Lauren Wolk-Goldfaden joins Mothersphere to chat about raising her two children and running two businesses, Goldfaden MD and Mini Bloom. If you’re also a busy working mom, this month’s column definitely is a must read and Lauren candidly shares her commitment to boundaries and time management. Lauren shows us that with a little determination, clear communication, knowing your values, and a whole lot of love, you can show up as the mother you want to be and achieve the career goals you have set for yourself.
Q: Firstly, can you share with us a little bit about your family? How many members in your tribe? What are their ages and names?
A: I love my little tribe of four; we are so lucky and our kids bring so much joy into our lives. My daughter, Celine, is seven years old and my son, Liam, is five and a half years old.
Q: Did you know you always wanted to be a mother?
A: I think deciding to become a mother may be the most life-defining decision a woman can make. I always knew that I wanted to become a mother one day — yet always waited for when the time was right. When I met my husband and ultimately fell in love, the desire to become a mother fully kicked in and soon enough began to blossom into a reality.
Q: Did you consciously conceive or was it an unexpected blessing?
A: When we made the decision to start “trying,” I was incredibly lucky to get pregnant right away — for both pregnancies. Neither came without its challenges, of course, but each journey was an exciting and happy one for sure!
Q: We’d love to learn about your pregnancy. How was your experience carrying? What were some of the exciting moments and some of the challenges?
A: My two pregnancies were so vastly different, yet similar at the same time. With Celine, I was launching Goldfaden MD, so I did not have time to focus on how tired or nauseous I felt… essentially throughout the entire pregnancy! When I was pregnant with Liam, Celine was just one year old, so I was busy running after a toddler on top of building a new business!
I loved feeling my babies move inside my belly, and I even loved the specific food cravings that would just come up randomly for me (like cold watermelon!). I have to say that following the first trimesters for both, I was filled with lots of energy. I worked out until the day I delivered each time, and felt beautiful, strong, and empowered throughout the entirety of both pregnancies. Beyond the uncomfortable physical changes — including swollen feet at times — the fact that I was growing a little human inside of my body made the whole journey feel so magical; I truly believe that becoming a mother is life’s greatest gift.
As a mother, I think you tune out the not-so-great times or even negative moments. Looking back, I could barely keep any food down with my first pregnancy, I was constipated and iron-deficient; I also had to take certain medications throughout to keep my body balanced and nourished enough to grow a healthy baby. I had a tumultuous birth, which landed me on the cardiac floor with heart problems and away from my newborn for three days — probably from the anxiety of giving birth for the first time.
When you tune all of the challenges out of the pregnancy journey — and we all encounter some strife or struggle, whether it be before, during, or after — at least in my case, I just remember how incredibly magical it is to meet your baby for the first time. It changes life forever, and the love that you have for your child is unparalleled to anything else in this world.
Q: Did you feel any major shifts during this period of your life — whether they were physical, social, or spiritual?
A: The biggest shifts for me were spiritual and internal. When I became a parent, I took a deep look inside and took inventory of myself. I identified the things I wanted to change, shift, and grow, as naturally, I wanted (and still want!) to be the best mother that I possibly can be.
My husband and I take care of ourselves by finding the balance of both physical and mental health on a daily basis. We also share the same values that we want to uphold in our home: to be an authoritative parent, rather than authoritarian figures to our children.
Children learn the most from their parents and role models, so I am determined to show them my best self so that they can learn what healthy relationships, boundaries, and values look like by leading by example. I try to refrain from complaining, self-shaming, and having negative conversations at all times.
Q: What supportive practices and tools did you use to nourish yourself and your growing baby during pregnancy?
A: Proper nourishment and self-care were certainly top of mind for me. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, proper sleep, and daily movement were my non-negotables!
Q: Birth is incredibly individual. Each mother’s journey will be unique. However, sharing our stories can provide universal insights for other mothers to be. What is one thing you loved about your experience and one thing you’d do differently?
