FIVE X FIVE: Whitney Port
The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate five products they can’t live without. Here we talk to fashion designer, TV personality and mother to Sonny, Whitney Port.
While we love Whitney Port for her amazing sense of style, delicious recipes and ability to connect with women around the world through her writing, television appearances and vlogging, we are blown away and refreshed by her honest take on motherhood. As a mother to Sonny, Whitney chronicles what it’s like to navigate the psyche of a two-year-old while trying to maintain your own identity. With the aim of creating a community of mothers who are encouraged to ask questions, share their feelings and support each other without judgement, Whitney is creating quite the online mother’s group.
WHITNEY ON MOTHERHOOD
- What’s the best (most fun) part about being a mom so far? The most fun part is simply watching Sonny and getting to experience the fun, outgoing, empathetic little guy that he is. He gravitates towards someone who’s feeling down and wants to keep them company, he’s not afraid to get up and dance at circle time and hearing his laugh could heal me of anything. It’s just such a miracle that we can create these amazing little beings that give us hope and make us want to be better people.
- What’s the hardest thing about motherhood? And how do you manage this? The hardest part is the constant questioning. Should Sonny stop having bottles? Should I only be using natural bath products? Is he eating enough? How much screen time is ok? Is it ok that he doesn’t like his car seat? Why does he do this head shaking thing when he feels an extreme feeling? If I leave town for two days, will this have a terrible effect on him? It’s just exhausting. Luckily, I use an amazing child development specialist who I turn to with a lot of these questions. But the constant questioning forms self-doubt and it’s not healthy.
- How have you had to change your home and work routines since becoming a mom? This is something I am constantly trying to work on. I need to be conscious of not doing work in front of him so he doesn’t feel ignored. Not be on my cell phone as much around him. Part of me feels like it is time to get an office outside of the house. While I feel so lucky to be able to work from wherever it doesn’t feel right that he may think I am choosing not to be with him while still in the other room. I also can’t quite get ready in peace anymore so I bring in his step stool and some makeup brushes and have him try to emulate what I am doing.
- In a world where toxic masculinity can make men feel like they have to be “tough,” how do you raise Sonny to express his emotions? I think validating their feelings is really all you can do. By telling them it’s ok to be upset or ok to be frustrated, I think they will become more sensitive people who are ok expressing their real emotions and not suppressing them. Timmy and I always try to over exaggerate our PDA around him too so he sees what that kind of physical love looks and feels like! I hope this translates into him being a kid who shares his love freely ( without freaking the other kids out, of course ;))
- What are your hacks for traveling/ staying on-the-go with a toddler? I just try to be as armed as possible with enough snacks and drinks as I can! We don’t walk out the door without three different kinds of snacks (cheerios, banana, blackberries and raspberries usually) and usually some coconut water. My sister also made him a fake pair of keys with a real clicker on it so we give those to him while he is in the car seat and they keep him satisfied for a while. We are ALWAYS home for nap time unless on a plane in which case all rules go out the door! BRING ON THE IPAD! Sesame Street is his current fave!
WHITNEY’S TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
- Babyzen YOYO+ Stroller: This is our #1 essential. It is BEYOND easy to fold up and travel with anywhere. Plus, it’s so light! We now use this regardless of where we are going. On a plane, to the farmers market, anywhere. It also has a great storage section below so when you are running through the airport, you can just shove anything in!
- OMY Gel Crayons: The iPad can only entertain Sonny for so long! He LOVES to color. It is so therapeutic and relaxing. For me, too. Plus, whoever we are going to see, we can make cards and cute notes for them. There is nothing better than a cute piece of art from a toddler!
- Re-Play Snack Stacks: These stackable snack holders are amazing! They don’t take up too much space in your carry on and they are hard enough to get into that your toddler won’t figure them out. We used something else recently on the go and ended up with a massive spill. How heartbreaking would that be to spill all your snacks on an airplane! Stack snacks for you AND your babe! It’s important for us to be fed too. Traveling with a toddler requires patience and food is the fuel for patience.
- Kushie’s Organic Bamboo Changing Pad: This is MEGA important. You NEVER know when your kid is going to have a blowout. You could have to stop at a yucky gas station or have to use the changing table on an airplane where there are tons of yuck remnants of things. So I never leave home without my changing pad! It is an absolute must. Especially this comfortable and soft one so Sonny isn’t super uncomfortable on a hard, cold surface.
- Wee Gallery Cuddle Bunnies: Having a “cuddle bunny” is super important. We call them “chickens” in our house because his first lovey was a chicken and now they are ALL chickens. This is the one thing that soothes Sonny to sleep. He puts a corner in his mouth and it just makes him feel cozy like he’s in his crib. He is able to fall asleep so much easier when he has one of these! I know this is an old trick and mostly everyone uses it, but DO NOT leave home without when you travel.