Our July curator, Tana Hallows of Mom’s Best Network, is a master at juggling the demands of a large family, a growing business and the complicated schedule that comes alongside both. It’s never easy but it’s clear she wouldn’t trade any of her jobs for the world. We loved reading about how she feels her businesses have helped her children learn from her and with her. Check out Tana’s thoughts on work, life and parenthood below and grab her box here before they are gone again this month!
Tell me a little about Mom's Best Network. How did you get the site to where it is today?
Mom’s Best was created as a platform to inspire & empower other mother’s and women in every circumstance of life. Before mom's best I was involved in design and product development for about 10 years while running a successful children's apparel and accessory brand called Sweetpea Baby. It was sold in over 200 stores across the United States and overseas. After my last baby I was inspired to take a brand new direction focusing on sharing my expertise with others. Hence, Mom's Best and Destination Nursery were born.
In less than two years we have grown into a popular lifestyle blog for the hip and savvy mom sharing on-trend home inspiration, fashion and delicious recipes from. We also partner with more mamas (our brand ambassadors) who help us in looking for the best of the best products and brands for our Mom’s Best Hot Product Awards.
Destination Nursery was a place where I found tons of inspiration when I was expecting. Tell me more about that aspect of the site.
This is our giveaway series + e-design service. It was started when I was designing a space for my youngest. She is our little caboose and with 6 years between her and her brother, we were really starting all over. I realized that the nursery space you create for your little one is so important, and most mom's can't afford to invest much, so I wanted to create an opportunity to help other mothers fulfill that dream of enjoying a beautiful/calming space with their little one. Thus Destination Nursery was born. It has become known all over the world as we continue to create fun spaces for families through our kids room makeover giveaways. We also share insightful tips for stylish, discerning moms in our daily blog posts on designing and living with children.
Running an online business is a great option for lots of women. What advantages and disadvantages have you seen in earning a living this way?
I have always had a business since my children were very small. It’s been my creative outlet and allowed me the opportunity to contribute to our family income as needed. I have been able to work around my children and their activities while always being there for them.
There are disadvantages too. Your work at times never seems to end. Even though you set boundaries, turning off can be hard. As you always feel compelled to be doing something or just finish that one last thing.
Your kids range in age up to teenagers. Tell me how your parenting style has changed over the years.
I have become a better parent over the years as my knowledge and confidence has increased. Patience, love and a lot of forgiveness is key for both sides. I still make mistakes!
How are the needs of teenagers different than the needs of your preschooler?
I've actually learned that their needs are really not much different. You would think that as older kids become older and more independent, they don't need you as much but on the contrary, they need you even more but in different ways. I've learned that my kids want and need my attention just as much as my preschooler. It all boils down to them feeling LOVED and that means feeling your love. The best way you can show that is give them your time and attention. They also still need loves and hugs just like they did when they were little.
Also, I have learned that even though they are now capable of cooking a meal on their own, most of the time it's better when mom or dad does it or really the best thing is to do it together with them. This shows them that you care and helps them learn and practice to do it better. I'm not saying do every little thing for them or baby them because sooner than later they will be out on their own.
What do you think you're best at (or at least pretty good at!) as a mother? What are you working on?
Most of the time I'm good at talking with and encouraging my kids. My husband and I have always had some type of business from when they were small. I hope they are learning the value of hard work, and working together as a team. We have to work together as a team just to juggle it all. My kids and my husband are the reason I can even do what I do. They help me every single day, from doing their chores to supporting the latest project I am working on.
I’m working on having more patience and finding more balance while wishing I had 30 hours in a day. I’ve learned that balance is a myth and there is no magic formula. I'm just trying to hang on and enjoy this ride, find joy each day and remember that slow and stead wins the race...MY race!
When your children are grown, what do you want them to remember about you as a mother during these years?
I want them to remember that I was always there for them, that I believed in them, and that I love them. Also that I was not afraid to try new things and even though I failed many times, I kept on going. Persistence pays off. Always follow your dreams because anything can happen.
What do you want to remember about these years?
l try to live life with no regrets. I want to remember that I gave it my all, that no sacrifice was too big or too small and it really wasn't a sacrifice at all because I would literally do anything for my kids.