Catching Up: Being a New Mom

June 11, 2014

Hello everyone! How are you? I’m rarely at my computer these days, thankfully my iPhone keeps me very well connected to all of you and your going-ons so that’s a good thing. I’m not only busy as a new mom but I’m working on pitches for new books since I have a meeting with my publisher soon and I want to wow her with great ideas! More than that, I want to wow myself because I can’t do anything in which I have no genuine passion for. Are ya feelin’ me here?

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

I can’t perform for others without it being a genuine expression; I never could. I have to please myself first and then the projects I take on have more meaning and weight to me and then they seem to do really well and others respond to them too. When I lack all of that, stuff just feels odd and disconnected – which is never good for me personally.  Being a new mom has given me a clearer understanding of self and others, my purpose, and where I want to go career-wise and with my family. I wouldn’t say I’ve become totally clear as I believe clarity is fleeting – what seems clear today can be hazy tomorrow depending on a million different things but I do think that new responsibilities in life can, at first be complex and present challenges but then after you’ve gotten into your new groove those responsibilities can mean even better things for your life overall. Before having a baby, I was beating to my own drum and had all of the time in the world and could do as I please, when I wanted to. With that also came a sense of, “What does all this mean ultimately?”. Sure I have achieved a lot professionally but how about having the best of both worlds, a happy career and a happy family life with a baby who wraps his hands around my neck and coos as he smiles, drools on me and looks into my eyes with utter joy.

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

To add to this, and wow this is really personal but I need to tell you about it… A week before giving birth I was out with my husband walking to a fave restaurant and he could sense I was stressed about  labor and birth but also about other things that I won’t detail but we’ll call it “stuff” – that which we all have that seems to creep out of the closet right before your life is about to change (wedding, childbirth, relocation, new job, etc.). My husband was listening as I rambled about this “stuff” and suddenly he stopped on the sidewalk, grabbed my shoulders, looked deep into my eyes and said, “Holly you deserve to have what everyone else has. You DESERVE it, you deserve to be a mother and have a chance to have a baby”. Tears immediately flowed down my cheeks as I held him and after that, my anxiety over the “stuff” ended. In fact, being a mother came so naturally because that wall was removed and my good energy could flow into my new life with a baby which resulted in feeling happier than I’ve ever been before.

Everything has come full circle but thing is, I’m ready to make more circles! I once thought in life that we had one puzzle to put together, one circle to complete, but now I’ve realized we can reinvent ourselves, change things we don’t like, add to what we love, and make many puzzles and many circles so once one feels complete we can move to the next. This gives me a sense of freedom. Things feel lighter in my heart now that I’ve realized that options are limitless when you stop thinking you have to be complete as a person or complete some big, profound circle. Complete to me equals THE END. So I’ve accepted the evolution of my life as being composed of many circles and I will continue to make them and complete them and move on. And on. And on. Life is much calmer again that Aidan is four months old – he has his routine (to a degree), we are learning ours (!) and it’s slowly all coming together. And I’m making a new circle with him and my new role.

Living as a childless couple for so long made me a bit self-centered, which I didn’t see until I had a little one. I’m learning the gift of giving again in a very selfless way along with patience and how valuable what I do with my son really is to him – the most tiny things – and how he looks to me for love and care and how much joy I reap from providing these things. I often wonder how long it takes the average first-time mother to get into the groove with a baby but I guess it depends on the baby, doesn’t it? I quickly adjusted to having him around and had everything pretty pulled together right away, which I thought was a miracle – but then it all sort of fell apart after I got on a new birth control pill around the 9th week of his life. My hormones went wacko bonkers and I wanted to sleep constantly – I even felt asleep though I was awake. I thought I may be depressed but the doctor said I wasn’t – no way – that this was a side effect of the pill that she put me on and that it would lift over time.

I finally pushed through it and now things have stabilized naturally – but man, I was starting to wonder if I’d be tired FOREVER and WHERE WAS MY PERSONALITY HIDING?! From week 9 to week 15 I was a hot hormonal mess – damn birth control! I’m glad THAT is over. It feels good to be ME again which means now I’m starting to revisit home decorating projects, my blog, future books, joining some fitness classes, hiring a good nutritionist, planning a Fall book tour here in Europe with Leslie, maybe a Spring one next year in America (YES!), teaching a local workshop, etc. It’s a NICE feeling to have HOLLY back again. And to be able to hold my head up for more than an hour without it crashing to the table. ;) So for those who have been asking… This is what being a new mom has been like so far. I’m doing really good! But it’s definitely been a MAJOR life change. I must add though that it has been only for the better.

Also, on the work front I’m happy to report that our book, Decorate With Flowers (UK) (US) (DE), is doing great and that on September 17th we’ll be in London (Leslie and I) to have a party at Anthropologie to launch the book (our Canadian launch party photos at The Cross are shown here). We’re so happy! We’ll also be doing a little European tour – but only a few cities, nothing crazy because my boy is still just a little one and I want to spend as much time with him as I can during his first year and even into his second year… I didn’t have a baby to put him on the back burner though I definitely still must work not only for the financial reasons but for the emotional ones – I get so much joy out of my work that I can’t imagine NOT doing what I do.

