Sometimes we find ourselves liking someone’s photos in our Instagram feed and have no idea how we or they even got there. More often than not they’re either a mama or pregnant, or in the case of Gaelyn Jenkins, both! Now a mama to not just one but two boys as of just one week ago (welcome to the world Elliot Floyd Jenkins!), we thought why not put a little more on her very full plate by asking her to tell us a little bit more about herself. Here this Los Angeles-based design director and blogger answers the big questions about being a working mom, how she prepped her first son for baby’s arrival and, of course, what brands really worked for that gorgeous bump of hers. Here’s what she had to say. Tell us about your maternity style. My maternity look has always been about maintaining my personal style without breaking the bank. A lot changes when you become a mama and I think it’s important to maintain your sense of self. Even if that means just dressing and feeling like your old self. I found that a lot of times maternity items are much like wedding items in that they’re marked up for no apparent reason. Having a blog has kept me motivated to stay looking cute which in turn made me feel good through my pregnancy. What has your pregnancy experience been like this time around? Honestly, I will tread lightly as I'm sure no one who's had a rough pregnancy wants to hear it- but this pregnancy has really been pretty easy. With my last pregnancy I had some pretty bad swelling and it turns out I had slight preeclampsia but it wasn't confirmed until I went into labor. This time around, I expected that I would be dead tired seeing as how I'm working full time and have an almost 2 year old. But all things considered, as far as being 38 weeks pregnant goes, I think I've got it pretty good. Will the boys be sharing a room? We just bought our first home a few months ago and although the boys will be sharing a room, we're really excited about the amount of space they will have. Our previous place was a teeny tiny little bungalow under 600 sq.ft and our sons room was about the size of a walk in closet. In our new place, I think the boys room is the biggest bedroom in the house! Due to limited space at the time, we bought a mini crib off of a friend for our first son and it just happened to be orange. While I never would have initially picked it, it did help shape the nursery inspiration. I tried to keep things fairly sophisticated and neutral in their room but the orange brings in little pops of fun childlike whimsy. We created a couple gallery walls that include a lot of colorful pieces, many of them done by our talented friends which makes them feel extra special. What are some of your favorite belly friendly brands? I like to mix and match a lot of non maternity pieces into my wardrobe with budget friendly finds from places like Old Navy, Gap & Target. But I do think a few things are worth investing in. ASOS maternity makes some amazing jeans. The Blanqi underbust support tank was a lifesaver this pregnancy. I was hesitant to spend the money at first but I literally wore it almost every single day. Being petite, a belly band never did anything to actually keep my pants up. But the Blanqi tank did, and it also offered back/belly support. I was able to wear my non-maternity jeans well into the third trimester. Also, I think its worth spending a little on a good little black dress. This time around I got one from Ingrid & Isabel and it's heavenly. It's a silky soft stretchy cotton blend that I can dress up or down and best yet, I can wear it post baby because its nursing friendly. How have you been prepping your first son for the new baby's arrival? We've tried prepping Oliver for the arrival of the new baby primarily with books. I think he might be just a touch too young to really understand what is happening. But we got a lot of books about being a brother or about "the new baby" and we try to read them often. He had a little boy busy doll (has zippers and velcro and buttons etc) and when he got it I referred to it as "his baby" but he never really cared for it or paid it much attention. After having more exposure to the books about baby he referred to the doll as baby, so here's hoping that a little bit of it is sinking in. Why is working important to you? I work a full 9am-6pm five days a week as a Design Director at a graphic design firm. Having a toddler and working full-time while pregnant can be tiring, but personally I love being a working mom and I think it keeps our whole family sane. I've had the privilege of designing for notable brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Herman Miller, Disney and more, and that is something that not only I'm proud of but think my kids will be proud of too!
There's the magazine cover photo of the new celebrity mom glowing as she looks down at the beautiful, sleeping baby in her arms—and then there's real life.
In real life, postpartum mothers are just as likely to be wearing diapers as their babies are, and bumps need months to deflate.
That's why we're so grateful for the way celebrities are ditching damaging narratives about postpartum perfection and embracing the messy authenticity of new motherhood. Thanks to these modern mamas, the rest of us are seeing our own experiences reflected in pop culture, and that lets us know we're not alone.