If it’s Sunday, it means we’re having coffee with a bold, spicy, true #realmomster. Say hi to Chrissy Powers – wife to a surfer, mamma of two blonde-haired boys Wylon and Ezekiel, photographer, blogger and licensed marriage and family therapist. Have I said enough? Probably not, because she is so much more. But wait until you read her story below and you’ll see for yourself.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Chrissy is chatting with us about living in L.A, motherhood and managing two little boys, fighting Mom Guilt on her blog and winding off with McDonald’s and Starbucks. What she wants for this special day? To be cozy with the fam, drink wine and coffee, finish a book and just have everyone nap at the same time. (I imagine it doesn’t happen too often for her three boys and herself too to just sync on nap schedules). I met Chrissy virtually – on Instagram to be more exact-, and fell for her honestly naked stories about herself and the kids immediately. Yes she lives in California, yes she has three boys that adore her (2 sons and a husband) and yes she might have better photos on social media than you have in your entire home albums, but one thing is for sure: she is real, she is fun, she is bold and we’re happy to have her on the mag. She’s a #realmomster.
So Chrissy, tell us what you do exactly. On your Instagram, we can see you’re a MOM( of course), a photographer & a family and marriage therapist. Tell us more about these professions bounding into one soul of a woman. How did it all started?
“Ha Ha that’s a great question! My undergraduate degree is in art and I’ve always been a creative person but I also wanted to work with people and help others live more whole lives. That’s what led to to get my masters in psychology and become a marriage and family therapist. When I became a mother my artistic spark was lit again and I wanted to take really good photos of their childhood, I don’t know why that was a thing for me but it was ha ha. Then a friend told me about blogging and I started chrissypowers.com as a way to write about motherhood, relationships, life and also have a place to put up the photos I was taking of our life. I saw it as an online journal that my grandchildren could read someday; and it quickly turned into a passion. I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the people I’ve met through blogging.”
At what point in your life have you become a Mom? And how has it changed your former professional path and lifestyle? (if it has in any way)
“I became a mother when I was 30 years old. I was trying to gain the 3,000 hours for my MFT license so it definitely slowed down my career in psychology somehow, but overall things happened at the perfect time. I took a few months off and went back to work at my private practice part time. When Waylon was 2.5 I passed my MFT licensing exams and a week later found out I was pregnant with Ezekiel. It was such an amazing moment in my life. I felt so full knowing that I had accomplished something huge in my career and I loved that I could also have time to still be at home with my children most of the day.”
Have you managed to “incorporate” your kids into your job and life, and if yes, how? We’re talking about that balance here, that we’re all trying to achieve…
“Yes! When it comes to blogging and photography I always ask my boys if they want to help me with my work. That is if their in the photos I ask if they want to be in them. I have taken them with me to many shoots and am hoping that they will see it as a good thing so they grow up knowing women can be good mothers and still work. You can’t have balance without a mental “reset button”. There are some weeks when I schedule things out well and some where I overbook myself and I’m stressed out and my family feels it. When I see this happening I imagine a reset button and take a deep breath, hit that button and figure out how to move forward in a better way, whether that’s saying no to more things or getting some childcare help.
You have to figure out what you and your family need and not compare yourself to anyone else.”
What was the most surprising thing about becoming a mom? And the hardest part?
“For me the most surprising thing was how ambitious I became once I had children. I’ve always had ambition but they give me so much drive. I just want them to have the best childhood and to grow up knowing they can do and be anything they want. The hardest part for me has been dealing with anxiety. I constantly worry about my children and their safety…it drives me nuts! I have to reframe it as a good thing because it means that I love my children and then I remind myself that God loves my children even more than I and I find so much comfort in that.”
Talking about anxiety…isn’t this equal to #MomGuilt? Oh yes it is, and Chrissy – just like all of us mothers- knows that dealing with mom guilt is part of being a mom, and is part of evolving as a person and a mother. She actually has a personal blog post on how to deal with this feeling and how to turn it into a positive thing. You can read the full story on her blog.
“Anxiety and mom guilt have a lot in common—overwhelming thoughts and emotions, negative and distorted thinking and questions of the unknown. Sometimes my overwhelming thoughts look like this—was I on my phone too much today depriving my children of enough eye contact or attention? Was I too harsh in that punishment? Do I really have a close relationship with my children—will they want to be my friend when they’re older? Will they turn out okay? And if they don’t turn out okay, will it be my fault? No one wants perfection because that’s nauseating. Your people want real love and acceptance. I have a feeling that if you’re reading this then your family probably already knows you love them more than the moon, stars and Netflix combined.So mothers—let’s take the shame out of our guilt and give ourselves (and each other) a healthy does of empathy for doing the hardest job in the world, and crushing it, no less. Let’s remind ourselves to have the courage and compassion it takes to live our best lives, which includes connecting with our families by being vulnerable and honest.”
