As a soon-to-be new mother, I’m optimistic (and perhaps naive) about returning to looking relatively stylish in the nearish future (at 38 weeks pregnant, my current wardrobe consists of my husband’s big shirts and gym shorts because I stubbornly refused to shell out for maternity clothes—so it’s only up from here, right?). Of course, I know that the early days of motherhood will find me with unwashed hair, wearing whatever is still clean, and that’s ok!—but I think that eventually, I’ll benefit from a practical self-care routine that doesn’t require too much time but helps me feel like myself.
So when I read about Natalie’s Portman’s daily mom routine in Harper’s Bazaar, I ate it up! Portman gave birth to her second little one in February of this year, and she’s balancing work with raising her two young children. To be fair, Portman is not all of us. She has the advantage of celebrity and money and a baby nurse and vegan goddess status. But that doesn’t mean it would be entirely futile for me to try to take a few pages from her book, no?
Portman normally starts her day around 7 AM. “The first thing I do is change the baby’s diaper. My husband usually makes breakfast for our son, and I’ll go down and join them…I’m a vegan, so I generally have a very clean diet; I usually have oatmeal or avocado toast in the morning. And Mother’s Milk tea because I’m breastfeeding. Normally, I don’t have caffeine, but when I’m working I’ll drink coffee if I’m tired.” (Coffee, I have missed thee.)
To keep herself healthy, Portman supplements her vegan diet: “I take vitamins—Vitamin D, and I’m still on prenatal vitamins. I get B12 shots once a month because it’s the one thing you don’t get from a vegan diet” easily—but there are ways! Here’s more info on supplementing vitamin B12 on a vegan diet.
When it comes to getting ready, Portman keeps it simple. “I put on sunscreen, which I wear every day, and deodorant…If I wash my hair, I use Christophe Robin rose shampoo and conditioner. It’s like a dream—they make my shower really wonderful.” Christophe Robin is a luxe cruelty-free hair line that I have yet to try, but sometimes just smelling nice makes all the difference, so I completely relate! If Portman has a meeting, she’ll wear concealer, mascara, and a lipstick in either bold red or nude, a perfect 5-minute routine.
She swears by button-down dresses and simple sandals: button-down dresses are “easy for breast feeding, and also you look put together without having to make a lot of decisions. And it’s quick because most of the time I have about five seconds to get dressed before tending to my children. I don’t wear heels on a normal basis. I’ve been wearing [Japanese-style] sandals that slide on and off because when you’re holding a baby you can’t bend down to tie or lace shoes. I think they look like you have an opinion, as opposed to wearing just flip-flops.” This made me LOL because I have been living in flip-flops (for shame, Mary!) because buckles and laces are ugh when you’re pregnant, but of course a pair of simple slides look more elegant.
Portman hasn’t gotten back into a regular fitness routine since having her baby, but she’s committed to working in exercise whenever she can: “Sometimes I’ll hike with a friend. I put the baby in the baby carrier…I’ve just been hiking and swimming when I can, and doing little exercises.” Check out these five easy ways to stay active during the day without going to the gym.
Despite being in baby mode, Portman makes a point of getting glam on occasion: “If I go out for the evening, I like to wear something that’s not mommy gear. I’ll put on a black dress or skinny pants and heels.” As simple as this sounds, I think this is lovely. Many moms have told me that one of the hardest adjustments to motherhood involves an inevitable, major identity shift that leaves you feeling like you’re suddenly miles away from the woman you were before baby’s arrival—no matter how much you just love being a mom. So I imagine that, for me at least, putting on something cute or throwing on some lipstick and pefume—even if it’s just once a week—will help me feel like the old Mary isn’t lost to diaper land, she’s just expanded her role.
Are you a new mom? What has helped you with the identity transition?
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: IMDB, Lauren Kirchmaier, Respective Brands