In addition to sharing beautiful, healthy recipes on Instagram, Robin is a nutritionist, a fitness aficionado, a former model, and also mom to 8-month-old Poppy.
Talking with Robin felt like a breath of fresh air. She is a beautiful mother. I mean, she’s literally beautiful (she was a former model), but mainly I mean figuratively. She is a woman who is soft and fiery all at once. Her fitness and modeling backgrounds have informed much of who she is these days, as a mother and otherwise, but in ways you might not expect. She has a refreshingly gentle take on mothering intuitively, on how she and her husband think about parenting together, and on how she thinks about her creative pursuits going forward.
- 1:34 – How and why Robin started “What Robin Eats” and how she's integrated motherhood (and Poppy) into her channel
- 4:54 – Mothering instinctually (and with a touch of Google).
- 9:10 – How the “one more rep” every evil/wonderful fitness instructor ever has employed helped Robin have an awesome labor and birth.
- 12:32 – How pregnancy shifted Robin's body image after years in the fitness and modeling industries.
- 15:33 – How staying scheduled gives both Robin and Poppy the structure to thrive.
- 21:34 – Why she's not on the gluten-free bandwagon.
- 24:31 – A slightly different (dare I say more “traditional” perspective on sharing the parenting load with her husband.
- 30:34 – Her absolute favorite baby products. (Spoiler: THE SOLLY WRAP!)
- 36:26 – Advice she wishes she wishes she could've given herself (and wishes she could've been able to hear!) as a new mom.
- @sollybaby – Where I discovered Robin.
- @whatrobineats – Robin's Instagram channel, where she shares pretty pictures of toast among other things (like Poppy!)
- Solly Baby Wrap – Where Poppy napped for the fourth trimester.
- The Secrets of a Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg – For gentle baby wisdom.
- Babybay Bedside Sleeper – Because walking across the room to nurse in your rocking chair is overrated.
- Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit – Magic during the swaddle to sleep sack transition (for some babies).
- YogaGlo (Glo) – Megan's go-to for at-home yoga. (Want me to send you a free class? Email me at email@example.com!)
- Audible – Megan's go-to for audiobooks while folding endless laundry. Sign up for the free 30 day membership and receive two free audiobooks! Recent favorites include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Educated by Tara Westover, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
- Yoga Studio App – Robin's go-to for at-home Yoga.
- What Robin Eats – Robin's blog with all the recipes and goodies.
MEGAN: I found you—I think I must've found you via the Solly Baby Instagram, and I was like, “This chic looks so cool.” And I think Poppy was born about a month before my second—Cora is her name—and they look remarkably similar by the way, so every time I see photos of Poppy I'm like, “Aw she looks just like Cora.”
So I know you from Instagram, which means I know you like and are really good at photographing pretty toast and other beautiful, mostly healthy foods. But I also know you're a nutritionist and a personal trainer, and there's probably a million other roles and identities that you have. So, when people ask, what is it you say you do? Who do you say you are?
Once I had Poppy I totally switched gears. I mean I still work with brands and recipes, but it's all on kind of a side hustle type of feel. I feel like I'm all in on the mom game.
ROBIN: It has changed so much within the last six and half months. Before Poppy, I'd say I'm a nutritionist, personal trainer, but I'm also a contact creator through my Instagram, @whatrobineats.
I started @whatrobineats, gosh, three and a half years ago just kind of as a creative outlet. I've always loved cooking, been really into making my own food since I was 14 years old.
After just seeing the food Instagrams kind of pop up and become more popular, I was like, “I'm gonna do that, too.” I had just moved into a new apartment where eventually my new husband would move in with me. We had great lighting, so I was like, “Okay I'm gonna do this.” And that kind of opened my photography interests. I modeled from age 15 to 25, so I was always kind of the canvas rather than the creator. And this kind of gave me a creative outlet for myself.
So before Poppy, that was my full time thing. I was working with brands, creating recipes, shooting photos, and going to events. I was teaching iPhone food photography classes at Whole Foods up until I had Poppy.
And then once I had Poppy I totally switched gears. I mean I still work with brands and recipes, but it's all on kind of a side hustle type of feel. I feel like I'm all in on the mom game. And I think I've done a really good job with my Instagram of bringing Poppy to my page, but also still providing recipes, but some more simple recipes that moms can do. You don't have to be a five star restaurant to create what I'm creating. But they're also delicious and fun. And I really take pride in what I create for everyone, not just moms, but anyone.
