Welcome to our series: Perelel Lives. We live in a society that glamorizes and celebrates women‘s careers, the companies they’ve built, the movements they’ve created. But, what we’ve failed to highlight is a facet of their lives that is far more personal—a side that presents perhaps the hardest, but most rewarding job of all—a job with no PTO, no holiday breaks, no sick days, and no salary. Oh, and it also lasts a lifetime: motherhood.
Perelel Lives elevates stories on becoming and being a mother from our community of women we admire, women who do it in parallel to their personal and professional pursuits. Here, we have real conversations about motherhood.
If you don't already know her name, Barrett Prendergast is a must-follow. The founder of luxury gifting and floral design company, Valleybrink Road, and mom to two boys—with another on the way—documents motherhood in both an inspirational and unfiltered lens.
As someone who team Perelel personally turns to for both a postpartum book recommendation and a recipe for our farmer's market haul, we were thrilled to get candid with Barrett about how motherhood has enhanced her life, how she prioritizes self-care and why she's learned to have more self-compassion along the way. Here’s our conversation.
Perelel: Did you always know you wanted to become a mother?
Barrett Prendergast: I think subconsciously I did, although it wasn’t something that I thought about or talked about a lot during that time in my life. I met my husband at 26 and it was things like love, family, a happy home that were more at the forefront. But, after we fell in love, I knew that I wanted to have children with him.
P: How did you know you were ready?
BP: I don’t really believe in the idea that one day you just wake up and know you are ready. At least, that isn’t how it felt for me. What I did know was that I wanted to be a young mom (young for LA standards, anyway), so at thirty we started trying and got pregnant within the first month.
P: How did you feel about the idea of motherhood with regards to your career or personal passions? Were you fearful of having to make concessions?
BP: I guess with my first I didn’t have a lot of fear because I didn’t really know what to expect. What I have learned is that a lot of change can be hard but a lot also blossoms in the most beautiful way. My creativity, the growth of my business, my ability to focus and have better time management all were positively impacted by having kids.
P: What about motherhood has surprised you?
BP: How little sleep one can actually function on.
P: Looking back, what was the biggest lesson you learned in the immediate weeks following the birth or homecoming of your first child?
BP: Self-care for the mother and taking time to heal are of the utmost importance. I didn’t take enough time with my first but made it a priority the second time around and it helped me and our family in so many ways. Taking the time to rest and nourish myself was beneficial for all.
P: Did your relationship with yourself and your individual identity change? How so? And, what was that like?
BP: I became much more forgiving to myself and less preoccupied with things that ultimately didn't really matter. Having kids has really made my priorities crystal clear which is unbelievably refreshing. Getting older probably has something to do with it too.
P: What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received about being a mother?
BP: It is all a phase. Any tough spot you might be going through will pass. I have taken a lot of comfort in this idea over the years, especially during those early, sleep deprived months.
P: What’s one piece of advice you would share with another mom-to-be?
BP: Try to be gentle with yourself. Being a parent is hard. Give yourself room to be human, make mistakes and forgive yourself.
We want to hear your motherhood story—share by joining our Village on Geneva where you can connect with other women at every stage of motherhood.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.