Becoming a mother changes everything. It's like discovering a new side of yourself, a side filled with deep emotions and love that you never knew you had. The journey isn't always easy; it has its tough days and sleepless nights. But the happiness and warmth that come with motherhood are unlike anything else. After all, being a mom is a labor of love– it’s one of the toughest things to do, but it’s also the most rewarding experience.
Here, Erin Coles (@erincoles), a pregnant mom of Oliver, an 11-month old beautiful little boy from New York City, opens up about her own personal journey of motherhood. Through her story, we get a real insight into the ups and downs of her motherhood journey and the special moments that make it all a labor of love.
Top Picks for Little Ones
- An Unexpected Christmas Day Delivery
- Finding Balance: The Challenge of Identity
- Cherished Moments: The Little Things that Matter
- Dreams and Hopes: Erin's Wishes for Her Children
- Erin's Advice to New Moms
- Estella's Pledge to Mothers
- Check Out Erin's Full Interview Here!
An Unexpected Christmas Day Delivery
Many expectant mothers have a vision of how their child's birth will unfold, but for better or worse, it doesn't always work as planned. For Erin, her due date was Christmas day, a time typically filled with joy, celebration, and peace and this year would be extra special because she was going to birth her first child. As she and her husband watched "Home Alone" in the calm of the hospital awaiting the planned natural birth, the atmosphere would quickly change.
Erin's delivery did not go as planned and she ended up having an emergency C-Section. The initial shock and disconnect she felt after the surgery was palpable. But as the fog lifted and reality set in, Erin was overcome by the incredible realization of what her body had achieved. The moment she held her newborn baby, Oliver, everything else faded. This was motherhood in its purest form.
This is what Erin had to say about that magic moment with her son:
“It was a very scary experience to say the least. My body was in total shock from the surgery and I felt disconnected. After my son Oliver was born, I was in a haze, and it took me a while to feel like I had come back to reality. But once I did, I was flooded with emotions, and able to fully live in the moment and appreciate what my body had just done. There I was, holding this beautiful baby - and nothing else mattered.”
Finding Balance: The Challenge of Identity
Every mother faces her unique set of challenges. For Erin, the task was navigating her identity - balancing her role as a mother with the woman she was before Oliver came into her life. Balancing professional duties, personal relationships, and the immense joy of motherhood is no small feat.
Erin's life, rich with responsibilities– from being a business owner to an active member of the community– was suddenly centered around a precious newborn baby. But through it all, she learned a valuable lesson: it's possible to embrace every facet of oneself. A mother can also be a friend, a professional, and so much more.
According to Erin:
“Although perfect balance is impossible, I learned that I need to embrace all parts of myself, and do my best to balance all aspects of my life. I can be a great mom and still be a friend, a wife, a business owner, a professional, and so much more. I personally believe it’s important to lead by example for my kiddos and show them that it’s possible to be a whole, multifaceted person.”
Cherished Moments: The Little Things that Matter
Life's beauty often lies in the details. Erin’s experience, while unique, echoes the sentiments of mothers everywhere. From the lullabies sung to a child to the heart-fluttering feeling of an unborn baby's kick, these are the moments that define the journey of motherhood.
For Erin, a particularly poignant memory was of a night when her young son, battling an illness, sought solace in her embrace. As he peacefully drifted to sleep on her chest, she experienced the exhilarating kick of her second child, still safe within her womb. This juxtaposition of her present with the impending future became a symbol of the cyclical nature of life and the undying bond of motherhood.
Dreams and Hopes: Erin's Wishes for Her Children
Every mother dreams for her children. It's an instinctual part of being a parent, desiring a world for your offspring where they flourish, are loved and understood. Erin, with her rich cultural tapestry of European and Jamaican heritage, has dreams steeped in tradition, love, and understanding.
She dreams of a world where her children, carrying the legacy of their mixed heritage, walk with their heads held high. A world where they understand their worth, feel endlessly supported, and recognize the strength that comes from being part of a diverse lineage. She wishes for them to carry forward the family stories, while simultaneously crafting tales of their own, redefining identity on their own terms.
Erin's Advice to New Moms
As Erin eagerly awaits the arrival of her second baby, she's deeply invested in the choices she makes for her children. From the food they consume to the clothes they wear, everything is a testament to the love she carries for them.
As for new mothers, this is the piece of advice Erin had to offer:
“The advice I always give to new moms is to trust themselves. Only they know what is best for their child and their family. New parents get all sorts of advice, and sometimes parents like to judge the choices other parents make. So I just reassure moms that it’s ok to make whatever decision is best for their family, and to give themselves grace as they are learning how to be a parent.”
Estella's Pledge to Mothers
Erin's journey, filled with its unique challenges and joys, resonates with many. It's a testament to the incredible resilience, adaptability, and boundless love of mothers everywhere.
Estella understands the depth of this "Labor of Love." We are committed to providing quality products, ensuring that every mother can provide her baby with the very best. After all, each child is a testament to the enduring spirit of motherhood, a journey like no other. Check out our catalog here!
Check Out Erin's Full Interview Here!
