What a Difference a Year Makes – Non Maternity Dress

I love this side-by-side photo of me last June versus me and Molly this June! Well I guess technically Molly is in the first picture as well. Kevin and I went back to the very same spot to take the 2nd picture one year later as a reminder of how much life has changed – for the better of course!

Well first and most importantly obvi, is how much better my hair color is! Ha! (This is obviously a joke). But really I love my new cool-blonde color. And I just love how this dress (non-maternity BTW) transitioned with me from 9 months pregnant to today! When I wrote about this maxi dress back in June 2016, I told you guys that I loved it because I could wear it after I had my baby  (she was “baby” before she was Molly) and hopefully I’m proving that point today! I’m wearing a medium FYI and I’m normally a medium at Nordstrom. This dress is definitely for medium to small chested girls. I think it would be tight on a busty gal.

Anyway, on to the important stuff! Molly! My sweet little baby girl, oh how you have changed my life. Babies change things – everything. And not always for the better to be honest. I was just talking to my girlfriends the other day about Motherhood at this a charity event we attended together (wrote about it HERE and HERE) and I said to them “I’m different and honestly, I’m not as fun!” and it’s TRUE!!!! I used to be the friend that said “Hey, let’s drop everything and take a road trip up the coast. Or maybe head to Vegas for the weekend?” but now I’m just NOT that girl anymore. For good reason. I have responsibilities now. I also used to always be down for dinner with friends or heading to the beach for the day on the weekend. But I just can’t do those things as much anymore. And quite truthfully, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve done any of those things. I have to plan my meetings and coffee with friends around Molly’s naps and often times, my friend’s children’s nap schedules don’t match up with Molly’s. Which makes it almost impossible to set a time to meet up.

Before having Molly, are used always tell myself that I would never let it change me. So why have things changed so much? Well, mostly because I am so busy. I have so many projects going on right now (which I can’t wait to share with you guys!), but my main job, being a mom, has me busier than I could have ever imagined! Also, I’m so tired all the time and stressed about whether Molly napped enough or if I will get home in time to nurse her before Kevin has to dip into our (always depleting) stash of frozen milk. And yes, I am still breastfeeding exclusively (with solid of course – just no formula yet) and it’s HARD! I feel like once I stop breastfeeding life might get a little easier, but right now, it’s a constant struggle to keep my milk supply up and be here every time Molly needs to eat. So my point is, I’m not the girl I used to be. I hope I get back to being more like that girl as Molly grows and hopefully I can learn to chill out. But I have a feeling I am just going to get ore worried about her and still be a mere reflection of who I used to be.

All that said, even though I’m not really “fun” Ali anymore, I am so much better in so many ways. I am a nurturer. I am more in tune with others feelings; therefore, more supportive. I love more than I ever imagined I could. So am I worse off today? Absolutely not! I’m better in so many ways – just different. I’m a mommy. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even if I turn out to be the most boring person in the world! Ha!

I dunno. I’ll be interested to see how you guys react to this blog post. And please know that I’m not saying moms aren’t fun. I’m just saying I’M not that fun. Ha! Let’s discuss in the comments below. I would love to know what some of you other moms experienced when you first became a mother. And I would love to know how some of you are able to keep the parts of you that made you YOU before having children. They say having a baby changes EVERYTHING. Whoever “they” are, they’re SO right!

1. FEATHER EARRINGS | 2. MAXI DRESS | 3. SANDALS | 4. MOLLY’S ROMPER

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Thoughts

179 thoughts on “What a Difference a Year Makes – Non Maternity Dress

    1. I agree! I don’t have a baby either but as I get older I just know my limits. My husband is really into this introvert / extrovert thing and that’s me. Saturday night we had people over. At 10:30 I was “done”. Knowing I had a business trip the next day and as they started doing tequila shots … I snuck off took a hot bath and crawled into bed. Can someone say “no fun”? Ha ha.

      1. Exactly what I was thinking, ladies!! I’m heading into my first year of teaching full-time and I am no longer “fun” either! My idea of fun most nights is reading a book and getting in bed before nine! Once I hit 30, life just changed, and I don’t think that’s sad or boring, I think that’s reality, normal and healthy.

        1. Totally agree! I’m not in the Mommy club either, But I’m a quiet “no fun” girl these days. And it has totally been since turning 30. I guess you can call it the “30s Club!” Commuting to work, WORK, then commuting home, Gym(on a good day) and then cooking dinner. I’m happy if/when my fiance has a glass of wine waiting for me when I get home. πŸ™‚ But as always I love hearing and taking your Life/Mommy advice, bookmarking it, in hopes I can apply it when I become a mommy one day! πŸ™‚ You’re an awesome mama and doing a great job! Your IG stories make me smile every day! That baby girl is so precious!

    2. I don’t do any of those spontaneous things and I’m not even a mom yet (I’ve been a nanny for 9 years so close enough lol) ! You’re an amazing mom and it shows in every Facebook story/picture/blog you post. I wish I lived on the west coast and I also wish you were in the market for a nanny because Molly is the happiest baby! Keep up the great work!

      1. I’ve been a nanny for 11 years.. it’s nothing like being a mom.. I used to think the same thing, but it’s so different when you have your own. As a nanny, you basically do what parents want you to do.. they provide food, feeding times, etc.. as a nanny, you don’t breast feed and stay up all night, and deal with all that comes with parenthood :).

    3. It is so hard “finding yourself” after baby (at least for me). I want to be fun and exciting like I used to be but I have just accepted that is not me at this stage of my life now. My daughter is almost 2 1/2 and my mind is always on her. Mother’s have so much to juggle and are always thinking of the next stage coming and we are always preparing and much of the time worrying. My husband tells me to let him know what I want to go do and that’s always so tough because I want to do things but I also want to be with my daughter since I work away from home. I just feel like she is so important right now and it’s ok if I’m not fun to anyone else but her. However I have started trying to focus much more in hubby lately. But I really feel as though our brains can only handle so much (even though it’s a great deal) and this is life right now. There is not much energy for fun and that’s ok for now. I will say once you are done nursing, you are correct, you will be much more free. And, once your daughter is older and more self sufficient, there will be more space in your brain to have more ideas for fun and to have more energy. Try to just be ok where you are at the moment. It will pass!

  1. Not a mother, but still take the advice you put on your blog about motherhood! Thanks for always being open and sharing your life tricks! Loved following you ever since you left The Bachelor for your job! Bc I would do the same thing.

  2. Great post, Ali! I’ve loved watching your journey every since The Bachelorette days but what has kept me around is how sincere, genuine and nice you are. I am a Mama to a handsome 15 month old boy named Hudson. I am SO not fun anymore either! Sometimes I feel guilty, but as a Military spouse (Hubby is deployed) I especially don’t have the time or energy for a lot of things because once bedtime comes around, it’s clean up time and then time for Mama to recharge her batteries! This year I’m all about bringing the “old Lindsey” back. I used to be a workaholic, so I’m now running my own business, and also taking time to do things I love: workout, read, bubble baths, get my sense of fashion back, etc. A happy Mama is a good Mama and when that happens, it helps spread over to all relationships we have! You’re doing awesome, and a wonderful Mama. Wishing your family the best and continued blessings. <3

    Lindsey Wheeler

    1. Thank you for what you do! Being a Military spouse must be so hard and I THANK you for what you do for our country! xoxo

  3. I love this post! I was the girl that was afraid to have children because I was having too much fun being free and easy doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Now I’m a mama to a very energetic (and stubborn HA!) 9 month old baby boy. I work full time so by the time the baby is asleep at 7, I’m lucky if I can make it to 8pm without dozing off. My life revolves around his naps and I’m very strict about keeping him as rested as possible so he’s happy and healthy and gets all the sleep he needs. So yes my life is definitely different but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard but we are the world that our babies revolve around! He melts my heart.

  4. My husband and I just had our first baby a month ago! I wouldn’t change anything for it! I agree it is hard to be the old “fun” but now I have a new fun doing things with my sweet baby girl! We had a friend’s wedding last weekend and I realized I couldn’t join in on the party fun and that’s just ok! I got to snuggle my little one instead! Being a mommy changes your life–for better! πŸ™‚

  5. It’s not that you aren’t fun anymore,,,,,but life isn’t all about just you anymore. Babies needs should come first in a parents life. Well and your spouse. I’m sure that once a month you could find a responsible person to leave Molly with , someone you wouldn’t worry about Molly being with, so you could be free to be your total self for just one night. Also, stop the breast feeding,,,,you will have so much more freedom. She’s old enough to learn how to drink from a straw. Sooo whatever milk you decide to give her,,,,whole organic cow milk or formula,,,,,stick it in a straw cup ahhhhh freedom.

    1. Ali, don’t stop the breastfeeding until YOU and Molly want to. πŸ™‚ it is SO good for her! Keep up the great work mama! (And expect to hear people tell you to stop ALL the time now that she’s one. ?)
      Ps. So sorry but Molly is ALL Kevin! ?

      1. Tonya and Kelleen than you both for commenting! I am doing my best to try to continue to breastfeed but I feel it might be coming to an end soon. My goal was to make it to when I could give her milk so I don’t have to give her formula (nothing wrong with formula – it’s just my goal), but my supply is tanking FAST! I just can’t keep up anymore. We only have 7 oz frozen milk left! (I used to have close to 250oz frozen. Maybe more!)

        1. Ali, this is a great grandmother of 74 years old who has followed you on the Bachelorette and I want you to quit obsessing over this breast feeding thing. Cut yourself some slack, she will be just fine if you stop. In fact, in my humble opinion, it will be easier now than later for her to adjust. You’ve endured a lot with no sleep! Believe me, if you decide to have another child, it will be so much easier because; (1) you won’t have the time to worry so much about if you are doing everything just perfect. (2) Since you don’t have the time, the 2nd one learns to wait or it won’t bother you as much if it’s a little fussy or wailing! Ha! If you keep worrying about if you are doing everything just right, I’m afraid you’d never want another child and the best thing for Molly is to have another sibling so that the Universe doesn’t revolve around her and that’s not a good thing! She is precious and so are you!

        2. I breastfed my son until 14 months but we started supplementing with homo milk around 10-11 months. So I would slowly drop one feed at a time until I was really only nursing before nap and bedtime around 14 months. He self weaned around 14 months which was actually bitter sweet (glad it was a natural procces, but it was also very sad giving up that bond and not knowing it was my “last time” nursing him). That being said, I have no regrets at all re: our journey and it is definitely nice to finally get my body back to myself and be able to go longer periods of time away from him without having to worry about pumping! If you’re ready, don’t feel guilty at all. Good luck with everything!

        3. Hey Ali! I never comment on Instagram or celebrity posts but I am a new mom to twins, they are five months next week! I’m also a licensed counselor and reading your comments, I so resonated with your feelings. I talked about my feelings of being so different and sometimes unrecognizable even to myself and she said it’s a symptom of postpartum depression. I decided to get serious about taking care of myself so I’m better able to take care of them. Molly looks a lot like my daughter and I find her ADORABLE so I look forward to your posts. I just wanted to pass along what I’ve learned and experienced in hopes to help all the mama’s! Bless!

