Life is pretty sweet these days for Meghan Trainor. On Feb. 8, the pop star and actor husband Daryl Sabara welcomed their first child, son Riley, and Trainor has been embracing mom life ever since.
"We did have a rough start, but he's perfect," the proud mom says of her now nearly 4-month-old baby, who spent some time in the NICU after his birth. "And it was worth every second."
Though she's currently in the throes of a "new health kick" — "I'm excited about my body transforming back to normal after the baby," the singer says — Trainor couldn't resist signing on to help launch M&M's MIX, in which three classic flavors (milk chocolate, peanut and peanut butter) will now be available in one bag. Here, she opens up about heading back to work, having a pandemic pregnancy and how motherhood has shown her what a "badass" she is.
How was the fourth trimester for you?
I had my recovery from the C-section; I recovered pretty fast because I was very mobile. I kept trying to get up, even if I was in a lot of pain, and I think that helps tremendously. And eating well and staying hydrated; I still drink my gallon of water every day. I recovered very fast and I'm already working out intensely, so I feel good. It's scary going in [wondering], Will I ever come back? But I did it.
I got really lucky. I didn't get any postpartum depression, but I feel like I have a lot of support and loved ones to help me out. I do have a great new respect [for moms]. It's just so eye-opening. I don't know how single moms do it. I can barely do it with the help of my mom and my husband. I don't know how single moms do it, and I want to be their champion and show the world how amazing they are, because I don't understand. I can barely go to the bathroom. I'm like, "Will somebody hold him?" It's a lot.
Do you have a favorite lullaby that you sing to Riley?
This is so random and I've never told anyone this... There's a movie called Mighty Joe Young [laughs] and there's a lullaby that the main girl sings to the gorilla, and I sing it to my baby. I learned all the words. It's literally on YouTube and I play it. It's the most beautiful song I've ever heard in my entire life. I think it's my favorite song ever. Sometimes I'll just hum him the melodies, because it's just the prettiest melody I've ever seen.
What has the process of becoming a mother taught you about yourself?
I'm a badass [laughs]. I didn't know how strong I was. A lot of people are like, "Wow, you're so tough and strong." And I'm always in my head [thinking], No, I'm so weak. What do you mean? And I also feel like 16 and Pregnant — I feel so young in my head. But because of going to the doctor appointments by myself, I had to really become an adult and I'm very impressed with myself. My discipline has been amazing. So I'm super-proud, and I know now that I can achieve anything. I'm like, if I can get through that C-section, man, I can do anything.
You had to go to the doctor by yourself because you were pregnant during the pandemic. Was that stressful?
Yeah, it was, but I was used to it because my whole pregnancy was [during the] pandemic, so I was going by myself a lot. Everyone was really nice and considerate because they know this is scary and this is new for us moms, especially with my first baby. They always let me FaceTime my husband, and for the C-section they let my husband be there, so I really appreciated that. And it was nice finally having a partner with me, especially with the scariest part of it all, but they were good. My doctor was amazing.
What's the best mom advice you've been given?
Have I been given any advice? I asked a lot of questions. I asked everything: "How do you stop breastfeeding?" "How do you do this?" And all the moms that I asked were like, "I don't remember." Like, they just kind of blacked out those crucial moments. So I don't know the best advice, but a lot of people say to try to soak these moments in because you'll forget them. And that's why I film him a lot on my iPhone. It's going to be different this time because we have iPhones; I have a camera right here. So I guess just soak in the moment and remember every second.
What's the sweetest part of being a mom?
The sweetest moment is something I didn't know existed... It's when he smiles at you, even if I'm nasty-looking or I'm just being a weirdo — the way he smiles at me is like, Wow, he recognizes me and he loves the crap out of me, you know? It's like, Oh my God, I made something that loves me that much? Hell yeah — that's my dream [laughs]. Anything I'm feeling, if I'm having a tough day, the greatest, greatest happiness comes from his little smile.
Do you have any essential mom products? What's your saving grace these days?
Oh, I have a thousand of them. My number one is gripe water. You can find it everywhere. It's this organic, magic liquid that you use for babies' gas or for hiccups. It literally takes his hiccups away in one second. It's amazing.
You've been posting about getting back to work. How are you finding that balance with a baby?
I'm having a great time. My dream that I always tell people is: When I have a baby, I don't want to travel the world and don't want to drag him around and stuff and do that. So I've got my dream job, luckily — I don't know, somebody was looking out for me — where I'm a TV host for Top Chef Family Style. So we drive 10 minutes to work every day, and my baby's in my trailer all day long and I get to see him every single break. He's with my family all day long. I feel so lucky that I'm allowed to bring my kid to work every day. I know moms who couldn't do that; my mom couldn't do that. So it's pretty amazing, and I'm very, very fortunate that I get to do that. And we're having a good time. Some days are longer than others, and on those days I'll be like, "I really miss him. But my husband on those days will bring him out in the stroller and surprise me right after we wrap.
Speaking of work, what drew you to the M&M's MIX project?
It was just too perfect... They had three incredible musicians [Sung Lee, Carly Ann Calbero and Jeremy Jones] from three different cities come together and create a remix and their own rendition of "The Candy Man," and it's so dope... And I really wanted to partner with them because I was so proud and impressed that they donated $10,000 to the All Stars Project; they help fund future generations of music... I'll use any platform I can to spread the word about this.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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