THIS IS NORMAL

08-04-2019

Ana Pavlovic

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Serbian-born raised in Canada now living in NYC. Finished a business undergrad and sold my soul briefly to investment banking before leaving my job/home to move to the Big Apple where I flourished both professionally and personally. My husband and I jumped into the deep end (entered the parenting world, that is) in Nov 2018 and it has been the most exhilarating and exhausting experience so far. I’m now slowly mentally preparing myself for the end of my maternity leave and the challenge I am about to face going back into my role as finance director+mama.

What 3 words best describe your parenting experience to date?

Rollercoaster, fulfilling, exhausting (physically+emotionally)

What’s one of the hardest or most surprising things about being a parent that people wouldn’t expect or don’t usually talk about?

The overwhelming concern about finding the perfect BALANCE; particularly when it comes to being protective but not OVER-protective. You want your baby to build independence but you don’t want him to feel neglect. You want your baby to feel frustration but not full-on discouragement, etc.

So you just try your best and keep your fingers crossed you get a passing grade!

The other hardest thing (particular to women) that I was somehow completely ignorant to so I assume it’s not THAT widely discussed is just how difficult breastfeeding is. Everything about it: the latch, the pain, the engorgement, the supply, the pumping, the storage, (presumably) the weaning, etc. It’s beautiful but oh man, it’s no walk in the park.

What were some of your “wait...is this normal??” moments once you became a parent?

Holding my newborn in my arms while going number 2 because I was too new to motherhood to feel comfortable letting him cry hysterically in his crib; being completely desensitized to all things “gross”: I wipe my son’s boogers with my hands…poop? no issue…his vomit on my neck? calmly look around for a burp cloth…

What’s one of your favorite parenting hacks that helps keep you sane (that other parents should know about and start doing ASAP)?

I’m a data/numbers nut so this may not be for everyone but the #1 thing I cannot live without is my Sprout app where I track EVERYTHING: the baby’s feeds, poops, sleeping, pumping, etc. I don’t want to rely on my semi-functioning baby brain (especially since all the days seem to melt together as they’re so similar) to track progress, look for patterns. I also leverage it to get us all on a solid schedule, which in turn brings some level of predictability and sanity into the house. Better yet, you can have multiple users, so when my husband is with the baby, he goes into the same account and logs the data (and I can view the entries live and have peace of mind that the baby is eating/sleeping on time because, let’s be honest, husbands require a bit of micromanaging until they get the hang of things…).