Who here does NOT need of coffee break, a nap, a night out, a little extra time to do the things that cannot get done with kids underfoot!? And yet there's no money, no one to watch the kids, and no time to find either.
Amy Husted and Audrey Wallace are two moms who took it upon themselves to solve it, and we couldn't be happier. We got to interview Amy, and she has a lot of incredible things to say about motherhood, going after your dreams- and she even opens up about her journey through postpartum. Read on for real talk, serious encouragement, and why life is so much easier with Komae.
Hi Amy! Why did you decide to start Komae and what’s behind the name?
Hey there! Komae is an app that allows parents to exchange free babysitting with their trusted network. I sit for you. You sit for me. No one pays for sitting anymore. We believe it takes a village and we want to empower parents to be the village for each other. In fact, Komae means village in Greek!
Audrey and I were two stressed out stay-at-home moms, each trying to run our own side hustle while maintaining healthy marriages, friendships, and self-care. The balancing act of mommy-hood is no joke. And it can quickly leave women feeling defeated and depleted, making way for the dreaded and inevitable… mommy guilt.
On a more personal level, I was at home quietly struggling with postpartum depression and was desperately looking for some time to myself in order to stay sane. So Audrey and I decided to do something about it by building Komae.
Tell us a little about yourself. Can you share a little bit about your kids- what ages are they, and what are you learning as a parent right now?
I am a stay-at-home-mom turned full-time-entrepreneur over the course of a few short years. I wasn’t on a mission to start a business, but I was on a mission to solve a problem for moms like me. I am a lover of coffee, wine, and The Bachelor(ette). I am married to Andrew and we have two boys, Nathan (8) and Noah (6). They keep us on our toes and are teaching us to pick our battles. My most recent example is that my kids are terrrrrible eaters. Perhaps the worst I’ve met. If it’s not the blue box of mac ‘n’ cheese or pb&j without crust, then ‘no thank you.’ But when it comes to showing compassion for others, they couldn’t be sweeter. So we’re in a season of celebrating the wins and letting other things go.
Can you tell us a little about your postpartum journey? What was postpartum like for you?
Pregnancy and postpartum were both pretty rough on me. I already struggled with anxiety and depression before becoming a mom, so when my medicine was taken away and the hormones of motherhood were added in, it wasn’t always pretty. There was a lot of crying, there were many highs and lows, and at the end of the day, I felt completely alone and entirely lost. I thought I was broken and that I should be enjoying my new found motherhood. At least… that’s what social media told me, right? But I wasn’t loving it. And to be honest, I didn’t even like it.
I feared that I would never fully enjoy my kids. That I would never have the lovey-dovey moments other moms talk about. But in time, I did. Maybe not everyday, but in spurts. And by the time my kids were 4 and 6, I was in love with the life we had created and the relationship I had grown with them. It just didn’t come as naturally to me in the beginning. It was hard. And that’s ok. But it could have been easier.
When some women hear me talk about this, they might judge me. When other women hear me talk about this, they feel relief in knowing they are not alone and that they are not broken. And it’s for those women that I’ve decided to become comfortable in sharing my story.
What resources do you wish you had during postpartum?
Friends with kids. 100%
I was the first of my friends to become a mom. So I didn’t have anyone to follow. And more importantly, I didn’t have anyone to spend time with that could relate to the emotions and feelings I was experiencing. It wasn’t until my oldest son was 2, that I began to seek out friendships with other women in my stage of life. Oh how I wish I had made that leap sooner. It could have made all the difference.
What do you think new moms and those about to be new moms need to know?
You are not alone and you are not broken. Taking medicine is not weakness. It is strength. Be willing to ask for help, whether that’s from your spouse, your friends, or your family. Let them give you a nap. Let them bring you a meal. Let them do your laundry or the dishes. It will bring them joy and it will bring you rest.
My husband was with me every night for every feeding and that is the number one thing that kept me going when times were tough. He would get up and change the baby’s diaper while I got ready to feed him. Once feeding had started, he would go back to bed and I would join when the baby was back to sleep. Feeling like I had a partner in this journey kept me sane when I otherwise might not have been. His help at night made me a better mom during the day.
Komae makes it really easy for moms to go out, which can be a huge part of postpartum self-care. What would you say to moms who aren’t tech friendly and hesitate to use an app?
Girl, figure it out! And if you can’t, ask us for help! We love helping our customers get started on the app.
We’ve made tutorials to keep it easy and your privacy is our number one concern. Your personal information is only shared with friends you’ve personally hand selected to be in your village. Furthermore, when you post a sit request, you might get multiple offers from different friends. You don’t have to take the first person that makes themself available, you can choose the one that’s most convenient or most comfortable for you.
What would you tell new moms who feel like there are too many obstacles and fears in their way for them to go out without the baby?
Your husband is just as much a parent as you are. It’s ok for you to take some time away and for him to handle things without you for a time. If there’s no husband in the picture to be of help, or if the two of you want to get out together, lean into your friends to give you some free time. I hear there’s an app for that. *cough*Komae*cough*
Leaving your baby might be hard when it comes to logistics, but I promise you that in the end, you will be thankful that you did it. If you are not in a mentally healthy place, you are not creating a healthy environment for your kids.
A well rested, patient mom is better than a frazzled mom who’s available at every cry. And if you can be both of the moms at the same time, then go ahead and let your superhero cape fly. For most of us, we need some time to ourselves in order refuel and have something good to offer our family.
As moms, we struggle so much to find the time to get all the things done. What are your time management secrets? Are there tools that you can’t live without?
Start a to-do list. That might sound cliche but let me tell you two reasons why.
One - When you’ve finally found time to get things done, this will give you a reference to get you focused quickly.
Two - When you cross things off said list, it feels good! Girl, if you need to put “brush teeth” on your list and check it off, do it. No task is too small to make you feel like you accomplished something on those early days of motherhood.
What would you say to moms who have a dream, but no idea where or how to start?
Start with 10 minutes every single day. Then 30 minutes. Then an hour. Set aside time to work on your dream and don’t break that appointment with yourself. This will assure that you maintain forward motion.
Also, ask questions. Use Google. The internet is full of answers that will show you the next step you need to be taking. And if you can, surround yourself with people who’ve walked the walk before you.
Where do you see Komae headed? What do you hope moms will get out of using the app?
At Komae, we are on a mission to create a lifestyle of shared care between parents. Whether it’s getting a piece of your social life back, going on a date with your spouse, or having some peace and quiet when struggling with postpartum depression, we know every parent needs a break. We also know that we want to help each other, but don’t always know how to offer and how to accept. Komae is on a mission to make that easier and most importantly… guilt free!
Today we are 100% focused on nailing the babysitting market and building Komae into a household name. We want to hear parents saying “Honey, let’s Komae the kids and go out on a date tonight.” And once we tackle that… the potential of shared care is endless. Petsitting? Carpooling? Elderly care? You name it and it’s on our list. In fact, some of our customers are ALREADY sharing those things through our app without us prompting the behavior ourselves!
Amy is amazing, right?! And I promise, Komae is just as cool. With a few clicks and swipes, you can invite your people to join in, find more moms and grow your village, and get the down time you need to stay healthy through this intense season. Time to put down what you're doing, download the app and get started. #momlifewins
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