Nadia Bjorlin has a lot to celebrate this Mother’s Day: Not only did her son, Torin, turn 1 on May 4, but she has another boy on the way and will mark two years of marriage to Grant Turnbull on May 15.
“It’s amazing how life changes,” Bjorlin marvels. “I always knew I wanted to have kids, but I never knew what that looked like. I was also never the girl who really imagined my wedding or how that was going to be. I was actually having dinner with a girlfriend the other night who was talking about having children one day, and I said, ‘It happens when you least expect it. Could you have imagined a year before I got married that I would ever have gotten married and had kids at this point?’ I think life is beautiful in that way in that you can’t control it all.”
It’s a philosophy she embraces across the board. Bjorlin shares that baby No. 2 was not in her immediate plans, but is over the moon to be welcoming another. “I wasn’t expecting to have another child so soon, but I’m so happy it’s happening this way because it’s another boy, which I’m thrilled about,” she says. “And they’re going to be so close in age, and we already have boy stuff, so I kind of feel like I’ve got it down a bit.”
The past year has been a whirlwind of emotions for the new mom. “I wouldn’t even know how to create a concise sentence because it’s been life-altering, surreal, beautiful, glorious and tough all at the same time,” she reflects. “It’s incredibly fulfilling and worthwhile, and it’s this love that you can’t even describe. Sometimes I just think about him when he’s sleeping, like he is right now, and it makes me want to cry. That may sound crazy. I don’t know.”
Bjorlin admits that her approach to motherhood has surprised her a bit. “I thought I would have been a little bit more easy-going, but it’s been interesting that with Torin, I’m schedule-oriented,” she notes. “I’m very protective of him. I didn’t take him out of the house the first month of his life. I was terrified to have other people touch him, or have him be in contact with germs. I was cleaning everything so well, and everything was spotless. I think that’s kind of a new mom thing anyway. I’ve gotten a little bit more lax with that, but I’m still figuring it all out. He is now the priority for everything in my life. My life and expectations have changed.”
The actress, who is still toiling away in Salem, says she expects to work up until close to her due date. “I felt really good when I was pregnant, for the most part,” Bjorlin recalls of the first time around. “When you hear all these stories about how people feel sick, I didn’t really go through that. I worked up until, like, 38 weeks and I felt great.” After she gave birth, it was a different story. “When I actually had him, it was a bit of an awakening,” she confesses. “That was the hard part, the post-partum part, because life as you know it has completely changed and there’s nothing you can read, there’s no books, there’s no YouTube videos, and all the advice in the world can’t prepare you for actually being in the trenches with it. I would say the first three months feel like three years, and then it starts to go much quicker. Now it gets to be more fun.”
Being pregnant while chasing after a one-year-old brings its own set of challenges, however. “I am perpetually tired,” Bjorlin reports. “I’m not going to lie. I understand why having babies is actually for the young, but it’s just a Catch-22. You have more energy when you’re young, but you’re also just more stupid. I’ve had people ask, ‘Do you wish you’d done it younger?’ and I’m like, ‘I mean, the physical part of me does, but the mental part, no, because I was an idiot in my 20s.’ It would not have gone well for these children.”
Fortunately, Torin is a happy baby. “I will say I’m pretty darn lucky,” she smiles. “All you know is your own experience and what you have, and he’s a pretty darn good kid. He just has a good personality, he always seems to be, for the most part, in a good mood. He doesn’t cry. He doesn’t really whine. He’s a good sleeper. He’s so cool, he’s so chill. He’s fun. He’s really social. He likes being outside, he likes seeing people. He’s just easy.”
As she looks forward to celebrating her second Mother’s Day, Bjorlin says, “It’s still surreal and amazing. You look at this little person and you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, I made him? I’m a mom? That’s so crazy.’ When I think of Mother’s Day, I still think of my own mom. It’s a weird reality check. It’s when you realize that you’ve become a grown-up, I guess.”
Party Of Five?
Bjorlin says there may be some family expansion in the future. “Maybe at some point we’ll go, ‘We want a third child,’ ” she says. “But that’s a whole other thing. You’re being totally outnumbered. I feel like then it gets hard.” She is frequently asked if she wants a girl. “I think if we were to ever ‘try for a girl’, it’s a bad approach because then you could be disappointed. Grant is one of three boys, and his father’s one of three boys, and the same with his grandfather, so I don’t know how it works. Now that I have a boy, I’m kind of obsessed with boys. I love it. I wouldn’t say that a third would be out of the question, but maybe not right away, like this. Maybe let mama have a little break. I got my body back for like five minutes and that’s when this happened. That’s what happens, kids, be careful [laughs].”
Just The Facts:
We Are Family: Bjorlin married Grant Turnbull on May 15, 2015. They welcomed son Torin Mathias on May 4, 2016, and are expecting another boy this August.
Torin Tales: “He can start to say mama. I don’t know that he necessarily knows that I’m mama [laughs], but he can certainly say it. He knows if he goes, ‘Mamamamama,’ the lady in the house comes to him. He’s crawling, he pulls himself up and he’s testing his balance. He’s starting to become a little person with more personality. I’m a fan of this stage.”
Take My Advice: “I think parenting is just a lot of trial and error, and probably the best advice I’ve gotten from people is saying, ‘Don’t necessarily listen to everybody’s advice.’ Because there is no correct way to do it. It has to be what works for you.”
Celebrate Good Times: Bjorlin was a very new mom last Mother’s Day. “I had him on a Wednesday, and it was that Sunday. I just remember being in my pajamas, basically, and my sisters and my brothers came over. They brought me champagne and breakfast and it was so nice. Our family’s close. We spend a lot of time together, so this Mother’s Day we’ll probably do something similar, with my mom.”