August 17, 2021 8 min read
An interview with MH Editor, Rebecca
MEET KAY-DEE – Kay-Dee Lane (@fortheloveofmila) is a blogger and mama of two girls living in Temecula, California. She talks to us about what makes this SoCal city so great, postpartum advice, and how breastfeeding is working for her.
Tell us about living in Temecula!
We moved to Temecula in 2016 so it’s been about 6 years. We honestly did not plan on staying longer than a year or two—it was meant to be an “in-between” place for us—but we’ve fallen in love with our community so much and have no plans to leave anytime soon.
Why did decide to start your family here?
It was actually never the plan to start a family in Temecula but 3 months after we moved here, we found out we were expecting. It honestly could not have fallen into place better because we have realized it’s the perfect place to raise a family. It’s a safe, family-friendly community and we are so happy for how it all worked out.
What do you love about the city?
There is so much we love about our city! It is extremely family-friendly, especially for families with young children like us. There are so many unique local experiences that we’re lucky enough to be minutes away from. There are local fruit farms where you can pick your own fruit, other local farms and zoos to visit, and we also have hot air balloon rides, crafting studios and great hiking trails. There is just so much to do as a family, and when we want to get away for a quick date, we are just minutes away from wine country. Plus, the landscape is pretty amazing - there are beautiful mountain ranges almost everywhere you turn, and we have the best of Southern California from classic California palms to native succulents.
Why does Temecula feel like home?
Because we have our usual spots we like to visit where we always see familiar faces!
How would you describe the “local color” of Temecula?
Temecula is unique in the way that it has kept a lot of its old town feel while incorporating modern elements. Old town Temecula (our downtown area) has a mix of vintage shops, wood paneled sidewalks and some great modern craft restaurants. We also have a lot of local artists and entrepreneurs, so we are a very diverse community in that sense.
What are you inspired by?
I find inspiration in so many places in my daily life. The colors and sounds of nature are huge sources of inspiration for me. I also find a lot of inspiration within my motherhood community on Instagram - moms really are the most resilient people I know and it’s inspiring to see how others navigate the ups and downs of motherhood. Above all, my biggest inspiration is my daughters. I love how pure a child’s spirit is and the fact that they are unapologetically themselves.
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is pink which is ironic because I absolutely hated the color growing up. Having a daughter who loves all things pink and sparkly gave me a newfound love for it. It’s such a playful color and I love that!
What are your favorite colors to wear?
My wardrobe consists of mostly neutrals - white, cream, tan, black with pops of pink! I also love to add pops of color to my outfits with my accessories. I have a fun collection of colorful scarfs that I love to accessorize with.
What are you most grateful for in this moment?
In this moment I’m most grateful for my family. The simple fact that I get to wake up every morning with my 3 favorite people is everything to me. I’m fully enjoying this season when our children our young and they are with me nearly 24/7.
Tell us about your family!
I met my partner Evan at work. It was an instant connection for us - he never felt like a stranger to me. And although we were friends for a while before becoming an official thing, he made me feel like his family since day one. We have two daughters (Mila is 4 and June is 1 month) and two dogs that keep us very busy. We are planning on at least one more baby to complete our family!
Can you share your birth story?
My first daughter was born a few days early so when I ended up still pregnant this time at 40 weeks, I was surprised. I was induced at 40 + 1 and things went quickly. We arrived at the hospital at 6 pm and I was induced at 8 pm. I labored lightly and napped throughout the night then at 5 am, contractions started intensifying. By 5:51 am my water broke, and baby June was born at 6:07 am!
What is your best postpartum recovery advice or tip for moms?
Get everything you need for postpartum before the baby is born. Once the baby is born, you will have so much going on in those first few weeks and it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. I found having a postpartum care kit ready to go when I came home helped me prioritize my recovery. Also, ask for help when needed! There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need a break. I truly believe when you take care of yourself you are a better mother for it.
Can you share your feeding journey so far? Difficulties, successes?
Our feeding journey so far has been much easier than my first experience. Our baby had a great latch from day one and being prepared with the right gear helped me not to stress and to focus on bonding with baby. The biggest struggle this time has been the mental aspect and just knowing I’m on call 24/7. Some nights I am so tired I think there’s no way I can possibly get up to feed but I know baby depends on me 100% for her nutrition, so I have to mentally push through and remind myself this season is short lived.
