Veena Goel Crownholm just happened to be a world champion baton twirler and Miss California all before she became a lifestyle influencer and Hollywood red-carpet staple. Talk about an all-American all-star!
As if that wasn’t enough, since becoming a mother, the UCLA alum teamed up with Erin Ziering to create The Millennial Mamas (TMM), a website dedicated to supporting mothers—as women, mamas, and individuals! TMM focuses on being an alternatative for today’s integrated mother who already has a slew of parenting sites to reference.
Read on to hear about how Veena came up with the idea, why she thinks it’s important for those in the maternal trenches, as well as her DIY hacks for going from workout… to mommy-and-me sessions… to girl’s night out!
SBS: How did you come up with The Millennial Mamas website?
Veena Goel Crownholm: Erin [Ziering} and I met via a mutual friend. Our husbands work out together, and we’re room parents together. Our kids are in the same class. We decided to merge our brands to do something more fun together. We wanted to create a new space with editorial content but without parenting advice. We hope to constantly remind our readers that there’s no judgment. Whether you’re working or not, we offer an open space that supports women. We also throw events, whether it’s with mom influencers or for companies like Sony. We love hosting big events, and we have a celebrity mom dinner once a month. We hope to inspire women to be the best versions of themselves.
SBS: How do you find balance while juggling the site, motherhood, and appearances?
VGC: I’m not really sure balance exists in the way people think it does sometimes! It’s so personal. Part of that might be taking 45 minutes to work out, take classes, or walk the dogs on a hike. That helps you have a sharper, clearer mind. Life is unpredictable and life is hard. But even when I have a hard day, I try to focus on something positive. I’m a huge fan of being happy.
SBS: Why did you choose not to offer parenting advice on your site?
VGC: There are a lot of other websites with sage advice, and we wanted an alternative for women and moms. Every day we’re in the trenches of motherhood. Some days are easy and some days aren’t, and there are experts already who help with those issues. So, we want to remind women of being whole. There are other elements of finding yourself along with being a mother. There are moments to find your preferences, whether that’s getting a blow-out or through fashion and athleisure choices. We want to help women feel more whole.
SBS: What’s an unexpected part of motherhood?
VGC: All of a sudden, literally the moment you birth your child or become a mother, you check into a new space for the rest of your life. Often, you might feel like you’re not a good mom if you’re not being a mom 100 percent of the time. But in reality, you can still be a good mom even when you take time for yourself. Sometimes that just means giving yourself a moment, literally.
There was a time when I lost myself as a mother when I was dealing with potty training. But If I took five minutes just for me, even if it was just to put on my favorite workout outfit, I felt better. You see yourself as an individual in those moments… while still mom-ing it hard.
SBS: How has your self-care routine changed since having kids?
VGC: During my pre-mom lifestyle it was working out 45 minutes a day. But when I had Eddie, I took mommy-and-me classes, and prioritizing even just a little time for myself was key. As tired as I am at night, a nighttime ritual of a cup of tea after my kid goes to bed is so important. Or, even after you’ve had a child, taking the time to care about your look can change your outlook. Take time for a girl’s night out, even if that’s just an hour. What makes you smile? Make sure you do that!
SBS: What’s your advice for starting a community similar to the one you shaped through your site?
VGC: You have to put yourself out there and start connecting. You won’t always get yeses, but keep going. Our first event, we didn’t know if we would have a lot of people there or not, but we built relationships in a social space in the last few years.
Moms are always craving a community, so just put an event in the books. They start to get easier once you start going. You might only have three people at your first event, but maybe the next time you’ll have five! Always be inclusive and non-judgmental
SBS: How do you use social media to a positive effect?
VGC: I think social media should be used for two things: to push yourself to be the best you can be and helping define elements you can improve. You can grow from this. And secondly, I think it’s helpful in inspiring others—not influencing, per se. A lot of times you’ll see yoga and Pilates poses, but when I post things like that, I want to offer progress, not perfection. I’m not a Pilates instructor. I’m a girl who enjoys and practices Pilates and yoga. I’m continually striving to get better, and that’s what I’m showing. I post a lot of pictures of working out or hiking with my family, hoping I remind people to get out and get moving.
But I’m also into listening to my body. I have a herniated disc. Sometimes I’ll hike half a mile and my back hurts. So I’ll turn around, and that’s ok. You try it again another day.
SBS: What are some tips for quick-change looks, especially after a workout?
VGC: I love a messy topknot, and I always carry a bright red lipstick. It’s a one-second makeover. I’m a big fan of dry shampoo and cleansing cloths. I also rely on framing the face with an eyebrow pencil. You can also learn how to braid, which is great after a workout or before a lunch. You can braid your hair in the car!
SBS: What clothing items help you maintain a seamless look throughout your day?
VGC: I always have a great pair of black workout shoes and a black moto jacket. I’m also a big fan of booties. You can still wear a baby carrier with block heels or wedges.
Veena’s Cali Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Earth Bar
Splurge Restaurant: Blue Ribbon Sushi
Fitness Studio: WundaBar Pilates
Yoga Studio: Y7
Nightlife Spot: The Grove
Athleticwear: Sweaty Betty, Beloforte, Wear It To Heart
Athletic Shoes: Brooks and Nike
Books: The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights From Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Calming Activity: A cup of tea, long hike, or a Thai massage
Fun Activity: Rockhounding and having fun at the beach
Veena’s SBS Mantra: Be Kind is my fave! Being kind is something I think about many times during my day because there are so many ways to practice it; it’s one of the top qualities I hope to instill in my son. Be kind with your actions, be kind with your words, and be kind with your thoughts.
Being kind with your thoughts is something I have to remind myself of. It’s easy to relay a story with negativity or complain without thinking and spread negativity to another. So consciously avoiding not-so-kind thoughts in my day is something I’m working on and seeing how much lighter my mood and heart feel.