Last Tuesday I caught up with beautiful new mom Aja (Instagram) in her home. We tried on some Hera clothing, played with her sweet new baby daughter and discussed everything from professional purpose to what it's like to go from being an A-cup your whole life to suddenly having big breasts.
Aja wears the Hera California Maia shirt and Diana pants.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am originally from LA but I moved to the Bay Area almost ten years ago for work. I studied environmental engineering as an undergrad but quickly found that government work was not my thing. I left that field and landed a job in a tech company. At the time it was fun and I liked the fast pace. That company ended up getting acquired and one thing led to another until I finally ended up in a marketing position at Google.
Tell us about your motherhood journey:
I became a mom for the first time two years ago. During my first pregnancy I was so excited to be a mom. It was during the pandemic though so I did feel a little bit isolated. Thankfully I was connected to other moms through a lot of virtual groups which helped get me through. My son is now two and my daughter was born just a couple of months ago.
How have you found balancing work and motherhood?
It’s been challenging. In America there is so much pressure to go back to work way too quickly after having a baby. The pediatric recommendation is to breastfeed your baby for 1 year if you can, but many moms are expected to go back to work just weeks after giving birth . I don’t understand that logic.
I was fortunate to be able to work from home for the first year so I could stay connected with my baby and continue to breastfeed, but if I had not had that option I likely would have quit and tried to find another job. Even with working from home, the vibe of corporate America is a total clash with the nurturing energy of motherhood and it feels very strange to simultaneously operate in those two worlds.
After my second was born a few months ago, I decided I will not to return to work in this first year and I feel so much more at peace this time knowing that I have time to just enjoy my newborn.
Wearing the Gaia dress
So what’s next?
It’s funny, because when I first had a kid I had this renewed sense of purpose and alignment with what I really cared about in the world, and for me that has inspired all of these professional ideas and things I wanted to work on, but then I am like, wait, I have a baby to take care of, I am totally sleep deprived, and I can’t even brush my teeth.
So this year I just want to simplify and do less. No big goals. Just make sure I am drinking enough water, eating properly, taking care of myself and my baby, and then someday I will have time and energy to do more.
How about dressing throughout your motherhood journey? What has that been like for you?
During Covid, I had the weirdest wardrobe. I didn’t feel like buying anything because I didn’t go anywhere but the only thing I had in my wardrobe that really fit my bump and looked semi-professional were these fancy “going out” dresses. So I would wear those on top for my video calls and sweats on the bottom because no one could see. If we went out I would just wear my husband’s clothes. At the end of my pregnancy my mom finally bought me some maternity leggings and I admit those were nice to have. Then right before my due date I decided to treat myself and buy a new dress because I felt like I deserved it for growing this baby and carrying this big bump around! I took one bump photo in it and then never wore it again because it wasn’t breastfeeding friendly.
The transition from having a pregnant body to having a breastfeeding body is really strange and has all these different wardrobe requirements. There are very few things you can wear that fit through pregnancy but are also convenient for breastfeeding. I was actually kind of excited about dressing during breastfeeding though because for the first time in my life I had larger breasts! I have always been an A cup and suddenly I was like, whoah! What are those doing there? But then dressing felt kind of like going back to being a pre-teen figuring out your body when nothing looks right and you don’t know how to shop.
I do think it’s hard to make the effort to get dressed as a new mom. I have been living in milk-stained t-shirts and sweatpants. How do you justify wearing anything nice when you get spit up on multiple times a day? But then the other day we had some family portraits taken so I dressed up. My husband has not seen me dress up in a long time, because most of my clothes still don’t fit and I am too tired anyway, but when he saw me he was like, “wow.”
That did feel good. To really feel beautiful again in that moment.
You can follow Aja’s continuing motherhood journey on her YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/@hiimaja or her instagram account @aaajaaa