Are you bottle/breast/combo feeding? And why?
As of now we are exclusively breastfeeding. With my first daughter, we supplemented with bottles early on and while I was fully prepared to supplement again if needed, I decided to make it a goal of mine to exclusively breastfeed this time. Since I knew I would be able to take baby with me to work this time I knew my goal was doable and I’m happy to say I’ve stuck to it so far. I’ve been able to experience the special bond of breastfeeding this time around and I’m grateful for that.
What’s the best piece of newborn feeding advice you’ve gotten?
The best breastfeeding advice I’ve gotten is to reach out for help if you need to. Sometimes you can be doing everything right and there is something out of your control that’s keeping you from a successful journey, like your baby having a tongue tie, so consulting a lactation consultant can be super helpful. Also, just to do what feels right. If supplementing feels right for you, do that. If pumping is your thing, go for it. If you choose to wean sooner than expected, know that that is okay and just appreciate the breastfeeding journey you have.
Your must-have breastfeeding gear?
Organic nipple cream, Silver nipple cups, Haakaa pump to jumpstart supply, lactation support supplements and nursing bras and tanks! I stocked up on everything beforehand which I believe played a huge part in my success with my breastfeeding journey this time around.
What Motherhood styles are you loving right now?
When I’m feeling dressy, I love loose and flowy dresses and when I’m in a more casual mood I love a good pair of denim shorts and a tee. The most important thing to me always - but especially postpartum - is to be comfortable and able to move easily so I can run and play with my kids.
What is the BEST thing about being a mom right now?
The best thing about being a mother right now is being able to watch them absorb the world around them. They learn so much in these early years of their life and it’s something so special to be able to be the one who guides them. They change so fast and although it’s hard to see them grow up, there’s nothing better than seeing them develop right before my eyes. Also, when my daughter tells me she had the best day ever or that she loves me so much...that’s everything to me. I’ll never forget those moments.
What is the MOST CHALLENGING thing about being a mom right now?
Finding balance…it’s a 24/7 job being a mom and then you add in keeping up a household and running a brand and it’s a lot. It seems like I’m always falling behind in some aspect and it’s taken a long time to be okay with that. It can be easy to feel like you’re the only one not “doing it all” especially with social media. I have to remind myself this season is so short and one day I’ll miss the messiness of it all and the little hands reaching for me at every moment.
How do you juggle motherhood, your brand, and having a life?
I’m in a constant state of chaos! I do my best to take things one day at a time. I designate my days as either work days, chore/errand days or fun days and that helps to not feel guilty for taking time to relax. At the end of the day, I am a mother first and it’s my goal every day to make sure my daughters know that.
Tell us about For the Love of Mila.
For the Love of Mila is a community I’ve built of mothers who are just doing their best. It’s been an amazing place to share the successes and struggles of motherhood and connect with those who are going through the same season. From day one it’s always been my goal to make others feel like they are not alone in this all because I know what a shock it can be becoming a parent for the first time and how isolating it can feel navigating parenthood.
On the more lighthearted side of things, I love to share style posts, photography tips and things to do as a family. If there’s one thing I want people to take away from For the Love of Mila it’s that there’s happiness to be found in the simple moments and that you’re life doesn’t have to be “perfect” to feel like you have it all.
How did you get started?
I started For the Love of Mila as a place to document the growth of my first daughter. It was only meant to be for myself and close family - like a digital scrapbook I could look back on for years to come. I organically began to connect with others in the online motherhood community and from there I realized there was an opportunity to share my experiences on a larger scale.
I began to not just share growth updates about my daughter but to share my experiences as a mother and everything that goes along with that. I was still on maternity leave at that point, and I made it my goal to build a bigger community and to work on becoming a better photographer. A year and a half later, I left my job to work on the brand full time!
What type of content do you focus on? Any favorite posts you’d like to share?
I focus on all things motherhood and lifestyle. From body confidence to the struggles of motherhood to style/fashion to our daily life and adventures.
Follow Kay-Dee on Instagram @fortheloveofmila
And keep following the Motherhood Road Trip to hear more about Kay-Dee & Temecula!