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Morning Musings: House of Harper

We take a peek inside the founder of House of Harper's morning and wish her a happy farewell.

Morning Musings: House of Harper

The beauty about New York is that we have the opportunity to meet people from all around the world in our daily lives. Whether we’re visiting for a day, a week, a month, a few years or a lifetime, New York welcomes us all, and it always leaves its mark on us, no matter how long we’re here. While we know that New York is only a blip for some, we’re always shocked to find out when a friend is leaving for good. This happens more often than we’d like, but we know it’s always for the best (for them). But good reasons never make goodbyes easy, do they? This month, New York is saying farewell to the loveliest Caroline Knapp of House of Harper and her delicious boy Knox (9 months), who are moving back to Houston, Texas. Luckily, we know we’ll be able to follow all of her new adventures and her always-impeccable style on her blog, even when she’s gone. We were able to catch her on her way out, and take a peek inside what this Well Rounded mama’s mornings looked like while she was here in NYC. Come back soon Caroline! What was your pregnancy experience like in NYC? I loved being pregnant in NYC. For the most part people are very kind here. The women on the subway would offer me their seat--What's up with that? Why don't the men ever offer?--and I loved getting daily exercise walking around the city. How do you feel about parenting in NYC? I think the city is changing and becoming more family-friendly. There are great public school options, and more and more families are choosing to stay in the city. We are members of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and it is has given us a sense of community and fellowship in what can be an overwhelming city. How has parenting in general surprised you? The most surprising thing about parenting to me has been how fast it goes by! I can't believe Knox is already 9 months old. Sometimes I just want to freeze time. Do you feel your style has changed as a mom? My style has definitely changed as a mom. I worked in corporate fashion before having Knox, so my style is much more casual now. Does being a mom influence your blog? I have started incorporating more lifestyle since becoming a mom. Caroline in the City was strictly personal style, but I have enjoyed adding more home decor, parenting and lifestyle since transitioning to HOUSE of HARPER. How has balancing your blog and being a mom been? Balancing being a mom and working isn't easy for any situation. Working from home has its challenges because it is hard to draw a line and say “this is work time” and “this is Mom time.” I sometimes try to respond to emails at the park and I have had to take Knox with me to meetings. But, you figure it out and do the best you can. Tell us about your morning. 6:30am: Knox wakes up. I nurse him and change his diaper before passing him to my husband FMK for some playtime before he is off to work. 6:45 - 7:30: Shower and get ready for the day while Knox gets some time with his dad. 7:30 - 8:30: FMK has to get ready for work so I take back over Knox duty. He usually plays with his toys on the floor or in his bouncy chair while I make a cup of coffee and check to be sure my blog post is live and published on social media. 8:30: Knox goes back down for a morning nap. He usually only sleeps about 1 hour. I take this time to respond to emails and get organized for the day. 9:30: Knox and I eat breakfast. He loves fruit and scrambled eggs! 10:00: We are usually ready and able to get mobile by 10! We loved meeting friends at Battery Park or The Piers for playdates. If the weather is bad we will go to Barnes & Noble to read some new books. 12:30: Time to head back to the house for lunch and afternoon naps! Photography by the always talented Lindsey Belle.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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