We were just about to start slacking on our New Year’s fitness resolutions when new styles from Beyond the Bump by Beyond Yoga gave us exactly the motivation we needed to keep going. Co-founder of this incredibly chic, soft and durable active maternity wear collection, Michelle Wahler, is also a new mom herself. Read along to find out her favorite thing about motherhood, how she balances family and running a business, and her sage advice for other new moms.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
Prior to Aiden (my 9 month old), I had my iPhone to wake me up. Now Aiden has become our 7am alarm clock. We start each day with a quiet feeding in his nursery. This quiet time with him is my form of mediation and I cherish it.
After we’re done feeding, we start getting ready. Every day is an adventure; he will discover a new drum set—the shower door, under the sink, the toilet seat— and then play with my hairbrush or a roll of toilet paper all while I attempt to wash my face and do my hair!
Then, we head to the kitchen to prep his meals for the day. I’m fascinated by how my view of nutrition has changed now that Aiden’s eating solid foods. Planning his meals to make sure he’s getting all of the nutrients he needs has made me reevaluate what foods I should be eating I now try to incorporate a wide variety of vitamin rich foods into my diet.
Tell us about a day at the Beyond Yoga offices.
I head into the office by 9:30am with my Trenta, (yes, that’s bigger than a Venti), of unsweetened green tea-lemonade from Starbucks. I hydrate more than ever now and arrive to a packed schedule. As I start my day, I always make it a top priority to go around and say hello to everybody at their desks. Each day differs, which is what excites me the most about my involvement and the growth here at Beyond Yoga. From sketch reviews with my design team, to calls with partners, weekly fittings, production meetings, and even going downtown in the middle of my day to meet with new contractors, I’m always on the go. While the day is never dull, I manage to pump throughout, (back to my Trenta green tea-lemonade, as I must hydrate). I remember my priorities of Aiden no matter how busy I am. Even if I have to take a call, or hold a meeting, the glorious sounds of my Medela pump, as a background noise, keep me going.
Before I know it, it’s 5:30pm and I leave to go enjoy dinner with my boy, face time with dad, a bath, and then our bedtime routine. I feel lucky to have designed my life to be filled with a balance of my two loves: my career and my family.
How has being a mom changed your personal style and beauty routine?
Everything has to be easy now. When I’m getting dressed I need to make sure my outfits are breastfeeding / pumping friendly. I made the mistake of wearing a romper with a high neck to the office one day and I ended up having to strip down to my underwear to pump. That is a mistake you only make once!
What are some of your favorite Beyond the Bump pieces and why?
During my pregnancy, my uniform was the Hug The Belly Long Leggings, the Grow and Glow Cami and the Cover Your Belly Drape Front Cardigan. Wearing a simple, no hassle, comfortable outfit was my only objective when getting dressed. Putting on clean Beyond the Bump to go into the office after I worked out was a real treat.
Pretty quickly after Aiden was born, I retired the leggings because I ended up having an emergency C-section and I actually wanted compression at my waist. I also learned what a huge need there is for special clothing post pregnancy. I didn’t realize how long it would take for my body to return to normal. Loose flowing tops became my best friend. Since having Aiden, being post-partum has helped inspire the line to what a mom actually needs. A couple of pieces I look forward to wearing next time around when I’m pregnant are the Mock Zip Neck Tee, Scoop Neck Tank Top, and Beyond the Bump V-Neck tee.
How did you stay active during and after your pregnancy?
Oddly, I think it was easier to stay active during my pregnancy. I did a lot of prenatal yoga, Pilates, and went on long walks. Now it’s rare that I have time to get to a class. Whether it’s the yoga offered at the office or taking advantage of the Yogaworks and Barre 3 online classes, I try to find ways to sneak in something during the week. I do make time to go to classes on the weekends while Aiden’s napping and my husband is at home. I know I could make time during the week, but it would cut into my time with Aiden and that’s not something I’m willing to give up right now.
What is the best advice that you’ve received about being a working mother / what would you share with other women in the same situation?
The best advice has been to be kind to myself. It’s hard being a mom, and adding the commitments of running a company, it’s a huge challenge. You’re not going to do everything the way you pictured you would and that’s okay. If you can be your own cheerleader and not get down on yourself you will win, besides most of us put unreal expectations on ourselves. Self-love and acceptance of your own limitations will lead to happiness, which will ultimately lead to your baby’s happiness.
What websites, blogs, books or apps do you like to read/use about motherhood or kid/baby?
I’m very grateful for my weekly Baby Group, which gives me a lot of useful information. It’s also been a great network of support because in my group we are all working moms with babies born in the same month as Aiden, so we are all going through this together. Having on-going texts and emails with women going through a similar experience has been the village I need.
How do you treat yourself and relax?
That’s been hard. I really look forward to showers while Aiden is sleeping. Last Friday I actually took the day off, got a massage and went to the movies with my husband. Sometimes you just need to recharge your batteries.
It’s also been a lot of fun making new mommy friends and taking the babies to weekend activities. My favorites so far have been Gymboree and Music class.
What is your favorite thing about being a new mom?
My favorite part of being a new mom is getting to know Aiden. I love waking up every morning to see him. He’s given me a new perspective on the world. I can’t wait to see how he’s going to grow and learn, and to know the person that he will grow up to be. He gives me so much excitement for the future in a way I never imagined.