This year marks Pregnancy & Newborn’s fifth annual feature profiling five fascinating moms. The list is hardly comprehensive, but it’s a humble nod to the impressive talent, inspiring outlooks and important work of mothers. We hope you find their stories refreshing, encouraging and most of all relatable because, although the details may be different, our journeys all share a common thread.
A native New Yorker and mom of two, LaTonya Staubs proves daily that having a baby doesn’t have to mean giving up your sense of style. “Every morning before the kids wake up, I take a shower, get dressed, put on makeup and have my coffee. Every morning,” says Staubs.
She’s not doing it because she freelances as a stylist or maintains a lifestyle blog. The ritual preserves her mental health and sense of self, she explains. “If I don’t get dressed, I don’t feel like me. It’s a routine that I’ve created that makes me feel more capable throughout the day.”
And capable she is—of many things. In addition to relaunching her blog earlier this year and regularly updating it with fresh content on fashion and family, she consults with companies on branding and marketing. She also works one-on-one with new moms, guiding them as they learn to dress for their postpartum bodies.
The part Staubs is most proud of, though? “Feeling some sense of success and creative energy and being a mother at the same time,” she says. “It’s great to have a source of income, be professional and also do something that’s really important, which is raising good people.”
Staubs gave birth to her daughter, River, at an early age, placing her well ahead of the motherhood curve—especially for the city. “In New York, having a kid at 21 is really foreign,” she says, telling tales of befriending moms two decades her senior with children the same age.
Staubs’ son, Oak, arrived a few years later, and although she admits it was “weird” in the beginning, she has grown to love being a young mother. “You’re learning so much being a mom and going through your 20s at the same time. … I feel like I’ll have it more together at 30 because I’ve raised these kids.” At least she hopes, she says, laughing. “It feels really good to look forward to this other life where our kids are grown and we’re still young, and we get to travel and experience life differently.”
For the time being, though, Staubs is content to be right where she is, with her two babies and filmmaker husband, Peter, in their tiny apartment in Brooklyn. “I love it here. I was born here; my grandmother had a place here,” she says, adding that the diversity of the neighborhood can’t be beat. The family next door includes a mom who is white and a dad who is black; other neighbors are Chinese; their best friends are a lesbian couple.
“My kids are mixed, and I love that they get to see other kids who look like them and don’t look like them and who look like someone they’ve never met before. … It makes it really easy to raise kids with an open mind here,” says Staubs. “As an interracial couple, that’s one of our huge things. … I want this to be their normal.”
Meet LATONYA STAUBS, stylist and blogger
Home: Brooklyn, New York
No. 1 place to shop: Thrift stores
Grown-up goal: Buy a house in the neighborhood
Ideal weekend: Brunch with family and friends, naps, a home-cooked meal and movies on the couch with reading time to spare.