MEGAN: Yeah, that's sort of what—I found you after you became a mom, so I don't know the before. But what you have now certainly seems to resonate really well with mothers, and I'm sure anyone who doesn't have that much time, because it's not just moms who struggle with that problem.
But cooking can be so simple with just some spices and really just anything you have on hand. So I'm trying to make cooking seem more friendly to everyone.
ROBIN: Right, and I would hope so. Especially nowadays, everyone is jam packing their schedule with every little thing they can think of. And a lot of people want instant food to appear on their plate, basically, and they're afraid of cooking.
But cooking can be so simple with just some spices and really just anything you have on hand. So I'm trying to make cooking seem more friendly to everyone.
MEGAN: I love that. I was just having this conversation with my husband the other day, because he just started at a new start-up. We're in our early thirties, but he is the oldest guy at the company. And none of them know how to cook. They're all terrified of cooking.
It's like, “No, it can be very simple. You pick three spices and you can make something really nice in the oven, and it takes two seconds.”
ROBIN: Right, one hundred percent. I totally agree.
MEGAN: So back to motherhood. How has the transition been so far, I mean it sounds like you're doing a great job of integrating it into your life and figuring out your priorities. But how has that been?
I Googled everything, but I just more followed what I was feeling and tried to really look at her and be like, “Okay, what do you need?” Go down a checklist.
ROBIN: It was so scary at first because I am an only child. I never had a younger sibling to take care of. Even all my cousins are older than me. So even thinking about having a kid was not on my radar until I met my husband.
He has nieces, and now we have a nephew, and he's always wanted kids because he's an oldest of three. And I was like, “Uh, I don't know. That sounds scary.” I'm so independent, doing my own thing. I have this going on—modeling, food, whatever.
And once Poppy was born it was so instinctual, and just whatever I was doing—I Googled everything, but I just more followed what I was feeling and tried to really look at her and be like, “Okay, what do you need?” Go down a checklist.
So it was really just following what I believed that she needed, or trial and error. “Oh, you're crying, do you need this, this, or this?” And I would say after the first month I just became so in tune with who she was. And it just keeps growing.
Now that she's developed so much since then, it's just—even from her switching from three naps to two naps, I didn't do it, she did, and I just followed her lead. So it's been really just allowing her to lead, but also me being the parent and guiding her.
MEGAN: Yeah. Do you think that she's partly to credit for leading you into what what feels—it just strikes me that you feel really comfortable in this role, and really comfortable with this new identity. Do you think she's kind of helped lead you there, too?
ROBIN: She really has. I've always been one to want to be the leader, or kind of be in charge of whatever I'm doing. And I realized early on, I had to carry her for all of her naps for seventeen weeks, she would not go down if I set her in her crib, no matter what. I could let her cry for hours.
So that was kind of like, “Okay, I have to Solly wrap you.”
MEGAN: Same! I had a Solly napper. It was wrap nap central.
I wish someone just would have told me within the first month, “Just wear her!” And I think my first month would have been so much easier.
ROBIN: One hundred percent. Any time she wasn't feeding or hanging out for her awake period, she was wrapped on me. So that was—I wish someone just would have told me within the first month, “Just wear her!” And I think my first month would have been so much easier.
[Poppy] is going to give me hints on what she wants, and then I can help get us all the way there.
So after realizing that, I'm like, “I just have to wear her until four months.” I nap trained her at four months, and that was kind of like, “That's what I have to do. That's what she wants. How am I gonna make this easier for me?”
And I think that's where I keep taking the next roles. Even her being awake for three hours, now I'm like, “Okay, I have to give you more attention. What do you want to do? This could get us out of the house.” And so realizing that she is going to give me hints on what she wants, and then I can help get us all the way there.
MEGAN: Totally. And it's just this constant recalibration.
ROBIN: I think with being comfortable and being a mom, I don't worry too much about things. I don't stress. I don't get anxious very often, or ever. So I think that really helps, too.
I just really know that, like, “Okay, God put me in this position. He will give me everything I need to succeed with this.” I just kinda take everything as it comes.
MEGAN: Yeah, we have a motto, chill parents, chill baby. And it seems to really ring true across lots of different types of parents and lot of different types of parenting styles. It's like, as long as you're chill, they're chill. It's amazing.
MEGAN: I was just thinking about how you were saying that you had to wear her for the first four months. I'm also an athlete, I have a very athletic background, and it didn't really bother me that much that I had to wear her for four months.
