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 hear from Maura Winkler who is the owner of Chicago Birth and Baby, a company dedicated to supporting women through the entire process of motherhood. Maura has also personally helped hundreds of women as a registered nurse, midwife, and certified birth & postpartum doula.
SmartMom is featuring Maura in a live discussion Wednesday, 8/16 at 10am CT as part of Postpartum Depression Awareness with SmartMom. Join the discussion by logging in and clicking the post at the top of the feed.
Here are some questions we asked –
Tell us about your kids: names, ages, and fun facts.
Aila (almost 5): Loves to play babies and was present for the birth of her younger brother!
Bodie (15 months): Smiliest guy you’ll ever meet!
What are some of your favorite things about your kids?
My daughter Aila is a total go-getter (maybe just a bit like me!) That trait can make for challenging parenting at times, but I know that she will do really well for herself standing up for what she believes is right. My little boy is so sweet and snuggly, a total mama’s boy.
Who do you look up to for parenting advice?
I have a lot of friends that parent similarly to the way I do, and I am also a book reader. But haven’t been reading much lately…the more kids you have the less time for that!
How would you describe what you do for your business?
I am a certified nurse midwife at Fika Midwifery, providing well-woman/gynecological care, prenatal care, and home and hospital delivery in the Buffalo and Western New York area. I also own Chicago Birth & Baby (I used to live in Chicago) which is a full-service doula agency providing labor and postpartum support, childbirth education, placenta encapsulation, and baby concierge services.
How do you balance work and family?
This is a really tough one with my call schedule. I’ll admit, I don’t have much balance lately. But recently my husband got me an Apple Watch which helps me to know if clients are calling or texting me in labor without having to check my phone impulsively.
What does an ideal day look like for you?
I am most productive in the morning, so I like to do my business work then whenever possible. Then some time with my kids, including maybe a run with them in the jogging stroller (they are both great stroller nappers!). We almost always eat dinner as a family, and if the weather is nice and I don’t have meetings, we go for a walk after dinner.
What were some of the biggest questions you had or challenges you faced as a first time mom?
I was in medical school (that was before I decided I wanted to be a midwife!) when I had my daughter, so juggling full time school with a newborn was tough. I ended up bringing her to class the whole semester and it all worked out, but my recovery with my second child when I had more time off was much more relaxing.
How did becoming a mom change who you are?
It’s amazing how things you used to care about fall by the wayside when you become a mom—and sometimes, it’s totally okay! For example, I used to be really into running. I still run for enjoyment and fitness but no where near as often (or as fast) as I used to. I also think motherhood has helped me to relax a lot and go with the flow.
What are you favorite baby products you’ve discovered since becoming a parent?
We are minimalists with all things, so for our babies, we really haven’t bought much at all. There is honestly no single product that I believe is a necessity.
What was the most surprising or unexpected thing about becoming a mom?
My husband and I always wonder what we did before we had kids. We thought we were so busy…