“The best thing: this little human has come into our life and turned it upside down.”
It’s time to meet the ultimate Lifecaker, new mum to baby Molly, Trace. After two years looking after Lifecake’s community, she now finds herself (and her family) surprisingly addicted to Lifecake at home. Trace shares the roller coaster of the first few months of early parenthood.
Trace, give us a brief introduction to your family?
So there is myself, Trace, my husband Phil (who works as a Stage Manager), and our new little baby, Molly. Who is 10 weeks old today!
I’ve been lucky that Phil has been able to take some time off to spend quality time at home with us during these early days. It’s going to be tough when he does have to go away for work, but that’s definitely where Lifecake is going to be amazing; to keep him up to date with everything, real-time.
So how well did working for Lifecake prepare you for your first baby?
Working as Lifecake’s Community Manager was a great little intro to parenting. Seeing how families interact and rely on the app was key for me. And now, having had my own baby, I totally understand the value in it. It’s incredible how addicted my family and friends have become already.
Also chatting to our users, working with influencers, and having to do lots of baby research gave me so much insight and understanding. I definitely felt prepared for what was ahead.
And what was the best piece of advice you received?
I remember one of the bloggers, Mother Freckle, wrote a letter to my pregnant self. I had just discovered I was pregnant right at that time and it made me cry (because I was so emotional anyway, quite hormonal!). Throughout my pregnancy it made me stop and remember not to be so hard on myself…she also made me aware of perineum massage! It was just lovely to read the real side of things.
Now you’re on the other side of Lifecake, what’s surprised you most about using it?
I guess how addicted I am to it. We’re uploading photos all the time, and I didn’t realise how much I’d come to lean on it so quickly. Especially as a tool to keep family updated, as we’re so far away from them; Phil’s family is up north, and my family’s down south.
So for me, I knew the value of the product but I didn’t expect to be as invested in it as I am. Sometimes Phil and I have laid in bed looking at videos of Molly on Lifecake when she’s right next to us in the crib, when we should be catching up on precious sleep!
Are there any Lifecake hacks you’ve discovered?
Not quite a Lifecake hack, but a photo hack. We take a monthly photo on the dot. We’ve got a little board where we write her age and stories about what she likes doing, what’s been specific about that month, or a big developmental thing. We want to do that meticulously every month.
Are there any special moments Lifecake has helped you remember that you may otherwise have forgot?
I love writing stories about the little things. Because the first four to six weeks is such a minefield (because most of the time you don’t understand what your baby wants, or through lack of sleep), you try to find comedy and hilarity in the smallest things.
I’ve just made a note of these incredible weird noises she makes, the grunts, how greedy she is, and all these little things that we will never remember down the line. I hope that Lifecake will make us look back at those stories and think, “Oh, I remember that little noise was hilarious and we used to laugh ourselves stupid about it… because we were sleep deprived, and nothing was funny!”. Finding the comedy where you can, is key.
What has been the biggest surprise of parenthood so far?
Everyone says the sleep thing is hard, and it is hard, but personally it’s more just the self-doubt. You go to all these classes and read all the books, and you feel really prepared in your head. But the first four weeks are a roller coaster. One minute we’re feeling like, “We’ve made this amazing human being, and she’s incredible”, and the next minute we’re like, “What have we done!”. It’s really easy to question if you’re cut out for it, especially when you feel quite vulnerable and hormonal.
So yeah, the big lesson that I wasn’t really expecting, was that you’ve just got to get through those first three to four weeks. They’re tough! But after that you get into a rhythm, the newborn fog clears and your days become a lot more fun. It’s the hardest job in the world, but the best job in the world.
What’s the best thing about being parents so far?
You’ve just got to walk into the room now and Molly’s face lights up. I just stare at her sometimes. The rewards come now, and I know that’s just going to get better as she starts doing more things.
And it’s brought Phil and I closer in a different way. Now we have someone else that relies on us. Our lives have changed, but for the better. It’s the new normal; you just have to adapt to it. That’s probably the best thing; this little human being has come into our life and turned it upside down, but it is incredible.
What’s your favourite day with Molly?
So my favourite day is when she has a little bit of a lie-in. Thing is, she wakes up happier! But she’s not convinced of that yet.
Then we have a bit of play time. She’s absolutely obsessed with her baby gym now, so we put her under that. She goes completely berserk for it! And just going out and meeting with friends is important too.
Spending time with Daddy here is amazing as well. Bonding as a family; I’m aware that’s a really lucky thing for us, and we do pinch ourselves. At the moment for us, it’s a nice place to be. Just soaking it all up; it’s so precious. Everyday is a Sunday for us.
Talking of Sunday’s, when you return to work what features will you demand?
We’ve been talking about this already, Phil and I. And while I’m not necessarily a massive fan of adding words or things to photos, I can see where that would come in handy. Milestone badges and time stamps. That would be a nice little feature. And to be able to tag things so you can find them easily.
But, you know, the reason why it’s so successful is because it’s so simple. Already we’ve got eleven weeks of photos and it’s great. You don’t want to overcomplicate things.