Going Deep with Sarah and Teresa
In this month's Going Deep, Teresa and Sarah answer your questions about parenting philosophies, dealing with judgment, mental health, and why they like to leave the house without makeup. Please send your questions to us here!
I was wondering what kind of conscious parenting resources the girls use? books/blogs etc?
Teresa: I have written about this extensively in the blog post I wrote for Your Zen Mama in 2016 called “My Go-To Parenting Guru’s.” They’re all still my go-to resources, I also really love the book Buddhism for Mothers. It’s such an incredible read and looks at the mother-child relationship from a spiritual stand point. It’s very touching and is always a nice one to pick up after a stressful week.
I also turn to my girlfriends for advice all the time. Sarah and I always bounce ideas off one another and are very much on the same page. I also attend a monthly mom's group that we have dubbed MOhmmmmms group! It’s lead by Jennifer Waldburger who co-wrote The Sleep Easy Solution. She is a beautiful soul and really helps us all dig deeper and go further in our connections to ourselves and our children. Jen is a really conscious-minded individual and offers such incredible perspective when it comes to parenting. It’s a circle in which we have open conversation about the peaks and valleys of motherhood, we get vulnerable and very real, it’s like therapy each month but with good food and a bunch of girlfriends! Thanks to Ellie Knaus of Atomicmoms.com for arranging it.
I would highly suggest finding like-minded Mamas out there who you can bounce ideas off, it makes all the difference once you’ve found your tribe!
Sarah: I love this book called Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love and Limits by Robin Berman, MD. I saw Robin give a talk last year, and she spoke on things that she wrote about in this book. She blew my mind. I love the language she uses, and the approach to communicating and listening to children. This book was very inspiring and I felt there were so many tools I could use and apply to our lives. The language comes from such a loving place.
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr Shefali Tsabary is a book Teresa told me about, and she gives you fantastic examples of how to communicate with your children and reprogram your approach with your family. When I was pregnant with my first baby I wanted to learn everything I could on how to communicate and listen my child. I would see people in my my community including Tez approaching parenting in such a different way than I had witnessed as a child. I knew I wanted to use some of these methods, and learn from my friends on how to listen, react, respond, and honor my little one.
I love Dr Sears' Baby Book and have used it as a “go-to" guide for both of my babies.
Dr Berlin has a couple of podcasts I love. He hosts The Informed Pregnancy podcast, and he does another one you can watch called The Real Midwives of LA. Teresa and I have both been on his show. His podcast is not only entertaining but he gets a wide variety of perspectives to do his show.
What brand of avocado oil do you prefer to use on your face?
Teresa: I love Now Solutions avocado oil. I mainly use coconut oil, as long as it’s cold pressed, and I will use it FOR EVERYTHING. Cooking, body oils, hair treatment, remedies for skin issues, nappy rash and a spoonful in the morning for a great dose of healthy fats.
Sarah: I don’t have a brand that I use… But I do have two oils I am OBSESSED with to take my makeup/dirt off and moisturize. My favorites are: Best Skin Ever by Living Libations and Balancing Facial Oil by Jordan Peterson Skincare
Why don’t you wear makeup? You both have great skin and don't need too, but how do you feel confident leaving the house with no makeup on?
Teresa: Honestly, I’ve learnt to appreciate the face that I have and I have really embraced the ageing process. To me, when I put lots of makeup on I don’t feel like myself and I can’t wait to wipe it off at the end of a work day. I like seeing my laugh lines and dark circles, I love bare eyes. The older I get, the more I can see my mother and my grandmother in my looks, and I love feeling that connection. I find the most beautiful women in the world are always the ones with a bare sun kissed face.
One day if I ever have a daughter, I’d like to encourage her to embrace her natural beauty and hope that unlike me as a teenager, that she will be happy looking just the way she does. Wearing makeup can be really fun and creative - I appreciate when people love to do it, but for me I feel best with a naked face with some nice oil slathered on it and a swipe of lip balm.
