Mom Talk with Alchemist and Toddler Mom Ambi Sitham
Mom Talk with Alchemist and Toddler Mom Ambi Sitham
Ambi Kavanagh (née Sitham) is a mother, an author, Reiki Master, life coach, and founder of Alchemy with Ambi. For years, she has traveled the world studying energy healing from spiritual teachers and shamans and shares her knowledge through her book, Chakras and Self-Care, her podcast, and her chakra-balancing Soulstrology Soundbaths. Formerly an entertainment lawyer and on-air legal expert in London before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in wellness, today she's a sought after guide whose energy healing has been featured in Vogue, Goop, and Wanderlust, amongst many others. We caught up with the mama-of-one to talk about how she heals at home.
How do you find balance?
I try to make sure I do something for ME every day. This isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always happen, but doing something small for myself brings balance with everything else I am juggling.
How do you practice self-care?
Again, by trying to do something daily for my mind/body/soul. A 10-minute walk in my neighborhood. A 10-minute stretch on my yoga mat. A 10-minute meditation. Spending an extra 10 minutes on my evening routine with a face mask before my nightly shower. 10 minutes of online shopping (even if I'm just browsing). I try to make each action a minimum of 10 minutes because that way I'm sure to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to self-care, which is manageable with my schedule.
What makes you feel like a good mom?
Seeing my son happy and healthy, progressing and thriving.
What is one lesson that you'll teach to your kids?
Self-care, which includes personal development (very essential to enjoying a happy life).
What excites you most about motherhood?
All the adventures that lie ahead. Seeing the world differently and almost anew by seeing it through his eyes. It’s magical.
Tell us about your child's name. Any special meaning there?
His name was inspired by an elephant called Asha. I signed a petition and made a donation to help her live the rest of her days in a sanctuary. I have always loved elephants and my husband loved the name. We came up with Asher which has a beautiful Hebrew meaning of ‘happy, blessed.’ We decided on his name on our two-year wedding anniversary six months before we conceived him!
How was your pregnancy?
A truly wonderful experience. I had a lot of energy and really bloomed on a personal level (baby aside)! I found it expansive, exhilarating, and empowering.
Any parenting books or other resources you've found helpful?
My friend Erica Chidi wrote a wonderful book called Nurture which really helped me navigate pregnancy, the birth, and early motherhood. I also attended all of her Loom courses which helped me prepare for the birth and those early months of the fourth trimester. Also, there are many other mamas who have really inspired and educated me, both ones I know in real life and some I follow online.
How has life changed for you since becoming a mother?
Having my son has changed my priorities and made me much more confident and a stronger person. I don’t people please the way I used to. I am less afraid of speaking up and enforcing boundaries when I need to, and I am much less worried about what others think. It has been utterly liberating, although it has definitely caused a few waves.
How are you different and similar to your own mother?
We are very similar in how we both pay so much attention to all the little details! My mama taught me well! We're also similar in that we can both be worrywarts. I have to remind myself that I can only do my best and have to trust in a higher power to guide my son’s journey on this earth plane.
What is the best/most useful piece of advice you have received about being a mother/motherhood?
There is no such thing as being a perfect mother, so don’t even try!
What is the one activity and/or toy you can't leave the house without?
His Ergo baby carrier, so either my husband or I can just wear him and go for a walk.
Have you ever been mom-shamed? Share your best-worst experience.
Thankfully I haven’t experienced much mom shaming. I have amazing mama friends who are encouraging and supportive, but because of the pandemic and social distancing I haven’t been able to hang out with them as much as I would like. Recently though, another parent made me cringe about the fact that my baby wasn’t holding his bottle himself. She commented on how her kids were grabbing their bottles by his age and warned I may be spoiling him because I wasn’t pushing him to hold his water bottle/did lots of things for him, which I should ‘watch out for later on.’ He was 10 months at the time and I felt the comments were unnecessary and a little judgmental. Personally, I don’t believe in comparing children’s developmental journeys, or our experiences of mamahood, unless it is in a way that is supportive and creates a sense of camaraderie. I feel as though we need to be careful of what we say to other mamas and how we say it. Sometimes silence really is the best option -- no need to chime in with your comments unless someone has asked your opinion!
Do you have any mom icons?
Not really. Generally speaking, I think putting anyone on a pedestal is a recipe for disaster. (We don’t know what really goes on behind closed doors.) I am inspired by aspects of many different mamas though, both those I know in real life and those I follow online. I also feel my best friend is an amazing, grounded (and very real) mama who has done a great job navigating the ups and downs of parenthood.
What websites about parenting and/or motherhood have been helpful?
WhattoExpect.com has been my bible!
Since becoming a mother is there a product you wish existed that you haven't been able to find?
A robot who will follow me around and clean up after us! Ha! I love taking care of my baby, I don’t quite love all the extra household tasks!
What is a recent parenting experience that made you laugh and/or cry?
I cried with laughter at a recent 'poonami' explosion that my husband won the poo lottery of dealing with! Asher seemed to think it was a game and poop was literally going everywhere. Watching my husband’s face and seeing Asher wriggle and giggle and all the chaos that ensued gave me a really good belly laugh with tears streaming down my face!