March 28, 2021 5 min read
Hi mamas! I want to familiarize everyone with the section on our blog called ‘mommy moments’, where we feature mamas from our online mom community and provide them a platform to share their stories and experiences.
In our very first ‘mommy moments’, we are so excited to introduce Magda, founder of MLM Brand.
For those of you who have not heard of MLM Brand, it is a company that proudly sources the highest quality and sustainable fabrics to produce the most amazing dresses for breastfeeding mamas. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sweet boys. We caught up with Magda to get a more in-depth scoop on her story, from her perspective.
What inspired you to start MLM Brand?
“I founded MLM because I wanted to make the fourth trimester easier for moms by creating a collection of elevated, timeless maternity pieces.
When I had to go back to work at the end of maternity leave in 2014, I couldn’t find a nursing and pumping-friendly dress that could take me through my busy day. I needed a dress that was versatile and comfortable (and long) enough to hop on a bike in the morning (which is how I got my son Adrian to daycare before heading downtown to work), and “office-y” enough to wear around the office and during presentations. This is how the idea of the #LittleBreastfeedingDress came about. I described my journey to launch it on my website, if you’d like to learn more.
We are now in the midst of launching our next styles and — when I look back at how far I’ve come — I'm so incredibly proud!
Though it might look like I have it together, believe me, I’m still trying to figure it all out, just like you, mama. I love being a mom, but it’s the hardest and the most amazing job I’ve ever had. If I could, I would wear a dress any day of the week, but let’s be honest — as a homemaker — most days I’m in my workout clothes serving snacks and rolling out play dough. Ha!”
We at Stork & Dove can all relate! As a mama and an entrepreneur, juggling home and work life can be difficult. How do you balance between the two?
“I personally don’t think that balance can be achieved and maintained all the time. I do believe women; parents can have it all; just not ALL at the same time. Trying to achieve “balance” as a new parent, especially when you are still adjusting to how different reality is compared to what your life looked like “before” kids, can lead to too much unnecessary stress.
In our culture, women are expected to do it all and it can be particularly hard when that expectation is also self-imposed. A lot of us feel a sense of shame and inadequacy when we compare our lives to others that seem to have it all together all the time (thanks, social media!). When we fall short, we feel like we failed, but that’s hardly true. I like to think about this in a different way — life has many seasons and raising little kids is just one of them; equal parts beautiful and challenging. Raising my babies is my number one priority and everything else — while important — can wait. It’s a choice I made for myself and my family a few years ago and this is right for us. It might not be right for everyone, and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of motherhood.
My definition of “balance” evolved over the years. The pandemic disrupted our lives in ways we never imagined and it flipped our daily routines upside down. Most days I strive to work, rest, move and play, and that’s my “pandemic” version of balance. Sometimes the dishes don’t get done but I get to spend quality time with my older son playing dinosaur bingo. Some days I get 3 hours of uninterrupted work time, some days I only get 15 minutes. Some evenings dinner is home made and some evenings dinner comes from the microwave. Sometimes I take a long relaxing bath, some days I don’t shower at all. It’s important for me to do things that make me feel good on the inside.”
As a mama to two kiddos, can you describe your breastfeeding journey with them?
“I had a very different breastfeeding journey with both of my boys. I exclusively breastfed my first son for the first 12 weeks of his life. After returning to work from my maternity leave, I began to pump 3-4 times while at work and I would nurse him to sleep and at night time for the next year or so. I remember feeling exhausted and stressed, but determined to feed him my breast milk for as long as I could. Due to stress and work schedule my supply began to diminish and we started to supplement with formula right around when my son was 9 months old. I tried not to feel guilty, but I did feel a tremendous pressure (self-imposed and from my pediatrician) to keep up my milk supply. I wish someone in my immediate circle told me my mental health and sanity were more important. When our breastfeeding journey ended, I felt both proud and relieved.
Going into breastfeeding with my second son, I had a different outlook. I remember the mental and physical toll breastfeeding and pumping took on me the first time around. I also had a toddler at home that needed a rested (as much as possible) and a happy mom. In addition, I knew I wouldn’t be returning to work after my maternity leave with a goal to focus on MLM Brand. Luckily, my second son was a happy baby that adjusted well to breastfeeding and I ended up exclusively nursing him for two years.
Both of my experiences impacted the way I think about the functionality of breastfeeding apparel and the cultural pressure to breastfeed on new moms. At MLM I strive to empower and support mamas on their breastfeeding and pumping journeys, but never at the cost of their mental well being. There are so many other aspects of modern motherhood new mothers worry about, the feeding method shouldn’t be one of them.”
And finally, we want to know, what is your favourite part of being a mama?
“My favorite part about being a mom is being able to wake up to my boys’ beautiful smiley faces each morning, creating art with them and exploring the world — both far and near. On the flip side, I don’t like the number of dishes my kids seem to produce every day, the toys left behind everywhere and my kids fighting about silly (to me!) things.”
We would like to thank Magda for the chat and allowing us to feature her on our blog! Also, a big, heartfelt thank YOU for taking the time to read! Hope you are finding our posts are enjoyable and as always, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know what you think or would like to see more of.
If you are interested in learning more about Magda and MLM brand, you can visit their website here, or check them out on Instagram here.
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