21 In motherhood/ style

Modern Motherhood: Stay at Home, Work at Home

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Today I want to introduce a brand new mini-series I’ve created in partnership with Mitera Collection, a clothing brand that celebrates the modern mother throughout her motherhood journey, creating beautiful, practical, and functional dresses that support her lifestyle. Over the course of four posts, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on topics related to modern motherhood while featuring the beautiful, nursing-friendly Ellen Dress styled different ways.

To kick things off, let’s talk about the strange reality that is being a stay at home, work at home mom.

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I first recognized the concept of stay-at-home, work-at-home life when my friend Bonnie wrote about it for Darling Magazine. Before reading her piece, I’d really only considered two options for moms: you stay at home with babies and be a homemaker, or you go back to work and fall into the working mom category. The idea that there could be something in the middle really intrigued me, especially since my career isn’t a traditional one.

When I found out I was pregnant with Jack, my mind was a whirlwind of possibilities and also anxiety. Before he came into the picture, I felt like I was really on a roll career-wise and had a lot of big dreams for what I’d do professionally and even entrepreneurially. Two positive pregnancy tests changed everything. Would I keep on blogging? Would I move forward with my existing plans? Or would I drop it all and be all-in for motherhood?

I felt thankful at least that my work kept me at home. But at the same time, I was fearful that I’d either resent my new baby for taking me away from work I was passionate about (how’s that for honesty?), or that I’d start to let my work slide and become unprofessional. After tons of conversations over mocktails with Brian last spring, I decided to say goodbye to a few short-term dreams but hang on to this blog and my role at Glitter Guide—two things that have brought me joy and creative opportunity for years.

Now, 8 months later, I’m fully entrenched in stay-at-home, work-at-home life and it’s working out for the most part. I get everything done during nap times—precious, precious nap times. When Jack is up, we play and explore, go for walks and giggle. And when Brian is home, we engage in conversation, drink wine, eat dinner, bond. Laundry gets done when I remember it. Cooking is more semi-homemade than from scratch. Cleaning gets done once a month by a very nice lady named Esther, who is a complete life-saver.

Do I wish I had more time to get things done? Yes, yes, yes. But at the same time, I really love this little arrangement I have going on. I delight in having this precious time with my baby, who is already growing up faster than I’d like. And I also cherish the time I have while he sleeps to be creative and feel like an adult, giving me plenty of non-baby things to talk about when I interact with other human beings during the week.

Every other week or so I think about my friends who have picked one way or the other—staying at home or working in an office—and I sort of envy the definitive nature of their time. They know where they need to be and what they need to do and their time isn’t so undefined. But then I think about my personality—how I basically hate working for anyone but myself, and how grateful I am for the chance to watch Jack learn to sit up, eat bananas with his hands and try his darnedest to crawl forwards rather than backwards. This stay-at-home, work-at-home life isn’t for everyone, but I’m sure glad it’s working out for me so far.

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*Mitera Collection Dress (c/o Mitera, shortened by my tailor)
Soko Necklace (c/o Soko) / Similar
Hobo Bag (c/o Hobo)
Sole Society Booties
. . . . .

*Use the code ‘MOTHER’ to save 25% until October 20th. 

A LITTLE NOTE ABOUT TAILORING AND INVESTMENT PIECES: The dress I’m wearing has been hemmed by my tailor for my perfect fit. This dress is made longer (on my 5’4″ body it hit right at the knees) for maximum versatility. It can be worn during and after pregnancy, and also easily worn by taller women or anyone looking for a more modest dress. I like my dresses on the shorter side, so I tailored mine, but it’s worth noting that the dress won’t look exactly like mine when it arrives on your doorstep. As far as pricing goes, this dress is undeniably an investment piece. It’s not for everyone, but it is absolutely a worthy purchase for fellow minimalists who are interested in quality over quantity. It’s ideal for those of you who are pregnant (or plan to be!), work in a professional environment and need to pump during the day, or non-pregnant, non breastfeeding moms who just want to wear high quality pretty dresses that they can wear and throw in a washing machine. (That’s right—this dress is machine washable!) Get all the deets about the Ellen Dress here.

