I had the great opportunity to chat with a wonderful WAHM, Alyssa. She is the owner and creator of Fab Flares by Audrey’s Mom and writer at Babies Bloodhound Booze Oh My!
VM: Thanks Alyssa for chatting with me today! Can you tell us briefly about yourself and your family?
Alyssa: I’m a mom to my beautiful 1.5 year old Audrey and my bloodhound Tara. I’ve been with the love of my life almost 10 years, since we were kids in high school. Jake is a sheet metal worker and my better half (his words not mine). We live in Spokane, WA. We’re country and 12th man through and through. I am currently a WAHM and prior to owning my business, and before my pregnancy, I was a chiropractic assistant.
VM: How did your business come to be?
Alyssa: What was the pusher for me deciding to start Fab Flares by Audrey’s Mom, was people were loving my chalkboard painted wine glasses and outdoor bottle openers. I had such a request for them from people that it clicked, why not sell my crafts? Turn my hobby into a passion.
VM: What do you feel has brought you the most success in promoting your business?
Alyssa: I’ve been very fortunate to have friends and family help me promote my business. They share by word of mouth and social media. I also find link up parties on facebook. Connecting with other businesses has been great for all involved. Small businesses are better when they work together.
VM: What do you feel some of the pros/cons are of working for yourself?
Alyssa: The pros are definitely being home with Audrey. I love making crafts and working with my hands. I was going crazy and needed an outlet to get away from it all and this is that. Having a 9-5 job just isn’t sensible for my family, so this is great. Oh the cons, there are always cons on everything. The biggest one, it’s not a steady income like a normal job. So then I beat myself up because I feel guilty that I’m not able to contribute financially like I used to. Also, I’m my biggest critic. I look at my work and get mad because I don’t think I did a good enough job, especially on custom orders.
VM: Do you have any advice for other WAHM’s just starting out?
Alyssa: First and always first, make sure that this is the right decision for your family. It’s a huge change no matter where you were before. I was a sahm from 6 weeks pregnant, so it wasn’t so bad. Being in a big job where you are praised in many ways and going to being a wahm, you will feel horrible about yourself. I don’t say this to scare people away from it but it really pulls at your confidence. You need to constantly remind yourself that you can do it and it will be the right thing in the long run for your family.
VM: Tell us a little bit about your typical day as a mom.
Alyssa: A typical day with a toddler, is anything but typical. I hated feeling like I didn’t have a routine for myself though. So each day is something different with the housework. I work on a different room to make sure I don’t live in a frat house. Luckily, Audrey is pretty willing to help me, so I get her to clean with me and she just beams with pride. We get up, eat, play, clean, nap (I work), eat, play, eat, bath and then bed. She knows what to do and when it’s time to do it. She will come tell me when it’s time to eat, grabs my hand and says, mama mama. Oh I love those words.
VM: How do you juggle work and family?
Alyssa: How does anyone juggle anything? With wine and beer of course! In reality, I also use prayer. I’m working really hard to help our daughter understand that God comes first in everything. It also helps that my mom is able to take the girls for a few hours while I play catch up. Something that I recommend too, is a person who will listen and you can laugh at all the stress with. If all else fails, go back to the wine. It will never let you down.
VM: Who has been your main parenting influencer and why?
Alyssa: I would have to be honest here and say my mom. She and my dad were so young when they were blessed with me. It was really hard on her. My mom up and moved away from everything she knew to be with my dad in Texas while he was in the army. She was just a baby moving away from her mom to be a mom. My mother has busted her bum to get where she is today. Her and my dad have the most amazing relationship. I really idolize them and try so hard to be like them.
VM: What has been your biggest challenge as a mom?
Alyssa: My biggest challenge, yikes, I don’t even think I can answer that yet since she’s so young and I know much worse is going to come. My biggest challenge so far though, was having to be alone with a newborn for so long. Jake was working out of town the first few months of Audrey’s life and drove home every night to be with us. He was so exhausted. Which then meant he would get home, shower, eat and fall asleep. So I was once again alone. He was so great to me though. I know how hard it was on him too. I was just exhausted myself and very hormonal. It will always be hard on me and it’s very challenging being home alone with him out of town.
VM: What are you the most proud of?
Alyssa: Oh well, I’m most proud of how I’ve handled the critics. People, mainly it’s been other women, have been so judgemental of stay at home moms. So many think that you sit on your behind and watch Ellen and eat bonbons all day. Oh if that isn’t the farthest from the truth. I’m lucky if I can go to the bathroom with out Audrey following me in. I work so hard to raise my family and run my own business along with starting a blog. What’s the saying? Haters gonna hate!
When you have time for yourself, what do you enjoy doing? Before motherhood, it was a night out for dinner or we’d go dancing. Now that I’m a mom, my big and exciting alone time, consists of a mini reeses and some bad tv.
VM: Who or where do you go for support when it’s needed?
Alyssa: Honestly, it depends on the situation. I go to my mom, dad, Jake or even my best friend. Heck, I’ve gone to Tara Dog to deal with things. She’s a great baby sitter.
VM: What is your best parenting advice you could give a new or expecting mom?
Alyssa: If you are worrying about if you’re doing it right or are a good mom, then you are doing a wonderful job and you are a great mom! Bad moms don’t worry about that stuff.
Just for fun – list 5 things people wouldn’t know about you. 1. Oh well, I am very fearful of the unknown. 2. Even though I am scared, I am seriously in love with adrenaline rushes. 3. While I may suck at it, I love hunting. 4. I have a death fear of any body of water that’s bigger than a pool and isn’t clear. 5. I’m becoming a prepper with my family.