Jan 12, 2015

#MomsWhoShine: Courtney Howell @Motherhood_Main

#MomsWhoShine is a series about moms who have some kind of talent. The series was inspired by Dad of Divas Dads in the Limelight.

This week we get to meet Courtney Howell, aka the author of the blog Motherhood & Main. So excited to read more about her... hope you are too!



Tell me about yourself. (For our fans, please share what makes you shine):

Hi, I’m Courtney! At the age of 21, an unplanned pregnancy changed my life forever, and not in the way you might expect. Despite what the statistics say about young motherhood, I’m defying the odds and paving my own way.

To make a long story short, I graduated college in less than four years with high honors and was nominated as one of nine PR interns in the country destined for success, landed my dream job and am building a bright future for my daughter. Now, I’m on a mission to help other young moms do the same.

I recently started a blog, Motherhood & Main, as a community where moms of all ages can come together to share experiences, empower one another and bring positive change to the issue of young motherhood within society.

Tell me about your family.

My boyfriend and I recently celebrated our four-year anniversary and are painting a picture of what a stable family looks like for our daughter Payten, who just turned three. While we may not fit the picture of the conventional American family, we’re committed to each other and have big plans for a bright future.

What is a normal day in your home like?

I have to say this question made me laugh. There is no such thing as a “normal” day in our home. Every day is different and our routine tends to get interrupted by the “facts of life.” I’m not going to lie, trying to balance everyone’s schedules as a young mom, homemaker and working professional is challenging at times, but we do our best to get everyone out the door on-time in the morning, eat dinner as a family and relax by reading books at bedtime. But, I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there trying to find balance for their busy family. Anyone else feel the same way?

What is the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

There’s no greater experience than being a mom! Sometimes I look at other people my age and wonder what life would be like if I hadn't gotten pregnant in college. But as quickly as that thought comes into my mind, it’s replaced by all the joy my daughter brings. I could not imagine life without her! As a mom, she has taught me so much about myself and I have the ability to raise a strong and confident daughter who has the ability to make a difference in the world. 

What is your biggest challenge of being a parent?

Hmm…that’s a tough one. When you’re a parent, especially a first-time parent, you’re not given all the answers. That’s because there is no correct answer when it comes to parenting. You mostly learn though trial and error. As someone who likes black-and-white answers and a quick solution, finding what works has been challenging at times. Patience is key!

How do you find balance between being a mom, working and having time for yourself?

That’s a good question. As a young mom with a go-getter mentality, I’ve been so focused on building a solid future for my family and achieving “the American Dream” that I haven’t been very good at finding balance. That’s why I’ve decided to refocus my energy and be more conscious about how I spend my time this year.

First, I’m going to start taking care of my needs. I used to feel guilty about taking me-time, but now I realize that it’s important to set aside time to unplug and recharge. When your needs are satisfied, you will be a better mom, wife, girlfriend, employee, coworker, etc. Next, I’m going to find ways to be more efficient with my time in order to free up more time to spend doing things I love with my family. Lastly, I’m going to get better at saying “no.” While I enjoy helping people, I need to set better boundaries when it comes to requests that demand my personal time. As the saying goes, “Saying yes all the time won’t make you a wonder woman, it will make you a worn out woman.”

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned since becoming a Mom?

Two things stick out when I think back on the lessons I’ve learned since becoming a mom: be in the moment and go with the flow. As a Type A, perfectionist, why-do-something-later-when-you-can-do-it-now kind of person, I’m always working hard to be more productive—whether it’s at home or at work. However, I’ve learned that productivity and parenting don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. I’ve learned that while I’m busy multitasking, I’m missing out on life’s most precious moments.

When you’re a parent, time flies by! You have to make the most of every minute with your child. My daughter is only three, and I’m already starting to dread the day she goes to Kindergarten because I know it’s only a matter of time before she eventually leaves our home to make a life of her own.

What is the best advice about being a parent you have received and who gave it to you?

I can’t remember where I got the following advice, but it came from a parenting article I read when I was a new mom: You have to find what works for you and your family. No two families are the same and not every “parenting technique” will work for everyone. You don’t have to try to be like the Cleavers! Find your unique parenting style and what works for your family.

What advice would you give to other moms?

You’re not alone. Life can be hard and parenting isn’t always a walk in the park. There are good days and then there are moments you find yourself completely overwhelmed. It’s normal! Everyone experiences those feelings whether they admit it or not. Stay strong and remember that the hard times will eventually pass. Make sure that you’re taking care of your needs, too. You’ll be better able to handle the opportunities and challenges that come with being a mom. 
 

Have a question for Courtney? Please leave a comment below and I will make sure I forward it to her!

Thank you Courtney for taking the time to answer our questions:) Are you a Mom Who Shines or know a mom who would be great for this series? Email me their contact info at owner@123child.com


Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

23 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for featuring me and my family! I'm honored to be included alongside some pretty amazing moms in Metro Detroit and represent the voice of young moms everywhere.

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  2. Parenting is not always easy but the rewards are worth it. I have two older children who are making it on their own.

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    1. That must be a great feeling, to know that your parenting played a key role in helping your children become self sufficient. Not always an easy task to give them roots (and wings).

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  3. Being in the moment is the greatest lesson we learn right away! I agree!

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    1. Yes, definitely. I only wish I had realized it sooner. My daughter is only three and I already want to turn back time to relive those precious moments. I wouldn't trade those sleepless nights for anything.

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  4. Great profile. I've seen Courtney's blog, as well :) looks great.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. That mean's a lot to me! Stay in touch.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Laura! I'm all about turning the impossible into the possible. Looking forward to inspiring other young moms to achieve their dreams.

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    1. How remarkable! Congratulations on overcoming your disabilities.

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  7. I'm so in love with your honesty and passion! You are a true inspiration for your daughter and to other women. Totally rock Courtney!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Amber! It means a lot. So glad you enjoy my writing style. I only hope that my passion has the ability to inspire those who need encouragement the most.

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  8. My husband and I started our family young, too. I have loved being a young mom and growing with my kids. I especially appreciate that I can still remember myself at their ages and relate to their worries and struggles. Great job creating a space for moms of all ages to come together!

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    1. Thank you for sharing a piece of your story with me! I love meeting other young moms and would love to connect offline. I'm actually starting a new spotlight series on my blog, featuring other young moms. Would you be interested in participating? If so, I'd be happy to send you an email with the questionnaire to complete. 

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  9. Wow, what a great story!! Part of life is struggling, but you can always get through it!!

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    1. Thanks Jamie! The struggle is part of the journey, but it's a beautiful ride. As I always say, if you have faith in yourself, the endurance to persevere and a loving support system, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

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  10. What an inspiring story. I had my daughter at the age of 19 and it wasn't easy. I married her dad and we ended up divorced after 6 years of marriage. Great job on getting your degree, it took me until the age of 30 to get my bachelor's degree.

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    1. Thank you for sharing a piece of your story with me, Christy! Congratulations on finishing your bachelors degree! A lot of other people don't have the perseverance to finish such a task, you did. I love meeting other moms who had children young and would love to connect offline. I'm actually starting a new spotlight series on my blog, featuring other young moms. Would you be interested in participating? If so, I'd be happy to send you an email with the questionnaire to complete. 

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  11. So glad you featured Courtney! She's such an inspiration!

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  12. Great job Courtney. Parenting is a tough job, and you found great balance!

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    1. Thank you Crystal! It's a constant learning experience. I'm still trying to strike the perfect balance (if that exists). Nonetheless, I'm doing my best to make time for what truly matters each day.

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