Effortlessly cool, quirky and stylish. Marianne Theodorsen, Scandinavian mama, blogger and it-girl, is the antithesis of the “mom police” and she certainly isn’t afraid to have fun. In fact, she’s built her reputation on it...
A joy to spend time with, she is open, frank and intrinsically easy-going, especially when it comes motherhood. She isn’t afraid to admit that things aren’t always perfect, that she doesn’t always know what she’s doing and she talks freely about the associated pains of – and after – birth (frozen peas included). We caught up with Marianne recently to talk all things career, motherhood and family. Follow: @marianne_theodorsen
Tell us the short story behind your home. How long have you lived here?
We took over the place after my husband’s family – his great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all grew up in this house. It’s quite old, so it has been a lot of work, but we’re so extremely lucky to be living here. It’s such a quiet area where kids can play safely, and we’re surrounded by beautiful Norwegian nature on all sides.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your place?
Cozy! In Scandinavia we’re all about the coziness – it’s what gets us through those long, cold winters. I love candles and flowers, so I always have lots of it in my home. I love everything and anything that can give personality to a home – minimalism is not for me. Pictures, lamps, fluffy pillows – bring it on!
What are your thoughts on kid stuff taking over your space? Is every room a playroom or do you keep it corralled?
Well, that remains to be seen… he’s three months old, so, for now, it’s not too bad. I try to keep things tidy and make sure everything has its place, but who knows how that will work out once he starts running around. I hope for a balance between control and chaos!
How has life changed for you since becoming a mother?
Everything has changed of course, but in so many ways it feels like it’s been this way forever – I find it hard to put into words. My heart bursts to watch him kick his little feet or smile at me, but I always have moments when I think “Oh My God what have I done?!”. The thought of being responsible for another human being scares the bejesus outta me.
Can you tell us about your birth?
Oh gosh people told me so many times “Oh trust me you will know when it starts”, but honestly it just felt like really bad stomach ache for the first few hours – superbad that is. I didn’t even wake up my husband but just kept running back and forth to the toilet as I thought maybe I had eaten something bad. When I found myself crouching over the side of the bed going “Gaaaaaaaah” I was like “Ok…maybe this is it”. Once we arrived at the hospital it was confirmed that it wasn’t just the chilli con carne that was to blame, and I was quite thankful for that as I was already one week past my due date and terribly sick of being pregnant. I didn’t have a birth plan – I just thought that anything that comes our way we’ll deal with then and there, but I knew that I wanted to try giving birth without drugs. I spent 15 hours in labour, two of them trying to squeeze him out of me – that was probably my least favourite part of the whole experience as he was stuck because he had his arm in front of his face. Luckily he decided to pop out the second they decided they needed to go ahead with vacuum-assisted birth. Good timing son!
What was the first month of motherhood like for you?
Well, I spent quite a few hours with a bag of frozen peas in my undies I can tell you that… How come nobody talks about how you feel down there after giving birth? Boy oh boy, that was quite something. I spent most days snuggled up in our big sofa cuddling with the baby and watching TV while he was sleeping. Despite the pain and lack of sleep, I had an absolutely wonderful time.
What excites you most about motherhood?
Watching him grow and his personality developing. I’m so excited to see who he is.
What makes you the most nervous?
That I have the responsibility of another human being.
Describe your parenting style...
Um… relaxed I guess? But not “Do whatever you want” kind of relaxed. There’s a fine line! I guess I’m just taking it day by day. What works today might not work tomorrow, so I try not to stress about anything. So far so good, but we’ll see how that goes…
What was your own upbringing like? Where did you grow up? What are some vivid memories of your childhood?
I grew up in Northern Norway in the city of Tromso with both my parents and my grandparents close by. I remember spending hours and hours playing our in the woods with the kids in my neighbourhood – our mothers would yell out the windows when I was time to come home. I had a very happy and safe childhood, and I hope to give that to my son as well. Loads of great memories to look back at.
What advice would you give to a woman about to have her first child?
You know what’s best for your child (although I would recommend keeping your baby away from open flames and other dangers). There are so many “rules” in society on how we are supposed to be like as mothers, and it can be pretty stressful when the “mom police” finds something that you have done wrong. Just rise above it girl – you are the bomb! As long as your baby is alive and you give him lots of love you’re doing a pretty good job I’d say.
Any words on trying to juggle parenthood, a relationship, and a career?
Be patient, let your partner get some time off if you can (and do the same for yourself!), and when it comes to your career you do what feels right for you and not what everyone else thinks you should be doing.
Tell us about his name? How did you decide on Till?
He is named after my husband’s grandfather, and it really is the only name we ever considered. They had such a close relationship, so it felt very right.
What is the best/most useful piece of advice you have received about motherhood?
Not to think too far ahead and just take things day by day.
Do you have any mum icons or role models, either celebrity or real women you know?
My mother obviously. And my sister because she raised two amazing boys whom she has the kind of relationship I hope to have with my kids.
Any parenting books you love?
What do you love most about raising your son in Norway?
Norway is a safe country with great schools and healthcare. People, in general, are open-minded and we do have some seriously beautiful nature. I can’t think of any downsides really – oh well maybe the long cold winters, but we’ll manage.
What are some of your favourite kid-friendly local spots in your area?
Well in my area there’s mostly snowy nature and it hasn’t been so baby friendly this winter, so we’ve mostly invited friends home or we go on home visits to other friends with kids. Norway is usually a pretty baby friendly place when it comes to cafes and restaurants, so it hasn’t been a problem for us so far.
When you're low on time, what are some of your go-to family dinner options?
Homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches or any type of pasta really.
How would you describe your personal style.
Mood-depending and ever-changing.
What kind of clothes did you wear when you were pregnant?
A lot of dresses and boyfriend jeans. Also wearing colourful clothes made me extra happy.
Tell us about your beauty routine.
I always rinse and wash my face in the morning before I go to bed. My favourite is the deep cleansing cream from Burts Bees. A splash of a good serum is essential, and so is the Lait Creme Concentree Moisturizer from Embryolisse. Once or twice a week I use the gentle cream exfoliant from Dermalogica – it’s my holy grail. Other than that I love a good Orange-y eyeshadow to make my eyes pop, and some blush is a must to look a bit fresher. Also, I love strobe cream from M.A.C for that extra dewy glow.
What about your wellness routine - do you exercise/meditate?
Oh gosh, I wish. Please let me know any hot tips for seriously lazy people…
Who are your favourite designers?
So many! I love Nicolas Ghesquiere, JW Anderson, Raf Simmons, Phoebe Philo, Muccia Prada, Haider Ackermann, Dries Van Noten… the list goes on!
What kind of clothes/brands do you love for your son?
Tell us about what you do professionally.
I work with PR and social media for a luxury fashion company called Hoyer, and I also DJ and do my Instagram thing. (Check out @Marianne_theodorsen yo!)
Tell us briefly about your background.
I studied Arts for many years until I got a job at the coolest fashion store in Oslo and decided that fashion was my thing. I’ve learnt things along the way, and I firmly believe that experience s the best form of education.
What do you like most about your job?
All the people I get to meet and all the beautiful clothes I get to drool over.
How has motherhood affected your career path? (If at all)
It’s a bit early to say (I’m at home with my son until November 2018), but I know for sure that I want to spend as much time as possible with my family.
What's up for you next, career-wise?
That is something I haven’t thought about yet. Right now I’m just enjoying being a mum.