You guys are in for a real treat today. I have my friend Joelle answering our Mom Monday questions! Joelle runs an Instagram (@realreviewsbyjojo) and let me tell you, she is VERY influential! She reviews beauty and skin care products for a wide range of budgets, but I heard a rumor that she will be expanding her reviews into other categories very soon! Without further ado, here is Joelle!
Name(s) and age(s) of children
Blair (3.5), Riley (14 months)
Biggest parenting fail
Screen time overload. I am pro-screen time because of how it mends stressful situations very quickly. I choose screen time over tantrums. I choose screen time as a distraction so I can get things done or enjoy my meal for 15 minutes. I use it as a crutch out in public. I am not ashamed of it, I think screen time is fine at times. It’s just something that I will need to be aware of in the future in terms of forming permanent bad habits.
The former cool girl in me wants to say Jay-Z and Eminem at Yankee stadium in 2010.The new Nashvillian in me wants to say the Dan & Shay concert the week before the world shut down in March.But every part of me WILL say: Celine Dion at Bridgestone last year. I still get chills thinking about it.
Favorite travel destination
We did our honeymoon in Capetown, South Africa and nothing in my life has topped that experience. It was the most spectacular city. It was the most majestic wine country. And it was the most life-changing safari. I can’t believe all 3 of those experiences existed in the same 10 day trip!
You’re at home doing chores. What’s on as your background noise?
A podcast – typically something funny like Jared Fried or one of the BETCHES podcasts, a beauty-related podcast or something pop culture related. I like LIGHT content!
Tell me something good that happened to you recently. My parents finally booked a trip to Nashville for around the holidays. COVID has kept our visits to a minimum which has been extremely difficult for me. I cant wait to see them. Seeing my parents with my kids is the best.
Describe your ideal date night. My ideal date night would start with a GREAT outfit that I feel my best in and a leisurely application of my hair and makeup. It would be at a vibey restaurant with a fabulous ambiance and delicious food and wine. It would end at either a cocktail bar for one more drink or at a bar on Broadway for live music – I know this is the most stereotypical thing to do in Nashville but there’s really nothing better than live music in music city. In my fantasy, It would also include a babysitter that takes care of my kids the next morning so that I don’t have to be spending my indulgent evening thinking about my early wake up call. (I have never done this unless my mom was visiting but how nice does that sound?)
What has been the best/worst part about being a mom?
The worst part for me was dealing with my post-partum body – I struggle with body changes and after my second baby, it was hands down one of the hardest things I have been through. My body will probably never be quite the same as it was before children, but I have come a long way in reconciling that.
The best part is literally everything else. With the birth of my daughters came the birth of my life’s purpose. My heart and soul exist on the outside of my body in the form of two little girls growing, learning, laughing, discovering and becoming their own people. I really don’t recommend being a mom (or dad) to everyone because it is a very heavy responsibility that you HAVE to want. But if you do have parenthood in your heart, I am sure you would agree that there is no higher form of pure joy in the human experience.
Outside of being a mom what are you most proud of?
I have a tie. The first is my career… I am a sales professional and from my first job at 21 until my current job at almost 33, not a single person has helped me. I have built a very successful career from the ground up based on my merit, performance, boldness and self-curated relationships. I am really proud of that. The other thing that I am even more proud of is my marriage. My husband and I met at 21 and 23 in New York City. That relationship statistically does not last. The amount of challenges that life has thrown at us would break 9 out of 10 couples, in my opinion. But our love for each other and commitment to one another has always driven us to move through difficult situations and come out stronger on the other side. I am beyond proud of our resilience and our love for each other.
Who is your celebrity crush? My #1 man crush is Adam Levine. My #1 girl crush is Emanuelle Chriqui.
If your life was a movie what would be the title? “It turns out that you CAN’T have it all – a memoir”
What is your most unpopular opinion? I couldn’t get into Game of thrones. I KNOW IM SORRY. I tried. (Editor’s note: me either. I tried too.)