Walking into Melissa’s home we were greeted by her two little girls. Her little boy was busy in the other room watching one of his favorite shows. The girls came in and out showing us some dance moves and wanting to be involved in the conversation.
All the kids were happy to pose with their mom for photos and you could clearly tell how enamored they all are with her. Being the mom of three little ones can be such a crazy ride, but Melissa organizes everything with such ease (at least it looked like it to us). She even showed us her organizational wall; a place where the calendar is located (so no one misses a thing), book bags are hung and homework and forms go.
She might have three little children and work out of the home, but you would never see any sort of stress on her face. She takes it all in and she makes everything look easy. She deserves the title of Mom of Fame!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
I thought about this. I guess it depends on what age, I feel like it changes. As babies, and I was a nanny before so I feel like I knew a little bit, to get a schedule and stay on it. That really worked for us. I always did that and that was such good advice. I always had a bedtime and all my babies went down at that bedtime. It always worked. We always did naptime at the same time of day and we just kept on a schedule. Still to this day, we go to bed at a certain time during the school year and a certain time in the summer. We keep to our schedule and I never had the problem with my kids having a hard time going to bed. Everyone just knew it was bedtime and went to bed. It made my life really easy.
[I] sometimes [give that advice to other people]. I don’t feel like I’m quick to give advice. If someone asks me to I will, but I don’t know if I’ve ever given it out. Everyone has their own way of doing things and what works for you doesn’t work for everybody.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
It’s way more tiring than I ever imagined it would be. You think you can do it all, but you can’t. I don’t know how any mother does it as a single mother. It’s more than you think it will be. That’s the biggest difference. It’s more work than you expect. It’s worth it! And I always think to myself, “in 15 years I won’t have all of this work anymore and I’m probably going to miss it!” So it’s okay.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
So this one was hard. First I thought…
Multitasking and being organized. I feel like that’s a big strength. I work from home and I’m balancing clients, and the kids, and my kids play sports and they dance. I can keep it all under control.
Then after that, I was like, “I don’t know…what else?” So in my group chat I asked my girlfriends. I said, “you guys, what are my strengths!? I don’t even know!” And surprisingly everyone says…
Patience. I don’t think of myself as being patient. But my girlfriend said, “I didn’t think of you as being patient either until you had children. And you are so patient!” So I guess I’m patient!
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
I feel like I’m overwhelmed a lot. The biggest overwhelming time was when I had [my daughter] and [my son] was 20 months old and she got really sick. I remember we spent two weeks in the hospital with her, from 3 weeks old to 5 weeks old. I felt so overwhelmed and so bad because I had a 20 month old at home and I stayed at the hospital every single night. It was awful. I just felt so guilty that I wasn’t with [my son] at home and then I felt so guilty even if I left the hospital to go shower. Even though my sister would come stay at the hospital I would come home and shower, see [my son], and go back. That was the most overwhelming two weeks ever. Just not knowing what was wrong with your baby and trying to be a mom to another baby, you feel like you’re neglecting because you’re not there.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Not really, I really don’t know. I feel like I’m the same person, but better! You grow up. Even if I wasn’t a mom I’m sure I wouldn’t want to be doing the same things I was doing before. I don’t feel like I lost anything really.
Obviously I gained patience, that my friends never thought I had before [laughs]! I’m able to juggle things now. I gained, obviously, children.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
I thought about my girls, I really hope that they get friendships like I have. And for [my son] too, but as a girl, as a woman to have those amazing friendships with other women is priceless. I’ve grown up with my best friends my entire life and just having them to back me up and to have someone else to talk to and to be able to share your experiences with. I really hope that for my girls, especially. I hope that they learn to be kind and nice people.
You have three small children, you work from home, you have a million friends and you seem to always be doing something fun. How do you prioritize your life with everything you have going on?
I don’t know if I’m always doing something fun! [Laughs]. So working from home with three kids is super hard. It’s a struggle. Weekly I’m struggling. My kids aren’t old enough yet to technically fend for themselves in the house while I work. So having to always have a babysitter here or have somebody here or try to schedule my work around who has dance, who has whatever. It’s a daily struggle. I’m lucky that my mom lives [close], my sister lives down the street, I have 15 and 16 year old nephews that will babysit for me. I have people to help me out. I couldn’t do it without that. That’s probably the most difficult to balance is working from home.
Obviously our kids are the number one priority. And work. But I also make my friends and our family, our relationships a priority too. I just try to balance it all. It’s a little different with my girlfriends now. It’s not like, “oh, let’s go out to dinner!” We hang out with our kids. So it’s quality time, but it’s hectic when you have 12 kids running around and you’re trying to talk. So I still try to do stuff, but it’s different stuff now. It’s not always easy, but I make it work. You just make it work!