Shay Mitchell Opens Up About Parenting During The Pandemic + The Most Important Thing She’s Teaching Daughter Atlas

Shay MitchellPhoto Credit: Safeguard

It isn’t easy raising a baby during the pandemic, but Shay Mitchell is doing her absolute best. The Pretty Little Liars alum, who gave birth to daughter Atlas Noa with boyfriend Matte Babel last October, has some strict rules for her child’s safety. She’s also teamed up with Procter & Gamble to launch the Safeguard initiative. The brand is donating $10 million to promote handwashing habits among kids and provide more underserved communities and families with free hand hygiene products. Here, the glamorous new mom dishes on this new partnership and what she’s learned during the quarantine—as well as the toughest part of parenting during a pandemic, and how she’s overcome it.

Shay MitchellPhoto Credit: Safeguard

It’s tough enough being a new mom, but now there’s COVID. What has been the biggest challenge about raising a child during this time?

Just not getting faced to face with family friends and other children. We’ve made the best use of technology by FaceTiming my mom, her grandmother and my grandma as well. We’re trying to do as much FaceTime as possible until we can all meet up in real life.

Which is where your new Safeguard initiative comes into play, I presume. Tell us why you decided to get involved with the TikTok challenge.

I’m really excited about this initiative. Safeguard actually donated $10 million worth of product and hygiene education to underserved communities through organizations like Save the Children. Obviously it’s incredibly important in today’s climate when things are slowly starting to open back up and kids are starting to go back to school and playground. This initiative just teaches them the proper ways of washing their hands.

Is your daughter’s health and safety the first thing on your mind always?

Absolutely, yes. She’s eight months and hasn’t really had a chance to build her immune system since we’ve been inside the majority of her time. I’m extremely cautious and I’ve been washing my hands ten times more than I did before.

What else are you doing around the home to keep her safe?

No shoes in the home. Anybody that comes over has to get checked beforehand; maintaining social distance; being outside a lot of the times if anybody does stop by; and incorporating hand-washing into her nightly routine right now. I don’t think it’s ever too early to get them on a healthy routine, so it’s something we do as a family before reading her a bedtime story. We’ll all wash our hands, all sing ‘Happy birthday’ twice over—she gets a kick out of it—and then we’ll start the whole nighttime routine.

What is the most important thing that you’ll be teaching her?

Definitely equality, treating everybody with respect no matter what they look like. Telling her that everybody deserves love and to be loved no matter what. I think that’s super important.

Is she taking after you in any ways yet?

She’s definitely in the mimicking stage. If I do something she’ll kind of copy it or really concentrate on it. Her first recently has been ‘wow.’ Everything is ‘wow’. I’m [thinking], ‘I wonder how you came up with that for your first word.’ But I’m hearing myself… everything she does is like, ‘Wow.’ Which it is for me.

Did you always know you’d be a mom?

I would say so. I did. Of course you never know what’s going to happen, and I didn’t necessarily have a timeline on it but I did always want to have that experience for myself.

What is your message to parents raising little ones during the pandemic?

I would say lead by example. Like I said, our kids look up to us and follow things that we do so starting a healthy routine at a young age is incredibly important, just to ensure their safety. Not just the safety of them and our families, but our communities as well.

Shay MitchellPhoto Credit: DFree/

How tough is it to raise an infant, live through a pandemic and still try to live life like normal? Is it a struggle or do you sometimes feel like Superwoman, or both?

Right, you have to be. Yes, every mom is a supermom, superwoman. For me, what’s really kept me sane is having a loose schedule. While she’s on a sleep routine when she goes down for her 10 A.M. nap, I have certain things that I want to do with my me time, if you will. She goes to bed at 7:30 and I obviously don’t go to bed that early so at the end of the day I have some time to get to things I didn’t get to finish earlier. I’m pretty goal-oriented and I like to have a loose schedule with myself. Even like today, it’s clean out the junk drawer. It’s something I wrote down that I can manifest it in some way. Hopefully I’ll get it done and [it will be] a great accomplishment. I think every day is different and for all of us, we just have to do what feels right in this weird time.

What has your quarantine looked like? What else have you been working on or thinking about?

I’ve been following up with my team every day. I have a company that we’re focused on heavily even at this time so I think maintaining some sort of normalcy with that, checking in with my fellow teammates, making sure that everything’s good, a lot of FaceTime’s with everybody. Checking in a little bit more than probably I used to, to make sure that everybody’s good and it’s nice to see faces as well.

Have you learned anything new during the quarantine? What, if so?

In the simplest way, I’ve probably picked up a few more dishes during this quarantine. I’m always trying to look at the silver lining of it and I think obviously getting this time to spend with my daughter is #1. I don’t think people have to set such extreme goals for themselves. For me it’s little things, learn how to make this pasta sauce, learn how to make something new, one new thing. That’s how I’ve been getting by learning a new thing every day.

Before things opened up, how did you get by with haircuts, facials, etc.? Did you have to alter your go-to beauty routine? How if so and where are you with it now?

I have done FaceTime’s with my squad as I like to call them. I actually just recorded some content with my makeup artist. I’m like, ‘Hey, how do we get ready for Zoom calls?’ Yes, I get my makeup done so often, but I never learned how to do my makeup. So I do FaceTime’s with them and it’s almost like I’m getting ready with them which is kind of fun. The eyebrows and the hair will have to wait until it’s safe to do so.

What hacks can you share?

Different things. I guess I’ve been making a few more purchases than normal. I’ll be watching something on social media and be like that looks interesting. I did buy a little ice face roller off of Amazon. That’s been kind of nice. I used to give myself an ice face bath in the morning, and this is a lot easier, I’ll just pull it out of the fridge. [I’m learning a lot about] homemade masks, hair masks, skin mask you name it. There’s a lot of things you can make with the ingredients we currently have.

And last but not least, what is the greatest luxury in life and why?

The greatest luxury in life? Oh my gosh. To be honest, just looking back at this time, just getting to have so much time with my daughter and it being quality time. Time. Time with loved ones is such a great luxury that I’m fortunate to have.


Watch Shay’s SafeGuard challenge HERE and follow her on Instagram HERE