Mum's the Word
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WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER? BIGGEST JOYS? BIGGEST CHALLENGES? BIGGEST SURPRISES?
Seeing her happy, smiling, growing. Ido (my husband) and I get overjoyed by what a sweet and loving personality she’s already showing us. I know a lot of parents say this about their kids but Ayv is a real angel. So sweet!
One of the, biggest challenges for me would have to be the lack of sleep and balancing Ayv and being a good mom with my career. I just started back at work full time and I feel SO guilty leaving her every day. I just want to stay at home with her and look into her eyes, bond, kiss, play. I don’t want to miss a thing, I can’t believe how fast it’s all going.
Another big surprise to me is how daunting feeding a baby can be. The allergy thing gives me anxiety and so many of the pureed vegetables are nasty…I’m like…I know why you don’t want to eat this…it’s gross!
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER?
That you have to schedule down time with your husband and kids. I love my job and there is so much going on right now but if I don’t schedule the time to be with my fam, I feel so disconnected and I feel like I’ve missed too much.
HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING? ARE YOU COOKING MORE/LESS? (WHEN CAN YOU FIND THE TIME)
Well, I am opening my first restaurant with Esquared Hospitality called DEZ, so I’ve been cooking a lot! To be honest, the only thing I cook at home right now is Ayv’s food since I’m cooking every day in the kitchen.
WHAT FOOD/DISH ARE YOU MOST EXCITED FOR AYV TO TRY?
Pretty much anything with tahini…I’m obsessed and put it on everything.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON TO COOK FOR?
All my friends. When I get to spoil my friends and fam it makes me so happy. I’ve been so tired with the baby and the restaurant that I haven’t been cooking at home that much…soon, I will get back into it.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR DAUGHTER'S NAME?
She’s named after my grandfather Abraham, a nickname for Abraham is Avi. We played with Avi and came up with Ayv.
FAVE FAMILY VACATION SO FAR?
Tel-Aviv Israel. My family lives there and so does my husband's.
SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITIONS? IF NOT, FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?
I grew up having brunch every Sunday and I am going to keep that going in my fam. Gryfes bagels, smoked salmon, my dad’s famous tomato salad, cream cheese, freshy chopped veg and herring.
HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL GIRL'S NIGHT?
I haven’t really had that much downtime since Ayv was born. I’ve gone for a couple of facials, which have been magical but if I were to go out for a girls night I would say, dinner and drinks all the way.
YOU ARE SUPER HONEST AND OPEN ABOUT MOTHERHOOD ON INSTAGRAM - IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HOLD BACK TO POST OR IS EVERYTHING FAIR GAME?
I definitely like to make light of situations, becoming a mother is intimidating and can be scary at times, since there is so much to learn, but my husband and I always try to just laugh things off. I would say the only things I don’t post would be the days I get frustrated or overwhelmed…and trust me, those happen often.
ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS?
Be kind to yourself, your husband and your kids. Everyone is learning and growing together. Also, try to just laugh off any hard times, there are going to be many to laugh and shake it off, it’s not worth stressing over it in the end.
THE LEVY CREW
- At the top of the list – many changes of clothes (what if I saw someone I knew … I wanted to look cute!)
- a straightening iron
- nursing pads
- many baby outfits … I didn’t know it’s gender and wanted it’s first appearance on Insta to be perfect
- a pillow for my man (apparently he needed to rest while I was in labour)
- those birthing print outs you get from the labour and delivery classes (if I needed to reference the best birthing positions)
- tons and tons of food
- adult diapers (which would serve to be the most useful thing I packed)
- and of course alcohol (because I knew I would definitely want to drink immediately) the list went on and on.
Fast forward to my labour … I came to the hospital in the middle of the night (in my PJs with pimple cream on … so much for looking cute) – there was no changing of outifts … no eating food and the baby clothes I had brought were all too big (who knew there was a newborn size???) and alcohol was the last thing I wanted after labour. As for those birthing print outs … turns out the best position is on your back.
- a phone charger
- one change of clothes
- magazines (if you are getting an epidural!)
- toiletries (bare minimum)
- baby diapers
- a few newborn onesies
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MOTHER?
When I stand back and watch these two incredible little humans that my husband and I created. It’s such a bizarre yet incredible feeling.
When they see me across a room and come running with their arms out for a hug. I would love to bottle that feeling.
When I had my first daughter, it took me a very long time to fully understand my new life. I most definitely had postpartum depression — I was in full shock. I was horribly embarrassed about my feelings and felt like a bad mom. I had problems breastfeeding, I felt very isolated. Then tack on a lack of sleep and hormones, and it all does crazy things to your head. I felt like I should only feel joy, like all the other moms I knew. But slowly as sleep came back, I saw light at the end of the newborn baby tunnel. When I had my second baby, I created a mommy group — socializing with other moms living within the same baby world is very important.