    2. I lived overseas with my firstborn from 4 mos – 2 yrs – and my German friend taught me to give him a straw cup @ 6mos w/ cows milk as they do in Europe and breastfeed as bedtime, in the morning and when sick or cranky which I did until he was 18 mos. She said if u don’t wean my then they become addicted to the b**b and she was right as he tried to reach up my top for “mimis” for a LONG time lol. I tell him this now and he’s like NO WAY MOM lol. But I agree with another commenter – in the end you do what’s best for you and your daughter bc even if you weren’t a public figure all kinds of people would be giving you advice, well meaning as it may be. On another note – I’ve been hoping to see you in the anchors chair on ET and tonight I DID! Yaaaay!! You are a natural for that job so keep up the good work – with that and with your absolutely adorable Molly. You and Kevin are giving her a Everything!

  6. Hi Ali, I have been following your blog for just over a year and as a mom of two boys (3 year old & 9 month old) this totally hit home for me! Motherhood changes you in ways you never thought possible. Side note, you always wear your hair in cute and simple updos. I would love to see a tutorial.

  7. Congratulations on breast feeding for a full year!! So much work! And thank you for publicly talking about it!! Way to go!

    1. Thanks for saying that! It’s been tough. Especially the last couple months with my supply tanking (we haven’t supplemented at all and I having a hard time keeping up with her demand)

      1. I feel your pain. Have you found anything that works with increasing supply? Im still looking for the magic answer ? Its tough and so stressful. It would be so much easier to enjoy the days if I had a better supply. More relaxing and freedom thats for sure!

        1. I know this sounds (slightly) ridiculous, but lactation cookies have always helped me. There is a recipe on the blog, How Sweet It Is, that I swear by. My daughter is nearing 11 months and I feel like my supply is starting to tank too. I’m so relieved to hear this is something other moms are experiencing too. I thought it was just me!

  8. I think it is so wonderful that you have been blessed with the opportunity to still breastfeed! And juggling all your other responsibilities! Bravo you!! Being a mom is tough! I remember after my son was born whenever I had down time I just wanted to relax at home and get stuff done instead of going out with friends. Thank you for sharing your journey Ali πŸ™‚ Your an inspiration to moms everywhere!!

    1. Sticking with the breastfeeding hasn’t been easy but I am proud of how long I’m been able to do it. I am just trying to make it one more month so I can start supplementing cashew milk!

      1. My little guy is 10.5 months and I’m trying to make it to a year as well. Cashew milk sounds intriguing. Are there benefits? I don’t eat meat, but do eat dairy…but for some reason would love an alternative to cow milk. Thanks for the idea!

  9. BF is so stressful and I 100% get what you are saying. It’s everything you think about all the time.

    I BF my son for a year and am planning on BF my 1 month old daughter that long as well. I currently have 10 bags saved up in the freezer and plan on saving up until I go back to work at 12 weeks.

    It’s the most rewarding thing to give your child but also very rewarding to show yourself what you can provide for your children-so, congrats!! You made it so long and should be very proud of yourself!

    1. I had to share a story. I have a friend who just had a preemie baby so he needs to eat more and very often. I was there the other day and she hasn’t pumped (a precious supply of milk) and when she turned to put the baby down the dog drank the whole container of fresh milk. Oh my gosh- I seriously thought the dog was going to a new home. That stuff is like gold. Hope everyone gets a slight outta that— my poor friend wasn’t laughing though at the time.

  10. Hi Ali! Love your blog, so relatable! You guys are too cute. Wondering, how long do you plan on breastfeeding Molly for? My little girl is almost 9 months and it is a lot of work, all so worth it of course. But I totally understand where you’re coming from!

    1. I honestly don’t know. I exclusively breastfeed her right now (meaning she’s never had formula). I will start supplementing with cashew milk soon (I don’t drink cows milk so I won’t have her drink it). But I don’t know if I will stop breastfeeding for just cut back since she can have cashew milk now.

  11. Hi Ali! I just became a mommy to our little girl Bella 2 months ago. At what age did you start becoming strict about Molly’s nap schedule. I used to just take Bella out with me to run errands and hang out with friends whenever because she just slept all the time but now I feel like I should start being a bit more strict with a nap schedule because she is having obvious awake/sleep times during the day. I am starting to not want to leave the house during naps but I feel like I keep blowing my friends off haha. I feel bad but they also don’t have babies so I don’t think they quite understand! πŸ™‚

    1. Go out AS MUCH as you can while she’s this little!!! They can nap anywhere at this age (at least most can). We started putting her in crib to nap at 3.5 months and then got more strict about naps around 4.5 months I believe.

  12. I have a little guy who ten months old and I agree a lot changes but wouldn’t change a thing. I use to go visit a lot now I’m always home but it a great place to be with my little man. I get so lost when he asleep about what I did before him. BTW Molly is so cute. Love the dress

  13. Totally agree and understand. I’m only 6 weeks in but you hit the nail on the head. I got an email this weekend about a friends bachelorette party in Palm Springs, and immediately was like “heck yes!” but then quickly realized…uh yeah no way I can leave the baby yet. What are your go-to’s for keeping your milk supply up? I feel like it’s a constant struggle/worry, and I haven’t been able to pump to create a stash yet. Hoping it will get a little easier with time πŸ™‚

    1. I just pump a lot. Always after she nurses in the morning! ANd at night after she’s in bed. It’s A LOT especially after doing it for almost a year. But it’s worth it! Good luck with breastfeeding mama!

  14. I am the same way, although I have three 5 and under. I am so much happier being a home body now though verses always being out haha. When we do go out it makes it memorable no special. I also remind myself one day I’ll be wishing they were little again.

  15. First off, THANK YOU for writing this post. You always hear women talk about the positives of motherhood and not the honest drawbacks at times. My husband and I used to be constantly on the go before our daughter. We renovated a house, we camped and mountain biked all the time, and now I just don’t have time to do it. I feel guilty about it sometimes because I know we both miss that lifestyle but at the same time I wouldn’t change having my daughter around for anything in the world. I exclusively breastfeed my 7 month old as well so I know the struggle that goes along with it! I work full time so I’m honestly doing everything I can to keep my supply up and make sure I’m pumping enough during the day to maintain what she is eating. I always tell new mommies that it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it! Like you, I’m also somewhat looking forward to the day we are done, even though I know I will be emotional about it, because I feel it will give us a bit of our freedom back. Right now, we are at the beck and call of that baby! I think we can still be fun, just a new kind of fun. One day we will get back to being able to be spontaneous! For now, we just keep enjoying our glass of wine once the baby goes to bed and enjoying the crazy life we have!

    P.S. As a new mom as well, I always love to read your posts and see that I’m not alone in this crazy journey. Thank you for being a great role model that doesn’t just share the highlight reel of your life, but the everyday chaos that comes along with the amazing moments!

    1. Hi Maggie! I loved your comment! Thank you for writing it! And I SOOOO feel ya on that glass of wine after the babe goes to bed. I am gong to be SOOO sad to give that up once I get pregnant with baby #2. If I’m so lucky!

  16. Our baby girls are almost the exact same age!!! Great post and couldn’t agree more. Slightly off topic but it’d be great to hear how you plan to transition Molly to cow/almond/whatever milk πŸ™‚ I am still EBF as well and starting to think about the transition at 1 is overwhelming.

    Thanks! Have loved following you since are babes are so similar in age. My little girl Finley was born 7/13!!

    PS Molly is a great name!

    1. Hi Molly! My pediatrician told me to start giving her 1/4 cashew milk to 3/4 parts breast milk. So since Molly drinks about 4oz each feed (I know this because I give her a pumped bottle at bedtime) I will give her 1oz CM and 3oz BM mixed. She said do that for 2 days and then go to 1/2 and 1/2 for 2 days and then 3oz CM mixed with 1oz BM. I make take more than 2 days inbetween but that’s what she told me! Ask you Dr though!

  17. Totally agree! The baby stage was really hard & I felt like I had lost my “fun” especially exclusively breastfeeding too. That was SO hard! Now that my daughter is 2.5 I feel like I have gotten some of my past self back. She doesn’t need me for everything now and is becoming more independent which makes me feel more like a person again instead of just a mom.
    Now when I want to have fun I have to plan super far in advance and make sure I have a sitter I trust ( still family at this point) so that I can have fun and relax when out with the hubby or friends. Motherhood totally changes priorities! However, I’m loving it & and getting the crazy idea to start trying to have another….!

    Btw – loved you on the bachelorette & glad that you have found love πŸ™‚ also, all the outfits you post are super cute!

    1. Hi Julia! Thanks for sharing. Happy to hear that it starts feeling easier as they grow! So many moms love to tell me that it just keeps getting harder. But I feel like the more positive people I meet say it gets easier. We want to have another son so they are close in age. So I have a few more year until I hopefully get closer to being my old self. But a better version because well, I’m a mom!

  18. I struggled with losing myself too after having my first almost 8 years ago. Your whole world flips in every way! And to be honest, I’m still working on finding myself now, with an 8 and 5 year old. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve got projects going on for yourself to keep you in tune to what drives you, outside of the mother role. Xo

  19. Being a mother is the most challenging but most rewarding job you will ever have. My babe is 2 1/2 and it does get easier and harder at the same time if that makes sense. The things you wish when they could or would do when they were a small baby brings on new challenges once they do it. But, I totally agree. I have childless friends I work with that want me to join them at happy hour or go shopping or get a pedicure after work and I can’t tell you how many times I say I can’t do it. My husband and I try to give each other a “night off” monthly to where we go out with friends for dinner or a drink but if it doesn’t get to happen, we don’t mind. Outside of my mom and the sitter my boy stays with, if it’s not them watching him, we don’t leave him with anyone else but ourselves. Honestly, the older they get, the happier you realize you are with a glass of wine and the DVR in your comfy clothes than any happy hour or night out could bring you… and right where you need to be if your child needs you! Enjoy this journey!

  20. Motherhood definitely changes everything! I’m right there with you on this entire post, with the exception of breastfeeding my daughter. Anyhow, my daughter is now 5-1/2 yrs old and I felt that same way for the first several years, it definitely gets better as they get older and you start becoming the fun person you once where, not the exact same, because your more cautious about everything you do and say. Motherhood is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world, even when my friends think I’m the fun person I used to be! My husband and daughter think so and that’s all that counts!!! ??????

  21. Balance. I think it’s about balance. You seem very balanced. With a super great husband helper a Mom can do it all. I also follow Jillian (who we all love) and I love her honestly as well. You guys have full plates, businesses, blogs and babies. I think Jillian’s requests for help from other Mom’s and her slowing down some shows balance. Even if you feel tired or boring believe us, the fans, your not and we all say it constantly we love your honesty. Your real. Keep up the good work, Molly & Kevin are lucky to have you.

