Moms are everyday magic-makers and moment-creators, with the inherent gift of making the exhausting job look effortless. But making magic isn’t something moms were trained to do. There’s not a manual we’re given on Day 1 of motherhood that teaches us how to be magical. So how do moms show up every day and create the magic? With a desire from deep within to be their best mom self, moms bravely dive in head first, persevere when things don’t go as planned and conjure up energy they didn’t know they had, to be creators of magic. Moms make the magic happen.
There is so much magic alongside the chaos of mothering that sometimes we forget that the magic is found within the chaos. Magical moments come in surprising packages, often disguising themselves as chaos. It’s only later, once the kids are asleep, that moms can take a deep breath and reflect on the magic of the day.
Think back on some of the most memorable moments of motherhood and you’ll probably not think of the days where each moment was a perfectly curated, Instagram-worthy moment. You’ll remember watching your little one eat a juicy slice of watermelon for the first time with a huge, happy smile. You’ll forget about cleaning up the sticky mess, the much-needed nap that was missed that day and the ants that found their way to your patio. You’ll think about all the times you tiptoed into your little one’s bedroom to be the Tooth Fairy. You’ll laugh when you remember almost waking them up while digging around trying to find the tooth underneath their pillow. And you’ll be proud of yourself for smoothing it over without getting caught when you accidentally forgot to be the Tooth Fairy that one time ...oops! At the end of the long days, you’re tired, and rightfully so - but you made the magic happen.
Motherhood is a constant shift between feeling like the highest version of yourself and, at the same time, feeling a few not-so-magical moments away from a breakdown. The days are long but the years are short, so take it all in and enjoy the magical chaos. Someday, your house will be clean and you will miss finding toys here, there and everywhere. The magical moments of motherhood are interspersed in the day-to-day, so lean into the chaos and cherish the magically imperfect moments.
Meet Leah Muhlenfeld. A work-from-home mom of four littles ages 15, 13, 7 and 5. Leah’s ability to balance everyday magic-making and self-care, so she can be her best mom self, is inspirational. Leah’s littles are blessed to have her as a guiding light, and we hope you enjoy this glimpse into how she makes the magic happen.
Leah, tell us how many kiddos do you have and what are their ages?
Lola, 15 (16 in November)
Ollie, 13 (14 in December)
Charlotte, 7 (8 in Feb)
Emma, 5 (6 in Nov)
What does your current morning routine look like?
- About 4 days a week, I wake up at 5am to run 5-7 miles with 4 friends (some days we do this a little later during quarantine - might as well enjoy the perks of not getting everyone on the bus by 7:20!)
- Other 3 days I wake up at 5am, meditate for 10 mins, write in my journal for 10 mins and get work done (some days lately I do this closer to 4am since before 8am is my most quiet time in the house during quarantine)
- Shower and drink a green drink (Greens & More, Collagen, Aloe/Coconut Water, Ripple chocolate Pea milk - My husband calls it Pond Sludge, but it makes me happy), have coffee w/Brain Octane oil and a little milk and make breakfasts and lunches (when kids are in school)
- Get everyone off to the bus, started with their online learning or have a structured learning/play time with little girls
- Work 9-12; make lunch (just me and my husband who works from home, too - normally - during C19, lunch for all 6 of us. We like to sit down for lunch together during this weird time)
- Sometimes I tuck a short walk in here with a neighbor
- Work again 1-4 w/kid managing mixed in while we are all home together
- 4:30/5 start making dinner - been trying to delegate this to kids lately. They are starting to enjoy it, but I need to even be more organized to have the right things ready for them to prep and make.
- Eat together at the table around 6pm (when not quarantined, this is usually driving the Varsity kids, Lola and Ollie, soccer carpool, picking up from play practice, etc. time and dinner is later or in multiple phases)
- Big kids or husband do dishes
- 7pm - Get JV kids, Charlotte and Emma, bathed and in bedroom for reading and bed by 8pm
- Wash face and read, sometimes journal and pass out around 9pm to start again
What is one of the best tips you have for making your kids better humans?
“Let them be the guide to what they are ready to learn.” We suffered a great amount of personal loss of family members in the early 2010’s. Lola and Ollie were little and my retired priest friend said to me, “When they ask a question. Give them a very honest and clear answer, but don’t assume they want more details or information than the specific question they ask. Their child brains will digest what they need at the right time and come back for more information at a later time when they are ready. As adults, we tend to leak on them and tell them more than they need to or want to know because we get uncomfortable and just start talking vs. listening to what they need.” It has worked great in explaining deaths of loved ones and as the Varsity kids get older, I find it helps in discussing hard topics like boyfriends/ girlfriends, sex, complicated family issues, eating issues, you name it.
If you could turn back the time and have a newborn moment back what would it be?
When my mother was still alive and Lola was born in 2004. I’d love to just spend hours on end doing nothing with her but passing my newborn baby back and forth and talking together.
What keeps you up at night?
I fall asleep really easily, but wake to bouts of “all the things I haven’t gotten done yet for home and clients”
What makes you feel inspired or like your best self?
Inspired = Helping myself or others bring their creativity to life.
Best self = Exercise, writing, eating balanced meals, talking with people who can use my experiences - good and bad - to help them learn how to get thru challenges or move forward in their life.
What is one piece of advice you'd give a new mom out there?
Journal - little and big things. The days are long but the years go fast and you just can’t remember it all, but there is so much magic alongside the chaos of mothering.
How do you create magical moments for your family?
We have the Birthday Fairy who comes on the kids’ bdays and decorates the kitchen with balloons and streamers and signs. She also delivered donuts!
We just gave money for the Varsity kids tooth fairy, but have been loving HTM for the JV. Charlotte has lost 5 teeth and Emma is getting excited for her first wiggly tooth.
Tell us about the first time your kiddo had a loose tooth?
All my kids have not been big tooth wigglers. Like they really want the loose tooth, but don’t realize they will need to help it out by wiggling it. I feel like the 3 who have lost teeth all start timid, but by tooth 2 or 3, they are yanking them out - sometimes multiple in a day!! One memorable time: Lola had a front top tooth basically 45 degrees pushed forward out of her mouth. She just wasn’t being aggressive with it. Super snaggle-toothed. It was summer and she was in swim team. I was sitting at the end of the pool talking to another mom and she gets to the end of her lap and instead of flip turning to go back - she busts out of the pool with a giant smile and blood gushing all over her face and dripping down her chin exclaiming, “I just got my loose tooth kicked out of my mouth!” I thought she was in pain, but she was joyous and the blood just looked extra crazy because it spreads in water. The sweet coach even stopped to ask people to look for the tooth for a few minutes - needless to say, we never found that one. BUT she wrote an awesome letter explaining what happened to the tooth fairy and got some $.
If you asked your kids "what is magic" what would be their answer?
Magic is the hope, joy, and belief in something bigger than you that can create amazing things and experiences.
What is the hardest part about brushing your kid's teeth?
The fact that I have to remind them constantly - no matter if they are 5 or 15!
What is your favorite children’s story right now?
Thank you so much for being a part of our fairy spotlight series!
You are one inspiring, magical momma! xo