How have you felt the transition from one kid to two? Was the second time any different or better than the first one?
“I loved it! I know a lot of people says it’s really hard and yes there are moments where it’s very tough but overall, seeing Waylon and Zeke together is the best thing ever! I feel like I gave them a built in best friend for life. Also Waylon had severe colic for 5 months so I really didn’t enjoy his newborn days. After having Zeke I savored those first few months and just felt a peace like never before.
I think when he was about 2 hours old I looked at my husband and said, “I want another!” “
How are you managing two kids at once – do you dispose of any help ( husband, grannies, nannies, maids, etc)?
“Most of our days I’m at home with both boys. Waylon goes to preschool 3 days a week so that allows me to work during Zeke’s nap time and for other work related events I enlist grandma or pay for a babysitter. I usually see clients at night so that means when my husband gets home from work we tag team and he does dinner and bedtime while I’m at the office.”
What do you feel you need most help for in your daily life?
“Oh that’s a good questions…figuring out what the right things to say yes to and navigating life as an entrepreneur is quite a challenge and probably what I need most help with. I recently worked with a career coach and she helped me prioritise and set goals and understand energy output. It was invaluable!”
What is your typical daily routine like and what don’t you go a day without doing?
“I typically wake up at 6:30am, we’ll play around the house and I’ll maybe answer an email or two while sipping coffee and or reading a devotion. Then Zeke and I will jog Waylon to school in the double BOB stroller to get my workout in and I’ll listen to music or a podcast at the same time. Then nap time, during which I’ll write or edit photos or answer emails, and once Zeke wakes up we play, eat or run errands and then pick Waylon up. After school I let Waylon veg out on the couch because I know he’s tired so I’ll try to pick up the house so it’s not a complete disaster when Sam gets home and then we’ll go out to a park or meet up at a friends house.
I don’t go a day without drinking coffee and cuddling my kids on the couch.”
What’s it like to be living and raising kids in CA?
“I love living in Southern California because we have the sun most of the year and the beach! We are outside a lot so I don’t know what we’d do without our perfect weather ha ha!”
What is your favourite thing to do together as a family there?
“We love meeting friends at the beach on Saturday morning. It’s become a tradition now, we meet up at a certain spot with coffee and beach toys and let the kids play. Community, the beach, donuts and coffee…doesn’t get better than that!”
What is your number 1 favourite method of winding off, relaxing, restarting, whatever you like to call it.
“Probably running by myself by the beach….It helps me breathe.”
When have you actually realised you are a Mom?
“I realised I was a mom when I was pregnant with Waylon and had a placenta abruption at 29 weeks. That’s the first time i realised I could lose my child and it was the scariest thing ever. I learned about a whole new kind of love, sacrifice and faith.”
What are you proudest of about yourself? And about your kids?
“I’m most proud of being a mother and also going after my individual desires in life and I’m so stinking proud of my kids! I’m so proud of Waylon’s heart. He’s fiery and passionate but loves so deeply and is literally a friend to all. I’m so proud of Ezekiel for being such a little joy. Already at 20 months old he is a complete snuggle bug with everyone he knows and he loves he is a big brother now.”
What’s the first thing that goes through your head when you wake up in the morning? And before going to sleep?
“What do I have to get down today, where’s the coffee, did Zeke pooped yet?….and then before I go to bed it’s did I love my kids and husband well today?”
What’s your guilty pleasure that you can mix with the kids’ pleasures?
“Probably driving through Starbucks, In N Out, or Mcdonalds because they need food and I want a treat too ha ha! Oh I also take my boys to gardens and plant nurseries all over to pick out plants for our yard and house. They love it!”
Finish the sentence…
I feel sexiest when…Wearing faded jeans and white tee shirt.
I am the best mom when…I feel supported and loved.
My kids….are my heart.
Never missing from my fridge…cookie butter ice cream.
If I could have one superpower, it would be…to be in multiple places at once.
If I could go away for a week it would be…to Paris.
My biggest passion…living life to its fullest.
My most terrible fear…dying in an airplane.
My advice to all mothers out there…tell yourself you’re enough and then be that for your children and never be the first one to pull away when hugging them.
Thank you so much Chrissy for the interview, and Happy Mother’s Day #Realmomsters everywhere!