  22. I agree 100% and so would my husband! I’m not the person I used to be before having children. They most definitely change you. It’s also hard to find friends who understand that, especially friends who don’t have kids.

  23. This is going to be a hard one but here goes. My fiancΓ© (at the time) and I were not planning on having a baby, however we were planning our wedding. Sometimes life doesn’t happen the way you want it to. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. In my case for the better bc I never thought I would become a mother. I enjoyed my pregnancy and had some great family moments at least until after I came home with baby. Unfortunately my husband and I had to move in with my in laws to save money and what I big mistake that was. I was so concentrated on taking care of myself (especially after a c-section) and being a mother that I never thought I had to set ground rules for my living situation. My in laws and the rest of my husband’s family were not very respectful of my privacy and were not considerate at all. Even when I nicely (at least I thought I said things nicely despite what my mother in law says) asked for peace, privacy, and boundaries no one was receptive. Not just my in laws but my husband joined in as well in wanting them to do and say whatever they wanted. I felt invisible and unloved. I wasn’t resting, my incision soon got infected bc I wasn’t really taking care of myself. I then slipped into post partum depression and began therapy to cope. After a lot of other things that happened, I took drastic measures and slowly cut my husband and my in laws out of my life and my daughter’s life until everyone noticed how they were behaving. It’s been a year, they have all finally apologized and sometimes I feel like I can not let go of the pain bc this was supposed to be a huge time in my life and was tainted every single day of my first time out as a mother and I don’t want to carry these memories with me so maybe in time I will find my happiness. Having my baby girl has changed my life for the better at least that’s how I want it to be. She’s happy, healthy, and perfect in every way and that is what’s important. I’ll never look at them the same way for being so extremely selfish but we all still have to coexist so maybe one day I will find it in my heart to forgive them for being so terrible to brand new mother. I was always made to feel like I was doing a bad job…

  24. I don’t normally comment on blogs, but I’m reading this as I’m at work pumping, feeling exhausted, and terribly missing my little 9 month old girl (I’ve been back at work for 6 months and it’s still just as hard leaving her!) But thanks for your mommy honesty! Sometimes it helps to put into words what I’m feeling when I’m too tired to do it myself! Ha Mom life is the best tired I’ve ever experienced, and I’ll take a “boring mom” day over any other since it means being with my sweet baby.

    On another note, to help my supply when I need a little boost, I drink a couple of Mothers Milk teas a day, with a little lemon juice to help with the taste. Works every time and takes that stress away!

    1. I’m so sorry you have to leave your baby girl for even a second. Mothers who have to go back to work after having a baby are the strongest women I know. Stay strong you are doing a great job.

    2. Jenny,
      I’ve been back to work for 5 weeks and I miss my little guy, fiercely, everyday. Hoping it gets better but I’m right there with you momma!

  25. Ali, great post! I can relate on so many levels … I am mom to 3 year old Isabella and love her so very much. What a fun little age; their personalities really shine through right now. When she was Molly’s age, we never got out!!! Becoming a mom is truly amazing but it’s a BIG change. As Isabella got a little older and we got out, it was/is usually with friends with similar age children! That was when it changed for us and it became a lot less stressful being out with her and trying to coordinate schedule/naps, etc. Mexican seems to be our go-to place … kid friendly and LOUD πŸ˜‰

    Enjoy Molly, she is absolutely adorable!! Love her little smile!!

  26. This was such a good read! I’m not a mom now and I’ve always wondered what parts of me will stay and what parts of me will change. And perhaps your definition of fun has changed right now! I used to find late and wild nights fun…and now I love anything that lets me home by 10pm haha.

  27. Thanks you for sharing your story in breastfeeding. So many moms struggle with keeping milk supply up and it needs to be talked about so much more then it is!

  28. Hi Ali
    You’re a great Mama & it shows!

    the photo Kevin took of Mother & daughter
    June 2016 & June 2017:
    ‘priceless’ βœ”

  29. Hey Ali!
    Decided to check out your post today and it brought tears to my eyes. My 2nd baby is turning 1 this week! So really similar to Molly’s age. It’s been fun to follow along with your posts πŸ™‚ Honestly, I am a bit envious of you! I had a horrible transition with my first and watching you with yours… You are ROCKING this mom thing! You make it look SO easy! I feel like I’m still struggling and it’s my second.
    I can totally relate to the breastfeeding life. Still going over here and working full time.. It’s a challenge! I had planned on stopping when he turned 1 but he isn’t drinking as much cow’s milk yet as I’d like so I will be hooked up to my pump
    for a little longer.
    I feel like I’ve slowly been losing my friends (even ones with kids) because I just don’t have the time anymore with work and 2 kids.. so that makes me sad.

    Anyways, I love the rawness of your post. It’s a good reminder ..cause we find ourselves comparing and it’s nice to see the other side of things

    You are doing amazing though and you can tell how much Molly lights up your world!

  30. Our babies were born on the same day and I love reading your posts! I definitely miss my time with my girlfriends since we all have little ones now. I used to run off to the gym, a yoga class, mani/pedi and just can’t do those things any longer. One day I hope to be able to again! And I’m definitely not as fun as I used to be since I constantly am washing bottles, doing dishes, and so much laundry! I can so relate πŸ™‚

  31. I can relate 100%. I became a mother 19 months ago and it’s been everything I dreamed and more. But the changes in myself have been more significant than I could have ever imagined. I used to be a very social person, and for the same reasons you wrote about, I’m not nearly as social as I used to be. Of course I love all the changes and I love being a mom more than anything, but figuring out who I am and what my interests are now that I am a mom has been somewhat of a challenge and something I never saw coming. I love your openess and honesty, Ali. Your blog is a place I know I can go to find some normalcy….and some great fashion finds! ? Serious props to you for sticking with exclusive breastfeeding!! That is no easy feat. You should be very proud of yourself and even though it’s hard at times right now (and completely worth it at the same time) you will feel an enourmous sense of accomplishment when you reach one year, as you should!

  32. Thanks for sharing –love how honest and candid you are :). I don’t think having a low key social calendar makes you boring!! I have 2 kids -oldest is almost 7years. The days of partying and socializing multiple times a week are gone (for now!). But right now I enjoy so many other aspects of what life has to offer -bedtime routine, snuggles with kids, family vacations, time with extended family.

    Life is full of changes, that includes me changing and evolving too!! As my kids get older, they will want to spend more time with friends (I see that already with my 7yr old!) And they will need less from mom and dad -so we can get back to more dinners out, BBQ with friends, weekends away -or whatever it is!!

    Enjoy all the moments big and small with Molly!!! And who cares if you might seem to be a bit boring. As long as you are happy and healthy, that is all that matters. πŸ™‚

  33. I feel like I’ve lost my “fun” too. As a mom of an 18 month old it’s so hard to find time to connect with friends. They just don’t understand that I need to be in bed at a decent hour so I have enough energy to run around with him the next day! I think as time goes on we will get back to doing some of the things we used to enjoy. For now, texting our friends and making coffee or lunch dates to keep those relationships going is likely the best we can do! I think the spontaneity of quick trips and grabbing things to head out “real quick” will be gone for a long time lol good luck Mama, you’re doing a great job. I always enjoy your insta and blog!

  34. Moms are still fun, just the word itself has been redefined. No, we aren’t always as “fun” or spontaneous to our adult friends…but i would be willing to bet your baby thinks you’re the most fun person in the whole wide world

  35. How much I wish I could tell you that you’re wrong….you ARE fun – but the truth is; it’s different. Molly sees you as the happy, vibrant, nurturing, loving mom you are and that IS fun. But you’re right….its not impromptu date nights with the girls and weekend trips to Vegas.

    Being a mom is the one thing I wish I could have done – I tried, but my babies were not viable. I know that you love being a mom and wouldn’t trade it for the world but knowing it’s not easy to be the before and after you. Find what makes.you happiest in the “now” and run with it (like you have appeared to do.)

    I admire how much you are doing with your life in the “new” version!

    Just my 2 cents!

  36. Oh girl! The only thing to do is just feel good about this new normal – there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or sad by. We change because we are supposed to change and evolve. I had my first one year ago today and so I’ve had so much fun following along with your journey too! What I’ve learned is to not compare this life to before – apples to bananas- and just keep focused on what I’m grateful for. I am a little less structured for nap times when we want to do something fun and guess what- it all works out! Sometimes it doesn’t but that’s okay too, because I know what I’m signing up for when we push nap time. And I know breastfeeding is “best” but dear Lord the freedom you’ll feel when it’s done! I was so happy to have my body back – I thought I’d be super emotional/sad missing our special time together, but we still have such an incredible bond that really the happiness outweighs the sad part.

    Good luck Ali! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us!

  37. I was just thinking yesterday how much more stressed (and possibly a little intense) I was when my girls were babies and young toddlers. Between worrying about sleep schedules, feedings, separation anxiety, and safety factors it was so hard for me to socialize and feel like myself. Time with little ones is so precious and fleeting, but it’s difficult in some ways as well. My girls are six and almost four now, and it’s still hard and wonderful, but I am finally feeling like I can relax more and be me.

  38. I think all mom’s can relate to what you said. My kids are older 11, 14 & 21 & I would still say that I’m not as much “fun” in the old context of “pre-kids”. But my definition of “fun” has changed as do priorities. My fun time now is spending it with my kids and going to bed by 10pm on a Friday night. Woohoo! May be boring but it’s the best!!!

  39. I am also in my first year of motherhood and you are absolutely right! I have changed and I am different but my life is so much more amazing now. It’s not something you can explain easily, you have to feel it. Thank you for always being so open and truthful of your experience in motherhood- it made me feel like I’m not alone, it hard and we’re not all perfect, but we are doing the best we can for our babies.

  40. Awesome post Ali! I had my little girl last February and it definitely changed my life. She was a great sleeper we were actually super lucky with her. The first few months I was still the “Fun Lindsay” because she slept and my fiancΓ© is just amazing and turned into super dad right away. We formula fed right off the bat… breast feeding didn’t work for us. I found I was able to go out for dinner or even leave her with my mom for the night. (Our best friends were getting married that year and out of town and there were a lot of events) it wasn’t until she hit a year that I became “not so fun Lindsay” she is SO busy now and I’m in Canada so I’m back to work ( 1 year maternity leave) she is getting sick all the time due to day care lol. And I’ve realized now any spare time I have I just want to spend with my family. I want to soak up every moment with my girl and my fiancΓ©. We usually have every weekend booked up and this year we aren’t doing that to ourselves. Becoming a mom you really realize what’s important and if you have great friends they will stick around and if not… then who needs them! I’m sure you feel like you’re not so fun anymore but I know Molly thinks you are the best and most fun Mommy in the world πŸ™‚ and that’s all that matters!

  41. I literally could have written this exact post!! My babe is 10 months and I am so not fun anymore!! And I miss how fun I used to be! My husband and I discuss often how much life will again change (for the better) once I stop breastfeeding/pumping! My goal is to make it to a year, and though we are so close, it’s sooooo tough to make it all work! But I know once I no longer have to be attached to a pump multiple times a day, I will have some freedom and me time back.
    Thank you for this post! I’ve been following your journey as ours closely mirrored yours (minus the awesome celeb status- I’m an east coast teacher) but seeing that other mamas are going through the same struggles as me, makes it’s a whole bunch easier!

