Laura Erlich on Parenting a Teen and Maintaining Balance
Laura Erlich: LAc, FABORM is a Holistic Fertility and Obstetric Specialist who began her career in holistic wellness after studying Traditional Chinese Medicine with an emphasis on fertility and obstetric care. After graduating summa cum laude from Emperor’s college, she founded Mother Nurture Wellness, a Los Angeles based women’s health practice specializing in fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum care.
As an integrative health professional for over 20 years, Laura has helped thousands of families grow by creating a custom roadmap that targets each individual's needs — from nutrition, supplementation, herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation and beyond.
In 2015, Laura co-authored Feed Your Fertility: Your Guide to Cultivating a Healthy Pregnancy with Chinese Medicine, Real Food and Healthy Living.
Visit her at www.mothernurturela.com or on Instagram at @mothernuturewellness.
What is the self-care practice you do to maintain balance?
I have two practices I can’t live without. One is taking my dogs for an afternoon walk, which is a kind of walking meditation for me and helps me transition from work mode to home/mom mode. The other is long baths. I am fortunate to have a big tub and bought myself an amazing flotation neck pillow and bolster, with some waterproof earbuds. I love to float in the tub by candlelight while immersing myself in binaural beats or a guided meditation.
What is the one lesson you’ve learned that you’ll pass along to your children?
Life is unpredictable, save your money.
What excites you most about being a mother?
My son is a teenager now, and I always thought I’d hold my nose and just get through this part. Much to my surprise, I really love parenting a teen! Of course he has his teen-moments, but all-in-all it’s a joy to watch him blossom into a young adult. I’m so proud of who he is and who he is becoming, and I’m astounded by how enjoyable this phase has been — so far, at least!
Tell us about your child’s name… is there a special meaning behind it?
His name is Sebastian and my husband's name is Sean. Sebastian is a nod to my favorite Shakespeare play, and a name I’ve always loved. After we named him, I realized the first two letters of his name and the last two letters of his name spelled Sean! I like to think that it means his dad always has his arms around him… because he does.
What was your pregnancy journey like and what surprised you the most?
My pregnancy journey was overall pretty good, though I did have some pretty significant sciatica for most of it, which was no joke. I chose midwifery care and a home birth, which really made me feel like I had incredible support and care for my whole self and the baby. And while birth itself was not for the faint of heart, I wouldn’t trade my home birth experience for anything.
How has life changed for you since becoming a mother?
At this point, I’ve been a mom for a pretty long time and life has had countless iterations since this gig started!
What are some examples of how you are different or similar to your own mother?
My mom passed away when I was 17, so it’s taken time to see the similarities without her here to make active comparisons. The older I get, the more I can see how much of a positive influence she had on me, even if it was only for a (way too) small part of my life. I try to honor her memory by being the best mom I can be and by remembering her core values and passing them on to my family.
What is the most useful piece of advice you’ve received about motherhood, and how have you incorporated it into your life?
Years before I became a mother, a friend with two small kids told me that it was “her job to work herself out of the job.” That always stuck with me, and it’s formed the basis of much of my parenting. My husband and I frequently remind each other that we are raising an adult, and we do our best to help him continually take responsibility for himself from a place of knowing that we are always here if he needs us. I feel confident that my son is well on his way to being an upstanding, self-sufficient, and kind person, which I will consider my greatest success in this life.
Have you ever been mom-shamed? How did you handle it?
As the mother of an only child, I have been shamed periodically for not “giving him a sibling.” But I never really let that get to me; it was the right choice for us and he’s a well-adjusted human. Mom shaming is really upsetting to me — everyone is doing their best.
What are you eating these days?
These days I’ve been obsessed with my pressure cooker/air fryer combo. In our house, we eat a lot of warming foods, especially in the winter months. Things I love to make from scratch that my whole family loves include chili, chicken vegetable soup, shepherd's pie, and stir fries. I alway try to source the best quality ingredients and make nutrient dense meals made with whole foods.
What’s your all-time favorite recipe?
I often roast a chicken, which has become known as the “Magic Chicken” because it’s so delicious and easy!
- 1 whole organic pasture raised chicken (about 4 lbs)
- Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, thyme
- 4 large carrots
- 4 red potatoes
- | Preheat the oven to 450*. Pat the chicken dry with a kitchen towel. Rub a tablespoon of salt all over the chicken, following with a generous amount of garlic and onion powder. Rub into the chicken until it makes a thin crust. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh pepper and a teaspoon of thyme.
- | Cut the vegetables into 1 inch pieces and place on a high-rimmed baking sheet. Coat lightly with avocado oil or another cooking oil, but do not season. Move the veggies to the perimeter of the baking sheet and place the chicken in the center, breast side down.
- | Cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring the vegetables about halfway through, then remove the chicken from the oven and flip it over to breast side up. Stir the veggies and incorporate the chicken drippings. Return the chicken to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes more. Check that the temperature is at 165* and remove from the oven. Let it rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving with the roasted vegetables. Magic!
Photo credit: Kate Hauschka