“The most exciting thing about being a new parent is watching things like bravery or surprise or excitement overtake your little one for the first time.” Nell Card speaks to Julia O’Rourke (@rudyjude) about family adventures in Maine, USA…
Julie O’Rourke is a clothing designer living in Spruce Head, Maine with her partner Anthony Esteves, and one-year-old son, Diogo. Her first collection of childrenswear launches this autumn (rudyjude.com)
Meet Julie O-Rourke, or Rudy Jude…
Our mornings are… my favorite part of the day. I try to wake up an hour or two before Diogo to drink a cup of coffee and get a little work done. It doesn’t happen everyday, but when it does, it really sets the groundwork for a good day. I’m (maybe annoyingly) chipper in the morning which I get from my mother. When I was pregnant she and wondered if Diogo would inherit our “morning gene.” He definitely did – some days he even wakes up laughing.
My kid mainly wears… samples from my clothing line, Rudy Jude. Before anything gets put into production I make sure it can stand up to the mom/kid test. Worn in, washed a hundred times, stained, sun bleached, we really try to use things up, so we know what will happen to them out there in the world. I also have a weakness for mid 1990’s baby vintage.
I cope with clutter by… trying to assign different tasks to different days of the week. I know that sounds very “type A” of me, but I am very much a “type B” kind of person, so a lot of times these tasks go un-done!
I never leave the house without… bathing suits and a pool noodle, which happens to be the favorite toy these days, in or out of the water. The summer is very short here, and so we try to spend as much time as we can at the beach or in the lake. Diogo just learned to walk, and he likes to walk straight into the ocean right up to his chest. The most exciting thing about being a new parent is watching things like bravery or surprise or excitement overtake your little one for the first time. You get to really feel and understand the intricacies of emotion in a new way.
When they’re not looking I… run to the bathroom! I never understood how important going to the bathroom in peace was until I had a kid.
I encourage creativity by… exploring and experiencing as much as possible. Diogo is still really little, but I think it’s important for him to be exposed to different environments, people, and places. I want him to understand how to navigate large groups of people and also to be comfortable in quiet places. We’ve driven cross country with him twice as well as taken him on many adventures close to home, and we know he won’t remember all of the things he’s done, but we hope it’s helping to build a good foundation for creativity and adventure in the future.
I’ll never be able to part with… I’ve realised every day as a parent is totally different from the last and all the tools you need or methods that you swear by could change at the drop of a hat. But if I break it down into phases, I’d say between 0-3 months, I didn’t think I’d be able to part with the fabric sling I used all day every day. We were always skin-to-skin and I was sure we were going to stay like that until he went to college. Between 3-6 months, it was the Merry Muscles Bouncer. After three months of constant contact it was so nice to watch Diogo gain independence. He discovered pretty quickly that he could pivot on one toe and turn in circles to look out all the windows. And I discovered I could go to the bathroom alone. Between 6-12 months it was the car seat. He falls fast asleep if we go for a drive, so I like to drive to places that I can pick up free wifi, so I can get some work done while he snoozes.
When all else fails we… break out all the instruments we can find. We’re not very good, but a lot of noise and some weird dance moves always settle foul moods in our household.