Mommybites Chit-Chat: Conversations with luminaries, entrepreneurs and influencers in the parenting world
Q: Tell us a little about you (your background, your job, what makes you tick or anything else you think our Mommybites moms will find interesting).
I am a mother first and foremost but like many moms, I multitask A LOT. I feel really fortunate that I’ve been able to pursue my career as a photographer specializing in portraiture and documenting people’s stories while still being there for my two children. In October, I’m releasing my first book, An Ordinary Day – Kids with Rare Conditions. The inspiration for this book is deeply personal, my eldest brother died of a rare disease before I was born.
An Ordinary Day documents the lives of 27 amazing children who have rare genetic conditions and their families. My goal with the book was to elevate their stories to inspire empathy and understanding. Having a rare genetic condition can be an extremely isolating experience despite the fact that 1 in 10 Americans are affected and this is something I wanted to help change, even in a small way. All of the proceeds from the book are going to genetic research so please consider spreading the word or purchasing the book which is available on Amazon or via my website.
Q: What or who inspires you?
My mom is by far my biggest inspiration. She is a businesswoman who is just incredibly successful in whatever she does through a combination of hard work, smarts, and self-motivation. As a Mother, she is a great listener and 100% supportive of me. In my creative life and career, I’m inspired by light. Anywhere that you can see the sky is good for me. I spend a lot of time out on the North Fork and the early evening light there is so beautiful.
Q: What is your best piece of parenting advice?
There is a lot of good parenting advice going around these days. I probably speak for many Moms when I say that the hard part is following all of it. For me personally, there are three things I try to keep in mind. 1. Listen to your kids first. Really listen. 2. Go with your gut. You know your kids best. Not all kids are the same and you need to do what is right for your kid. 3. Rather than saying no to their many requests, use words like, maybe, we will see, let’s discuss it later.
Q: What’s the worst piece of parenting advice you have heard?
This is a funny question. I have seen some not so great parenting at times but I am not sure that those parents are giving advice. I have heard from a parent, “if your baby bites you, bite her back.” I don’t think this is the best form of teaching.
Q: What’s the most common question you are asked by parents?
How do you get your kids to listen? Getting kids to listen when you need them to, when you are trying to get out the door and with a parents’ agenda, can be challenging and exhausting. Truth be told, no kids are perfect and they often do not listen the first, second or third time, which can be incredibly frustrating. I try to keep my sense of humor and also remind myself that it’s developmentally normal for kids of a certain age to be so tuned into whatever they are focused on that they literally can’t hear me!
Q: What are some of your favorite T.V. shows? Books? Foods?
I enjoy shows that are high on action. Game of Thrones, Ray Donovan, and Homeland are great escapes from everyday life. Fortunately, I have a family member who is an executive at a publishing company so I am never short on books. I loved reading The Alchemist when I was younger. Right now I’m in the middle of The Count of Monte Cristo. Food wise, I can rarely turn down pizza! Smoothies are great after a work out and I love the Chai Latte at Telegrafe café in Chelsea.
Q: What parenting books do you most recommend to parents?
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and 1-2-3 Magic are classics. Raising your Spirited Child, The Out of Sync Child are great books for parents who have kids with sensory issues.
Q: What are some of your favorite parenting products?
I love sunscreen sticks. Easy to apply and very important in preventing burns! Also, Aquaphor is great for dry skin, windburn, and many skin irritations. I think wipes are incredibly practical for all ages!
Q: If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be and why?
It might be interesting to be my kid for a day. What insight I would have afterwards!
Q: What’s up next for you professionally?
I am an advocate for people being able to share their personal stories. My next photography book project will be on Adoption; Photographs and stories of people with their birth family and adopted family. I am currently looking for interested participants and sponsorship. I am also working with an Emmy Award Winning Production team to raise money to produce a feature-length documentary on kids with rare genetic conditions.
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The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.