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Q&A with Alexandra and Jamie of Oh Mama

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Posted: Mar 10 2016

Lifelong friends and mothers, Alexandra Rose and Jamie Burton, created Oh Mama for the modern, multi-tasking mom.

Oh Mama is the site that puts everything in one place…a place for moms by moms that delivers information and inspiration for daily living and thriving. A site where moms can finally worry less about where to get their information and grant them more time to remember that these are the days.

We are so excited to welcome these mamas to our Tastemaker Tribe! Learn more about this dynamic duo below in our exclusive Q&A, plus shop their #momstyle on sale this week only!

AR: My 3 kids – they redefined what it means to love! Honestly, everything.  I don’t know how else to answer that question – just that I feel that my life did not really begin until I had my kids.  Becoming a mother has given me a greater perspective, and a greater capacity to love and appreciate.
 
JB: I love that I get to see the world through the perspective of a child again. That the smallest kiss or the biggest cuddle can make the worst of days seem bright. And that I can to take my favorite memories of my own childhood and the life lessons my parents taught me and pass them down to my children. Even the simplest memory of a “love mom” note in a lunchbox will stay with you forever.
 
AR: How hasn’t it changed me!?!  I feel like there is a Allie BK (before kids) and Allie AK (after kids).  I hate to admit it, but looking back, the world pretty much revolved around me before kids, and now it couldn’t be more opposite.  Having kids turned my priorities upside down, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I don’t mind that I “make a blowout last” for 4 or 5 days, because I would rather take the free time that I have and spend it with the kiddos. 
 
JB: Motherhood has changed me in that I was able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and now there are more people to consider. It also has made me greatly appreciate all the things my parents did for me and my sister when we were little and all the sacrifices they made. My kids have also made me have more patience when I had little to none before. They also have made me look at and appreciate my husband in a way I never knew was possible before. I call us the J team because that is exactly what we are…a little family team.
 

AR: Valentina, age 4.5 – She is smart, independent, compassionate and kind.  Also the most headstrong little person I know, which terrifies me for when she gets older!  She is the mother hen of our brood, always looking after her 2 brothers.  She also is the girliest girl in the world, which cracks me up, because I am not!

Jason, age 2.5 – He is lovable, charming, and can be highly emotional like his mama!  He is a super happy kid, who is as typically “boy” as they come.  Loves all sports, legos, construction, dinosaurs, and his daddy!  Tough as nails.

James, age 11 months – He is the laid back one of the group.  He’s a big guy, and loves to just hang and observe.  I call him my lap dog, because he will just relax on my lap and take it all in.  I still carry him in my Ergo as he goes everywhere with me!

JB: Jackson, age 3 – He is so loving and so stubborn. I am always amazed at how he can manipulate a situation to benefit himself at such a young age! He always says to me “Mom, I’m happy” and I hope he keeps that positive outlook on life. He reminds me so much of my husband and I love that! I see so much of Jason in him. He is always challenging himself and loves to try new things! I call him my “little big man” because he is so huge…sometimes I can forget how young he is! He also worships his sister which I just adore.

Juliana, age 1 – She is so easy going and happy all. the. time. She also has a stubborn side though that I know she acquired from both my husband and myself. She loves to give kisses and cuddles and has her babydoll by her side at all times. She will laugh with you and smile at you all day and loves meeting new people like her mama!

 

AR: My breastfeeding style evolved with each baby.  With my first, I lived in strapless maxis and easy breezy wrap pieces that were easy to breastfeed in.  With the second two, I basically would wear anything and make it work!  For the first several weeks, I did live in Rachel Pally’s black kimono wrap top from BURU – I got several and just wore on repeat.  They hide everything and still pull a chic outfit together.
 
JB: I wish I could say that breastfeeding came easy for me, but it was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. I lasted six weeks with my son and just two with my daughter. I wish that I could have had the experience but after a breakdown and chat with my pediatrician, I realized pumping and then switching to formula was a better plan for my babes and me. However, with that being said, I don’t think people warn moms about the style changes that breastfeeding does to one’s wardrobe! The first time I lived in nursing bras and open cardigans, but the second time I wised up and purchased several pieces from BURU while I was pregnant and while I was in the hospital trying to feed because I knew they were pieces I could wear over and over again and feel a little bit more like me!
 
AR: My personal style has definitely changed in practicality but I wouldn’t say that I feel differently about fashion now than I did before having children.  I have always been semi classic with an edge, never super trendy nor preppy.  During the week I opt for jeans and a grey or white t – shirt, or leggings and workout gear for school pickup / drop off.  For Oh Mama meetings, I still love to be comfortable and simple, with jeans or leggings, a Vince blouse, open sweater or blazer, and boots/ heels/ wedges.  I am 99% of the time wearing a ponytail and if I am wearing jewelry it’s just hoop earrings.  I don’t deviate too much from my own personal #momstyle!
 