- Early pregnancy
- Battling challenges
- Day-to-day of being a mom
- Dreams for her little one
- Advice for other moms
- Family dynamics
- Cultural or ethnic background
- Parenting philosophy or approach
- Fun fact
Can you describe a moment during your pregnancy or early days of motherhood where the term 'Labor of Love' felt most real to you?
I went into labor on Christmas Day. At first, everything was peaceful and calm. My husband and I watched “Home Alone” on the hospital TV, we listened to Christmas music, and everything was moving along as you’d expect. When it was time to have the baby, things didn’t quite go as planned and I was rushed in for an emergency C-Section.
It was a very scary experience to say the least. My body was in total shock from the surgery and I felt disconnected. After my son Oliver was born, I was in a haze, and it took me a while to feel like I had come back to reality. But once I did, I was flooded with emotions, and able to fully live in the moment and appreciate what my body had just done. There I was, holding this beautiful baby - and nothing else mattered.
What's been one of the most challenging moments you've faced as a mom, and how did you overcome it? How did this experience shape your journey as a mother?
I think one of the most challenging aspects I faced as a new mom was trying to figure out who I was as a parent, while maintaining who I was, and am, as an individual. All of a sudden, your life revolves around this beautiful tiny human. There are moments you don’t want anything more than to cuddle, play, and experience life with this child. Then you start working again, and start to feel like yourself again. You start to go on date nights again, and spend time with your friends. And you remember there’s so much more to you than being a mom.
Although perfect balance is impossible, I learned that I need to embrace all parts of myself, and do my best to balance all aspects of my life. I can be a great mom and still be a friend, a wife, a business owner, a professional, and so much more. I personally believe it’s important to lead by example for my kiddos and show them that it’s possible to be a whole, multifaceted person.
Every day brings its little joys and moments of love. Can you share a recent day-to-day moment with your child(ren) that reminded you of the beauty of motherhood?
My son was recently sick, and needed extra comfort throughout the night. One night, I went into his room, and he fell asleep on my chest. While I was rocking him, I felt baby number two kick. It was just a beautiful and sweet moment to have my first child, calm and asleep in my arms, and my second child kicking. It made me even more excited to welcome my second child into the world, and see my first become a big brother.
As parents, we all have dreams, hopes, and aspirations for our children. What is one dream or hope you deeply hold for your child, and why?
I hope my children grow up feeling totally supported and loved by their parents, family, and closest friends. I always hope they know how beautiful they are, how capable they are, and how they have an incredible support team in their corner.
Advice for other moms
The advice I always give to new moms is to trust themselves. Only they know what is best for their child and their family. New parents get all sorts of advice, and sometimes parents like to judge the choices other parents make. So I just reassure moms that it’s ok to make whatever decision is best for their family, and to give themselves grace as they are learning how to be a parent
Family Dynamics: Could you share a bit about your family? (e.g., number of children, their ages, if they have siblings, or if you're a single mom, etc.)
As of right now, we’re a family of 3! We’ll be a family of 4 in early November (or October if Baby #2 decides to make an early appearance)!
We’re a mixed family: Mama is white and Daddy is Black. We want to make sure our kids grow up knowing who they are and feeling comfortable in their own, beautiful skin!
Occupation: What is your current occupation? Do you work full-time, part-time, or are you a stay-at-home mom?
I wear many hats! My husband and I own a wedding band collective based out of NYC that we’ve been running together for 10 years.
When I had my first baby, I stepped away from the day-to-day management of our business but am still involved on an advisory level.
So now, I work full time as the Director of Operations at a creative web development agency called Audrey Digital. Through this work,I am most proud to lead a project with our nonprofit partner, BeautyUnited, which hosts a Fellowship Program for Black and Latinx Beauty leaders and founders.
I also work part time as the Director of Brand Partnerships for We Are Women Owned, which helps female founders gain brand visibility, and access community and resources to help build their businesses.
Lastly, I’m on the board of nonprofit, Million Dollar Women Fund, which helps women of color entrepreneurs gain access to business training, powerful networks, mentors and the capital they need to scale up their businesses.
Cultural or Ethnic Background: If it's relevant to your story and you're comfortable sharing, could you mention your cultural, ethnic, or any other background that has influenced your parenting journey?
I am white, with European heritage. My husband is Black with Jamaican heritage. We both have certain traditions we carry from our childhood, and aim to make new ones as a family. We want our kids to be proud of their mixed heritage and give them the tools they need to define their own identity as they grow.
Parenting Philosophy or Approach: Do you follow a specific parenting philosophy or approach that guides your daily interactions with your children?
We don’t follow one philosophy or approach fully. We like components of many different philosophies and combine them in a way that makes sense for us.
In general, we want to create an open home where our children feel comfortable expressing their emotions, dreaming, trying new things, and having fun. But we also want to create boundaries and ensure they understand the value of respect, formal education, and managing their feelings. So far, parenting has been a lot about trying to find a balance. At the end of the day, we always want them to feel supported and like they can always rely on their family.
Fun Fact: Please share a fun or interesting fact about yourself or your family.
We are super musical! I went to school for theater & business and my husband, Drew, went to school for music business. I performed in musicals growing up and my husband’s main instruments are piano and saxophone. Our son Oliver CLEARLY has an affinity for music - it’s in his blood! We have no idea what our kids will decide to do, but we have a feeling music will be part of it!