5 Qs with Marisa

Name: Marisa G.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Film and TV producer

Number Pregnancy: Second

How would you describe your pregnant style?

Comfortable chic is my goal. I think that it’s important to find a way to feel good about yourself during pregnancy. If you don’t, it can be a very long 9 months! This time around, I’ve been trying to adapt my pre-pregnancy style (which is easier to do in the first 4 months) by wearing skinny maternity jeans with flowy silk tops and blazers or soft cardigans. I’m small, just 5 feet tall, so I have two options: creative layered looks, or very fitted tops to show off the belly. I wore a ton of big, long sweaters during my first winter pregnancy, and I’m realizing now that it wasn’t the most flattering choice. This time around, I’m trying to maintain more of my own style and keep things interesting with fun accessories.


Have you had any challenges learning to dress your pregnant body?

Yes! Most maternity styles seem to be made for taller girls, so it’s been a struggle trying to figure out what won't swallow up my petite frame plus big belly. I’ve learned that very fitted arms are key, especially in a swingy top, and that a fitted maternity v-neck top with a cool little jacket, really helps to flatter the bust/belly bump. And I'm always in my black suede Nike Dunk Sky Hi sneakers. They're so comfortable and give me a little height.

So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy?

When you already have an active toddler and a full time job, and you know what to expect with the pregnancy in general, the mental experience feels very different. This pregnancy is just as important to me as the first one, but since so many of the habits I’d adopted the first time have become second nature, it doesn’t require as much of my primary focus all of the time. It’s like great background music as I go through my days. I just have to remind myself to take it easy, especially when I’m being charmed by my toddler who wants to run, play together and be picked up. On the physical side, the belly does pop much faster the second time around, so I’ve had to adapt to a very pregnant-feeling body earlier than I had expected. It was a surprise to find that I looked like I was 5 months at only 3 months! And along with the girth, came the little aches and pains of a quickly growing body. Luckily, all of life’s distractions help to rack my focus.

What’s been your favorite pregnancy piece or brand to show off your bump?

I’ve had some luck with cool, affordable designer collaborations during my two pregnancies. The first time around, I scored some great pieces from Prabal Gurung for Target, and this time, I was able to hit Isabel Marant for H&M (online – no crowds!) for a pair of soft, slouchy flat boots that will be great when tying my shoes becomes a fantasy. ASOS and Gap Maternity are great for basics and, of course, the Well Rounded NY shoot was at the Hatch Pop-Up shop so I scored some beautiful soft tops and a silky blazer that I plan to wear post pregnancy as well.

What NYC experience are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby?

Well, this time around I’m having a girl, so, in addition to our favorites -- Prospect Park, Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, and Brooklyn Bridge park via the always-exciting ferry -- I’m excited to eventually take them to see The Nutcracker. Also, I fear that my son will be less than impressed by the American Girl films I’ve produced, but maybe my daughter will be able to take advantage of my VIP status at the AG store for lunch with your doll!

Shot on location outside of the Hatch Collection Pop-up Shop.

Photography by Sofia Lynn Photography.

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

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