Written by A Wild Dove
One of the things we hope to build at A Wild Dove is a sense of community for both mamas and their children. The mamas we feature on the site all inspire us in one way or another, whether it’s their sense of humor, authenticity, or a no-holds-barred approach to their career or to wellness. These are mamas who roll up their sleeves and Get. It. Done. They walk the walk and talk the talk. To them, it isn’t an effort, it’s part of life, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. These women embody everything we are about, living honest, enriching and well-lived lives. So in honor of Mother’s Day, we took a moment to ask some of our favorite mamas a question about motherhood and anything they wanted to share to help inspire all of us. They are truly our visions of rockstars and we are so proud of them, and all the mamas for doing it every single day.
How has your son and now being pregnant for the second time, inspired your work?
This time around I've become less of a multitasker. When I'm with my son, I try to focus on being with him. When I'm in the office working, I focus on getting my work done. Being pregnant with a toddler has really taught me that less is more. I avoid over scheduling myself at all costs and find I'm so much more at peace when I don't have a chaotic schedule.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to new mamas?
Don’t pack too much in a day, pace it and enjoy fewer activities MORE.
How have your children children inspired your work?
Some say that being a mom makes us expert multitaskers; but for me it has inspired the opposite. My children inspire me to be deeply present and truly focus on doing just what I am doing and being just where I am. This makes me a better more engaged mom as well as a better decision maker at work. I used to be always working but never getting it all done. Since having children this lesson of ‘mono tasking’ with clear and present focus has made me phenomenally efficient and productive; and it has increased my enjoyment in my job, in my personal life, and as a mom.
Lynn Levoy - Founder of A Wild Dove
How has Callum inspired A Wild Dove?
Having a child has shifted and taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I know it is our role as mamas to teach our children, but the reality is, Callum has taught me just as much. I am a better person in every way because of him.
After he was born, my priorities changed. I always worked in fashion, and truthfully couldn’t have imagined I would have ever done anything else. But when I look back, I wasn’t REALLY happy...even though I thought I was. That wasn’t my true calling, but it was certainly part of the path that led me to the now.
I started working on A Wild Dove, 3 years ago and launched it about a year and half ago. I had felt like something was missing from the market. Wellness had always been a huge part of my life, but more than ever it was my passion. And then I started to ask WHY wasn’t anyone instigating this wellness conversation between mamas and their children.
Of course we are women with our own identities, but more than ever, we are so intertwined with our children. Our flexible jobs allow us to have more and different time with our kids than ever before. We can bring them with us to meetings, lunches, workouts and they get to experience all these very adult things at a young age. So I began to wonder why isn’t anyone to speaking that? And how can we help our children to have the tools to better themselves, that we are so diligently working on for ourselves? If I HAD KNOWN something as simple as breathing when feeling overwhelmed at Callum’s age, I would have been in a very different place as a teenager and certainly as an adult. And with this revelation... A Wild Dove was born. It has allowed me to combine all the things I love, but with a very new focus and different meaning.
I feel beyond grateful and fortunate to have this opportunity to do something I love. And the best part is Callum is a huge part of this journey and I get to learn and be inspired by him everyday...
How have your daughters played a role in developing your line ?
I'm so much better at figuring out what really matters now. Before kids, I might get mired in the nitty gritty of everything, but since having my girls I'm much better at not letting my doubts get the better of me. That's something having kids really teaches you - that honestly, there are so many other things worth worrying about that if something doesn't meet your expectations absolutely, totally 100%, you're not going to obsess over it. That's not to say I don't still strive for lofty goals, but just that I'm much better at figuring out what is worth fighting for.
What is a piece of advice you would give to new mamas?
Stop trying to micromanage details and have confidence in some imperfections.
Robyn Youkilis - Health Coach & Author
How has a becoming a mama changed your perspective on your body and philosophy towards food and working out?
When my husband and I began talking about starting a family, I shifted my focus from “How skinny can I be?” to “How can I create the most ideal ‘home’ for my future baby to live in?” And then I had an aha moment - Our bodies are our homes, this is where we live. Shouldn’t we treat them right? I let go of trying to look a certain way. I slowed down even more at meal times and chewed my food completely before swallowing. I began to focus on the foods (and the activities) that made me feel my best. And guess what? The foods that made me feel and look my best were those deeply nourishing foods, the foods that pack the most bang for the nutritional buck, the foods that feed and balance the microbiome (aka your gut). Almost three years later I’m still thinking and eating this way.
Running one store in and of itself is a tremendous amount of hard work. Now with multiple locations opening, how do you balance it all with family?
It’s not always easy but I try to remind myself that I’m setting a good example of what you can achieve when you commit to something you believe in. Starting your own business, believing in yourself and taking risks are all important values I’d like to instill in my son. That all being said, I’m a big believer in balance and I’m always trying to find new ways to create the proper work and home life balance. It’s been a struggle for me to watch my husband filling in with things I used to do with Van more regularly. But I just can’t do everything I used to do. So I try to remind myself how lucky I am to know that my son has such a great father who is so engaged and I know he’s being looked after in the best ways possible. And I can’t forget that I have a genius business partner who is always working on the business and currently looking after everything in Sag Harbor while I’m here, so the fact that we can divide and conquer DEFINITELY helps. Listening is so important. I make sure to always listen when Van is telling me something, really focus on what he’s saying instead of being five steps ahead. I do a dead halt and put all my energy into what he’s saying. As a tween there’s a lot of silence sometimes so when he does open up about anything, I don’t want to miss it!
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new mamas?
Aim for balance. Use the pockets of time wisely. Find subjects the kids truly love and learn about those. And when you fail, move on and don’t give up.