9 Questions: Amber Fillerup On Having Four Kids & Finding Alone Time Every Day

Amber Fillerup

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Christian Alzate / Amber Fillerup

In honor of the nine months of pregnancy, we are asking pregnant people nine questions about their journey to parenthood. This is an inside look at Amber Fillerup’s pregnancy experience.

Amber Fillerup has been blogging for a decade. Starting out posting “an outfit post here and a hair tutorial there,” she’s turned blogging into a mega business. She currently has 1.3 million Instagram followers and two companies—BFB Hair, which is a line of clip-in hair extensions, and Dae Hair, a clean haircare line sold in Sephora.

Dae was launched in the summer of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is already wildly successful. The line includes shampoo, conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, a moisture mask, hair oil, a detangling brush, and a hair and body perfume. BFB Hair (Barefoot Blonde Hair) came to life back in 2016, inspired by Fillerup's lifelong love of hair extensions.

Fillerup knew back in high school that blogging about her hairstyles and her life, in general, was something she wanted to do as a career. Thanks to her talent, and her photographer husband David Clark, her Instagram is a beautiful place to spend some time.

In addition to her social media, she still blogs on her website covering lifestyle, hair, fashion, beauty, travel, and motherhood. Though she’s best known for her stunning braids and recreating classic celebrity styles, these days the self-taught hairstylist has a family-first approach. Fillerup and Clark live in Phoenix, Arizona with their three children, Atticus, 7, Rosie, 6, and Frankie, 2. On October 19, 2021, Fillerup revealed she was pregnant with her fourth child—a girl, due in May 2022.

The family spends their weekends exploring in their new camper van, having picnics at the beach, and cuddling with their dog Chauncey and new cat Lennie. See how the influencer spends her days at home, the thing she loves most about being pregnant, and why she’s always wanted a big family.

Question 1

Verywell Family: Congratulations on your fourth pregnancy! Was it always your plan to have a large family?

Amber Fillerup: I always wanted four kids. I have three siblings, so that's what I grew up knowing, and it just always felt like the perfect number. We always had someone to hang out with and now I'm such good friends with my siblings.

I really think that the more kids you have—I think there have been studies on this—it feels easier. Going from two to three weirdly did feel easier. My oldest two, they're such good friends, and they entertain the youngest. Truly, if I wanted time alone, I could just say, 'Go up to the playroom. I want you guys to be up there for an hour,' and they'll just go hang out up there.

The fact that they can have fun on their own also makes it a lot easier. The last time we were on a plane, it felt so easy because they just chatted away, and then my husband and I were talking by ourselves. They keep each other company! I feel like with four kids, it'll be the same. The older two are so helpful that I imagine they'll all just play together, and then my husband and I will have our alone time when we want it.

Question 2

VWF: Have you been explaining to your other three kids that another baby is coming?

AF: My oldest two could not be more excited. My daughter Rosie, especially. She's always like 'Mom, do you need a back massage?' She loves giving massages. She's so funny. She wants to take care of the baby; she's always playing her music. And then my son is super excited but not nearly as excited as Rosie.

My youngest daughter, any time we even mentioned the baby, she's like 'Baby, nooo!' I posted this video of me telling the kids for the first time and Frankie, my youngest, is in the background going, 'No, no, no!' She’s in total denial that it's happening.

Amber Fillerup and her family

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Christian Alzate / Amber Fillerup

Question 3

VWF: How is it being pregnant while taking care of other kids?

AF: Honestly, I’ve felt pretty good. In my first trimester, I always have baby blues. I'm sad for no reason one day and then super happy the next. And then so tired and sad the next day. It's such a rollercoaster. I feel like I'm mostly out of that now. I'm honestly feeling really good. I don't get nauseous or throw up so I can't complain.

Thankfully, my husband and I kind of tag team kids and work. So if I am ever tired or sick, I do have him to help me which is really nice. And I know I'm really lucky to have that.

Question 4

VWF: What's your favorite and least favorite part of being pregnant?

AF: My favorite part is, and I don't know if this sounds weird, but I really do love my body when I'm pregnant. I'm not a curvy person normally, so having curves and a bump is so fun to me. I love watching my body change—it's truly fascinating. My least favorite part is definitely like all the restless leg syndrome, having to pee a million times at night, and not getting good sleep.

I really do love my body when I'm pregnant. I'm not a curvy person normally, so having curves and a bump is so fun to me.

But then the newborn stage is great. It goes so fast. I love when they are sleeping on you and you get to do nothing and can ask everyone to do everything for you. You just get to lay there and get all your newborn's snuggles. It's the best thing ever.

