Violet Gaynor

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a founder of motherhood site The Glow, and mother of two. I live on the Upper West Side in the same apartment I grew up in and my sister also lives in the same building. I am surrounded by family at all times and wouldn’t have it any other way.

What 3 words best describe your parenting experience to date?

Wild, profound, heartbreaking (as in, my heart has been broken wide open and has tripled in size)

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?

While I knew that nursing could potentially be difficult (I watched my sister go through a lot of pain), I didn’t realize just how bad it could be. For me, it was worse than my unmedicated labor, and I cried every time my daughter nursed for the first 10 weeks. But we made it through! I just wish I had known just how bad it could be. Overall, there’s such a misconception that everything related to motherhood should come naturally and that’s just not the case for everyone. And that’s OK.

What were some of your “ this normal??” moments once you became a parent? [feel free to really "go there" with this one ;-)]

So. Many. Moments. One in particular that threw me for a major loop was the reality of postpartum recovery. I had an unmedicated vaginal birth and thought I would have a quick recovery but instead I felt like I’d been hit by a truck for weeks after. Every part of my body hurt and couple that with lack of sleep and it’s a recipe for a wild rollercoaster of an experience. What I realized later is just how normal this is.

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

Going back to the nursing, I think it’s so crucial to enlist lactation support from day one so that you get off on the right foot in your nursing journey. Ask for help, you won’t regret it. And the most important thing to pack in your hospital bag is a super nourishing nipple cream. Not cute or glamorous, but pretty life changing.