Oct 20, 2014

Ongoing Series #MomsWhoShine Tara Michener

#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 are featuring Tara Michener, a Metro Detroit Author, who founded "Professionals Against Bullying" & "Students against Bullying".  She is also owns Michener Associates Counseling Center and so much more.  

Tell me about yourself. (For our fans, please share what makes you shine)
I am a mom of 1 boy who happens to be one, an author and I am a counselor who operates a private practice. Professionally I speak a lot at conferences, seminars and I go to schools on a regular basis and present author presentations. Personally I  love to spend time with people. I am that lady who is always at a coffee shop fitting in special time with those I care about. Recently I began making time to focus on my gratitude journal. It has been eye-opening to see how many great things are wrapped in to an ordinary day. Some of my findings are a peek of sunshine on an otherwise cold day, a person who stops to open the door for me, even my child saying a new word that he won't repeat when prompted.  
Tell me about your family
My little boy is one. His name is Cannon. He is an energetic little guy who seems to love his new found mobility. He loves to smile and he enjoys giving people hi-fives. My husband (my hubistrator) is a full-time mechanical engineer and he loves me a lot so in his "spare" time he illustrates my books for me (hence the title, hubistrator). 

What is a normal day in your home like? 
My home is not so normal but we are building the best routine we can with what our lives allow. Typically my husband will get Cannon up and have some fun time with him (which varies from play to reading to a quick view of Daniel Tigers Neighborhood), Husband feeds him breakfast/gets him ready and he either takes him to daycare or he spends the day with me if I am having a work from home day. Cannon and I make sure that we pack the day with activities like autumn nature walks, library visits, bookstore story times, and we are beginning toddler art.  I just bought egg shaped crayons and learned how to make finger paint (for those times when I am feeling brave). On work from home days I have a baby sitter spend a few hours with Cannon and sometimes I get work done during his naps as well. 
What is the most rewarding thing about being a mom? baby hugs and kisses are the best. When my little guy smiles at me or calls me mommy (which he just started doing) I feel very blessed. 

What is your biggest challenge of being a parent? 
Balancing work and home. My job is flexible so at times I might be with clients at night and/or on the weekend and miss a milestone or two. Another big challenge is keeping things tidy and organized. My home is less than pristine. 
How do you find balance between being a mom, working and having time for yourself? 
I invite friends over to my (less than pristine) home all of the time for tv times with girlfriends, coffee and dessert nights, etc. I love any excuse to entertain and I have let go of obsessing about everything not being in tip top shape. I also schedule exercise time for myself daily. I have been doing this since March and I have been consistent with my fitness goals and luckily I have lost 60 lbs. I also schedule coffee dates at Barnes & Noble because they have a child friendly environment that works for adults too.   
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned since becoming a Mom? 
I get to learn new things every day. I know a lot about children as a counselor and author that focuses on kids but my own kid is my greatest teacher and his lessons can not always be found in a textbook. I am a life-long student at the University of Cannon Michener. 
What is the best advice about being a parent you have received and who gave it to you? 
I love mommy blogs, groups  and articles. Pinterest has been a great giver of advice in terms of activities & recipes.  

What advice would you give to other moms? 
 This is a hard one. I feel like every mom needs something different because our kids are so unique to our own families. I guess if I would say something across the board for a mom I would say, even if it is for a few seconds think about something funny that your child has done to make you laugh. It softens our hearts and brings us into the reality that we have a guaranteed person in our life to make us smile even when we are trying to be serious.

Follow Tara and some of her great organizations: 
Tara Michener (Taramichener) | Twitter
Tara Michener (erase_bullying) | Twitter
Facebook: Teen books by Tara Michener
Facebook: Professionals Against Bullying

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

Thank you Tara 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 Writer:

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