10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

There’s nothing like it in the world; motherhood is amazing, eye-opening, challenging, and completely transformational. Here are a few of the many life lessons I’ve learned over the past six months since becoming a mom to this little baby girl.

1.  Moms are BADASS. Besides the whole carrying a baby (which may or may not go smoothly, see here) for plus or minus 40 weeks thing PLUS giving birth (which is NO joke btw) moms can fit a day’s worth of tasks into an hour and an hour’s worth into 10 minutes…because we have to. What can I say, moms are pretty much superhuman.

2.  Time is better than diamonds…and chocolate…and wine. Time is the one thing that moms always want more of and never have enough of. Somehow, six months have passed in the blink of an eye since this little one entered the world. As they say, the days are long, but the years are short. Time, please slow down.

3.  Something’s gotta give. Priorities change and sacrifice is a must. For me, my #1 priority is baby girl and posting here or on social media, going to the gym, cooking dinner, dog walking, housework, and self care sometimes take a back seat. Do what you can, when you can and try to let go of #momguilt. 20 minute at-home workouts and a dinner smoothie have become quite popular around here. It’s just not all possible to fit in to 24 hours, so, cut yourself some slack; you’re keeping a mini human(s) alive and that’s a pretty big deal.

4.  Moms are flexible AF. I mean yogis are flexible, but moms are flexible-er. Go ahead, try to make a plan, schedule, routine around a mini human and their constant plot twists. And, just when you think you have it all down, everything changes…

5.  Moms are some of the most selfless beings on the planet. They live their lives based on the greater good of their children and family. Although I’ve always wanted kids, it wasn’t until the past few years that I really felt ready to put someone else before myself. It’s not about me anymore and although that’s an adjustment, it’s more than ok when looking at this face.

6.  Mom brain is REAL. If you are a mom with mom brain, have a mom with mom brain, or know a mom with mom brain, cut them some slack. Growing up, I remember my friends rolling our eyes when our moms said something a little loopy, but these days, I can barely put a sentence together or do basic math and it’s only the beginning. The struggle is real, folks.

7.  There’s nothing’ more humbling than cleaning up after a full-on diaper explosion; it will challenge you, ground you, test you, lighten the mood, and force you to live in the moment like nothing else can. It’s astounding how someone so tiny can make such a catastrophic mess.

8.  Worrying is the new normal. It does not stop. What if baby learns to crawl while I’m in the shower and crawls to the top of the stairs and then falls down the stairs and I don’t hear her?  Is that her crying? I think I hear her crying...These thoughts cross my mind all day long and I know that they will every single day from now to first steps to teenage years and beyond.

9.  Whatever you do, do NOT Google it. Ok, so that’s virtually impossible, I’ve probably googled random baby/postpartum questions at least once a day everyday since birth. Sometimes it helps, but most of the time it takes #8 (see above) and quadruples it.

10.  Mom life is the best life. There’s no arguing that. It’s just the best. This teeny, tiny growing human fills up your heart every single day and there’s no way I’d trade the mom brain, worrying, sleepless nights, and messy days for anything on earth. Life will never be the same again…and for that I am forever grateful.

One Healthy Breakdown: moms are the most blessed.

One Healthy Mom

Enjoy this refreshingly honest and inspirational interview with local family life teacher, parenting coach, and amazing mother of five, Anastasia Gavalas!

meee1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom, family life teacher, author of WING IT: 6 Simple Steps to Succeed as a Modern Day Parent, and founder of the WING IT PROJECT. I live in Bridgehampton with my husband and five children (ages 15, 13, 11, 9, & 7.) Helping parents make life with children easier is such gratifying work and making a difference in the world through the WING IT PROJECT is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I live my life in a wholehearted way where I am happy with myself and confident with the choices I make.

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2. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be?

After I had my 2nd child I felt exhausted and couldn’t get out of bed. I was quickly diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, an autoimmune disease, that had been manifesting in my body for years. I took the prescribed medicine and it just didn’t help much. I kept plugging along but felt overwhelmed and emotionally drained. In 2003, we decided to move to the Hamptons and found out we were expecting baby #4… surprise! With all that was going on, on top of not having family or friends around for support, I quickly learned that I needed to change. I began searching for alternative methods that would support what I knew in my heart was best. I tried acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, and a new overall wellness approach for my health and for my family. It was out of necessity that I found a more organic way of living life. This included making my well-being a priority as well as teaching my children to be more independent.

3. What’s something you overcame and how?

My need to do everything perfectly and my fear-based reactions. Once I was able to recognize that the display of the “perfect” children or my role as the “perfect” mother was wearing me out and preventing me from living authentically, I let those ideas go. Perfection is based on other people’s judgements. I made a decision to separate myself from the concept of perfection to be happy. I practiced meditation starting ten minutes a day, carved out me-time every single day, and (just like I explain in the chapter, “Build Your Village” in WING IT) I began to surround myself with more supportive people who encourage my growth.

4. What is your favorite workout? Favorite family activity?

Dancing is one of my favorite things to do and I mix it with a brisk walk a few times a week. I get bored easily with exercising so I need to change my workout routine up all the time. As far as a family we like to swim (although 2 out of 5 kids hate the beach – not sure how that happened?!?) take bike rides, and go skiing. I have high-energy kids who are constantly moving and ready for adventure at all times so, we’re always moving & grooving.

5. As a career woman, mother, and wife, and how do you maintain balance in your life?

First, I redefined the concept of balance. Standing upright at all times isn’t realistic or worth the effort. But, remaining focused on a goal with a trusting, more joyful attitude will help balance appear in the most challenging of roles. I believe balance is about remaining flexible and knowing that, just as the mightiest of trees will bend and sway with the winds of world, so will mothers who strive for balance. At the end of the day, people just have to appreciate the flexibility and positions experienced.

5. Any great healthy tips for busy moms?

Yes, take time for yourself: get enough sleep, eat good food, sit down and take time to meditate so you can be the woman you were meant to be and the best mom for your children.

6. What food items do you always keep in the house?

Fresh vegetables and fruits – organic as much as possible, olive oil, different cheeses, good meats, gluten-free foods, and always a bottle of chilled champagne for those special occasions…because moms are people too!

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

Drinking tea in the morning, sleeping in (that’s happened maybe three times in the past 10 years… but, a girl can dream!) and long hot showers (alone.)

8. How do you make health a priority in your family without going overboard?

Practicing being healthy is a lifestyle choice. We spend a lot of time outdoors. I talk to my kids about nutritional balance. Four of my children are responsible for cooking one night per week. So, every night, we have a really good, balanced, colorful meal. Children learn by what they observe and I try to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle with the choices I make instead of badgering them with health talks.

9. What is your FAVORITE thing about living in the Hamptons?

The ease of living out here. There is an organic way to life. I love the diversity of people and the experiences it provides. It is a really special place to live with the most amazingly kind people. It’s a great place to raise children because you can be as tuned-in to what’s happening or tuned-out of the busyness of life as much as you want to be.

1094944_578046278901282_1736507745_nOne Healthy Breakdown: Love, laugh, play, learn, and live your life for YOU.