Real Mom, Maria Chapman, Shares About Her New Baby, Ballet and More
Tell us about yourself…
I am a new mom and a professional ballerina with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. I am originally from Georgia, and moved to Seattle almost 20 years ago to dance with PNB.
Tell us about your baby.
My baby girl Eleanor was born July 9, 2014. She is a funny, active girl and loves to smile and stand (with assistance for now)!
What’s one thing you wish you had known before Eleanor was born?
I wish I had known how difficult it is to get anything done when my baby gets hungry every two hours and doesn’t sleep much. I would have lowered the expectations I placed on myself.
What’s been the best part about becoming a mom?
The best part of being a mom is the special bond I feel with my baby. She loves to be with me and is a cuddle bug!
What’s been the hardest part?
The hardest part is trying to figure out what is best for my baby, navigating daily through the myriad of choices a parent needs to make.
What concerns (if any) do you have for when you return to work?
I am not back to work yet, but I am preparing for my return, mentally & physically. Mentally, I find it difficult to imagine leaving my baby at home while I work all day, missing all the great moments of her day. Physically, as a ballerina, I have to get myself in shape, and I must be appropriately conditioned before I can do my job, dancing up to 50 hours a week. My goal is to build up strength daily, but any mom knows that it’s hard to exercise when you are recovering from birth, nursing your baby and not sleeping well!!
Do you feel like being a ballerina impacted your birth experience? If so, in what ways?
My experience as a ballerina prepped me well
for the birth experience. Eleanor was not positioned well, so my labor was 30 hours. As a ballerina, I am very in tune with my body and was able to find positions that made labor tolerable, and my capacity for physical exercise enabled me to endure the long hours.
What advice do you have for other moms to be?
Support each other. I am leaning on friends who know what it’s like to have a newborn.
And, last but not least, what’s your favorite Milkmakers cookie?
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Yummy!