Keeping a house clean is hard. But keeping a house clean with children is nearly impossible. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and the messes they make. It reminds me of the carefree joy of childhood. I cherish the messiness, as in a few years they won’t want to hang out and play with their mom anymore. Can’t they stay young forever?! This being said, I also do enjoy having a clean and organized home. Over my time as a mom, I think I’ve struck a pretty good balance between tidiness and chaos. It is possible, I swear! Here are just a few of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way.
Take Inventory of What’s Important
The first step in keeping a clean home is figuring out what is important. You might be thinking that everything is important, but when you start going through all your stuff you realize that there really is a lot of “extra” stuff. I generally prioritize two categories of things: sentimental and functional. I am a very sentimental person, so keeping things that have emotional meaning to me is important. These generally include my childrens’ first stuffed animals, blankets, socks, etc. While they may not play with them or use them anymore, I think they’re worth keeping. The other category, functional items, is pretty self-explanatory. These are items that serve a function. Often these include the toys my children actively play with, books that I read to them, their bikes, the main clothes they wear, etc. Once I have outlined what is important I go through all the rest of the stuff and decide what I want to keep and what I want to donate. Separating the important items first helps with donating more because I know all the necessary items are accounted for.
The next step after the inventory is to declutter. Now that all the main items are sorted into keep or donate, I can move on to the “clutter items”. I define clutter items as smaller things that sit around in drawers and shelves that just take up space. These are things like marbles, little figurines, bouncy balls, loose crayons, and other stuff of that nature. I particularly like this step because it’s pretty easy to get rid of a lot of these things. Half the time they are so insignificant, my kids never even notice they went missing. I normally go shelf by shelf and pick through all items until I feel like the clutter has subsided. Clutter is one of those things that make or break a room in my opinion. The space itself could be very clean, but the littered shelves are just an eyesore. But, I don’t want you to think I just throw away all my kids’ clutter items. For the ones I decide to keep, I pick out a cute basket to put on the shelf and toss all the little toys in there. This looks like being organized but makes it so my kids still have some little things to play with.
Contain The Mess Makers
If you’re reading this subheading, yes, the mess makers are another term I call my children! I’m not sure how different it is with girls, but my boys can surely be two little tornadoes of destruction. I’m kidding!… sort of. One of the biggest things I have learned is why clean an entire house when you can clean just one room. When it comes to playtime, we have a few rules. The first is that all toys must stay in the playroom. This helps contain the mess. While the playroom looks like disaster struck, the rest of the house stays fairly clean. And if I’m just not in the mood to clean, I shut the door and pretend nothing is there. We also have a rule of only two or three toys out at a time. This keeps the mess fairly manageable as they have to put a toy back if they want to bring another one out. We also encourage a lot of playing to be done in the backyard. By confining them to an outside space, the indoor play area stays much cleaner. Plus the fresh air and sunshine are just more added benefits!
Take A Trip To The Container Store
If I had to pick a trinity of motherhood stores that bring me joy it would be Costco, Target, and of course, the Container Store. If you’re a mom who loves having an organized home, The Container Store is for you. If you’ve been living under a rock, the Container Store is essentially a retailer dedicated to organization materials. They have storage containers in every size and color for nearly anything you could want. I use them in every area of my home. They have food storage options, clothing options, toy options, and even individual drawer organizers. They’re especially handy when it comes to storing my kids’ toys. Not only do I like the cohesiveness of how they look stacked next to each other, but they have styles that come with spots for labeling! Aside from the tidiness aspect, I love watching my kids get excited about pulling out the bins and seeing what’s inside. I think writing the category names on them has even helped with their reading skills.
