Mom Crush: Interview with Radiant Human's Christina Lonsdale
We sat down with Christina Lonsdale of Radiant Human for a light hearted but earnest conversation about the creative process of motherhood. She shares her unique take on the surreality of creating a human, body love, and the importance of the weekend paper.
Is there anything you would like to share about Radiant Human that we might not know?
Most people think I'm either a photographer or a psychic when I am neither of those! I identify as a conceptual artist exploring identity and energy.
Tell us about the creative burst you've experienced with motherhood.
To be a part of the creation of another human is SURREAL to say the least...I think especially when you’re an artist. It put into perspective the creative process, from gestation to delivery: in my opinion it's not too far off from working on a big creative project. In fact, I like to think of having a baby is like taking a commission; you’ve chosen to do this because of something specific and special about you and it's your job to show up and do the work but it's not all entirely under your control, it's a collaborative process.
This has made me embrace concepts that before I thought would be too big or intimidating. Childbirth scared the sh$t out of me and I survived that so I'm thinking a lot bigger now and embracing the process better. Having more patience for ideas to mature and formulate naturally.
What's been the biggest surprise on your motherhood journey?
That I would like being pregnant. Tbh I was expecting to blow up like a blimp and feel really embarrassed. I've always been curvy so I just figured pregnancy was going to feel really heavy and overbearing especially during the summer in NYC. But in fact I felt the opposite! I felt like a ripe peach walking around with this special surprise. I was expecting to wear huge tent like dresses so I could hide my figure but I ended up doing the opposite for that too. Instead I wore a lot of tight stretchy dresses or cute little crop tops. It was sooo fun to dress up pregnant because there was no hiding this massive watermelon, so it gave me the freedom to wear clothes that I would normally never have the guts to wear i.e. crop tops! Also there was this intense commitment to this little life inside me, there was no resentment, no shame for what my body had to do to make this little human. I had a lot of fun embracing that and taking fashion risks that would otherwise scare me.
Did you have a birth plan?
Kind of. I'm a total planner, but something inside me held back a LOT. I got a lot of feedback from my mom friends that it was good to have a plan but to expect it to change IRL. The only thing I was adamant on was to save the cord blood/tissue and bank it. I didn’t eat the placenta; I saved it for my baby. That was a no brainer for me. I figured if we can 3D print food now, imagine what we’ll be able to do with stem cells by the time my child is 60 years old? Especially for how toxic our environment is and most likely will be for the duration of my bb's life.
Another thing: I got the epidural. I feel like there's some mom bravado out there about going natural so I want to level set and share what worked for me. Every mom gets to choose how she experiences her birth and there’s no right way. But for me, it made sense to have the shot and I still felt pain! I was conscious the whole time, I was able to push safely and effectively and I didn’t tear. I can see how going natural would be a really empowering moment, but I think birth, anyway you have it will be. Nothing can take that away from you.
How has becoming a mama changed the way you live/work?
Omg. Not to sound trite and obvious, but it's changed everything. But the biggest most noticeable thing right now is time. Time to complete something, personal time, time with my partner and most importantly how I prioritize time.
Do you have a daily creative practice?
Get in where it fits in. Everything from cooking to scrapbooking to taking unplanned walks in the city I consider creative practice. I always keep a journal (since I was 12!) and I loooove the bullet journal method. I like a balance of fluidity and structure, so through this journal I'm able to monitor how my creative process is going.
A daily ritual and/or bedtime routine - what keeps you grounded?
Omg I have a new baby so just getting a shower in feels like an accomplishment… we’re slowly figuring out all the routines.
But if we’re talking about what makes me feel grounded…
I get the weekend paper. I love it. It feels like a present is waiting for you on your doorstep every time. My partner has his coffee, I have my tea and the bb is chillin with some breast milk. We lounge big time. It's a wonderful way to unwind but also talk about big issues and ideas. Not only does it give you the opportunity to get perspective on your own life (hello gratitude list) but I find that the worst thing to do in a relationship is to assume you know everything about your person. It's cool to ask, and be asked, about your opinion, your values and have a conversation outside of “how was your day”. I always feel super inspired, super seen and super proud of this incredible smart sexy man that I get to share my life with.
Any books you are currently reading/music you are listening to?
I like to read two books at the same time. I have a formula: one for education and one for fun/fantasy/creative process.
Sleep training is on our minds and several of my mom friends recommended “The Happy Sleeper” so we’re deep into that. I also have the “What To Expect For The First Year” I love the format of this book. It's all broken down by month and its super informative, so we read that every month too.
For the fun part…. I'm reading my own book!!! I'm just finishing up my manuscript about Radiant Human so stay tuned on more of that soon!
As for music - my baby’s first words were “Girl” so my family and I collaborated on a Spotify playlist with every song that had the word girl in the chorus. It's such a fun way to reinforce language, there’s everything on there from Mötley Crüe’s “Girls Girls Girls” to the temptations “My Girl”.
Any advice for would be moms?
Don't get stuck in the fantasy of what you want vs what you have. Don't compare yourself or your child's development to anyone else - trust your own process. And most importantly, create and foster a safe place for both you and your partner to be vulnerable with each other and have real conversations about what’s working and what's not. There's a lot of trial and error and its so rad to collaborate with someone instead of being resentful that things aren’t happening the way you first expected.
Follow her journey at www.radianthuman.com