Question 5

VWF: What have you learned from past labor experiences that you want to try to do again or skip?

AF: I remember when I was having my son and the doctor kept saying, 'Oh we might need to do a C-section.' I was new to all of this. So I was like, 'Yeah, whatever you tell me to do, that's what I'm going to do, I guess.' But I didn't realize at that time that you're in charge of your birth experience. So, yes, you can listen to doctors, but also you can be very firm on how you want it to go. Listen to their advice but also stick up for what you want.

Also, I honestly had never seen anyone give birth. I truly did not know that after you have a baby, you look pregnant afterward. Now it's so normal to see that on social media, which I think is so wonderful, but at the time, no one showed that. I thought something was wrong with me and I was trying to cover [my stomach], even from family. I was so embarrassed. I think [knowing] that helps women have a more relaxed experience. By now, there are no surprises with my body. I know what to expect.

Question 6

VWF: Can you tell us about the work-life balance you have instituted into your company, Dae Hair?

AF: Work/life balance is really important to me, having three kids (and one on the way). I love when I am able to take calls from home and my kids get to see me working. If I am at the office, I try to make it home before they get home from school so I can pick them up, make them snacks, and help with homework. 

Because of that, we try to be really flexible, especially when someone has a baby—we basically turned one of the offices into a little nursery. We have a pack and play in there and white noise so she can bring her baby in—we're super flexible on that. Everyone loves when she brings her baby in; we all get so excited! We also allow people to work remotely and are very flexible with this.

Question 7

VWF: Your Instagram is so beautiful—what are some beauty tips and tricks you have for tired moms or pregnant moms?

AF: For hair, I've been loving a super chic, slicked-back bun that you'll see on celebrities like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. It's the perfect style when my hair is greasy and I have no time to do it. Just slick it back in a bun. That always looks stylish and it takes like two seconds. I definitely do that when I'm in a hurry.

[I love] a super chic, slicked-back bun...when my hair is greasy and I have no time to do it. That always looks stylish and it takes like two seconds.

As far as makeup, I think getting your brows laminated is amazing. I know some people hate the look of laminated brows, but if I have my brows laminated, I feel like I have a fresher base. Even with no makeup on, I feel very put together. I also think adding a bronzer underneath your foundation makes you look so glowy. If I have a good tan, I don't feel like I even need to wear mascara or anything! My skin is hit or miss with each pregnancy. I normally get pigmentation that ends up clearing up once I have my baby, and my esthetician helps me with my skin so much!

I've been doing a super simple skincare routine. I was joking with my husband that men have such good skin and don't do anything. And he said, 'Well, you should try it sometime.' So I literally stopped using everything. I wash my face and put on an oil or a moisturizer, but I no longer use serum, eye cream, vitamin C, or anything. Now I have a two-step routine and I love it. It's so easy and fast. The simpler, the better, especially with kids and work! It's all I have time for!

Question 8

VWF: Have you been doing any self-care to relax while pregnant?

AF: I love reading. Even if the kids are running around, I try to always pull out a book and tell them to play together on their own. I also love working out. I feel like I'm truly a different person after I've worked out. I feel so much happier and more energized. I always work out in the morning and it totally sets the tone for my day. Lately, I've been really into riding my bike. I have a road bike that's connected to like a stationary trainer so it's similar to a Peloton. I love doing long-distance rides, and then I also do Barre classes and weights. Even while pregnant, I try to workout five days a week, even if it's just a barre or cardio class. The endorphins I get after working out help with my anxiety, sleep, and make my day feel more productive. At night, after the kids are down, I love doodling and journaling. This always helps ease my anxiety and helps me relax after a hectic day.

Amber Fillerup

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Christian Alzate / Amber Fillerup

Question 9

VWF: You all love to go on adventures. What is your favorite place to travel as a family?

AF: We've had a lot of really amazing trips and I feel like they're all different experiences. Some are more adventurous, and some are more relaxing. We love any place that has a lot of wide-open spaces where we can just go have a picnic and let the kids run around.

Our trip to Switzerland was so fun. As far as a city, Japan was very kid-friendly. Every place we went, they had plastic cups for the kids, little kid plates, and fun kid meals—not just the typical buttered pasta. They were so accommodating to kids.

We also just love doing smaller trips in our camper. We recently got this vintage Airstream on Craigslist and it's been so fun to head to local camping spots. We do little weekend trips like that. We just like being out in nature together and exploring. It always feels like we're on an adventure.

By Dory Zayas
Dory Zayas is a freelance beauty, fashion, and parenting writer. She spent over a decade writing for celebrity publications and since having her daughter in 2019, has been published on sites including INSIDER and Well+Good.