LA Mama, Sivan Ayla Richards, On New Motherhood, And The Benefits Of Raising Kids In The City Of Sunshine

The style-star and blogger, Sivan, jokes that if her pregnancy was a song lyric it would be, Came Through Drippin, by Cardi B. Herein the self-proclaimed “Valley Girl”, despite having lived all over the world from Israel to Hawaii, reflects on new motherhood, plus why she’s looking forward to raising her girl in LA. @sivanayla

What is your current state of mind?

A little neurotic. I just had my daughter two weeks ago, and I’m currently trying to juggle being a new mom, plus maintain a social life, and work. Although perhaps I should cut myself some slack and take a nap with my girl all day, however, it’s not my personality to sit still.

How is new motherhood?

Pure bliss. And unexpectedly so for me. Before having my baby, I wouldn’t consider myself a maternal person, and I was worried my instincts wouldn’t kick in! However, the second I held her, everything changed for me. My entire existence became about her, and now I can’t imagine life without her. It’s tough at times (not gonna lie!), but there’s something very fulfilling about taking care of another human—that you created! How weird do I sound?!?!

   

What is it like being an LA mom?

Well, TBH, I’m yet to venture out with my baby. I’m terrified. What if she starts to scream in public? I would be mortified (LOL). However, I imagine once we establish a good routine being an LA mom will be incredible! I plan to take her on hikes, bring her on shoots, and overall incorporate her into my daily life of being a blogger. I’m excited to share my LA life with her.

Most excited about raising a kid in LA?

Raising a kid in LA means tons of time outside. We have the best weather, so my girl will grow up at the beach but also have a taste of city life. There’s SO much to do here and will never be a dull moment.

What do you love most about LA?

The endless options. We have a little bit of everything—culture, art, people, entertainment, etc. I had such a versatile upbringing that living in LA somewhat allows my daughter to have something similar.

Cravings while pregnant?

I’m pissed I had zero cravings! I was looking forward to making my husband run out at 2 AM to get me some bizarre thing, but it never happened! He had it SO easy 😉 The only thing I consistently wanted, which isn’t anything different from when I’m NOT pregnant, is fresh cold fruit. I love the fruit stands all over the street corners in LA. If you haven’t had a cup of fresh fruit with lime, & Tajin for $6, you’re NOT living.

A regular day of eating is…?

Two eggs in the morning with avocado. Followed by a salad with chicken for lunch and a smoothie, with nuts, or fresh fruit for a snack. Dinner is always fish and veggies with grains such as quinoa, rice, or pasta. I eat a high protein diet, but since I’m active I also need more substance, so I allow myself carbs, too. After dinner, if I have a sweet tooth, I’ll have a Greek yogurt or a bit of dark chocolate. I’m all about balance—eat what you want in moderation, exercise regularly, and everything will be fine.

What was the first thing you ate post pregnancy?

A massive burrito! I wanted sushi desperately but saved that for a proper night out. After ten hours of labor, all I wanted was a greasy burrito and some iced hibiscus tea. It hit the spot.

    

What’s the funniest thing someone asked you about being pregnant?

Surprisingly, many people have asked if I’m farting a lot more! Not sure what the implication is, but the answer is NO! I have yet to fart in front of my husband, and no pregnancy will change that!

What was your go-to pregnancy style?

Bodycon dresses. I’m typically not a fan of tight clothing, but during my pregnancy, it was the most flattering way to dress. I’m short, so I needed some shape, and simple dresses did the trick.

Sex while pregnant?

For sure. I think my husband was scared of me towards the end, but I was determined to keep sex alive during my pregnancy. However, once I entered my ninth month things started getting tricky. Better yet, you don’t even want to know about us trying to induce me at 40 weeks pregnant through sex. That was not pretty (he’s going to kill me when he reads this).

What was your number one wellness secret throughout pregnancy?

Drink TONS of water. It helps with swelling, headaches, hydration, your skin, bowel movements, everything! Probably TMI, but so many pregnant women get constipated during pregnancy, and I never did! I take great pride in my regular bathroom schedule, and I entirely attribute it to my sufficient water intake.

What’s your beauty routine?

Only like 65 products! Kidding. Sort of. In the AM I rinse my face with water, use a rosewater spray, apply hyaluronic acid, under-eye cream, and tinted SPF. I then use a refrigerated facial roller with some chilled eye patches. At night I wash my face with an oil cleanser to remove my makeup, apply a face oil, under-eye cream and finish with a rich cream. Plus, I cover my entire body in the Hatch Mama Belly Oil because I love getting into bed like a greasy chicken and waking up looking & feeling like $100000000!

Did you work out throughout your pregnancy?

Absolutely. I worked out until two weeks before giving birth. I stopped boxing early on because the high impact was giving me headaches, but I worked out with my trainer twice a week and hiked on the weekends. I think keeping my core strength intact helped me push the baby out and ultimately made me feel incredible during my pregnancy.

If your pregnancy were a song lyric what would it be?

Haha Cardi B “Came Through Drippin.” However, for me, that would be SWEAT. I’ve been sweating for the last ten months and now postpartum I’m all but menopausal with the amount of sweating. I am very much looking forward to the day I don’t wake up twice every night to change my pajamas!

How did you feel about your body and boobs?

It was a tough transition for me. I’ve looked the same for most of my life, therefore seeing my body change was tough at first. Once my belly popped (around 6ish months), I started to feel better about myself and learned to accept my new body. Now, at two weeks postpartum I’m amazed at how my body knows what to do. I haven’t worked out yet, but I feel pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy body except with wider hips and new double D boobs—those are new for me, but I’ll take it while it lasts!

Tell us about your work, how you started at your blog and IG and what’s next?

I started my blog in 2011 as a creative hobby. I wasn’t looking to make money or have a career out of it, but around the time I got married in Greece people started to take more of an interest in my blog, and from that moment on I decided to give blogging a chance as my full-time job. It was a pretty significant risk, but I’m glad I went for it. I feel fortunate to be able to share my life with the world and call it my job. Plus, the perks of being a blogger aren’t half bad either. I have some pretty exciting things in the works for 2019—I can’t give too much away yet, but stay tuned for a product!

   

How have you taken maternity leave?

I allowed myself to relax for the first two weeks after having the baby, and enjoy being a new family with my husband. Of course, for me, posting on social media is part of my job, so I technically worked during the two weeks, but as far as accepting any brand partnerships I put all of that on hold. I didn’t have a plan for maternity leave, but I found myself itching to blog about my birth story and other postpartum things, so a few days after giving birth I was on my laptop writing posts. Writing doesn’t ever feel like “work” to me so getting back into a workflow hasn’t been too challenging. I think in the coming weeks I will start attending events again and resume working with brands. I need to get my bearings with a new baby girl.

Any advice about career, life or being a woman?

Find a balance. I’ve had a baby for two weeks and can already see how it can completely consume you/ your life. It’s essential for me to carve out time for things like work, happy hour with friends, date nights with my husband. As much as I LOVE being a mom, I want to make sure I don’t disconnect from my life before baby. I think she and I will both be happier that way. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Always try your best and be okay with the outcome. This is something I’ve had to work on, as I tend to be an overachiever, but now my priorities have shifted, and I’m learning to be okay with my new version of my best.

 

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