#CULTIVATECALM Spotlight on Angela Sutherland
First names & ages of your little ones:
Elodie (4.5), Ronan (2.5)
We are huge fans of your science-based early childhood meal delivery program. Tell us about your mission and how Yumi came to be:
It wasn’t always an intention of mine to run my own business; my background was actually in private equity helping other people manage and build companies! The idea for Yumi was inspired by my own experiences as a new parent. When I had my first child, I did a great deal of research on all the steps I should be taking to have a healthy pregnancy, as well as how I could continue to nourish my baby after delivery. I came across this landmark study around the “First 1000 Days” (a period of life from in utero to age 2) which scientists have identified as the most important time in a person’s life in terms of nutrition.
Introducing your baby to solids is such an important milestone, and yet, when I looked at what was available at the grocery store that were marketed as a "healthy" baby food, everything was overly processed, full of fructose, and had been sitting on a shelf for months. Not to mention, the flavors are quite unappealing (....beef stew in a jar? No thanks).
In this day in age where adults can order virtually any type of fresh cuisine to their doorstep in less than an hour, I saw a massive opportunity in the marketplace for something designed just for babies; a freshly prepared, gourmet, nutritionally-perfected baby food with the added convenience of being beautifully packaged and delivered right to you. Our mission from day 1 has been to raise the bar for baby food, and serve as a 360 degree support system for parents through community, content, and an elevated product.
As a successful entrepreneur & mom - what are some ways that you #cultivatecalm personally and with your family?
Because my work schedule is so jam packed, I’m definitely protective over the downtime I have with my family and try not to over-commit to outside activities, especially on the weekends. I try to keep things simple at home - you can usually find us cooking together, drawing, reading, doing puzzles, listening to music, etc. It’s easy to forget that our kids can easily get overwhelmed and energy-zapped during the week too. So, when we have some downtime together we keep things really low key, and I can sense that my kids really enjoy when we're able to relax together with no agenda.
What is one piece of advice you would give to mamas trying to balance motherhood and a career?
Firstly, I think we should all throw the idea of "perfect balance" out the window. As parents, everyone is working off of a different playbook and we're all doing the best we can. It's not constructive to compare yourself to others who seem to have it all together. Secondly, I believe having a strong community and support system is so important. Raising kids truly does "take a village", yet less and less millennial parents are able to live in close proximity to their own families. After you become a mom your kid(s) effectively turn your life upside down - and despite all the joy a child brings, parenthood can be a bit isolating at times. I would encourage women, especially new / first-time moms, to nurture some of the existing relationships in their lives who are authentic, positive and have their best interests at heart; and also lean into new friendships with other new moms who can understand and empathize with some of the hardships that come with having kids. I think there are so many mental + emotional health benefits to not only having good friends, but also being a good friend.
What does being mindful mean to you?
To me, mindfulness means taking the time so show gratitude and appreciate what you have, even if it’s just a moment.
In today’s fast-paced world with constant stimulation and a 24/7 connection to social media, we’re living our lives at a lightning fast pace -- work, emails, travel, phone calls, family, more work -- the days really fly by and can leave us feeling scatterbrained.
I have made a conscious effort in recent years, especially after becoming a parent, to take a step back as often as I can and reflect on the little victories and special moments as they happen. I don’t think mindfulness means that you have to meditate for hours at a time; in my opinion it’s more about taking smaller, more frequent pauses during your day to recognize and appreciate what is happening in real time.
What is your favorite toy / activity in the Calm Mind Kit?
Hands down, the play dough. My kids could play with this endlessly, the color & texture are so soothing, and I love that it sparks so much creativity. But unlike the many other play doughs we have bought in the past, the guided exercises outlined in the beautifully designed cards really take things to the next level. Also, bonus points for the fact that it’s made with natural / healthier ingredients...That would make any mom happy!
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