Sazan Hendrix has 1M+ Instagram followers and along with her husband Stevie, hosts a popular podcast, “The Good Life.” The couple leans into the idea of finding joy in simplicity, something they focus on in their podcast as well as their new book A Real Good Life: Discover the Simple Moments that Bring Joy, Connection, and Love.
Sazan mused in an anniversary post: “What are the chances a first generation Kurdish American girl born in Nashville meets a freckly blue eyed boy from Maryland?” Eight years later, the two college sweethearts are raising three kids in Austin, Texas: 5-year old daughter Valentina, 2 1/2-year old daughter Amari, and almost 3-month old son Oliver.
Sazan and Stevie are urging parents to do the one thing that feels most elusive these days: slow down. Jumping off the hamster wheel of striving and looking inward on the family they’ve built has made all the difference for their family—and they hope it will for yours, too.
Congratulations on the birth of your third baby! How are you making sure to create time with each child and each other?
Aw, thank you! I wish I could tell you that I have the perfect formula of a pie chart down in terms of how I divide my time to give each of my children equal parts of me, but the reality is mom life is a wild roller coaster, where it’s inevitable to feel like you’re always coming up short in one area. Some days, I feel like I’ve accomplished the world and I’m feeling like the “best mom” lifting up my kids, and other days, I’m drowning and needing to give myself more grace.
My children have challenged me to take more five-minute detours in my day to sit with them. To not feel like every expression of love is this larger-than-life Instagram moment. It’s that every new day is exactly that: a new day that I get to press restart and try all over again despite what yesterday looked like. Stevie and I schedule our time together…when you have three kids, putting that pen to paper and locking it in the calendar (even if it’s just for this season) really helps us keep the most important thing the most important thing.
What’s the indication for you that your marriage must come front and center again, and what does reconnecting look like for you?
We have this visual like if we’re supposed to be the fountain for our kids to drink from and learn from and love from, then if we’re not good, that fountain becomes toxic, and they’ll have to look elsewhere to get a drink. We are the most important example of love in their lives right now and our relationship is modeling to them what a relationship is and what that looks like and feels like. So, we have realized we have to keep our marriage strong and being strong believers in our faith, we have to stay tethered to God in both the good and bad seasons of our lives. We have to keep watering the seed that is ultimately the foundation for our children and also continue to date each other. It gets challenging the more kids you have, but we’re learning that we must be a little more intentional with our time and checking in with each other constantly to make sure we are ALL good.
Your upcoming book A Real Good Life is particularly relatable to moms who are perpetually working for the good of our families, often overscheduled and running ragged. Tell us more about the goal of genuine happiness in an everyday existence.
It’s easy to end every day and make a list of all the things you did wrong—am I right? But when’s the last time you ended the day listing out all the things you did right? It’s easy to be our own worst enemy and drown in the guilt that mom life sometimes makes us feel, but I want to encourage every mom to see the beauty today. To seize life in this moment. On the busy days. The mundane days. The glorious days. The meltdown days. It’s all good. The goal for genuine happiness is to love where you are right now, despite not being where you want to be.
In marriage, compromise can sometimes sound like a difficult or even negative word, but you praise compromise as a pillar of your marriage. Why?
Marriage is teamwork. We hear that a lot, and what does that mean to us? It means that there’s days when 50/50 looks more like 80/20 or 10/90. It’s this idea that some days I need you more than you’ll need me and vice versa. It’s stepping up to the plate for that person when you need to take a time out in the dugout. It’s learning to see each other’s strengths and champion each other out of our weaknesses instead of beating each other up. There are healthy ways to argue and if you struggle with this, just picture a class of 5-year-olds in the room watching you. How we communicate with one another and do this life together side by side all matters when we are talking about our real good life. Don’t be quick to anger, listen to each other and never go to bed mad at one another.
Mothers look at you and see you doing a lot. How do you manage being a present mother and a successful entrepreneur?
I like to believe and hope that these same women also see the daily hot mess side of me, too. I used to think that running a house, raising kids, and propelling a business meant that I needed to have it all perfectly laid out and scheduled and structured. My favorite pastor Rick Warren says it best: “Don’t worry about the perfection of your heart, instead focus on the direction of your heart.” The most important thing as a mom and entrepreneur has been learning to say no when I need to and giving myself grace when I need it. Everything else will work itself out. Focus on your peace and sanity.
Sazan, what keeps you focused and calm in the inevitable moments of chaos at home?
When I’m having one of those days, and if you’re a mom YOU KNOW what I mean by those days…whether it’s a mental fog or coming to the end of myself and feeling exhausted, uneasy, and so overwhelmed that you actually don’t even know what you need? Well, I reset myself with a good sweat. Working out for my mental health has been the hidden blessing that fuels me back up. Some days, that’s asking my husband to step in so I can go for a 30-minute slow walk and other days it’s leaving the premises and sitting in my car outside the gym scrolling through TikTok videos laughing my butt off until my pre-workout kicks in. It’s the simple act of escaping for me…time that makes me encourage other moms to find those secret places you can tuck away into that put your soul at rest and are a good charging station to reconnect and then back to life we go.
“A Real Good Life” is out on October 10. For more about Sazan and Stevie visit sazan.me/press.