"The moment I stopped trying to fit in, was the moment I started feeling normal again."

We’re excited to introduce you to our interview series “Inspiring Parents” where we talk to moms and dads from the Ingrid & Emil community. 

For our first portrait, we are thrilled to chat to Lauren Fusté Campbell, an American born marketing manager who lives in Zug with her husband and son August, 1.5 years.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you end up living in Switzerland?

Originally from California, I met my now husband while vacationing in Croatia. We had to make the decision for one of us to move and it was easier to move to Switzerland than the states.

You had your son just over a year ago, while living in Switzerland. What has been the biggest challenge about becoming a mother so far away from home? 

Growing up in a different country, you expect your child’s birth to happen as you’ve always known it to work. So, when we were preparing for his arrival, the biggest hurdle was language as we don’t speak enough German to feel comfortable making medical decisions. So we hired a doula who made our experience really enjoyable.

...and what has been the best thing about it?

Switzerland does a really good job of supporting mothers after they arrive home from the hospital. Back in the states, I don’t know of anyone who was visited by loving midwives to help with the transition of having a newborn.

 Do you feel there are big differences when it comes to parenting style/culture in Switzerland, and in your home country US?

Ha, yes… very much. There is a lot to think about, but the biggest difference is the rules and how most everyone follows them. I moved from San Francisco, one of the most free-spirit-anything-goes city in the US to Zug, so it was a bit of a shock.

What tip would you give someone who is about to move/just moved to Switzerland?

Switzerland is wildly diverse with people coming from many backgrounds. The moment I stopped trying to fit in, was the moment I started feeling normal again. Be proud of your differences and celebrate your commonalities.

What is your favourite child friendly place in the area where you live?

It’s not just one place, but anywhere there is water. Our son loves swimming and splashing, so we are constantly looking for local badis, pools or streams.

What do you do/where do you go when you finally get some me-time? In the summer, biking. I grew up mountain biking the Rocky Mountains and road biking through the hills of Napa Valley. 

What is the last book you read? Unfortunately, I don’t remember… a book is really optimistic these days :) 

Do you have a favourite podcast?

The Motherly Podcast. I found this just as I was venturing back into work. It really helped me wrap my head around leaving our son home, so I could go to work.

What’s the best piece of advice you've received as a parent?

You are exactly the mother your child needs.

What one thing would you tell someone who is just about to have their first child?

Don’t worry so much about the birth, you and your body will know what to do.

What are your favourite kids wear brands?

My first purchases when our son was first born were with Quincy Mae, Wilson + Frenchy, Worrn and now I’ve started adding brands like Go Gently, Rylee + Cru, Play Up and Beans.

What is important to you when you shop for your son?

As with my own clothes or items for our home, I like to buy from small businesses and support the people behind the brands. I care about how the material is sourced, produced and shipped. Many of the brands I buy are outside of Switzerland, so I care about packaging that is eco friendly. Shop Lauren's pre-loved page here.

How come you choose to sell your son’s clothes with Ingrid & Emil?

I believe in collaborative consumption. I buy pre-loved items and sell clothes, because sharing and cutting down on production will ultimately give more to our children in the future. (To sell your kids' outgrown clothes, visit our selling page)