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You know those goddess women? The ones that exude positivity and create calm everywhere they go?


Latham Thomas, founder of Mama Glow, is one of those women.

Mama Glow is a holistic lifestyle hub for women to explore their creative edge through well-being and self care. Living in New York alongside her son Fulano, and their turtle Climby, Latham is fiercely focused on creating fabulous, abundant pregnancies, births, and postpartum experiences that refine and shape mothers into the best version of themselves.

We talked to Latham as part of Motherly's #Momboss series about the powerful and inspiring women changing our world.

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She knows how motherhood changes women, and the struggle we find within our postpartum selves to find balance while retaining our sense of self.

To that end, she's sharing her 5 ways to find equilibrium in your post-baby life—

Latham Thomas: “Navigating new motherhood doesn't come easy, but remember, you're learning as you go. Parenting can make everything seem upside-down, but you can find your way to what I call “dynamic equilibrium," which is all about balance in motion.

It's not about trying to seek balance, because life is constantly in motion. Rather, it's about creating practices that help you become more in tune to your needs, your baby's needs, and the needs of your partner, while respecting the rhythmic cycles within."

1. Establish a glow time practice

As challenging as it may be to get a moment of free time, I'm asking you to take some glow time for yourself.

This is a sacred act of self care.

Even if it's five minutes to yourself in peace and quiet: take a shower or hot salt soak, get a foot rub, take a stroll outside for fresh air, practice some yogic breathing and tune inward, turn on some Beyoncé and dance, or read a good book.

Whatever is going to give you the needed respite you so need. This is just a way to charge your batteries, and make sure there is enough of your energy to go around.

2. Stop multi-tasking + try uni-tasking

It's easy to slip into your pre-baby check list mode and force yourself to adhere to ridiculously long to-do lists.

Rather than drive yourself nuts trying to complete a ton of tasks at once, try doing just one thing at a time from start to finish. Once complete you can move on to the next task. Remember, give yourself more time than you normally would to complete, so you don't feel unnecessary pressure.

Delegate tasks to people who can help you get things done and kick back and relax a bit, you just had a baby after all!

3. Take naps

I know everyone is telling you how you will never sleep again, but the key to rest in new motherhood is to adopt the practice of napping.

Kids do it for a reason. Sleep is therapeutic and necessary. If you aren't getting the best sleep set aside some time for naps. Even if you don't ultimately fall asleep, it's just a time to “power down" and zen out.

Also if you're really sleep deprived you can try leg drain, placing your legs up the wall while lying on your back, hanging out there for 20 minutes helps to reset the circadian rhythm and is equivalent to taking a two hour nap.

4. Move your body

Glow Motion- You are encoded with divine mojo, sacred Magic that is like fertilizer that enriches your spirit guiding you to becoming your very best self. Rise up and ask yourself, what do I need to thrive? At the seed level, what does it take to nourish you? Notice when you make excuses for playing small... Do not believe in your excuses. When we choose to allow fear to govern our choices we loose our authentic power. If you are spending time worrying or doubting yourself you are not available to what spirit has laid out for you. Set a path for yourself and chart you own course. Don't judge yourself against what you haven't yet accomplished. Sometimes your blessings are already waiting for you but can't cross the passageway because you have the door bolted shut! Open the doorway let love in, let light in. Embody strength and resilience. Are you a warrior? #yoga #mindfulness #motivation #inspiration #wellness #movement #fitness #yogini #strength #warrior #soulfulsaturday #hatchcollection #blackgirlmagic #fitspo
A photo posted by Latham Thomas (@glowmaven) on

After the baby's arrival, your body feels exhausted.

While you recover, there are small exercises that you can do to get things back in integration. But don't force any major exercise within the first six weeks of delivery. Take your time. There's no rush to get back “to normal."

Once you accept that time works differently when you have a newborn and learn to integrate your time with your new life, you can incorporate exercise into your day wherever it fits- but mornings are a good idea because it sets the tone for your day and helps to boost your mood. Yoga is excellent and helps to protect the joints, build surrounding muscles, and rehabilitate the core and pelvic floor. If you can make it out the house one time, to a yoga or pilates class, great! If the thought of putting on "real clothes" gives you anxiety, then try workouts online.

5. Define your sister circle and identify support systems

This is critical now.

It's important to build a strong network of cheerleaders so you don't feel you are alone. Nothing is sustainable without community, especially motherhood. Surround yourself with people who have the skills and resources to help support you. Make yourself at home with your sister circle. Ask questions of mothers around you, and gather resources.

Choose a mixed group of women, including seasoned mamas and single friends. Variety is key here for a few reasons.