How much joy they bring and how wonderfully fulfilling it is relive the world again through their eyes.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The creativity and the energy. It might sound frivolous, but I love how quickly a single item — either a stiletto or BB cream — can transform the way you look and how you feel about yourself too.
DO YOU FIND YOUR GIRLS ALREADY OBSESSING OVER FASHION?
YES! They know exactly what they want to wear and when. I can’t believe how much they love getting dressed and picking their clothes.
Pink, glitter, hats and dresses—they are the very definition of girls. I also love that they like dressing like twins and I’m using that to my advantage as it simplifies getting my two fashionistas out the door in the morning!
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR KIDS' NAMES?
We wanted to give them Scandinavian names — my mother lives in Norway, I have citizenship and have lived and worked in Norway. But, I wanted to make sure we could find names that sounds just as good pronounced in English as they do with a Norwegian accent — unfortunately many Scandinavian names pronounced in English are horribly jarring.
We also wanted to give them an English name as well just in case later on they wanted to change their name (I was originally known by my middle name Amber and when I was 10 I changed my name to my first name; I like that Liv was uncommon in Canada).
My 4 year old is named Malin Arabella. The first name is a very common Swedish name, and Arabella is my sister’s name—a name I have always loved. My 2 year old is Vendela Rose. Her first name is a relatively uncommon Scandinavian name and Rose is named after my husband’s Irish aunt, who sadly passed away the day after Vendela was born.
YOU TRAVEL A LOT FOR WORK - WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT BALANCING MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR CAREER?
I love my career and it makes me a happier, healthier and more balanced person. When I’m all of those things, I know I’m a better mother.
HOW DO YOU AVOID "MOM-GUILT"?
I try to be present when I’m home with my girls. When I’m home, I’m really home (and not on my phone, for example. Yes, it happens, I’m human, but I try my best).
HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL NIGHT OUT?
To be honest, my work is time to myself. My husband laughs when he hears this question as he always says I would do my work in my down time too — shopping, researching trends, playing with makeup, learning and reading about the latest beauty launches… I feel exceptionally lucky to work in such a creative and visual environment. An ideal night out would have to be more than one night! It would be an escape somewhere — a beach by the ocean, with hot sunny weather and exotic food. That would be an ideal escape.
ANY FUN FAMILY TRADITIONS?
I grew up having afternoon tea with my family (my Dad is English). We would talk about our day or school over a cup of tea and some sort of sweet treat (cookie, donut, cake…) — before homework or late-afternoon activities. I hope when my girls are a bit older we will start this tradition.
ANY MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS YOU RECENTLY DISCOVERED OR CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
- Concealer: It Cosmetic’s Bye Bye Under Eye in Medium. This stuff covers every sin and does not sit in wrinkles. Its gods gift to moms and all those sleepless nights. I only WISH I had known about this when I had my first daughter. I’m making up for lost time now
- Luminous skin: Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Glow Drops. I like my skin to glow and this is magic in a tube. I use a touch on my cheek bones to highlight or I'll put a drop into my BB cream for all over luminosity.
- Mascara: Voluminous Lash Paradise in Black. I get seriously massive lasheswith this in just one swipe. Fully obsessed. I did a YouTube video about this one this mascara is drugstore winner!
- Lipstick: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink lipstick in Heroine. I like to wear bold lip colours on TV and this REALLY stays put (as in, an early morning TV wake up call, 3 lattes, a buffet lunch and this will STILL be just as bold as when I first put it on). Plus, it doesn’t dry out my lips the way many matte lipsticks can.
WHAT ARE YOUR 4 FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS THAT WE NED TO FOLLOW?
@aniab — Her photographs are STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL. Plus she is a good friend and Canadian (fellow prairie girl).
@louiseroe — I have followed her TV career for many years and I adore how to she doesn’t take life too seriously.
@sazan — She is a beauty YouTuber based in LA who has just become pregnant. She has such an upbeat, positive vibe and makes you feel like you are good friends, even though we have never met.
@evachen212 - Eva is a superstar Instagrammer. Head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, previously EIC at Lucky magazine (hand picked by Anna Wintour), Beauty Director at Teen Vogue, and has two young kids. Her commentary is whip smart and witty and she is in the know about all things fashion and beauty. She is definitely a must follow.
ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR FELLOW NEW MOMS?
Sleep eventually comes back! And once it does, there is light at the end of the baby tunnel. But if you want a leg up, read this book: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr Marc Weissbluth. A mom of twins told me about it. The advice is real, incredibly accurate and I followed every word.