Thank you to Dr. Joanette for including me in her list of 11 Best Mom Blogs That Will Inspire You in 2022!
Meet Mia from PragmaticMom.com
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have been blogging on parenting, children’s books, and education at PragmaticMom.com for the past 12 years. I’m the co-creator of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, a non-profit celebrating diversity in children’s books that will celebrate our 9th event on January 28, 2022.
Prior to that, I was an entrepreneur and co-founded Aquent as a dorm room start-up more than 35 years ago. Aquent is a staffing solutions company specializing in placing temporary employees in the marketing and creative industries. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, it is among the “largest marketing/creative staffing firms in the United States”.
- Is it hard navigating life as a working mom/stay-at-home mom in a pandemic? How do you cope with recent and upcoming holidays?
I think that I’m lucky because my kids are older so the pandemic, including the pandemic lockdown, wasn’t as challenging as it would have been if my kids were in preschool or elementary school. My oldest is a sophomore at college and stayed in Providence. My middle is in college in Chicago and my youngest, son, is in high school. He was living his best life during the pandemic lockdown.
We just made sure that we were all vaccinated and boosted so that holidays were not too affected. My mother-in-law was supposed to join us for Thanksgiving but she was nervous to fly so she stayed put in California. Thank goodness for Facetime and Zoom! It does bridge the physical separation!
- Do you take time to focus on your well-being?
Exercise has been a critical element for mental health during Covid for me and my family. Getting outdoors to take the dog out was the only way to leave the house during the lockdown, so our dog went on excursions several times a day! We usually take him to a reservoir where he can run off-leash, but dogs had to be on a leash during the lockdown. I decided to take him on dog hikes that I usually wouldn’t go to and used this time to explore the city and suburbs around me. It was fun to take the kids and the dog to new places.
I also box at Nonantum Boxing Club several times a week, and I find the stress release to be key to my mental and physical health. I sit in front of a computer all day long, so getting up to exercise is essential for me to avoid lower back issues and stay active.
- How do you decide what children’s book you should read to your kids?
I like using book lists to vet the lists. I use all kinds of lists from children’s book bloggers, resource books, and libraries. My trick was to use lists from another library for my own public library or vice versa. When I tried to get books from the lists at my public library, the books were always checked out! Back then, I was too lazy to reserve books!
- What things assist you in staying organized throughout the day and making time for everyone and everything? Is there a specific time planner or technique you employ? Tell us about your time management techniques!
Google calendar is my go-to because we keep a family calendar. I also like to keep a notebook that tracks meeting notes, book ideas, To-Do lists — everything that is going on in my head.
But I do think unstructured time to let your mind wander is crucial for me. It helps me organize and charges up my creativity. I find walking the dog, knitting, and watercolor painting to be helpful. And also just lying around in bed. I wrote a lot of my books by lying in bed in the morning that just typing random thoughts into my phone.
- What is the best advice on motherhood you have ever received? What advice can you give our mommy readers?
The days are long but the years are short. Whew how fast the years fly by and yet I remember being so exhausted that I could barely make it to the afternoon nap with my kids so that I could also take a nap!!! I wish that I had taken more photos and videos and written down the funny things that my kids said. I wish I had documented every experience we had together because the memories grow fuzzy, especially those times when I was sleep-deprived!
I would tell mommy readers to relish every moment, both good and bad. The bad will pass. The goodwill last as a warm memory forever. Take a lot of photos and videos. Keep a journal and write down those things that make you feel warm and fuzzy about your kids. And DATE everything!!
- How do you deal with your kid’s Emotional Dysregulation?
Give them time and space to decompress. And make sure they get enough exercise and sleep!
- What are your thoughts about Emotional Social Parenting?
Focus on raising good humans. Listen to what your kids have to say and treat it with respect. Kids internalize everything we say even though it seems like it goes in one ear and out the other. Talk to your kids at your daily family meal. That is a habit that sets them up for success!
- What are your thoughts about Generation Alpha and its future?
They have so much passion and social justice awareness. They are capable and formidable and thank god because we need that for the environmental issues that we are all facing!
p.s. Related posts:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.