Real Life SmartMom April Walker

At SmartMom, we are very excited to announce a new blogger series featuring your favorite Mommy Bloggers! We go to them for advice, recipes, support and whenever Google comes up with an answer we don’t like. Let’s get to know the mommies behind these amazing blogs a bit better – why? Because they are SmartMoms; and smart moms talk to SmartMoms.

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This week we hear from April Walker of Mojitos and Munchkins. Mojitos and munchkins – two things that most moms can’t live without, right? Maybe we can live without mojitos, but just like this mommy blog, it’s something we don’t WANT to live without. Not only does April share recipes for drinks and eats, but she also mixes together a blend of honesty, mom-humor, advice, and perspective. Get to know the mom behind the mojitos below.

Here are some questions we asked –

Tell us about your kids: names, ages, and fun facts.

I am the lucky mom to three little munchkins. Brecken is 7 years old and is a curious kiddo who loves to read, play basketball and delegate duties to his younger sisters. He also somehow knows ALL of the Pokemon characters, which seems miraculous to me since I don’t understand it. AT. ALL. Madiana {pronounced like Maddie + Anna} is just shy of 5 years old and is the pure definition of “stop and smell the roses.” She has an infectious joy about her and wants to be a “pet vet” when she grows up. Gretchen just celebrated her 2nd birthday, despite the fact that I still consider her a newborn. She is an opinionated little lady who is wise beyond her years, has the vocabulary of a 4-year old, and will absolutely have a career in legal justice someday. She goes BONKERS when she sees a Paw Patrol character or anything related to Mickey Mouse.

What are some of your favorite things about your kids?

I love that each of my kids has their own identities. Despite the same upbringing and environment, they are very unique and hold their own interests and personalities. I love that they {typically} love each other and find joy in playing with one another. Watching them create ideas and problem solve is an honor. (Until they forget to troubleshoot and their creative ideas lead to fights….. Then all honor goes out the window. :))

Who do you look up to for parenting advice?

Despite my mom’s untimely passing when I was a brand new mama, I still look to her for parenting advice. We had an unbreakable bond and a relationship that surpassed earthly existence. I often finding myself asking WWMD (What Would Mom Do) as I go about the day and can often hear her answers through the memories of my childhood. For more pressing matters, that require venting and immediate feedback, I go to my fellow mamas who can relate and share their own hardships to lesson my feeling of being alone.

How would you describe what you do for your blog?

Writing has always been an outlet for me. By throwing my thoughts and stories out to the universe, I am able to scratch that itch that I feel as a writer. I pour my heart and soul into my writing, and love when I lose myself when writing a post. I have recently gotten into writing reviews and hosting giveaways, which has opened up a new door of opportunity.

How do you balance work and family?

Oh, balance, how I crave thee. This is a difficult one. As an elementary teacher, I have always been pulled in different directions. When I’m at school, I miss my family and feel like I’m not doing “good enough” by them. When I’m at home, I’m focused on lesson planning and neglecting my children, thus leaving me with the “not good enough” feeling in all environments. I’ve tried diligently in the past year to compartmentalize my many hats and LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Balance isn’t something I’ve perfected, but it IS something I try to improve upon daily.

What does an ideal day look like for you?

My ideal day includes intentional time for my family AND for my writing. It also includes a latte, happy children that aren’t fighting, a husband that pours me a glass of wine at the end of a long day, and time to catch up on my Hulu’d shows to wind down the night. Just thinking about this makes me heart swirl with hope.

What were some of the biggest questions you had or challenges you faced as a first time mom?

Some of the biggest challenges I faced as a first time mom was self-doubt and never ending questions. Although I wish the tiny bundles came with an instruction manual, my uncertainty also led to fast friendships and unbreakable bonds between other parents. The struggle united us. It took me at least five years to be comfortable with the never-ending parenting advice that spewed my direction from all areas. I remember taking many “simple comments” way too personal and melting away from a room to cry. Now, I know that I do the best I know how to do for each of my children, and it’s okay if others disagree.

How did becoming a mom change who you are?

Becoming a mom changed my ability to trust the people around me. I went from being a naive, overly trusting woman, to someone that questioned everything. I went from riding roller coasters in a free fall fashion of fuuuuuuuuuun to questioning when the last time the coaster was checked by regulations and wondering the training that was involved by the operators. I went from carelessly (though safely) driving on the Interstate, to being cautious of others who could endanger the lives of the precious cargo in my backseat. Long story, short = I grew up and realized the world is a scary place when you have such importantly people under your wings to keep safe.

What are you favorite baby products you’ve discovered since becoming a parent?

“I love the battery operated nose sucker.” – Is something I never EVER thought I would say. But it is SO true. LOVE! I swear by The Honest Company (diapers, formula, butt spray, shampoo, etc.), adore Zippy bibs, and the creator of baby crinkle paper is pure GENIUS.

What was the most surprising or unexpected thing about becoming a mom?

Becoming a mom was the quickest buy-in to all overused cliches, but I didn’t even mind. I was baffled by everything that happens in the birthing process that no one talks about (What were those stretchy underwear things that hold it all together, and where can I get more??). I was also shocked by how quickly I became comfortable talking about bodily fluids… At dinner, on dates, it was all a new normal. Lastly, I was surprised at how quickly I lost my identity (said as a fact, not as a complaint). I am actually programmed into other adult’s phones as “Brecken’s Mom.” They’ve kept my child overnight, yet they don’t even know my name is April.

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About Mary @ SmartMom

Mary is the Community Manager of SmartMom. She is a new mom to a bubbly little boy who has fire red hair and loves to smile. She loves to walk her dog, Bob, and watch Chicago sports with her husband. Go Cubs Go!