Embrace The “Tidy Up”
While deep cleaning a house is necessary, it is not always feasible. Personally, I think it’s okay to just clean individual rooms as they need them. One thing that my husband, Erik, and I have done is embrace the “tidy up”. Tidying up differs from cleaning in that it is just a quick clean-up of the clutter and less of a deep cleansing of the space. We set a 20-minute timer every morning before the boys are up and a 20-minute timer after the boys have gone to bed and we go through the house and tidy up our things. This could be making sure all the dishes are out of the sink and into the dishwasher, grabbing knick-knacks off counters and putting them in their place, a quick Swiffer clean of the floors, or tossing Amazon boxes into the recycling bin. Having these timed clean-ups twice a day has been beneficial in so many ways. The first is we don’t really take up time during the day to clean because we know we’ll have 40 minutes dedicated to that. Doing it once in the morning and once a night also diminishes the amount of clean that needs to be done. Plus, waking up to a clean-ish home is so much nicer than a cluttered home. I also think that cleaning in the morning sets a good tone for my day, but that just might be my type A personality talking.
Make Cleaning Fun
The last thing that I liked to do is involve my kids in the cleaning process. I want my children to not only get used to helping around the house but to appreciate the benefits of keeping a clean space. Studies show that if your main environments are kept clean and clutter-free it can help keep your mind at ease and diminish unnecessary stress. About once a day we have “fun clean up time” with the boys. We throw on a playlist of their favorite Disney jams and get cleaning. The boys are in charge of putting all their toys into the correct bins, stacking books back on the shelf, and putting away their arts and crafts tools into the proper drawers. We only do this for about 15 minutes as their attention spans aren’t exactly the best just yet. Having them contribute not only teaches them the responsibility that comes with owning things, but also the responsibility of contributing to a shared space. I think often kids rely on their parents for keeping track of their stuff and then have to learn all too quickly. Erik and I hope that by slowly integrating these habits, they’ll keep them for many years to come (... fingers crossed!)
Let me start this post off with a little context. For most of my life, I was only winning. I know this sounds very conceited and a bit self-centered, but it's true. Finding success in a lot of different things as a child gave me a huge boost of self-confidence, but also set me up for failure. Am I starting to sound more relatable now? I graduated high school early, captain of the cheerleading team, an AP scholar, and on my way to college with a full scholarship. At 21, I graduated college early. I received a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, was dating my now-husband, and entering the job field with tons of internship and professional experience. In my head I just knew what my next 5 years would look like: I would get a job right out of college, marry my boyfriend, buy a home, have a child, get my masters degree in sociology, and have another child. Yes, I do have a Type A personality in case you were wondering.
So my college graduation came and went and I started looking for work and while I got a lot of interviews, I was never selected to move forward. This went on for over a year. During this time, Erik and I also briefly broke up. So far I was 0 for 2 on the five-year plan. After about 8 months of looking, I took a job at the local frozen yogurt shop. I thought to myself, this is only temporary, I’ll keep interviewing and something will work out. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. While Erik and I rekindled our relationship, I was still jobless. We got married about 4 months later and I had to ask my frozen yogurt manager for time-off so I could attend my wedding and honeymoon. Something needed to change. I was so unhappy and stuck in the midst of my failure.
While on our honeymoon, Erik and I talked about what I was going to do. I had always dreamed about starting my own preschool business but thought it was just that, a dream. But after talking with Erik and hearing his support, I decided to go for it. I emailed my frozen yogurt manager from Hawaii and quit right then and there. When we came from our trip, the real adventure began. And that’s the condensed story of how I go to where I am. Starting my own business was a teacher in its own right. I don’t think I’ve learned more anything else than I did in my journey of founding Imagination Childcare and Preschool.
Here are 5 key lessons that I have carried through all aspects of my life.
1. Discipline is More Important than Motivation
Motivation is a funny thing. It can be extremely powerful and extremely fleeting. I want to preface this by saying that motivation is not meaningless, it can be an important driver in pushing yourself to do better. But not all people wake up each morning motivated to do something. In fact, I’d venture to say that the majority of people don’t wake up with motivation, especially when they surpass the “honeymoon” phase of running a business. That’s where discipline comes in. Discipline is the ability to force yourself to abide by a certain code of living or working every day even if you don’t want to. Discipline is waking up at 6 am the morning after you went to bed at 3 am because you know you need to get stuff done. Motivation is often influenced by outside factors that won’t always be there. Discipline, on the other hand, comes from within and I think that’s the most important part. You may not always have those outside forces motivating you, but you’ll always have yourself. So be disciplined.
