Mom Feature of The Week – Shani T.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have or don’t have, kids could care less! All that matters is mommy and daddy being there for them. -Shani T.

This weeks mom extraordinaire is Shani! Mother to 2 year old Peretty and independent business owner with her own financial firm and call center in the heart of Lancaster, TX! Shani paints a beautiful picture for all mamapreneurs alike. She tells us about turning her own challenges into positive lessons for her daughter. Shani also gives insight into her life as a full time mom and business owner and how she does it all. Please welcome Ms. Shani T! Enjoy.

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“I was one of 14 siblings but when she came I was so scared to touch her. I literally thought she would break!”

What makes you feel like a success as a mom

Waking up every day to see my daughter living, smiling, and happy. Knowing that we have food to eat and that she is learning something each time she goes to daycare. When people tell me that my daughter is smart it lets me know that I am doing something right and I take great pride in that.

What are some of your mom philosophies?

I love teaching my daughter manners. Personally, I was a very respectful child and I want to instill those same values in my own daughter. The other philosophy has to do with teaching her about financial literacy elements. When I was younger my own credit was not my best attribute so its important to me to teach her to manage her own finances so that she has something to build on.

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What advice would you give a first-time mom?

Don’t overdo it! Save your money, especially when other parents tell you things you do and do not need. My first thoughts when people tried to tell me not to spend on certain things was, “No way! My baby will have everything!” I even bought diapers before the baby shower. Sadly, most of those newborn clothes ended up hanging in the closet because Peretty outgrew all of it! So, don’t buy that $200 bathtub, just use the sink!

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“Once she starts talking she’ll make you laugh every time!” 

What were some challenges when you became a first-time mom?

I was so afraid of my own baby. Growing up I was the second oldest of fourteen siblings. I knew how to make bottles, change diapers, and take care of others. When she came, it was so scary to me that I needed help with things like putting on her clothes and changing her diaper. Her soft spot terrified me and literally I thought she would break!

What is one of your favorite things about being a mom?

Spending time with her. I love taking my daughter places because she loves to meet new people. There is not a stranger anywhere that she goes because she is always walking up to people making new friends. One of our favorite places to go is the park, where she can play and climb.

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“I let her buy her own candy so she knows how to manage her own money.”

How do you track milestones?

I like to keep travel and event tickets as keepsakes. I also take lots of pictures and give her lots of praise when she does things that are new.

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“When I was younger we didn’t have a lot. We had to cherish everything we had. I am proud that I can show my own daughter how to add to her own legacy.”

Can you give us some advice from a business mom perspective?

I was very driven to find a way to get out of the day-to-day hustle of working for someone else. It never left me enough time to be a mom. Excellent pay without being able to participate in my daughters life was meaningless. Getting dressed everyday to have her at daycare by certain times where she was the first one there and the last to leave, killed me.

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Having my own business allowed me to set my own hours. Plus, I don’t have to go when I’m sick.

Once you started your business how did being a mom change?

None. Now I was able to write my own rules. She came to work with me everyday! I had a play area and swing set for her to play in. My element was now her element and it gave me so much more peace of mind knowing that she was always in my line of sight.

What advice can you give a mom working to become her own boss or an entrepreneur?

Dream big and don’t give up because it’s worth it! And once you get there just keep pushing to expand those dreams!

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Want more from Shani?

Shani’s company Elite Working Individuals services clients from Direct TV to Disney and Carnival Cruise Lines to name a few!

interested in working from home?

No cold calling or sales involved! Full-Time positions available. Perfect for stay at home moms and college students! Please send resumes to ShanTaylor.ewi@yahoo.com.

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Mom of the week – Christina S.

“I feel privileged to be a mother to such a bold, strong willed, and wild-spirited baby girl.”

Meet Christina, mom to one year old fireball Alexis Le’Ann. Christina is a community advocate to young women between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. Her mentoring program counsels teen mothers. She caters to keeping a spiritual perspective on addressing such challenging circumstances. Christina gives us activity tips for young kids and shares her philosophies about embracing the bad with the good.  Please give it up for Christina and Lexie. Enjoy!

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What do you love about being a mother?

At first I struggled and didn’t like being a mother due to my situation of being a teen mom. As time went on I fell in love with it. All the hugs, kisses, and laughter took over and just being able to watch my daughter develop a strong personality changed all of that.

What advice would you give a first time mom?

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Everyone needs some help at some point. It takes a village to raise a child so take it one day at a time. Lastly, enjoy every moment good or bad.. Its worth it!

What are some of your mother philosophies?

Put God first.  Remember that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Embrace what happens in life whether that is good or bad because not everything that happens to you is the end of the world.

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“She’s my little stunt devil and she’s only 1 years old!” – Christina

 

What are you teaching your daughter right now?

How to pray at night before bed and when she wakes up in the morning.

How do you track your daughters milestones?

By using an app called Baby Center, writing them down in my journal, and taking pictures or videos.

I like using the app because every month it gives me something to look forward to. It tells me what my baby should be doing at that age. I get to see how advanced my baby is and I am proud because she normally ahead of schedule.

Do you have any baby activity suggestions?

Stay active and have fun with your baby! Lexie and I spend lots of time with my parents, go to parks, the aquarium, and the zoo. Some things we do at home include playing chef, singing, and dancing around the house.

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Want More From Christina?

Follow her on Instagram @christinaalexis16

 

 

 

Mom of the week – Tova C.

