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Even 5 minutes of self-care can make you a better mother

The founder of Mama Glow on 5 ways to find your best mama self. 

Even 5 minutes of self-care can make you a better mother

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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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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