Removing The Stigma Around Being A Stay At Home Mom

With an MA in Marketing and Communications and an illustrious career as an advertising executive for media publications in the UK and the US, Sara Gaviria left her career to be a stay at home mom. Sensing a lack of support for moms who want to maintain their sense of self, feel their best and actually make a little time to focus on their development in this new phase of life, she wrote a handbook herself. She shares tips around everything from skincare to staying present and more, below.

What inspired you to write your book, The Happy Stay At Home Mom?

I wrote it because I wanted to help other moms feel more inspired, healthy, pretty and happy. After working all my life I really wanted to enjoy this stay-at-home mom thing. So yes, I wrote this book, in part, for me! I’m now a proud and a happy stay-at-home mom, and through this wonderful journey I’ve had the opportunity to dream big and finally achieve my full potential. My goal is to inspire other stay-at-home moms to do the same. Having a child doesn’t mean the end of your path, the baby is the strength, this is just the beginning.

A lot happens in the first year of baby’s life but parents, especially moms, experience a lot of changes too. What are some of the things expectant parents should be aware of and how can they prepare?

Prepare for the unexpected! When I was pregnant and getting ready to have my baby, I wanted to control every aspect. From the day that my son was born, I realized it’s impossible to control everything and it’s better to let go and be engaged with life as it happens. I strived to do things both with my baby and on my own that kept me active and gave me a sense of fulfillment, and that is advice I would definitely pass along.

What are some of the things new moms should prioritize in an attempt to maintain their sanity?

Time for themselves for a little self-care. My mantra is ‘happy mom, happy baby’ and that’s what my book is about. I remember when my son was little and my husband would get back from work, I would go to a yoga class, or to the closest coffee shop to have a cup of tea and decompress. Also, mommy groups were great for helping me maintain my sanity. Before I had a baby, I didn’t think I needed them but in reality, they were such a blessing. The meetings gave my weekly schedule some much-needed structure, giving me a reason to get out of the house, make myself feel presentable and of course introducing me to mommy friends which was by far the most important. You and other new moms are going through the same things and everyone is eager to share advice and just talk.

My mantra is ‘happy mom, happy baby’

What was the most unexpected aspect of becoming a mother for you?

It gave me the opportunity to look inside myself, find my true passion, be vulnerable and accept my limitations. I also learned very quickly that there is no room for being judgemental. Every mom is doing this job the best way they can and with so much love. No one deserves to be judged.

What is your daily routine, and what advice do you have for women who are moms and writers?

Right now I’m enjoying a new routine, my three-and-a-half-year-old son started full-time daycare this year (hooray!), so I have more time to write and work out during the day. For moms who are writers, I think you find the time for the things you want to do but self-discipline is key. You have to set a time to write and commit to it. I mainly wrote my book with one-hour stints between 9 and 10 o’clock at night! It took me a bit more than two years, but I did it.

You have to set a time to write and commit to it.

How did your style change as a mom?

If there is anything I thought I’d miss as a stay-at-home mom, it was my working wardrobe. I have always loved clothes, and I made a big effort to look smart and elegant at work. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed curating my mom wardrobe and I don’t miss dressing formally at all. I read an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker where she mentioned wearing head-to-toe grey when dressing down, and it really resonated with me. It’s far less serious than black (which is also too hot in Houston, where I live), and it’s not as dangerous as white (which is impossible with a young child or toddler). Plus dressing in a monochromatic way makes mornings far easier. I love grey jeans, grey fitted tee shirts, and grey sweaters, and they pair really well with everything else in my wardrobe. I’m always wearing cute flats, heels are just a non-starter when you’re running after a little one. I give a lot of tips about how to dress as a new mom in my book, including all the key pieces to have in your wardrobe.

What do you do to decompress when you have a little time to yourself?

I love to read, but I also enjoy a Zumba or cardio dancing class at the end of a long day. I know it sounds exhausting but once I’m dancing, focusing on the choreography, sweating and feeling like Shakira, I’m also happy that I went, I never regret working out after I’ve done it. I also love listening to Gabby Bernstein’s podcasts.

Dressing in a monochromatic way makes mornings far easier. I love grey jeans, grey fitted tee shirts, and grey sweaters, and they pair really well with everything else in my wardrobe.

What are you currently researching?

I’m very into essential oils right now. I’m learning and reading a lot about them and I’m actually starting to make some of my own blends. Essential oils are amazing and I’m convinced they help keep my son healthy and/or recover faster from all the viruses that kids get from school, which was the first reason that I started looking into them. In my experience, they really do work!.

What are you most excited to find in the bellybrief community?

Moms supporting each other and learning from each other. I’m excited about connecting with other women who are striving to build a new identity beyond just being a mom.