First, veteran moms know exactly how to make themselves useful, are often efficient, and usually know their way around the kitchen, so meals will be taken care of. Your single girlfriends, on the other hand, can run errands, grocery shop, answer phones, help clean, and hold the baby to give you a few minutes to take a shower! Ask one of your closest friends to help coordinate a rotation of women—you don't want all your helpers at the house at the same time!

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Make yourself a priority during this important time. It's so easy to put everyone in front of yourself, but if you've got no energy left, there's nothing to give. So nurture your new self mama, and watch a warrior awaken.

And if all that good wisdom wasn't enough, here's some more Motherly thoughts from Latham Thomas.

More Motherly wisdom from Latham—

How do you make your mornings run smoothly?

Latham Thomas: I ritualize my mornings so they run smoothly. I take my time, I move slowly.

I'm all about waking up with plenty of time before my son rises so I have time for myself to get organized and I can set the tone for my day.

This includes rolling out my mat for meditation and getting into some yoga and even taking a morning bath- which I love! I stay off email and if I get on social media, its to post something I have cued up so I can get off as soon as I post it. I make breakfast for my son and we walk to school together.

But the biggest tip for making mornings run smoothly starts the night before, with getting adequate rest and reading a good book, then getting to bed before 11pm so that I can have the most energy and be ready to meet the day. When I have the occasional late nights and oversleep, I blast music in the morning and dance around to get my blood flowing and get myself on task.

The lifehack or tip that has changed my life. . .

Packing a mobile pantry, or a pantry-on-the-go is one of my lifestyle tips that really helps me get through. I am one of those people who needs to eat small meals every few hours. Living in NYC and having a growing son, I learned to carry a mini-pantry for both of us.

What superpower have you discovered as a mom?

I have incredible intuition so I am very tapped into what is happening around me. I do believe that I deepened my empathy. I can walk into a room and sense that someone was crying in there and I am ready to nurture them as a result. Now with a 13-year-old son who is slowly moving through puberty and seeking a natural and healthy distance as he matures, I can tap into my wisdom when I sense he is having a challenge even if he doesn't tell me outright.

This quote inspires me. . .

"You can't knock a woman off a pedestal she built herself."

My friend Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter posted this recently and I was so moved by it because each of us is building a queendom and when we realize that we stand tall on the foundation that we've built for ourselves, no one or nothing can hold us back.

We have to own our glow power. Rise up, look in the mirror and see what a marvel you truly are.

To me Motherly means…

To be motherly is to finesse in a nurturing way. To touch everyone and everything around you with grace. I know that my work is about nurturing women at whatever life stage they are in, helping them rise to the best iteration of themselves. I know that as a mother I am the crux of community so I am here to help nurture, grow and help heal people and that is the motherly gift.


Haley Campbell is the founder of Beluga Baby and creator of the ultimate bamboo baby carrier. She is a regular contributor to Motherly and is an avid advocate for entrepreneurs, and for the new generation of mothers making the world their own.

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It's finally 2020. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few days into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

Ashley Graham is a mama! 🎉

A new chapter is unfolding for model and podcaster Ashley Graham, who just announced she and her husband Justin Ervin have met their baby.

The baby arrived Saturday, according to a post made on Graham's Instagram Stories.

"At 6:00pm on Saturday our lives changed for the better," reads the Story. "Thank you for all your love and support during this incredible time."

Graham previously announced that she and Ervin were expecting a son. They initially announced the pregnancy on their ninth wedding anniversary.

Congratulations to Ashley and Justin!

Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden just welcomed a baby girl! 🎉

Surprise! Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden are ringing in the New Year as first-time parents!

"Happy New Year from the Maddens!" reads a birth announcement posted to both Diaz and Madden's Instagram accounts. "We are so happy, blessed and grateful to begin this new decade by announcing the birth of our daughter, Raddix Madden. She has instantly captured our hearts and completed our family."

Raddix Madden is the first child for Diaz, 47, and Madden, 40.

The couple say they won't be posting any pictures of their daughter on social media as they "feel a strong instinct to protect our little one's privacy."

Congratulations to the Maddens! 🎉

Dylan Dreyer of 'Today' is a mom of 2! 

Today meteorologist Dylan Dreyer and her husband Brian Fichera, welcomed their second child, Oliver George Fichera, the first week of January 2020. Oliver joins his big brother Calvin to make the family a foursome.

Dreyer is still recovering from birth but her voice was on TV this week when she called into her show with an update on her new family. "I feel good," Dylan told her colleagues. "I just feel so happy and so blessed."

Caterina Scorsone of 'Grey's Anatomy' now has 3 girls!