2. Consistency is Key
Along the same vein as being disciplined, you need to be consistent as well. Author and speaker John Maxwell once said, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time”. Consistency helps build the routines you need to be successful. It sets the foundation for momentum. You know how they say “slow and steady wins the race”, well they weren’t kidding. Practicing consistency will help you form habits that can greatly benefit your life and your business. As humans, we are habitual people. Our entire physiology thieves on routine. That’s why we feel so much better when we have a consistent sleep schedule. Businesses are the same way, they function best when there are set routines and processes. These would only exist with the practice of consistency.
3. Failure is Your Friend
As you can imagine, this is one that I keep close to my heart. Failure is one of the most important things to ever happen in my life. I know this one sounds particularly cliché, but I just cannot stress how important it is to accept failure. As you may have gathered from my introduction story, failure hit me like a train. It sucked. I couldn’t understand why things kept falling through until about 3 years down the line when I stopped to look at what I had built. Also, those unsuccessful interviews and job rejections left a door open that I would’ve never had the courage to walk through had everything worked out. I truly believe that I would have never dared to start my own business without hitting my sort of “rock bottom”. So that’s my spiel on failure. When it inevitably comes your way, embrace it.
4. Success Comes To Those Who Work Hard(ish)
This is another one of those, not exactly “revolutionary” thoughts. But I feel like it is so important that it has to be included. I know literally everyone and their mother says you have to work hard, but I think the distinction to be made is what exactly is working hard. Working hard is rather relative in my opinion. It’s difficult to gauge how your work matches up to others in the industry. There are a certain set of metrics that measure success to a certain extent, but that doesn’t necessarily translate the effort. In a perfect world, the two would have a very linear correlation but that’s not the way it is. There are those who work very hard and don’t really see success, and there are those who don’t and still win. My point here is that you need to work hard to see success, but you also shouldn’t work yourself to death. In my opinion, no amount of success is worth losing friendships, relationships, sanity, or joy. Don’t get me wrong, there will be really tough times that you need to work through, but there is a limit to everything. So push yourself, work hard(ish), but most of all, enjoy your process and your journey.
5. Efficiency Is More Important Than Effectiveness and Vice Versa
You’re probably reading the title of this one and thinking that I’m going insane. Efficiency and effectiveness are two different but important things. Efficiency is about doing tasks in an optimized way whereas effectiveness is about doing the right tasks no matter the time commitment. The key here is that there are certain times that one will take precedence over the other, meaning you should never favor one as the end all be all. There will be moments where you need to get a lot of little things done in the least amount of time, and that is where you will favor efficiency. There would be no point in spending an excessive amount of time on these smaller things. There is also no shame in prioritizing efficiency when it is necessary. You’ll go insane if you don’t! Then there will be moments where you need to do the right thing and you need to do it well, regardless of how much time it’ll take. This is where you want to favor effectiveness. In theory, if you were efficient where you needed to be, then you’ll have the time to allocate to the more effective-based tasks. There is no holy grail in business where one method is better than the other. The truth is all the processes that exist, exist for a reason and apply to different situations. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of all of them.
I hope you enjoyed this piece on my history, how I got to where I am, and the lessons I learned along the way. I think it is important that the way someone looks ten years down the road is not an indication of the journey it took them to get there. If you feel like you’re the only person who is failing, chances are you’re not. I know that’s how I felt at the time, but then I talked to my mentors and people I looked up to, and I realized that we’ve all been there. So if you’re thinking of starting your own business or making a risky career move, I say go for it! And if you need tips on how to craft the perfect “I’m quitting” email to your frozen yogurt boss, just message me ;)
When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, my husband, Erik, and I talked a lot about what values we wanted to raise our children with. To me, one of the most beautiful things about children is how open their minds are when they are young. I wanted to take that opportunity to teach them some foundational values that I want them to carry throughout their lives. After millions of discussions, Erik and I decided on three key values that we want our children to hold true. Now, these are not the only values we want our children to learn, but they are ones we think are indispensable.