(This post was created in partnership with Mitera Collection, a brand whose mission I love and support. For every dress they sell, Mitera helps support the work of organizations dedicated to improving maternal and newborn health! Thanks for supporting the brands that make Thoughts By Natalie possible!)

21 Comments

  • Reply
    Becca
    May 28, 2015 at 9:13 am

    This dress is gorgeous and seems so versatile. I have been LOVING your hair lately! Have you been doing anything differently (products/styling/color)? I am really trying to embrace a more natural look with my hair, especially with the heat and humidity of summer. Any tips (or even a hair post!!!!) would be great!

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      May 28, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Becca! I did switch my shampoo and conditioner recently, and got a new colorist, so I’m glad to see the changes are making my hair even better! I use ACURE shampoo and conditioner, and as far as color goes, my colorist does a two-color highlight with one bleach and one of the lightest non-bleach blonde, and finishes with a toner so it looks really natural. Maybe I’ll have to do another hair post soon :)

      • Reply
        Becca
        May 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

        Thanks for the quick response. I recently started using the ACURE Argan Oil as my moisturizer/face oil and have had great results. I may just have to give their hair products a try too!

  • Reply
    Sarah Esh
    May 28, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I found your blog through Instagram, and really enjoy it. You’re a style icon in my opinion; I love the inspiration!
    I am a stay-at-home mom too, but am working towards being a work-at-home mom. I feel like I would be more happy and fulfilled if I pursued my dreams and passions, and in turn, my whole family would benefit. When mom’s happy, everybody’s happy, right? :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Becky
    May 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    You look great, Natalie! As a part-time work-from-home mom, I loved reading this and look forward to the rest of the series! :)

  • Reply
    Jacki
    May 28, 2015 at 9:35 am

    The stay-at-home, work-at-home parenting option is very modern, indeed – and I love it! Not that I’m using it, but I love it anyway ;)
    As I’ve hit my 30s, there’s this weird, inexplicable and totally new little whisper I keep hearing in my own head that sounds suspiciously like “I think I want to have a baby someday.” This is a major shift from even a year or two ago. Balancing work, making ends meet, and family time is one of my big “fear factors” regarding motherhood, but seeing moms like you, or my local designer friend K who works from home with her sweet boy who is around Jack’s age, make it work, is a great encouragement.

    Also, that necklace!! <3

  • Reply
    Erin
    May 28, 2015 at 9:39 am

    “I was fearful that I’d either resent my new baby for taking me away from work I was passionate about (how’s that for honesty?), or that I’d start to let my work slide and become unprofessional.” YEP! Haha

    As you know, with a baby, schedules change all the time. I hope you easily transition with these (unlike me…WHY DON’T YOU TAKE TWO NAPS ANYMORE, KID?! :-)). I enjoy reading your posts and hearing about Jack!

    You look beautiful!

  • Reply
    AshleyL
    May 28, 2015 at 9:53 am

    You look so pretty in these! So glowy and happy!

    I hope this doesn’t come off as rude but I wish you would partner with a company that doesn’t have insane prices. This dress is almost $600. That isn’t even an investment piece for most women/moms. It’s just craziness. Your last partnership with hatch was really expensive too. It isn’t relatable. I love your style and would love looks that are actually a possibility.

    I do appreciate the real mom talk and your real ness in all your conversations though.

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      May 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

      While I normally do feature clothing from very budget-friendly brands, I wanted to partner with Mitera because I appreciate what they’re doing—creating beautiful maternity and nursing-friendly pieces that are minimalist, modern and beautiful (not to mention, machine-washable). As I mentioned in the end note, it’s definitely not a dress for everyone due to the price tag. It is, however, an extremely versatile piece (for pregnancy, postpartum work attire, nursing, pumping, etc.) for those who are looking for quality over quantity in their wardrobe. That being said, I always appreciate honesty and am glad that you at least enjoyed the content of the post!

      • Reply
        Sarah
        May 28, 2015 at 12:05 pm

        I do agree that I was disappointed when I saw the pricetag of this dress – $600 was more than my wedding dress! (Ok, so maybe it should be worth more than a dress you wear on one day, but I digress). However, sometimes I just have to look to the blogger for inspiration rather than the real pieces. Am I fortunate enough to get a dress, bag, and necklace gifted to me to wear and promote? No, but I also haven’t worked to develop a successful blog and cultivated a following. I can look at this and find the pieces for less elsewhere. Most of the time, I find the outfits that you’ve actually purchased yourself to be very budget-friendly. I also love that we see how you mix and match certain pieces for multiple looks – how the real world actually wears clothes.

