Five Practical Must-Haves for New Moms | Amanda McQuade Photography

As a newborn photographer in Charlotte, NC and as a mom to three kiddos myself, I know how overwhelming Motherhood can be.

It can be all these things, and all at once:









Motherhood is probably best defined as this: Holding literal joy and sorrow in your hands. This is the path we've chosen, we've prayed for, we adore, and all the while mourn at the same time. Just the other day I sat down in the playroom to dry my 12 year old daughters hair, thinking all the while how few years I have left to run my fingers through her auburn tresses, as my little girl. The answer is of course, not many. And the little years that I both adored and found myself trying to escape at times from exhaustion, are passing by like sand through a hourglass.

But, at the same time, I have a healthy, lovely, kind, generous, smart girl, who loves her siblings and her family so well.

And that's what it's like everyday to be a mother. To grieve and adore what's happening right in front of you all the live-long day.

So, I thought, it might be a good idea to take a break from my usual newborn photography posts, and focus a bit on just a few things (items) that actually helped me navigate those early years well.

  1. Beach Body Energize Supplements

First, let me say, I am in NO WAY AT ALL affiliated with Beach Body. If you knew me personally, you would crack up at this notion. I'm not a real crunchy person. I do try and eat organic and buy organic milk because honestly it tastes better to me! But I'm not going to turn down Chick-fil-A or a bag of my favorite chips. But here is the deal, we need to keep taking all those vitamins. Mothers, I don't care if you are breastfeeding or not, have so much on our plates and minds and we are most-likely up any given night from 11pm-5am!

These are hands-down the best supplements I've ever tried. All the great morning vitamins. Throw it in that Stanley cup everyone is talking about (I also love that thing, I have TWO) and drink it after you eat something. You will feel so much better, have a clearer head, and energy that isn't based entirely on Starbucks.


2. Great Underwear!

Friends, let's be real. You wear the wrong undies, and your day is ruined. And new moms need something with some fabric! Something breathable, that doesn't ride up, and tuck everything in without feeling like you're back in the 60's with a dang girdle.

These are the best undies ever:

3. A Damn-Good Pillow. Or, Five

As a mom of three kids, sleep is my #1. I mean, of course my kids and my sweet husband are #1, but sleep is a close second. I am not a nice lady when I don't sleep (this is probably why we never added baby #4 to the house!) Sleep is very important and you loose. a lot of it when you have kids, but thankfully I've found the best pillow ever. Seriously, it's the best. And I've probably tried alllll of them, from that pillow you can buy at the mall, to reg. Serta, Calvin Kline, and all the above. I've owned a lot of pillows.

This is the best pillow ever:

I don't know what it's made of, maybe angel feathers and newborn laughter? I have no idea but it's 100% the best pillow I've ever owned. AND if you're like me and love to frequent TJ Maxx and Marshalls, you. can find them for $24/each (king) if you're lucky. They usually only have two in at a time, and I'm probably buying them.

4. Great Yoga Pants - Duh!

My husband is jellies he can't wear yoga pants. He's also confused as to why I own all these pants when I haven't been to a class since 2019. He would know if he could wear them! You know what I mean, ladies. Yoga pants are a grace from God. I am fairly sure heaven's attire will be yoga pants and long tanks. I cannot imagine how I would function without them!

So, like most of you, I'm sure you've tried a lot of yoga pants. And you need something that has a pocket if you're a mom. You need a random place for your phone, your keys, the card since you don't want to have to carry a whole bag in the store sometimes, or if you're on the trail and it's 1000 degrees (hello, summer in Charlotte!) and you don't want to sweat to death with a backpack - you need a good pocket!

And here are my tried and true, ride or die yoga pants. They are breathable, comfy, and high-waisted. Bless them.

Yoga Pants:

5. A Great Non-Parenting Book, That's Actually Fun to Read!

Long ago, before I had kiddos, I lived in LA (yes, that LA) and worked in publishing. My BA is in English, specifically American Lit. (ask me my fav. James Joyce novel and you'll be stuck a while, LOL) so books were my THING. And they still are. I love books! Reading relaxes and refocuses the brain, and allows us busy moms to think about something else other then the kids and work for a little bit.

Here's a quick tip on enjoying books: Read 5-7 at a time. Not all at once, haha. But have several that you're reading through and don't feel any shame if you put it down for 3 months and then come back to it. It's a crazy season of life. Give yourself some grace!

Top Five Fav. Books:

  1. The Pale-Faced Lie (excellent autobiography! Will also make you feel like you're nailing this parenting thing)
  2. The Glass Castle by Jennifer Wells
  3. Cloud Cuckcoo Land or All the Light We Cannot See
  4. Anything (and I mean anything) by Erik Larson

And because I love Christina Books that connect me more to Jesus, while not dragging me down or puffing me up

5. Gentle and Lowly - probably one of the best I've read in the last three years!

Lastly, I think it's important, as mothers, to set ourselves up for success during the day, and part of that is taking care of ourselves in small ways, so we can take better care of all the people who depend on us. We are called to this life, we chose it. We love it, but it's hard!

Thank you for reading! I hope this has been helpful to you.



Hi! I’m so thankful you are checking out my work here at my website and blog.

Looking for the best Charlotte, NC newborn photographers? Amanda McQuade specializes in maternity, newborn, and family photography in Charlotte, Fort Mill, and Weddington areas.

If you love these photos, and you are looking for Charlotte newborn photographers I would love to begin planning your session. With 10 years of specializing in my favorite ages of tiny humans, maternity, newborn, and young families and I would love to photograph your family! To see more of my maternity & newborn portfolio please click over HERE and get in touch if this is something you would love for your family.

Wondering what full sessions look like? I would be happy to show you what an entire gallery looks like while this blog space receives new posts, including older sessions mixed among new session sneak peeks.  I feel strongly that potential clients are able to see many full galleries of real sessions so you know exactly what to expect from your portraits as well! If you are interested in a custom portrait session with Amanda McQuade Photography and would like more information, please click here to learn more about me and this experience.

I’m currently reserving 2023 newborn sessions. If you would like to reserve your Charlotte area newborn photos, in my Uptown Charlotte studio or field on my calendar I would love for you to reach out!

Share this story