by riley suchanek·
Name: Emma O'Brien
Occupation: Usually copywriter + brand strategist, but full time mom right now ( I just don't get paid for it, lol), opening a children's bookstore in October 2021
Instagram Handle: @emmakayobrien
What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
I've always wanted to write books. As a child I was always making up stories and because I was too scared to tell them outloud I would write them down in the backs of books or in notebooks. I used to hide little notes all around our house hoping that one day someone famous would find them and make them into a book for me. I used to get into trouble in school because I only ever wanted to write stories, it was such a chore doing homework like math or science because it involved NO storytelling. I was a hopeless dreamer as a kid and felt like my life was so boring that I would make up stories of all the wonderful adventures I was escaping to in my books.
What is the earliest memory you have?
Making jam with my grandma on their farm in Australia. We used to live on a huge farm with cattle, sheep, chickens and down the back was a creek we would build forts on and float down. But of all the memories, my first was my grandma teaching me how to jam, how to sterilize all the bottles and get the kitchen ready.
Do you think it is possible to be fully ready for a baby?
Absolutely not. I mean don't get me wrong, there are loads of things you can do to prepare for a baby, you can buy stuff, read books, ask all of the questions. But nothing will ever make you "ready" like just being thrown in the middle of it. For me it was that first night home from the hospital—I don't think anyone could have prepared me for that. My husband and I both took a screaming baby into every room in our house, we tried all of the stuff we read, the things my midwives told me at the hospital, things my friends said, but at the end of the day you're only ready to start reading your baby and learning their cues once they are here. Having a child changes your entire way of being, your priorities are spectacularly reordered and the second you take that little bundle home from the hospital you realize, wow nothing could have prepared you for this moment.
What do you look for in baby clothes?
Oh everything baggy and oversized, basically the way I dress is how I want to dress my baby.
What do you like about Yay For You?
That it's baggy jumpsuits— my dream outfit made from deadstock, so good for the planet and for people to think about.
What is your favorite piece from YFY?
What type of traditions do you hope to make for your baby/children?
I love the idea of traditions, We don't have too many traditions right now because Joey is so small, but each week my husband and I do a little art show for Joey where we draw or paint something, hang them up in our house and show Joey the artworks we make for her! We also love to make pancakes on Sundays. My husband makes these delicious buttermilk pancakes with a berry puree sauce and fresh whipped cream with honey so I have been enjoying that. Our world is so small right now so basically we're creating traditions on the fly.
What is one tradition you remember from your childhood?
I didn't have too many traditions growing up—we moved so frequently that we were never really in the same spot to do anything more than once. My family did have a lot of focus on community service, whatever we were doing my parents made sure that we were helping other people, thinking about other people and doing something kind for our neighbors. But our birthdays, christmases and other holidays always looked so different, we didn't really follow any kind of routine or rhythms.
What is one thing you learned from your pregnancies or from motherhood?
Wow, what haven't I learnt— this has been the most stretching season in my entire 33 years on the planet. I've learned more about myself in motherhood than I think I have the rest of my adult life. I feel like because I am being completely undone each day, I have adapted to being more vulnerable with those close to me, which has always been difficult to do— because it is literally impossible to raise a human on your own. Healing (emotionally and physically) has been a big theme for me after I gave birth to Joey. I had NO CLUE what to expect but this specific part of my journey was far from easy, and really unfamiliar territory. It was really slow and frustrating, but I really had to learn to be patient with myself and also take better care of myself. I'm naturally really good at taking care of those around me, but always put myself last. That was something I had to learn how to change, for the sake of being a better parent to my child but also for my future self. I think as I watch my daughter learn about herself and her place in the world it's also forced me to do the same, in a completely new way.