finally, do you have any advice specifically for working moms?
Accept that you can never be 100% focused on any one thing-- you always have to multitask. Life is a series of tradeoffs, and you have to be smarter and more efficient to maximize your time and energy. Try to simplify your life as much as you can. We eat a lot of grilled cheese and quesadillas, and the slow cooker is amazing for making fast, easy, tasty meals. That, and drink a lot of wine!