Self-care Series: By Day founder, Nathalia Chubin
At &Breathe, we're extremely passionate about our parental self-care mission. It's so important to make time for yourself in your parenting journey - self-care isn't selfish! After all if you're not at your best, how can you be at your best for those around you?
Nathalia is co-founder of By Day, a flexible working company for parents. She began her career at McCann Erickson working on advertising campaigns for a wide range of clients from FMCG to technology and entertainment. In 2011 she joined PlayStation's software product marketing department at Sony Computer Entertainment’s regional HQ, managing global publishing and campaigns for the AAA releases. She is mother to a toddler and is soon to be a mother of two.
&B: How do you manage to balance work and life? Is it possible?!
NC: I go straight from emails to toddler activities and back again; the lack of a break is an absolute killer. Having a parent nearby is the saving grace for me – sometimes when I’m utterly burnt out, I get help with preparing her lunch – thank god for that. I wish I could say I’ve figured it out, but ultimately as soon as you have a family it’s about pulling in as much help as you can, and lowering your expectations whilst they’re little. The first year or two is incredibly hard, so seeing any downtime as a bonus will help relieve the idea you should be fulfilling every area of your life equally – just getting a small person through year 1 is a tough enough task, and it’s all temporary anyway!
Career vs Kids
&B: How have you found that your professional life has changed since having kids? Is this a big reason for starting By Day?
NC: For a long time I felt like I wanted the impossible – to have the thrills of a career whilst spending all my time with my daughter. To an extent that’s never going to sort itself out, but structurally there were so little options to combine the two in a way that felt healthy for me. I’ve always hated the notion of someone being able to tell me I can’t take her to the doctor, or pick her up from school because my contract says I should be at my desk at that time. I was craving a solution so that parents get more freedom around how and when they work, choosing their own priorities and taking responsibility for all areas of their lives on their own terms.
I truly believe that you can love your kids to death, but domestic work is still work. It’s exhausting, it never ends, and it carries a weight of responsibility. Being able to share both childcare and bringing in money means that both parents have equal access to fulfilling their ambitions and also the joy of spending time with their kids when they are awake. It feels strange that current office requirements take professionals away from their home for arbitrary and identical hours, without the trust and flexibility to adjust if circumstances permit.
on keeping fit
&B: How do you like to keep fit and active?
NC: Currently going for walks ticks off a number of jobs – tiring out the toddler, encouraging the baby’s head to drop down into my pelvis (38 week problems), the dog gets out and we all stretch our legs.
on eating healthily
&B: What's your best foodhack secret to eating healthily?
NC: I have ruined bolognese to the point of no return. The amount of vegetables I now cram in to this sacred dish is something I keep very quiet around my Italian friends. I also steam lots of vegetables and keep them ready for salads, and find Sarah Raven’s books super helpful in preparation. The most important practice is to batch cook and freeze. If you find yourself standing over a stove for a meal that will last 1 day, you’ve got things wrong.
&B: What's your favourite thing to do to relax?
NC: Knitting whilst watching First Dates. Mum-life multitasking means I now can’t just do one thing. I figure as long as one of those things doesn’t involve the iPhone, I’m in the clear.
#1 Selfcare Tip
&B: What's your number one self-care tip for mums or dads?
NC: Try to take the baby off each other’s hands for 3-4 hours freedom sometimes. It’s better than a short stint, and means a physical break can turn into a mental one too.