This Mom Reinvents What “Supermom” Means
Producer and entrepreneur Agatha Wasilewska Borrelli is equipped with a blueprint empowering moms to thrive, not just survive.
For those who navigate diapers, tantrums and school drop-offs while trying to carve out a moment for themselves, the terms “superwoman” or “supermom” have approached pressuring territory. The demand for moms to be a beacon of do-it-allness is crushing, and women are fighting back to eliminate negative self-talk and dismiss judgment. Agatha Wasilewska Borrelli, a powerhouse producer, twin mom and co-founder of We Are Multipled, shrugs off the figurative cape. Whether her secret weapon is a nanny, supportive spouse or squeezing in a stigma-free sweat sesh, she busts unrealistic expectations by tapping into a pragmatic mindset. In celebration of Mother’s Day, she shares how balance and community can keep you healthy and sane.
What was the first thing you thought when you were told you're pregnant with twins?
I was excited to be pregnant to begin with because I didn't know if that was going to happen. When that happened relatively easily, I was really just relieved since I was older and didn't know if we were going to get pregnant. I had always joked in my 20s that I wanted to have twins and I wanted boy/girl twins so I could just get it done, and then when it happened it was like, ‘Alright, let's do this’.
Why did you start your company, We Are Multipled?
I started We Are Multipled because shortly after I got pregnant I found out that I had two humans inside of me. And being the organized prepper and producer in my professional life, I immediately treated my pregnancy like a production job. I quickly realized that there was zero to no information out there on how to prep for twins, how to organize my house for twins, etc. I had to dig and basically find people who had twins and ask them for their advice. I saw an opportunity to create a holistic place where people can find that kind of information, but also connect with other parents and not feel alone because that was quickly what happened after our twins were born. I had friends around me who had single babies, and I immediately felt completely isolated from them because our experiences were so different on a daily to minute basis. Our goal is to provide increased community support, along with really preparing people for what's to come.
How important is community when you're raising multiples?
I think it's paramount. It's so important to be able to call another mom who has been in your shoes and have them fully relate – that sense of camaraderie and support makes it feel like you're not alone. A twin mom DM’d me the other day and said, ‘Oh my God, I’m feeding two babies solids at the same time, how many times a day do I have to clean the floor, it's like a warzone.’ She thought she was going to have to invest in stock [for mops]. I told her, ‘Go buy a painter's cloth and put it down underneath their high chairs every time they eat, and then fold it up and shake it out outside.” So it's these simple hacks that give you some time back in your life. That’s time you can be present with your children or put toward a workout or sit down and spend five minutes with your husband. You already feel like you're in a factory to a certain extent when they're little, so when you have those spaces of time, it's such a gift.
How do you ease back into your workouts and healthy living after giving birth?
It's a marathon not a sprint, and I think it really starts in pregnancy. It's about changing the mindset of what you are capable of doing and what your body is telling you you're able to do. It's tapping into that intuition and understanding there's a large amount of change that's happening physically. I had a C-section so I was cognizant of taking care of my body and allowing it to heal. I started with foundational breathwork to start to move the center of my body and allow my breath to kind of bring my organs back into place. I slowly started working into stuff that was going to ground and strengthen my body and not push myself too far. I started with basic yoga that was all about pulling the center of the body back together and breathing. I took it one day at a time: Sundays I would get on a spin bike and just pedal for a little while, some days it was just a couple Vinyasas and that was it. I tried to do something almost daily (even if it was for five minutes) just to get in tune with how my body was feeling, how my recovery was going, and more importantly, it just made me feel better. It felt good to breathe.
As you juggle two babies (and two careers), how do you squeeze in workouts throughout the week?
If it doesn't happen early in the morning for me, it probably won't happen at all - this is what I've learned through trial and error over the past couple years. Once I'm at my desk and I'm grinding, it's really hard for me mentally to just get up and go work out. It usually has to happen before the kids wake up, or I go directly after school drop-off and I mark out my calendar that I have a meeting. [My husband and I] have that agreement: he has his drop-off days and I have my days, so he can also do the things that he wants to do like getting in the water [to surf] early. A large part of what I think has worked for us as a partnership is really honoring that space to be able to give you the things that fill your cup, physically.
What workouts do you do?
We have a Rush Cycle spin studio here in Encinitas that I have fallen in love with during the pandemic, and they've moved all the bikes outside so I spin there about three days a week. The YMCA continues to be the bedrock of my existence, and I either spin there or I'll go into some of their hit classes that I really like. I'm also a huge fan of the Stone Steps stairs around the corner from us, which I call my snowboarding training to keep my legs strong.
Do you feel guilt when you leave your kids to work out?
No. They hold on to me like white on rice sometimes when I leave, and what my husband and I tell them is that we are doing this for ourselves and that we're going to come back and we're going to be happier and healthier. Working out and breathing and moving your body is good for your mind, and if my mind is happy, my body is happy, and I'm going to be a better mom.
Do your kids ever show interest in working out with you?
When I do workouts in the backyard, they wake up in the morning, come outside, get a yogurt and sit down. They wait for the sprints and runs, and they will chase me around the yard. When I do yoga, they will come find me and lay out yoga mats and do yoga with me (and climb on me). It is the coolest thing because I can hear them breathe, and I really think that when they feel the rhythmic breath of yoga it reminds them of being inside of me because I do yoga every day. So, monkey see, monkey do is very relevant – I think it's really important for kids to see their parents taking care of themselves.
How do you motivate yourself to exercise when you are exhausted?
That's a tough one. I think you have to honor your level of exhaustion and your bandwidth and choose something that is not going to bring you down further. It's got to be something that's going to bolster you to feel better. If it's just mental exhaustion and you need to be physically pushed out of that, that’s one thing, but if your body's physically tired there are days where I'm not gonna do any cardio, I'm gonna get on my yoga mat. I’m going to roll around and stretch and then do a 15-minute Shavasana, and to me that counts, because it depends on the functional movement that you're doing that is going to bolster and support you, not just, ‘How many calories can I burn today’.
Your life is all about the hustle. How do you ensure you stay healthy and energized, whether it's a long shoot day, or a long day with the kids?
I think it's really a combination of eating well on the days that are super long and drinking a lot of water. But more importantly as those days pass, recognizing that I need to build in time to either sit outside and read a book for an hour in the sunshine when the kids are at school, or take advantage of the nanny and just lie down on the couch and watch tv for an hour. It's allowing yourself the grace and acceptance that you don't always have to be doing something all the time. And those moments of taking care of yourself are equally as important (if not more) than folding laundry or doing the dishes. Sometimes you just have to chill out.
A thoughtful thing we can all do this Mother’s Day is help moms find their chill (or some chic workout clothes), and there’s no better time to celebrate the warriors in the child-rearing trenches. If you’re completely stumped on what to get her, we’ve selected gifts that will skyrocket you to favorite kid status.