Conz Preti, a writer and journalist, and currently the Stories Editor at Motherly, has never hesitated to share her journey with motherhood. In fact, she inspires other mothers to embrace it, too. She’s no stranger to the messes that come along with children so we had to get her perspective on what makes motherhood a (beautiful) mess.
What comes to mind when you hear the word "mess" in the same sentence as motherhood?
That it's the truth. Motherhood is messy. It's not only physically messy because, well, poop explosions happen, your boobs leak, your children learn that throwing food on the floor is funny, more poop explosions, playing the backyard, sloppy kisses after ice cream. But also because emotionally it's a mess. When you think you have things under control, something changes, your baby learns to walk, your kid says 'I love you', they go to school for the first time, and your heart sometimes can't handle it. Or at least mine doesn't, there's a lot of ugly crying (in a good way!) over here.
What are the biggest physical or mental challenges you've faced raising newborn twins alongside a toddler during a pandemic?
I knew having 3 kids under 3 was going to be challenging, but I was not expecting to do it alone, without any help, isolated from the ones we love, while freaking out about a global pandemic. Definitely did not have that in my bingo card. Mentally, it's been hard to control my anxiety. I question myself all the time. Are we doing enough to keep the toddler entertained? Is he going to be scarred by all of this? Am I a good mom when I can't even hold them all at the same time? Physically I've had to recover from a c-section and brutal postpartum where I lost A LOT of blood and do it while holding newborns up and down stairs, pumping, trying not to read the news, wishing this had all been a different experience for all of us. I had so many things planned to do with my family that now we can't do, that I feel cheated and a little sad. The twins are our last babies and I'm sad I didn't get enough newborn snuggles because there just wasn't time for them, we had to juggle hard to get everyone dressed, fed and happy every single day.
What is the biggest literal mess you've faced as a woman and mother, and did it wreak havoc on any of your favorite articles of clothing?
I've exclusively pumped for my three children for various reasons - lip ties, twins, working mom - and I've had now, for years, milk stains on my clothes. From leaking through shirts to clumsily opening bottles and spilling them all over me, milk messes follow me wherever I go. But then again I wouldn't have it any other way, because it's a reminder of how fascinating our bodies are.
When it comes to style, what do you look for as a professional who happens to have children of an age where things can still get messy at any point in the day?
Comfort, easiness to clean (I don't have time to drop things off at the dry cleaners) and easiness to remove (because sometimes changes need to happen one-handed!)