  42. I wouldn’t say you are “not fun” I’d say you’re just not as flexible as you used to be ? Before kids you could just go to the beach for a day without a second thought. Now you have miss Molly. So it doesn’t mean you’re not fun. Just that you have other responsibilities. You seem like fun to me! ?
    I remember reading a few blog posts ago (or maybe it was on Instagram) that you guys didn’t have a babysitter but finally broke down and got one. My husband and I are the same way. We just don’t trust anyone so it’s hard for us to go out and do things like before. But I’d say it’s worth it for our kiddos!

  43. Great blog!! I relate so much to everything you just said! My baby girl is 16 months old and I nursed/pumped exclusively until she was 13 months old. The breastfeeding does take a huge toll on your mindset!! I stressed constantly about making enough milk for her, worrying about staying on routine with her naps and I didn’t want to leave the house for months bc I would get anxiety about getting off track with the feedings & pumping every 3 hours….In the last few months of breastfeeding my supply dropped a lot bc work was crazy and my hormones started going crazy making me feel crazy lol so I finally had to stop at 13 months. I’m so thankful I was able to provide my milk for her and never turned to formula but I can say I feel like I’m slowly becoming myself again now that I’m not breastfeeding anymore. Every minute was totally worth it and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! But it is HARD!! I look back and realize how silly I was on stressing and worrying about every little thing. Ive learned a lot about myself and hope to not be so hard on myself or stress so much when I decide to have another little one. So just remember it does get easier!! You’re doing a great job so hang in there mommy and you will get back to being that fun person again!! πŸ™‚

  44. I think I see it a bit differently – as a mom, I’m still the same “me”, in some ways I’m even more “me,” it’s just a different target. I’m still fun, but instead of being spontaneous in the way you describe, it’s being fun/creative with my kids – making up silly songs, art projects, different games. Being a mother has made me more creative and forces me to be more patient than I ever thought I could be. I, like you, also miss aspects of my former kidless life, but I wouldn’t change any of it, as I’m sure you feel the same way. It sure is busy, though, isn’t it? I’m a full time physician mom of two, and it is a struggle every day. Hang in there, and I promise you even breastfeeding one day will feel like a drop in the hat (it feels that way with my 4 year old, I’m currently exclusively BF my infant son).

  45. I am pregnant right now and wondering how exactly my life is going to change when my little boy arrives in 3 months.. I honestly just think that each stage in life creates different types of fun. I tell my husband all the time that I cant wait for Friday nights when our son is young and we can make family traditions together. I think our culture makes us think “real fun” means partying/drinking/going out. Everyone has a different definition of fun and most of the time it changes as you get older. Not a bad thing at all! πŸ™‚

  46. This is so true. I have changed sooo much.. sometimes i feel like a police officer.. dont do this dont do that.. do it this way or that way.. That part of me changed because i feel im the only one that knows what he wants and needs.. I had to let go when i went to work.. its much better now but loving someone so deeply you just want everything to be perfect.. I rately go out with friends.. I have amazing parents and the grandmammas are eager to babysit but im just not the type of mommy to leave my boy.. Im hanging out with mommas my boy’s age and all we talk about is our children lol… we went on a date last night and on our way home we talked about how we missed him. So yeah i became a boring mom … but ill choose it ova and ova again…

  47. It does get easier when you are done breastfeeding but unfortunately those worries are often replaced by other worries (such is the life of a mom!). My 16-month old is on all solid foods but I still worry about her diet. Like many toddlers, she’ll love a food one day and throw it on the floor the following week so it’s a constant struggle.

    I also swore we would not let having a child stop us from doing the things we used to before but it inevitably does. I really want to take a trip to Europe but honestly, even the thought of packing for a trip like that with a toddler is exhausting! And then I think about how the time difference will mess up her sleep and I want to avoid switching time zones like the plague!

  48. Oh my gosh this is exactly what I needed today. I don’t have any children, but I have recently turned 30 and have been going through a struggle to find myself (again) over the last year. I don’t feel fun and fearless like I used to be, and I have just had the worst self confidence because I feel like I am not myself anymore. In the last 5 years I have transitioned into a full time career from grad school, leaving me with zero time for fun and to take care of myself. I left a horribly emotionally abusive relationship (which is where a lot of my low self confidence is coming from) and am now with the person who has loved me for a really long time and was always right in front of me. I am so afraid that the fun, fearless Virginia that he fell in love with and waited for is gone. Anyway, I could ramble on all day about this, but I appreciate you opening up your blog to real life and real emotions. It is nice to know that other women (especially someone like you) are feeling things similar and that I am not alone in feeling these things. Love your blog, your honesty and your fashion!

  49. Let me start by saying I love this post. Being a mom is very hard and it definitely changes you. My baby boy is about to turn one as well and I am not the person I was before he was born. I am definitely not as fun and I have more anxiety than I did before. Everything changes including your marriage and lifestyle. I used to be able to go everywhere with my husband and going to the grocery store used to feel like a date. It now seems like a race to see how fast we can shop all while not forgetting anything and keeping the baby happy! Things don’t always change in the way you hoped, but there is a lot of good that’s comes from it. I recently heard a story that I wish someone would have told me while I was pregnant. One of my pregnant friends met a stranger while she was pregnant and they told her that she looked beautiful and to “let motherhood change you.” Change can be scary but fighting it and trying to stay the same is much harder than embracing the new you and enjoying your new life with your baby. I may not be as fun anymore but I love being a mom and watching my son grown and learn all while getting to share that with my husband.

    Thank you for your blog posts I love reading them and have been so inspired by you!

    Love,

    Chrissy

  50. Ali , I have a Molly too (she is six) another daughter who is 2 1/2 And Pregnant with my third, due in 12 weeks.
    You WILL be fun again- perhaps not spontaneously so- but just a pick and choose your spots type fun.
    And the fun may be different. It may be with your hubby, your little family or your friends. Seek the “fun” right in front of you πŸ™‚
    (And you will lighten up as Molly gets older. First two years are the toughest!)
    Enjoy and keep loving and loving mama

  51. Oh my gosh, Ali, you’re me! Ha! I had 2 girls back-to-back: my older daughter is 22 months and our baby is 7 months old. Life is so crazy between them, our 2 golden retrievers, a demanding full-time job and quality time with my hubs, that I can’t even think about anything else. I’m lucky to get to a Barre class every 2 weeks these days with the girls’ changing nap schedules.

    When you say exclusively breastfeeding do you mean Molly has never taken a bottle? You must pump too if you have a frozen milk supply? Nevertheless, breastfeeding and pumping are so time consuming, but rewarding, in and of themselves too! Kudos to you, girl! I love you, your blog, your pup and your cute fam!

    Thanks for this awesome blog entry!

    Fellow “boring” mama,
    Abby

  52. You are BEAUTIFUL! Such a non related question but on your insta stories… where did you get the gold glitter numbers?

    THANK YOU!

  53. Great post Ali. Loved it. So true, for not being as fun. I totally hear ya on that one. I’m now a mama of two bambinos ( 3 year old and a 15 month old – who I’m still breastfeeding for bedtime). I sometimes feel like I’ve totally lost my old self but I see her sometimes. She peaks through every now and then and I know she’ll come back on day but for now I’m the slightly high strung mama who’s worried about all the little things (which I know I need to get better…which I have since baby #2). I read an article the other day that said being a parent is totally utterly exhausting…you can no longer go out and just do whatever and not have a worry in the world. You always have your little ones that you worry about…so it definitely changes EVERYTHING. But for the better. I always joke with my husband and say my god how boring our life was before. I wouldn’t change it for the world…but my “old self”…I know I’ll see her again hehe.

    Fellow “boring” mama (sleep by 9:00 on a Friday night haha)
    Terri πŸ™‚

  54. Ali. As a mom of four boys that were only 6.5 years apart and now all in their 20’s (and I also owned a business), I can honestly say that juggling life with children is a game changer. And it will take time to find your personal niche’ again and at times I’m sure you will feel like the well has run dry( literally)!!!! But trust in yourself, your hubby and the goals you are reaching for and you will find that the things you use to enjoy and what you enjoy now are shifting. This by no way means that you aren’t fun anymore or you will never do fun things again with your besties or with other families. It’s just that they’re different.

    I can tell you the last 30 years raising our sons with my husband was the most precious thing that was ever given to us. It’s a gift and not all are given and we are truly blessed. You may feel that life with Molly is all consuming but where I sit it’s so lonely withhout our four sons around now.
    So trust me when I say embrace every moment of everyday that you have with your baby and make memories with your husband . Those old memories will always be there with your friends and the times that you have now is the time for you to be selfish, in love with your husband, baby and building your lives together.

    Your candid honestly is refreshing and I believe words that many new parents can relate to and learn from.

  55. I was a mother of 6 but I never let naps keep me home because little ones will take a nap where ever they are when it is nap time whether in the car or stroller etc. Times have changed but my children 6in10 years have grown to be adjusted adults and greats Moms and Dads.

  56. Ali,

    I had my baby girl in December and I absolutely can relate to this post. I actually wrote to you back in January about how I admired that you kept a lot of the same routines that you and Kevin had and that you didn’t let parenthood change everything about you! You might find that you changed a lot, although being a fan I find that you are still the same person but just with different priorities. I totally understand. I actually just had a mental breakdown myself because I find that I am constantly trying to please everybody by still trying to do all the same things I used to do when realistically I just can’t. Right now its important that I be the matriarch for our family and make sure that we find time for us (and myself!). I still will do the same things that I used to do before, but there just not as important or as fun to me anymore (mostly because id rather be sleeping).

    I commend you for continuing with breastfeeding. I stopped at 3 months. My goal was to do it until 5 months and I just couldn’t for many different reasons. I felt really guilty of course but I can tell you that was a life changer for me! Breastfeeding stressed me out in SO many ways, when I made the switch to formula I found myself much happier. Everybody is different and there are NO right answers so way to go!

    I have my husband reading your blog now because we agree with a lot of the things you say and your outlook on parenthood (also because Kevin is amazing and is a great role model for all husbands πŸ˜‰ ) we’re lucky that we have found the good ones. I am so happy you have found your happiness and your place!

  57. I definitely was more fun before baby. I was so spontaneous. Drive a few hours one day to explore new beaches and bars? Why not! My son is 12 months old. I feel like motherhood can often feel like you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown. Recover. Repeat.

