work-life balance

jenny greenstein

Vida is 6 months old and as cliche as it sounds (and I know it does), it’s all moving too fast. While I adore watching her reach milestones like eating solids, roll over, ‘chatting’ up a storm and getting ready to crawl, part of me feels heavy. Her curiosity about the world pulls at my heart strings because that means more independence, and further detaching – which is a good thing, I know! It’s what we ultimately want for her – to thrive and become autonomous. But the art of holding on and letting go is a constant challenge. My baby will always be my baby, but she won’t always BE a baby. That said, knowing and accepting this reality has helped me cope with the transition into focusing more on myself again, “working mom” and all.

I’m never not grateful to design my days and be my own boss, but there are moments of struggle while establishing this new normal. I don’t have the demand of a corporate job, but the responsibility to create structure is mine so it leads to working whenever there’s time – nights and weekends, sending e-mails while playing with V or following up with people late in bed when I should be going to sleep! When I have a free second, my default is to work, and because I can from wherever/whenever, I monopolize these moments to accomplish a new task. But how much can I take on without compromising time for myself, family, and all else outside of Your Soul Style? What’s too much? What’s too little? When is it time to shutdown the computer (and the worst culprit of all – iphone!) and say enough? It’s a delicate balance, and one I have yet to master. Building and sustaining a business is hard, but having Vida requires the negotiation of time even more-so. Not everything gets done in the speed I’m used to, and I’m learning how to surrender and accept that. I recently read a few write-ups from women in similar positions about managing their first years as entreprenurial moms and their relatable stories shed light on how balance looks different for each of us. Some of us have part (or full) time nanny’s, others do day-care, some lean on friends and relatives for support, but regardless of how you take care of your baby, we are all doing our best to create the most ideal situation for us and our family. The dynamics are each unique.

To balance our own passions, with motherhood, career, obligations, time with family, friends and ourselves is not easy and I’m learning (or trying) to detach from the guilt and embrace the idea that there is no perfect version. Vida deserves my full attention and when I’m with her I focus on staying present, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t distractions. Life is distracting! While there are rare days when I feel like superwoman accomplishing it all (laundry done, phone calls made, e-mails sent, baby nursed & asleep, dinner on table), I mostly close my eyes at night freaking about a running to-do list that grows each day. I wonder….when does it all normalize? Does it ever normalize? Or is this just the ‘new’ normal that I need to acclimate to? Does it get easier? Will I ever stop feeling overwhelmed? When will I stop feeling guilty about time spent away? I know I’m not alone when I ask myself these questions.

As Vida gets older I hold on tight to whatever sense of normalcy I can grasp, but like the aftermath of any life-changing event, my practice requires embracing patience while allowing the appropriate time for things to settle in. Being gentle on myself is key, and understanding that these days are short-lived helps me keep it in perspective. This time is precious, and I want to be here. Really here. I never want to look back and wish I did things differently. Vida is growing at lightening speed, and I am savoring each and every moment the best way I know how. By remaining flexible, open and balanced, even if that balance is constantly shifting. Life will never go back to what it was before Vida arrived, but our new normal refines as we reach individual milestones, growing parallel along side one another. With each new experience, we both stretch and expand. Through the discomfort of change, we find our place. One of my favorite recent quotes by Anais Nin explains it best, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” And how much more beautiful is that flower when it’s finally in bloom….

photo via lori berkowitz

mom uniform

jenny greenstein

No matter what stage of life you’re in, we all have our go-to ensembles that make up our personal style. For some, it’s jeans and a t-shirt, others dresses and tights or it could be a signature piece like a leather moto jacket. A daily ‘look’ is part of us, and communicates our individuality. That said, lately I got to thinking about my current ‘look’ because it is always slightly shifting dependent upon life circumstances. And since right now I’m in new-mom mode, it’s a “need to be easy – but still want to feel fashionable – yet must be functional” kind of phase.

Overalls (as seen in my instagram feed) continue to live-on as my go-to uniform because they are super comfortable, stylish, durable, can be dressed up (or down), nursing friendly, are waistline forgiving, and a complete outfit in one which is a no-brainer. I’ve stocked my closet with a few options in black, blue and white denim because they are on constant rotation. Other items that are working in my current new-mom role are a hat (because time spent on hair has been generously reduced since having Vida), comfortable shoes, a chic backpack to throw in tons of yours and baby crap, a scarf to cover yourself when nursing and a cozy sweater. Like I tell my pre/postnatal clients, don’t throw in your (style) towel and give-up because life has changed. If anything, mama-hood is a time to feel your most beautiful because all those good vibes are being absorbed by another life. I recognize the need for ease during this transition, but make sure your uniform empowers you! You just created a human – you basically have superpowers and can do anything. If you are struggling to find your wings, reach out and connect with me at jenny@yoursoulstyle.com so I can help you find them.

SHOP MY UNIFORM: overalls (or here and here) // moto jacket // cashmere sweater // backpack // scarf // hat  // booties

be mine

valentines day

Do you want to know what Dina and I are doing for Valentine’s Day??? Hanging out with her 94 year old grandma. How’s that for romance! We are heading out to LA for a weekend of Bar Mitzvah festivities, and then paying a visit to grammy on Sunday night (V-Day!) before we head home. It’s not like we’ve had much romance since Vida’s arrival, but I love me a holiday that’s all about my favorite 4-letter word, L-O-V-E. That said, if you’ve got something on the books, here’s a few themed valentine’s day items for your guilty pleasure. And I’m hoping there is a lot of that coming your way this weekend. Enjoy!

SHOP IT (clockwise): h&m crepe dress // maya brenner necklace // bite beauty lipstick // veda jayne jacket // needle & thread top // h&m leather tregging // aquazurra heels // givenchy love pouch // stella mccartney bra // stella mccartney thong // abc home ombre vase // byredo candle

prenatal –> postnatal

Jenny Greenstein

If ya’ll followed along when I was pregnant, you would have found me frequently discussing prenatal shopping strategies and how to make cost-effective investments. One of my key tips is/was buying dresses that flex with a changing shape and fit during pregnancy and beyond. Here I am putting my own advice into practice, wearing a style I wore beginning at 6 months pregnant (shown here and in the video attached here!), and now wearing it styled as a skirt 6 months postpartum. I wore a ton of non-maternity clothes during my pregnancy, but I kept in mind styles that would go the distance. Getting creative with your wardrobe is critical and creating a capsule collection to get you through this journey (which goes well past birth) is the ultimate goal. This involves careful curation and setting yourself up for success. While I realize from personal experience and from working with my prenatal clients that much of your closet won’t fit for some time (like your jeans), there are many that will. If you are looking for some support in making this all happen, check out my prenatal package, and reach out at jenny@yoursoulstyle.com so I can help you get there.

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photos via lori berkowitz