Natalie Burrow and Her Mama, Sharon, On Rituals Shared Through Generations

Natalie Burrow and Her Mama, Sharon, On Rituals Shared Through Generations

The love between the mama of four and and her own mother, now a grandma of seven, is so apparent in their words of wisdom for our Mother's Day feature. Matrescence’s Brand Manager Natalie Burrow and her mama, Sharon, discuss the rituals passed down through their family as they share the lessons they learned as parents, the joys of having a big family, the importance of letting your children know they are unconditionally loved, and the reminder to lean on your circle for those much needed breaks to recharge. 


Ladies, tell us about you:

Sharon:  I am a proud mother of 5 and grandmother of 7. I have been married to my husband, Brian, for 42 years this year. We got married when I was only 18, but waited 6 years before having kids. In 2000, Brian started a commercial flooring company and I managed the office and did all the bookkeeping. I homeschooled the kids until Natalie was a sophomore in high school. then enrolled them all into public school. We were a busy family and our house was the house where all the kids and their friends came to hang out. We always tried to show them love and hard work. Our kids knew that they could always come to us and we tried to always show unconditional love and acceptance. I was a very trusting mom as they got older, but when they were little I would yell a lot out of frustration and my inability to handle feelings. I was not allowed to show feelings growing up as my parents considered it a sign of weakness. 

We loved having a large family. It is not easy and it gets expensive, but we mainly always wanted our kids to be happy and know how lucky we are to have each other and to always have each other's backs. We are such proud parents and grandparents and just love that we get to see them raise their families and be part of their lives. It is very rewarding.


Natalie: I am a mother of 4 – apparently I couldn’t help but continue on with the whole big family thing – as well as a writer, branding & web designer, wife to my high school sweetheart, and Matrescence’s Brand Manager. I was born and raised in California, but moved out to Texas at the end of 2021 to live the small town country life. Thankfully, my parents, all of my siblings, and all of our in-laws came with us! We couldn’t do it without them.

Sharon, what rituals did you pass down to Natalie when it came to motherhood? 

We always had family celebrations together. Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving were always open for family and friends to come celebrate. For birthdays, I would always have decorations up and presents wrapped for when they woke up in the morning to celebrate their special day when they came down from their rooms.


Natalie, do you continue these rituals in your own parenting? How and why?

Yes! My mom is a nurturer and a giver through and through so she always made holidays, birthdays, and special occasions feel so special. It wasn’t that there was anything grand or elaborate, it was that she never forgot and always made us feel remembered and thought of. I think it means even more to me now as a parent because I realize the time and effort she put into everything. I honestly still have no idea how she does what she does. The birthday decorations and presents waiting when they wake up (even if there’s not a lot) are something I continue to do for my kids because I want them to feel the same way I did as a kid. I also love decorating with the kids for the big holidays as it was something I adored doing as a kid with my mom.


Natalie, what is the best thing you learned from your mom about parenting?

To this day, my mom shows me how important it is to make sure my kids know that I’m always here for them and love them unconditionally no matter what. I always felt that from my mom and still do. I knew I could go to her (and my dad) for anything and I did. Somehow they cultivated very trusting relationships with me and all of my siblings – they held boundaries and remained sturdy in their role as our parents but always allowed us to make our own mistakes and be uncomfortable while still making sure we knew we were loved no matter what. Even as a 35 year old woman with 4 children, my parents’ love, support, and encouragement is what gets me through the challenging times. 

Sharon, how does it feel seeing your baby as a mother? What is your favorite part? 

I love watching how patient and loving she is. She really is such a great mom - so much more aware and patient than I was. She also really enjoys them and is always trying to explain or ask them what they need. 


What does self care look like to each of you?

Sharon: I usually work out at least 4 days a week, eat pretty clean, and take supplements daily. My husband makes us a superfood loaded smoothie 4-5 mornings of the week. I love using our hot tub and our red light sauna 2-3 times a week. I also recently started doing face yoga and massage.


