Welcome to Marvelous Mom Monday. I am excited to get this series started. As a mom of toddlers, I’m always looking for advice from other moms. I wonder what their days are like. Am I doing this right? Should I be doing this?
My hope is that with this series us moms will become friends (even if it’s just through social media or blogging) and share what keeps us going on the hard days and what makes our families so special.
I am happy to say that I have had so much interest in this series that I will be featuring two mommies each week. First up is Monica. She has a wonderful blog called Taking Back Monday that is dedicated to promoting self-care for women.
one | Can you give me a little background info about yourself/your family?
My name is Monica and I am originally from Illinois, but I moved to the Southern California area ten years ago. At the time, I had a background in finance, but somehow ended up working as a News Researcher for a television show. For the first time in my life, I understood what it was like to have passion for your career. Years later I met and married my husband, who was self-employed in Orange County. Once we started a family, I left the workforce to stay home with my little ones, which I’ve found to be both rewarding and challenging! My children are 4 and 2, and I also have a stepson who is 12.
two | What is the best part about being a mom?
Those snuggles, of course! And something else I have recently been able to put into words – that motherhood stretches me in ways I never thought possible. It has molded me into someone who constantly strives for patience. I have learned to give up so much control, and to fully let go of perfectionism. I know this lesson serves me well not only as a mother but as a wife and person too.
three | Tell us something really special about your child/children.
My littlest guy is very in-tune with me. My girlfriend who is a therapist told me that we typically get one child who is very much attuned to us as mothers. That would definitely be my son. I have to watch closely, because if I am stressed, I notice he takes on that stress as well. He will unconsciously shadow my emotions. The first time I found this to be true is when my daughter was hospitalized last year for a scary staph infection. My son was almost more of a wreck than she was, yet when I was in the hospital with my daughter, I received pictures of him happy as can be from my sitter. Turns out, he probably just needed a break from me in those very hard moments where I couldn’t turn off my stress.
four | What is your biggest pet peeve as a mom?
My biggest pet peeve is probably all of the unsolicited advice I have received in the five years since becoming a mother. And all of the comparison that happens. I honestly didn’t know how big of a “thing” comparison was in the world of parenting. I don’t judge anyone, because I can’t even believe how hard motherhood can be!
five | What is the worst thing your kids have done?
My stepson is really a great, well-rounded kid and he hasn’t done anything too bad. My other two are pretty small, so I don’t think I can properly do this question justice. But what comes to mind is my 4-year-old telling me I’m an awful mother during an epic meltdown. Talk about heart-wrenching!
six | What is your biggest worry about your child’s/children’s future?
I worry the most about their happiness and their ability to be self-sufficient. I feel that my husband and I will do a good job, of course, in steering them in those directions, but I still think it is a fear for any parent. We live in a very different age than how I grew up, and I worry that this age of ‘helicopter parenting’ is doing such an injustice for kids.
seven | What are 3 words you hope your children will someday use to describe you?
M: Patient (ha, there’s that word again!), loving, and strong.
eight | What is a fun creative outlet for you?
After the birth of my second child, I was feeling a bit disenchanted with staying at home. So I started a blog as a way to keep up my writing and to connect with other moms. I love having this outlet, and realized it has actually made me enjoy being with my kids even more – just having something that is my own helps so much. I also have fun decorating my house, cooking new things, and experimenting with fashion and makeup!
9 | Do you have any daily habits that you consistently do?
I wish I could say that I had more, but these are big ones: keeping my thoughts positive and writing in a grateful journal. These practices help my mind stay on track so I don’t go down the slippery slope of self-pity during hard days (which can be any and every day as a mom).
ten | What is the last thing you bought yourself?
New Makeup Forever HD foundation at Sephora. Best foundation ever.
eleven| What is your favorite part of the day?
M: Well, it sounds bad, but my favorite part of the day is once the kids are asleep. That’s when my husband and I can connect with each other over dinner and wine while we wind down from our days. I know this connection is imperative for our marriage, which can only benefit our children.
twelve | What is your favorite Autumn dish?
M: It doesn’t count as a dish, but for sure a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks! And roasted butternut squash with rosemary and olive oil. And every food at Thanksgiving!
thirteen | What are some Fall family activities that you enjoy?
M: We live near the beach, so we still like to go down there even if it’s just for a walk or a run. We visit the standard pumpkin patches too, of course. This year we are adding apple picking to our list of things to do – I’m so excited!
fourteen | What are your favorite types of blogs?
M: I love any and all blogs! But I mostly follow cooking blogs, spiritual blogs, mom blogs and fashion/beauty blogs.
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