Mom of multiples, including 3 sets of twins, author, fertility and wellness expert, and Mindful Mom of Many Josephine Atluri inspires us to stay calm and balanced.
Josephine Atluri believes there is no one right way to create a family. After struggling with infertility for years, Josephine has a house full of joy. She is a mother of seven children, including three sets of twins, who came to her through IVF, adoption, and surrogacy. Raising seven children is not always easy, but Josephine's background as a meditation and mindfulness expert helps her maintain a calm household and stay present no matter how chaotic life becomes.
Before becoming a parent, Josephine attended the University of Chicago then spent many years consulting for Fortune 500 companies and private clients. However, her true passion is total wellness, and Josephine decided to follow her heart and become a certified meditation teacher. Josephine found a way to merge her corporate background with her desire to help everyone live a calmer, more balanced life and uses her business background to teach corporate mindfulness sessions. Because of the unique way Josephine created her family, she is also a highly sought-after fertility and parenting mindfulness coach
In her book: Mindfulness Journal for Parents: Prompts and Practices to Stay Calm, Present and Connected, Josephine provides parenting tips, techniques, and resources to help all parents use mindfulness to be more present (to their kids and themselves) and maintain their cool when chaos happens. She also hosts a popular podcast, “Responding to Life: Talking Health, Fertility, & Parenthood,” where she interviews guests on their inspiring responses to life’s challenges.
Which three words best describe your style? My fashion style is well-intentioned effort.
What are your favorite places to shop? Nordstrom for everything my family needs for clothes but especially their shoe selection. Just the right amount of displayed items on the floor so as to not overwhelm me, which turns me off from shopping. Intermix for the latest in my fave women's brands to keep this mama looking on point on the rare occasions I feel up to dressing up! Target is my jam. I have spotty cell service inside my local one. So it's a perfect mix of getting away from it all plus access to many things that I don't really need!
What food trend should NEVER make a comeback? Hmmm...I love most food preparations, but I'm not a fan of deep-fried items, especially now that we have an air fryer. So let's say deep frying.
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos? Above the knee jean shorts, acid wash
What’s your best style secret? Nothing beats fake lashes, mascara, eyeliner, and concealer, all done while drinking coffee. Trust me - from a mom of 7 who needs to take pictures often!
Stilettos or flats? Gurrrrl, stilettos, please. Any day, all day.
Who’s your favorite culinary icon? Julia Child because she was a wonderful mix of old-school cooking and fem power. I remember her passing by me during cooking school as she was a guest speaker that day, and I just melted like butter on a hot biscuit. And then there's Gordon Ramsey. My teenage son adores him, and I admit so do I. I love that we watch his shows together, and there's something about how he can tell someone off so artistically but then be so kind in some other scenes of his show.
What’s your best cooking advice? Don't be afraid to try new things - ingredients, cuisines, cookbooks. It's the adventure of trying new things that you discover what you like and don't like. And it opens up your world to so many new things. When I was a newbie cook in restaurants, I would get a little flutter inside my stomach seeing new things and right before I got to try them. More often than not, I was so thrilled to have done so.
What's your most essential cooking appliance or utensil? My toaster oven - quick, versatile, multi-purpose ( I think I just gave you three words that described me as an individual!! ha!)
What's an underrated food/meal idea that people should try? Crockpot dishes - your multitasking enabling meal
What’s your favorite cookbook? Three-way tie: Barefoot Contessa - Saveur Cooks series - Flour
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Playing a board game or just hanging out at home in the yard together.
What’s been your best family vacation?
I'd have to say our pre-COVID one to Montana was so much fun. Granted, our four-year-old broke his wrist during the trip, and there were a few days when our house rental didn't have running water, but that's kind of how our family operates. We make lemonade out of lemons and try to instill resilience and optimism as much as possible. So the kids took those bad moments of the trip, turned them into memorable moments, and had a fantastic vacation in big sky country.
What’s your favorite family restaurant?
I went to the Culinary Institute of America in New York to receive an Associates' degree in culinary arts in one of my earlier lives. So many people think that my kids would have refined tastes, but kids will be kids, and mac n cheese is still the hands-down favorite here. When we were still living in Boston, my older three kids were little, and there were a ton of Panera Bread restaurants. We would frequent them often because of the mac n cheese and other goodies. Now that we are living in Los Angeles, there aren't any around us, so when the kids see one during long drives, there's no question that we have to stop and eat there. I'd say that makes it our family's favorite restaurant!
What’s your go-to family dinner? Anything with ground turkey. It's so easy to turn into any number of dishes, from sloppy joes to spaghetti sauce to shepherd's pie.
Best parenting advice: Let go. Not just when they turn 18. Learn to let go of the expectations that you had going into parenthood of what you had planned for your child and be flexible so they can grow into their own identity. And slowly, over the years, learn to let go of the protective barrier you've created around them so they can continue to flourish into the amazing individuals they're destined to become. It's a tough lesson that you continually have to learn. I've applied my training in meditation and mindfulness to help me grow with my children. This is also one of the strategies I mentioned in my new book, "Mindfulness Journal for Parents."
Parenting true confession: Sometimes, I feel defeated. And I've learned that it's okay to have and honor our emotions versus dismissing them. I'll have my moments or even days where I'll allow myself to be in this space. And then, I'll use one of my tried and true mindfulness strategies to pivot from a state of negativity to one of positivity.
What are your best tips for dealing with picky eaters? Have your kiddos try a bite of something they've not tried before or don't like before they can eat the other food they would rather eat. Another guiding principle in our household is that we always try things and stay open-minded. When they're little, it can be hard, but if you stick with it while they are small, it makes it easier to get them to try new things when they get older.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?
Currently, I'm catching up on The Crown. But I could binge-watch a number of old shows I've seen before like Seinfeld, Jane the Virgin, and so many more!
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? I love Ali Wong and think she'd be great in portraying me in a film. She could infuse some humor into what I think can be a pretty crazy, funny life.
What song would you dance to when nobody’s watching? I feel behind the times saying this, but if I had time, I'd learn the TikTok dance to Savage as I never hopped aboard that train!
If you could eat a meal with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?
I love this question so much because I've never been asked this question. Usually, people ask you about your favorite cuisine. But this is a great way to learn what people like to eat in a more interesting way! I'd love to eat with the Egyptians back in the days of the pharaohs. I'd love to eat with the Chinese emperors to see how royal Chinese food differs from what we see in America. And I would have loved to have been James Beards' protégé so I could eat his food and that of the company that he kept.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
Many countries I have yet to see. But I feel inclined to visit Antarctica because it is the last continent I need to visit to have been to all of them.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?
Having one of my one-month-old twin babies sleeping on my belly while curled up next to my husband watching a show.
We love how Josephine is on a mission to help other parents use the same meditation and mindfulness techniques she uses to cope with chaos in her full household! Her book, Mindfulness Journal for Parents: Prompts and Practices to Stay Calm, Present, and Connected, contains simple ways to build habits to stay calm and work through the more stressful parenting moments and stay connected to your kids. We think it's great that Josephine is willing to share her tips and tricks with parents everywhere!
And for more classy and fabulous moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp’s Mom on the Street.