I am thrilled to kick off the Motherhood Spotlight Series TODAY with my friend and fellow mama Amanda Kinsey.
Truth be told, I am really excited about the line-up of moms and women who will take over my blog over for the next months while I am on maternity leave, because I myself am dying to learn from their insights and wisdom.
Get ready to hear some real, raw and life changing stories on new mama adjustments, postpartum health challenges, and family transitions that come with the introduction of a new baby.
How I know Amanda:
Amanda and I met in prenatal yoga class in Williamsburg in NYC when I was pregnant with Felix and I immediately adored her. Amanda is a woman who radiates kindness and love. And I wish you could hear her laugh because she lights up a room and you cannot help but smile right back at her warm face. I was so glad that I met her when I did because Felix and her son Conor were born just a few weeks apart and she became one of my go-to friends to discuss all things baby and new mama worries. Amanda was also crucial in my process of forming a supportive community of wonderful new mamas in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. She's just that kind of woman that we all wish we had in our lives.
I hope you enjoy her post "Magical Monkeys Wearing Sparkle Hats" as much as I did.
Magical Monkeys Wearing Sparkle Hats
by Amanda Kinsey
“Magical monkeys wearing sparkle hats.” This is what my soon-to-be two year old, Conor, told me he dreamt about a couple of months ago. I was changing his diaper in the morning and I asked him how he slept and did he have good dreams. I’ve asked him this nearly every morning since he was born, but this was the first time I was given a real response. I was a bit floored. Not because magical monkeys were necessarily groundbreaking. The response was just so, well, kid-like. When had my little baby become a child?
It’s no secret that motherhood comes with a lot of challenges. There are the sleepless nights, the health scares, and the worry if you are doing enough or doing it well. The most surprising challenge for me, however, has been the constant evolution of parenthood. You are so in the moment when your child is born that it’s hard to imagine they will ever be bigger than this tiny person you cradle. As they get to be a toddler racing around, it’s difficult to remember they ever sat still. Everything feels immediate and sometimes it takes a second look to recognize that your little buddy has grown.
I remember when Conor was 3 months old. I moved him from a newborn bassinet to a pack-n-play beside the bed. Suddenly, instead of sleeping curled up as he would in the womb, he was stretched out like a starfish every night. Oops! This growing boy probably could have used a bigger bed earlier. I just couldn’t adjust to not thinking of my baby as a newborn. He had only been born 12 weeks prior.
Having to redefine your parenting approach and look at your child with fresh eyes has its benefits. It forces you to be more flexible. It calls on you to put aside your preconceptions of who you and your child are and the dynamic between you as a family. Most importantly, it teaches you that reinvention is part of life. We all know this, but until I was moving along with the warp speed that is child development I found it hard to truly appreciate or adapt.
I’ve been thinking a lot about reinvention lately. My family and I recently relocated from Brooklyn to Denver. We are loving our new home, but it is definitely a departure from our old life. I ran my own film production company, Electric Yolk Media, in New York and look forward to continuing to do so here in Colorado. Navigating this landscape and finding my bearings as both a parent and working mom in a new city is a bit daunting at times.
I try to remember that just as Conor is growing, so am I. Humans are not stagnant beings. Though many of our core beliefs and personality may stay with us for life, we do change with our environments. Our perspectives shift and this is good. Luckily, as a mother, I’ve been learning to evolve on a daily basis for the past two years. I just have to remember to put on my sparkle hat.
Amanda Kinsey is a filmmaker, five-time Emmy Award winning producer and fourth-generation photojournalist. She is the Founder & Principal of Electric Yolk Media. She and her family live in Denver, Colorado.