Jessica Bair on Motherhood

05-15-2017 8:56 AM

Editor’s note: We’re delighted to bring you a very special legacy update today from Mary Kay Ash’s great-granddaughter, Jessica Bair. You may remember Jessica from Mary Kay Seminar or from previous blogs. She also serves as a board member for The Mary Kay Foundation.℠ She became a mom for the first time in January when Lyla Ash was born. So just in time for Mother’s Day, she shared her thoughts on motherhood with us. Enjoy!

What surprised you most about motherhood?

So, I nannied all through high school, college, and graduate school and thought I had a pretty good idea of how to take care of infants.  But when they placed this sweet innocent baby girl in my arms to leave the hospital, I was surprised to have such a feeling of "Oh my Gosh! We just leave with her? Now what?!"

I was incredibly thankful that my mom helped us out those first few days. I was also very surprised at how little sleep I could fully function on. We kind of bunkered down for two weeks with minimal visitors and had such wonderful, sleepless bonding time. It was so special!

 What have you learned in these last three months?

  • As a therapist, I know feelings and feel very comfortable with them. But I was surprised by the mix of overwhelming joy, happiness, and love paired with fear, anxiety, and protectiveness. I had to learn to adjust to all of those at once.
  • New moms must have smart phone apps about baby development!
  • Cereal for dinner (or every meal of the day) is acceptable when you have a newborn.
  • A shower every day is now not a necessity but a luxury.
  • It’s OK to ask for help.
  • You need a few go-to people to laugh and cry with! I’ve found great comfort in sharing stories with fellow moms when I have those “what in the heck am I doing?” moments!
  • I’ve learned to accept that my house will not be super clean every day, and laundry baskets won't be emptied regularly.
  • I’ve also learned to be OK with hair that’s rarely washed AND blow-dried.
  • It’s all OK if baby is happy! Happy baby = Happy mommy!

What's the best advice you received from your mom (or other relative) on mothering?

Some of the best advice I have gotten was — “Do what’s best for YOUR family unit.”

Don’t stress what other people think or say we “should” be doing. What worked for others simply may not work for us.

I get encouragement from amazing mothers on a regular basis and sometimes just a "You're doing an amazing job," is all I need for reassurance. 

What's the most challenging thing about motherhood at this stage?

Every day I learn something new! I literally have no idea what the day will hold until Miss Lyla wakes up in the morning.  Is she going to nap today? Is she going to be happy or fussy? Am I going to get anything at all done today? I like to make schedules and lists. But I chunk all that out with the window since Lyla was born! My day revolves around her — and I just go with that. 

What's your best piece of advice for the mom-to-be or brand new mom?

Take things day by day. Better yet, hour by hour. And make self-care a priority. It is SO easy to allow motherhood to consume you. While motherhood is a beautiful gift, having a little time to yourself is crucial. I make it a priority to do one thing for myself every day. It might be a conversation with a friend. A nice bath. Getting out of the house alone. Or anything I enjoy.  I am thankful for an amazing, supportive partner who makes sure I accomplish this! 

Moms give up a lot after having children. What's one thing that you won't give up?

My bimonthly manicures and pedicures! I love having my nails and toes painted. It’s great self-care tactic for me. So even if I am running to the nail salon at the end of a tired day, I make sure I stay on top of that beauty regimen. 

Lots of things change after babies -- skin/hair/priorities. Do you have a new favorite beauty product?

The Mary Kay TimeWise Body™ Smooth-Action® Cellulite Gel Cream works wonders on preventing and helping stretch marks.

Mascara is a must for me!  I rarely have a full-face of make up on anymore, but a little mascara does wonders.

Mary Kay® Extra Emollient Night Cream is great for baby! Every mom in our family has always sworn by night cream for diaper and skin rashes for our babies. 

What's your favorite time saver tip?

Prepare as much as possible the night before!  That might mean prepping for the next day’s meal. Or checking the diaper bag. Laying out clothes. Setting out the dog’s food. Or packing the car with things we need for an outing. I attempt to do things ahead of time that will make the next day run a bit smoother. Of course, this doesn’t always happen. But I try.

The one thing you can't leave the house without ...

I have two things: BabyBJorn® baby carrier and Mylicon® gas drops! I have multiple boxes of Mylicon® that I keep places so that I am never without. It’s no fun to have a screaming baby with a gas bubble in her belly and not have the magical medicine.