Image by Chrissy Powers
We’re excited to continue our motherhood interview series with one of our favorite bloggers- Natalie Borton. If you don’t already read her blog, Thoughts By Natalie, do! Natalie shares the best outfit ideas, style inspiration, packing tips, recipes, and more. She immediately came to mind when I started the motherhood series, because as a new mom I knew she would have some great pieces of advice on juggling blogging, life, and motherhood. Thanks Natalie for taking the time and sharing your thoughts with us!
Do you have any tips, tricks or advice that helped get you through your pregnancy?
NB: Though I had a pretty textbook easy pregnancy, I remember feeling so fatigued the entire time. Like, eating ice cream on the couch in the middle of the day fatigued. I swore I would be one of those expecting mothers who jogged throughout pregnancy, ate organic vegetables and drank tons of water, but in reality I exercised probably two times, lived on a diet of mostly sugar (Sour Patch Watermelons were my obsession), and only drank enough water because I set reminders all over the house to do so. It was far from picture perfect! But, the best advice I got was to just give myself grace. I was growing a person, after all. By the time I got halfway through my pregnancy, I finally accepted that this was a unique season in my life and that all I could do was my best. And that made such a difference! I ate healthy when I could, but didn’t give myself a guilt trip over a trip to Cold Stone. Also, I treated myself to small luxuries that I knew would be more difficult once Jack arrived: movie dates, pedicures, and eating out with my husband.
What were your favorite products to use while pregnant?
NB: My skin and hair changed so much (unfortunately not for the better), that I never really nailed down a good routine or the right products. But one thing that stayed consistent was coconut oil and Palmer’s lotion as moisturizers because I was so afraid to get stretch marks!
What websites, blogs, books or apps do you like to read/use about motherhood or kid/baby?
NB: I’ve always loved CUP OF JO, but appreciate her motherhood section even more now that I’m a mom. It’s so honest and relatable! As far as books go, my favorites have been Bringing Up Bebe, The Happy Sleeper and What to Expect in the First Year. Bringing Up Bebe was a fun, light read that got me excited about motherhood during my pregnancy. The Happy Sleeper was a total life-saver for us in the sleep department—I swear by it now! And What to Expect is just a timeless classic that I find myself checking in on every month to get a feel for what’s to come.
Favorite places to shop for kid & baby?
NB: For basic clothing items, I usually go to Carter’s or Baby Gap because it’s easy and they’re always having sales. For toys, I love Estella NYC and honestly, Amazon! If you know what you’re looking for (board books, a wooden block set, etc) you can find so much. Since we have Prime, I do that a lot because it gets delivered to my doorstep two days later. Such a luxury for a new mom :) You can even order your diapers!
How do you find balance in your day now that you’re a mom?
NB: In the early days, there was really no balance to be had. It was pretty much all baby, all the time. Newborns just need so much from their mothers, and I let myself be all in for that season, savoring every minute of that precious time because I knew it would pass in a flash. Eventually, though, the time came when Jack started sleeping through the night (woohoo!) and got on a more regular napping schedule—that’s when I started to create balance in my life. Time for my husband. Time to work on my blog and Glitter Guide assignments. Time to go get a pedicure on the weekend. It takes intentionality, but it can be done! Also, play dates—it’s the perfect blend of play time with baby and mommy social time :)
What aspect of motherhood made you most nervous?
NB: I was so afraid of the newborn stage!! I had honestly never even held a newborn or changed a baby’s diaper until Jack was born, and I wasn’t sure how much of it would come naturally and how much I’d have to learn quickly. Thankfully, that mama instinct showed up right when he was born and I ended up LOVING the newborn stage! So many sweet cuddles to be had.
How has being a mom changed your personal style and beauty routine?
NB: I was already a bit of a minimalist before having Jack, but now I’ve taken it to an entirely different level! I keep everything as simple as possible. I basically wear neutrals only, mostly because they are the easiest and fastest way to look put together when you don’t have much time. I also look at fabrics and fit a lot more closely when buying new things now. For example, I prefer a high rise to low rise because I’m constantly on the floor or bending over to grab Jack. Also, machine-washability is key. If it’s dry clean, I’m not wearing it.
As far as beauty goes, I’m glad to report that the terrible hair and skin I had during pregnancy eventually faded and I’m back to my old self for the most part (besides those crazy baby hairs that grow in around your hairline postpartum). The key for me is a very quick routine—makeup takes less than 5 minutes to put on and I forget about it the rest of the day! My must-haves are tinted brow gel and bronzer/blush—they make me look alive, especially if I had a rough night of sleep.
How do you treat yourself and relax?
NB: I’ve developed a real love for the spa since Jack was born :) For Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day I spent the day at a local resort while Brian stayed home with Jack and it was such a treat. On a less indulgent note, I try to get a pedicure once a month and I let my husband take charge with parenting on the weekends so I can sneak in some leisure reading or just general free time with no responsibility. Despite his busy work schedule, I love how committed he is to co-parenting with me. It really has made all the difference and I think it’s why I’ve loved motherhood so much!
What’s the best piece of advice you can think of for a new mother?
NB: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Let someone set up a Meal Train for you. Accept latte deliveries from friends. Say “yes” when your bestie—or better yet, your mom—offers to come snuggle with your baby while you take a nap (or shower). It really makes all the difference, and frees you up to delight in your new little babe even more!