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Amanda Baudier VP of Business Development, Sakara Life
The kids are down, the dog has been fed, and your partner’s otherwise engaged - how do you spend your “me” time, when you get it?
More often than not, I would choose to spend my "me time" sleeping! Getting enough sleep is really my secret weapon for having productive, happy days. I’m more of a morning person so whenever possible, I go to bed super early (the same time as my 4 year-old!) so I can wake up feeling refreshed and start my day with meditation and exercise. Besides sleep, I also love a nice warm bath with essential oils or a salt soak, usually while listening to “On Being” by Krista Tippett.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a mom that you’ve held on to because it felt resonant?
When I was a new mom, I used to text my older sister (who is a mom of 3!) frantically with questions about sleep, nursing, tantrums, milestones, rashes - you name it. She would normally reply with something super laissez-faire like, “Honestly, nobody knows. It’s a crapshoot. Don’t worry about it.” As much as that could be considered non-advice, it’s pretty much my mom-motto now. 99% of the things you lose sleep over in the first year of parenthood end up being non-issues that resolve themselves within days if not hours. Frantically googling never ended a middle-of-the-night crying marathon so even though it’s your first instinct, my advice is to just put the iPhone down and remind yourself, “this too shall pass.”
What is the thing you worried lots about when your child was first born that you’d tell other women to lose less sleep over?
How much, when, and where they are sleeping! Despite what books and blogs tell you, there is no one method that universally works for every family. Kids are just little people: incredibly unique and individual. What works for you may not work for your friends or your favorite mom blogger, so just go with the flow and don’t be hard on yourself if your kid ends up in your bed more often than you originally planned. You’ll miss the snuggles when they get bigger and if everyone is sleeping - that’s a win in my book.
What’s the other career you’d most like to try out, given a second professional life?
I’m taking classes currently in Executive Leadership & Coaching. One day when I’m done raising my own babies, I’d like to counsel successful, working women who are just getting started as mothers. When I got pregnant, I was a partner at Tao Group, working the crazy hours of the hospitality industry. We had no formal maternity leave policy at the time, and I didn’t have any role model moms to go to for advice or support. I was lucky to have had a great, accommodating boss who was about to become a dad himself and “got it”, but it was still an incredibly stressful, confusing, and lonely time. What I’ve learned, and want to share with other new moms, is that you don’t have to choose between “leaning in” (a la Cheryl Sandberg) and “leaning out” (quitting your job and staying home). What worked best for me was, first, negotiating for a slightly different role within my company and then eventually pivoting into a different industry that accommodated the type of mom I wanted to be, without forcing me to sacrifice my career.
Where and how did you meet your best friends? How do you stay in touch and support each other?
Oh my gosh, at this point I have the wildest and most diverse group of friends spread all across the globe. Some are from college, some from past jobs, some from my party girl days, some from various yoga teacher trainings, and some like-minded souls I picked up in random places like meditation studios and on Instagram. The people who remain my close friends are the types of people you can not see for months - or years - and then reconnect like no time has passed at all. My best friends and I have never-ending text chains, call each other when it’s important (birthdays or when you need to cry), and see each other when we can, usually over brunch. We support each other by understanding that life is busy and even if we can only get together casually a few times a year, we will 100% show up in a time of need.
What are the nicest things your partner does for you, and you for them?
My husband is not one of those men who uses the term “babysit” when referring to his own child or has to be prodded to change a dirty diaper. I guess my love language must be “acts of service” because this means way more to me than buying me flowers!! On my side, I predict needs - everything from big to little things - and take care of them without being asked. I’m a giver/nurturer by nature and that applies to my husband as well as my children, plus I’m a little bit psychic. So that thing you thought about but never asked for… sometimes magically appears :).
What traditions are you building - or planning to build - for your family? Whydo they matter to you?
Travel!! My 4 year-old has already been to 7 countries and at least 7 states. I didn’t travel a ton as a kid and neither did my husband, but that’s a tradition we are starting with our own family. This year I took a little pause on international travel except for one Italy trip during my first trimester, but I’m excited to get my baby girl a passport and start her globetrotting early! Traveling to foreign countries with little children is not easy, but it’s so worth it and creates memories that last a lifetime. Other than that, I’m big on showing affection. Talking about how we feel - openly and without judgment - hugging frequently, and saying I love you 100 times a day. I’m not sure if that counts as a tradition, but feeling loved and accepted is so important to our emotional development. I want my kid to know without question that his parents love him to the moon and back, irrespective of his successes and failures. I want him to feel comfortable expressing his emotions and knowing that it’s ok for men to have feelings, and cry.
What are the things in your closet that you know you’ll be using and loving inthree years?
My chic leather motorcycle jacket. It was an investment piece, but the type of jacket that looks better the more it’s worn. It’s just edgy enough without being too cool for a soon-to-be middle-aged mama of two. Also, my Rachel Antonoff jumpsuits - comfy, a little funky but still timeless, and my oversized Mara Hoffman wool sweaters. High-quality fabric and forgiving fit; I’ll be wearing them for many winters to come.
What’s the last thing you celebrated?
Valentine’s Day! It was a simple dinner out with my husband but important to commemorate nonetheless. I skipped having a birthday party this year. I was in Miami, which was amazing, but normally I throw a pretty big party for myself (a throwback to my hospitality days) and get to see all my friends. This was the first year I didn’t mainly because the flu knocked me and my son out for 2 weeks just prior to my birthday on top of me being pregnant. Next year, mark your calendars pals because the party is back on.
What has been the hardest part of pregnancy dressing? What product wouldyou like FH to add to our assortment?
During my first pregnancy, I bought a bunch of what I will affectionately call “maternity crap”. This time around, I bought a few unavoidable items (maternity leggings + jeans, bigger bras…) and then invested in beautiful pieces that I can wear during and after pregnancy: voluminous or stretchy ribbed dresses, oversized sweaters, long tanks, and tunic tops. I love the FH Skirt + Sweater combo I wore for my photoshoot and think more items like that - that will still fit and look chic without a belly - are the way to go!