Q&A with 10 to 12 Mama, Ali Levine
Born and raised in New York, celebrity stylist and 10 to 12 Mama of two girls, Ali Levine has worked for some of the biggest names in the Fashion Industry. Known now for her “on camera tips," Ali makes regular appearances on local and National television and has her own podcast called " Everything With Ali Levine" which covers everything from motherhood to lifestyle, spiritual well-being, countless celebrity interviews and more. We recently spoke with Ali about motherhood, travel and her top mom hacks. 
 
How does being a mother add to your life? 
Wow, being a mother is everything to me. It's funny to me, because I didn't really ever think I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to be about my career. Not that I am not about my career now, but things of course have changed. It has changed everything and for the better for me to be honest. 
I have shifted my priorities heavily, I have learned healthy boundaries, how to give myself more self love and self care, make my husband and family the center of my life and then everything else around it. I give myself more grace and allow myself more time to make things done. As an entrepreneur, I used to work around the clock, I've been called a workaholic haha, and it was true. Now that I am a mama of two, I work in a much more productive way. I create spaces and blocks to work, and then I allow myself to be present. I didn't know what presence was until I became a mother. So, honestly, I am tearing up typing this because being a mother has changed everything in my life. It has given me a sense of purpose I never knew I could have. I love being a mom and it's definitely the best job out of all the jobs I do and have had.
 
How do you balance your career with mama life? What are your top tips/hacks? 
So first off, for me personally, I have to say, I throw the word balance out the window. I'm really not a fan. I feel like it makes me feel like I'm on quote on quote failing before I even start. There is no real balance in my everyday to be honest!
That being said, I look at it as more of a juggle. I have many balls up in the air at all times and many drop too.
My top tips and hacks are:
I start my morning with my gratitude journal and it's a daily inspiration theme, so I write down what I am grateful for along with what I am bringing into my day, my intentions, etc. This really helps clear my mind and get my intentions right.
I also meditate if there's time in the morning before my babies are moving around, otherwise that gets pushed to the afternoon or the evening.
So my hack or tip with that is, protect your morning. Whatever that routine is, create that space for yourself. Whether it be 5 minutes or 30, sometimes I get a few minutes to wash my face, other days I will get to journal out my feelings, meditate and shower. Having two little ones it's ever changing and I have accepted that and flow with that. Then I go into full mom mode and I feed the girls and get the day going. Then we play, and being that I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 month old, I'm always multitasking.
Another little hack of mine is when I am giving attention to both of my girls, while I am nursing, I read a book to my toddler so I am still giving her attention.
Now that my baby is crawling, I have my toddler play with her and entice her to crawl. We take out toys to play together and to teach her how to move around more and crawl. I always include my toddler. She is always asking to help me. She gets me diapers, wipes, a burp cloth, blanket etc. 
 
Most of the day we play all together, when my baby takes a nap, then it becomes one on one time and I really focus on my toddler. We either do a fun art and craft activity, dance or some kind of make believe play. I also have my toddler help me with the laundry and dishes, again she loves to help and I always empower her too.
 
Another hack work-wise, I will go into my office and I have some toys in it, so that when I can get some emails done or work on my podcast, content creation whatever it may be.
 
Then nap time, I use to get my real pocket of work done and then the evening as well ( I'm a night owl). So find your spaces of time, even if small bits here, there, it adds up.
 
Another hack for me with my work is I have a timer I use, so I can really know how long tasks take me and that's been very helpful. 
 
Allowing myself to ask for help and delegating. I know of course with the way things are right now, that's not as easy, but whoever could be helpful to you if even remote, if it's possible allow it. The more I let go of control, the more I find more time to focus on what I need too and I end up feeling better throughout the day, the week etc.
 
I think that's another tip overall, letting go. The more I let go, and let go of control, the more things flow. Letting go wasn't easy for me, but I learn how to do it more and more every day. When I have a moment of stress or breaking down, I take a few deep breaths and count. That also helps my toddler. I teach her breathing exercises and small practices in meditation.
 
My overall hack/ tip is you are their mother, and you know what's best for you and your child/children. Find what works for you and set that up for you. When I first became a mom I was trying everything and overwhelming myself.
Follow your gut and intuition, do what's best for you, make sure you take care of you and pour back into you. Create a routine for yourself that's just for you and honor it as best you can. Allow things to fall and things to be a mess. 
There are some days where I get some things done for my work and I do a great job for my girls. Other days I have more on my plate being a working stay at home mom and I let my toddler do more individual play. 
I share that because some days I am a hot mess and so is the house and other days I get myself together and the house is neat and the girls are great.
Mom life is unpredictable I have learned and the more you allow yourself grace, to flow, and be present the more you figure the rest out. That's what I have found.
 

Which 10 to 12 Baby Lounge piece is your favorite and why?

I love my 10 to 12 baby pieces. I have quite a few favorites, my cashmere sweater that I am always wearing, I love that it's cozy, easy for breastfeeding, it's so soft, and a perfect go too for a new mom. I also love that I can wear it afterwards just as a cute sweater after nursing. It's a perfect neutral piece to have in my closet. Now for my baby girl, I am obsessed with the shoes, I love the styles, the colors, the texture, the craftsmanship all of it. Plus, the little toy that comes with the outfit to match, is so cute! Both my girls play with it, it's so soft and adorable and it matches the cozy soft pajamas!! 

How do you create a sense of "home" for your children when you travel?

When it comes to travel, we always bring white noise because both our girls sleep with that. For our toddler, we bring her favorite food and snacks so she feels at home, as well as a few toys to play with. We try to bring things that comfort her and that she loves having at home. As well as her own animal she loves to sleep with and her blanket.

Follow Ali on Instagram @alilevinedesign

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