One rainy afternoon, Susanna McMillan, hit a breaking point that may sound very familiar to a lot of moms and dads. The mother of two kids under two, was precariously low on diapers and her babies were dangerously low on patience. She took stock of everything she would need to venture outside in the now pouring rain: a heavy diaper bag, a rain cover for her infant, a cart cover for her toddler, and about a dozen or so other items. She felt immediately overwhelmed.
But from struggle comes strength and great ideas. Susanna became inspired and the birth of the now patented Nest®, a multi-use nursing scarf, car seat cover, and cart cover with built-in-pocket for on-the-go essentials was born. Susanna sells the Nest® through her L.A.-based business Native Wilds, which is on a mission to design products, “that enable new moms to take on the world, babe in tow and without losing themselves along the journey,” says Susanna.
Her passion is reflected in the thoughtful design of the Nest®. It flexes to fit its variety of use cases and has tapered ends, making it easy to adjust coverage or maintain eye contact with your baby during nursing or in the carseat. It is also made from sustainably grown Eucalyptus trees, which makes the material hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking and with an UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50, to protect baby’s sensitive skin. The Nest®‘s colors and patterns also serve a purpose: a baby’s eyesight develops rapidly after birth and by 2 months, a baby will begin to recognize and feel comforted by familiar colors and patterns.
(Several parents at Yumi were already Nest® fans, which is why we decided to team up with Susanna to create a limited edition Yumi Nest®!Nest® is also milled and manufactured just a few miles from our HQ in Los Angeles. We’re in love and if you are too, you can pick up one here)
Today, Susanna’s kids are a little bit older and she’s packing a little bit lighter, but she’s just as busy as ever. We love hearing from moms like Susanna, so we were so happy when she managed to spare a few minutes with us to discuss her obsession with avocados and her favorite rituals.
It’s Saturday morning at the McMillan house. What’s for breakfast?
Gluten-free pancakes are a hit around here — and it’s never the same recipe. I throw into a mixing bowl gluten-free flour, almond meal, almond milk, eggs, agave and mix in whatever thinly chopped fruit we have on hand (bananas and peaches are a fave). Kids love them and still get protein from the almond meal to last through Saturday morning soccer games!
Of course, becoming a mom changes your daily life rather drastically. What has been your favorite change and your least favorite change?
I love sharing my life with my children and seeing the world in new and exciting ways through their eyes. My kids gave me a renewed sense of purpose and were the inspiration behind Native Wilds. With that being said, the struggle to carve out time for self-care and forging my new identity as a mother has always been a challenge. Children are such amazing teachers, and I think it’s a constant process of self-discovery and transformation.
How difficult is it go from 1 to 2 babies, what was the most unexpected challenge? Give it to us straight 🙂
Having my kids 13 months apart has always been a scheduling challenge, One was always slightly off the others ones nap time, feeding schedule, potty training or bedtime routine. Now that they’re 4 and 5 it’s starting to feel more like twins and is getting easier. They’re also playing and entertaining each other now and I’m finally able to finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot!
What’s your favorite ritual or tradition that you’ve established for your family?
When I pick them up from school every day, we take an hour before coming home to go to the park, grab ice cream, go for a bike ride or whatever we feel like that day. That hour is precious to me because I’m able to hear about their day and spend quality time with them before heading home into the crazy second half of the day with dinner, prepping for the next day, and bed time chaos!
What is your best piece of advice for new moms?
Prioritize time to reconnect with yourself and tap into your intuition. The more you are attuned to your true nature, the happier you will be and a more present parent. If it’s a quick jog around the block, grabbing a drink with friends, meditation, a hot bubble bath at the end of a long day – it’s so important to take time to do the things that make you feel alive and those things can look different every day.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl – but I’ve forced myself to be a morning person since my kids are up at 6 am every day ready to go!
Coffee or tea?
COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE
What is the one food you can’t go a day without?
Avocado! I think I have a problem. I became a vegetarian last year and it’s become my substitute for the entire meat food group. I probably eat 3 a day.
You find out that you have one hour free and home alone. How are you spending it?
Bubble bath and a book please!
It’s a Friday night and you’re going out with your girlfriends. What are you sipping on?
We chose Yumi for our first Nest® collaboration because they share our brand values and aesthetic! Sustainably and responsibly made in Los Angeles, products that are the best for baby and support moms in the the fourth trimester. We wanted to feature Yumi’s vibrant brand colors based off the vibrant, organic fruits and veggies that go into the baby food. I’m really happy with how the Yumi Nest® turned out!