Danielle Armstrong certainly has a lot going on right now. Not only is she mum to her energetic two-year-old daughter Orla, but she’s also frantically planning her summer wedding to beau Tommy Edney. And when we catch up with her, she’s busy packing for her hen do. We’re exhausted at the thought!
The 34-year-old former TOWIE star admits she’s rushed off her feet, but she tells us family always comes first as she juggles her nutrition brand and new activewear edit with clothing brand NKD Apparel.
“The biggest thing is taking the time to prioritise. Orla obviously always comes first,” she says. “But getting into a good routine and having a good support structure really helps.”
One person who is always there to offer her support is her best friend Ferne McCann, 31. And her former TOWIE co-star will be right by Dani’s side when she says “I do”.
Here, Danielle tells us how she’s determined not to turn into a Bridezilla, her plans for more children and why she’s turning her back on TOWIE for good…
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Hi Danielle! You have a lot on your plate at the moment. How do you manage it all?
I think for most mums – whenever you’re busy or you’ve got a lot of things going on – the biggest thing is taking the time to prioritise. Orla obviously always comes first, but getting into a good routine and having a good support structure really helps. My mum is an amazing nanny.
I feel every woman should open up and say that sometimes we need help. We’re not superwomen. I have a successful nutrition business that keeps me really busy, but being organised and having that good support network is key.
Do you have moments when things get on top of you and you struggle?
To be honest, I deal best when under pressure. But if I ever do feel like I am a little bit overwhelmed, I take a step back and have a look at what is my priority and the solution is to not say “yes” to everything. I used to want to please everyone and wear all of the hats – mum, daughter, businesswoman, friend, wifey-to-be – but you have to make sure you’re not committing and putting yourself under too much pressure.
How is little Orla doing?
It’s mad that she’s two! It feels like it was only yesterday that she arrived. It’s all gone so quickly. She’s really good. She’s changing every single day and is coming out with new words all the time. Her favorite word is “look” at the moment. I just love being a mum.
Is she more like you or Tommy?
I think she looks like Tom. I see similarities between me and her, but people say she looks like her dad and say they are like twins. But I think she’s definitely got my sassy little attitude – she’s got my personality.
What is Tommy like as a dad?
He is an incredible dad, so hands on. He’s definitely a modern day man. He gets right stuck in. He doesn’t mind dirty nappies, does not mind doing the night feeds that we used to do. You get a new type of love when the person you love ends up becoming the father to your child. I am really lucky.
Tell us some of the things you’ve learned since becoming a mum…
The thing that has surprised me the most is probably how I’ve adapted to it. Being a first-time mum, you ask, “How do I know what I’m supposed to do?” But that’s normal. I was fortunate to bond with Orla straight away. I found the pregnancy harder than actually becoming a mum.
It’s one of the best gifts in the world and I was surprised at how naturally I adapted to it. I used to not be able to function on less than eight hours’ sleep, but went down to sleeping a maximum of three.
Would you like to give Orla a brother or sister at some point?
Yes, 100%. I’ve got a sister, and Tom’s got a sister. My mum’s actually an only child but she always wished that when she lost her parents she had a sibling, to just have that support. So yes, although I hated my pregnancy.
I just didn’t like it. The weight gain, every single thing that you can think of – I had in that pregnancy. I didn’t like the birth at all. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it was very easy, but it’s the best experience in the world as well. In the next year or so I want another one.
And how are plans going for your upcoming wedding?
I’ve actually been quite chilled. I don’t think I’ve had any Bridezilla moments yet, which everyone is quite surprised by! I can be a bit of a control freak with my business and being a mum, but I’ve really enjoyed being a bride and planning the wedding. I am really excited, it’s all good. It is going to be an amazing day.
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You found fame on TOWIE. Would you ever consider making a return?
I probably wouldn’t. It was such a big chapter of my life, but I have grown up so much since then and I think I’d feel out of place. I’m still a big fan of reality TV and the show, that’s why I like doing little bits for Ferne [on her show, First Time Mum] and I love Georgia [Kousoulou] and Tommy [Mallet’s] show [Baby Steps]but my TOWIE days are done.
You look amazing at the moment! Did you feel a pressure to be on top of your fitness after becoming a mum?
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. I own a nutritional fitness brand and gained 1½st during pregnancy. There is pressure in our industry. I think it’s really cool that people use their platform now to show that everybody’s bodies are different. For example, my friend Ferne looked unreal when she was pregnant with Sunday and she snapped back to her pre-baby body within a couple of months. But I took a good six months, probably even a year.
Your body goes through so many changes and you don’t have to put pressure on yourself. I think people love that I documented my journey online and did it in such a healthy way. I feel amazing and the new NKD Apparel collection is for all shapes and sizes – whether you’re pregnant, postpartum, whatever. You can feel sexy, confident and beautiful regardless.
Tell us a bit more about the new range…
It’s something I’m so passionate about. Since the pandemic and lockdown, gym clothes and loungewear have become everyday essential items of clothing. Especially after having Orla, I wanted something that I could feel comfortable in and that’s how I started talking with the team.
You sometimes don’t feel very comfortable in certain types of clothing after having a baby, but I found that NKD Apparel’s fabrics and materials are really good quality. I’m a huge fan of the brand, so to be doing my own edits is very exciting.
NKD Apparel is available to buy at nakedapparel.co.uk and on Instagram at @nakedapparel_
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