Caterina Scorsone of Grey's Anatomy has so much to be thankful for in 2020: She's now a mom of three! The actress announced the birth of her daughter via Instagram, noting that her baby's name is Arwen.

Arwen joins big sisters Eliza, 7, and 3-year-old Paloma, who has Down syndrome. Speaking on The Motherly Podcast last year, Scorsone explained how Paloma's diagnosis made her "whole concept of what motherhood was had to shift."

It is likely shifting again, as any mama who has gone from two kids to three knows.

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When it comes to taking care of the baby and the house, modern dads say they want to be equal partners.

But when Saturday arrives, research shows men are often relaxing while women are the ones doing unpaid housework with a “leisure time" discrepancy of more than 50 minutes a day on the weekends.

The study revealed that women were more likely than men to spend their weekends watching kids or performing housework.

So after a long week of watching kids or clocking hours on the job, what does mom do more of than dad? Work.

Claire M. Kamp Dush, Ph.D., an associate professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University, and lead author of the new study, says she is hopeful we can all find more balance. It's just going to take some hard discussions—and an understanding that there's more than one way to load a dishwasher or dress a baby.

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The study published in the journal Sex Roles saw Ohio State researchers tracking how 52 dual-income couples spent their time on a minute-by-minute basis as they welcomed their first child. The participating couples kept time diaries for workdays and non-workdays during the third trimester and for about three months after the baby's birth.

The researchers expected to see a lot of entries where mom and dad were doing childcare or housework together, but they didn't.

“Men actually increased their time doing leisure while she was doing work across the transition of parenthood," Kamp Dush shares. “It actually got worse once the baby was there."

According to Kamp Dush, there are a couple of factors behind this disappointing dynamic.

“One thing that's going on is women have a lot of societal pressure put on them to be perfect mothers. So if something is less than perfect with the baby or the house, the consequences are coming back on them," she explains, adding this pressure to have everything done to high standards may lead some moms to micromanage their partners.

If a dad is slacking, Kamp Dush suggests moms ascertain what his motivations are. Often, she says the solution may be as simple as empowering him to do things his own way. (Even if it isn't the outfit you would have picked for the baby...)

“It may also be the case that he just doesn't want to do it and he enjoys his leisure time," says Kamp Dush. If that's the case, she suggests calmly explaining the cost that his rest requires you pay. That may prompt him to do a bit more because, as Kamp Dush says, “He might also enjoy having a happier spouse and co-parent."

The earlier you can have these conversations, the better

Unaddressed resentment in relationships tends to build overtime, which is why it's essential to check in on how you (and your partner) are feeling early and often.

Kamp Dush suggests moms with heavy mental loads write down the tasks and duties they're dealing with. Then rip the list in half and hand it to dad. Couples can certainly negotiate the listed responsibilities, but the important thing is that they're not all on mom.

“Then, you're going to have to let it go," she explains. “Men know how to do these things. As women, we need to just let them do it."

Dads need to do 50 minutes more of unpaid work

The gender disparity in unpaid work hurts our careers, our families and our relationships, but it doesn't have to.

According to the Promundo's State of the World's Fathers' report, if men did 50 minutes of unpaid work a day we could close the gender gap.

"We need men to do our share. Fifty minutes more to relieve women of 50 minutes less would get us really close to equal," the president and CEO of Promundo, Gary Barker, tells Motherly.

When dads are more empowered and moms feel like their household responsibilities are more balanced, the whole family is going to be better off.

[A version of this post was first published July 29, 2018. It has been updated.]

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For new mamas back to sitting behind their desks at work some six weeks (or fewer) after their babies are born, the institutionalized parental leave policy in Denmark is the stuff of daydreams: Over in that Scandinavian paradise, parents are granted 52 weeks of paid leave to divide between them.

There's no denying this is much, much better than the state of parental leave in the United States, but it isn't quite as perfect as it seems from the outside. According to Denmark's Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, women take an average 93% of leave allotted to couples. And when they do return to work, mothers' wages suffer both in comparison to men and women without children.

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The good news is that it seems the solution to this gender income gap is something we—the mothers of today, even here in America—can do something about.

A new paper from the US National Bureau of Economic Research that examined Danish administration information from 1980 to 2013 found the motherhood penalty “creates a gender gap in earnings of around 20% in the long run," which is comparable to the gap in the United States.

What's more, the income discrepancy only increases for each child a family in Denmark has: If a woman has four children, her income is only $0.60 to every dollar a man makes—10 years down the road.

While this indicates paid parental leave alone may not be the panacea for the gender income gap, the researchers suggest that changing the way we think about roles in the workplaces and homes could help—at least when it comes to the next generation.

