The Magic & The Mess: Life At Home

Woman in a navy dress with black lace inserts with two kids in her lap. The girl is wearing a blue embroidered dress. The boy is in a white embroidered t-shirt and green pants.

A Note from Baybala Founder, Katie Gaston

During a recent scroll through Instagram, I came across a message by child and family psychologist, Dr. Emily King. She said the reason this feels hard is because it is simply too much. The things we are trying to accomplish as women and moms right now feel impossible...because they are. No one is meant to be a full-time caregiver, a work-from-home employee, and a teacher all at once (among the countless other roles we’ve taken on). 

Woman in navy dress with black lace inserts sitting on the lawn. A boy is sitting in her lap wearing green pants and a white embroidered t-shirt. A girl is standing next to them in a blue embroidered dress.

It’s been interesting to look at the things we bring into our lives—intentionally or unintentionally—and examine what’s at the heart of it all. Once this is all over, I think we’re going to see long-lasting change in the ways we choose to conduct our lives. 

We had the pleasure of connecting (virtually, of course!) with women from around our community to see how they are doing, what their day-to-day looks like, and glean some wisdom. They each offer a unique perspective, and it’s been a joy to see them and their kids at home in Baybala. 

I would like to say a big thank you to these women for taking on the task of photographing themselves and their kids after having been home with them for nearly 40 days. If you’ve ever tried this, you know why it deserves my deepest gratitude!

Katherine Norton | Travel Advisor for Brownell Travel | Birmingham, AL 

I’ve been searching and praying for a way to give my children, Annie and Pearson, the best of me. Is coming in on two wheels at 5pm and rushing through dinner and bedtime my best? Or is now—with absolutely nothing but time and attention to give them—really my best? 

I’m so grateful for what this time has given us, all of it. But I’m most grateful that it has reminded me that giving them my best means both. It means working hard at something I deeply care about AND saving an undistracted, less exhausted part of me for them. I’m at my very best when I have both! “

Two little girls holding hands walking in floral printed outfits.

Pearson is wearing the Bonnie Dress; Annie is in the Molly Top and Colette Joggers.

 Haley Yearout | Fitness Instructor for Three15 | Birmingham, AL 

Woman in a navy dress with pansy floral print and little girl in a pink top and navy pansy print bloomers walking down the stairs.

Haley is wearing the Ruby Dress; her daughter Crisler (almost two years old) is wearing the Jane Top and Lulu Shorts.  

Abby Braswell | Freelance Writer, Editor and Producer | Birmingham, AL

With my two-year-old daughter Sallie being an only child, she can get pretty bored while social distancing home alone with just her parents—so she’s insisted on playing in dress-up clothes and costumes most days. Dressing her in the cute clothes that used to be in the regular rotation has proved to be a struggle, but her eyes lit up at the opportunity to “match with Mama.” 

We looked at Baybala together, and Sallie picked out our Mini + Me set with gusto. She squealed with excitement and ran to the front door when I told her our dresses had arrived. The Monica dress has a flowy silhouette and is perfect for my growing belly, as I’m about halfway through my pregnancy with her little brother! 

Though we're stuck at home and have nowhere to go, we might as well look cute—especially when these versatile dresses are just as comfy as anything else we’d be wearing. 

Woman in navy dress sitting with her daughter in her lap on a front lawn. Her daughter is wearing a navy dress with lace inserts.

 Abby, who is expecting a baby boy this fall, is wearing the Monica Dress; Sallie (2 years old) is wearing the Margaret Dress. 

 Lauren Sullivan | Birmingham, AL

Woman in sunglasses holding a baby in her yard. Woman is wearing a navy embroidered dress.

Lauren is wearing the Karolina Dress and is pictured with her 4 month old baby girl. 

Megan LaRussa Chenoweth | Founder & Style Coach at Style Yourself Chic | Birmingham, AL

My favorite quote these days: “Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it's how people dress on their days off that are the most intriguing." - Alexander Wang

As a style coach, my mission is to guide my clients to dress for their real, authentic lives.  And right now, for many of my clients, that means working from home, homeschooling their kids, and other “around the house” activities. 

Dressing daily (even casually!) allows us some semblance of normalcy; just because we are at home doesn't mean we can't still feel confident in how we look.  Personally, I find there's nothing better—especially at 33 weeks pregnant—than a one-and-done, comfortable yet chic dress!”

Woman expecting a baby wearing a navy dress with black lace inserts and sneakers by her front door.

Megan is wearing the Monica Dress and is expecting her first child, a baby boy, this June.

Mary Margaret Chambliss | Photographer | Birmingham, AL

Woman in a cranberry eyelet top and skirt with two kids in her lap. Her boy is wearing a white embroidered top and her girl is wearing a navy dress with lace inserts.

Mary Margaret is wearing the Belinda Top and Michelle Skirt; Alligood is wearing the Margaret Dress; Louis is in the Ollie Top. 

 Katherine Rowe | Freelance Writer and Marketing Professional | Norfolk, VA

I struggle with decision-making, whether it's as small as what to have for dinner, or bigger moves that impact my career. I’m often paralyzed by decisions which end up with me taking no action at all. 

When I became a mom, I realized that the decisions I made not only impacted me, but my son Teddy—and delayed decisions or no action was no longer going to cut it. I read somewhere to make "the next best decision,” a thought that has been totally freeing for me. Regardless of the magnitude, I try to focus on what I know to be the best decision in the moment and not be consumed by the “what ifs.” 

In these uncertain times, especially with my husband Jason working as a nurse, this mantra has become even more important. I focus on making decisions based upon what I know, try hard not to look too far into the future, and remember that not all decisions carry so much (if any!) weight. For example: chicken fingers or hot dogs for dinner? Who could choose a clear winner anyway?!

Woman standing inside her front door wearing a navy top with pink mini floral print and holding her son who is wearing a navy and white striped stripe top.

Katherine is wearing the Sybil Top; Teddy (2 years old) is wearing the Stevie Top & Rob Pant and the Billy Top & Rob Pant.

Caitie Morgan | Interior Designer at Caitie Morgan Interior Design | Birmingham, AL

 Caitie is wearing the Karolina Top. Her daughter Carlisle (2 years old) is wearing the Jane Top with the Mini Pansy Lulu Bloomer.