MEGAN: Like, whatever, she was just kinda there. I actually had two hands free, and it was lovely. And I just watched your birth story on Instagram Stories last night—doing a little Robin recon before our chat. You're such a quintessential fitness guru! You're going for midnight walks, you're doing lunges—while you're in labor!
MEGAN: How do you think that fitness background helped you both to have the birth that you ultimately had, but also just how has it helped you in motherhood so far?
The fitness background helped me during labor. You know when trainers are like, “Okay, you're gonna do ten reps of bicep curls,” and then you get to the tenth rep, and they're like, “Oh, one more.”
ROBIN: The fitness background helped me during labor. You know when trainers are like, “Okay, you're gonna do ten reps of bicep curls,” and then you get to the tenth rep, and they're like, “Oh, one more.”
And you look at them like, “I want to kill you.” I think after having—I probably had five different trainers in my life, and just being a trainer myself, I know I've done that to my clients. I'm like, “Okay, we're at 12, let's do 13. One more, one more.”
Having my sister-in-law, Mallory, with my husband and I while I was laboring, she was like, “Just do one more lunge. Do this.” That was just like, “Okay, I have to do it.” I didn't give myself a choice, “Oh no, I'm not gonna do it.”
She's had four kids, she knows what can help me reach this goal of having this baby quicker rather than later. I'm going to do it. And I think just having that mindset of, “You're going to meet your baby. You can do that extra lunge. You can go for a walk.”
So with motherhood, I would say it just kind of helps me remember the goal.
And with my labor I realized that the minute I sat down or stopped moving, my contractions would go farther apart. So if I kept moving and doing things, I was getting closer and closer to having all this pain be done and meeting Poppy. So with motherhood, I would say it just kind of helps me remember the goal. When working out, when you're running on the treadmill, there's—minutes take forever when you're running on the treadmill.
But you're like, “Okay, what's the goal? Am I reaching this many miles?” Or, “This is my fitness goal.” And I think with motherhood, it's like when she's crying when I'm trying to feed her she doesn't know what she's doing. My goal is just to teach her, “This is a spoon. This goes into your mouth.” So I just kind of keep remembering the goal is for me to teach her and show her these tools for life.
MEGAN: Yeah. It's a little less specific than we might be used to in the fitness world. But nonetheless important. Yeah.
What does in shape look like for you today? These days?
I wasn't hard on myself to get back into the gym. I was excited to get moving, like doing yoga or going on walks, so I did that as soon as I got cleared, but getting back into weight training, back into running, I just realized that I needed to be Poppy's mom first.
ROBIN: That has been a huge change, too. I think throughout my pregnancy I learned how to embrace what my body was doing to the full extent. I remember my midwife telling me I had gained too much weight in one month, and I'm just thinking, “I haven't indulged barely at all, and I'm working out.”
I'm a big movement person. Moving makes me happy, I love going on walks, to cycling, to yoga, to running. I just love it all. So as long as I was doing something for myself, I knew that that would make me a better mom.
My body's just doing what it naturally needs to do to grow Poppy. And now, having Poppy outside of my belly, I wasn't hard on myself to get back into the gym. I was excited to get moving, like doing yoga or going on walks, so I did that as soon as I got cleared, but getting back into weight training, back into running, I just realized that I needed to be Poppy's mom first. And as long as I was feeding myself nutritious foods and at least moving—I'm a big movement person. Moving makes me happy, I love going on walks, to cycling, to yoga, to running. I just love it all. So as long as I was doing something for myself, I knew that that would make me a better mom. I remember the first time I went to yoga after having Poppy. I just came back so refreshed and like I could be the best me possible.
MEGAN: Yeah. Did you have such a great relationship with your body before you got pregnant, too, or is that something that came with the knowledge that your body was doing something so incredible?
The way people praise you for your belly really helped me, too. It's like, “Okay, I'm gaining weight, and you're praising me for it.” You know, everyone loves a pregnant belly.
ROBIN: Being in the modeling industry as long as I was—I started at 15 and stopped modeling when I was 25, so only two and a half years ago. It went back and forth. I was very hard on myself because you have to stay the same size, because these designers need to know what clothes to put on you.
But of course it's not a normal, average body size—especially ten years ago. It was very, like, one size. This is what you had to be. So throughout all of those years it went back and forth from being really hard on myself to being like, “I don't care anymore. I'm tired of this.” And then back and forth, back and forth.
So once being pregnant, and honestly, the way people praise you for your belly really helped me, too. It's like, “Okay, I'm gaining weight, and you're praising me for it.” You know, everyone loves a pregnant belly.
