Tuesday, July 12, 2011

PLPT GEMS: Meet Bailey

PLPT GEMS Presents
Bailey aka Makeover Momma
Supermom. Journalist. Blogger Extraordinaire. 

Makeover Momma is a thriving site that helps women to be "fit, fashionable and fabulous after kids". Tell us about what inspired you to begin this site, and the steps you took to bring it to fruition.

I originally thought of the Makeover Momma concept when my first daughter was only 3 months old. I was tired, stressed and would literally dream of finding time during the day to shower. Even though I wrote the complete (as-yet-unpublished) MM manuscript first, I decided to build the website platform in the meantime. I'd been a journalist for over a decade, but had very little experience with online and web-based media or writing. Even though I was terrified, I just jumped in and went for it!

Tell us about your work flow. What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day involves me waking up way too early (thanks to my two girls under the age of 5), drinking a large pot of coffee, and homeschooling my eldest or taking my youngest to her deaf and hard-of-hearing based preschool program. I try to squeeze in an hour or two of work in the morning (though it's very rarely successful), and work at a fast-and-furious pace during the girl's naps. I teach dance a few evenings a week, and return home to work even more after the kids go to bed. Basically, there is no sitting, no eating, no sleeping and very little sanity. I squeeze in bits of work whenever I can!

You post several times per week, and even have an editorial calendar posted on your site for readers to keep track of what you'll be posting. You also have a wonderful family and writing endeavors outside of the blog. How do you keep the balance?

Your guess is as good as mine! Basically, I think that "balance" is something we always try to achieve as moms, but very rarely are able to do. I might have a "balanced" day once or twice a week, and if that's the case: it's been a success! As women, we juggle a million balls all the time, so I try to do what I can whenever I can and enjoy the little moments in between.

As women, we often have trouble asking for help and relinquishing control (superwoman syndrome). Who is your support network and how do they help you manage everything? Do you ever struggle to let go and ask for help?

You're so right! I am so lucky to have a fabulous mother ("Mi Mi"), who helps me with the girls for a couple of hours 1 day per week. This precious time is when I squeeze in my most serious, focused writing efforts. Aside from my mom (and occasionally my husband), it's definitely very hard to get help as a woman, unless I spend money on a babysitter (which is not happening!) Recently a friend and I took turns watching each others girls so that we could both focus on important tasks. This is the first time I really reached out for help, and I'm so glad I did! Otherwise, we would have both had a miserable week and achieved nothing by being "super women".

What are the biggest challenges you face as a professional woman, wife and mother?

The biggest challenge is trying to balance my efforts to make money and help support my family (which being a young couple, my husband and I have no other choice), without it being to the detriment of my girls. Being a mom really is my best and most important job on earth, and every time we turn a grocery store trip into an adventure or a bedtime story into a lesson... it makes me remember why I work so hard. I try and find small moments every single day to laugh with my kids, to connect with them and to learn something new together.

What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose or are afraid to take the first step towards their dreams?

I had a strange advantage growing up being the baby of 5 children. My mother always taught me to reach for the sky, to never be afraid to ask questions, and never worry about looking stupid. In turn, I look stupid all the time, but learn so much in the process. As a progressively deaf adult, I've had tons of reasons to doubt myself, but I try to garner up some false naivety and go forward anyways. Basically, I try to see life the way my 5 and 2 year old do: exciting, open and full of possibilities. We never get anything if we're too scared to ask for it... we just need to speak up for ourselves!

Name someone who has inspired you and why.

This might not be a huge surprise, but my mom is the most endless inspiration in my life. Not once in our childhood did she make me feel less important than any other responsibility at that time. She found ways to enjoy her own life, her own interests, and her own quest for learning, but all without excluding us children from the process. Now we all love our individual pursuits, careers and passions too!

How can our readers connect with you?

The best part of this job is having women nationwide that I consider dear, dear friends. Every morning when I'm tired and grumpy, the only thing that pushes me forward is knowing I get to connect with my online friends. I love emailing with readers (bailey@makeovermomma.com), connecting on Twitter @makeovermomma or following one another on Facebook. If you want to chat, I am always here for you!


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