HGTV's Egypt Sherrod talks pandemic parenting: 'Now I have to be the more disciplined, patient mom'

HGTV's Egypt Sherrod opens up about parenting three daughters and creating a mindful space for herself. (Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Cost Plus World Market; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
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Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life's parenting series on the joys and challenges of childrearing.

Fans know Egypt Sherrod as the host of HGTV's Flipping Virgins, but to her three daughters she's just Mom. Sherrod knows that to be the best mom, she has to take care of herself. "I started feeling a little overwhelmed with everything," she tells Yahoo Life about the adjustments made at the beginning of the pandemic. Her home office had turned into a virtual classroom for her kids, and she realized she needed to find another room in the house to call her own. "I needed a space where I could sit down, breathe, meditate and write, even if it was just for a few minutes a day," she shares.

So she put on her home space expert hat, and turned a closet in the back of the family's laundry room into what she calls a "meditation haven."

"I utilized all of the Command Brand products — like their picture ledges, their hooks, to create this space," says Sherrod, who is now partnering with Command to help others turn a small space in their home into their own private at-home retreat. Consumers can enter for a chance to win a small space makeover — which features $5,000 and an assortment of Command Brand products, as well as a virtual design consultation with Sherrod —by entering to win at from now until April 23. "I want to encourage everyone to find a space just for them in their house," she says.

Sherrod spoke with Yahoo Life about finding that space for herself, parenting in a pandemic and her tips for how to make a home both stylish and kid-friendly.

The meditation room Sherrod created in a storage closet. (Photo: Derek White)
The meditation room Sherrod created in a storage closet. (Photo: Derek White) (Derek White)

We've all been in our homes for so long now because of the pandemic, and it can feel like there's nowhere new to go. But you found a tiny space to make your own with your meditation haven.

It really is a small closet, but it's a whole new world in here when I close the door. That's all we really need. Hopefully what this does is inspire everybody to just find a closet or small space, wherever they are in their apartment or their house, that they can utilize.

You know what the really popular thing is right now? "Cloffices," people utilizing closets as offices because you can close the door on all your mess at the end of the day and give yourself a sense of discipline. You open the door in the morning and it's time to work, you close the door and work is over. I think that's what we're missing: those defined lines, because everyone is just working around the clock right now, because everything is virtual.

The other thing is you can turn your your bathroom into a whole spa sanctuary. You can use some of the Command Brand hooks and hang some eucalyptus or lavender in there. When you turn the hot water on with all of that steam, can you just imagine? So there are really cool things that we can utilize our space for.

Have you found at all that your parenting style has changed during the pandemic?

I have a whole new level of appreciation for teachers. I found the thing that I'm just not great at is being a teacher. I love my children more than anything on this earth, but there is a reason why there is school. I'm getting better at it. I'm having more patience and learning what works and what doesn't work. But my parenting style [has changed]. Before it was "I'm the cool, fun mom"; now I have to be the more disciplined, patient mom.

What would you say is the best part of having three girls?

I have a 19-year-old in college, I have a 9-year-old and I have a 2-year-old. The 9-year-old and the 2-year-old I gave birth to, but the 19-year-old I've raised since she was 2. They're all my babies, but they all need very different things from me. I'm a girl mom. I love doing all the fun things. I love doing the nails. I love doing the hair, they cuddle. And I know that with my three girls, I'm going to have three best friends until I'm gone from this earth. We take care of each other.

And the hardest part of being a mom to girls?

They talk back. Girls have got to get that last word in — even my baby, my 2-year-old. She's in the mix, she has to get the last word.

What design hacks do you like to incorporate into kids' bedrooms?

Storage. I don't care what room you're in, you can never have too much storage. What I like to do is design up. Many people will have dressers, and drawers, and storage bins, and then you've got all this empty wall space. So I love the option of creating shelving up high, sort of like a train that goes around the top, underneath the molding, that gives you space to put banks or stuffed animals or books or what have you, or creating floating shelves... A tip for everyone is to create more storage and fully utilize your space. Think about organizing up, vertically.

How do you juggle your career and your family and keeping yourself aligned? How do you keep it all going?

When you work from a space of gratitude it helps you to keep everything in perspective. For me, I really start my day in this meditative space and I think about all of the amazing things that I have in my life. It may not be perfect, things may not have come with a big red bow on them, but what I do have I am so grateful for. That allows me to go throughout my day with a spirit of joy. I think that when you're a happy person, people want to be around you; opportunities are attracted to you instead of you having to work for them all the time. So that's how I start my day.

Also, I just have this discipline. I actually created a program that is now a company with a 90-day alignment planner, Ignite Joy. Joy is not in the destination, it's in the journey. I didn't just put this planner out, it was the practice that I've done for years. I sit down and not only do I create my intentions— which are like your daily things to do, all the crazy things that you've got to do in a day — but also my alignment checklist, which is to make sure that in my mind, body and soul I am balanced and that I'm doing things for my vessel that keep me alive. Because if I'm not good for myself I'm not good for anybody.

What do you do then if you find that you're out of alignment?

I do have rough days, just like everybody. What I tend to do if I feel like, "well, you know, it's just one of those days" is I tend to be still. When we do things and we take action that's not intentional is when we can mess things up. We can mess up relationships, we mess up opportunity. So I'll be still until the day has passed. Just take it on the chin, do something for the kids instead if things are not working out in my favor, and I'll approach the new day the next morning.

Thinking about your daughters and thinking about when they aregrown up and starting their adult lives and careers, what advice would you give as they begin that journey?

Number one, always be your authentic self. We get in trouble and start to lose ground when we're trying to be all things to all people and not answering to ourselves. What makes you happy?

And then truly, do what you love and the money will come. How many times you have heard that? And we don't listen because we just think it's an old adage. But the truth is, when you do what you love, what makes your soul sing, what makes your heart happy, the money will come, it will follow. Why? Because you tend to do it more because you enjoy it so much, you tend to perfect it, you tend to master it, you tend to get creative. Even if you're spending endless hours and days working on the things that you love, it doesn't seem like work. So yes, the money will follow.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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