During my pregnancy, I was reading all sorts of books and blogs that covered which lessons are important to teach children. That’s when I stumbled across this phrase by Mary Gordon, the founder of Roots of Empathy, a program that promotes empathy in children. She says, “empathy is caught, not taught”. Now, this may seem counterintuitive as I am writing about teaching your children, but what she means is you can’t sit your child down and literally try to teach them about empathy, but rather you need to show them by example what it means so that they can catch on.
Empathy is the root of so many skills your child will develop in life. Without empathy, they can’t really understand collaboration, civility, or marginalization. Erik and I wanted to instill this ability to feel for others in hopes that our kids will understand the importance of caring for other people. This is where we get to charity. One of the biggest ways we felt we could show our children empathy in action was by charitable acts. The ability to understand and feel for those who have less is the foundation of integrating charity into our lives.
We have loved creating traditions in our family that are centered around giving back to the community. One of my favorites is that every Christmas we participate in the “Adopt a child” program at our local community center. We ask our boys to pick a child from a family in need to donate one of their Christmas gifts to. Then, based on what the child needs/wants, we go shopping and pick out their gift! I love to see how excited my boys are to give back.
In my opinion, diversity is probably one of the most crucial things you can teach your children. I think it is important to address not just what diversity is or that it exists, but also how we can value, appreciate, and celebrate the differences that exist. The first thing we wanted to focus on was the idea of unity. We wanted to show our children that regardless of age, gender, ability, sexual orientation, or race, we are all one community. What has been incredible about teaching my boys this is realizing how open children are to acceptance. It has never been more clear to me that hate is taught.
In terms of actionable things we do with our children, we try to integrate multicultural experiences in our lives. I usually go online and look at the different cultural and religious events that are going on within our community. One of my favorites that we attend nearly every year is the Greek Festival. The Greek community where I live throws this elaborate event every year with Greek food, art, and dancing. It is such a blast to go and see the boys get exposed to an entirely different culture. We also try to choose different cultural foods when we get take-out. Erik and I think it is important that they are exposed to the different cuisines that exist. We think that food is such a foundational part of many different cultures, and we want our children to understand that not everyone eats how we do. We also want them to understand that just because food looks, smells, or tastes different doesn’t mean it is bad. In fact, the boys admit all too often that these other cultures’ foods are better than my cooking!
The last of the three key values is sustainability. We think that especially now this is an incredibly important value to instill in the younger generations, as they will face the brunt of environmental damage in their lifetime. We want them to value the earth not only for their benefit but also for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. Sustainability is a bit more complicated to explain as our boys are not old enough to really understand the science behind the warming climate and the changing environment, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t found a way to integrate it into our lives.
Thanks to a lot of really awesome other mom blogs, we have picked some of our favorite sustainability activities to do as a family. In our home, we have three big bins labeled: paper/plastic, glass, and aluminum. The boys love figuring out what trash goes in each bin and I love seeing how good they are at picking the right one! Erik has also gotten them really involved with our garden in the backyard. The boys love going out there with their dad and looking at all the veggies they’ve grown together.
In The End
These three values are very important to Erik and me. This being said, you should teach your children what you believe is important, and we don’t want to make it seem like there is only one right way to parent. This is just what works for us! I’d love to hear what values you all want to instill in your children.
Summertime can be expensive for families on a budget. The school year ends, and suddenly your children’s daily structure goes out the window for a few months. If you want to fill their time with fun activities, it can get expensive in a hurry.
If you’re saving up for a full-on vacation or simply need to pinch pennies, there are lots of ways you can keep your kids engaged and having fun all summer without breaking the bank. Here are a few of my family’s favorite summertime activities that get us out of the house and spending quality time together during school break.
Backyard campouts. If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, take advantage of it and organize a little camping trip right in the middle of your lawn. It’s a great way to test-drive future actual camping trips and work out the kinks before you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere. And if your kids start to complain, their real beds are just a few steps away.
Scavenger hunts. Hide toys or candy around your yard for a free and fun afternoon activity! Scavenger hunts can keep your kids occupied for a while—especially if you’re great at hiding things.
