Sunday, March 6, 2011

A stay at home Mom's how-to guide to making your kids part of your life, not you WHOLE life.

Comments from friends and family that inspired me to write this blog; 
"Your kids are so good"
"so well adjusted"
"how do you get them to sit through a whole meal?"
"When you put them to bed, they stay?"
"Lily ate artichokes, chicken and sundried tomatoes for dinner, wtf all my kid ate was frozen french fries straight from the freezer!"
"we are going to Disney and you are taking the kids to a bed and breakfast?"
"Just got back from Applebees again and you are coming back from a steakhouse with BOTH girls...(frustrated grunts)"

Can you hear me patting myself on the back??? I know this will come back to bite me when my girls are teenagers, but for right now, I bask in the glow of these kind words. 

I realized quickly that friends, family, strangers and pretty much anyone who has children seem to constantly bend to their every whim. This is what a good parent should do, right? Become selfless, start only going out to diners and family friendly chain restaurants, stop going on beach vacations and instead head straight to Disney. Im sure we will be heading to Disney in the near future - Im not knocking Disney, its a magical place and I cant wait to see it through Ella's eyes.  However we could easily take a luxury cruise and live like royalty for what we end up spending at 3 days in Disney. I digress.

A little intro to who I am. I have two young girls - Ella is 3 and Lily is 9 months. Im 27 years old and have been married for 5 years. Becoming a young mom 3 years ago I couldnt haven been more excited. When my friends who were still in the single, partying phase would say - "wow I can't even imagine becoming a parent right now." I would defensively adapt this tag line that morphed into a philosophy and ultimately a parenting style. This style seems to be a unique point of view, so I've observed.

Make your kids an incredible PART of your life not your WHOLE life.  - There it is, my mantra that guides me in being the best mom and family that we can be. 

Sounds much easier said than done. Basically I vowed not to stop doing the things my husband I love to do, but instead to incorporate our kids into our existing life. We are not going bar hopping until 5am, lounging on beaches whenever we feel like it and we certainly arent having 3 hour long dinners at the high end restaurants. Good food - thats where our money always goes. However, we are taking our kids to Vineyards, concerts, long hikes, Cafes and of course Restaurants known for one thing, good food - not the toy that comes at the end.

It may sound like I tote my child to do all the things I want to do and dont embrace the greatest part of parenthood - watching your children soak up something they truly love. I have done every Mommy and Me / Gymboree / My Gym / Music Together / Story Time etc. I constantly take my girls to The Library, Zoos and Nature Preserves. I try to keep things on a sliding scale - we may spend one day out at a vineyard playing and exploring, listening to good music and spending time with friends. The next day might be spent going to two birthday parties where face painting and music makes your head spin for hours, but thats parenthood. Its trying to find the balance between who you were and becoming the best FAMILY you can be. 

Stay tuned to hear my tips, advice, listen to my stories of failed mantra moments and come on this ever evolving journey of parenthood as I experience it first hand. 


  1. Celina- You ARE an amazing mom! I see the joy you have when you are with your girls and Don. You are such a happy family and I love being YOUR mom!

  2. Celina.. you are such an inspirational and FUN mom... I couldn't help think while reading this that you are such a good mom because your mother is such an amazing woman also... I look up to both of you and love all that you do :)

  3. You are so right Laurel, my Mom is the best! I sent this to her first and of course she encouraged me to keep writing. She is everything an awesome Mom should be and I aspire to be just like her ( :

  4. Love it Celina!! You truly are an inspiration, and those girls are delicious..good for you for starting this venture..I can't wait to follow and read more! xo

  5. Saw your post on The Bump. Am 38 weeks pregnant with my first daughter and my husband and I have been talking about this exact topic for a while. We can't stand how so many of our friends center their entire universe around their kids. Then, when their kids do not get exactly their way, there is he*l to pay! Looking forward to keeping up with your blog.

  6. What a great idea...and a great mom to follow. We share many of the same philosophies Celina. You are great mom, amazing woman, and good friend.
    You have lots of great experiences to share and more to come. I look forward to following you on this journey :)