Thinking of that, it's sad that being pregnant made me feel this way when I should be able to feel this way otherwise. I don't know how to make people have that mindset, besides getting pregnant.
But I definitely think social media is coming around to not putting so much pressure on, “Oh you have to be skinny.” But now I think it's going the opposite way, where they're like, “Oh, how dare you eat a salad? Why aren't you eating that doughnut?”
I don't have all day to spend in the gym, but I have 45 minutes that I can do, and do my best. And that's what the outcome is going to be. This is the size my body wants to be, and I'm okay with that. I know I'm healthy.
ROBIN: I think being pregnant helped me realize all the different things that are going on with social media and body image. So now for myself and me, this is what I look like, this is what I'm doing. I don't have all day to spend in the gym, but I have 45 minutes that I can do, and do my best. And that's what the outcome is going to be. This is the size my body wants to be, and I'm okay with that. I know I'm healthy. Like, I'm not indulging on chips and fries all day. It's just different. If I was, then that would be a different story. I'd be like, “Okay, this is why I look this way.”
MEGAN: [Laughs] Might need to cut back a little.
ROBIN: Right. But, no, I feel good. Everything in moderation. And that's one thing, too, I learned, being pregnant and now being six and a half months postpartum.
MEGAN: Yeah, I've been talking to quite a few athletes as well, just by nature of what I'm interested in. And I had the same experience as you. I kind of fluctuated with my body image, and once I got pregnant and had my first, I was like, “Wow. My body can do this thing.” And it became what everyone's probably been trying to say for a long time which is, “It's not how it looks. It's what it can do.”
ROBIN: Yeah, it's like, why do we have to get pregnant to have this realization?
MEGAN: I know. I guess because it's the most obvious manifestation of what it can do.
ROBIN: It really is magical.
MEGAN: Yeah. So how do you make time for workouts? How do you structure that?
I'm very scheduled, even as a new mom. As scheduled as I can be.
ROBIN: I'm very scheduled, even as a new mom. As scheduled as I can be. I had Poppy on kind of a schedule when she was a newborn. “Okay, I'm going to feed you every this many hours. This is when you're going to nap.” And definitely, Solly wrapping her helped me do that so I could get things done during her nap time.
And now that she's napping off of me, I usually go to the gym during her second nap, because my husband is a musician. He's gone all sorts of random times of the year or day. And he recently went back to school, so his schedule is very packed, as well.
Up until four months ago we lived in LA with no family members around. I had no help. So I was really just doing things any time Poppy naps. Even now with @whatrobineats and my workouts, I do things when she's napping.
So that's kind of how—I have to have her on a schedule or else I can't get things done. And I realized once I got her on a schedule, she thrived a lot more. She's expecting, “Okay, this is when I'm going to nap. This is when I'm going to eat. This is when we're going to play.” And it's just so awesome to have us in this in-sync type of schedule of our day.
MEGAN: Yeah, I think there can be some backlash against schedules sometimes.
ROBIN: I do, too.
MEGAN: I think when you're flexible about how the schedule is actually created and you're listening to your baby and their growing and changing needs, it's such a beautiful thing to be able to—for them and for you to be able to make some plans and not just be beholden to whatever happens.
ROBIN: Right! I would go crazy if I was just stuck in my house all day. Like if someone wanted to meet for lunch, I'd be like, “Well, we'll see when she wakes up from her nap.”
It's like, no. I know she usually wakes up around 11:30. I can meet you at 12:30, that type of thing. And when I started the scheduling I had her a half hour different, and I noticed that she was being very fussy towards her nap. And I'm like, “Oh, it's not time for her to go down yet.” But then I moved everything a half hour earlier the next day, and she was so happy. So I think you have to really listen to your baby and a schedule works between the two of you.
MEGAN: Right. And be okay with constantly fine tuning and adjusting, because it feels like a lot of effort to think about stuff like that all the time. Oh, if I just move it this way, maybe it'll be better. But then once you do it, it's so worth it, because then you have all this freedom in between to do what you need to do and be a human and not just catering to this little human.
ROBIN: Right, not to just lose your identity in your baby.
MEGAN: Exactly, which is kind of what this whole thing is about.
MEGAN: If you can figure out how to do that…
So, talk food to me. You're big on cooking, obviously. Do you guys eat out a lot, or a hearty combination of the two?
ROBIN: I personally rarely eat out. Even before Poppy, eating out would be a birthday event, or anniversary, or friends wanted to meet up. For the most part, I'd way rather meet up over coffee than eat out.
