A typical day for Sara Haines, mom of three and co-host for The View, starts early. And like for many working moms, she’s in instant mom mode and then out the door. “My alarm goes off at 6:00am. I clean up and head downstairs to one or more kids who are in different stages of their own waking up process. I walk out the door at about 7 am,” says Sara. These early hours aren’t new to Sara (or most moms with little ones!). Previously, Sara worked as a correspondent for TODAY, ABC News and Good Morning America.
We spoke to Sara, who raises Alec (7), Sandra (5), and Caleb (3) with husband Max Shifrin in New Jersey, about the rest of her daily schedule, how she stays so fit despite busy days, what she loves (and dislikes) about The View, and more.
Okay – 6 am wake up and out the door by 7! What’s your day like after that when you’re on The View?
When I arrive at the studio, I get my hair and makeup done while gobbling down my breakfast (which is most often an egg white wrap and hot tea). Eventually my producer comes into my room to prep the topics that have been decided on.
We discuss my thoughts, and she rounds up stats and data, while fact checking anything I may need. The show is live at 11:00 am. Afterwards, I immediately take off my makeup and take any meetings I may have. Then I head back home. I try to sneak away (because my son is usually taking his nap) to squeeze in a workout or walk or whatever I can do to quiet my mind for the second part of my day.
When I am done, the kids start to stagger in. I love when I am home in time for a school or camp pick up (it isn’t often, so I never take it for granted). The kids eat an early dinner and then Max and I usually graze a bit. We get about a solid hour or so between dinner and bed, so we end up being the wait staff on perpetual snack duty.
We start bedtime about 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm and that remains a chaotic juggling act. We do the same routine of going to bathroom and brushing and then, if they aren’t goofing around, we do a couple of books and we exit. I’d gander that there are at least two to three call backs for some unforeseen emergency (like maybe a foot that is outside of the blankets, etc.)
Ha! Sounds extremely typical. What is your mom mantra?
My mantra is “good enough”. As a lifelong perfectionist, I never could have anticipated just how jarring having kids would be to any sense of control I thought I had in life. When I inevitably get overwhelmed, I often pause and think the phrase or even say it out loud. I have used it long enough that I have a bit of a Pavlovian response to it, and I usually settle down a bit.
Love that. You look amazing – how do you stay fit?
First off, thank you! I have been an athlete my entire life (through college and then well into my 20s), so I wouldn’t know myself without physical activity. But I have simultaneously struggled with my mental health at times, so that exercise has taken on a more important role. My movement every day (whether walking, running, lifting, etc.) is for the physiological benefits first and foremost.
I don’t really have a diet, but I am rigid during the week in focusing on fueling my body with whole real foods. Then when a weekend or occasion arises, I can indulge. The thing that has changed from my earlier (unhealthier) self is that by allowing myself that flexibility, I am not as all or nothing which set me up to fail.
How would you describe The Chase?
The Chase is so addictive. I had never seen it before I was asked to audition, so I binged the UK version and couldn’t stop watching. In addition to having the appeal of a Jeopardy, with all the crazy trivial knowledge, it has two timed rounds that make my heart race every single time.
What’s the best part of being on The View? And the most challenging?
The best part of The View for me has been an internal growth. I am the third of four kids and always played the peace keeping, people-pleasing, let-me-make-them-laugh role wherever I have gone. It took me some deep digging to really figure out what I thought about so many things. And then I had to learn how to share that confidently and concisely (still working on both).
The most challenging part has been the social media aspect. Even when you disagree with someone, if you stood face to face you would probably give them more grace in their explanation. The times we live in are like walking a plank. There is no nuance or attempt at understanding on many intense topics.
What do you look for in a mom friend?
Transparency. This is the hardest, most rewarding, and profound role I have ever had in my life. Often, that leaves me with a lot of self-critical thoughts, guilt, and impostor syndrome. I gravitate toward other people who understand that and offer comfort and comedy in their own circus.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten about motherhood?
My mom told me, when I my firstt child was an infant, that no one chapter or phase of motherhood defined a mother. I struggled with having a little baby and thought I would take to it naturally, as I had always loved babies. Those words gave me permission to be “good enough” along the way.