Hey all you busy moms! Welcome to the new feature on my blog! I think we learn best from others so I wanted to start sharing weekly interviews with moms just like you, BUSY MOMS! I am so excited to introduce to you to Andrei, our very first mom to share with us!
Welcome, Andrei Sophia, who is the co-founder for Marand. Tell me where are you from and how many kids do you have?
I live in the suburbs of NJ and I have 3 kids (23, 21, 10)
Tell me a little about yourself Andrei.
I am a young mom – at least for my first 2 kids. I was only 18 & 19 respectively when I my husband & I had them. I was still in college. Those were perhaps the most difficult times for me. Completing my college degree, working 40 hours a day to support my family & caring for 2 kids! I dunno how I did it (well with the help of my mother and my siblings) but I remember that after I took my last final, I sat in my car and cried my eyes off! I’m a very driven person which is probably how I managed to juggle college, work & 2 small kids – not to mention a husband, We all know they’re child #1! I had a great career in the hospitality industry working my way up from a hotel telephone operator to a department head of a luxury hotel in Manhattan overseeing 20+ people.
What is your biggest struggle as a busy mom?
Because I was a young mom and I was starting a career, I had a hell of a time balancing the two. The higher up I got into my career the less I saw my kids. The hotel business is open 24/7. As a department head, I worked at least 12 hours a day some days having to stay in the hotel because of some big VIP or dignitary or royalty staying. My family time was shite and my husband hated my job coz he and the kids barely saw me. Then 12 years later (I worked with 4 major hotel brands in those 12 years), one day in Oct 2011, I said to myself, this is not worth it. I needed to make a choice. The career I had built was not giving me any sort of satisfaction, and perhaps it hasn’t for a long time now, I just regretted to acknowledge it. I took a 6 month break and spent time with my kids. I now work for a non-profit which I absolutely love. I have a wonderful relationship with my older kids, we are more like friends and I belive I’m a better mom to my 10-year-old than I was to my older 2 kids at that age.
How often do you take time for yourself?
OFTEN! I have spa days with my daughter who is 23, movie dates with my 21-year-old son, I travel 2-3x a year, sometimes alone, sometimes just me and hubs and of course a family getaway. I think it’s important to have me-time. I truly believe that for me to be an effective mother, wife, friend, sister etc, I have to feel complete as a person – meaning taking care of my personal health, mental, spiritual and physical.
What are your favorite self-care activities?
Right now, it has to be the spa – getting my monthly facials and massage. I’ve been meaning to go on wellness retreats like a yoga or meditation one but I haven’t been able to do it. Primarily because I have no one to go with. I used to go to spiritual retreats by myself though.
What is one tip that you can share with fellow busy moms?
We have to take care of ourselves! Self love! If we burn ourselves out, we do a disservice to our family and everyone around us whom we love. It’s not a crime to indulge once in a while, no matter what others say. I realized I had a better relationship with everyone in my immediate family when I was not stressed, driving myself crazy busy climbing up a career that was not even satisfying to me. And now that I have transitioned to a non-profit where the quality of life is 1000x better, I was finally able to fulfill a life long dream of being a business owner! My mom & I launched our online store last Aug 2017. And I’m enjoying life!
And finally Andrei, where can readers find you online?
Visit my store at Marand where we personally curate handmade bags from Italian and German artisans, none of which are available in the US except through our store.
I really hope you enjoyed this interview with Andrei! I know I picked up some new ideas for my self-care routine! Make sure to check her store out and let her know that I sent you 🙂 There is so much that we can learn from other busy moms. We really need to start supporting each other again. Us moms have been in a battle against each other for so long and it is wearing us all down. We need to love each and support each other, especially during this season of life! Share this with your best mom friend and share your tips below!