Lindsay Arnold on Breastfeeding 'Pressures' and Combatting Mom Shamers: 'None of Us Are Perfect'
Courtesy Ivy City Co.
Lindsay Arnold takes on the pressure to be a mom and reminds other parents that no one is perfect.
While Arnold talks to PEOPLE about her mommy-and-me clothing collection with the Ivy City Co. brand, which launches April 29, she shows how she deals with the daily pressures of motherhood as the mother of 5-month-old daughter Sage Jill .
The 27-year-old Dancing with the Stars Pro, who welcomed her first baby with husband Samuel Lightner Cusick in November, says there's a lot of maternal pressure surrounding her breastfeeding decisions. Arnold says she "exclusively" breastfed for up to four and a half months, but later found that Sage "was still crying because she was hungry".
"I have a nice, great, growing girl and she eats a lot, so I supplemented with formula too, and it worked great for us and she's happy," says Arnold.
Even so, the first-time mother says she feels this "pressure to breastfeed as long as possible".
"I wanted to do that," she explains. "I mean, if I had, I would have just breastfed. But at the end of the day, you just want your kids to be happy, and that's for the best."
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Courtesy Ivy City Co.
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In dealing with that pressure, Arnold remembers that she isn't the only mother feeling this way.
"I try to focus on the fact that there must be so many mothers feeling the same pressure," she says. "And if I can be open and vulnerable, maybe I can help other mothers who feel the same way and understand that it's okay and that none of us are perfect. There are trials when you're a mother."
"There are things that you are still learning and trying to grow every day and you are not alone. That's what drives me," she continues. "And at the end of the day, I try to focus and remember that I know what's best for me and my family."
Courtesy Ivy City Co.
The star went on to share her recent experiences of "mother's guilt," which happened when Baby Sage got sunburned on her family vacation.
"I lathered her with sunscreen and then my cute little girl still gets sunburned and I feel like the most terrible mother in the whole world," remembers Arnold. "When your kids are in pain, or hurt, or something goes wrong, it's so easy to feel mom's fault: 'Oh my god, this is my fault. I'm the worst person ever.' But at the end of the day, kids are so resilient and things will happen. "
RELATED: DWTS Pro Lindsay Arnold's 4 Month Old Daughter Stars In A "Baby Sage Fashion Show"
Something that helped Arnold "stay healthy" as a mom has been working on her own projects, including her collaboration with Utah-based clothing brand Ivy City Co. The special Mother's Day collection - which Arnold says is a "dream." come "true" to create - offers three clothing styles in sizes for adults, mini and baby.
Inspired by her own family, each dress has a meaningful namesake: "Sage" for her daughter, "Mindy" for her mother, and "Jill" for her late mother-in-law.
Arnold and her family recently did a photo shoot to model the collection. Arnold says this is "the most beautiful and unforgettable moment I can ever say".
"It's the most special project I've ever worked on," she says. "I will cherish this day for the rest of my life. It was special. This created memories and only created one day that we will all truly cherish and remember forever. I am so grateful for that."
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