I am married to the greatest husband and father in the world and we have a 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. I love being a mother and proudly wear my “mama” badge because it’s a big part of who I am today and why I started the Practical Mama Blog. My children raise me as much as I raise them. They teach me a lot about myself, humanity and life.
A life’s work: I am a working mother
I wanted to be a fashion designer during my middle and high school years. However, I was encouraged to follow the mainstream path, i.e. get a “proper” degree and a corporate job, while keeping fashion design as a hobby. The path I took led me to be a working mother in the corporate world in a field which is completely unrelated to fashion design. Luckily, I like what I do and most importantly I like the people I work with. I value being able to contribute to a worthwhile purpose.
I don’t design clothes anymore but I do sew clothes using easy patterns in my spare time.
I have been blogging for a long time
When I became pregnant with my first child I didn’t have any close friends who were pregnant or had kids. I connected with fellow prospective mamas on online forums which were very popular at the time. I was learning a lot from others as I was sharing my own experiences. The camaraderie was invaluable and I made life-long friends. The experience of preparing for motherhood was easier thanks to the exchange of knowledge and support within my tribe. I loved sharing longs posts about my struggles and the solutions I was implementing to overcome those struggles in those forums. However, forums were not the most practical platform to share and find answers to recurring issues and questions.
As I found myself to copy and paste many of my answers many times on different threads on forums, I decided to move this information and updates to the blogosphere which was an up and coming platform. I published my first blog post at the end of 2005 when my son was 6 months old. I was at the beginning of a long winding road with lots of ups and downs called “parenting”. Since then, other parenting blogs have been my guide and companion along this road and PracticalMama.com have been my outlet to share tips and tricks on practical parenting, guide and company to others in return for the last 12,5 years.
“Practical parenting” is my motto
I am a very laid-back person in general. This B-type personality reflects on my parenting style as well. My priorities are the health and happiness of my 2 kids, my husband, my extended family and friends, and my sleep – I need a good 8-hour sleep to be able to function like a normal human being. Plus I keep working on my full-time job, volunteer work and a blog. This busy schedule and priorities automatically drive me to come up with practical methods or solutions for everyday situations all the time so that I can squeeze the things I want to do in a 24-hr-day.
Currently, most of my parenting hours during school days for my pre-teens are spent on chauffeuring, cooking and nagging. Weekends and holidays are dedicated to making memories as a family.
My worst habit as a parent as alleged by my kids is lecturing. I have special skills to turn any occasion into an opportunity to lecture.
“Jack of all trades, master of none”
I like many things and have many interests but above all, I like making memories with my family. I try to incorporate everyone’s likes and interests in our family time and enjoy these activities together.
We love outdoor activities as much as screen time. We go camping, hiking, biking, and swimming in the spring and summer, and skiing, skating, sledding in the winter. We love family travel both locally and internationally and I intentionally raised my kids to be the best travel companions ever.
I love playing board games – except for monopoly -, doing arts and crafts and reading with my children, but playing tag, pretend play or legos are not my favorite activities. Luckily, my husband fills in all the gaps where I lack.
Cooking is my favorite house chore. I love cooking a variety of dishes from different cuisines from scratch. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease after giving birth to my daughter. Since I figured how to manage my symptoms through healthy nutrition and exercise, healthy cooking for my family is my priority.
I couldn’t be a practical mama without practical papa
I really couldn’t be the practical parent I am without my husband. I got super lucky in the marriage lottery. Besides being extremely loving and caring, he takes on 50% of all the responsibilities including all parental duties and house chores. He does not babysit, he is a hands-on parent and an excellent role model for my children.
What makes me the happiest
Seeing our kids grow up to be physically and mentally healthy, happy, self-sufficient, creative, kind and caring humans makes me the happiest.
My #blessed moments are when my husband and children make music while I read or draw. I am the only musically challenged in the family but I make up for my musical shortcomings with my art skills.
My #proudparent moments are when I see my children achieve something that they have been working on diligently.
The most important thing I have learned about parenthood
Every child has a different personality and every parent has a different parenting style. What worked with my first child didn’t always work with my second child or vice versa. This never stopped me from learning more about different schools of child rearing and education and looking for help from other parents, parenting books or blogs I trust. I always kept our personalities and surroundings in mind, deciding what would work best for our family. As I take all the suggestions I read on parenting with a grain of salt, I don’t claim to have the absolute truth which applies to everyone either. Bear that in mind, while reading my blog.
My favorite quote
My favorite quote is “It takes a village to raise a child”. It also takes a big tribe to keep a parent’s sanity. It starts with the spouse or partner. It goes on with grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends. I understand that support conditions might not always be available for everyone. In today’s world, online friends and tribes make up an important part of that village.
Here at PracticalMama.com, I hope to offer a bit of that village support by sharing practical and useful methods for simpler parenting and homemaking. Everything I share is tested and approved by our family. I love to hear your feedback when a particular post helps you in any way or your suggestions on what worked in your situation. I also would love to hear your suggestions on what you’d like to see more of. Your feedback makes the effort of keeping this blog up to date worthwhile.
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