Supermom: Joni Lay of Lay Baby Lay

Joni Lay - Lay Baby Lay

This week's Supermom is Joni Lay of Lay Baby Lay! Joni is mom to the adorable Vivien (Vivi) Charles, authors a blog filled with beautiful nursery idea boards and inspiring photos, and runs her own business - Chocolate Butterbean where she designs and paints custom wedding signs. Any time I need nursery inspiration, I'm sure to visit Joni's site. Read on to learn more about this week's supermom...

I got into blogging because I saw a need for more nursery inspiration on the web when I was pregnant. I kept looking and looking, and the same few nurseries kept showing up.  Not that there wasn't anything that existed, but I wanted something that was different, that inspired rooms that everyone wanted to live in - not just baby!  I think it's so important because parents will spend a significant amount of time in the nursery, too, so why not make it a delightful space for themselves as well?  I am involved in the wedding industry, and have seen the wedding blogging world explode with incredible creativity over the past few years, and found that to be lacking in the "preparing for baby" department, so I sought to make it happen.  (Again, not that there aren't great sites out there - just not precisely what I was looking for!)

Getting to know Vivi.  It is such a privilege that I get to be the one who watches her grow and learn and become a little person!  I get to know what she loves, what she dislikes, what makes her light up, and know what each and every day is like for her.  I know this will change as she gets older, but I sometimes can't believe that I have this opportunity to get to know her like no one else can right now.

The toughest thing for me has been struggling with my identity.  I had a really hard time with this at first, and I feel like I had a few identity crises right after Vivi was born.  I think it was good for me, though; having a baby makes you part of something much bigger than yourself.  It isn't all about "me" anymore, regardless of what I do, and I'm reminded of this every day.  Not that I can't be myself, but I can't be myself without figuring in Vivi.  That might sound obvious, but I don't think it's something you can really understand until that little person enters your life!

1. Bao Bao Bear. This is Vivi's favorite thing.  He has become her snuggle buddy at bedtime and nap time, and she loves him.  I think he is great because he is so very small; I didn't worry too much about giving her a stuffed animal to sleep with because he is so tiny.   

2. Method Baby Soap. I LOVE the way this smells.  This reminds me of marshmallows and the peach scent is my other favorite.  

3. The Tommee Tippee Sanitizer.  I have used this thing SO much.  Chip bought it after our water bill was astronomical because I kept sanitizing bottles, but this sanitizer is fantastic.  You can put breast pump accessories, bottles (not just the Tommee Tippees, although that's what we use), sippy cups, and most other things.  It only takes about three minutes, and makes it so easy to keep things clean and sanitized.  It has also traveled with us quite a bit!

1. My Orla Kiely bag. I purchased mine off of for half off, and I love this bag.  It's extremely durable, oh so cute, and holds everything.  I can't say enough good things about it, and would have been worth it to pay the entire price.  I love that I don't hold my breath worrying that it might get dirty, because the fabric just wipes clean and it doesn't snag or tear.

2. Burt's Bees Champagne Lip Shimmer. I'm addicted to this lip shimmer. It always makes me feel refreshed, and Chip knows to snag a tube for me if he ever has to make a last minute CVS trip for some last minute baby items.

3. My hunter boots.  I have found these to be especially useful with a baby this winter!  It's so much easier to not be worried about my shoes or getting wet when I am toting a baby in one arm and bags or who knows what in the other.  It always takes longer to load and unload the car, and I feel so much better on wet, rainy days when I'm wearing these while buckling Vivi into her car seat or loading groceries into the car.

I don't!  I think that is one of the hardest things I have had to grasp.  I can't do it all.  Before having Vivi, I could work as much as I wanted to or obsess over projects as much as I liked, but now, that just can't happen.  There have been several things over the past year that I have just had to let go of - I didn't mail out birth announcements, I don't cook dinner as much as I think I should, I didn't get a Halloween costume for Vivi, I have had to say no to some projects, but realizing that I can't do everything also has brought a lot of freedom.  I certainly don't have this down as well as I would like to, but striving to focus on fewer, better things typically turns out better than me trying to do everything on top of being a mom.

Don't compare yourself to other moms, or your baby to other babies.  I think it's great to poll other moms about their experiences, what works for them, etc. but at the end of the day you are unique, and so is your baby.  It is so easy to get stressed out when you see someone else who seems to handle things better, or is more put together than yourself, or when you see another baby who has reached milestones more quickly than yours, but that is ok.  As long as you are doing the best you can with the gifts you have, then you are doing great.  You truly have to be confident in your mothering and just go with it!  I have heard this only gets more difficult, so it's best to get a handle on it early!  

I'd have to say my mom.  She still does a fantastic job of being a mom to me - especially during this past crazy year.  She lives three hours away, but will drive up at the drop of a hat to help me out, or spend time with Vivi.  She is the most selfless person I know, and is still teaching me so much as I watch her be a mother to my sister and me while also taking care of her mother (my grandmother), who needs more help as she gets older.  She just never stops giving!

Thank you so much to Joni for your honest thoughts and advice! I could so relate to your answer to the toughest thing about motherhood. I believe I went through (and maybe am still going through) a bit of an identity crisis myself. See more of Joni on her blog, Lay Baby Lay and over at her shop - Chocolate Butterbean.

xo, Lauren


  1. Lauren, I'm really enjoying these posts about mom bloggers. Maybe they're just coming at the right time for me, I don't know (I'm less than two weeks from my due date!) but I'm enjoying some sage advice and learning about some baby products I didn't know about before. Thanks!



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