Martha Pandal, Mother Of Alejandra 21, And Fernanda 17

What are your fondest memories of your daughters as kids?

Those nights we were getting to bed, my daughters hugging me and saying “I love you mummy”. Another one would be watching their faces at Disneyland, so amazed – their innocence, their smiles and laughter.

As a mom how do you like to spend your “me-time”?

During the weekends, my way of pampering myself is to wear neither makeup nor heels, and not to dress up. I love to stay home and watch my favorite TV series. It’s heaven for me!

Do you remember what your day-to-day look was during your pregnancies?

Ha! It was during the late 80s and 90s, when fashion wasn’t the most flattering. I was not at all one of those lucky women who looked wonderful. I remember when I was 3 months pregnant I couldn’t fit into any of my usual clothes, so I went and bought some at A Pea in the Pod, and dresses in A shape silhouettes from Neiman Marcus for dressier events. I even wore the bow Ferragamo loafers, which were great but as part of an unmatched head-to-toe outfit, I looked dreadful! But somehow it didn’t matter. I enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy – being so disciplined in my daily life and having greater expectations of myself. Looking back maybe it was the best excuse to let myself indulge in everything I wanted! Sleeping, eating, and really just doing whatever I desired. It was 22 years ago and I wasn’t working at that time, I was a housewife. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that clearly that was not my thing!

What do you love most about being a mom?

I love everything that my daughters have taught me, and of course the results of the examples you show them. Now that they are older, I love seeing their resemblance of both me and their father, and the reflection of the good and the bad. It makes you realize that these children you adore will be the ones to pass on part of you to their own children. They are your legacy. They help you confront yourself empowering to be a better person, they are your toughest judges but your greatest pride. Through them, somehow you realize there are things you did right and others that you didn’t do quite right. There’s no better way of knowing yourself than through your kids.

Does motherhood get better over time?

Definitely! Watching them become something of their own, and the friendship and complicity you develop – it’s every mother’s greatest achievement.

You have such a great complexion. Can you share your beauty secrets?

Thank you for saying that! I have to thank my mother. She is 75 years old and has an amazing face and skin. Being quite obsessive and disciplined since I was 15 years old, I would read every beauty article in magazines and took extremely great care of my face, always cleaning and moisturizing morning and night. Even until now, no matter the hour or where I might be. My routine is the same day and night. I always clean my face. My daily products are the Avene cleanser, and the Eucerin hydrating cream with hyaluronic acid. One of the best products that I’ve been using for more than ten years are these miracle hydrating capsules which you find in Spain in pharmacies called Marti Derm. I take it once a week or after trips, and before special events.

I have done botox twice in my life and ended up not liking them at all, so I will wait for the time when I have to decide whether I’d like a face lift – if and only if I have the courage! When I see beautiful women look like different people, it terrifies me. I think you have to accept and embrace aging and try to look your best without expecting to look 15 or 20 years younger. In life, there are more important things than your looks!

What advice would you give to new moms?

Enjoy your pregnancy. Indulge yourself in things you’ve never had the chance to do. Exercise, eat healthy, be at peace. I am certain babies feel everything that you do.

Once you have kids your time becomes limited. Share all your feelings with your partner. Not everyone enjoys their pregnancy so do not feel bad if that’s how you feel. It’s a tough period of your life in many ways, but also the most wonderful thing that can happen. Nobody teaches us how to be mothers and every pregnancy is different, so just take it as it comes and let it be.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share with everyone?

Hmm. These days I feel like pregnancy is taken too lightly, especially amongst younger girls. It is the greatest responsibility you will ever have as a woman, so I think it’s important to emphasize that you need to do what you need and want to do before having a child. Your age is important when making that decision. Remember that the people you bring into this world will depend on you, 100 percent.

I had four pregnancies. I lost two babies, and then had one who was five months old at the time. It was not easy. I have to say, physically and mentally, I was not in the best state. But I always knew that it was worth it and was certain that an only child was not the best thing for my husband and I. So I tried until fortunately, I had my second child. For anyone who goes through something similar, I would say you just need to persevere. Life is a roller coaster. There are ups and downs, but you will always make it through.

Photographed by Ethan James Green

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