Mom of the Week: Konda
Here at Stork Craft, we tend to focus our blog, and of course products, on children in their early years, but we understand that babies grow up, and they sure grow up quickly! So who else better to feature as our next mom of the week than one who’s already clocked in the experience both as a full-time mommy for 20+ years, and is also a veteran in the juvenile products industry?
If you ever meet Konda in real life, you’ll see that she’s that “cool mom”. She’s stylish, has a great sense of humour, and adventurous (The last trade show that took place in Las Vegas, she managed to convince me into taking the plunge off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere with her J). But make no mistakes about it when it comes to raising children; she says, “You can NOT be their friend. Boundaries must be set… However, always keep an open dialog with them.”
Meet Konda: Business woman and mother to 2 children, who she’s already sent off to college. When she’s not jet setting around the country to meet her accounts, or madly typing emails on her iPad for work, she can be found getting her shop on with her daughter, and hitting up local restaurants for some good eats.
-First name: Konda
-Children’s age: 21 and 23
-Occupation: Independent Sales Representative for Children’s Manufacturers
SC: What was the biggest surprise about motherhood when you first became a mom?
Konda: How much time it actually consumed in my day. 24 hours a day job.
SC: Does it get easier or more challenging after the first child?
Konda: Both challenging and easier. Easier because you already knew things that you learned with the first child, but now you were handling two children as opposed to one. Dividing your attention between your children was more challenging. Not to mention, that there are two complete individuals with their own characteristics.
No matter how much you try to parent them both in the same manner, the end results are most often different. So changing your parenting to match the characteristic of the child is important. No two children are alike.
SC: Looking back, what has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood during your children’s early years? Has this changed since they are now grown up?
Konda: Every stage had a different challenge. You constantly find yourself saying, “I can’t wait ’til they make it through this stage…” only to find out that once they did, there was another stage that was challenging. I learned to accept and embrace each stage for what it really symbolized which was their intellectual growth as well as my own. Children teach you lessons as well. My lesson was in patience and acceptance. I’m a “type A” personality and with children, I found it nearly impossible to be a type A. You have to go with the flow or you can drive yourself crazy trying to fit the square peg into the round hole.
SC: How do you manage your work life balance?
Konda: Moms are always torn, whether they are stay at home Moms or full time working Moms. I never figured out a way to work around the guilt of not always being with my child at home, but then when I was at home with them, felt guilty about what I should be doing for work. Just find a way to make yourself happy and learn to deal with the guilt. Don’t expect to be a Super Hero. Your Kids will always be the most important job you do.
SC: Any advice for moms-to-be, new moms, or even moms who are already thinking about those teenage and college years?
Konda: You can NOT be their friend. Boundaries must be set. They actually thrive on boundaries and want them, but won’t tell you that. However, always keep an open dialog with them. You can’t talk to them too much. I always tried to be there for them to listen to their problems, even when they didn’t want an answer or comment from me. Sometimes they just want you to listen and NOT offer advice. That’s hard as a parent.
SC: Since you are in the juvenile products industry, have you seen any big changes in products since you first started and now? If so, what are some of them?
Konda: Many changes. Everything has gone higher tech with toys, and games. The products now manufactured are geared towards convenience and helping Moms as well as the safety of children’s products. Safety on baby and children’s products has taken a forefront with manufacturers.
SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby or children’s products that every mother should have?
Konda: There are so many products out there for new moms to consider these days that it can be overwhelming. The two most important things to buy are the mattress and the infant seat. These two items you must do your research and buy better products. Your Baby spends the majority of their time in these two products. Make sure they are above standards in safety as well as convenience.
For products that I think every mom should have, I would suggest the Glider Rocker and a temporary bassinet. The Glider Rocker is especially important for the late night feeding or just story time with your toddler.
The portable bassinet is especially helpful because in the beginning you don’t always want to have the baby in the crib. You may want them in the same room as you and a portable bassinet lets you move them from room to room. I always felt this made them a better sleeper as well, because they were used to noises and didn’t always wake up when I moved them into their cribs later. I had a bassinet with wheels that I just moved from room to room even while they were sleeping.
-My guilty pleasure is…
Reality TV Shows – Housewives, Flipping Out, Next Great Artist, Top Chef
-My biggest influence as a mother is…
helping my children make the right choices while also teaching them independence and confidence. This is something that is ongoing even as they are now young adults.
-My favourite beauty buy is…
MAC under eye concealer and Frownies wrinkle reducer. Makes your eyes look great even if you have had no sleep.
-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have…
My cell phone to contact the coast guard!
St. Elmos, locally, and [for] a chain, Cheesecake Factory
-Favourite place to take my child/children to:
When they were young, the park. Now….. to the beach