I don't know if this has to do with me being a server at restaurants for eight years, but I kind of got tired of being out at restaurants and seeing the food, eating the food. But also, just money wise, for me, loving cooking as much as I [do], it's like, “Why would I go spend $25 on this when I can make it at home for $10?”
MEGAN: I have the same thought!
ROBIN: It's been my mindset. I love good food, obviously, I love eating out when I do. But I kind of make it a more special time. We'll go out for our birthdays, our anniversaries and not hold back, like, “Well, we just ate out last night, so we should get something smaller.” No, we haven't gone out in however many weeks, let's treat ourself to this appetizer and this. And I just think that's really how both my husband and I are budget-wise. “Oh, why would we go spend this when we could just make it at home for this amount of money?”
MEGAN: Totally. Especially when you know how and you realize the secrets of the kitchen world. And you can do it with such better quality ingredients, too, than they do.
ROBIN: I think up until recently you never knew what these kitchens were using: What kind of oil? What kind of fat? And this and that. I think within the last three or five years that's become a trend, to use healthier ingredients in the kitchen.
But still, then they up those prices. And I'm like, “Why are you charging this much for this?” But I get it. If people need to eat out, I'd rather them have healthier ingredients and pay a little bit more than not.
MEGAN: What do you love to cook?
I think that's why I started @whatrobineats, because being a model, people always ask you, “What do you eat?” Thinking you're going to say, “Oh, I ate one cheese cube yesterday.”
ROBIN: Breakfast food, one hundred percent.
MEGAN: Yeah, you're the toast master.
ROBIN: I'm a huge breakfast person, so it's funny when I say “cooking,” because I made pancakes today. Is that really cooking? It's a mixture between baking and cooking. But I don't know, I just love breakfast foods. It's my favorite thing.
I think that's why I started @whatrobineats, because being a model, people always ask you, “What do you eat?” Thinking you're going to say, “Oh, I ate one cheese cube yesterday.”
No, that is not the case. I love French Toast, I love pancakes, waffles, sweet oatmeal, all that stuff. So I started making healthier alternatives, and my friends would not believe me that I'm making sweet potato pancakes or waffles or anything like that.
I would send them snapshots or put it on my regular Instagram. So I just love breakfast food, but if I had to choose something else, I love bakes. I love making healthier macaroni and cheese bakes with vegetables mixed in.
So I'm kind of this, comfort food but make it healthy type of person.
MEGAN: So you're not on the gluten-free bandwagon?
ROBIN: I was for a little bit. Before I had Poppy I was trying to figure out why my stomach was hurting, so I went gluten-free or dairy-free, all those things. And I realized I should really just be lactose free, I guess. If that makes sense.
MEGAN: Yeah, I have the same thing.
I think there's so many trends that people want to follow, and if it works for you that's awesome, but I just realize for me, I don't need to be paleo, I don't need to be vegan.
ROBIN: I noticed that. But now I just kinda do whatever. [Laughs.] I'll eat dairy here and there and I'll be like, “Oh, my skin's a little broken out, I should hold back on the dairy.” But I think there's so many trends that people want to follow, and if it works for you that's awesome, but I just realize for me, I don't need to be paleo, I don't need to be vegan. I was vegetarian for two years when I was 20, 21, and I just don't want to be labeled in that way, because I don't need to dietary-wise or anything.
MEGAN: That sounds …
ROBIN: I know there is people that need to, though.
MEGAN: Yes, and that's kind of a different story, I think, when you absolutely need to because you're allergic or because it really affects you in a specific kind of a way. But, I think people can get really strict when it's not necessary, and that is true not only for food, but for parenting…
MEGAN: I don't know how you came to this realization, and it seems like maybe something you've come to through your modeling and your need to find a happy balance between going full bore into being really detailed about what it is that you eat, exactly, so that you fit into the exact size.
And then being like, “Hey, I actually kinda wanna be human, too. Considering that would be good.” And then finding a happy medium. And it seems like that mentality that you've created through your previous life is really serving you now.
ROBIN: It's so true. And it's, for me, trying to even just be vegetarian, it made more work for me that I didn't want. And when I was trying to be gluten-free it made more work for me that I didn't need, and I just wasn't happy.
At first, I was like, all these gluten free products. Oh, wait, I don't really like this.
