In 2017, SmartMom launched the Real Life SmartMom series featuring your favorite Mommy Bloggers, experts and influencers. We go to these women for advice, recipes, support and whenever Google comes up with an answer we don’t like. Let’s get to know these amazing mommas a bit better – why? Because they are SmartMoms; and smart moms talk to SmartMoms.
This week we invite Alli Kristine to join the SmartMom community. Through her beautiful blog, Blush Blossoms, Alli explores the many facets of motherhood, life and style. She discusses the more serious stuff: re-entrance onto the dating scene after her divorce as well as the emotional rollercoaster of her custody battle, but she also makes us laugh about how toddlers hate putting on pants! Her writing is inspirational so at the end of each post, you’ll find yourself smiling.
Get to know Alli, her favorite products and how she reacted to the question about her ideal day below (hint, great reaction coming from a mom):
Tell us about your kids: names, ages, and fun facts
I have one child, a daughter, who just turned three. She is bright, stubborn, smart as a whip, tender-hearted, beautiful, and fierce. She is my entire world. I also take care of a little boy who is also three and will be turning four in the fall. I have taken care of him since he was a baby and love him dearly.
What are some of your favorite things about your kids?
One of my favorite things about my daughter is her large personality. It is also one of the things that can drive me crazy on a daily basis. However, there is never a dull moment and she can always seem to make me laugh with her theatrics. I also love how much she loves me. This may sound cliche, but every time she asks to hold my hand, cuddle me, give her a love, my heart melts.
Who do you look up to for parenting advice?
I certainly look up to my own mother for parenting advice. She is an incredible mother in her own right. However, even she will quickly acknowledge, how much parenting has changed in the last few decades and that she has had to adjust her own mindsets and learn new parenting techniques to keep up with the times. So, I read a lot when I have a question about something. My own education has certainly helped shape my parenting views and style.
How would you describe what you do for your blog?
My blog is a mere baby in the world of professional influencers. Though I am not a “professional” blogger by any means at this point, I hope to continue on this journey and turn Blush Blossoms into a full-time business. At present, I would say my blog is a lifestyle story sharing real-life moments of my life, style, relationships, dating, motherhood, and parenting. Currently, I am a single mother. Because of this, for example, I discuss topics of custody and dating versus marriage. But that is a direct reflection of my real life. I hope my life continues to grow and evolve with time, and as such, Blush Blossoms will have to grow and evolve with that ever-changing reality.
How do you balance work and family?
Finding a balance between work and family is always a challenge. I work full time and am blessed to be able to have my daughter with me at work. My daughter tends to consume the majority of my time outside of work. When my daughter naps and goes to bed at night, I work on my blog and am currently training for a half marathon. To be totally honest, I have yet to really find “the balance.” And, I do not know if I ever truly will. But the one thing that helps me stay productive is using my “kid-free” time to the max, whether that be during naps, or when my daughter visits her dad, or when she goes to play with Nana or Papa for an hour, whatever it may be…I use that time and get to work.
What does an ideal day look like for you?
Haha, an ideal day? Well, this may sound boring, but at present a simple day where I am able to stay on top of all the housework, enjoy time with my daughter, have her toddler tantrums be nonexistent, get all my work done, and have a good training session in before bed sounds fairly ideal. I could list out a fairytale day for you, and of course, I still have one of those in my imagination because every female does, but that is not reality.
What were some of the biggest questions you had or challenges you faced as a first time mom?
My biggest challenge by far has been the custody of my daughter. It has been an emotional roller-coaster that I would not wish on anyone. Legal issues are never pleasant, but emotions are taken to a different level when the legalities of your child are being disputed. That being said, I can truly say, the experiences I have faced over the custody of my daughter have made me a much stronger person. I have a newfound self-awareness and inner strength I did not know I was capable of prior to this journey beginning.
How did becoming a mom change who you are?
Becoming a mother changed everything. It completely changed my life. It gave me purpose and meaning. It gave me direction. It changed where I lived, the dynamics in my family, my lifestyle, my occupation, and who I am as a person. My daughter is by far the very best thing that has ever happened in my life. She is the reason I am. She is all my reasons. She is my everything.
What are you favorite baby products you’ve discovered since becoming a parent?
I LOVE BABY PRODUCTS! I have been very happy with my Nuna products. I have had their car seats, strollers, pack-and-plays, leafs, etc. I would not have been able to live without our Loves To Dream Sleep Sack Swaddles, LectroFan sound machines (I have a few different kinds), BabyBjorn bouncer and cradle, and Lillebaby carriers. I can’t wait to try the SNOO bassinet with my next child someday. There are hundreds more I could talk your ear off about, but these were our essentials for every day.
What was the most surprising or unexpected thing about becoming a mom?
I knew I would love my child to no end, but you really have no idea how consuming that love can be until you experience it for yourself. I was surprised at how little I missed my “old” life; meaning, any semblance of a social life or personal life. Over a year passed after the birth of my daughter and it finally dawned on me, I had never left her for a single day or night. I had not gone to a single event, a single lunch date, anything with a friend, or whatnot since she had been born and I had not even realized it. The love of parenting is truly all consuming.