Photo provided by Carley Shimkus
Carley Shimkus, co-host on FOX News Channel’s (FNC) FOX & Friends First (weekdays, 4 AM - 6 AM/ET), is mama to 9-month-old baby Brock and author of the newly released book Cooking With Friends: Eat Drink & Be Merry (FOX News Books, 6 - 10/10/23).
We asked Carley a few questions about her lovely experience with baby Brock, parenting surprises, her new book, and more.
You have a little one experiencing their first Holiday season. Do you have any big plans or art projects in the works for commemorating Brock's firsts?
I thought about what Brock was going to be for Halloween for about two months, so I can only imagine how exciting things will get in the lead-up to Christmas! I am looking forward to Brock's first picture with Santa. He is a pretty easy-going baby, so I don't think he will cry, but you never know with little ones. It will be fun to show him all of the Christmas lights, and I know he is going to love the wrapping paper and boxes even more than the gifts inside them! I should note he wound up being a hot dog for Halloween, and it was very funny.
What are you most in awe about with your baby's current age?
He is a baby on the move! I already know everyone who says "it goes so fast" is right because it feels like just yesterday he was a scrunchy newborn, and now he is crawling, pulling himself up, and taking steps with the help of a hard surface. It is so much fun and also tiring at the same time. I also never realized how many baby hazards can be found below knee level in an average apartment, so we made quick work of babyproofing. "Awe" is the perfect word to use to describe the feeling of new parenthood. Every child is so unique and special, and all the little developments deserve big celebrations.
Is parenting everything you expected, or have there been some surprises along the way?
It sounds so cliche, but the love that you feel for your baby is indescribable. It is a love I didn't know I had in me. I know every single parent out there can relate, and if you are expecting a baby, JUST WAIT. It is the most beautiful thing - I am so excited for you!!
Do you have any burning parenting questions or frustrations?
Funny, you should ask because I am writing this on the day daylight saving time ends, so coming to the realization that Brock's schedule will be affected was a fun surprise! I did a little research and asked some of my friends what they did, and they all said to keep the baby's schedule the same and they will slowly adjust. My biggest frustration is something that anyone who currently or has ever lived in New York City will understand. We need more closet space for all of the gear! If you have enough storage, count yourself lucky, and also, I am coming over and using some :)
How are you managing your work/life balance? What strategies are you using to maintain balance?
This was my biggest worry before Brock was born. I would lose sleep thinking about how I was going to manage it all. More than anything, I wanted to be a present mom while maintaining a rigorous work schedule. I also wake up at 1 am for work, so there wasn't really anyone I could turn to for advice because my hours are so different. If you are worried about this, please know you are not alone. A friend responded to my concern by saying, "It will work out because it has to; you will find a way." She was right. Work, life, parenthood balance is so important you WILL find a way to make it work for you. We found a nanny who is wonderful with Brock - and our schedules have adjusted accordingly. But boy, is it a big adjustment - if you are going through it, I completely understand.
What advice do you have for new parents?
In terms of gear, we loved the Snoo! Also, I read way too much about sleep training from too many different sources. Each expert said something different, and I turned my brain into a pretzel, trying to figure it all out. So, I'd say stick to just one reliable source. We wound up using Taking Cara Babies and found her advice very handy.
Please tell us the inspiration behind your new book.
"Cooking with Friends" is the name of a cooking segment that has run on Fox and Friends for years! It's where an anchor, reporter, or regular guest comes on the show and cooks their favorite family meal. This book is a compilation of all of those recipes, plus a few special ones of my very own. Consider this book the OFFICIAL Fox & Friends cookbook! I couldn't believe it when FOX Books asked if I wanted to work on this project because I remember watching "Cooking with Friends" segments in high school, so being a part of this has been such a special journey. It also comes at a perfect time because, as a new mom, I've definitely needed some fast, affordable, and delicious recipe ideas, and this book fits the bill!
Just for fun, we would like to ask the following... What is in your diaper bag?
I love this question - I have water wipes, vaseline, diapers, baby hand sanitizing wipes, a changing pad, washcloth, sunglasses, three lip glosses, and gum in mine!
Photo Credits FOX News Media, and https://www.instagram.com/carleyshimkus/