Mama of the Moment: An Interview with Cristina Toff
Posted on April 05 2019
Mom To: (Names and Ages of children) Noam (3.5 years) and Ira (5 months)
Current Projects you're working on: I just recently redesigned and launched cristinatoff.com and am working on The Motherhood Common, a virtual space for prenatal and postpartum support and resources.
How do you take care of yourself outside of motherhood? It took me a long time to get to the point where I realized this was something I needed to do, but I hit rock bottom about a year after my first son was born and realized, at that point, that this needed to be a priority. Now, I have self-care non-negotiables. I see a therapist weekly. I take medication to manage my depression and anxiety. I move - every single day - whether it's going to a spin class or taking a long walk. And I listen to my body - I respect it and give it what it needs, whether that's a nap, a cookie, or a few kind words. Taking care of myself outside of motherhood is a work in progress, but the overarching theme of it is love, respect, kindness and patience.
Every mother needs to find balance, what does your village look like ? Ah, that elusive balance! My village is a mix of a lot of different people and specialties - each filling a different role in my world. I have my family - my sister and mom - who give me unconditional support and love. I have my friends, who provide emotional support and levity during tough times. I have my therapist, who gives me unbiased feedback and tools to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. I have my babysitter, who provides me with important alone time. I have my husband, who is my equal, my partner, and the person I navigate all of life's high highs and low lows with. I have my toddler's preschool, who gives him a nurturing environment and comfort knowing that he's in good hands during the day when he's not with me. It is - truly - a massive, collective effort and I am so incredibly grateful for each and every person who is a part of it.
What are you working on improving about yourself as a woman and mother? Becoming more self-aware is something that I've been working on for a long time, so now I'm much more aware of what needs improvement than I used to be. There are a lot of things I need to improve upon, but I'm aware that improvement happens over time and best with a kindness about it. So, right now, I'm kindly, gently, respectfully working on improving my time management. I find myself regularly mindlessly scrolling my phone or excusing myself 'just one more minute' to do something. I say 'hold on' to my toddler too frequently. On any given day, I have a thousand things on my to-do list, but I'm working on being smarter about prioritizing, being kinder to myself about not having to get everything done and being more respectful of my boundaries so that I can reduce the tug of war feeling I so often have as a work-for-myself-from-home mom.