MEET OUR MAMA MUSE – JENNA
…and her gorgeous baby girl Noa
In the very first of our Mama Musing blog series, we chat to Jenna McArthur, mom to baby girl, Noa, and owner of Jenna McArthur PR.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING THE WOMEN YOU ARE TODAY & MOTHERHOOD SO FAR
After six years in the fashion and media industries as online editor at ELLE South Africa during which I gained hands-on experience and a sound understanding of the digital and print spaces, I began a Public Relations and brand strategy agency in 2013 which specialized in fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands. Our focus as a bespoke communications agency was on shaping and communicating our clients’ unique vision, telling their stories with a deep understanding of the dynamic cultural landscapes brands have to negotiate in South Africa, and a solid grasp of industry innovations. We delivered a compelling dialogue between a brand and its target audience, one that is integrated across print, broadcast, and digital media. My passion lies in creating and building communities around fashion, lifestyle, and luxury brands, both online and offline. I have been privileged to represent the best of the best in the country, work with incredibly talented designers, and inspiring creatives. On the 5th of July I took on the most important role yet, that of motherhood. I started a new chapter in my career, too. In my personal capacity, I share a small piece of my life as a mama, our journey, our experiences, and a little on fashion, décor, and design that inspires me. I hope to create an honest account of the things we go through as women, to share my stories as I become a new mom, and my daily fashion inspiration.
YOU LOOK LIKE THE DEFINITION FOR “MOTHERHOOD IN STYLE” – PLEASE SHARE YOUR SECRET!
Really? There are some days that I don’t get out of my sweats and all I do is breastfeed, burp, and change nappies. Those days that we manage to get out of the house I try put on something that makes me feel confident and good, but always comfortable. Mums and Mums-to-be may be able to relate but after I had Noa my style seems to be evolving – there was a moment where I felt I no longer connected with the clothes I wore before becoming a mom, that they just aren’t me anymore. I am evolving style-wise and I still haven’t found exactly what style I resonate with, but as I get back into gym, make the time for me, and start having fun with fashion again, I feel myself slowly finding a style that works for me – it takes time as with a newborn what you wear isn’t high up on your agenda, but as the months roll by I remind myself that I am an individual, not just a Mum.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW MOM’S TO LOOK, & MORE IMPORTANTLY FEEL GREAT AFTER HAVING A BABY?
Having a newborn isn’t easy and there isn’t a whole lot of time to pamper, but…
- Having a lip and my nails freshly painted always makes me feel great.
- Make time for yourself, even if it’s a stolen 30 minutes – you have to do it!
- Your body has just grown, delivered, and is now nourishing a baby so be kind to it. It takes time to get back to where you were physically, so be patient – the jeans may not fit, the dress may be that little bit too tight, but heels will never let you down!
- Skin is everything – treat yourself to a facial every month, drink lots of water and keep hydrated (especially if you are breastfeeding, jungle juice gets me through the days).
DO YOU HAVE “PYJAMA DAYS”?
Hell yes! Some days all I do is breastfeed, burp, and change nappies!
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT’S REALLY SURPRISED YOU ABOUT MOTHERHOOD SO FAR?
I was surprised at how I can operate on such little sleep, surprised at just how much you can love a little human being and how naturally that love would come.
TELL US ABOUT PREGNANCY, DID YOU ENJOY IT? OR DID IT COME WITH CHALLENGES?
To be honest, no. I loved that I was blessed with being able to carry a baby and grateful for the gift of motherhood but swollen feet, heavy body, being super uncomfortable, and getting used to an expanding body was never quite my idea of fun!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING PREGNANT? WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART?
The heartburn, heaviness, waking every two hours because the bladder you know, and a body that is changing and expanding in every which way… and the stretch marks. Believe-you-me, it’s not all bliss and mommy-to-be glow for every woman. Which is why I wanted to share my truth by saying that it is OK to say that you don’t absolutely LOVE being pregnant, or that you are incredibly uncomfortable and are actually quietly sh*tting yourself because you are now responsible for another life. As much as I was excited to meet my baby, I was feeling overwhelmed. I made peace with the fact that not all women are the same and not all of us experience pregnancy and the thought of being a first-time Mom with the same confidence. I loved seeing her grow, preparing for her arrival, and the journey we took preparing to be a Mum and Dad.
WAS THE BIRTH OF NOA BETTER OR WORSE THAN YOU HAD ANTICIPATED? DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR MOMS ON HOW THEY SHOULD PREPARE THEMSELVES MENTALLY FOR BIRTH?
The best thing I could have done was not to put pressure on myself or have any expectations. My goal was to deliver a healthy baby and I didn’t focus or obsess of either natural or c-section but instead trusted my Doctor to guide us. My advice would be to do what is right for you, your body, and to find a Gynae that you trust, and who understands you.
HAVE YOU USED ANY APPS TO HELP GUIDE YOU DURING PREGNANCY AND YOUR MOTHERHOOD JOURNEY SO FAR?
AND FINALLY, WHEN LEAVING THE HOUSE WHAT WILL YOU ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR K’LEA BABY BAG
- Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream,
- MAC Kinda Sexy,
- my phone,
- Jungle Juice
- Pampers Nappies
- All-purpose balm from The Honest Company
- Water Wipes
- An extra dummy (Noa loves her Gnash dummies)
- Nuby all natural dummy wipes
- A change of clothes for Noa (just in case)
- A muslin