meet the mama : natalie from the nature strip

posted on: Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This is my pal and neighbour, Natalie. I have known her since we were about thirteen years old! Nat recently started blogging at The Nature Strip where she is passionate about organic gardeningsustainable fashionvegetarian cooking and her new role as mama to this little guy. I asked her how she has found motherhood so far. This is what she told me. 

Natalie and her partner Nick in their pre-baby days.

What did a normal day look like before you were pregnant?
"Monday to Friday I would ride my rusty old bicycle to work then sit behind a desk gazing at my computer producing written materials for my organisation. I would intersperse this with foraging in my drawer for snacks. I would also drink a lot of green tea. Weekends I would swap the tea for wine and stock up on leisure activities such as yoga, watching films, going to the beach, gigs, and dinner with friends."

Natalie and Nick plus one wee Arlo.

What does a normal day look like now?
"Always waking up thinking, 'Really, do I have to get up already?' My alarm clock is Arlo, always before 7am. After brekkie, changing nappies and watching him throw toys across the room, we venture to our local and magnificent park where we coo at the swans, dogs and bats, touch trees and smell flowers. During Arlo’s nap, I often try and fit in a bit of work – either for my blog, The Nature Strip, or for a children’s cancer charity that I work for. Then it’s food shopping/ preparing, tidying up, playing, settling for bed and watching some Mad Men."

What has surprised you most about becoming a mum? 
"The incredible and overwhelming love I have for this small boy who is so bewildered by this world and its simple pleasures -- along with intense fear and anxiety to protect him."

Is being a mum easier/harder/very different than what you thought it would be?
"Being a mum is all of the above -- it can be easy, it can be hard, it can be different, it can be blissful, it can be challenging, it can be exhausting, it can be exhilarating. What I didn't realise is that I would have so many conversations with other mums about baby poo and its importance -- how many a day, does it look normal, have I remembered the nappies? I also didn't realise that my emotional responses would amplify – more things make me cry these days, both with sadness as well as pure joy."

What do you wish you’d known before you were pregnant?
"I underestimated the pure amazement of the pregnancy journey, from seeing my baby’s limbs pushing in to my skin to my maternal instinct of rubbing my belly protectively. It was also an incredible bonding experience with my partner, the doting dad! I also didn't realise that I would eat so many mangos whilst pregnant  -- it became an expensive habit/craving."

Natalie and Arlo at swimming lessons.

What is the hardest part of being a new mum?
"That I will never know sleep as I knew it before having a child. Everyone always talked about the sleep deprivation but nothing can prepare you for it. Also the balance between dedicating yourself to being a mother and working to pay the bills. Another adjustment is realising that I am no longer me, I don’t have the freedom to just be. Being a mother is a relentless giving, spurred on by unconditional love. And I am okay with that – most of the time."

What do you love best about being a mum?
"Watching my son slowly develop from a fragile and precious newborn to a bustling, charismatic toddler. The way my son giggles is infectious and beautiful, and his cuddles are deliciously warm and comforting."

What helps you parent well?
"I don’t know that I am parenting well, I just try my best each day to meet my son’s needs – both emotional and physical. I aim to help him learn and play, nourish him with healthy and nutritious food, show him the world around him and how to appreciate it, and shower him with lots of love and affection.
Support from friends and family is vital too – for his development and mine."

What is the best parenting advice you've been given?
"To trust your instinct in the midst of ‘experts’ and that amongst all the challenges, appreciate how funny children can be. My son makes me laugh every day."

Is there any advice you’d like to give new mums?
"That any of your anxieties and fears and feelings of being overwhelmed are completely natural. And not to listen to too much advice as babies, like adults, are individuals. And that it does get easier!"

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Nat! You can find Natalie blogging about sustainable ideas on parenting, healthy eating, and fashion at The Nature Strip


  1. Thanks for sharing Bron. How exciting to be featured on Baby Space! :-)

    1. happy to have you my friend, welcome to the blogosphere. x

  2. i really loved reading this!! great questions, great answers. proud of you both!! i have a feeling i'll be coming back to read this another time.. shauns xx

    1. yes, watch out -- I will be wanting to interview you too one day ;)

  3. Wonderful blog! Photos are amazing and your post is really informative and fun to read! I am learning a lot from you. Thank you for sharing your experiences to us. I am definitely looking forward to more posts from you. Cheers! :)

  4. loved this!! i loved her answer about 'no longer being me, the ability to just be' - that is so true...but i don't mind most of the time either :)

  5. I like this post...all pictures are very good and informative.


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