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Nathalie Walton Co-Founder & CEO, Expectful
Faced with an hour to yourself (perhaps a problem you don’t often have), what do you do with free time?
Between running my company, Expectful, the leading meditation and sleep app for hopeful, pregnant, and new moms, and taking care of my fifteen-month-old son, Everett, my time is very limited. When I do have a few moments to myself, I love to meditate. I take advantage of this time by listening to Expectful’s body scan meditations—if I’m lucky, a quick body scan meditation will give me a twenty-minute restorative nap (they often put me right to sleep!)—so that I’m well-rested and can conquer the rest of the day.
What is the thing you bought in the last three months that you have most enjoyed?
I recently bought The Five Minute Journal from Intelligent Change and it’s had such a positive impact on my sleep. Like many working moms, I finish up my workday after my son goes to sleep. This often means that my mind doesn’t have a chance to really calm down before bedtime. I’ve found that journaling is an easy way to let go of the day’s thoughts and ease my mind into better sleep.
What’s the last song you listened to?
“Body” by Megan Thee Stallion. I’m a big Peloton fan, and I did just their Megan Thee Stallion class, which was incredible. Did you learn anything new in the last 12 months that has surprised you?
Becoming a mother made me come to terms with my own power. In the last twelve months, I’ve become the best version of myself, both personally and professionally. I became the CEO of Expectful, and I raised $4.2M in venture capital in my first 100 days on the job—and I did this all while caring for my infant son. My desire to be a strong role model for my son has ignited an urgency to live my fullest life.
What is the best parental shortcut you have learned as a mother? Something that makes life easier, more sane, or more fun?
The best parental shortcut I’ve learned is around prioritization. When I wake up in the morning, I meditate and then I select three priorities for that particular day. I know how many hours I have in a day, and I know what I’m capable of, and setting intentions helps me prioritize what is most important. Whatever doesn’t make that list doesn’t get done, and that’s completely fine.
2020 has dealt us all with lots of challenges - what was a low moment in 2020 and how did you overcome or face it?
My son was born in December of 2019, so we spent his first year of life in isolation due to COVID. In many ways, this was a beautiful time for us to bond. We spent every waking moment together as a family of three, and I’m grateful that I was able to witness his first year of life in our home. That said, it’s tough that our extended friends and family weren’t with us throughout his first year. Still, I was largely able to overcome the sadness of isolation by looking at the bright side of spending so much time with my son, Everett.
What are you most looking forward to in a post-vaccine world? What bar, restaurant, or place are you most eager to visit?
I cannot wait to indulge in a bit of self-care! Becoming a new mom and being unable to access self-care in a traditional sense has been challenging. I’ve already booked a massage appointment and hair cut appointment for when I’m fully vaccinated.
Do you believe in setting personal goals? If so, how do you hold yourself accountable to them?
100%. I’ve been setting my personal goals since the 1990’s. In middle school, I spent a lot of time creating vision boards and cutting out pictures from Seventeen magazine, Vogue, or the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a vision board I made back in 1999 where I declared that my goal was to attend Stanford University and become a Californian. At the time, I was just dreaming big, and I didn’t realize that I would fulfill my goals just ten years later. To this day, I continue to have five, ten, and fifteen years plans. By visualizing what I want in my future, I have a sense of direction, and I’m able to fulfill my dreams.
How important is community to you, and how do you go about building and nurturing it for your family?
Community is incredibly important for me, especially as a new mother. One of the most helpful things I discovered was new mother circles. Having an intimate group of new mom friends was so critical to my ability to navigate motherhood, in fact, that I recently launched Mother's Circles at Expectful. My advice for any pregnant or postpartum mother is to find your support group, and to do so ASAP. Motherhood is hard, and it helps to have access to a group of women who are going through the same experience and can provide that intimate and necessary support.