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Aurora Culpo’s parenting mantra is something people have heard many times but fail to remember. It’s one of those things that — through repetition and/or logic — should just stick. But it’s something we find ourselves resisting every single time. Because, ya know, mom guilt and the like. But that’s something that doesn’t faze Culpo anymore.
“My parenting mantra would be to put on your oxygen mask before helping others,” she tells SheKnows exclusively while partnering with Thorne, a health and wellness company that helps people create a personalized supplement regimen that supports their wellbeing. “I’ve learned through trial and error that if you are not optimizing your health, your sleep, your fitness, whatever you know that you need in order to be functioning at your very best, that is going to affect your kids more than anything else.”
The star of TLC’s reality show The Culpo Sisters is mom to two big-time cuties, Solei Marie, 2 and Remi Berkely, 4 who she shares with her ex Michael Bortone. And when her daughter was born, a lot changed. Even the seemingly little changes were huge.
“The transition from one to two was tough because when I had my second, my first was still in diapers, so there was a time when I had newborn diapers and size six diapers,” she says. “And then at one point, I was just like, ‘Size six, we’re all going to be wearing the same size diaper around here.’” Because, yes, sometimes the way to save your own sanity and put on your own oxygen is by using the same size of diapers, blowouts be damned!
“But the second kid was easier because at that point you’ve built confidence that you’re able to keep a human alive,” she continues. “Looking back with my first, I kind of wished away the phases unintentionally like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait til he can sit up’ or ‘I can’t wait til he can say this’ and ‘I can’t wait til he’s out of diapers.’ And then you look back and they’re just distant memories in your camera roll that you’re never going to get back. With the second kid, I was able to be more present in knowing that these times were so fleeting.”
… We’re not crying, you’re crying!
That confidence Culpo built up was about more than just “keeping a human alive.” It was also about sticking to her instincts. It was about not letting the mom guilt about settling on the “correct” choice sink in. It was about leaning into what her gut was telling her.
“Knowing that I’m the best person to make a decision for my kid took some time for me to come around to,” she tells SheKnows.
“These are things that I feel like with practice you get better at, but at the beginning, when I had newborn babies, there’s a lot of second-guessing yourself, and there’s a lot of opinions out there,” she continues. “You can find a forum on absolutely anything. And I think it’s just learning to trust yourself and to realize that feeling guilt and feeling shame about maybe not doing something the best way you could have done it, is just not helpful. And so just not letting yourself be ruled by guilt, but by trusting that you are the best person for the job has helped me build this confidence.”
And she is the best person for the job. It’s something all moms (we hope!) come to learn. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t all use a hand from time to time. Lean on that proverbial village, ladies! You can see on The Culpo Sisters that this mom of two leans on her family. And, she shares with us, there are also some products she leans on too.
Along with her top picks from Thorne — Magnesium, Theanine, Phosphatidyl Choline, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, NAC, and more — she shares the parenting essentials that help her and her kiddos make it through the day below.
The podcast I’m listening to right now
My favorite podcast is the Huberman Lab podcast. I love his podcast because he’ll do an entire episode just on sleep or just on dopamine, just on cold therapy, just on IV therapies. He’s just super informative and I really like learning from him. And then my own podcast, Barely Filtered, dives into a lot of different and cool topics, and my co-host (Kristen Gaffney) and I have just been having a lot of fun with it.
The books my kid is obsessed with
I love reading to my kids. We like to read short poems. Lately, we are into Shel Silverstein. He does a lot of silly kid poems and my kids have learned to memorize some of them, so that’s been fun.
What I’m currently reading myself
I listen to all my books on Audible and most of the books I read are informational, focusing on how to optimize myself, and live healthier for longer. A book I’m currently reading is Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging by Ben Greenfield. I’m really enjoying that. I also listened to a book called Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen, who I also follow on Instagram, and I appreciate his approach to psychiatry. I was diagnosed with ADD years ago, and I went on a journey of using different stimulants that were prescribed to me by doctors, and now I’ve gotten to a place where I can manage my symptoms just through supplementation, and I use my Thorne supplements for that.
The beauty product I never leave the house without
It’s kind of weird, but I’m obsessed with my fish oil supplement. It’s been life-changing for me to keep in-check with my inflammation. Brain inflammation is a huge contributor to feelings of anxiety and depression. It’s been such a game changer for me just in feeling mentally tough and strong. So, I never leave without my fish oil, which is funny. And they’re not the smelly kind!
The music we listen to as a family
My kids are really into Spotify Disney Playlists and they make me listen to all of the Moana soundtrack. On my own, when they’re out of the car, I listen to Chris Stapleton. I listen to a lot of country music.
The parenting accounts I follow
Dr. Becky at Good Inside. She speaks about parenting from a mom’s perspective, and she’s all about taking the shame out of making hard decisions in parenting, and I just love everything that she talks about. Responsive Parenting is another good one. Honestly, I don’t always agree with the things that are on these accounts, but it’s nice to send content to my mom friends and have a conversation.
The subscriptions I have for my kid
I use Little Spoon, which is a food delivery system. Once a month I get a box that has different healthy options that look very kid-friendly. Think mini pancakes and little chicken nuggets that they hide vegetables in. It’s like a Happy Meal but without all the grease. My kids take a Thorne multivitamin – they are picky eaters with little protein. The mom guilt of having picky eaters is so real for me!
The products my kid can’t live without
I never leave the house without sunscreen — we usually do Super Goop or Baby Bum — and then something like a coloring book to keep them entertained.
The health brand I love
There’s a brand called Momeez Choice and they have a couple of different products. My kids’ favorite is the Lolleez. The product looks like a lollipop, but actually helps with sore throats, etc., and makes it easier to get the kids healthy when they’re feeling sick.
One of the things they don’t tell you about when you have kids is that they get sick a lot when they’re young and build up their immune system to different germs. Especially when they start going to school, it just can feel like every single other week there’s something else that your kids are bringing home with them.
The clothing brand that helps me ‘mom’ in style
Oh, man. I have a lot of brands that I love, but some of my favorites are Shona Joy, which I’m actually wearing right now, Cult Gaia, Ulla Johnson, and Isabel Marant. I also love girlfriend jeans and mother jeans. For shoes, I love Schutz.
To get even more parenting recommendations, read about the other stylish moms featured in our Momsessed series.
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