JB: I think that my personal style has evolved more because I have grown up rather than because I have become a mom. I definitely love the utilitarian look and stick to neutrals and simple pieces more often than not. I love a midi shift dress for work but also love combining leather leggings with a cool top for day to evening wear. Anything black is usually my go to even when it’s 90 degrees outside, as I always feel great in black. I used to buy pieces for a particular event, but now I try to only purchase items that I think I will wear time and time again-something that I can transition from a work meeting to a night out with my husband.
  

Rachel Pally Tillie dress – a dress like this is an outfit in itself.  You can dress up or down, and don’t have to think too much it.  Not to mention that Rachel Pally’s clothes are SO comfy!

Ryan Roche cashmere cardigan.  It pulls the entire outfit together and is super functional, while having a pop of color.

Any Mara Hoffman swimwear piece – because nothing makes you feel more beautiful and energized than one of her prints!

Niki Biki seamless leggings – because what mom doesn’t live in leggings?!?  These are hot.

Bella Dahl large pocket pullover – we live for classic white tops.  This one is gorgeous and can be styled with different bottoms.  

Tracy Reese Felicity Combo Dress - Love how you can wear this with bare arms and legs or cover up if it’s a chillier evening.  It’s also great from work meeting to lunch date with the husband!

Bella Dahl Button Down - because it is so easy to wear from breast feeding to carpool line pick up.  And is the most. comfy. shirt. ever.  In addition to being stylish

Vintage Modal Destroyed Jeggings -This is my favorite type of utilitarian sexy look.

Ace and Jig Kimono - Goddess – Just looking at this print and cut makes me feel put together.

Kestrel Coated Canvas and Leather Zip Tote Line Wire - This makes every outfit an instant success.

Cake Lingerie Black Lace Nursing Bra and Panty - because these are hot.

Rachel Pally – Oversized Cardigan Heather Gray – because this can be worn almost year round. Even on summer nights this is a great layering piece

Tracy Reese Knit Slim Skirt – this is a staple that all mamas need!

Shop the Oh Mama Tastemaker Sale >

 

 

AR & JB: The inspiration for Oh Mama came when Jamie and I were new moms ourselves, and were totally overwhelmed by the online resources for new moms.  We felt that it was overly complicated going to forums, blogs, news sites, social media, and local listserves to learn about parenting and connect with other moms.  We thought, we have to simplify this for moms!  Who has the time to spend this much time online?!  We sought to provide a community where moms could learn about parenting, and hear what other moms like them were saying, whether those moms were in the same city or across the country.  Basically, we wanted moms to be able to create and cultivate their own mom community.
 

AR & JB: This is a big undertaking, and we want to make Oh Mama available for all moms across the country!  Nothing really prepared us for fundraising – it is sometimes necessary for growing the business, but it also takes you away from what you love most – your family, friends, and running the business itself.  Organization and focus are key.  But that’s not to say it’s easy – it’s an up and down roller coaster.  Luckily, we have each other to lean on.  We plan to write a book one day about the trials and tribulations of fundraising – especially for women entrepreneurs… and that is a whole other story!

 

AR: I currently live in West Towson, a suburb outside of Baltimore.  My husband and I grew up around this area, and we have tons of family and friends here.  It’s also close to Baltimore and DC – easy to get to lots of places.  Our kids love the local parks, Baltimore Zoo, Science Center, and National Acquarium.  Lots of great restaurants around here, but my fave for just me and the hubs is a French place called Petit Louis in Roland Park, about ten minutes away.
 
JB: My husband and I were living in Fells Point (a neighborhood in Baltimore City) with our two kids and were in the city for the past 11 years. We absolutely LOVED walking along the water, grabbing dinner and eating outside or walking our son to school in the morning. However, we just moved (a week ago) to Annapolis to be closer to my husband’s work, family and to have a big yard for our kids to play in. We love eating out so I would say in Baltimore, Jack’s Bistro and Barcoccina were two of our kid friendly favorites. In Annapolis, I love Blackwall Hitch, ice cream at Storm Bros. Ice Cream Factory and Vida Taco Bar. Quiet Waters Park is a wonderful spot to meet up with other mamas or take a bike ride together as a family.
 