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

 (photos: outtakes from Decorate With Flowers photographed by Leslie Shewring and Janis Nicolay. Shown in photos, Leslie Shewring and Jessy Senti on location in Vancouver at the home of Kate Horsman)


  • Reply Lesley Myrick June 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks for such a sweet and personal update, Holly! I really appreciate that you share your (fabulous) human side here on Decor8, and that you feel like you’ve gotten “Holly” back. New motherhood is a tough adjustment, but you’re handling it with strength and grace. xox

  • Reply Samantha Velez June 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I love the way you decorated the wall with the flowers taped down by the stems. I can’t stop looking at that picture. On another note, it can definitely be hard to balance all of the things we have going on in life. I’m glad to hear you’re in a good place.

  • Reply Kreetta June 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Happy to hear you are back Holly! I don’t have kids yet so I can only imagine what you have gone through. I wish one day I have a baby too and I wish you a good spirit and great ideas and a lot of moments of happiness!

  • Reply claire June 11, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Well said, Holly!

  • Reply Samantha Hahn June 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I love this post Holly!

  • Reply Jude A Trifle Rushed June 11, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    What a fabulous post, and your life has changed for ever and as a mother of 27 years, for better too. Children bring out more love, more caring, compassion and patience then you ever knew you had. You learn to concentrate, to juggle , to discover solutions rapidly and to consider things deeply.
    Looking forward to seeing you in September,
    Take care and enjoy your lovely boy as he grows into a wonderful man.
    Jude x

  • Reply Mandie June 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I’m a first time mom, too- my little one is 6 months old, and there have been a few times that I’ve felt ‘more’ like my old self, but I can definitely count them on one hand! I think how much sleep we’re all getting makes a difference, too, but we’re in the middle of a sleep regression over here, so I’m certainly feeling fuzzy in the head lately. My sister has assured me over & over that the jump from one baby to two is MUCH easier than the initial one baby….so yeah. :)

  • Reply Margherita Arrighi June 12, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I love white and flowers on wall!!! I want paint something like that!

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang June 12, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I’m just so happy for you.

  • Reply Viviane June 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

    What a wonderful post – you really know how to put your (and also other mom’s) feelings and thoughts into words! Good luck, creating your new circles!


  • Reply Heidi June 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I’m very happy for you, and it seems like you’re doing a good job at everything, but especially trying to keep balanced. I’m childless, but I think it’s important for one to keep doing the things that drive them, because babies do grow up, so it’s good not to forget yourself!

    Anyways, I hope you come to Copenhagen for your book trip! It’s not very far from Hamburg, and I know it would be a treat to pop into our great interior shops :)

  • Reply Sabbie Narwal June 13, 2014 at 4:31 am

    What a refreshing-reassuring post! Yes, all the feels are in this post :) Seriously, I love hearing and (even better) seeing people who only do what they love and believe in!

  • Reply Katie June 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Beautiful post – I’m glad things are starting to look up and that you’re looking out for new opportunities and projects to get involved in! Also, Aidan is SO CUTE! You should be a super proud mum.

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily June 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Really looking forward to the London launch. I’m glad there’s a new date. I’ll put it in the diary :-)

  • Reply lauraagarwilson (keepinghealthygettingstylish) June 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I love that you share these updates on your life, I have to admit I’m shedding a couple of tears reading what your husband said to you, I can so relate to that. I’m 25 weeks pregnant (after fertility issues) and have just left my job to go self employed so I know that ‘stuff’ you are referring to! Just thank you so much for sharing x

  • Reply Andrea June 15, 2014 at 5:13 am

    It’s mammoth, this becoming a mama thing. It’s impossible to realise the effect it has on you until it happens. I never envisaged the change in me.
    It sounds like you feel the same for yourself.

    I was all over the shop for the first year. I think you are doing amazingly well to be this ‘together’ as a first time mom. Well done you!

  • Reply Ariana {And Here We Are...} June 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I loved reading this update, Holly, and hearing what you are learning about life. I can definitely relate to your experience of having life open up for you, realizing that there is so much more out there than one circle to complete. We have so many options, and that is such a joyful thing that I am still working to wrap my mind around.

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better after that hormonal rollercoaster, and adjusting so beautifully to motherhood.

  • Reply Sefer June 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Great post! Very very beautiful photos… really interesting!
    Your husband’s words are beautiful…
    Thanks for sharing that with us!

  • Reply Lilliane June 19, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Birth control pills are so evil. I regret putting it into my body for so many years! Only after quitting I realised all the side effects. No more hormones for me. Glad you’re feeling better.

  • Reply Lisa Barton July 23, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Wonderful post Holly, thank you for sharing :) I’ve only just started to re-discover who I am again after mothering 4 baby girls and finding myself 10 years older!

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up