My blogging hiatus gave me a little clarity on topics I want to cover moving forward and as you might have noticed from my posts in 2013 - motherhood was an adjustment for me to say the least. While it is amazing being a mother and I'm enjoying it so much more than I thought, I found myself aspiring to be the best mom, wife, friend and employee by finding inspiration from other women. I introduce to you my new blog post series called, Mom Crush. Mom Crush is a series of posts that will feature inspirational, everyday moms who aspire to be the best at everything they do.
This week's Mom Crush: Kristin Mann
Stats: Wife to husband Matt, mother to her 1.5 year old daughter Sienna and professional photographer/owner of Kristin Mann Photography.
Why she's crush worthy: Aside from having a picture perfect family (really they are), she has a realistic yet positive outlook on life, doesn't take things for granted, embraces everyone she meets and is easily loveable with her contagious laugh. Not only that but she is a new professional photographer with pics to prove that this was the best un-planned career she could have stumbled into.
When I asked Kristin to share some insight on all things us moms go through this is what she had to say. Here are Kristin's thoughts on...
- The secret to a successful marriage after having a child is...never forgetting to see each other as a couple. Its amazing the strength you can gain as a mother and wife from knowing you are still viewed as a beautiful woman. That - and a good sense of humor. There's a lot that comes with being a parent that you simply must just laugh at. :)
- I always turn to my husband when I need...patience. Matt is my rock - and is also way calmer than I am.
- Our perfect date night is...any date night? :) You've got to make the most of any time you are able to get out together. But with Chicago being one of the best cities in the world for restaurants, we love trying new places or visiting old favorites so a nice dinner and some wine is a perfect date night. We really like Le Colonial.
- Matt and I always make time to...celebrate the special occasions. We make sure to get away for at least an overnight trip each anniversary. Even if its still here in Chicago, getting the chance to step away allows us to really appreciate each other.
Being a Mom
- The one thing I love the most about being a mother is...the honor of learning from Sienna every day. Seeing the world through her eyes - with innocence, curiosity, genuine love & joy - has brought me a whole new perspective on life.
- The best moms are the ones who...act with confidence, natural instincts and fearless love. There is no right or wrong answer in being a parent - its all about doing what works best for you and your family. The Moms I have seen who embrace this and just go with it seem the most happy and effective. Caffeine helps as well ;)
- The best thing I learned from my mom is how to….love selflessly. I can only hope I am half the mom she has been for me and my sisters.
- I aspire to be a mom who...will make my kids proud and one who raises children that are confident, kind, & happy.
- I started my own business because...my position as associate strategy director at an ad agency became too demanding. It required 150% of me and I wanted to continue to give that if I was working in that position - but once Sienna was born, I really couldn't give that much. I wish as parents we could clone ourselves - wouldn't that be nice? :) So I decided to take some time off to spend my days with her and have been grateful for it ever since. I had always loved photography and found myself wanting to help capture exciting moments for friends - engagements, pregnancies, new babies, etc. I started offering photo sessions as engagement or congratulatory gifts and found that the more photos I took, the more people started asking if I would take them. So for me this business wasn't a grand leap but more of a little "hop" - it happened very naturally and took off quicker than I expected.
- The advice I have for moms who want to start their own business is...to just go for it! I'm proof that a hobby, interest, or passion can turn into a way to extend business experience into something completely different - and it doesn't have to be a huge endeavor - you can make it what you want it to be!
- Since becoming a mom, I learned...to focus on friendships worth the effort. Limited time forces you to evaluate who really brings out the best "you" which is a great gift. I am grateful that I am able to fully appreciate the best friends in my life. I also realize that these women are not only in my life but my daughters as well. Knowing they will be an example for her makes me even more appreciative of their amazing qualities.
- My greatest friendships are...the ones that feel effortless with those I am most myself around and who make me want to be a better person.
- If I had an extra hour in the day, I would spend that time...getting a massage or facial - but then again, I guess that would require an extra $150 a day too (darn!)
- Despite a crazy schedule I always make time to...workout. I always try to set that alarm an hour earlier to fit in a yoga class or hit the treadmill before Sienna gets up. As hard as it is to first get moving, I'm always so happy when I'm there and it always seems to make the day better.
- What people don’t know about me is...I did musical theater all the way through college and almost moved to New York to pursue a career in it after graduating. I'm a big believer in things working out the way they are supposed to - but every now and then I really miss belting out a good power ballad.
See what I mean? Total mom crush, right? To learn more about Kristin and her amazing photography visit Kristin Mann Photography.