We have been following the inspiring achievements of Eleanor Pendleton, beauty editor and founder of Gritty Pretty for some time, admiring her creative talent and grounded spirit. But her passion runs much deeper than just beauty, as she uses her platform to connect with and champion other women engaging in real conversations, most recently around motherhood and pregnancy. 

Here, she tells us how her personal definition of success has evolved over time, why she will be ushering in the New Year in slowness and welcoming a new family member. 



Are there any particular parts of your birth story with Banjo you would like to share with us? 

In the lead-up to my first birth [with my son, Banjo], I spent a lot of time on my mental health. I really invested in being as informed as I possibly could be so that when labour commenced, I could feel empowered and confident in making my own informed decisions. I am fortunate to have had an uncomplicated, empowering, and fast birth with my son and I was wholly supported by my husband and private obstetrician - I really loved the pushing part! I'm weeks away from giving birth to my second baby and this time, I've chosen midwife-led care through the public system and I'm so excited to see how this next birth will unfold.

And any experiences with your second pregnancy you would like to share?

They say not all pregnancies are the same and I've found my second pregnancy to be true. My first pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated. Energetically, I felt incredible and I had minimal morning sickness in the early weeks. This time, I have experienced all-day and night nausea and regular vomiting up until 24 weeks. Physically, it's been a lot more taxing this time – and I also have a toddler to run after (no midday naps this time!). There have been moments where this pregnancy has brought me to my knees but as I'm so close to meeting my baby, the excitement is really setting in and I know all of the sickness and discomfort is about to be worth it when I see his or her little face. Having a support system has been integral and while I would never wish severe morning sickness upon anyone, I'm grateful to have so many girlfriends pregnant at the same time as me – some who have equally been unwell like I have and we've all really supported each other emotionally.


This year is looking a little different for you with a fourth family member coming. What intentions or words will you be manifesting for 2023? 

I'm looking forward to leaning into my slow season for the first six months of 2023. I plan to savour and relish the newborn phase, which while it can be challenging, is also so fleeting. My husband and I are both looking forward to surrendering and learning who this new little family member is as we're sure he or she will be different in many ways from their older brother, Banjo. For me, 2023 is all about the year of being uninterrupted by distractions and being truly present with my family.


Has your personal style changed since becoming a mother? 

In some ways, it's evolved. I focus more on the practicality of pieces and comfort level but also place more focus on pieces that make me feel good.



Running a company and managing people as well as managing life at home is no easy feat during the early stages of motherhood. Where do you think that inner strength comes from to keep pushing? 

I believe I was born with a level of tenacity that is intrinsic to my DNA and who I am. Being a daughter of a Filipino immigrant, there is a level of work ethic that I have, which I'm sure is a result of both of my parent's upbringing and how I was raised as a child. Being the eldest of two daughters, it feels natural to me to lead and so finding that resounding inner strength to keep pushing is something I almost don't think about... I just do.


Success can mean different things to different people. Do you measure your achievements differently now compared to the beginning of your editing career?

Yes, absolutely. For me, success is now so simple and measured by these three things in order: family (and spending quality time with them), happiness (the ability to create, grow, build and do work that I truly love and fills my cup); and financial freedom.


How important has your online and offline community been during motherhood?

Something I'm so grateful for in this life is the community I have around me – offline and online. Online, I connect with hundreds of thousands of women alike who are supportive and champion other women. I so rarely experience "trolling" online and I think that is testament to the type of people who decide to follow my social platforms. I love getting to know them through our conversations. Offline, I have a very, very tight-knit group of female friends – they're my tribe and we show up for each other whenever someone is in need. I am undoubtedly a better woman and mother because of my girlfriends.




Can you share a little something that your mother has taught you or any words that have really resonated with you? 

Listen to your intuition - it's always right.


Are any other inspirations you wish to share with mothers or mothers-to-be? Such as books of late you have loved, reflections of 2022, etc. 

For any expectant mothers, I really encourage women to surround themselves with positive people and positive birth stories. I love listening to the Australian Birth Stories podcast. I also purchased Australian Birth Stories' The Birth Class, which is an online birthing course. For some women who may experience birth trauma, they may unknowingly offload their trauma onto an expectant mother, which isn't always appropriate. For me, during my pregnancies, I had no issues in politely telling someone I'd rather not hear their story as I approach birth and I think it's important pregnant women create boundaries to protect them in the lead-up to their own, unique life-changing (and hopefully positive and empowering!) birthing experience.

And finally, for mothers, I think what is always important to acknowledge is that motherhood has different seasons and they look different for each and every woman. There should be no space for judgment or prejudice – only space for support of one another. We're all in it together, wide awake at 2:00am breastfeeding or wondering if we'd pack enough into the lunch boxes or did we buy that birthday gift for someone...

There is a beautiful quote I love by the Persian poet, Rumi: 

"We are born of love; 

Love is our Mother."