MEGAN: And it's not making me feel better, so…
ROBIN: Right. There is a great gluten-free bread company that I love, Canyon gluten-free, their stuff is amazing and it's so good. But I also love sourdough bread. That's the end of it. And I didn't need to just be gluten-free, so why was I depriving myself of sourdough bread when I enjoyed it and felt totally fine?
MEGAN: Right. Yes, everything in moderation, and make your own damn rules.
MEGAN: So, you mentioned your husband, and that he's off on a little road trip.
How do you guys make your life work for you? What does he do that enables you to do what you do in motherhood? And how do you guys think about parenting together?
We're both first time parents. We don't know what we're doing for the most part. It's just like, “This is what I think I need to do, what do you think?”
ROBIN: We are big communicators. Ever since we started—or just began talking five years ago, five and a half years ago, we've always been in constant communication, constantly texting, talking on the phone, back then Skyping because I lived in New York and he lived in LA.
We're so good at communicating, and it's never been something we had to work on. It was never like, “Well, I guess I should keep texting Joel, or let him know what's going on.” I just always enjoyed sharing my life with him, and him vice versa, just what we're doing. Like we're hanging out.
And I think that's what helped us get through long distance. Oh, sending a picture, this is where I'm walking, like you're here with me.
So bringing that into parenthood, it's always a, “This is what I'm doing with Poppy. What do you think?” We're both first time parents. We don't know what we're doing for the most part. It's just like, “This is what I think I need to do, what do you think?”
It could be really easy to be like, “Well, I've been with Poppy all day long.” And you haven't had a chance to sit down. No, I understand that he's working for us and to better our future, so this is my job right now, to take care of Poppy. And he helps out when he can.
And just kind of go back and forth with our decisions on something, and if it didn't work, we try the other person's advice. Like, “Oh, maybe I was wrong.” And just not being too hard on ourselves as new parents. I can see how it can be really easy to get frustrated with the other, especially as a mom who's—I work from home and I'm with Poppy all the time, and Joel's gone randomly on tour, or playing music in different countries or states, and going to school.
So it could be really easy to be like, “Well, I've been with Poppy all day long.” And you haven't had a chance to sit down. No, I understand that he's working for us and to better our future, so this is my job right now, to take care of Poppy. And he helps out when he can. He's always glad to take her if I need her, but I can tell when it's going to be more difficult for him to get what he needs to get done, than not.
MEGAN: That's super refreshing to hear, because I think right now there's a lot of conversation around, it's so important to have 50/50 split. And I think that that is true, but what that means is very different for every single family and partnership, right?
MEGAN: The way that you guys have figured out how to do your—the way that feels right and comfortable for both of you is very different from each of you doing six diapers each day, or whatever. That's not how you're thinking about it, its definitely tailored to your lifestyles.
I'd wake him up to change her diaper and then I would do the feeding, and then you kind of realize it would be a lot easier if he just slept, I did what I needed to do at night, and then during the day he could help me because he just got a full night's sleep.
ROBIN: Right, and even thinking about the diaper thing, when we first brought Poppy home from the hospital, throughout the night, I'd be like, “Okay you…” I'd wake him up to change her diaper and then I would do the feeding, and then you kind of realize it would be a lot easier if he just slept, I did what I needed to do at night, and then during the day he could help me because he just got a full night's sleep.
So I think it was realizing where our roles needed to be, and Poppy will only become easier for him to help with.
ROBIN: In the beginning it's so—she needs me for 99% of everything, if not 100%. Whatever Joel can help with. But it's slowly becoming easier, and he can help more and more. So I think that was really important to come to the realization in talking to other moms about that, and other moms who were in the same situation I am.
My sister-in-law is married to a musician, and she has four kids all under the age of seven. And he's gone more than Joel is. So seeing her and talking with her, how she stays human in all of this, was really helpful.
MEGAN: How does she stay human in all this?
ROBIN: She makes sure to get out of the house. She also home schools.
ROBIN: Yeah. She is like wonder mom. She's amazing. She'd have more kids if her husband would allow it.
But it was really just taking time for herself. She even—though only two of her kids are napping each day, she still has quiet time for her other kids. “Okay, you're going to go into your room and read your book or play with some toys while I have this hour to myself.”
And they love it. She has the sweetest kids. They are just darling and honestly the reason I came to be okay with having a kid. I was like, “Well, if my kid is like her kids, I will love it.”
So just really making time for herself, and making sure she goes and gets her nails done once a month, and those little moments of life.
MEGAN: Totally. Self care can really make you a better mother and more productive and more effective. We always think about it as some sort of an indulgence, and it's actually necessary.
