Meet Neha Ruch
Posted on March 06 2018
Mom to: Bodie Stone Ruch, age 2.
Profession: Mother and Founder of Mother Untitled
What were those early days of motherhood like for you?
Maybe I look back with rose-colored lenses as I know this isn’t everyone’s experience and I’m conscious of saying it out loud, but I found that time to be the greatest peace and calm I’ve ever had. Now mind you, my nipples were raw for close to three weeks, I had intense oversupply which made it all just a tad messy (I won’t get into the details) and I unexplainably cried hard in the shower a handful of times as the hormones peaked and my body healed from tearing. But I was lucky to have my husband to care for me, my family close, and a baby nurse to teach us, so I felt incredibly supported. All of that was a privilege, and a gift that I’m acutely aware helped allow me to soak in the magic of having brought a little growing human into the world.
2 years into your motherhood journey, what has been the best part of being Bodie's Mommy?
Seeing life through his eyes. I feel like from his early months, he navigated the world with intention, curiosity and humor. He’s given me an energy and silliness that I love about myself and I love being able to give back to him.
What has been the most challenging part of motherhood?
Learning how to carve time for myself, my husband, and Mother Untitled alongside raising Bodie. It’s something that is constantly shifting week over week as one of those pieces needs more than the other so there’s no fixed template which can be frustrating for someone who loves a compartmentalized calendar. I try and just lean into the fluidity and make time to constantly re-evaluate how our rhythms are working for us.
Your site Mother Untitled tells the story of so many women and how motherhood changed their professional choices, what's your story?
I spent ten years very committed to growing my career in an ad agency, at business school and finally, running brand marketing at an NYC startup. Even before I became a mother, I felt my focus shifting to supporting my family and creating impact. At that time, I decided to consult for female-founded companies for more control and flexibility.
When I had Bodie, I felt this unbelievable (for me) level of contentment with raising him being my priority. When he was six months, I went back to one of my clients for two days a week, but I was always ready for my days at home. During that first year I met so many women in my area who had made similar choices to shift work to be more present for this time. None of them resembled the archaic stereotypes of the “stay at home mother” that our culture has developed over the years.
I started noodling on the site as a media brand to represent this category of women making choices to make room for motherhood with a new and empowered narrative. When Bodie turned one, we launched!
How has motherhood changed your voice both inner and outer?
I am 99% more confident in my choices after having Bodie. I have my moments of self-doubt but I have clarity about my priorities that allows me to be more gentle on myself and committed to my choices which offers an inner peace. Outwardly, having a child made me a bigger champion of other women. Maybe it’s that we need each other more, or the shared experiences or that I’m simply more secure in my choices and less apt to compare, but I feel much more genuinely open, appreciative and admiring of the women around me.
What do you do for "me" time?
On Mondays and Tuesdays, I have a wonderful nanny who cares for Bodie so I can focus my time on Mother Untitled. Having time allocated to writing which I’ve always loved to do personally still feels novel! I’ll start some Mondays with a 20-minute massage with Kay at Cleo Nail Salon & Spa. I carry a lot of tension in my back and feel better once I’m a bit loosened up. On days when I’m home, I bring a lot more care into my daily routines - I use skincare lines by Tata Harper, Joanna Vargas, and Herbivore and each gives me a second to pause and feel good about how I’m taking care of myself. I’ve recently dialed up the hours with my weekly housekeeper so that I don’t spend nap-times cleaning. Now I use that time to work on the site or give myself a break to respond to what I feel like I need - a whole meal sitting down, sleep or even a half hour of laughing at reruns of Friends.
What is one piece of advice you would pass onto other moms?
It all passes. I like to think that the next time I’ll be a bit less wound up about sleep regressions and all the other transitions in early motherhood knowing what I know now - that in a matter of weeks things will settle. It makes the occasional sleepless night less frantic knowing it’s not forever. Don’t quote me on this - but I actually miss those nighttime feedings sometimes when I think back to those quiet and simple moments.
We’d love for you to come hang - you can find our conversations on Mother Untitled or @MotherUntitled.