Folks We Love with Liz Sandoz | doula and podcaster, Miraculous Mamas
It was such a pleasure to interview Liz Sandoz from Miraculous Mamas for this edition of Folks We Love. You may know her from the Bachelor, but you should remember her for her beautiful, empowered spirit that she imbues into her work as a doula and as a podcaster with Miraculous Mamas. Liz’s main goal with her podcast is to build community and normalize “taboo” topics as her guests discuss the not-so-commonly-discussed parts of life, helping other women recognize that they are not alone. She also interviews experts to dive deep on topics that deserve space and to be brought to light. Enjoy!
Interview by Kacy Byxbee, editor, Your Zen Mama
Who is in your family?
My husband, Vito, and our puppy, Hutch. Together we have 17 nieces and nephews and 3 great nieces.
Where are you from?
I was born in Wyoming, but raised in Nebraska. When I was 19, I moved to Vegas for 11 years where I found my people and made the deepest friendships I have ever known. I met my husband online through a mutual friend and am now settled outside Chicago.
How old are your kiddos?
We don't have any kiddos yet but hope to very soon. It is our goal to get super healthy this year, and I have had some health issues that I am working through to prepare my body to try to conceive. We would love to have a large family but are open to whatever life hands us.
I work as a doula, online doula and a podcaster.
What does it mean to be an online doula?
As an online doula, I help people prepare for pregnancy, labor and delivery. I have an online course that will help couples map out a birthing plan, learn the science and anatomy behind labor and delivery and be informed of all their options entering into their birthing experience. I am a huge believer that education of birth will help empower women through their experience.
What are the most powerful things you have learned from your work as a doula?
I have learned the importance of healthy boundaries and feeling heard. I hear so many stories of women going into labor and being completely dismissed of their feelings or instincts. Women saying, "Oh! I think I have to push!" and the staff immediately dismissing her and saying, "Honey, you were just at 5cm. I doubt you have to push." Then they check her again and she is crowning. Women are being told not to trust themselves from conception. Why are women being second guessed during labor? It feeds into the shame culture, which women are already dealing with. It is so powerful when a safe space is created for laboring women to be heard, validated, trusted and supported. It creates such a different internal dialogue entering motherhood feeling safe and heard. This coincides with boundary setting. It is so important to set boundaries with family, providers or whoever else when it comes to a woman's birthing experience. As a doula, I love helping couples figure out what these boundaries are and to start creating that safe space for the birthing experience.
How has your work as a doula informed your parenting style?
Since I am not a parent yet, I am very curious to see how I will parent based on what I have learned. I feel like the doula work has prepared me for birth and the newborn phase. Once my kids are out of that, I will be reading all of the parenting books I can!
Can you tell us more about your podcast?
Miraculous Mamas is a podcast that empowers women through education and storytelling. We love for women to share their experiences so others do not feel alone. We learn from each and have created a supportive community for women and mothers. We also bring on experts to help us dive deeper into the inner workings of relationships, parenting, health and all topics around pregnancy.
I am a massive Bachelor fan, and am always curious how people end up on the show. Why did you decide to do The Bachelor?
I had met the bachelor before and we had a connection. I truly thought we could connect on the show. I got there and knew it wasn't going to be my thing.
What was the most surprising thing about being on the Bachelor?
I wasn't expecting to make such good friends. I kept in really close touch with a few girls who came to my wedding and we talk weekly. Also, how much the producers try to get you to say certain things for editing.
What is the most interesting thing you learned about Chris Harrison?
I've met him several times and he has no idea who I am!
From your experience, what would most surprise fans about the Bachelor?
How edited it is. They dubbed words into my scenes that I didn't say for a story line. It was also super weird because I would be in a good talk with a couple girls and then cameras would run over and producers would say, "start that conversation over" or "repeat that line." Then it all just felt forced or fake.
How did you meet your husband and how have things changed with your relationship since you became parents?
We met through a mutual friend on Facebook. I saw he had posted this ridiculous video singing Christmas songs in his truck and I thought it was the sexiest thing that he had a sense of humor. I decided to slide into his DM's and I just kept texting him until he liked me. We are currently a couple of weeks into being puppy parents and we went the longest we ever have without sex. I never knew puppies were this much work. We sort of found a schedule that is working but I am sleep deprived and the dog follows me everywhere. When my husband comes home, I take the longest showers because it's the only alone time I get now. I know this will not compare to when we have a baby, but it is teaching us a lot!
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
We love road tripping. If a place we want to visit is within a 20 hour driving range, we will drive over flying. We love to visit national parks and explore new places together. When we are at home, going for evening walks to wind down have become a favorite.
