Stephanie Barnhart

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Single mom to a 6-yr-old, living in Astoria. Vegan, runner, outdoor adventurist. Still a big Pittsburgh (Steelers!) fan.

What 3 words best describe your parenting experience to date?

Persevere, spontaneous, sacrifice

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 think people do talk about it, but there is a stigma around being able to still be you. Society expects you to be this perfect parent – from Pinterest parties to curated Instagramed lunches and that doesn’t leave a lot of room for you. I have seen moms shamed for taking trips away from their kids yet we post and encourage WINE at every angle. I think it’s totally normal and healthy to still have YOUR life as a parent. It makes you a better parent to step away for a minute and reset and recharge.

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

All the weird things your body does after having a baby that really are normal. Like breast milk literally squirting out of my boob when it would let down from the steam before a shower or that I pee myself when I do jumping jacks or run long distances. It’s funny how many moms actually do this and we just don’t talk about it much, but it is NORMAL.

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

APPS. I know this sounds funny, but really – embrace technology. From having your groceries delivered from Fresh Direct, to booking a cab (with a car seat!) to tracking your breast feeding and sleep schedules to using a meditation app to fall asleep yourself to even booking a last minute crediable babysitter. Technology HAS made parenting a lot easier.