So today I’m virtually having coffee with one powerful mamma: blogger and mom of two, Raluca Hanganu, who enjoys an occasional glass of Wine Before Noon. I was fortunate enough to get to know her through my husband, and from the first article on her blog, I fell in admiration (cause I wouldn’t dare say love) with her and her beautiful chaotic family of four. This article was rightfully called “I haven’t been alone in the bathroom since mid-July”. Loved it, became a great fan. Kept reading, got more attached. All I’m saying is if you’re a mom, you’re very likely to have already had your occasional glass of wine before 12 pm. Haven’t you? Well, I know I did, and thank God with this social media wave where we get to share our experiences and dreams and less perfect days, and where we’re able to relate to fellow moms and feel less guilty about our #momguilt moments.
At least that’s what I feel when I have coffee while reading Wine Before Noon. So first of all, thanks Raluca for making my life seem just as good and for making me feel less like a #momster. Even though I am, and we all are.
I’ve decided to find out more about this #powerwoman and discover the insights and secrets about life with not one, not two but…three boys at home. Because yeah, the husband counts too.
Ever wondered what a day in the life of a boys’ mom looks like? Here’s hers.
So, you’re a mom to two beautiful boys. How does it feel to raise two future men? What is the most exciting thing about being a mom of two? What about the hardest/ scariest?
Powerful! It’s like almost everything I do is so that somewhere in the future some nice girl (or a boy, you never know) is going to come to me and say “Thank you for raising this wonderful human. He makes me very happy.” The most exciting thing is that no matter what, they’ll have each other. So I spend most of my days, trying to make them like each other instead of trying to kill each other. The scariest must be not being able to allow the same kind of attention to both of them.
What’s the first thing that goes through your mind when you wake up? And the last before you go to sleep?
The first thing that goes through my mind in the morning – but it’s still dark outside. Why don’t you like me? The last thing before I go to sleep – Phew! I made it through another day.
Why did you decide to have them so close to each other? Do you think it’s easier or harder that there is not a big difference between them? (or maybe you haven’t decided and it happened) Hahaha.
We always said we wanted at least two kids. That was before we knew what raising a child meant. We sort of had it easy with the first one, so there was never a talk about whether we should have another or not. We just went on with that plan without necessarily planning or thinking ahead. Having them so close together was hard on us at the beginning – the first year I think was particularly dense. Now it’s kind of fun watching them interact. On the long run, I think it’s a win-win – especially for them, since the purpose was for them to be close friends.
What is the most valuable quality your boys have taught you so far?
To be honest and silly. And not giving a damn about what people may think.
How do you wind off – or do you, at all? Here I mean anything you get to do while spending some me-time, from yoga, to cinema dates or just chilling with a good book… Anything that relaxes you and charges your batteries after a full day. Do you ever get to take a break?
I dance! I sip wine and listen to the Big Little Lies soundtrack.
Do you have any help, and how do you manage to look so put up in the morning with the kids around? Please don’t say you do everything by yourself so that we all feel bad?
Oh, but I do everything by myself, so please go ahead and feel bad, so I can feel better. We do have a cleaning lady, but that’s about it. And we have pizza delivery when I don’t get to cook dinner. Now that I’ve told you that, I don’t feel that good anymore.
What’s your favourite holiday destination with kids? And without kids? Have you traveled with them yet, and if yes, how horrifying was it?
We flew with Matei to Barcelona last November (I know, we are horrible parents, only one out of two, but we don’t really get to travel as much as we’d like to, and still wanted this to feel like a holiday). He was big already, and really excited about flying, so it wasn’t that horrifying. The only horrifying thing was that I had to stay up during a 3 hours flight. I usually dose off the second I get on board. My husband slept like a baby of course. Matei, instead, was so excited that he managed to stay awake during the whole flight – the joy! I hope this summer we’ll get to travel more with the kids, I’m hoping for Greece or Toscana. Without the kids, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Provence (maybe for our wedding anniversary, given that Provence was our honeymoon destination. Mihnea, are you reading this?)
You have your own blog, Wine Before Noon… So true and inspiring for #mums! How has it all started, and when do you have or make time for it during the day?
Well, it started when both of my kids began going to kindergarten. I felt the need to work – I needed a project. But at the same time I didn’t want to be stuck in an office from 9 to 5. Because as trapped as one might feel during the early years of motherhood, I think it’s a walk in the park compared to being trapped at a job you don’t like.
Plus I still wanted to be available for my kids, in case they needed me. And as it turns out, they did need me during the day, even after they started kindergarten, because they were at home, sick for months. You can also say it started because I’m a lazy ass and after 3 years of being at home everyday with the kids, I felt like I deserve some “me time”. So I discovered that “me time” for me means writing.
Biggest challenge in juggling work and family life?
When my kids are sick. I drop everything and take care of them. So it’s not as much of a juggle, as it is abandoning work and focusing entirely on family.
What’s the hardest part of a day at home with the boys? Do you get to pee alone, shower alone, have breakfast, and all the things that non-moms take for granted?