A: First and foremost, I believe it’s essential to approach birthing from a place of empowerment, which involves preparing your body and mind. No two births are the same, and while it’s nice to have a “birth plan,” the reality for most is that a set plan will never be carried out to a tee. I think it’s so important to educate yourself on all birthing options (including the pros and cons of each) to allow you and your partner to make informed decisions. Take the “horror stories” you hear with a grain of salt and try your best to seek out the positive birth stories, of which there are many! In particular, as I’ve noted earlier, I am a huge advocate of movement and physically preparing your body for pregnancy because it allows you to be in tune with your entire self — not to mention further enable you to stay strong and bounce back quickly!
I was induced with my daughter due to low amniotic fluid. I did not enjoy (or feel anything during) the experience, and I went into full labor with my son and while it was painful (I did get an epidural). I won’t ever forget where I was when I went into labor this second time. I wish I could have gone through that with my daughter and if there was something I could have done differently, I would have.
Q: Over the first 40 days of your little one being earthside, how did you feel? Did you have a supportive network around you or did you remain fairly private?
A: The first six weeks are so rough and your world changes drastically. However, I am fortunate enough to say that I was able to stay home with my babies, and I had an incredible support network that I was able to lean on. During this time, I just focused on getting stronger while caring for my newborn.
Q: Since becoming a mother how has your self care changed?
A: Again, I’ve always been a huge advocate for self care. If you are not able to start each day feeling your best, it makes it hard to be present as a mom, wife, friend, career woman, etc. With that said, I make sure to wake up (very) early to squeeze in my “me time.” Each day is a bit different, but it most often involves meditation and movement. It allows me to start the day feeling grounded and energized so that I can take on all that the day brings — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Q: What are some of the resources — be they books, nutrition, practitioners, or rituals — that you’d recommend to other expecting moms or mothers in the parenting years?
A: I recommend that new or expectant mothers read our Mini Bloom blog, where we share tips from experts, as well as recipes, gift guides, and more. Otherwise, both Tracy Anderson and Melissa Wood Health have incredible prenatal movement programs that I followed throughout my pregnancies and swore by.
Q: What rituals or routines do you implement to foster a deeper connection with your little ones? If you are a mom of multiples, do you set time aside to be with each of them individually?
A: I have a few! I’ve always been very career-oriented and never saw my roles and responsibilities as being just a part of my “job.” And while that didn’t change much after having my two kids, my schedule sure did! I break up my day in a way so I can balance the two: I get up at 5 am, scan emails, make the kids’ lunches, and get breakfast ready. If I’m not at the gym at 6 am, I’ll continue to catch up on emails and work projects before taking the kids to school, which I love. From there, I cram everything I can into my workday, as I have a hard cutoff time by 4 pm to spend the rest of the day with my kids and be free of distractions. That said, having kids forced me to be laser-focused on time management. While there’s no perfection in the day-to-day grind, setting clear boundaries for myself has allowed me to be a hands-on, involved mother while still making progress on my career goals.
And yes; I also break up time with the kids so that I can have one-on-one time with each. We have a ritual at night during which I read to them separately in their rooms. I truly cherish these small but highly meaningful daily moments together. I also take the kids to their after-school activities throughout the week (or at least one) so that we can have some bonding time. With this, I can also watch them pursue their passions, which presently include the likes of horse riding and soccer.
With that said, these meaningful “mommy and me” moments do change from time to time, especially as they grow older. It’s about observing, listening, and watching the kids to determine where they may need more one-on-one time (whether that be homework, play time, special day trips together, after-school activities, etc.) and balancing all of our schedules so that everything works out.
Q: Motherhood often means finding peace within the chaos. We are big believers in managing our mood in order to show up consistently as the mother we know we are and want to be. What are your favorite products from THE FULLEST Shop that support your mood and help you stay centered?
A: The Saffron Bath Salt is my favorite bath salt right now; it’s so relaxing, smells delicious, and makes my skin feel so silky smooth! And I LOVE the saffron latte mixes. It’s my favorite way to start the day.
Lauren is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales at Goldfaden MD, a prestige skincare line inspired by the coveted in-office dermatology procedures that her father-in-law, Dr. Gary Goldfaden, performs. Since having her two children, Lauren has taken on two additional roles: mother and Founder of Mini Bloom, a clean, safe, and plant-powered line of essentials designed specifically for children’s delicate skin. Each product is gentle, effective, sustainable, natural, and free of chemical irritants and harmful substances. If you asked her, she’d call Mini Bloom baby number three.