That Impossible Life Work Balance

Feeling fulfilled as a mother, partner, creative and entrepreneur comes in waves and is usually never overlapping.

When I’m the mama I want to be, is usually at the expense of work. When I feel on top of my business, it’s usually at the expense of my family. Quality time, with my family and my company, are two very different things and can’t coexist in the same moment.

Family time means slowing down, thinking less, feeling my body.

Family time and multitasking don't go together. It just doesn't work. You need to pause, pay attention, listen and respond. Engage. Get out of your head. Work time for me means finding a quiet spot to get stuff done. Having a list of projects and tasks, thinking what's the most efficient way to accomplish the tasks, and focusing on getting them done one at a time. 

Sometimes I strike a balance for a few days. I feel focused at work and then I pause to connect with my family. This is how I feel today. In balance. In harmony with all the sides of me. May it last a little longer

The Birth of a Mama - Beckie Rado

I'm so happy to share Beckie's story here today. After reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I'm convinced we need to write and share more positive birth stories with the world. As mamas, we can help others better understand their options and make decisions based on what's best for their families, not solely based on fear or what they're told to do.

I believe there are many ways to do things right. Right because it's safe and because it works for you and your family. I'm lucky that I get to meet so many fellow mothers, and even luckier when they share their story with me. I'm excited to use this journal as a safe space to share not only our childbirth stories but how we each find our own version and definition of motherhood as we raise our children. 

I met Beckie on a Facebook mama group. She agreed to be my model for a photo shoot for a new brand of nursing covers. Funny thing is that she never actually nursed, so we had to get creative with some of the shots. I spent one whole day with her and I can tell you how sweet her bond with her son is, the love and trust between them ... a gift to have witnessed. 

So now I let Beckie tell you her story ...



A year ago yesterday at 2pm my OBGYN called me to let me know I would be induced at 4am today, so naturally, I thought, well, it’s my last day before becoming a mother, what do I need to do? I need to get my hair done. So, I booked an appt at 6:30pm for that night. At around 7:30pm I started feeling some heavy contractions that started by themselves. I held out on telling my hairdresser because I wasn’t sure if I would be back anytime soon since I was about to have a newborn. I also really needed a toner and a cut. I held off until what seemed like forever and then I blurted “I think I need to go to the hospital”. She quickly washed out my color and I assured her I was fine for toner. Adam was taking a while to pick me up so I squeezed in a quick cut, too. He picked me up at 9pm and we got home and I was fine again. I was really glad I got the toner and the cut before I left.

At about 12am we left for the hospital, four hours early. I figured I was somewhat contracting and it would be good to get checked in early and not be in full on labor driving to the hospital 40 mins away.

I was lucky. I drove to the hospital in comfort.

They checked me in and started prepping me and at 4am on the dot I was in my room.

The nurse came in at 5:30am and asked me if I wanted the epidural. I paused and said “maybe”. She then let me know that the labor ward was fully booked. That meant that there were 20 other women having babies at the same time as me. She told me that if I got an epidural now I would get it right now. If I waited an hour and there was a line of 5 women it could take up to an hour and a half. I freaked out internally. I heard that Pitocin is intense and that it is a lot more painful than going into labor naturally. So, it seemed like an easy decision.

By 6:30am they pushed the Pitocin and I started laboring around 7am.

I was extremely happy. Texting, making calls, drinking cranberry juice. I even slept for 2 hours.

Hail that epi. 6 hours went by and I was ready. I felt nothing. Not even a slight bit of pain. Nothing at all my whole labor.

They left me until 3pm because they were checking other patients and waiting for my OBGYN.
Once my OB got there it was all systems go.

It took 2.5 hours until Avery was born. My epidural was halved at one point but I made sure it was in full force again right away. I couldn’t handle it. Maybe it was the Pitocin, maybe it was the fact I felt nothing and then I felt a lot, maybe I just can’t handle pain. Who knows? I think I only felt 7-10mins of intense pain during Avery’s whole birth.

I have no idea how women do it without drugs. Women are goddesses with incredible body capabilities.