What are you reading?
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
This book helped me through a really hard time. The practices in there are so good for being at peace and growing. I am reading it for the second time because it's one of those you have to keep reading to remind yourself to let things go.
Where do you feel most inspired?
I feel most inspired when I am in nature and disconnected from social media. I love unplugging everything and connecting with the earth. I also feel inspired when I meet and connect with passionate people that are changing the world and giving back. It lights something in me to keep going and put in the work to make this world a better place.
What does femininity mean to you?
Femininity, to me, means fully embracing all that I am and stepping into my power as a woman. I am compassionate. I am strong. I am nurturing. I am a fighter. I am caring. I am sensitive. I am sexual. I am connecting with the cycles of life and the cycles of my body. I am proud of my softness and not ashamed of my voice.
How do you manage stress?
Managing stress looks different for me depending on the day. Some days, it is taking a bubble bath. Other times, it is taking a boxing class and screaming in my car at the top of my lungs. And some days, it is turning my salt lamps on, rubbing lavender on my feet, doing a deep stretch while taking deep breaths. I've noticed I am less stressed when I have a good ritual going that includes daily reading, journaling, working out and managing my time well.
What do the day to day operations look like for you?
Every day, I am either recording an episode for Miraculous Mamas, a birth story for the Patreon or working on my online course. It's hard for me to switch gears, so I will have a day dedicated to each. I also usually have a time blocked for editing content and working on the posts for the podcast. I try to work out and meal prep in the morning and then focus on whatever my goal is for that day. When I have doula clients, I always have my doula bag packed and ready to go at any time.
What is the most challenging part of running your business?
The most challenging part of running a business for me is self motivation. I could sit and chat with someone all day and think it was a huge success but I didn't work on my content or business. Putting in the time and work has been difficult for me because I have always had other jobs. This is my first year fully focusing on doula work and I fight myself so hard sometimes. I struggle with the imposter syndrome and have to do the work to get over that and believe I am worthy of owning my own business. I do have so much to offer and my time is valuable.
Where does your business acumen come from?
I am not business savvy at all. My husband helps me so much. I give him a basic idea of what I want and he helps me put it together. He designed my website and helped me map out my birthing course. My strength is networking and connecting with people. I love connecting with people and keeping in touch. I am not afraid to ask others for help who have been there before me.
How do you maintain balance with work, a partner, and yourself? Any tricks?
This goes back to having a ritual. When I set an intention for the next day and wake up knowing what I have to get done, it is so much easier to make time for everything else instead of letting my day get away from me. Time management is not my strength, so I asked for help to develop a schedule that allows time for myself, work and relationships. I feel accomplished at the end of the day even if I didn't check all of the boxes. I think having grace with yourself is important too. Every day is different and every day is a lesson for us to learn and grow from.
What are you watching right now?
I am watching The Handmaid's Tale and Parks and Rec (for the 10th time)
What does self-care mean and look like for you? What do you do for yourself?
When I hear "self-care," I immediately want to lock myself in a cabin for 3 days with no internet access or outside world. I have yet to do this, but I think disconnecting from the phone and spending alone time is important for me to recharge. Self-care, to me, is anything that restores, refreshes or renews my soul. Allowing myself the space to sit and be still restores me. Walking barefoot in the grass under the moon is very restorative to me. Taking intentional time to connect with an old friend or anything that renews my spirit.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
I am in my early thirties just now starting what I wanted to do almost 10 years ago. Don't hold yourself back. Don't be afraid to take risks or ask for help. It's ok to let your visions change as you change. You can change your brand with it. As you grow, your business will too. There is also no such thing as a failure. There are just lessons.
What makes you feel sustained?
My faith and my husband. Connecting to something so much bigger than me keeps me going. I know this life isn't about me but it is about using the tools I have been given to help others. My husband is my rock. His faith in me is incredible. I don't understand how he believes in me so much but I am so grateful he does.
What advice do you have for new mothers?
As a new mother, everything is new to you. Everything is also new to your baby and your partner. It is your first time figuring out how to nurture and care for your baby. It is also your baby's first time learning to live outside the womb. It is your partner's first time learning how to share you, support you and bond with this baby you've been connected to for months. You are all learning. Communicating with your partner is so important and allowing them to communicate with you. It's also ok to ask for help with anything. If people want to come see the baby, ask them to bring a meal or fold laundry or hold the baby while you nap.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Let it go. Whatever it is that is holding you back, let it go. Whatever lie you are telling yourself, let it go. Whatever is it, LET IT GO!
What are 4 things you can't live without?
Floss, comfortable socks (I love the brand Stance), coconut oil, community.