MAMA TALK: ANAHI BROWN
When I first had a baby and was freaking out about everything. It was Anahi who swooped in and hushed my inner mom crazy. I remembered meeting her for the first time at Costa Coffee where I basically admitted that I had a hard time and she was empathetic and understood everything I was going through and in a way, helped normalized my crazy. “Welcome to motherhood”, she said.
She’s been my mommy counselor, wellness coach, and one of my biggest supporters (she cried when I won the Grazia Style Awards) ever since. Anahi is a wellness coach that’s on a fierce mission to empower women, especially moms through holistic nourishment – all done with her distinct Latin flair. She’s a mom to two beautiful boys and an inspiring mompreneur.
After a successful collaboration with Follow Your Sunshine, I decided to make this a monthly installment where I feature awesome, real and inspiring mamas that I have the pleasure of knowing. This month, I’m featuring Anahi where she tells me her beautifully chaotic life with 2 boys, the importance of self-care and her plans for women and moms in 2017
- What do you love the most about being a mom?
This one is a tough one! I love the being a mom itself… it feels pretty badass! At the same time, I think apart from that I absolutely LOVE seeing the world through their eyes, watching as a spectator and a witness their developments. It’s magical to see them transform and think they came from ME!
- What’s been the most difficult thing about being a mom and especially with two boys?
EVERYTHING! Ok, in all seriousness I think it’s how easily I get isolated and deviate from my personal and professional goals in the busyness of raising them and serving them as the mom I like to be. I struggle (a lot) in balancing their needs and mine, keeping everyone happy, sorting through tantrums and toys… I also battle with their boy-ness a lot. They are so rambunctious and I’m SO not used to that!
- What’s the most important thing for you as a mom?
This might sound cliche, but in the end the thing that matter the most to me is their happiness. I used to obsess SO much about the “perfect” diet, the “perfect” parenting style, the “perfect” everything! Yet in the obsession I was SO unhappy, trap in all these “shoulds” whilst missing out on what it was. It wasn’t until I let go of all these needs for perfection and started to see that I was (and am) perfect in my imperfectness that I began enjoying motherhood and realized their smiles, their laughter and our moments of true connection are the only things that matter.
- You have two beautiful boys, how do you keep peace in the house and encourage them to be nice and love each other?
Can I answer this one in 3 years (or 30)? Well, it’s tough, man! I’m an only child and #MrB has only one sister who is older than him so he’s technically one too, so we have zero experience. There are moments when all 4 of us are crying/shouting trying to sort out a mess. There are moments when we manage to instill peace among them… those are less frequent though! One thing that has worked well in the past months, since Mikey started walking and therefore taking Matt things, is to have a sharing box where all communal toys go so technically anyone can take. In fact, for Christmas, Santa left them individual toys AND sharing toys. We also have a rule: ‘If you play with it openly, it’s meant to be shared. If you don’t feel like sharing it, take it away’. This way, we allow Matt to choose when and what to share on his own terms, whilst also being fair with Mikey who doesn’t get that concept at all. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but it’s sort of working. I am open to suggestions from expert moms though!
5. You’re a Wellness and Lifestyle coach and have mentioned the importance of self-care as a mom, what are some self-care practices that moms can do and incorporate in their daily routine?
With my clients one of the things we do is establish what qualifies as self-care for them, from little things like making themselves a nice cup of their favorite tea, to trips to a spa. To me, daily self-care looks like: making space for exercise at least 3 times per week; connecting with like minded women over social media/email at least once per day and once per week in person; buying good quality coffee for when I crave some at home; sorting out the weekly menu so I can delegate as much as possible to make the cooking time shorter; booking a mani-pedi every 2-3 weeks; listening to my favorite podcast whilst I drive; allowing myself to have some child free time (even 5 minutes at a time) every day. Yes, I would love to go to the spa more or to go out to nice restaurants, but the reality is that this isn’t realistic neither economically nor time wise. Every woman MUST define what self-care looks and feels like for them, on their own terms and according to where they are on their family life.
- How do women put themselves first without the mom guilt?
Gosh, this one is tough. I think guilt has been embedded to us (women) as part of what womanhood feels like. Shame, guilt, fear of failure and punishment are almost coded into us, they are pushed by media and advertisement, it’s a cultural thing we can’t escape really. So, I recommend not to avoid or ignore the feeling, yet at the same time push through it. Recognize that putting yourself and your needs first makes you uncomfortable, name the feeling and then go ahead and do what you need. Feeling guilty might never change, but at least when you start pushing through it, the negative voice in your head gets less strong.
- You’ve become my mommy coach since the beginning, what top three advice would you give to new moms?
- Define how you want motherhood to feel and look like: This is all about YOU choosing YOUR journey as a mom and woman. Forget the books, the Facebook videos and all the (unsolicited) advice you get and focus only on what feels good. In the end, you’re your children’s expert!
- Ask for help before you need the help: Put some time and energy in building yourself a little tribe that can support you when the journey gets tough. They don’t need to be moms, in fact they don’t even need to be women, but they do need to make you feel comfortable to ask favors, overshare and have meltdowns if you need to. Do this at ANY time, the sooner the better!
- Dare to ask a little more but ONLY from a place of love: Remember everyone can help and support. Ask your husband to take the kids for a ride so you can wash your hair (or binge watch Netflix), ask a friend to help out by picking up some groceries to save you a trip to the supermarket, ask your kids to tidy up after themselves, but most importantly ask yourself to relax a bit, to lower the bar ever so slightly on order and cleanliness, to drop the ‘shoulds’ out the door… but only when the motivator is love. Either for yourself, your husband, your sanity, your children, love must be always the subtext so resentment and hatred stay out of the mommy business.
- We’ve also talked about fostering a mommy tribe, why is that important?
Because mothering is hard! We used to share this with other women who have done it before us, but now, as we get more and more isolated (specially as expats) we need to build us a tribe of like minded, awesome and badass moms to share our journeys, our fears, our doubts. To cry and laugh together, to share advices and recipes, to witness each others’ journeys into the hardest job we’ll ever do, to keep us accountable and focused, to make this experience easier and more valuable. A tribe is a must to truly experience joyful motherhood.
- You’re mom of two, a mom boss, a wellness coach, and a very good friend, how do you balance it all?
I’m not sure I do, if I’m honest. Ok, I think the trick is to set realistic goals for my days. I don’t do daily to do’s packed with items… I actually have a monthly to do list and then play it by ear, but owning that I’m the only one deciding where do I put my energy and time. This way I feel more in control and know that not exercising on a given day isn’t because “I just don’t have time” but because I chose to put my energy somewhere else.
- What’s next for you?
LOADS!!! I just launched the Sacred Womanhood Tribe, which is all about creating a sisterhood of women to share our journeys as women and our struggles, we’ll meet once a month but we’ll share loads online. I’m also launching the Holistic Beauty Program in collaboration with Noon Beauty Salon in February (stay tuned for final details), which will be emotional healing, self-care work and empowerment mixed with makeup classes and more. I can’t explain how excited I am with this one!
I’m also opening few one-to-one coaching spots in February, supporting an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program for moms and doing some professional training too. This year I plan to launch 2 more programs and do much more public speaking events for moms. So, yes! Loads coming soon!