My Life is a Beach
Three years ago, Elisha Beach experienced an ordinary mom moment— she stepped away to use the restroom and her toddler followed her.
Upon finding mommy sitting on the toilet, the 11-month old girl walked toward Beach, reached up to her breast and latched on.
Beach’s husband, who was nearby, snapped a photo of the mother-daughter encounter and Beach shared the photo on social media.
“This is motherhood and it ain’t always pretty,” she wrote in the photo’s caption. “What’s your #momtruth?”
The photo of Beach nursing her daughter while sitting on the toilet went viral. Only hours after posting, it had been shared hundreds of thousands of times.
“A friend of mine e-mailed and said, ‘your photo is trending on Reddit’,” Beach remembers.
The image sparked debates and garnered criticism. The spotlight also brought many sympathizers who offered Beach an overwhelming amount of support.
Moms all over the world commended her for sharing her mom truth so candidly. A few days later, she was interviewed for NBC’s The Today Show and the UK’s Daily Mail gave the story wide coverage reposting comments and citing Beach’s response to the attention. Many other media outlets that found her post provocative shared it as well.
With the onset of encouragement, Beach started reflecting— If so many people were reacting to her photo— then perhaps she was meant to help other women open up and speak out about motherhood.
“I wanted a place for women to feel community,” says Beach. “I wanted to talk about what motherhood is really about…and not about how fabulous you can look while raising kids but the nitty gritty of it.”
In 2017, she launched The Mom Forum followed by The Mom Forum podcast.
This Saturday, November 3, The Mom Forum will present “The Mom Self-Care Workshop,” a day-long event designed to offer Los Angeles area moms an opportunity to focus on themselves with carefully selected speakers and workshops.
Those in attendance will also receive a Mom Selfcare Planner designed by Beach to help them manage expectations and deliverables at home and elsewhere.
“I realize a problem that a lot of women have is Super Mom Syndrome,” says Beach. “I’m saying let’s see all the things on your to-do list…and let’s create a contract with ourselves.”
A mother of eight
Beach lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband and their four kids.
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Beach moved to Los Angeles in the height of her professional dancing career. She was dating her husband Michael, a guy she’d met in New York who had relocated to Los Angeles due to his acting career. She later married Michael and became a stepmom to his four kids from his previous marriage.
Beach also landed a job as a dance educator where she would help create overlays for school dance programs based on her own dance courses.
“I eventually became a strategic planner, where I would help the schools implement long term arts education plans,” she recalls.
By the time Beach had her first child in 2010, she was working with the L.A. County Arts Commission to help improve arts education in non-profit organizations and school districts in L.A. County. At that time, she became a stay-at-home mom but continued offering consulting services.
In 2014 and 2017 she delivered two more children and in 2015 she and her husband gained legal custody of a family member. They are now in the process of adopting him.
“My life is crazy,” she remembers thinking to herself. “So what am I going to do to help me?”
Small changes big results
With so much going on at home and her husband gone during weeks at a time for film projects, Beach realized personal changes were needed in order to give herself a chance to release stress.
“I started getting up before my kids so I could have some quiet time before the day started,” she says. “It changed the mornings just like that!”
Then she began asking herself: How am I really spending my time? What are things that I do have time for? How much time am I spending zoning off on my phone?
“I remembered I missed reading and doing things just for me. So I placed books in the bathroom and every morning when I get up, I use the toilet and pick up a book,” she says.
So far this year, she’s read nearly 15 books.
Beach also implemented other activities like freeing up space on her kitchen counter to build Jigsaw Puzzles while the coffee brews or while she’s cooking a meal and the kids are doing their homework.
“it’s a mindless stress-releaser,” she says.
But it’s working for her. In a house full of busy schedules, appointments and small kids with constant demands, Beach maintains a cool demeanor.
Her podcast has remained consistent and continued gaining popularity and she still finds time to host mommy events, even if means inviting women over to her house to support one another.
“My thing is just being super honest about motherhood.”
Connect with Elisha!
Website: The Mom Forum