Samantha Wilde is the author of two books about mothering, I’ll Take What She Has and This Little Mommy Stayed Home. She’s a full-time at-home mother of three young children as well as an ordained minister and a Kripalu yoga teacher. So when does she find time to write? “Nap-times and night time,” says Wilde.
I caught up with Samantha Wilde for the following short interview:
Q: You wrote a book about motherhood and envy; did you have to research it for years?
A: You wouldn’t believe the interviews I conducted for this book. Because, um, I’ve never been envious in my life! Truthfully, I did do a little bit of research about the psychology of envy, but I had plenty of personal experience to draw from. I like to say, show me a woman who’s never envied, and I’ll show you a mannequin. Mothers don’t often talk about the benign envy they feel for one another — an edgy kind of admiration — because it can mean admitting the struggles of mothering and our own amazingly imperfect way of doing it.
Q: How much are these books and characters based on your real life?
A: I tell people if I wrote a book about my real life it wouldn’t be a comedy, it would be a tragedy! But then, I like to joke. The plots of both novels have very little resemblance to my actual life — especially since I live in a castle with a king and a staff of eighty. The emotional experiences, however, come very much from my real life, from what I know as a mother and a wife and a friend and a daughter. I kind of like to fancy myself every character in the books; it helps me understand and have compassion for each of them.
Q: What are the three best yoga poses to do while nursing?
A: Side-lying savasana, naturally! When I figured out how to nurse lying down, I essentially never got up again. Once, when I had a terrible case of mastitis, I read in my breastfeeding bible that you can sometimes clear up the blocked duct by nursing on all fours — bent elbows — with the baby below you. Just don’t let your British mother-in-law walk in on you while you’re doing this as it’s quite hard to explain. If you aren’t into those, how about cow-face pose? Everyone needs a hip-opener. Forget about the arms and nurse the baby on the side opposite to the top knee; when you’re ready to nurse on the other side, put your other knee on top.
Q: Do men read your books?
A: Men find my books irresistible! Of the five men who’ve told me how much they love my novels, one was a journalist who wrote an article about me. That piece is probably my favorite critical exploration of This Little Mommy Stayed Home. He got it. He really got it. He got the novel, he got the whole ordained minister writes opening paragraph about the postpartum vagina thing. How awesome!
Q: Where do you stand on cloth diapers?
A: I never stand on them. I’ve cleaned them for seven years, but I have never once stood on them. Is that some ancient yogic trick you learned somewhere Brian?
Q: Can you sum up your first book, This Little Mommy Stayed Home, in three words?
A: Best Postpartum Novel (Ever)
“Mothering is the most important work I do, and I use it as a spiritual practice, an education, a teacher, a study. In my novels I’ve written about many things–marriages, friendships, identity, family–but I have written largely about the emotional experience of motherhood because nothing is closer to my heart.”
About Brian Leaf
Brian Leaf is author of the yoga memoir, Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness. You can find him online at www.misadventures-of-a-yogi.com.