Its amazing to me to see how many people love her. Essentially, it’s a manifestation of how others feel about me.

Meet our rockstar mom of the week, Tova and her daughter Harper. Tova is a mom, teacher, poet, organizer, and photographer. Here she tells us how to keep things in perspective while charting milestones and returning to work post baby. She also shares her philosophies on motherhood and how to allow your child to be their own little person. Please welcome Tova to our mommy roundtable! Enjoy.

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Tova and her daughter Harper

Q: What were your expectations of becoming a mom?

I didnt have any. I was brought up with you are a girl so you have to do certain things. I thought this is an opportunity to break a cycle of self hate through traditions of what others thought girls should be. I wanted her to respect her own interests not what others wanted her to be. It was important for me to let her be her own person and respect her own agency not those of others.

I knew motherhood would be hard but hard in different ways I knew that I would be okay. I love hanging out with it my kid. When you’re pregnant all you hear is bad shit so I was really scared. It didn’t help when I watched baby stories and they had you thinking child is deformed and c-section. Giving birth was crazy it also made me think the worst because I seemed to be signing my life away in a hospital bed during my contractions.

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Its a cool experience to see the world through her eyes. -Tova

How did you feel about returning to work after having your baby? What advice would you give other moms doing the same?

Knowing that I would leave her was hard. You also feel guilty that you’re not home because you want to be taking care of your kid. I had a lot of guilt and thoughts in my head about whether she would eventually forget about me.

I got through it though because as a school teacher is cool long breaks spend time with her and for major holidays when older cool adventures.

Its like watching a flower that you planted grow. If you are not there to watch it grow you feel guilty or like a bad person.

Q: What would you tell a first time mom?

You are doing a good job, don’t give up because we make mistakes just keep going and don’t give up.

Its going to be okay. Don’t try to look at too many blogs. Try and find more medically based advice and stick with those. During my pregnancy I used TheBump.com and Whattoexpect.com a lot.

When people give advice take it with a grain of salt. Everyone will have advice but at the end of it, this is your baby and its your rules. This is your game, you’re the mom and you know what’s best.

Make sure that you have good support and family that will swoop in when you need a break. It will get easier just make sure you have people around that can take care of you.

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It’s like watching a flower that you planted grow -Tova

 

What do you like most about being mom?

I love the fact that having her means that I have the ability to make things and to create life. Its also a cool experience to see the world through her eyes. The other day we just started feeding her single fruits. We gave her pears and she loved it. Her eyes got all big like her whole world had just opened up.

How do you chart your baby’s milestones?

There is an app called Wonder Weeks that also translates into a Facebook group that helps you keep track. It sounds simple but literally every baby grows different some short and others fat. You have to remember that when you use all these apps because you will miss all the cool stuff they do.

 

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Harper, 5 months old

Milestones are just suggestions. When you are pregnant you find out about development that the baby should have. Whether late or on time the baby comes when the baby wants because they are on their own time. You are just here for the ride!

Want more from Tova?

Check her out her out curating her daughters Instagram page @blaque_harper. Follow her and stay tuned for more cuteness!

 

Cooking with Mama

Lately, I have been pushing the bounds of possibility with my cooking for my family. So, I called my friend Shianne, who loves to cook and also loves to eat healthy. We did an experiment and cooked for a week straight, trying all different things the whole week. The goal was to make healthy meals and feed my large family for several days with lunch and dinner. I figured this would help make it easier for me to manage my oh so busy schedule. After a little thought we came up with a few things based on what was in my pantry and refrigerator and the results were amazing! Anything that makes my life easier is definitely worth mentioning. So shout out to Shi! Love you girl!!

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First, I must say that never in a million year did I think that I would be capable of making meals that are this hearty and healthy at the same time. I always thought that it was either eat little to nothing or eat things that I didn’t like to be healthy. Now, I know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since that week I have been cooking almost every other day experimenting with other healthy alternatives and ingredients.

**All of the photos pictured are healthy hardy meals that Shianne coached me through during our virtual sessions. Check them out! They were so good!

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2 of the meals I cooked virtually with @sunflower_jones

Queso con carne with fresh pico de gallo

The other night we had couples movie night. Before Shianne and Garrison came by Shianne and I did a virtual cooking class for this recipe. It came out great! The pico de Gallo was so fresh that it made me regret ever not liking it in the first place.

Note: I have never been a big fan of pico de gallo until this dish. Also I have made nachos and queso before but this was real restaurant quality.

Sweet and Savory Stuffed Chicken

So this was our first official meal of experimentation. Fresh seasonings and veggies together made the stuffing for my chicken breasts. We topped this with a dry rub and included roasted carrots and potatoes. The flavors were different than anything I have ever had in my life! So excited to keep trying new flavors. This one gave me so much confidence!

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(Top) Roasted vegetables  (Bottom) Spinach and mozzarella stuffed meatballs

Spinach and Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Our final meal of the week was meatballs! Full of flavor and according to three of my co-workers they couldn’t even tell that these were made with Turkey.  Even after day 2 the noodles were not dry! Definitely, have to make this again.

We both have such busy schedules that Shianne came up with this idea to do virtual classes. So, between changing diapers and taking care of my family we walk through these amazing recipes. It was a great experiment and it left me wanting more ideas to keep my family lean, healthy, and full in the most affordable fashion.

 

Need virtual classes or recipe ideas?

Hit her up on Instagram @sunflower_jones