AR: No two days are alike for me!  I don’t have a full time nanny, so I have the kids with me when they aren’t at school. For me that means being really creative with my schedule, and doing a lot of work at night.  Of course, Jamie and I have a bunch of meetings during the week, but part of having Oh Mama means being a mom – I love being there for school pickup and drop off, and having playdates, etc.,  Totally different schedule than when I was in the corporate world.  Now it’s the best of both worlds!
 
JB: Both of my kiddos have school or childcare each day so I usually start with a cup of coffee after the kids are started with their days and go through emails and talk with Allie about what we want to accomplish short term and long term.  I tend to do a ton of Google Hangouts with our team each day so we can feel connected even though they are all over the country.  I too love the flexibility of being able to drive my son to school some days and see my daughter between naps and it is great because most other mamas want to talk during nap which works great for everyone involved.  Some days though Allie and I will chat until 10pm at night or later regarding the business and it’s not unlikely that we are chatting via email or on slack or trello until 11pm or starting at 6am!
 
AR: Honestly, I struggle the most with this.  I don’t necessarily try to find balance (what exactly is that anyway for a mom?!), but I try to make sure that everyone in my family, including myself, has what they need.  Do my kids feel like their parents are present and that they are loved?  Does my husband feel like he is getting enough love and attention from me?  Do I feel like I am giving my all to my kids and Oh Mama and to my husband and taking care of myself?  These are the questions that I am asking myself on a daily basis.  I get frustrated a lot because I am trying to do a lot.   But I try to remind myself that overall, things are good.  We have each other and my kids are happy, I work with my best friend, and even though it’s a struggle, I have all that I need.
 
JB: I feel like this is the million dollar question and if anyone has the answer, please reach out to me! Tears have been shed many times when it comes to trying to find a balance, but I always talk through everything and end up feeling better about it all. We are doing something great and to do it with your best friend is unheard of! I will say that I ask my husband all the time how he accomplishes all that he does during the day and he has given me some great tips. I now try to wake up 30 minutes before the kids do so I can feel like I had a little me time in the morning-some days I dread it but I always remember the rushed feeling I have otherwise and I hate that feeling! I also try to set calendar appointments to get in a quick Kalya Itsines workout. Rarely do I get it all done but I try (the slicked back pony is a new hair style go to)! Sometimes the pressures of working from home also make me feel that I have to get the daily chores done, so I try to work outside the house when I can as if I was “going to work.” Making family dinners has turned into making Plated meals or take out but being with my family and ensuring they feel loved is what matters most to me. I always put aside work for bedtime and then have a little time with my husband at night and that has helped tremendously. My calendar is king and people laugh but my husband and I send calendar appointments for date nights so that it becomes just as important as a work meeting.
 

Alexandra:

Mother: Evolving

Wife: Lucky

Friend: Dependable

Business Owner: Inspired

Techy: Newbie 

 

Jamie:

Mother: Passionate

Wife: Adoring

Friend: Real

Business Owner: Driven

Techy: Navigating

 

 

Alexandra:

Bedtime Story: Goodnight Moon (or whatever story my kids want me to tell them)

 Lullaby: not much of a lullaby girl – Twinkle Twinkle?!

 Vacation Spot: With kids, North Carolina beaches, Florida, or California – anywhere my family is!  S. Beach for when it’s just grown ups.

 Restaurant: Petit Louis

 Children’s Brands: Kissy Kissy for baby, Crew Cuts, Ella Moss, Mini Boden, Splendid, Roberta Roller Rabbit for summer clothes (anything that is soft and made of good quality is what I love for my kids!). 

 

Jamie:

Bedtime Story: Iggy Peck, Architect & Rosie Rever, Engineer

 Lullaby: It’s not a Lullaby per say but we always sing Do-Re-Mi

 Vacation Spot: Love the One and Only Bahamas for kid-friendly but adult enjoyable vacations!

 Restaurant: Sapphire Grille in Savannah. Best tasting menu ever. The ordinary in Charleston is so great as well!

 Children’s Brands: I love Kickee Pants everything when they are really little. Ella Moss and Mini Boden I adore as well. Tea Collection & Appaman are great too. I also love going to Target and H&M for staple pieces for the kids.

 

AR: Just how much my parents love me.  I wouldn’t have been so difficult!  A parents’ love for their child is something that can only be known when it happens to you. (That and the dirty hair).
 
JB: Allie and I were just discussing this. The number of times I have called and apologize to my mom for the way I was as a kid is a lot since having my own children! Having kids puts everything into perspective and it’s not so important to sweat the small stuff. I also wish I would have slept in more ha!

 

AR: “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.” –Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

 

JB: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. –Theodore Roosevelt

 

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