THIS IS NORMAL

08-04-2019

Kellee McEwen

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Brooklyn with my husband, 16-month-old daughter and Labrador Retriever. I’m originally from New Jersey, and I went to the University of Pennsylvania for college. I met my husband while on the running on track team there. Before having my daughter, Maisie, I worked full-time in human resources – mostly doing talent acquisition, culture-building and talent development. Currently, I work part-time (so I can be around Maisie more) as a recruiter for a non-profit that focuses on social justice. I love being active, and long distance running is a huge passion of mine. I also love the beach, hiking, traveling and eating pizza.

What 3 words best describe your parenting experience to date?

Adventure, companionship, and winging-it

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?

I had a hard time in the early weeks following giving birth because it took much longer for my body to bounce back than I anticipated. I think that much of the focus (as it should be) is on the baby, and often the mother’s health can take a back seat. I was surprised how long I continued to bleed after giving birth, and how I didn’t feel like myself for a long time. In the moment, it wasn’t so bad because I was overwhelmed by feelings of joy in being with my healthy baby girl. But upon reflection, I had a really hard time the first two months – aches and pains, bleeding, swollen and leaky boobs, and overall depletion. Giving birth is an insane experience, so it makes sense that the recovery time is long. I just feel like no one talks about that period of time with enough realness.

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

I find myself obsessing over Maisie’s bowel movements. I scrutinize poops and wonder if she’s hydrated enough or if something didn’t digest well. If I’m away and Maisie’s dad’s in charge, I always ask if she pooped. I realize that’s probably not normal.

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

Aquaphor! It’s not a secret of course, but it’s saved some major diaper rash. Also, since we live in Brooklyn and walk everywhere, we also use it on Maisie’s face in the winter to prevent chapped skin. Aside from that, I would say that my parenting “hack” is to do something for myself everyday (or at least try). I’m a better person if I can exercise – even if it’s only for 15 minutes – each day. I try to get out for a run in the morning before she’s up or on nicer days take her in the jogger stroller. Maintaining balance and a sense of self is so important, and it’s an important part of my routine.