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You may recognize Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen from their roles in movies like Point Break, and TV shows like Parks and Recreation. They are both talented actresses, amazing women and extraordinary mothers. But, what caught my attention about them recently wasn’t something they did on film, it was their inspiring blog Your Zen Mama.
Teresa and Sarah are both moms who are on a mission to tear down the curtains of motherhood and share what’s happening behind the scenes. They aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and to have honest conversations with their readers about the ups and downs of motherhood and pregnancy.
Teresa & Sarah
What I love most about their blog is that they aren’t promoting one style of parenting. Instead, they are inviting women to embrace their own styles and differences when it comes to how they raise their children.
They are real. They speak openly of their challenges and successes. They write posts about letting go, finding balance and releasing stress and they make Q + A blogs where they respond to questions from their followers.
It’s their honesty, humility and compassion that make me so happy to share their thoughts with you below.
- What’s your favorite part about being a mom?
Teresa: “That it has changed every aspect of my life. All of my interactions, experiences and adventures are connected in with my son because the world is so much more vibrant now that he is here. Every sensation, color, feeling, moment is richer and deeper since becoming a Mum. The frequency of the world has changed for me.”
Sarah: “I love that I get to spend so much time with babies. Like right now, I am answering this question while my newborn is sleeping on my shoulder. Listening to Wyatt talk about his day, snuggling with them, nursing Esmé, having a date with Wyatt. Every aspect of my life is intertwined with my children, and nothing makes me happier.”
Teresa Palmer with her son Forest
- What’s been the biggest challenge being a mom?
Teresa: “My connection to Bodhi is so strong and deep that my feelings surrounding his suffering in any form have been challenging. There will be moments when he is in pain, hurting, afraid and I need to be accepting of all of the life lessons he will learn, even if the thought of him having any kind of hardship is confronting for me.”
Sarah: “When my babies are sick and not themselves. When Wyatt was 3 days old, he had a fever and we had to go to the ER. 4 days in the hospital and lots of tests later he was fine, but it was the most terrifying moment of my life. It made me realize what my mom meant by “you don’t know what love is until you have a child.” She was right, the love you feel for your children is so beyond description.”
- Self-care can be a challenge for moms. What advice do you have for moms who want to incorporate more self-care into their lives?
Teresa: “It’s something we have to commit to to maintain sanity! I have to ensure that I’m in a healthy mental state otherwise every aspect of my life would fall apart. We need to carve out the time to self regulate and meet our own needs spiritually, mentally and physically in order to have a healthy relationship with all the practical things we must do in life, like working, taking care of children and running a household.”
Sarah: “You just have to do it. Whatever self-care means for you, an hour alone, a bath and a glass of wine, a workout, journaling some of your thoughts or worries, whatever makes you happy and helps you feel like “you.” It’s so important. To be the best mama you can be means you need to be happy and healthy. And sometimes a one hour massage can fix everything.”
Teresa and family
- What’s the one piece of relationship advice you would give to new parents?
Teresa: “To just go with the flow and take pressure off yourselves as you learn to parent. Follow your baby’s lead, don’t try to schedule things, just meet their needs as their needs arise. The advice to schedule eat/food/sleep was very unhelpful to me as I found that Bodhi didn’t operate via the clock, he was a fluid little being who changed and had transitions all the time so I just observed him, and really allowed him to show me what he needed. It was such an organic and stress-free process between us.”
Sarah: “Try to work together as a team. See your partner as your teammate and communicate with them on what you need and what would help you. A lot of the work in the beginning of a baby’s life can really only be done by mama, and with that said, there is so much Dad can do to help. Lift each other up and check in with your partner on where they are at. Sometimes just offering to make your partner a glass of water can be SO helpful in those first few months.”
Sarah Palmer and family
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you as a mom?
Teresa: “Bodhi has never slept in a cot/crib! We co-slept until he transitioned into his big boy bed in our room at age 2. I’ve also got an obsession with play dates and we have them almost every day!”
Sarah: “How about 4? 🙂 I breastfed Wyatt till he was 2. I co-sleep. I don’t give my son candy.I go everywhere with my kids in tow.”
Teresa and Sarah
- What lesson do you most want to pass on to your children?
Teresa: “To continue to be a seeker, that one of the most important things in life is to really get to know oneself and love oneself unconditionally. To lead first with love and compassion and that the rest will follow. To live life mindfully and consciously and to know that any dream is attainable.”
Sarah: “That life can be as beautiful as you want it to be. That being open and honest with the people they love will only deepen their relationships, and that in this very large world that can throw so many challenges their way, they will always have each other.”