- Brand Strategist, Producer, Creator and Mama of Two
Intro to Tabitha @tabithavallierie
Tabitha is the founder of Fit-City Guide, a digital community that connects people to their favourite fitness studios, instructors, and classes. With a particular love for small businesses and independent studios, Fit-City promotes community, inclusivity, and discovering what makes each fitness studio and class unique. Tabitha is also the Producer, Founder and co-host of the top-rated society & culture podcast that explores life in your 30's+. Featuring Academy Award and Emmy-winning guests, best-selling authors, founders, and some of North America's top entrepreneurs. The podcast is a refreshing dose of approachable humility to every conversation while facilitating deeper learning on topics from friendship, health, relationships, career, money, kids, and more.
Let's talk motherhood. You're currently in newborn bliss. How are you feeling?
That's true. I AM in newborn bliss. He's a perfect cuddle koala, and I would hold him all day if I could AND have him sleep beside me AND carry him around all day in my little Solly Wrap if I could, and all of those things were reasonable and allowed and made sense in my life. So I'm obsessed. And now he's eight weeks, and I feel like I'm working HARD for a smile.
How was your birthing experience the first time, and how did it differ from your second time?
Birthing experience the first time was overall pretty good, an 8-hour one, Mt Sinai hospital, epidural, a few minor complications but overall really really positive but also a total blur. Oliver (my 4.5 yo) was born at 7:45 on a Monday, as the sun was coming up across the Toronto city skyline. It was insane. For the second one, my contractions felt completely different. It was half the amount of time (as everyone says to expect), I was SUPER present, and nothing felt as overwhelming because it was all familiar. Still, the pushing was about 20x as intense and prolonged (which is the OPPOSITE of what everyone says to expect) because the cord ended up wrapping around his neck on the way out. So poor Bennett came out at 8:30 am all blue and not breathing, so they had to give him room air and flop him around and do all the things they do (SO QUICKLY, I might add) to make sure he was ok. It probably took 20 seconds and felt like 10 minutes. Besides that awful few seconds, it was lovely! Also, recovering was more challenging because the labour/pushing part was far more of a crime scene.
How has your breastfeeding journey been?
It's been interesting. I was so stressed for my first, trying so hard not to put pressure on myself, and honestly, I didn't enjoy it a lot of the time. I felt like a cow, especially when I pumped, and I couldn't believe how much time I'd spend breastfeeding. And my journey/struggle is that both boys have always latched well, but they also love the comfort, so they'll fall asleep. All. The. Time... It's an excellent tool always to calm them down, but in the middle of the night, for instance, as hard as I might try to keep B feeding, he'll have a snack and be completely out-cold asleep, but he'll only sleep for an hour or so because he wouldn't have eaten that long. So we've been doing half formula/half nursing, meaning I'm nursing less than I did the first time, but I also enjoy it more. Overall I suppose I'm not letting it run my life as much as I felt it did the last time. I'm letting it be what it is and trying not to make it have anything to do with my performance as a mother (because oddly, no matter how much we try not to, we often tie our nursing success to our mothering success).
Keeping that in mind, how do Bravado Design maternity/nursing bras make you feel?
EASY. They make a world of difference when I can clip out and still feel put together, and I'm not manoeuvring and contorting myself and the baby, especially in public. They're a dream.
How would you describe the bras; are they easy to navigate, comfortable, and feminine?
Yes, exactly; easy to navigate for sure. That's my favourite part. They're super comfortable, especially the pullovers, and they give a great shape.
Tabitha is wearing Plunge Nursing Bra in Lipstick
How do you manage your career with two little ones?
Always and every day with help. I appreciate that it's a privilege. Still, it also requires a choice to prioritize your career (if that's important to you) and recognize that you can't do it all on your own. And I've always loved that. I've also chosen to keep my business going while I had a baby, and it's something I could never do without my team and early-day family support.
Tabitha is wearing Plunge Nursing Bra in Lipstick
As a mother, it's essential to take some time out for yourself. How would you recommend mothers, and women in general, do that?
This is a common problem; the only honest answer is "just do it." Go out with your friends, take a bath (which isn't self-care, by the way, that's just cleaning yourself), book a massage, go to the yoga class, go for a walk, whatever fills your cup just make it happen and don't allow yourself to be at the bottom of the list. But you can't blame others; you have to make it happen. Just do it.
Lastly, you feel most beautiful when?
Awww, I love that! When I'm lifting others up.