You may recognise Sarah from TV shows like Parks and Recreation, How I met your Mother and Marry me – but her synopsis on her co-owned website Your Zen Mama opens with: mama to my little bear! This mama is an actor, entrepreneur, co-founder of Your Zen Mama, food enthusiast and writer – but her life stays centred around her son Wyatt, hubby Eric and since our interview, she has welcomed baby girl, Esmé into their lives.
Tell us about your family?
My husband Eric and I live in Los Angeles with our almost three year old son Wyatt who we have nicknamed Little Bear, and our two dogs, a Japanese akita and an English mastiff. We have a little girl due Aug 7th so as I am writing you I am currently 38 weeks pregnant.
What has changes most since having children?
Nothing has made me happier in life than being Wyatt’s mom. I love watching him navigate new foods and traveling with him and showing him new places. I feel much more focused on the things that are important to me. I don’t get as hung-up on little worries and stresses. I feel so much more grounded.
What was the best and worst advice you received before your baby was born?
Best advice: Don’t stress about naps, or being on a specific schedule that binds you to your home.. Take your baby with you everywhere make him a part of your life. He has always been so easy going, and loves to travel, and go on adventures as he calls them.
“Worst advice? For me it was all the negativity. Parents love to tell you what awful milestone is coming next.. and some people feel there is only one way to sleep train, or feed your child, or travel with them, or teach them.”
When working, do you take your kid to set?
Yes I LOVE having Wyatt on set with me. When he was only 4 weeks old I shot an episode of a show and was able to breastfeed him and have him with me. I shot a series later that year and he was with me or my husband on set every day. It is a luxury I know we are insanely lucky to have.
What is the most challenging part of juggling a career and motherhood?
Finding a good balance, and trying hard not to become overwhelmed with “mom guilt” about working. Last year we faced a new task as I was away with Wyatt in Atlanta shooting a movie and my husband was shooting in LA.
Describe your 20-year-old self in three words …
Optimistic, Wanderer, Naive
Describe your current self in three words …
Motivated, Inspired, Adventurous
What makes you tick?
My family, my friends, my career and passions all bring me so much joy. Seeing my son’s face every day, hearing his little voice, watching him discover the world. Having open communication and trying to live an honest, open-minded life, embracing new ideas, learning from my mistakes, changing to improve and spreading positivity.
What does family mealtime look like? Any favourite dishes?
We try to eat dinner every night together. Eric usually makes it home in time for dinner and if not usually bath time. We love making chicken with sweet potatoes and kale. Or kale and potato soup … or Taco night with homemade guacamole! Wyatt LOVES to help me cook and I let him stir and smash and do as much as possible to make him a part of it.
What are your go-to toddler snacks?
My favourite thing to do is make a bento box with a bunch of different snacks inside. Red peppers, tomatoes, string cheese, snap peas, Paleo crackers, nuts, some sort of fruit, usually blueberries, or right now he is very into plums because our plum tree is in bloom. We grow peas and peppers and tomatoes in our back yard if we can get to them before the dogs do, so Wyatt loves picking them for any meal time.
What do you do for “me-time”?
Good question. I like getting a mani-pedi its very relaxing to me and makes me feel good. I like taking time to write which has become very therapeutic. Going on a walk or taking an hour to catch up and read something I have been longing to read.
What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
I see in my son this beautiful curiosity he has about everything and I hope he always has that. He is so full of joy and love and is rarely not smiling, I hope he feels that way when he is 80.
“I want my kids to know love and feel loved and be able to share that love with others. I want them to be open-minded and hard working, motivated creatures who embrace and work hard for what makes them happy.”
Hands down funniest mama moment you’ve encountered?
We went to interview at an amazing, progressive preschool. Wyatt was meeting the teachers and other children and running around playing outside. I was letting him do his thing, staying back enjoying his independent nature. All of a sudden I saw him jump up from the group of kids playing with giant trucks, run over to the mulch area by the swings and drop his pants to take a wee. I yelled his name across the school yard, stopped him in his tracks and then had to explain that at preschool we can’t pee outside we have to pee in the potty. No one missed out on this moment; the very pregnant mom running across the playground picking up her pant-less child, while laughing uncontrollably.