Each month we select a mom who we think is MARVELOUS to be featured on our site. This month, our featured mom is Allyson Senatore. She is the mom of two MARVELOUS kids and I was so lucky to meet her in our sorority in college back in the day. We still keep in touch regularly with many of our sorority girlfriends and one of my favorite things to do is get together with Allyson and the group.
Now that we are all moms, it’s fun to hear what everyone is up to these days. Allyson always has the best stories of what she and her husband are up to with their kiddos. She happens to be one of the most creative people I have ever met, and you’ll see that throughout her insight and advice she provides below. Over the years, Allyson has shared her creative talent with so many of us in so many ways from designing gorgeous invitations for our friend’s wedding to the diaper cake she made for me for my baby shower. In addition to enjoying a glass or two of wine with Allyson, she bakes the most amazing cupcakes and desserts and always add her own unique twist to them. Check out her pancake below – adorable! She does all this while balancing being a career woman, wife, mother, sister, and an amazing friend to many people, which makes it easy for us to select her as our first Marvelous Mom of the Month!
Enough from me… let’s check out some candid responses to our interview questions directly from Allyson:
1. What quality (trait/s) does your child(ren) posses that are you most proud of?
Curiosity and creativity.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain artists once we grow up. – Pablo Picasso.
As a creative soul myself, everything to me is about an open mind and imagination to find the possible or impossible! I am so amazed at how my children see the world. They teach me to rediscover my immediate surroundings every day. Did you know that you can fly to outer space and land on the moon completely weightless from an indoor play tent? Have you traveled to see the magical caves made from couch cushions? At our house, cats are purple, you can buy an octopus at our store and you can ice skate in the bathtub. I am so proud that my kids see the world in their own imaginative way. They are curious, want to learn, ask questions and care about our world. I love that their minds will let us visit anywhere in the universe and learn about anything by just spending time together. My hope is that their curiosity and creativity traits remain as they grow, and as they envision, seek and find answers, they will be rewarded with a lifetime of happiness.
2. What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
I love to cook with my kids! We look forward to our weekends where we make breakfast together. The kids crack eggs, measure ingredients and even get to pick out what shape they want for their pancake. (It usually just looks like a giant blob, but we toss in a little imagination and it works.) It is quality time together where we get to relax and hang. No agenda, just breakfast.
3. What is one unexpected surprise that you learned about yourself since you became a mom?
Toys are all over my house. My bed is not made. The laundry can wait. I view my messy, imperfect life as my new perfection. The most important thing to me is that I live in the present with my family and appreciate the moments we have together. When we are together, everything else can wait.
4. What is your favorite hobby or what do like to do during your “me time?”
My “me” time all about peace and quiet, the activity may change—but I always seek the same level of mental tranquility to reset. Taking an interesting class, going for a walk, working on an art project, meeting a friend. I have learned my personal triggers to maintain balanced mind and I have a strong commitment to myself to keep the balance.
5. What is the best advice you were given or would like to like to give all of the moms out there?
As parents we are subject to endless advice from family, friends and strangers. Yes, annoying and frustrating but take a moment to step back with an objective view…..We all need help! There I said it, we are all a little _____________ (fill in the blank with your favorite word!) If you can be open to new ideas and advice, you can fix problems you didn’t realize you had. That is what happened to us!
On a whim, my husband and I attended a free parenting class at our daycare. (Well it was free!) The class discussed the concept of Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey. At the time, our kids were 1 and 2 years old. Looking back, these kids were in charge of everything at our house and we didn’t even realize it! We had a lot of new parent stress just trying to get through the day. This class and Conscious Discipline has shown us self awareness of our behavior and the behavior of our kids. It has helped us to talk to our kids and build a deeper relationship together. It helps our kids take control of their feelings and build confidence. We have found our happy place with Conscious Discipline and we have our quality family time. It is a commitment – but worth it. I didn’t know it at the time, but our family needed this!
My overall point… try new things, consider thoughts of people surrounding you. You may unexpectedly stumble on the missing piece to your family life you didn’t know was missing.
If you are interested… www.consciousdiscipline.com
I’m fairly certain that most moms will admit that one of their greatest accomplishment is her children.