Momma Needs a Beer - an interview with Kelli Williams
An interview with Momma Needs a Beer blogger Kelli Williams
Tell me about your family and your blog?
I have been happily married to my best friend for over thirteen years and have two daughters, ages three and six. Our family loves to experience life to the fullest and we enjoy taking our children to concerts, parks, and zoos, and look forward to taking them both to Disney World in the spring. My blog was started on a whim early last year. I was asked to guest post for a friend's blog, and once I started composing that post, I felt like I had much more to say. And just like that, Momma Needs a Beer was born. My blog has been very therapeutic for me, as I find it a place where I can express myself honestly and focus on the positive aspects of life, even when life isn't so fun.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
Once the kids are in bed, I'm a big fat couch potato. I love television, especially sitcoms, cheese-ball dramas, and I'm a sucker for award shows. I could watch reruns of Roseanne & Everybody Loves Raymond every day and be a happy chick. But my guiltiest pleasure is definitely Days of Our Lives. I've been watching the soap since my grandmother introduced me to the wonderful world of the Horton and Brady families when I was 11.
What is your biggest challenge as a mom?
Wow. There are so many challenges to choose from! I'm sure this is a common response, but I had no idea just how difficult the multi-tasking & juggling act would be. The constant Momma-I-need-you's I hear in a given day is unreal. Trying to maintain the balance of keeping the children happy, well-fed, safe, etc, while being a good wife & housekeeper and finding time for my friends and my own needs as well is a huge challenge. But, I'm never *ever* bored, and I wouldn't trade motherhood for the world!
What do you use coupons and special offers for when you shop?
I never pay full-price for anything. I swear by retailmenot.com whenever I shop online. I also utilize the scrip program at the school we send our girls to (gift cards that give us tuition reimbursement) and use coupons from our Local First & Entertainment coupon books for just about everything else. I really do try to shop locally when I can, but if there's a better price at a big-box store, cheaper usually wins in our house.
What are your top 3 tips for moms?
1. My first post ever highlights my number #1 tip: Burn the books and trust your instincts. There is so much conflicting advice out there -- what to do, what not to do. I was so overwhelmed with my first child that I felt like I needed to use the What to Expect Books and certain websites like a bible. I was in such a fog that first year of parenthood, I found it to be very stressful. Thing is, every kid and every family is different. I have two daughters who are drastically different. Trust me on this-what worked for one child may not work for another. Sure, asking friends & family for advice can also be helpful, to a degree, but sometimes that advice is unsolicited, or worse, filled with judgement. In the long-run, this is your kid, you know them better than anyone else.
2. Know when to ask for help. I know it's not always easy to do, but I believe we were put on this earth to help people. Find friends in your neighborhood you can trust and lean on when necessary. I don't live near "Grandmas" to help out at the drop of a hat, but we do have a couple of neighbors who can, along with an incredible sitter we rely on. These pseudo-family members provide an awesome lifeline.
3. I didn't take this tip seriously until after my second child: Make yourself & your husband a priority. It's not always easy. You want to do everything you can for your kids and the guilt when you can't be there can be brutal. But I'm a much better parent to my children when I have a little time for myself. The hubs and I have a once a month date night as well. Our relationship is solid, but it does need nurturing. Let's face it, children are temporary residents in our home. My folks divorced once their children left home. I'm not saying my sisters and I were a huge factor in their break-up, but you can't ignore your partner for the 18+ years while your child(ren) grow up -- what will you have once they leave? I find our date nights to be a good lesson for my children. I want them to know that we value our relationship, and that they should also value relationships as they grow up. We are their parents, but we are also individuals with needs, just like them.
Are there any other mommy bloggers or sites you would recommend?
Alissa at Have Stroller Will Travel is someone I went to high school with. She inspired me to start my blog!
I followed Gina at The Feminist Breeder before I started blogging. Gina was/is also an inspiration. Her stories are real and full of passion. I love how she stands up for what she believes in.
I also enjoy Jen at Big Binder -- she's a local blogger here in my hometown of Grand Rapids and her focus is on family-friendly fun in GR, but also writes about many things anyone could enjoy reading. Love it.
Finally, Band Back Together is a kick-ass community site started by the sharp-tongued tiger I adore (aka Aunt Becky) from Mommy Wants Vodka. I've contributed a few stories myself, and BBT is a very therapeutic place for many people to find hope & solace through good times & bad.
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