    For example, today my son had a speech evaluation. I woke up at 5am to teach Chinese kiddos online (my job before he wakes up and husband goes to work). End work at 8am. Feed baby. Clean baby. Feed myself. Play with baby. I put him down for his short morning nap at 930am and try to nap myself. Wake up at 11am, change and feed him, attempt to change myself and get ready to leave the house in 45 minutes. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. Why does it take so long to leave the house all of the time! Make husband lunch to bring to the evaluation. Go to the evaluation. They recommend therapy 2X/week. He’s a happy baby, smiley, eye contact, engages.. but doesn’t point, wave, or clap. They say his vocabulary is low. I feel ashamed because I haven’t taught him his facial features. It’s pouring rain today. Have to go to grocery store after evaluation to get milk because he’s going through more than 2 cartons/week! We just switched over so I’m still getting used to how much he’s drinking. Can’t get buckle open on grocery store cart. Or the next one. Realize it’s operator error and they must’ve just installed these baby proof buckles because you have to hold down another button and clasp. ?. A lady starts talking to me about how they grow fast. I say, “That’s nice, can you help me with this buckle?” Zoom through grocery store before inevitable meltdown because its now been 3-hours since he woke up from his nap and it’s time for him to eat again. Still pouring rain. Get home. Feed baby. Clean up baby. Change baby. 4-hours have now gone by and I’ve been constantly on the go for baby/family. Play with baby, put baby down to nap. Realize I haven’t eaten since 8am. It’s 3pm.

    Point being, it’s not only about the fun but the sheer amount of time you spend not thinking about yourself. Before baby, if I had a busy day with work or working out I got a gold star from it. I either made a lot of progress at work, made a lot of money, or helped to sculpt some abs. Ha! Now. We work and work and work and the work is selfless. I wouldn’t change it for the world… but it causes a different unrelenting exhaustion! And no gold stars! ?

  58. Same girl same! It took me a LONG time to accept that my life had to change after my daughter was born and it is such a shell shock to suddenly have to kind of become this different person! She turned two in February and I feel like life is gradually getting more manageable or I am at least able to accept this “new normal.” I think just learning to say “no” to certain events without feeling guilty takes awhile to adjust to. It does always make me laugh when I get a chance to get together with my “kid-free” friends and they tell me they’re surprised that I still seem like the same fun person. I want to say “what did you expect, my personality to just go down the drain?” And breastfeeding is HARD! I feel like my friends that did not breastfeed had so much more freedom and I was similar to you, always stressed about feeding her and milk supply. But obviously the benefits are worth it and looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. Now baby #2 is coming any day now so about to start all over but I am much more comforted in the fact that my husband and I have finally adjusted to the parenting life and it won’t be so shocking the second time around.

  59. I think of myself like a pie chart. I only can only divide myself into so many sections: mom, employee, wife, friend, etc. Each of those sections get smaller the more I try to be. So, when I just settle for Mom and Employee I am better at those two than I would be if I tried to be many other things. Some day, when my mom sliver is smaller, I can make room for more.

  60. I hear you on life revolving around naps and it usually does not jive with friends kids’ schedules! But it’s all so worth it. Our daughter is 15 months now and I breastfed her exclusively for 13 months. Once that stopped I definitely felt much more freedom. Around that time too I started feeling “normal” again. It also got better when she transitioned to one nap (around 14 months).

  61. Haha!! I love this blog post because it’s absolutely true for me, too. When I had my baby, one of the things I wrote about that was kind of a slap in the face realization for me, is how much life changes. It’s like your world revolves around this little nugget that’s 100% dependent on YOU. I get you, girl. I’m the same way and I feel the same way you do. As far as breastfeeding, yes, it’s incredibly hard. Life really DOES get better once you stop. For now, do the best you can and be content and happy with the fact that your best is good enough. AND please know that formula is NOT BAD!! It’s food. If you need to supplement, nothing wrong with that. But out of curiosity- when you drink coffee and wine, what’s happening to that milk? If your supply is low, omitting those two from your diet will help. Plus, you won’t have to throw away the milk after alcohol and caffeine, so that’s even more milk to add to your stash!

    Hang in there- everyone said I’d be sad when I stopped breastfeeding. Nope! I was elated!

  62. I do not shave kids but have friends when have kids. One of best friends had a kid 7 months ago and I always say did you watch the bachelor last night she said no that’s bath time. It’s so crazy how her life has changed but she is so happy and her little boy is adorable. Just like Molly! Thanks for sharing your life story with us!

  63. I so feel you on this one Ali! Having Sailor definitely changed my drop-everything-and-go-do-something-fun availability but even though motherhood is hard and tiring, it’s amazing how much it makes us grow as human beings! It’s like bootcamp for becoming a more empathetic, compassionate, nurturing person! And the best part is that as time goes on I can feel it getting easier, and am starting to get some of those old fun/ambitious qualities back! It might take a bit more help and planning ahead but going to Vegas isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility! You make motherhood look real but awesome! Let’s (plan way ahead- haha) for another girls night soon!

  64. Great post! My boys are 10 and 12. Although there are things I miss about them being babies, I have this sense of freedom now. They are old enough to not need me like they used to, and there is something very freeing about that. Of course they will always need me, haha. I do love babies, but I definitely love these ages too. Honestly each age they’ve been has been my favorite in some way!

  65. The side by side picture is precious! We definitely became less spontaneous after we had our baby. We aren’t able to just jump in the car and go somewhere without planning. But I wouldn’t change anything about it. I would actually rather be home with my family. Thank you for your posts. I appreciate the down to earth mess you bring to them and have enjoyed watching your journey!

  66. I enjoy following your blogs and Instagram, Ali! I had my baby boy in July of last year and felt like I kind of went through pregnancy and post-pregnancy with you in a way. I totally feel the same way about not being as fun as I was before I became a mother. My husband and I have to schedule any get together with friends and family around our son’s nap schedule and we can never be out to dinner past 6pm lol! I wouldn’t change it for the world πŸ™‚ I hope you are having as much fun as I am planning Molly’s 1st birthday!

  67. I love reading your blog Ali! My sweet little girl, Laine, turns one on June 24th! So I feel like through following your blog and on social media, I feel like we’ve gone through this process together somehow! (Can you believe we’ve been exclusively breastfeeding for a year? I thought we’d never get here!) You’ve done such a fabulous job of showing women how to be a wonderful working AND stay-at-home mom, while staying true to who you are as a person! One of my priorities has been to make sure my friendships stay strong with my non-mom friends! Strong women need other strong women and making sure those friendships stay in tact after baby is hard- but doable and important!! Love reading your blog and watching your sweet family every day!!

  68. Hi!! We have babies almost the same age! My little boy Declan, turns 1 on June 26! I appreciate how honest you are about Motherhood! I also have a 4 year old boy and as much as I love being a mommy I am so different than I was before kids! Not worse, or better! ❀️❀️❀️

  69. I’ve been a big fan of yours since the Bachelorette and absolutely love your blog and family.
    Molly is the cutest wee thing ❀
    I’ve got a 6 year old son and the first 6 months with him was the hardest.he wouldn’t settle into any routines and I felt like the world’s worst mom but we got there and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
    I found it hard to keep friends who weren’t mums and still struggle with that now but have made many mom friends and have a great group that the kids are in the same class at school so that helps (I’m from new zealand and our school system is different to the US system).
    Anyway,love you and your family plus the blog.
    BTW…your wedding video was just simply amazing and beautiful

  70. First I love reading your blog Ali! I’m due with my first baby in 5 days, if he’s on time! (OMG). I’ve found myself saving a lot of your blogs to my Pinterest board to refer back to, especially the sleep training and anything feeding- so thanks for pushing out great and useful (real life) content. I read this blog thinking the same thing about myself and how I’m going to be moving forward. I’ve always been a social butterfly and life of the party but I also know I now have a huge responsibility and a new purpose in life. And I know it’s going to be hard as hell and challenging but if we weren’t scared and a little fearful it wouldn’t make us human. Congrats on being a great Mommy to Molly and hope her first birthday is just amazing as you are.

    Thanks,
    Erin
    North Carolina

  71. Ali, I just wanted to say that it is so refreshing to always read your blog. I dont have kids yet but always find myself coming back to read your blog about all things motherhood, fashion, bachelor/ette, and life in general. I just hope you know that your story is appreciated and cherished by all of us. Your honesty about all things gives us, but really it gives me, hope and reassurance for when the time comes that it is as equally wonderful and full of joy as it is hard and life changing. And that it is okay! πŸ™‚ Anyway, just wanted to say that I have learned a lot from you that I will take with me for when my time to become a mommy comes. Thank you for sharing your precious little girl and your story with us!

  72. I LUV how honest you are! I have only been a momma for 3 short months and I also feel this way. Not that I’m losing myself, but my interests and how I spend my “free time” are definitely changing — But, I am also totally okay with that if it means I get to snuggle my little lady! I also LUV getting to see you on ET! I wish they would just hire you full-time already πŸ™‚

  73. From following your Instagram and blogs, it’s pretty obvious you’re a great mom. We have a little one, just turned three and it’s been a struggle finding the balance between who I used to be and who I am now. I’ve come to realize that for now, being her mom is exactly who I’m meant to be, and as she gets older and doesn’t need me as much I’ll have time to find myself again, even if it’s never being the “fun” person I was before. We never breastfed (we couldn’t) but what I remember most about that was the shame from other people about that. From the nurses at the hospital, family and friends, and even checkout employees at the store where we bought formula. I got questioned constantly about it and it was horrible. I just always tried to use the response that she’s happy, she’s healthy and she’s being fed. Beyond that, it shouldn’t matter. No matter when you decide to stop don’t let people shame you for that.

    Becky

    We love watching your videos of Molly. My daughter gets a kick out of seeing “baby”. ?

  74. This is all very true!! When your priority is your child you just don’t have time to be exactly the same person anymore!! However, I am finding now that my kids are getting a little older (11 and 7) a little bit of the old me is coming back out again. They are still my priority but I get to go out a little more often again and when I do it is all the more exciting and fun! Hope you have a very exciting time celebrating Molly’s first birthday!!

  75. Hey Ali?
    I absolutely love reading your blog!
    You’re so beautiful and have the most gorgeous family. (Owen included?)
    Thank you for sharing your world with everyone?
    Never stop being you and please never stop sharing your beautiful story?

    Thanks for reading this?
    Xo Ali (love we share a name too)from ??

  76. I love the honesty in this post! Motherhood is so rewarding,but it takes so.much.of.you. Just know you are not alone in feeling as though you are a different person. It’s not a bad thing and definitely temporary! My husband and I joke that we can’t wait for our kids (currently 3yrs & 9mths) to attend school so we can meet other parents with similar kids/schedules lol

  77. First of Ali you are the cutest mom ever honestly you look like you are so much fun don’t doubt that and even if you aren’t it’s okay. There’s no need to be fun all the time when you have responsibilities to do. Trust I’m not that fun either but sometimes I think I am haha. You and your family are the cutest and I love all your outfits omg. Anyways I think your a fun cool mom, you are always there for molly. You are so responsible and I think that’s what a mother should be like. My cousin have a baby boy and she’s barely with him she would rather go out and drink with friends at a club. But your so different your such a great mother don’t ever doubt that. I wish to be like you when I’m older and have children and get married. Please post more blogs haha I love reading them.

