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Mum's the Word

Ana-Maria Klizs - Momspiration

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What is the most rewarding thing about being a mother? 

Ahh starting off with the tough questions! Just kidding!  I love seeing my boys together.  When Johannes took Magnus’ little hand when we were out looking for a tree, and guided him around.  Or when he was so upset that I gave away the second set of dollar-store reindeer antlers, because he wanted to save them for his brother…that protection, love and bond between them is the most rewarding thing to me.

...And your greatest challenge?

I feel joy and frustration on a daily basis.  The challenges are constant, from the breakfast battles, to keeping the peace during playtime.  Magnus is at an age where he can only express himself by hitting and screaming, so that wears on me.  But then dinner is over, the screaming done away with and its “family dance party time”.  While I watch my two crazies run around the dining table jumping and singing to “I’m a gummy bear”, I feel a whole lot of joy.

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Fave baby books?

Secretly I love “Where is my hat”….not for the kids, I love it for me.  I mean they think its great as well, but I can’t help but giggle every time.  And of course “The Book With No Pictures”.  Its genius!

Sunday night tradition? If not, any fun family traditions?

We don’t have a specific Sunday night tradition because our schedules are so crazy.  Between working full time and running the shop and blog, it’s a bit of a struggle to stay super consistent.  But we do try to visit my mom and dad for dinner once every two weeks, if not every week. 

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Kids names? Where did you find inspiration?

Johannes Augustin, was easy.  It’s a combination of what was to be my husband’s name and my late grandpa.

Magnus Valentin is a much more embarrassing way of naming our kids.  I saw one of the names on Instagram…ahhh!  And the other came about in a dream. 

Quote the worst/funniest thing your kids have ever said.

Oh man! What doesn’t he say?!  The latest came yesterday when I was changing for work and he came into the room and said, “mom, put that fat belly away”…groan.  Needless to say I’ll be running to and from work for the next hundred years and eating lettuce until my “fat belly” goes away! I even dug out my fitbit and turned it back on.

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Do you find that your personal style has changed since you’ve become a mom?

Yes, its much more simple.  I rarely wear heels and when I do I find they hurt my feet.  I just don’t have the time or the desire to wear uncomfortable clothing, its just not worth it! 

We know you recently went back to work - what have you learned about balancing motherhood with your career?

Well…there is no balance.  At least not for me.  I just try and do the best I can in the moment I am in.  I try to plan and organize when the boys are asleep.  I try to work out on commute time that doesn’t take away more time from them. I work when I’m at work and take less breaks so I can leave a little earlier, and I learned to let other’s help, like when my mom offered to cook me a couple of meals I just accepted it and said thank you.  I think trying to find this magical “balance” we’ll never be happy, it’s more like a scramble.

How do you find time for yourself? What’s your ideal girls’ night? 

I actually don’t have this.  I think maybe I have one girl’s night a month if that.  I look at the time I spend working on my shop, Instagram, or blogging as “me time”.  Sometimes I go out for lunch with friends, but generally if I have a free evening I spend it with my husband, or we hang out as a couple with another couple.

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With the power and influence of social media such as Instagram, how do you draw the line about what you think is appropriate to post of your kids? As a mother do you enjoy and/or find it beneficial to share photos and videos your family on social media platforms? 

I’ve learned to let go of expectations of what’s appropriate on social media and I just do what I want and post what I want…within reason of course.  I don’t post photos of my kids nude or in compromising situations.  I don’t post photos where my house number is visible or post the names of schools they attend. I am mindful of those basic safety needs. 

I entered the world of social media when Instagram was in its infancy, and when I didn’t have many other mom friends.  It wasn’t what it is today.  My photos have evolved, as has my blog and myself as a mom.  I met true friends there which have now translated into real life friends.  So I take the good and try and let go of the bad.  There will always be someone out there who doesn’t like me, who judges how I may do certain things, who maybe thinks I shouldn’t put my kids on the internet.  But I really don’t care.  I feel good about what I do and the connections I’ve created far surpass negative parts.

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Go-to family restaurant in Toronto?

Terroni!

Any last words of wisdom for our fellow new moms?

Do life your way.  You’re the expert.  Take inspiration on social media with a grain of salt, and if something starts to make you feel bad…toss it aside and try something else.  Always trust your gut when it comes to motherhood, there’s no blueprint for perfection.

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