Natalie Holbrook from “Nat the Fat Rat”- An Interview
So we have to ask–where did the name of your blog come from?
I get this question all the time! Well, I was a really, really fat baby. I think I was pushing the seams of 12-month dresses before I was even 4 months old. My uncle James (my mom’s younger brother) came to visit once and called me “Nat the Fat Rat.” It kind of stuck. It’s a nickname I’ve ALWAYS hated, always, always, always. But when I was trying to come up with a good name for my blog, it just kept popping into my head! I mean, it IS catchy. So I figured maybe I could finally come to terms with the nickname. Force myself to love it. It hasn’t really worked? But it IS catchy.
When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging way back in 2005 when Brandon (I call him “The Holbs”) and I were newlyweds living in New York City. We moved to Idaho a year later so my husband could go to grad school, and I sort of fell out of love with blogging (and with life in general–horrible jobs will do that to you I guess). In 2008 I decided I needed a creative outlet, a way to feel in control of my life, so I started blogging again to have a place to memorize all of the really wonderful things going on around me that I wasn’t giving the proper attention to. We were also going through a bit of unexplained infertility, so having a place to write things out was really cathartic. But we finally did get pregnant, Brandon finally did graduate, we moved back to the city, and Huck was born in 2010. And Huck is way rad. He was definitely worth the wait.
Tell us more about little Henry.
Huck is a total people person. He loves jabbering nonstop at people, and flirting with older women from his stroller, and flashing his goofy smile at people at the grocery store. He also likes pulling books off of bookshelves (he prefers the blue books, you should know), and threatening to stick his finger in electrical outlets, and pestering his very exhausted parents on the bed in the mornings. He’s a lot of fun. He does not like bed time, for the record. Bed time is THE WORST.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since becoming a mom?
Since becoming a mother (finally!) I’ve really learned how to relax and trust my gut. It’s so easy to get distracted by what others think is important, and to feel lost and confused and worried over every little thing. And it’s so tempting to think you’re not doing it right! I think there are just so many different ways to parent, and so many different ways to screw a kid up, and I’ve really learned that the important thing is just to love the crap out of the kid you have, and do your best to give him all the positive attention you can, and not worry about what others would do or think. At the end of the day, if you can say you loved your baby up real good, then you’ve done the best job EVER.
Do you have any money saving tips or tricks?
I live in New York City, so there is NO money saving going on here. But one thing I do swear by is the “pot of soup” method of saving grocery money (especially good since fall is here!). Basically you buy the ingredients to make your favorite pot of soup in double, make up a huge old batch of it on Sunday afternoons, and then keep it in the fridge all week for those nights when you are just beyond exhausted and really want to get Chinese food delivered but know you should save the cash for a rainy day. Then you’re like, oh, the soup! And you nuke it up and pat yourself on the back. Soups are also generally healthy, and made up mostly of celery. And celery is cheap! And tasty.
Do you have any favorite go-to brands that you would recommend to our readers?
Anything you can buy at Costco or Trader Joe’s is a win for me. I’d trust Trader Joe’s with my last meal on this earth, probably.
Henry is always dressed so cute! Where do you shop for his clothes?
I like to dress Huck with duds from H&M, Zara Kids and American Apparel. American Apparel can get pricey, but their clothes are great quality and really gender neutral, so I have high hopes they’ll live to be passed on to a future Holbrook offspring.
As a busy mom and writer, how do you find time to do it all? Do you have any advice for other moms on the go?
I struggle every day with trying to get it all done, it’s nearly impossible. I think the trick is to prioritize. For me, I like a clean house and a happy baby. Sometimes that means nobody makes dinner, and sometimes that means my emails go unanswered for days. But I don’t feel bad about it because I’ve already decided not to. It also really helps to have a husband with a few jobs around the house that are ALWAYS his. Husband Jobs, I call them. Like taking out the garbage, or doing the laundry, or scrubbing toilets. In my experience, it’s best not to change up the Husband Jobs too much. Husbands need routine and predictability. Like children. .