  78. Your so honest and adorable! Maybe start making the transition to a sippy cup. That is awesome that you have breastfeed for nearly a year! I know it’s stressful even thinking about that but it would give you a little more freedom. You’ll do what’s right for little Miss Molly and that’s all you can do. Both of you are precious! ❀️

  79. Beautiful pictures! My daughter was born just a few weeks after Molly and I’ve loved watching her grow! I may have to steal this idea and take a picture with my daughter wearing the same dress as my maternity pictures! Im also not much fun now either but I wouldn’t change my life for anything!! ❀

  80. Hi Ali. I had no idea what the bachelor was when I stumbled on your Instagram. I’m English and I had to consult Google! This means my appreciation for all of your creative posts and photos are entirely objective as I wasn’t even aware you had a celebrity status! I have so enjoyed following your stories and I feel I have come to know you over the last few years. All of that said I have suffered 6 devastating miscarriages with my husband of 5 years and watching your time, both pregnant and with Molly has been something I’ve envied ever so slightly but admired very much more. You don’t ever seem stressed in fact you seem frequently positive and very true to what you know and who you are, that you are so blessed. You deserve all the happiness you have sweetie! On a personal note I am in fact now past my first trimester and am able to revisit many of your blogs and posts with immense excitement!!
    Thank you for being honest, it’s a wonderful attribute I hope you never loose xx
    Your UK fan! #thedomesticgnome

  81. Thank you so much for always keeping it REAL! I am definitely feeling like a much less fun version of myself as well. My husband and I used to be so busy and adventurous, but that has certainly changed in our first three months of parenthood. We drove 4 hours to Dallas over Memorial Day weekend just to end up spending an entire day in bed at our hotel and ordering delivery. Initially I felt so silly for driving all that way and not doing anything “fun”, but then I realized it was exactly the kind of uninterrupted quality time our family needed. It is definitely a daily struggle to find a good balance between being a breastfeeding mom, wife, and nurse but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Molly is so lucky to have you as her Momma and she certainly thinks you’re the most fun Momma ever!

  82. Hi Ali! Long time fan, first time commenter! I’ve been a fan of you since your bachelorette days! I had several people tell me back then that I either look like you or have similar talking mannerisms/personality as you- and I took that as a super awesome compliment.
    I think everyone’s definition of fun is different, and from your posts, it looks like you are enjoying the life you are living and that sounds pretty fun to me! And the definition of fun changes over time. I’m not a mom (31 here) yet but I know what I considered fun a few years ago, not so much any more.

    Can’t wait to hear what new projects you are working on!

    Lauren

  83. Ali,
    I love that you were so real about sharing how different we become once we have little ones. I think “FUN” definitely takes on a whole new meaning when you become a parent, or more accurately what we define as fun changes. The simple things become fun, like being able to take a shower more than 2 minutes long…better than that a bubble bath, wine night in pj’s with girlfriends, experiencing things through our little ones eyes and even being able to go grocery shopping alone. LOL

    All that being said doesn’t mean that our old Fun self is completely lost. It is important to bring out that side every once in awhile still. I admire you for the balance you have with your work and your family. It’s not always easy but there is nothing more rewarding than being a mom and still getting to do those things you love.

    Thank you for choosing our little romper for Molly for such a touching photo and blog post. As a small shop owner your support means the world to us.

  84. Ali, I agree with everything you said so much because I was just like you before I had kids. I must say that when Molly is older (my kids are 19, 16 and 11) you will become that FUN person again but your fun will be doing all those things with your kids. Don’t get me wrong you will still do things with your friends but as a mom my most favorite FUN things to do are with my kids and my friends and their kids. So you will get back there but you will see that the FUN no involves your children too. You are a great mom and I love your blog so thanks for sharing with us and always being honest.

  85. Hi Ali! ? Thank you for the very real and honest post! I love your posts and watching sweet Molly grow. I just had my little girl, Layla, 2 months ago today. She is the best thing in my world, but holy has it changed! I’m still very new to it all, and it’s very overwhelming. There’s so much to learn and I constantly am reading and doing research (I’m also a teacher, grade two, so this is my thing lol). But always wanting to do the best I can for my girl can be very stressful! It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done and I know I’ve changed too. Our priorities are definitely different now! I applaud you for keeping up with your family, work, your blog, posts, PUMPING! Lol. You are doing an amazing job. Although I know this, its nice to see that celebrities are normal and real too. Real people, real mommies. I am not alone in the struggles. But also in the happiest days of our lives. Thank you. ???

  86. Great post Ali! I totally agree! And reading your blog felt like a reflection of myself- 19 years ago when I had my first son! I still feel that way- I’m a teacher, working full time and everyday came home exhausted from being with 5th graders all day and then trying to stay patient with my two little boys. My husband tried to be supportive, but I’m a control freak, and want things done my way. I guess you have to try to give up a little control and learn how to relax. But the worrying never ends….just different worries when they are toddlers to teens and then to college students. It’s being a mom….and I’m happiest when they are home with me, I have a good book, and am in bed by 10! Ha ha. So, don’t feel like you’re alone in the fun department πŸ˜‰

  87. I SO get this. I have a 14 month old who I’m madly in love with, and I feel like I almost don’t recognize myself anymore. My life revolves around him and his sleep schedule, which, if you’d have asked me pre-baby, I’d NEVER think would happen to me. I feel like the fun police sometimes, but I love my new life and even going out to dinner at 5 pm. I just feel like I can’t be selfish and live like a free spirit since I owe it to him to be the best momma I can be.

  88. Love you’re honesty, your family is so sweet! I like reading your blogs about motherhood, you are very positive and but tall about the struggles and the rewards. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 2 years. It’s been very hard, but hopefully one day soon I will be able to relate to these stories of motherhood.

  89. Thank you for sharing the feelings that all new moms have! Life definitely changes, mostly for the better, and we will never be the same! You should be so proud that you have EBF for almost a year, that is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Once you stop, things seem easier and you are able to spend more time focused on yourself, your kids and family, and not always worrying about the next feeding schedule. It’s hard to stop, because you feel guilty, like you should just keep going, but you will know when the time is right. Thanks for always being real and sharing your story with all of us!!

  90. Your still fun! Your just just a different kind of fun. It’s also fun to see your child grow, to see them do new things every day, to see life through their eyes. Soon enough you’ll be a different kind of fun again. Your doing amazing, working hard at everything. Like you said, being a mom is the absolute best. It’s the most difficult thing in the world but it also can be the most fun! ?

  91. Girl, I’m with ya. Lucas is a week younger than Molly, also still exclusively breastfeeding and also a tough sleeper. It’s hard to do anything because once he wakes up his nap gap should only be 3 hours so by the time we attempt some new foods, get changed and try to do something … it’s nap time again!

    It’s all SO worth it but I do get a little bummed when I see friends at concerts or on relaxing vacations or just out for drinks. But I also reflect on when I decided I was ready to be a mom and remember being “over” that life. I was 30 when I had Lucas and I definitely lived up my 20’s! I guess I just want a littttle taste of that once in a while. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping once we stop breastfeeding that will help a little too. πŸ™‚

  92. Loved this post!! I have three little girls, youngest is 7 months and I’m also exclusively breastfeeding (though, today I gave her some formula haha to see if she’d take it!). I 100% agree with you that I’m not nearly as fun as I used to be! I am such a homebody now. Don’t get me wrong – I love going out to eat with my family and running errands, but I’m always so exhausted by the evening from the four of them (husband included) that I just want to watch a show and go to bed, haha. I do a girls dinner out once every two months or so and that’s PERFECT!! I look forward to that time so much, but wouldn’t want to do it weekly or anything at this stage of life.

    Thanks for sharing your heart! Molly is absolutely adorable and she is very lucky to have you as her mama πŸ™‚

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  93. I appreciate your honesty about motherhood! It really does change a person, as well as day-to-day life (obviously).

    I just wanted to say that breastfeeding probably is one of the reasons you feel the way you do. When I stopped breastfeedin at a year postpartum, I felt like a fog cleared from my brain. I felt much more able to focus on things other than feeding, pumping, bottles, etc. It was quite a relief! I wouldn’t change anything about how I fed my daughter for her first year, but I had no idea how much it really was affecting my brain and how I was preforming in all other aspects of life!

  94. I’m not a lot of fun anymore either – although I was never much of a spontaneous person anyway. Luckily most of my friends have kids the same age so we have new – lets get together and talk about our kids fun!! – ha ha .

    We are expecting our fourth baby (in 5 years) this October… and I am only 27…. we got married young and had kids young. We met in high school – anyway, long story short – sometimes I feel like I was never anything but a mom in my 20’s so I never really had the motherhood changed me crisis. But someday when they’re all grown and moved out I’m a little worried I won’t know who I am – but for right now being a wife and thier mommy is good enough.

    Molly is adorable and so is that dress! Keep up the blog posts πŸ™‚

  95. Wow How I can so relate! I have been exclusively breastfeeding my son for 5 months now and yes it is so much work and so stressful. I am always thinking of naps and feedings as well but it is so rewarding knowing that I am providing him with the best nutrients possible.

    It is so hard to get on the same schedule with other friends’ kids bc no one wants to mess up a nap! Haha

    Time is so fleeting I know I will miss the breastfeeding when it’s done! Such a special bond and I think my hubs gets jealous ? These are the important things in life❀️

  96. Yes!!! Thank you so much for your honesty! I feel like a lot of bloggers who are now moms make it seem like their life is the same as it was before kids. It’s so nice to see real and raw blog posts like yours! Thank you for being honest and showing us moms that it’s okay that it’s not the same.

  97. I don’t necessarily think it’s not being fun anymore , it’s just now mommy version of fun is just different πŸ™‚ I have a Molly too & she’s 3! Being a mom is the best , especially when you have a great partner to share it with (& it seems like you do:)?
    Love reading your blog !!

  98. First off, I just want to say that I’d love watching a reality show about you, Kevin, and Molly – just like Jillian is doing! I know y’all are super busy and it would be even more stressful, but I have a feeling y’all would be interesting! Just sayin’ πŸ™‚

    I can so relate to this post. I am a BUSY momma to a 7 month old baby boy (a sweet sweet baby boy!) and I sometimes wish that I could run errands after work like I used to, or be able to lay on the couch during the day and watch tv like I used to. I am stressed out all the time because I am so OCD and like things to go as planned, and when they don’t I get chest pain (literally). And let’s be honest, what does go as planned when you have kids… nothing! I need to simmer down a bit eh?! But the love I have for my little man grows EVERYDAY!!! I look forward to not running those errands because I just want to rush home to him. I look forward to watching him play on the floor with his toys during the day. Yes we may not be able to come and go as we please anymore, but this new norm is something we will never get back in 30 years, so embracing it while we can is what us mommas should do if that’s what we choose. We are all strong women that handle so much that we need to not be so hard on ourselves about not being our pre-baby self. Love you and your little family Ali! Keep being real because your fans like your honesty πŸ™‚

  99. Ali, you are doing great! I love to scroll though your blog- I never comment, but I can so relate to a lot of your posts! We made it until 8 months, exclusively bf. Eliza is two weeks younger than Molly, and although it broke my heart to stop BF, there are so many other joys that have opened up! We don’t stress about milk supply, washing pump parts, did she get enough milk in a feeeding, she sleeps through the night now, going out with her is so much fun (bc I don’t have to worry about bf in public and we are on a SET schedule;)) and she hasn’t been sick one time, which let me know we did the right thing and it was OK to stop (knock on wood!). You’ll feel more like “fun” Ali when she gets to a year and you are able to cut back on Bf. Props to you though, it’s not easy, but Bf is so worth it!!! Don’t stress- enjoy every. Single. Second. It goes so fast ????

