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 talk to Molly Weener, pastry chef, mompreneur and creator of Flour & Fig! Her business in the gift and wedding industry allows her to be creative while treating herself and her daughter to the best pastries. Whether she’s encouraging her daughter or inspiring a new whimsical creation in the kitchen, Molly teaches us that adventure is verb. Let’s learn a little bit more about this mom and how she gets to live the sweet life.
Tell us about your kids: names, ages, and fun facts.
I have one little lady named Ivy Grace. She just turned two in December & is a ball full of energy. Ivy was born in California, so she spent most of her first year traveling all over the west coast. She’s great at sleeping in new places & loves to adventure. If we have kids in the future, I hope to be able to travel with them while they’re young, so they learn to love adventuring early!
What are some of your favorite things about Ivy?
One of my most favorite things about Ivy is watching her learn about the world. It is so fun to see life through the eyes of a child & it gives me a new perspective on life daily. Kids help you to take life a lot less seriously 🙂 Ivy has such a funny personality & we get to laugh a lot together. And, although I wish I could get her to eat a little healthier, I kind of love that she has a taste for really great pastries.
Who do you look up to for parenting advice?
There are so many amazing parents in my life who have walked this journey before me & with me. I am especially grateful for the parents who are in this stage of life with me currently because we get to celebrate and wallow together & it makes life sweeter.
Tell us a bit about your business!
I am a pastry chef & owner of a small business called Flour & Fig & I make all things sweet. I focus a lot on the wedding industry making edible favors (lollipops, caramels, nougat, candied nuts …) & gift boxes. I love that I have a job that allows me to be creative daily. There is something so magical about food & how it brings people together. I am so grateful to be able to contribute products that make life a bit sweeter for others.
How do you balance work and family?
Deep breaths 🙂 I will forever be looking for the right balance between work and family. Being a mom will always be a full time job, but for me, it is really important to make space in my day to focus on something completely separate from kids so that I don’t lose myself. I have found working in a kitchen to be very therapeutic & Ivy has found some really sweet independence through spending time with someone other than her mama. I have learned to appreciate how giving space for both myself and for Ivy has been so beneficial for both of us to grow.
What does an ideal day look like for you?
An ideal day for me is a mix of good food, good drinks, some time outside with my people, and some time in the kitchen with my music.
What were some of the biggest questions you had or challenges you faced as a first time mom?
I don’t do well with surprises, so I think all of the unknowns for a first time mama was really scary for me. I was worried about what contractions & giving birth would feel like, I was worried about nursing, I was worried about knowing how to take care of my baby & I was worried about having a baby so far away from my community here in Chicago. But one of the best things I have learned since having a baby is that you just figure it out and that process is such a beautiful (and sometimes very hard) thing. I found a lot of comfort in remembering that as much as I was trying to figure everything out, Ivy was doing the same (& so was my husband), so we were really all in it together.
How did becoming a mom change who you are?
Hmm, this is a hard question for me to answer. It is impossible to have a baby and not change, but I think the core of me has stayed relatively the same. The things that I am passionate about have remained, but many of those things have been put on hold for a season. Becoming a mom is a lot of joy and a whole lot of crazy. I love being a mom, but the older Ivy gets, I have also loved grabbing back pieces of myself that have been scattered. When you have a baby, so much of who you are & the attention you give goes to one tiny person & it’s hard to find the energy to give anything else to anyone else. I think you’re in a fog for a really long time & then, something really amazing happens, your baby becomes a little bit more self-sufficient, some of the fog clears & you can start to see your life coming back, not exactly as it was before, but a more chaotic version of what was normal. Having a baby is the hardest and best thing I have and will ever do. There are a lot of low lows and a lot of high highs and not a lot in between. I will never be the same as I was before, but I feel so lucky that the person who changed me was a sweet baby girl that I could not imagine life without.
What are you favorite baby products you’ve discovered since becoming a parent?
I thought I was going to be the mom who made all of her own baby purees & that my baby would love them. I tried this, Ivy spit them all out, & I quickly discovered just how amazing the organic puree packets were & I would never go back 🙂
What was the most surprising or unexpected thing about becoming a mom?
I think one thing that was most surprising to me is that life, although more chaotic, is not as different as I thought it would be. Before becoming a mom, it was hard to imagine being a mom, & now that I am a mom, I can’t imagine not being one. Ivy is such a natural part of our life that it’s like she’s always been here.