An Interview with Amanda of Werdyab.com
I am a working wife and mother of two from metro-Atlanta who has a passion for writing and overpriced shoes. Blogging saves me money but doesn’t look nearly as good with a cocktail dress. I am married to wonderful man named Brian and we have two precious children: a ten-year-old daughter named Bailey and a three-year-old son named Drew. Since graduating from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, I have worked for my family’s health and life insurance agency. With the new Healthcare Reform Law, we have a real opportunity to educate, advise and help people. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a country music songwriter, which landed me a handful of state and national songwriting awards as well as a reality television show and some commercial work. Although I’m not pursuing the music industry anymore, I still love writing songs for fun like the one about Walmart that I posted on my website.
I started Werdyab to have a personal creative outlet. I never foresaw a time when anybody but me would read it, but now, a little community has developed of Moms and Dads who want to find laughter in their everyday lives. I write about whatever I’m thinking about. Most of my posts are humorous stories told from the perspective of a working wife and mother, but I also write about pop culture, share original music, have product reviews and giveaways, and I recently started a video series called Momday Mornings.
The name Werdyab is my children’s nicknames (Bay and Drew) spelled backward. It’s the perfect blog name because it’s metaphoric, as in, when you have children, you never know if you’re coming or going. And if I have another child, this guarantees that he or she will be named Moc (for the .com). And who wouldn’t want to be named Moc? I always joke that one day “Werdyab” with be known as the psychological disorder for individuals who make up a word and then pollute the internet with it.
What are the Momday morning videos all about? What gave you the idea to start making videos?
When I was a kid, my parents bought a video camera. The thing weighed a ton, and if you carried it around on your shoulder for too long, you had to see an orthopedist. I used to make up skits or songs every weekend and beg my parents to film me. I’m so thankful that YouTube wasn’t around back then! So I knew that I wanted to make videos for my blog, but after filming a stereotypical video blog of me talking into the camera for two-and-a-half minutes, I decided that I didn’t want anyone to suffer through that, so I asked other Moms to join me. On the Momday Morning videos, you will see real Moms talking about real topics that real Moms talk about. And although I write a humor blog, not all the video topics will be funny – but the first one on embarrassing moments might inspire a laugh or two. And I don’t mean to give anything away here, but I do the Roger Rabbit and sing Whomp! There It is. I want the Momday Morning videos to be just like the conversations that you have with your girlfriends at a Mexican restaurant… some of them will be before the margaritas and some of them will be after.
How do you balance your time, being a working mom? What are some of the challenges you face between balancing your time? Any time management tips for other working moms?
I feel like I do more of a balancing act than balancing my time. It’s a struggle for me because I’m your typical Type A personality who wants to do everything as well as I possibly can. I feel less overwhelmed when I look at my day in order of priority. It’s important that my family, my career and my home not be neglected, so those responsibilities always come first. Then with whatever time is leftover, I make a new list of priorities to fill those stolen moments. This might mean using a lunch hour to write a blog or missing a shopping trip to edit a video. I don’t sleep as much as most people and I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since the Clinton Administration, but I somehow manage to get it all done.
What type of activities does your family like to do to have fun/bond?
My daughter plays competitive softball, my son plays basketball and tee ball, and my husband is involved in coaching, so we spend a lot of time on the road. Translation: We eat hot dogs for dinner at least three nights a week. We also love going to the park, swimming and playing board games. Even if it’s just watching Phineas and Ferb - when we’re together, we’re having fun.
When you get the chance, what are some of the ways you like to relax?
Relax? What’s “relax”? I mean – you know, I’ve heard of it – I just don’t think that I’ve ever actually done it… but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that I am a busy person with an even busier schedule. I think it’s important to give your time and your talents as often as you can. I guess my kids’ ball games serve as my downtime these days. I sit outside have fun without thinking about bills, work, conquering Mt. Washmore or blogging. The other moms and I cheer on our kids, yell at the umpires, and even squeeze in a little girl talk between innings. It’s sort of like a girl's night out except that I don’t have to wear uncomfortable shoes or Spanx.
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
- Remember that there is no "I" in mother, so surround yourself with supportive people. They don’t have to be a carbon copy of you, either. It could be an empty nest Mom who gives you perspective, a brand new Mom who reminds you how nice it is to sleep through the night, or a friend who isn’t a Mom herself but can remind you that there is more to conversation than just diaper talk.
- Throw out the baby expert books because your baby hasn't read them and will not follow the rules. Instead, just listen to your child and trust your God-given instincts. A mother always knows what is best for her child.
- If you show your husband love and support and do special things for him, then he will reciprocate. If you give your children time and attention, and treat them with respect, then they will reciprocate. Decorate your home with kind words, special memories and love. “Enjoy today.”
- Laugh at yourself. Laughter can be the best medicine when we feel stress from the curve balls that motherhood throws at us each day. When the phone is ringing off the hook, Johnny is crying because he doesn't want to go to bed and you have a presentation due for work, maybe you'll look over and see little Mary giving the cat a haircut and let out a chuckle.
- Find a hobby. Mine is writing, but yours might be scrapbooking, cooking, gardening, reading, volunteering – whatever makes you happy. As Moms, we tend to feel selfish when we do something for ourselves, but it’s important to find balance in our lives so that we can remain energized for our kids. You might not find “me time” every day, but try to squeeze in a few minutes for yourself when you can. Our kids deserve for us to be all that we can be.
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