Name: Magda Lasota Morales
Website: MLM Brand
Number of kids and ages: Two boys — Adrian (7) and Julian (4)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is how much my world and priorities changed after becoming a mother. Before I had kids, I thought I would be fine being away from my boys (I’ve seen so many moms — including my own — do it!). When I became a mother, something inside of me shifted. It was a result and a combination of growing up in Europe (where family policies are generally more supportive of working parents), living an ocean away from my family in Poland, and my husband’s demanding career (which meant long hours at a hospital). Once my boys came into the picture, I was determined to figure out a way to have more control over my schedule and be positively present for my young family. I wanted to be there in those early years of motherhood.
When I made a decision to pause my career and align my work alongside motherhood, I knew this was the right choice for our family. Was it easy? Absolutely not! For a while, I’ve let the societal stigma of becoming a stay-at-home mom get to me. I’ve heard “friends” say: “What will this pause do to your career and salary?”, “Why are you working to launch your business — I thought you wanted to be with your kids?”, Why are you hiring a nanny if you’re not making any money and being a mom IS your job?” And so many other comments that were a reflection of how the society still thinks of women and working mothers, and what they should or shouldn’t do. I’ve never felt more empowered than when I decided to dedicate this chapter to my young family. I made a choice that was right for my family, and I refused to let anyone make me me feel like that was not enough. I believe women, mothers can have it all, just not at the same time, not always. Women who choose motherhood deserve to feel empowered and supported at work and in a society. We live in a hustle culture and often times we forget that raising the next generation is the most important job.
Since becoming a mother 7 years ago, my world shifted and there’s nothing that I love more than being a mom. I’ve never felt more accomplished and ambitious than during my years at home building a business on my own terms and schedule, alongside motherhood.
My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was I had two very different breastfeeding and pumping experiences with my children. With my first son, I went back to work when he was 11 weeks and almost exclusively pumped for him for a year after returning to the office from maternity leave. I was a first time mom. I was the only mom at work. I was stressed out, but determined to make it to a one year mark. I pumped in a supply closet and during meetings. At around 10 months, my supply dipped and I had to supplement with formula (which felt like a failure to me — thanks, society!) Back then, I wish someone had told me it was okay to prioritize my mental health and rest; that I mattered too.
As a brand owner I always emphasize that MLM is here to support and empower mothers on their breastfeeding and pumping journeys, but not if it negatively impacts their mental health.
With my second son, my breastfeeding journey was different. I had no expectations because I had so many other things to worry about and I’ve learned by then that the way I feed my child doesn’t define me as a mother. Julian was born with a tongue tie which was quickly corrected. We had a beautiful breastfeeding journey that lasted 2 years and 6 days. It took me about a month to gradually weaned him, but he never forgot our special bond — he still reaches for my chest in moments of comfort!
The best piece of advice about motherhood is to go out (literally or virtually) and find your village — a group of moms for playdates, mom dates, and everything in between. I wouldn’t make it through the early months, years of motherhood without the support of my mom friends. I think it’s also safe to say that MLM Brand wouldn’t be here without my amazing, selfless, supportive mom friends who helped with the initial product testing and offered feedback on park benches and during breastfeeding meetups.
About Magda and MLM Brand: I live in Los Angeles with my husband and our two boys — Adrian and Julian. I’m a political scientist/researcher turned entrepreneur/fashion designer. When my second son was born in 2017, I decided to pause my career and focus on my young family while also trying to launch an apparel brand. I’ve always loved fashion, but I never imagined this passion would lead me away from my career in research to designing breastfeeding-friendly dresses. I care about our environment — sustainability and minimal waste are among my brand’s core values. I’m also passionate about improving family policies, elevating the voices of women and advocating for moms in the work places.