Bradley Agather Means is no stranger to doing her research to find the latest and greatest in lifestyle, fashion and beauty products for readers of her blog. But the Luella & June founder admits she isn’t fully versed on all things baby—even months after her son’s arrival.
“I’m not somebody who grew up babysitting. I didn’t know much about babies. Definitely every single day is a learning process,” Agather Means shares. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t fully immersed herself in parenting (with a super healthy mindset, in our opinion) since having George 4 months ago. “I can’t worry if he is eating as much or sleeping as much as this baby. It’s going to be fine. He’s still going to go to college.”
What are your impressions of motherhood? I had no expectations. It’s a totally new and different and exciting and wonderful thing. I think that the best way to describe postpartum is that everything is weird and special and wonderful all at the same time.
How was your pregnancy? My pregnancy was wonderful. Again, I went into it with absolutely no expectations. I was just grateful to be pregnant. I’ll be honest; I think it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s just a total change. I think that you become a mom the second that you are pregnant, like your body is not your own anymore.
What has amazed you the most? The overwhelming love that I feel for this baby. Really—the sheer amount of love there is. I think it’s really scary to love something that much. I love this baby so much, and loving something that much can be scary, because they’re just the best thing and you want the best for them and the anxiety of that.
Is there anything that surprised you through this experience? I had heard about [mom shaming] from friends, but there’s a lot. I think that it’s [often] well intentioned and coming from a good place. Take what you will with it and tune out the rest; pick your person or pick your two people to get advice from, because you need the help and you need the advice. But learning to not let [other people’s opinions] affect you is not easy. It is important to do, because otherwise I would just be nuts.
Do you think you’ll have more children? I don’t know, I really don’t. I’ve never been someone who plans like that. I think we’re so grateful and happy with one—maybe never say never, but if this is just the one that I’ll have, then I’m OK with that too.
Is George a good baby? When people ask me that, I sort of hesitate because I’m like, I think he’s the best damn baby that ever existed. Before having him, I didn’t know anything about babies, so I wouldn’t know anything different. He’s definitely the best part of my day. I just think he’s wonderful.
How has your husband been as a new dad? He is amazing, and I really think that having a great partner is probably the reason I’m sitting here telling you that I have the best baby. Because I have somebody who is doing it with me.
What has been your biggest lesson as a new mom? I think probably the greatest lesson is asking for help, and being present—not taking yesterday into today. If yesterday was a bad day, let’s wake up today and it’s just new and it could be totally different. Babies really teach you that. They’re changing all the time and it’s like, just be present where you are and know that it will change. Be accepting of it. And I’m not necessarily that great with change, but I’m learning. Also, it’s amazing the things you can do with one hand.
Bradley’s Mommy Must-Haves
“If you are an expecting mom, the Doona car seat and stroller combo needs to be at the top of your registry. It’s a total game changer. And get the two bases so that you can have one in your car and one in your husband’s car.
I love books. Reading is really important to me, obviously, as a writer. So reading to George is really important to me. I just think having a collection full of books is great.
I have learned that I really enjoy buying for his future self—buying something fabulous and wonderful for when he’s, say, 8. [Editor’s Note: Bradley says she has bought him cowboy boots that will fit him when he is 8.]
George wears pajamas all day right now. We love Kissy Kissy because they’re super soft and wonderful.
In the middle of the night, I love a zip onesie for a quick diaper change without having to mess with buttons. KicKee Pants has some great options that are super soft and seem to stretch. There’s a [kids clothing] website called Primary; they’re really inexpensive and have fun prints.
When I was registering, there was a girl who helped me at The Tot. It was awesome. They do a consultation, which I thought was awesome for someone who doesn’t know anything about babies and was kind of overwhelmed by options.
I’m trying to come up with a gift to give George every Christmas so that when he’s older, he’ll have a beautiful collection. My grandmother gave me a piece of silver each year. Now I have full set, and I’m so grateful. I want to do [something like] that for him.”
Photo courtesy of Bradley Agather Means.