        With that said, I do appreciate the ” real talk”. As a working mom, I sometimes yearn for more time with my baby, but I am also relieved (??) to have the break to the outside world! I have been focusing lately on making the time, wherever I am, count. I am learning to put down my phone and be in the moment. Totally cliche, but true.

        I have really enjoyed your posts as of late, Natalie! Thank you!

      • Reply
        AshleyL
        June 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm

        I always appreciate that you comment on almost all the comments on your blog. That’s rare. It’s one of my favorite parts of your blog. :)

  • Reply
    Ashleigh
    May 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I love reading about how you stay-at-home, work-at-home. As an entrepreneur myself, and several projects that I’m working on, I am constantly trying to find balance. I am so thankful to be able to stay at home with my little Liam, and love being able to explore with him and crawl around the house playing hide & seek. I know this lifestyle doesn’t work out for everyone, but I’m hoping to find the balance needed to keep it going. I would love to hear how you made these connections to make your dreams a reality, and what has worked for you to have a profitable business to keep things going :)

  • Reply
    Alicia
    May 28, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I really enjoyed reading this piece! I love how moms can have the best of both worlds if they are torn on what to do after having a baby! Thank you! You look radiant as always I’ve found so much style inspiration since stumbling upon your blog and Instagram. I’m wearing the LOFT jumpsuit right now as I soeak. Stylish, comfortable, and nursing friendly!

  • Reply
    Robin
    May 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I’m in the exact same boat Natalie! I always say working at home and caring of my daughter is the “best of both worlds” and “the worst of both worlds.” You get to be home with your little one – but you don’t get to embrace all of the homemaking or social aspects of a stay at home mom – and you get to work for yourself from your home – but you don’t get the break/the co-workers/the perks/the opportunity to run errands on your lunch break. :) It’s a mix but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I always love connecting with other moms who are in the same situations. We are fortunate! And I LOVE this outfit. :) xoxo, Robin

  • Reply
    Alys | A Girl Who Reads
    May 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for the honesty. I’m not a mama yet but we’re in the planning phases. These sorts of things do play on our minds so I appreciate you telling your story honestly, it makes the idea of being able to be an entrepreneur/parent sound less silly

    Also, great dress! You could dress it way up for a wedding/function whilst pregnant or down for lunches out.

  • Reply
    Kate
    May 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I absolutely love this look! And I also love how being a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom has become possible- hoping to make that transition someday! :)
    This Side of Paradise

  • Reply
    Missy
    May 28, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I love this post – the dress, your hair and the writing! You normally share clothing from @targetstyle which is so fun to rush out to my Target to snag. But, this dress would be perfect for my husband’s work party when I am pregnant (soon?!) and to a couple weddings we have this winter. I had never heard of the collection before and love what they are doing too! Thanks :)

  • Reply
    Jessica
    May 31, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Seems like we’re all trying to
    Find balance as mamas! I try and do the same, be present with my babies or husband when I am with them. Question – how do you like the once a month cleaning? How much cleaning upkeep do you have to do yourself in between? I believe fully a serice like that would help my life balance, just need to workout logistics

  • Reply
    Meg
    June 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I love this dress so much! Just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog since the beginning. I’ve always loved your style and appreciate that you dress modestly – I get great ideas!

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      June 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Oh thank you, Meg! I’m so glad you’ve been inspired :)

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    October 10, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Natalie, I only began following you on Instagram and through your blog recently, but I wanted to let you know that you’ve made a hugely inspiring impact on me! I am a 25 year old stay-at-home mama to four littles and just recently began my work-at-home blogging journey out of a desire to inspire and empower other women and fulfill my own creative passions. Needless to say, I have so many ups and downs (daily!) questioning myself and whether I can or should do it. I’m going to bookmark this post and revisit it often to keep myself motivated. Thanks for doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing and sharing it with all of us! You’re making a difference in so many women’s lives! xo Kelsey

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