Name: Tove Maren Stakkestad
?Children: Jacob (9), Jordan (6), Jansen (3), Jonah (1)
Blog/Company: Mama in the Now
Tell us a little about yourself? I am a Danish/ American mother of four boys. Up until recently I worked full time in an office, but have now retired from the rat race to stay at home with my darling cherubs. I am the owner of the blog Mama in the Now, as well as a freelance writer for anyone who wants to hear what I have to say.
What inspired you to create Mama in the Now? I realized that as a mother of four boys, with a Danish background I have a unique perspective on things. It is my sincere hope that my stories and advice, peppered with a little humor resonates with other mothers who are also knee-deep in motherhood. I have always loved to write, so starting a blog made sense, since working full time left me so much extra time on my hands.
Best moment in your career thus far? The day I retired and when I was featured on the Cradle Coach’s blog!
How do you balance the demands of your career, family, life, etc.? I don’t! – or at least most days it feels like I don’t! But in all actuality I have a mantra that gets me through the toughest of times: “Be Where You Are!” – and that’s how I do it. During the day I focus solely on the kids. Once they are in bed, I write. I give each aspect of my life undivided attention. Oh – and then I stopped apologizing for saying “no” to friends! I keep a lean social calendar, and I desperately try not to over-schedule. There WILL come a time in the future that the kids don’t need me as much, and I can see my friends then… until that day there is texting, social media and a select few mom’s night out gatherings.
Two things you learned as a mom that no one could have prepared you for?
1: You cannot catch poop or vomit, no matter how hard you try – so don't even try!
2: No parent knows what they are doing any more than you do. We all stumble through parenthood like deer in headlights. We take all the credit when our kids do great things, and blame it on food coloring if they misbehave! (at least I do!)
Best advice you received: “Be where you are!” – always be present in the moment, even if the moment entails watching your 3 year old go to the bathroom because he’s afraid of monsters in the toilet. Be present!
Something you struggle with as a mom: My muffin top and accepting when others (such as teachers) don’t love my kids as much as I do. It’s hard to fathom how the entire world doesn’t see that our kids exude perfection at all times.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced being a mom and how were you able to overcome them? Parenting in general. It is hard to know how to encourage, empower and educate the kids without somehow screwing them up in the process. There is always a parenting book or theory out there that contradicts the exact methods you are using, so staying confident in your parenting skills and abilities can some times be trying.
What is the perfect picture of “you time”? Being pushed through Target in a big stroller with a latte in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Or perhaps a family movie night at home where all the kids agree on one movie before you threaten to send them all to bed.
Ten years from now where do you see your life and business? Ten years from now the kids will be stinky teenagers. Our lives will be equally as wonderful, although I am sure my worries will look drastically different from what they are today. I have a feeling the kids will still refuse to wear shirts and socks most of the time. In 10 years my “business” will have grown into a “community” empowering mothers everywhere. People are buying my books, t-shirts and aprons – because every well-respected brand has their own line of aprons, right?!