Natalie: My parents are turning into specimens – they make me look forward to getting older! For me, the most nourishing thing I can do for myself in the thick of raising small kids is anything in solitude, which is obviously generally at odds with motherhood! I adore my kids, but when I have a little time and space to move freely without interruption, my soul comes alive. I can only do this with support from those around me. I’m so lucky to have a husband who regularly gives me time for this as well as both of our parents who help out a lot. Beyond that, it’s movement, creative expression, good food, sunshine, walks, deep conversation, time with people I love, intimacy, music, reading, skincare, and actually getting myself dressed.


Sharon, what advice would you give to a new mom struggling with balancing her roles and responsibilities?  

Let your husband help, ask for help, and know that if it has been a bad day, that they are just kids trying to handle their emotions. They don't do whatever they are doing on purpose - they are just little and trying to get through whatever they are going through. You will get through it all together. It goes by so very fast. Take time to hold them, play, and laugh with them. Don't fret over all the stuff that doesn't matter. They won't remember a messy house or clothes that aren't folded. Spend time outside in the sun, rain, wind. Just be together, dancing, playing, spending time with friends and family. Also take time for yourself for the things you enjoy. It helps you to be a better mother and wife. Make your husband a priority as well - it is hard and probably the last thing you think of, but your family is the most important thing and prioritizing each other will benefit the whole family.

Natalie, what do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a mom, and how do you manage it?

The most challenging part of being a mom for me has always been reconciling my desire to be a present and available mother with my desires as an individual (taking care of myself, creative pursuits, prioritizing my relationships, etc). It’s a difficult paradox because giving ourselves the time and space for our cups to be refilled truly does allow us to be better mothers, and there are also times where our kids just come first and other things have to be put on pause in order to show up the way we truly want to. As I mentioned before, I’m super thankful to have a very supportive circle of family who love to help out with the kids and a husband, parents, and in-laws who encourage me to take time for myself when I need it.


How has motherhood changed each of you as a person, and what have you learned from the experience?

Sharon: It has made me less selfish, more patient, more loving, more generous, and most of all so very grateful. I have always loved being a mom and wife and have always tried to put my family first. I was not great at doing things for myself but now as a grandmother, I realize how important my health is so that I can play with the kids and be here for all of them. I take time to exercise, read, cook healthy meals and snacks, and just really love that I am healthy and able to be there for all of them.


Natalie: Motherhood has unraveled me in the best way and shown me what truly matters. I shed so many outdated identities through the process of becoming a mother (and I’m sure will continue to) and have grown more fully into a woman led by her own intuition. If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that there is nothing more valuable than love and following your intuition as a mother will lead to a more peaceful motherhood experience.

What’s one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a mom?

Sharon: That they are only little for a very short time. Take the time to enjoy them and your life as a family. All the little stuff really doesn't matter. It's the love you have for each other and others that come and go in your lives. It’s caring for one another and showing it to them. The main thing is you want them to be happy, loving, responsible people who love each other and others unconditionally. Everything else falls into place when you do that.


Natalie: That there is no way to even comprehend the love you’ll have until you have it. No matter how much you prepare yourself, nothing can accurately convey the love you’ll have for your children - it’s just something that completely blows you away once it happens. It’s been amazing watching my younger siblings become parents because I can see the love written all over their face when they meet their baby and know that exact feeling. It’s also humbling to realize that your parents love you as much as you love your children. The love is just so good!


For each of you: if you could sum up the relationship between the two of you in one sentence, what would it be?

Sharon: I have so much love and admiration for her as a mother, wife, sister, auntie and friend. I am so lucky to be able to see them all have their own lives, families, and get to be a part of something that their dad and I created and are still creating. It is very humbling to say the least.


Natalie: I admire, appreciate, and love her more than I could ever tell her and am so thankful for her constant love and support and the way she loves my kids (and husband, she spoils him too!)  – if there is one person who is an expert in mothering the mother, it’s her.

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