For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.
Today we talk to Liz Vartanian, who is a yoga teacher, writer of 'The Living Mala' and mama to two boys.
What does your perfect day look like?
Hm, well, I would start with sleeping in until the late time of 6:30am, make some coffee and take a quick five-minute meditation. Rally the boys around 7am, do the usual “mom thing” and get everyone where they belong. Once I am alone (bwhahahaha, how much fantasy is this right now!), I would write for an hour, drink more coffee, and listen to some non-kid music (21 pilots, Social Distortion, Ramones or some Beyoncé are my current listening). I would enjoy lunch with mama friends or my man, depending on what that required, we would eat tacos or crispy brussel sprouts. I’d probably also post something about yoga on or off the mat on Instagram (because that is my favorite time waster of social media).
I’d pick up the boys, take them to the bouldering gym and let them go crazy. We would head home, make something everyone would eat (one picky 4-year-old and a toddler who will eat anything makes this also fantasy!) before saying night-night to the boys and running off to teach restorative yoga. Have an amazing class and come home to a hot bath while reading a book. Then call it a night. Wow, that sounds like an amazing day!
Do you have any daily rituals you use to center yourself?
I rely heavily on my five minute meditations! I notice a significant difference in my ability to parent and “adult” when I meditate vs not. Needless to say, everyone likes me better when I meditate. I also love to get outside and stick my feet in the dirt no matter how cold it is outside, carry crystal quartz on me, and sing loudly.
How do you make time for the different facets of your life?
First, I have accepted that my needs are as important as the needs of the man and the kids. After that, it isn’t easier for me to take time away from the kiddos, but it also reminds me that time away to be me makes me a better mom. Of course, I wrote a book this summer while both boys were home courtesy of PBS and naps. We all have to make time for what we love, just like we encourage our children to find what they love and make time for it. I feel like I am just showing the boys the importance of doing what you love!
Do you have any special family rituals?
We have a couple: walking the dogs and going to the coffee shop on the weekend; two books, snuggles, and the best/worst parts of our day before bed; Fridays at the bouldering gym, handstands, and French fries on the way home; lastly any time anyone leaves we give high fives, fist bumps, hugs, and kisses.
What is the best advice you have ever given or received about motherhood?
Best advice I have received was each phase of motherhood IS BOTH good and hard in their own ways. Never get so caught up in the hard stuff that you miss the great stuff. Best I have given: chances are you will mess up something with raising your children, knowing this and caring about how not to mess them up too bad shows that you are doing a great job.
What is your favorite part of motherhood?
Easy--the hugs. The “I love you, mom”. The laughter of tickles wars. Reading my favorite books to the boys (The Maggie B and Cat in the Hat). Mostly though, I love watching these two little boys grow up and seeing how they play together and what their little (or big) personalities turn out to be.