Sarah: I really love that natural look. I don’t love the way makeup feels or looks sitting on my skin. I wore lots of makeup when I was younger and loved playing with it, but the more makeup I have on, the less I feel like I look like myself. I want to wash my face at the end of the day and feel as good about the person I see as I did in the morning. I had a lot of issues with cystic acne in my 20's and stressed about covering it up, but I feel like I have a lot of that under control now with my diet and what I put on my skin. I like to see my lines and my freckles.
As I have gotten older I have fallen in love with using oils on my skin, to clean and to moisturize. I really feel like this has made my skin look and feel so much better. I will occasionally use Mascara, cream blush, and some tinted moisturizer. Most of the time though, I have oil on my skin and if I am going to be in the sun, I will use sunscreen.
I am still co-sleeping with our 8 month old & he is still nursing at least twice during the night. I’m looking for advice as to when might be a good time to consider trying to get him into his own bed (still room sharing). At what age did your kids feel comfortable sleeping in his own bed?
Sarah: Every mom will have a different answer for this question, and to be honest you just have to do what feels right to you. I had to wean my son when he was 2 for a couple of reasons. One: I was going to be filming in a country I didn’t feel safe bringing him to and two: we had tried for a few months to get pregnant, but my body wasn’t ready while I was still nursing. The month after I quit nursing I fell pregnant with our daughter.
I still nurse my 20 month old during the night, and have no clear vision of a night without co-sleeping or nursing. What worked with me and our son was that I cut out one feed at a time...and then I would tell him that Nay Nays (this is what he called my milk) were going to sleep and he could have more when the sun came up. I would sing him to sleep and we would say night night to Nay Nays, and then we would go to bed. Every child and routine is different, so it always worked for me to put him to bed without me. Then a sleep doula told me after listening to our pattern, that when he woke at night to tell him the same thing as a sort of night time mantra “night night little bear I'll see you when the sun comes up.” I would say this to him over the monitor in his room when he would cry out, and then he would listen, lay down and go back to sleep. It was incredible! After three nights he slept through the night.
Does he get up now at 3am and crawl into bed with me? YES and do I love it you ask?...YES
Long story short...do what works for you. I like be sandwiched between my kids. They may be the ones to finally tell me to sleep on my own. But the mornings I wake up and see them holding hands in their sleep is a magic I can’t even describe.
Teresa: I, like Sarah co-sleep with my kids. With Bodhi I night weaned him at around 2ish and continued breastfeeding him a few times a day throughout my pregnancy with Forest and then tandem breastfed after Forest arrived before weaning Bodhi altogether.
With Bodhi, we decided to start trying him in his own bed when he went to preschool. So this was around age 2.5 but we still wanted to room share in case he got scared and wanted to jump into bed in the middle of the night. Our house also has lots of stairs so we wanted him to be close and not to have to travel down the stairs if he needed us.
I would nurse Bodhi to sleep at night and then he would climb in to our bed around 2/3am-ish and spend the rest of the night with us. This still happens (although books have replaced nursing) but I always wake up flanked by my two little men. It’s the best feeling in the world.
How do you deal with people offering their their advice or opinions on how you should be parenting your children?
Teresa: I don’t get a lot of people offering me advice on how to parent. I do ask people advice all the time. I love to hear choices other parents make.
Sarah: Luckily I haven’t had many people offer advice either. I feel confident in our choices as parents, so if it were to happen in a way that felt judgmental, I would probably say something like “thanks so much for the interest but we have happily found our own flow with parenting” or “I’m glad that has worked for your kids, we have a different approach that we are happy with”. Like Sarah, I love asking my girlfriends for advice on particulars too, the only way to grow as a parent is to ask advice and be open to hearing other ways of doing things. I have my solid tribe of Mamas and Papas that can be my Go-To’s for advice if needed.
Please feel free to submit your questions in the comments below or email us for the next edition of Going Deep.