    Don’t feel like you have to respond- I know you are tired and busy! Just thought I would throw out my encouragement:). And that Molly is just perfect- I feel like she and Eliza need to be friends ?

  100. So beautiful! My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 7 years. I pray that I will be blessed with a beautiful baby someday!

  101. My little girl was born the same day as Molly! We are EBF as well. It has been both the most challenging and rewarding adventure yet. I am so thrilled to be so close to the 12 month mark and be able to ditch the pump (I work full time)! Girl, bye! So over it- but I think we will keep nursing, at least before bed, for a while! Keep up the awesome work, mama! Happy 11m tomorrow, Molly and mama!

  102. So I can totally relate with u. I went through so many changes during my first year with my daughter [like every mommy] hormonally, physically, emotionally, mentally! And I didn’t really understand or accepted It. It took me about a year and half after I had her to fully grasp it and not feel guilty about it. [i had a couple of friends who would constantly ask me why I had changed so much and would make me feel so guilty about not being the same person as before]
    Once I started seeing that change as a positive one, I understood that once u become a mom, ur priorities change, ur life changes, and in all honesty.. you grow up, and the things that mattered before, take a different place in your life. I don’t think u necessarily become boring, I think we can all be fun, absolutely, But our priorities do change and like everything in life, there is a time and a place for everything. Maybe right now we are a tad bit too exhausted to go out [even for coffee] and we are learning how to manage our time and responsibilities but you learn and you adjust. You are such an awesome mommy and are doin such a hreabjob wirh molly! She is blessed to have u as her mom.

  103. I JUST had this convo last night with a single friend with no children. I used to be a totally different person – free spirited, spontaneous, worry free. I’m the complete opposite now after having 2 kiddos.
    If the old me was talking to the new me – old me would probably laugh in my face and tell me I need to get my groove back.
    But you know what – I love new me. I love my kiddos and I wouldn’t trade my life for the world.

    Love the post – thanks for the honesty (as usual).

  104. This is amazing!! I love this post because it is so true and real!! I 100% agree with all of this. I am a mom of two little girls, 3 and 10 months, and this just perfectly described everything I’ve been trying to explain to I guess myself really. Also, awesome on the bfing, I am in the same boat and I love the honesty when it comes to that! I always love reading these types of blog posts because it’s helpful to know you’re not the only one out there with these feelings! I also don’t care if I’m the most boring person on Earth because my girls are where it’s at!

  105. First Thank you Ali for the honesty. I think parents shy away from the real talk. Maybe because it’s apart of the effort and not the pretty end result. Working around my 9 month old son’s strict sleep schedule has come with a complete shut down of the spontaneous me. I have come to embrace this. (Although I struggled at first) I know my guy is well rested, happy, and thriving. I also exclusively breastfeed and am always panicked about being home to nurse. Our son will not take a bottle . He will only take an ounce or two from Dad in a straw sippy cup if I’ve had to really stretch a feeding. I can understand the worry. I hope this part improves.
    Really I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty as always. It was your post on sleep training that finally convinced me to take the leap. I can’t believe I waited as long as we did. Milestones are being passed left and right since. Today he said his first word! Dada

  106. Absolutely love the post sweetness. Molly is so beyond beautiful and you look stunning no matter what. Thank you for your posts every day. They mean so much to me. Have a great night.

  107. It absolutely gets better with time! The first year can be so difficult and overwhelming. Things will never be the same, of course, but time definitely normalized the changes and makes you better equipped to find ways to balance everything. Best of luck, and thanks for sharing!

  108. Thank you being so raw! I always feel like I’m “that” mom. The one that chooses to nurture and tend to my child the best way I see fit even if that means skipping out on some things I used to do. My daughter is 9 months old and we are still exclusively breastfeeding with solids also! Like you, we are fighting everyday to make that happen. Everyone says to just supplement and not worry with pumping or nursing but that’s not what I choose to do. I love being able to provide for her and I hope to continue to do so. She is happy, healthy, and only little for a short time! I cherish all the moments, whether they seem good or bad!

    I absolutely love reading your blogs, especially those on Molly. She is precious! You are doing a great job, just hang in there. Molly will grow up and appreciate all the sacrifices you’ve made to give her such a blessed life.

  109. How amazing it is that motherhood changes us in nearly every way. But I believe that it is always for the best. We may not be the most fun or most spontaneous as we once were but we are mommy who are raising and nurturing that next generation. There are times when I feel have lost myself in being a mom. I kind of lost the label of Bethany and I became mommy. It took time to realize I’m still in there just a different version, and honestly a better version. It will get easier and things will change almost daily. But you are raising one of the most beautiful and precious peanuts ever. Thank you for being so honest and heartfelt how hard and amazing this journey can be at times. πŸ™‚

  110. Hi Ali!
    First of all, your baby is so adorable and so are you! The dress is cute. I was never able to wear non-maternity clothing when I was so far along!
    Once you have a child, your priorities change, so things are never the same and that’s okay!
    I’ve loved being a mom, while still working and trying to have a social life. And yes, I am boring too! I used to stay out until 2 or 3 am and not I’m in bed by 9:00pm πŸ™‚ If I’m up later its because I’m waiting for the kids to come home. lol
    It seems like yesterday that my teenagers were babies. Enjoy the moments!

  111. Same boat over here sister! We are self proclaimed homebodies & proud of it! We have a 2.5 yr old & 11 mo old just 2 days younger than Molly! I stay home with both of them & by the end of the day, I’m exhausted! The thought of even getting ready to “go out” is so far from my mind! Which brings me to ask, do you have a personal stylist/hair/makeup, or how do you look so put together most days?!
    What “they” say is true, once/if you have baby #2, you don’t worry as much about all the little things that you worried about with #1, bc there is less time ha! In fact, I bet you’ll read back through your blog someday and giggle at the little things you worried about that seemed so big! Best advice for new moms….never say never about anything πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your open & honest blogs!

  112. Hi Ali! I agree with your blog. Now having 2 toddler I find myself to not have time for me anymore. My husband and I don’t get to do things like we used too such as eating out or seeing a movie or even travelling spontaneously. We have to yelp to make sure the restaurant is kid friendly or that we take the kids to watch kids movie during the matinee times. We travel with the kids but then we’re in bed by 9pm at the hotel. I don’t have time to catch up with my friends from back home and my 20 minutes car ride home from work is the only time to talk to them. Bathroom breaks are not the same either. Lol I’m still me but like you mentioned, I have a bigger responsibility now and thats being a momma to two active, fun loving, curious and mischievous toddler boys. But I wouldn’t change it. I’m still me but a better version with responsibilities. I know the fun me will come back as the boys gets older. In the meantime, i try to be the best momma i can be. You are not alone. *hugs*

  113. Hey Ali! I can relate to your breast feeding goal. I have a 3 1/2 month old and am also determined to BF for at least a year. However, I won’t be back to work until she’s around 8 months so have more time to stock my freezer. I thought I’d share some information I received last week from a reliable source. I was told, in exclusively BF babies, whole milk can be introduced at 9 months (whereas if you’re using formula you should wait until 12 months). If your goal is to BF until you can introduce milk, you could look into this a little more– (not sure if cashew milk is the same). I am interested to know why you’ve chosen cashew milk. I haven’t put a lot of thought into this yet since we’re still months away.

    I also thought I’d let you know how helpful your sleep training post was! We tried it at 3 months and were lucky because it went really well!

    Love hearing about Molly!

    -Ashley

  114. Hi Ali! Thank you for this post. Sometimes I struggle with being the not so fun girl I used to be as well. But, like you said, being a full time mommy, having a full time job and trying to work around your little one’s schedule and your friends’ schedules can be really difficult. My group of friends always try to plan an outing, baby free, at least once every couple of months, which I would like to do at least monthly, but again, mommy hood doesn’t always allow for it. That being said, I love spending time with my little girl. She’s just over a year old now, which is such a fun time! We do everything together, which I absolutely love, and she has definitely changed my life for the better…didn’t think I could ever love anyone soooo much! I also struggle to some extent with the letting go part and allowing someone else I trust to watch Amelie. I guess you can say I’m a little bit of a worrier like my own mother. πŸ™‚ This is something I’m continuously trying to work on. Any suggestions on how I can allow my self to let go even just a little bit?

    PS…love those photos! Absolutely adorable!

    Tracy

  115. Hi Ali! First off, I love your blog! Keep it up and thank you for being so down-to-earth, open and genuine. I can relate to you on so many fronts, because I am a first-time Mom to an 8 month old daughter who also drinks exclusively breastmilk, and I have a full-time job outside of the home too for which I commute into NYC every day.

    My take on the whole “fun” topic is that it’s all about how you define “fun”. I’ve realized there might be less fun in my life now, based on how I used to define it pre-kiddo, but now I’m just having fun in new, different ways than before. (Dressing my daughter up in a cute new outfit, or taking her to see farm animals for the first time, or taking her on the swings is all so fun!)

    I’ve also come to appreciate the difference between “fun” and “joy”, because I think there’s definitely more joy in my day-to-day life now as a Mom than I ever felt before.

    I think the way we experience and define “fun” changes and evolves over time just like we change and evolve over time as we grow.

    And I also see this happening for my own Mom too – I’d argue she still has fun in her life, just a different kind of fun than she did pre-kids, or when she had little kids, or when he had older kids, or when my parents became empty nesters. And, I can assure you, she now feels a deeper sense of pure joy than ever before as a new grandparent. πŸ™‚

    Keep having fun with your adorable Molly and family, and keep the pictures coming because she’s too cute!

  116. I’m currently on my 3rd baby. He’s 4 months old and I can relate to the being less fun thing. Like 100%. However, I can tell you that things get better in the fun department once you stop breastfeeding and also once they are more adaptable with sleep and food. I breastfed by older two for 17 months and while I wouldn’t change a thing about that, the freedom of not having to be their food source anymore is fantastic and allows for way more spontaneity and also just time to yourself! It also gets easier once they only nap once a day and can even handle skipping a nap if you want to go have a full fun day, around 2-2.5 years old. Which may seem like a long ways away now but I promise it’s not. And when you don’t have to bring special food with you and know that you can feed them off any menu is also way more conducive for fun and spontaneity. Every time one of my kids hits the 2 year mark, I start to feel more like myself and our family has way more freedoms. And then we have another baby and BAM, I’m back to feeling anxious and less fun and always worrying about schedules but my encouragement to you is that in the grand scheme of things, it really is a short time and it gets better and Molly will become more and more adaptable. And also, if she skips a nap or has one on the car or you have to wake her early every now and then. It will be ok. Go be fun if you and your family need it! She will adapt and it won’t ruin all your hard work just that one time. And I promise your fun side will come back. Maybe not all the way but it will be there!

