Harper's Bazaar’s Digital Beauty Director, Bridget March, is responsible for all of Bazaar's beauty, fitness and wellbeing content and a 'Spa Enthusiast and Expert.' All of this and Mamma to 3-year-old Laith and Mamma-to-be to Laith’s little brother. We are so honoured to have Bridget as our very first guest on “The Words We Speak.”
Our aim with this feature is to help provide tips from inspirational parents and caregivers on how we can feed our little ones' minds with goodness as they grow from babies to toddlers to preschoolers and beyond. How to manage raising healthy minds whilst juggling a demanding job (and everything else life throws our way).
It was a complete no brainer therefore, to approach Bridget. Beautiful, beyond belief; the kind of beauty you feel, not just see, and that comes from within, through a smile (as well as the conventional kind!). The glow might be from pregnancy (or motherhood!) but somehow, you feel that it's a permanent one, maybe that comes from the aforementioned smile. Thanks to C-19, we didn't get to have our face to face interview, but you only have to follow Bridget's Instagram account to know what we are referring to. And the face to face will be one of the first things we do once we are out of this!
With the most impressive and enviable CV; now Digital Beauty Director at Bazaar, we wanted to know; how do you manage whilst raising a toddler and keeping your eye on the career goals? And how do you raise healthy minds in this modern world of parenting? And of course, we couldn't NOT squeeze in a beauty must-have question!
Thank you! He’s really excited and already showing affection to his little brother; talking to the bump and kissing it. I think he’ll really flourish in the big sibling role, he has such a sociable personality and he’ll love the company.
How are you finding this pregnancy whilst also juggling a 3-year-olds demands?
Admittedly, there’s no room for rest when you’ve got a small child – you’re constantly switched on and forever tired, but I’m happy we had a long enough break for Laith’s sleep to settle somewhat. I think if I had been pregnant this time a year or two ago, I’d have been a walking zombie. So, it’s not too bad! Also, his demands helped me forget about the nausea – I’ve just had to get on with it.
Looking back to when Laith was a baby, what advice would you give to your 'first-time-mum' self?
Follow your gut, and don’t overanalyse things. Savour the moments – good and bad, because they’re ephemeral; everything really is just a phase. Embrace the learning and personal growth that parenting brings and try to see it as the privilege that it is. Also, you don’t have to push yourself. I didn’t rest on maternity leave at all; Laith would only nap in his pushchair so I was always out and about. This time around I will definitely prioritise self-care more.
For many people, you have THE dream job! How do you manage being a mum and a successful journalist who clearly loves what they do whilst also getting in some 'me-time'?
I work four days a week, with Fridays off to look after Laith, which works well. I am the only mum within my team at work, and luckily my editor is very understanding of my situation, plus our company in general is very accommodating of working parents. Truthfully, I have made a lot of compromises with my career as well as with my relationships and friendships, because ultimately my children have to come first now. I now limit after-hours work commitments, and often have to choose between a work night out/event and an evening with friends as I don’t generally do both in the same week, or at least on consecutive days. Having ‘me time’ is a challenge, but actually my perspective of that has changed. Now it might mean listening to my favourite podcasts on my commute; practicing pregnancy yoga before bed or meditating with the Calm app; incorporating facial massage into my skincare routine – simple rituals like that.
How do you ensure you get time to do more of what you love?
There have been trade-offs. I don’t get the opportunity to attend exercise classes often – which I used to love doing, but I’ve found ways around that by exercising at home (using YouTube or subscription sites like Movement for Modern Life or YogaGlo), or locally (such as park boot camps – when I’m not pregnant!). At-home beauty treatments are also game-changing, and I often treat myself to a manicure at home when Laith’s asleep using app services such as Beautii, Ruuby or Le Salon. I also socialise at home more often now, and I’m grateful that my friends without children are happy to come and hangout. I also end up taking Laith on work-related adventures, visiting spa hotels that often have great kids’ facilities – so everyone’s a winner!
What have you learned about yourself since becoming a parent?
My pregnancy yoga teacher says ‘giving birth is the easiest part of being a mother’ – and I think for many people that might be right!
As Laith is growing up, what are your new parenting experiences/challenges of raising a little human that is different to a baby?
Every day I become more and more connected to him, and I’ve found as a parent you feel all of their emotions as much as their physical pain, which can be heart-breaking and heart-warming in equal measure. When they fall over, for example, or get ignored by another child, you feel it too. But then equally their happiness brings you so much more joy than your own.
The ‘mum guilt’ also evolves; the older they get the more they need emotionally, and you feel bad not giving them 100% of your time – which, of course, is impossible.
Then of course there are always new practical challenges, from the educational (understanding how best to teach phonics, writing, art and crafts etc), negotiating discipline and managing screen time.
We're on a mission to raise the next generation of healthy minds and healthy bodies. What are your tips on raising that next generation of healthy minds and how do you encourage this with Laith?
For me, it’s a combination of trying to ensure I focus on his nutrition, physical exercise, mental stimulation and emotional attention. So essentially: feeding, reading, exercising and cuddles are the basis! We try to help explain his emotions and our emotions to him in line with ‘conscious parenting’ methods – putting into words why he or we are frustrated, why he’s being told off, and why he can and can’t do things.
Also, for us, spending as much time with other family members as possible, especially grandparents, is immeasurably enriching. My dad’s taught Laith all kinds of things that I couldn’t – from the breeds of birds to gardening techniques!
What memories would you like Laith and his new little sibling to remember from their childhood when they grow up?
As the Digital Beauty Director of Harper's Bazaar, we can't let you go without asking you your absolute top 5 beauty products you cannot live without?
This is tricky, as I have so many favourite discoveries! I’m always happy to give recommendations to people if they want to message me on Instagram @BridgetMarch. But here are some:
Heliocare SPF50 – I wouldn’t be a good beauty director if I didn’t tell you to wear your SPF (yes, every day and in all weather!), and pretty much every skincare pro I’ve met recommends Heliocare as the gold standard. It doesn’t sting, clog or leave a white cast. Plus, this one protects against blue lights emitted from screens. SPF truly is the best anti-ageing product you’ll ever use.