I worship anyone who has gone through that kind of pain completely. It’s indescribable.

Then my son was in my arms. He was 8 pound 11 ounces of chub. He had a double chin! He instantly became my everything. He was just perfect. So healthy and so content. I hardly heard him cry when he was born. He has hardly cried since. How did I get so lucky with a perfect birth and an incredible son? I am extremely lucky.


I count my blessing every single day because I know how hard it is for some. I pray all the time only sending thanks.

This last year has been such a journey. It has been everything. I know I was meant to be a mother. This boy has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. For months I ran off adrenaline. I didn’t sleep at all for 2 days when he was first born. All I wanted to do was just look at him. I had no idea what cluster feeding was, pumping, breastfeeding. It all came. I just can’t believe how lucky I have been to experience this year. Best year of my life hands down and nothing can take that away.

I have just finished pumping for the last time and I feel so sad.

Sad that the connection with my baby has gone. A connection that he didn’t even know of because I was exclusively pumping. Maybe I had a good connection with my pump. We have been in a pretty sturdy relationship for 365 days. I’m sad because instead of washing the parts I can throw them out. My body has changed because of it. It’s so magical what a woman’s body can do for her children.


Last night Avery said, “mama” over and over and over for the first time. At 7pm. That meant a year ago on the dot between 7 and 7:30pm I was contracting and he finally said my name exactly a year later. I have been waiting and waiting for this and now it is so meaningful. So special.

Life is so precious. Every moment is a gift. Avery is and always has been incredibly special.

I made him, cooked him, birthed him and fed him with my body for a whole year!

I am so proud that he is healthy and that I made it a full year with him without completely losing my mind. So proud of the experiences we have shared and the indescribable love. He is my dream son and everything I have ever hoped for. I couldn’t have done any of it without my husband, Adam Rado. We made a loving family and it is nothing short of a dream come true.

I am so in love 💙

- Beckie

The first 12 months with your baby.

"Parenting ... the days are long but the years are short."


Having a baby is one of the most (if not the most) intense, life-altering experiences. It's not every day you bring home a new tiny human being that needs attention 24 hours a day and is 100% dependent on you. For the first months, your life literally gravitates around baby's needs. Even taking a shower might be almost impossible!

The fact though is that these intense months end, and by the first birthday your little helpless baby is replaced by an energetic toddler fiercely craving more independence that he can even manage. Crazy huh? All those sleepless nights, the missed adult outings, and growth spurts and teething episodes that required more patience than anything, in fact, do end. Gone forever. Replaced by a sense of nostalgia for all that it was and will never be again.

This is why I began to make baby books. Because I come to you multiple times in that first year with baby. Every time we capture a little bit of the magic that is happening then. Every month is different because babies grow surprisingly fast. And by the end of the year we design your baby book as a place to hold those moments forever.

We recently finished Devi's first 12 months, with 13 sessions including her birthday party. So here you have them. Proof that change happens fast, and photos capture each stage beautifully.


The first session was a sweet sleepy puddle.  We focused on capturing Devi's home, her pets, and all her tiny features. 


Month 4 was all about Devi's connection with her mama. Risa runs a busy marketing agency in Burbank. She took maternity leave for the first few months, and then resumed some of her work responsibilities from home with the assistance of family and a baby sitter. So even with work, she was always available for Devi and it was important to capture not only their connection, but also the caregiving activities that happened throughout each day.


Dad was home for month 7 so we focused on capturing the time they usually spent together. Devi was sitting unassisted at this point so the photo ops multiplied and she looked happy and proud of her newly found independence.

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Month 12 was tough. Something was up and we assumed it was teething. Devi wanted cuddles more than anything so I quietly captured both her parents taking turns in supporting her. It was a challenging moment that I'm glad was captured in photos. When things get hard it's difficult to see the beauty in the struggle. But once the images came out, it was clear the entire family would appreciate those memories.

Life is busy with a baby. There's no denying that. But time will pass and you'll forget how intense life was first months. Keep your baby book, and you'll always have a place to look back and remember.

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