ROBIN: Mmhmm. Totally.
MEGAN: So, before a few quick questions, just one simple one: What about motherhood has been most surprising to you?
ROBIN: How much I love it.
MEGAN: You didn't expect to?
You can only take so many classes or talk to so many moms, but no one teaches you how to love your kid. So having that come so natural, and me loving her more than I ever could have imagined, is amazing.
ROBIN: I didn't expect to at all. I was a little scared, to be honest, about if I could love Poppy as much I feel like she needed to. Seeing my other sister-in-law, who's the same age as me, she had her baby four months before Poppy was born.
We have a family group chat with all of us, through text message, and she would send videos of her baby-talking to her daughter. And I was like, “Gosh, am I going to be able to be like that with Poppy?” And of course, my husband was like, “Of course you're going to be.” But to me, I just didn't know.
Not that I'm not loving, but I've never been in that situation. And you're just thrown into it. You can only take so many classes or talk to so many moms, but no one teaches you how to love your kid. So having that come so natural, and me loving her more than I ever could have imagined, is amazing.
MEGAN: Yeah. It sounds like you were really open to that love happening however it would have evolved. Maybe that helped a little, too.
Okay, just a couple quick, fun questions. You don't have to answer them quickly.
ROBIN: Speed round.
MEGAN: Speed round, yeah. So what baby gear, or books, or other products do you totally swear by and would absolutely buy for another first time momma friend?
ROBIN: The Solly wrap, one hundred percent. They saved my life. I know all babies are different, some you can just lay down at two weeks old and they sleep through the night, but that was not my baby. And that's what I had to come to conclusion with.
And I got so much done. I can meet up with friends, go have coffee with Poppy just sleeping soundly on me. So Solly wrap one hundred percent.
The book that I loved was, The Secrets of a Baby Whisperer. I got that book recommended to me and I liked how it made me learn Poppy's personality. It wasn't one size fits all, you're gonna put your baby down to nap at one month old, let him cry.
It wasn't that. It has five different personality types that a baby can be. And you learn, “Oh, this is kind of what my baby is like, this is what I'm going to try.” So I thought it was really a gentle book, and made me really learn who Poppy was, and is, and continues to become.
What other—I really like the Babybay Co-Bedside Sleeper. So instead of having her in a bassinet on the side. We had one at first, which I loved but it was hurting my back to reach over and grab her throughout the night.
We got the bedside sleeper, and it is so simple. It goes right up to your bed, they're bed level with you. They're not actually in your bed, which I really liked. It was really scary to me to think about having Poppy sleep in our bed. I know a lot of women do it, no problem, but for me I didn't feel comfortable, and same with my husband. So the bedside sleeper really helped with that. I barely had to wake up to get her in the middle of the night. I didn't even have to get out of bed, which was awesome.
MEGAN: Key, that's so key for those early weeks.
ROBIN: Oh my gosh, it was amazing. Well at first I was getting out of bed, sitting in a chair across the room, and my sister-in-law was like, “Uh-uh. Stop getting out of bed.” But I don't know! That's what I thought I…
MEGAN: All these fancy pictures on Instagram, they set up these nurseries, and then there's the nursery rocking chair. And you're like, “Girl, you do not wanna do that. Don't do that to yourself.”
ROBIN: No, why are you even walking? Just reach over. That was super helpful.
And then once she stopped sleeping in her swaddle, the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit was a dream.
MEGAN: It was magic for Poppy?
ROBIN: It was so magical. We recently just switched her into a sleep sack because she started to roll, but the Merlin suit was so nice once we started nap training.
She had the reflex for awhile, so she would constantly jolt herself awake in a sleep sack once she wasn't sleeping on me, and the Merlin suit kind of helped her be a little more chill and cozy.
MEGAN: Yeah. Tamed those reflexes, that's good. That's awesome. Okay, favorite thing to do if you're gifted a little extra time. If you have two hours where Joel is like, “I got her, go do something for you.” What do you choose to do?
ROBIN: I love getting my toes done. Gosh, I love going to the nail salon, getting my toes done, sitting in the massage chairs. Count me in, I will be there all day if they don't kick me out. I love that.
I love grocery shopping by myself. We all know that that is very unlikely these days, but it's so fun.
And honestly, working out. I love movement. I love taking a spin class. I'm thankful that we have a gym in our building now, so I don't have to leave the house, or drive anywhere. But if I could, I'd go to a spin class or a yoga class.
