Q&A with Motherhood Her Way Founder + Editor, Brittany Van Den Brink
To celebrate the launch of Motherhood Her Way, I thought it might be fun to share a bit about myself in Q&A format, so that we can get to know each other better. In the coming weeks and months, I'll be featuring interviews with other mothers from around the globe, which I can't wait to share. Today, I'll kick off the series with a little bit about myself and my family.
Name: Brittany Van Den Brink
Location: Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada
Tell us about yourself and your family!
I live with my husband, Adam, our 6.5 month old son, Luke, and our sweet Golden Retriever, Chevy, on a 2 acre country lot about 10 minutes outside the small-ish town where I grew up. My husband is a Millwright and I'm currently on maternity leave from my position as a PhD Candidate studying local government. In my spare time I'm also a freelance writer/editor and I own an Etsy shop, BVDBDesigns, which both serve to keep my creative juices flowing! I love coffee (I'm a latte kind of girl), long walks with the dog, and cozy movie nights with my little family.
Why did you start Motherhood Her Way? What are your hopes for the platform?
Being pregnant recently, and now a new mom, has been so humbling and fulfilling - but it's also unchartered territory. How-to's and advice columns are great (I read them myself, often!), but I always find that the stories I relate to most are personal stories. Whether it's a raw, thought-provoking account of your feelings about navigating marriage with young children, or a more frank discussion about how you potty trained your toddler, I always gravitate towards content with a personal feel. So, that is the type of content you will find here on Motherhood Her Way. It's real and hopefully relatable.
But, I'm only one person with my own set of finite experiences to share. I value the relationships I've made with other women, both in real life and online, and, I always appreciate reading about you're feeling or how you're tackling an aspect of motherhood, relationships, and life in general. My hope is that this will be a platform to connect with other mothers from all walks of life, so that we can share stories and mom hacks that work for us.
What is the number one baby product that you can't live without?
This is a tough one because there are so many great baby products out there. If I had to pick just one for this stage with a 6.5 month old, I'd have to say the Skip Hop Activity Center. It allows me to have my hands free for a few minutes while keeping Luke safe and engaged.
What does your morning routine look like with a 6.5 month old?
My husband is always up early for work, so it's just Luke and I at home in the morning. It used to be pure chaos as I struggled to get us both fed and dressed. Like most aspects of motherhood, it took time, but we've now settled into a semi-predictable routine that looks something like this (most days, anyway!):
Sometime between 6:30 am and 7:30 am, Luke wakes up. I change his diaper and nurse him, then I bring into the bathroom with me and put him in his Rock n' Play or, more recently, the Skip Hop Activity Center while I take a shower, do my hair and throw on a little makeup as quickly as possible. Then, we make our way to the kitchen. Luke plays with a few toys in his high chair while I prepare my breakfast (oatmeal is my go-to!) and coffee. I chat with him while I eat. Then, we play together in the living room until nap time, around 9 am. While Luke naps, I usually tidy up around the house, work on a freelance article or blog post, or enjoy some quiet time!
What is one thing you're struggling with right now as a mother?
I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with with Luke during this fleeting infant stage. I truly love being there to watch him learn and grow and comfort him day in and day out. But, I've also found that spending all day alone with a baby is isolating at times. Luke was a pretty fussy baby, mostly due to severe reflux, and I really struggled the first 3.5 months of his life. I'm happy to say his reflux has improved and, despite the inevitable tough day here and there, we've now found our groove. But, I'd be lying if I said I don't look forward to the end my husband's work day when he joins us at home for some much needed family time and adult interaction!
What is your go-to mom-style when you're hanging out with your kid(s)?
In all honesty, if I'm at home with Luke I'm usually wearing leggings and a simple tee or oversized sweater. If we go out, I'll usually swap my leggings for a pair of jeans and sneakers or booties.
How do you recharge when you have a moment to yourself?
I love to either get outside and enjoy some fresh air by taking a walk, or cozy up on the couch with a glass of wine and good read once the baby is in bed.
That's all for now! If you have any specific questions, please ask. Stay tuned for more interviews with other inspiring mamas over the coming weeks! You can find me on Instagram @brittanyvandenbrink and follow Motherhood Her Way @motherhoodherway.