Based in LA, Elizabeth Antonia is Creative Director for some big brands including Ergobaby, Apple, Coach and J Brand Jeans. If you thought that was impressive, she also runs a family business with her husband, Yeah! Rentals, writes her own amazing blog, The Littlest AND has a new book coming out at the end of the month, Early Riser Companion. On top of all this, Elizabeth is a wonderful mother to her two daughters, Elodie and Francesca. We had the privilege of chatting to this inspiring and talented woman about how she manages to juggle it all and her personal experience of motherhood, including the ups and downs.  

Photo by Jamie Street Photography

Who makes up your beautiful family?

My family is myself, my husband and my two daughters, Elodie (10) and Francesca (6).

What does your perfect Mother’s Day look like?

I love when they let me sleep in a little and bring me their perfectly imperfect Mother’s Day breakfast in bed with a little card and breakfast. One year my youngest brought me a carrot she had cut with her teeth because she couldn’t use a knife. I’ve never had a carrot for breakfast. It was delicious.

What do mums really want for Mother’s Day?

I think this changes a bit every year for me depending on what’s going on in my life. This year I would like a clean house, my breakfast in bed of course, and maybe a picnic in one of my favourite spots with a few other families.

How do you find balance while juggling children, career, relationships, household and everyday life?

I like to sit down at the beginning of the week and really pinpoint my priorities. I don’t over schedule my children because I don’t like racing around town. That definitely brings more peace into my life and if I am doing well, my family does well. I have started to realise that balance is a bit illusive if you haven’t cared for yourself. When I rest or do something life-giving, I am much more able to handle anything that comes my way. This could be a five minute meditation, a long bath, or a walk in my neighbourhood.

Do you ever wonder how some mums make it look so easy?

After ten years of growing alongside my little ones and being around so many mamas, I know that each one of us is making a sacrifice to keep things in flow. All of us should be beating ourselves over the head with the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy” as I truly believe that no one is better at living our life than ourselves. Our children are with us for a reason. I just wish we could see ourselves as our children see us. Kind, gentle and beloved.

Have you talked to other women about how they manage the juggle?

I think this topic creeps in to every conversation I have with other mothers. Each one of us is just doing our best to feel a sense of evenness and ease in our lives. Each one of us wants to make sure our family life is filled with happiness and security. We have a lot to learn from each other and are at our best when we are sharing this journey. Every new day we have a choice to course correct or feel guilty and ashamed about what we have done wrong. Let’s course correct.

Motherhood is never predictable. What have been some of the more surprising or funny parts of motherhood for you?

I was wholly unprepared for my daughter getting to an age where she struggled with friendships To see your happy, funny daughter suffer or feel like the odd one out was really hard for me at first. There is a saying “You are only as happy as your least happy child.” and I can attest that it is true. One thing I’ve learned is to not try and fix everything for her. Sometimes I just need to be a listening ear for her. This parenting journey is as much a learning journey for us as it is for them.

Photo by Jamie Street Photography

What influence has your own mother had on the way you parent?

Ahhh my mother was such a gentle soul. She passed away in 2016 and I feel her by my side in so many ways. She cultivated strong traditions that I am so excited to share with my girls. And she taught me how to be a warm and welcoming friend. And the lesson about listening, that is 100% something she taught me. She would always listen to us but didn’t rush in to fix. Developing a bit of grit is something that everyone needs. How else will we learn to be with all of the different types of personalities around us?

Has your relationship with your mum changed since becoming one yourself?

I definitely had more appreciation for her once I became a mother. We became closer from this shared experience.

Do you have any family rituals?

Yes! And I have a new book coming out at the end of this month called Early Riser Companion that shares rhythms and rituals for every season. One of my favorite family rituals is lighting a candle on our dinner table in the evening. I bring light into our home. It is actually my job - ha! We can weave little anchor points of love and connection into our homes to make them a place to pause and dream. Our children will carry this out into the world as they grow.

Photo by Jamie Street Photography

What advice would you give to new mums?

You are the heartbeat of your home and this family that you are creating. Slow down. Let your child feel your nearness and maybe, for just a little bit of time, tune out the outside world. I promise, you will feel like yourself again. Not the old you, but a new you who will emerge from this cocoon as a stronger, more compassionate human for having taken this time to focus on your family life. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to feel the joy and also the uncertainty of this singular time. It will all be ok.

What are you reading right now?

I just returned from Antibes in the South of France and picked up a copy of My Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot. She is an amazing artist in her own right and it’s a fascinating read. I am also reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It’s a book I read every other Spring as it reminds me of the importance of connecting to nature in a refreshing way.