It's been so fun shining the spotlight on some of the amazing Mama Bears in my life this past month, and I'm excited to introduce the next. Natalie Borton is a San Diego-based writer who covers style, motherhood, wellness, and life on her blog, Thoughts by Natalie, and for Glitter Guide.
I came across Natalie through Instagram when I was a bleary-eyed new mama, up at all hours of the night to nurse Jack, reading the entire internet on my phone. I instantly felt a connection because her son Jack (!) was born within days of mine. There's just something about the new mama cohort that reminds you that you're not going through this alone. (She has a great piece on the stay-at-home, work-at-home lifestyle, by the way.)
In addition to Natalie's thoughts on motherhood, I appreciate her down-to-earth style, emphasis on minimalism, and her non-fiction book recommendations (#TeamNonFiction!).
Here's what Natalie has to say about being a Mama Bear...
IN A SENTENCE OR TWO, WHAT DOES BEING A MAMA BEAR LOOK LIKE TO YOU??
I think you summed it up so well in this post. When I think about a Mama Bear, I think about someone who seeks balance being nurturing and empathetic with being a bit fierce—protective of little ones and a bold, strong leader.
MOTHERHOOD IS STRANGELY POLARIZING IN OUR CULTURE. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET SUCKED INTO COMPARISON AND NEGATIVITY?
Oh, isn't that the truth? It's especially difficult in our social media-oriented culture because everyone's private lives are so public now! The reality is, every mom and every kid is so different. What works for one family won't work for another. I try to steer clear of judging those doing things their own way while also staying true to what works best for my family and my little one. Also, I've become pretty committed to not complaining in the past year and I think that has done wonders for keeping me from negativity.
WHEN LIFE GETS CRAZY, WHAT TRUTH OR MANTRA DO YOU ALWAYS COME BACK?
To borrow from Amy Poehler, I'd have to say "Good for her, not for me." As I mentioned above, every mom and child relationship is so different and I always remind myself that I'm allowed to do it differently based on my Mama Bear instincts. Also, I think it's important to keep an open mind, so another one would be "never say never!"
WHAT ARE THE PIECES YOU HOLD ONTO TIGHTEST IN MOTHERHOOD? THOSE NON-NEGOTIABLES YOU PRIORITIZE NO MATTER HOW WILD THE LAUNDRY PILE GETS?
I made a decision once Jack was born that family just had to come first, no matter what. Deadlines can be moved, chores can be done later, but these precious baby moments are so fleeting. Since we aren't sure if we're having any more kids, I feel especially sentimental about every little thing Jack learns to do and in all 10 months of his life haven't regretted prioritizing face time with him over my work.
NAME SOMEONE YOU LOOK UP TO AS A GREAT MAMA BEAR EXAMPLE.
While my mom did an amazing job raising me and I love her dearly, my Memere (my mom's mom) is pretty much the ultimate mama bear. She raised 9 children—including 3 sets of twins (!!!)—and at the ripe age of 91 continues to serve as a mother figure to probably hundreds of people. She's such a wonderful example to me!