MEGAN: Perfect. Speaking of, favorite mom hack. So mine—I do not have a spin studio in my basement. So my favorite thing is YogaGlo. I love that I can do…
That's my number one mom hack that I recommend to all my friends. And Audible, because I love to listen to audiobooks while I'm folding endless laundry. Do you have any mom hacks?
ROBIN: I do have a yoga app, I use Yoga Studio app that I've been using the last seven years, that really helped me in the beginning when she was a month or two old. Those moments where you take them out of the Solly, and trying to transition them to whatever they were sleeping in… I'd be able to get ten minutes of yoga in, just something. So I think that is really awesome.
And for me, just cooking, and doing that. Or just putting on makeup every morning … Not a ton, I've never been a huge makeup wearer. But I'm like, “Okay, I put some blush on, I did my hair, I changed out of gym clothes.” I think that, for me, really helped.
MEGAN: Yeah, it makes you feel more human.
ROBIN: Still helps. Mmhmm.
MEGAN: And what's your number one … I know you're only six months in, but still, what's your number one recommendation for moms to be either about pregnancy, or the postpartum experience, or motherhood itself? What's something that you tell others because you wish you'd known it yourself.
Talk to other moms and just see how their experience was, even through labor. I talked to so many moms [about] amazing labor to tragic labor. You just realize that everyone is so different.
ROBIN: One, I'd tell them to talk to other moms and just see how their experience was, even through labor. I talked to so many moms [about] amazing labor to tragic labor. You just realize that everyone is so different.
I'm very thankful that my labor was as quick and easy as labor could be. But knowing that other moms went through this crazy, long labor, they're still alive, their baby is perfectly healthy. Just realizing that my experience will be perfect no matter what.
What else was the question?
MEGAN: What's something that you tell others because you wish you'd known it yourself?
I should've just chilled, not tried to make breakfast every single morning like I did in the beginning. I wanted to be back in my routine the minute we got home from the hospital, just getting back in the kitchen because that's what made me feel normal.
Oh, I would just say don't be too hard on yourself. Especially as a new mom, I was so hard on myself. I'm Googling these things, figuring out why Poppy's being one way or the other.
And I should've just chilled, not tried to make breakfast every single morning like I did in the beginning. I wanted to be back in my routine the minute we got home from the hospital, just getting back in the kitchen because that's what made me feel normal.
But I should have let Joel make me toast and eggs, or let someone get a DoorDash meal for us. And just kind of accept that things are going to be a little slower.
MEGAN: Yeah. How do you recommend that people think about that? I mean I think as performers in general, anyone who's listening to this is probably a high performer. That's just my general thought. They are successful in their own right, and then they also are moms. So that naturally does not come to us. It is not a way that we think about life, slowing down. But I think it's something that anyone who's been a mom for a little while realizes that they have to do.
But how do we get people to actually hear that before they have to learn it the hard way?
ROBIN: Right, thinking of myself in that moment, trying to tell myself what I just said is really hard. I'm like, “Do it.” Maybe try and occupy yourself with something else.
Read that baby book that someone got you that you're not reading until the baby is born. I just say try and occupy yourself with a less type of routined way. “Oh, this is that time, I can watch that show that I wanted to watch but never did because I was answering emails, taking a photo, replying to people.”
Maybe even get your husband to be your accountability partner. I wish I would've told Joel, “Please don't let me wake up and make breakfast tomorrow. I really need to try and sleep a little bit longer instead of waking up when Poppy wakes up.”
MEGAN: Yeah, maybe it goes back to that self care thought. Self care is actually what helps you be more productive. So if we can take care of ourselves by doing less we can actually, ultimately do more.
ROBIN: Right. And I wish I would have just known that.
MEGAN: Yeah. So what's next for Robin?
What's next for me? Continuing to just be an awesome mom for Poppy, one hundred percent. Be her mom, watch her grow, help her grow. But also keep growing my social media.
ROBIN: What's next for me? Continuing to just be an awesome mom for Poppy, one hundred percent. Be her mom, watch her grow, help her grow. But also keep growing my social media.
I love creating content and sharing my life over Instagram, especially. And I just don't want that to stop, I just love the creative outlet it gives me. I love meeting new people.
I would love to start getting more involved in my community. We recently moved to San Diego in November, from LA. And we're both originally from San Diego, but I haven't lived here in eight years, so things are very different.
I'm excited for Poppy to get a little older, and for us to be able to go out and about more often, and just start meeting moms in this area, and other like minded people in this area. I really look forward to that.