Taking a well-deserved power nap. I can’t get them to nap at the same time, sometimes I can’t get them to nap at all. I almost never get to pee alone, or take a shower alone when I’m alone with both of them. One time I really had to wash my hair, because we had a play date and an anniversary in the evening, so I asked them to wash my hair for me. Then, when I had to do my make up, I gave them some make up I never use to play with it. What matters is that I got out of the house managing to look flawless, even though I was alone with them the whole day. That was a good one for me – that was the day I felt like Queen B has nothing on me.
How do you feel you have you changed since becoming a mom?
I am much calmer and much less selfish.
How do you think starting a family has influenced your professional life, if in any way?
Of course it has. It made me rearrange my priorities. It made me realize I’m not willing to take crap anymore. And I am not willing to work for projects I don’t believe in, or with people I don’t like. Money wise may be kind of a loss, but I believe things will work out for me eventually – I just have to put in more effort.
Your biggest inspiration?
Jerry Seinfeld. I’m pretty sure he never changed a diaper in his life, but I think he has some great insight about parenting and life in general. Plus he’s 61 and most of his material is from a child’s point of view, trying to make sense of the world of adults. And it’s funny because the adult world doesn’t really make sense all the time. Most of us take things for granted; we stop asking questions, or noticing life anymore. He’s not most of us. And this is what I want for myself. Not to act immature or anything, but to never stop noticing life.
Is there such thing as date night with the hubby? City breaks over the weekend? Holidays just in two?
There is… not as often as we would like, but we do go out every now and then, or visit some friends outside the country for a weekend. Holidays in two not really, we didn’t get the chance to… holiday yet. We got pregnant right after we got married, and then we got pregnant again. But I’m hoping somewhere in the future…
What do you miss most about life before babies? I am sure you have to miss something…. As we all do.
Spur of the moment getaways -just packing clean underwear and leaving. Which reminds me – I miss buying slutty underwear. Or going out for a dance without having to make 145 phone calls to find a sitter. Or binge watching weekends – basically “doing nothing” weekends. Not feeling guilty all the time.
3 things you imagined about motherhood that actually never came true.
That my relationship with my husband will stay the same. That I will never be one of those women who are not interested in having a career anymore. That I will travel as much as I did before.
How do you handle both of your boys’ tantrums, how do you keep them under control, what’s your strategy?
We were kind of lucky with Matei tantrums wise. He’s a kid that you can reason with. Filip, instead, he’s more “my way or the highway.” I usually de-tense the situation by making fun of his tantrums. For instance, when he catches a cold he becomes obsessed with his pacifiers. Pacifiers that he usually uses for sleep only. So at first we have a fight about how he’s not supposed to wear the pacifier when he’s awake. I always lose this fight. So I give him four pacifiers and start laughing about him taking all four of them. “Are you sure you have enough of them, Filip?” I always say this with a smile, so he’ll know he didn’t actually win, because I am not pissed or nervous. I get pissed when he insists I should hold him in my arms all the time. I still don’t know how to handle that one. And I’m thinking about buying a whistle for when they start fighting, because they don’t seem to listen to words when the hustle begins.
Your favourite activities with the boys?
Anything that allows me to kiss them, tickle them or hug them. I honestly act like a teenager in love around them. I don’t necessarily like to play with toys, but I do like making them laugh. I would do anything to hear the sound of their laughter. It’s medicine for me. I also enjoy puzzle solving or going to the theatre together.
How do you manage to keep them under control ? If at all…
By taking that shower or watching that episode of Friends. Basically I have to squeeze in something for myself everyday.
If you were to give an advice to a mom who wants a second child?
Just do it!/ Go for it! When the second one arrives, don’t forget to pay attention to the first one. Be prepared for you not having the same amount of patience as you had with your first one. Especially if you have them close to each other.
Do you still have sex? When, where, how?
We’ve been married for 5 years this summer and we have two kids, so we’re down to just once a day now (I may have stolen this line from a TV series) . Morning sex is out of the question since some mornings we wake up next to a child who sneaked in our bed during the night. The restroom of some club didn’t happen since before the marriage, so it’s basically at home (on the bed on the floor, on the towel by the door, as Sarah Silverman would put it), or at some place we go to on weekends. What do you mean how? P*nis in a v^gina, the old fashioned way.
And now… tell us, what is life like behind-the-scenes of those picture-perfect Instagram snaps? It all looks so calm and stylish, but I am sure that behind the lense, there’s much more. 🙂 We look forward to knowing the naked truth.
Chaotic, of course! Sometimes it’s bad chaotic, sometimes it’s amazingly fun chaotic. It’s never boring, that’s for sure.
Thanks so much for this interview to this wonderful girl, woman and mother, who is all about lifting up other fellow moms and business women, and who is not afraid to be herself in her most natural form.
You can read more of Raluca’s stories about her beautiful chaos with the kids, the challenges and joys of being a mom, and the funny stories that inevitably happen with three boys at home, on her super blog Wine Before Noon. And you might want to do that with a glass of red or white wine in your hand, because you’re going to enjoy it and definitely laugh your a*& off.