  117. Love this post, Ali! It totally resonated with me. My daughter is almost 11 months old, so I’ve been following along for over a year. I totally understand what you’re saying. I was just telling my husband the other day that I keep waiting to feel “normal” again…except now I’m realizing that maybe this is the “new” normal? I’m still exclusively breastfeeding (plus solids) too and feel your pain on the supply slump – pumping is my nightmare on days I work! I often wonder if it will all feel more manageable and I’ll feel completely like myself when we transition into a nurse for comfort kind of routine and I can burn my breastpump. I love breastfeeding, but it is tough sometimes! My goal is to make it to a year too…so close!! I can’t believe how fast they grow.

    Have you seen this article/blog post? I loved it and it’s totally how I feel as a new mom:

    https://www.mother.ly/life/dear-thirtysomething-momsi-see-you

  118. I am so impressed that you have exclusively breast fed Molly! That is so wonderful and truly a gift you are giving her and yourself. I nursed my son for 17 months and he only had formula once (not that formula is a deal killer) when I unexpectedly had to be away for a funeral. I remember pumping at work and thinking about how much easier life would be when we were done breastfeeding, but truthfully, I missed it like crazy when he stopped. That bond is just so amazing! And, I wouldn’t say you’re not fun Ali anymore; you’re “more fun Ali” because you have to be careful with your time. So, when you do get to go out for a girl’s night or head out on a date night with Kevin, you can enjoy it that much more knowing that it’s precious and not time you get on-demand anymore. You’re doing a fantastic job!! I am so amazed at everything you are doing. Keep it up, mama!!

  119. Hi Ali!! I can totally relate to ALL of this!! I have a 17 month old son and my social “fun” life has gone down the tubes haha I actually just moved to LA a year ago (when my son was only 2 months old!!) so moving to a new place, trying to make friends – there is only so much energy to go around. I think our priorities have just shifted and our babies are now numero uno (ain’t nothing wrong with that ;)) Also working and breastfeeding and pumping is SO hard! Major props to you!! I did it too so definitely feel ya (I had an added obstacle in that my baby would rarely ever drink from the bottle!) But just wanted to say that you’re a rock star mama and Molly is so lucky to have you!

  120. Molly and my son Declan are 2 weeks apart (maybe less). I remember being secretly mad at you as I passed my due date in hot July and Molly was already here! HA, the races you have in your head with strangers is a pregnancy symptom I swear….
    I love reading your blog and instagram posts. You are one of the most real and honest mothers out there. I am now working off just the frozen stuff. I was lucky enough to build up quite a stash. When the pumping and BF was over things did get easier. But it was bittersweet, such a relief but somewhat sad. What is even sadder is that now I have to beef up my cardio! Boy did I take that for granted.
    But what I have learned in 10.5 months that not only does life go too fast but the hard moments also past just as fast. I am sure you are still fun in a ABC, patty cake, 2 glasses of wine after bedtime, kind of way. Vegas will still be there in a few years.

  121. Hang in there mama! The days are long but the years are short and this season of motherhood that you’re in is exhausting and demanding but it wont always be this way! My boys are 16, 12, & almost 6 and we just finished our first year with all 3 in school. I remember the days of feeling like I would never feel like me again and yet I feel like I blinked and here I am! Just embrace the season you’re in and know that it won’t be this way forever! There are challenges in every season of this adventure we call motherhood but there will be more time for you to be you soon!

  122. I know EXACTLY what you mean. My #1 priority is my daughter and if that means sacrificing “fun” activities, I’m glad to do it if it benefits her. I am obsessed with my daughter’s routine (naps and nighttime) and I plan everything around it. Since having my daughter I feel like I am a way less selfish person, am more compassionate and am overall a kinder person. Good for you for keeping up your breastfeeding – I am currently one week away from my goal of a year (while working full time). It has been hard, challenging, stressful and frustrating, but also the most rewarding experience and I don’t regret my decision to do so one bit! Thank you for sharing your experience and always being so honest. I really enjoy seeing Molly grow!

  123. Thank you so much for sharing this. My baby is 9 months and I also feel like my life has changed completely. I work full time so any spare time I have will go to her. Its good to know that as a first time mom I’m not the only one that goes through these changes.

    Also, do you take hair vitamins?

  124. Molly is just so cute! My wonderful daughter just turned 3 and I’m definitely a dud now. lol I’m an older mom, will be 45 this year, and since I’m the last of my friends to have kids, I got to have a lot of spontaneous fun for a long time. I actually think it made the transition to motherhood a little harder for me weirdly enough. I work full time, as a social worker, and my husband is an elementary school teacher, so feel like we are soooo tired all the time and we only have one, great daughter. It is such a life altering first year. I’m loving 3 though. I feel like I’m finally settling in a bit. Congrats on thriving!

  125. Hello! I totally know where you’re coming from. The good news – you will be fun again! I was the same way with my first child (Julian) who is now almost four (on Sunday!). I would stress so much about his naps, how much he ate, how much he slept at night…the list could go on. As the months went on, life got easier and even more fun. Now with our second child, our daughter Violet, I’m much more laid back! Enjoy your sweet baby – everyone is right, they DO grow up so fast!!! P.S. – I love your dress!

  126. hi Ali!
    I absolutely love following you. My daughter is exactly a month younger than yours and love seeing the development and what’s on the horizon as they grow. I also adore your fashion sense and frequently purchase off of your LTK πŸ™‚ love this post, and it is oh so true! Life sure turns upside down but in the best way possible. I saw your story the other day making the palette and was wondering if you were going to blog about that. I’d love to make one for my daughters 1st birthday party and am not exactly handy ;). We are doing a unicorn theme! There’s so much cute stuff on Etsy and Land of Nod if you’re still figuring out what you’re doing for Molly’s bday πŸ™‚ I don’t get to watch all of your stories so wasn’t sure.
    Anyway, keep up all you’re doing – you’re doing an awesome job ?

  127. I am a new mom to a 4 month old and I completely relate with your post. Having my first baby at 31 gave me lots of time to be selfish for which I’m grateful. I talk a lot with my new mom friends about the loss of ‘me’ time and identity that comes with motherhood. I’m still working with my husband on finding a balance so I can still feel like myself to a degree, but I know “myself” means something different post-baby (at least for me). The truth is that when we become moms our lives change and so do we. And, like you said, so much of that change is for the better.

    I also think breastfeeding plays a huge role in that loss of self. When you sit down and think about how many hours you devote to your child a day just in feeding them, it’s remarkable. Congratulations to you for keeping it going! My milk supply has depleted greatly after going back to work at 3 months pp (I’ve done ALL of the tricks) and I’m now officially supplementing with formula this week. Sometimes I just want to give up because I’m doing SO much work to still be having to supplement, but it’s what still feels right for us. It’s a tough job and I know that feeling when that freezer supply disappears, but she will adjust and so will you. πŸ™‚

  128. I’m the same way too! I just had my first last September. And, in order to keep my 9 month old on her sleep schedule, I leave gatherings/events early and family dinners because I have to get her in bed by 7. And, after she goes to bed I just like to relax. I was never a super spontaneous person to begin with, but I am definitely planning much much more now.

    It’s also hard at times because my husband’s friends all have kids who are older, so they’ve forgotten why we can’t just come over at 9pm. And my sister in law’s kids go to bed much later. So it’s tough and a little irritating/lonely sometimes when people don’t understand why you only have a 2 hour window to do things on the weekend or assume you can miss a nap or extend bedtime because it’s a Friday.

    But, you are right because it is SO worth it, and I just love my little girl so much!!! Awesome blog!!!

  129. First of all: love the dress. I’m obsessed with maxis for pregnancy and postpartum.

    Second, I just have my 4 month old and the first 2-3 months felts easy to be ‘the old me’ and now that she’s more alert and wants more entertainment it gets more and more difficult. No matter what my husband and I make a point to go to our local wine shop for a bottle once a week with our little girl. Gets us and her out socializing and gives us some grown up time with her there too. Having a kid friendly and dog friendly local wine shop is a life saver!

    Finally, I’d love to read a blog post about your experiences EBF for the first year! I’m 4 months in and we’re very lucky it’s been pretty easy, but I haven’t been back to work yet or been away much so it’s been fairly simply to maintain our routine. I wonder what the long term may look like! What’s your experience been like??

  130. You’re doing an amazing job with Molly and also that’s fantastic that you’re BF her! I BF my daughter until shortly after her first birthday. For us it was time and my supply had tanked. I cut back one feeding per week until we were done. She did so great with the transition. I will say that I never expected the hormonal changes that happened as soon as I started weaning and after we were done. I had heard it can happen to some women and it happened to me as I became depressed. I sought out help and am doing great now. Our bodys, mind and spirit go through so much as we become mothers. It’s magical and intense but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  131. Love this dress! It’s so nice to find flexible comfortable outfits to wear at anytime. Congratulations on continuing to breastfeed! I breastfed my daughter until she was 13months. It was difficult since I was working full time (pumping 2x a day and running home at lunch) but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. The nighttime feedings when all the world was still and it was just her and I were some of our most special times. My daughter is now 10 and we are making all kinds of new memories. I have to say the struggle between mom activities and social activities is still a struggle. Not because I can’t leave her but because I really don’t want to do things without her. Fourth of July is coming up and I’ve been invited to non-kid friendly parties, which sound like fun, but honestly I want to experience the 4th with her. I want to experience things with her not without her. My husband and I are coming up on our 15year anniversary and we’re planning a trip to the Mediterranean. Our trip will also include our daughter. We can only afford to take a trip like this once in a great while (teacher = no $$) and we wouldn’t want her to not be able to have this experience with us. Priorities definitely change when you become a mother. You truly put another’s life before your own, in every possible way. Stay sweet! Jennifer

  132. Thank you for being so real and honest in this post! I have a 9 month old daughter and I have gone through all the same things with my new life revolving around her schedule and worrying if she naps long enough. Always worrying if I am doing the right things. Life definitely changes! It always makes you feel better when you know you’re not alone?

  133. I have a two year old and let me just tell you once you stop nursing it gets a whole lot easier and a lot more relaxed, fun. We just stopped and while it was bitter sweet it really opened things up. She eats more solids, she takes only one nap a day and sleeps longer at night. For me it just got a lot easier. You’re never going back to the person you were but you will be able to have more fun and be a little more spontaneous.

  134. Lovely picture and brilliant idea. i will be soon one celebrating my little girl one year birthday. So fast. Beautiful dress. i have done similar- wearing non pregnancy dresses during pregnancy so i could wear them later.

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