“As a possible explanation for the persistence of child penalties, we show that they are transmitted through generations, from parents to daughters (but not sons)," the researchers note, explaining that the more a daughter's mother worked while the girl was growing up, the less the daughter's income was affected when she became a mother.

“Women tend to adopt a balance of paid work and childcare that is correlated with the one they saw their mother strike when they were growing up," Henrik Kleven, a Princeton economist and the paper's lead author, tells Quartz At Work.

What this looks like in practice is splitting household responsibilities from the get-go and encouraging fathers to take more leave. (In Sweden, where fathers are penalized for not taking advantage of paternity leave, women's earning rose an average 7% for each month of leave that men took.)

According to the State of the World's Fathers' report, produced by Promundo (a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging men and boys in gender equality in partnership with Dove Men+Care) 85% of dads surveyed in the United States, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands want to take paternity leave, and yet less than 50% of fathers take as much time as their country's policy allows, and social norms, financial pressures and a lack of support from their managers are all factors.

The report also found that if fathers are able to do just under an hour of unpaid work per day, mothers can cut their unpaid labor time by the same amount.

"We need men to do our share. Fifty minutes more to relieve women of 50 minutes less would get us really close to equal," the president and CEO of Promundo, Gary Barker, told Motherly.

This may help shift us toward more income equality today—and, as the research shows, our daughters will really be able to reap the benefits.

[A version of this post was first published January 29, 2018. It has been updated.]

News

There's no doubt: It's a new parenting era than 20 or 30 years ago.

Now faced with questions about how to limit screen time, when to give children phones and how to protect them from cyber threats, there are simply some issues that today's parents can't get advice on from our own parents.

Does that mean it's harder to be a parent today than when we were growing up? Yes, say 88% of young moms and dads.

According to a BPI Network survey of 2,000 parents in the United States and Canada, the leading reasons parenting feels harder than ever include: social media distractions, challenges with two working parents, emotional or behavioral dysfunction, peer competition or bullying, and violence and safety concerns in schools.

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Of course, most of us weren't fully aware of the challenges our parents faced when we were young—such as the fact they couldn't readily call on their own moms for advice lest they wanted to rack up major long-distance bills and couldn't have anything in the world delivered to their doorsteps within two days.

Regardless of whether it's true, the perception that parenting is harder than ever has contributed to some two-thirds of the respondents saying they've experienced "parental burnout."

"Parental burnout is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion," says Neil D. Brown, LCSW, author of Ending The Parent-Teen Control Battle. "It leaves parents feeling chronically fatigued… and it can lead to depression, chronic anxiety and illness."

With 40% reporting parental burnout has "significantly" affected their qualities of life and another 49% saying it has "somewhat" affected their wellbeing, it's time employers take a vested interest in addressing the issue, says Dave Murray, Chief Strategy and Research Officer at the BPI Network.

"It is staggering to look at the incidence of [parental burnout] symptoms among working parents in America and understand the implications this has for added employee burden, cost, concern and downtime," Murray says, adding that counseling services to promote healthy parenting should "certainly" be among the benefits employers look to offer.

Many working parents are also hopeful that their employers will recognize the importance of practices that support healthy balance between work and life—with 78% of respondents to Motherly's 2018 State of Motherhood survey saying they believe it's possible to combine careers and motherhood. Of those who worked outside the home, the biggest changes they would like to see include subsidies for childcare or on-site childcare, paid maternity leave and more flexible schedules.

In our second annual State of Motherhood Survey in 2019 just over half (51%) of mothers said "I feel discouraged: it's extremely challenging managing trade-offs" associated with combining a career and motherhood.

The consequences of unaddressed parental burnout have an unfortunate way of spilling over to other members of the family. According to a recent study published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect, a sample of 1,551 parents suggested "parental burnout has a statistically similar effect to job burnout on addictions and sleep problems, a stronger effect on couples' conflicts and partner estrangement mindset and a specific effect on child-related outcomes (neglect and violence) and escape and suicidal ideation."

While employers have a stake in addressing this issue, there's also a lot that individuals can do—like starting by cutting ourselves a break on self-imposed expectations. As research has shown, the more grace we give ourselves and others in the ways we parent, the less prone we ultimately are to burning out.

And while we've heard this all before, it's also worth remembering just how important it is to take time for ourselves. "We must have regular practices to refuel," LMHC Jasmin Terrany previously told Motherly. "We don't need to feel guilty about taking this time for ourselves—our kids will not only learn that self-care is essential, but when we are good, they will be good."

Then don't feel one ounce of guilt about using that time to call someone long-distance or place another Amazon Prime delivery so you can remember that parenting in this day and age does have its perks.

[A version of this post was originally published July 29, 2018. It has been updated.]

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