Museums. Whenever I move to a new place, I always scope out the local museums. They usually have reasonable admission rates and are much less crowded than bigger museums. This is a great activity for days when the heat is unbearable and you need an air-conditioned building to walk around for a few hours.
State parks. Skip the long lines and crowded national park trails and head straight to a state park. There might be an admission fee depending on the park or if you’re staying overnight, but it’s always worth it.
Historical sites. Most people don’t think about all the history that’s right in their hometown. Spend some time exploring your town and visit interesting historical sites nearby. It’s a great learning experience for your kids and gets them out of the house for a bit.
Family fitness classes. Attending a fitness class with your family is a great way to spend time together while also getting them moving! If your community center or gym doesn’t allow little ones in group classes, open up YouTube and find some fun living room dance routines (Our kids love dancing along with The Fitness Marshall).
Plant a garden. Teaching your kids how to grow plants is a great educational experience, helps get them outside, and can even lower your grocery bills! I have a small garden in my backyard and the kids love to play in the dirt right along with me. It’s a fun bonding activity and we get lots of fruits and veggies by the end of the summer.
Keep in mind that some of these activities may not be suitable if you have an infant or a young toddler. I recommend making a list of the types of activities your child enjoys and centering your summer adventures around them. Have a fun summer!
Last week, my oldest son was having a particularly challenging day. Sure, when you’re raising two boys like I am, you’re bound to have some anger outbursts and overly dramatic yelling matches. But he was angry for seemingly no reason. The actual reason for the angry behavior was something small, but it wasn’t until almost a day later that he would explain why he was mad.
Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned professional, there will always be times when your child has a volatile, anger outburst. It can be hard to figure out why they’re acting this way, especially if they’re too young to properly understand or explain their emotions. When your child is having a meltdown, it’s hard to know what to do in the moment.
What’s the root of their anger?
The first thing you need to figure out is the reason for their anger. Adults are able to understand their emotions and the reasons behind why they’re feeling a certain way—children can’t. Young children lash out
How to calm your child
If your child is repeatedly lashing out, and causing other children to be frightened or hurt, don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. There are a lot of pediatric behavioral therapy options out there that can help you and your child with proper anger management.
These professionals will also be able to discover an underlying reason that’s causing your child’s aggressive behavior. ADHD, anxiety, learning disabilities, sensory processing issues, and autism can often manifest themselves as anger issues before being properly diagnosed.
And remember, just because your child is having anger issues, that does not mean you’re a bad parent. Everyone has their bad days, and meltdowns are a part of being a child. As long as you are calm, confident, and consistent, you can help your child work through a meltdown and help them develop the skills to become more in tune with their emotions. This requires a lot of patience, but it will result in a happier child and healthier home in the long run.
Not all parenting advice is actually helpful. When you’re a new parent, it seems like everyone—your own parents, your in-laws, your neighbors, and even the random person at the grocery store—is lining up to give you advice on how to best raise your newborn.
Sure, it takes a village to raise a child, but not everyone’s advice is actually worth heeding. Let’s talk about three common parenting “tips” that you don’t actually have to follow to raise a healthy child.
You have to breastfeed your baby
There are countless studies out there that talk about how breastfeeding is the best option for newborns. Not only can breastfeeding help defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect the child against chronic illnesses since a number of antibodies and other germ-fighting factors pass from the mother to child, it’s also a free food source and can help new mothers bond with their newborn.
But while there are a lot of reasons to choose breastfeeding, there are just as many valid reasons to choose using formula. For some mothers, breastfeeding can be extremely uncomfortable, they can have problems getting their child to latch on, or they’re unable to produce enough milk for the child. Even the mother’s daily schedule can make it hard to find time to sit down for frequent breastfeeding. Using formula is much more convenient, it’s easier, and it's something your spouse can also help with during those dreaded 4am feedings.
The decision on how to feed your child is extremely personal, but that doesn’t stop others from judging your choice nevertheless. You shouldn’t feel bad about choosing to use formula instead of breastfeeding. It’s an extremely personal choice that is yours alone to make. Your child will be healthy and get the proper nutrients whether you breastfeed or use formula.
You shouldn’t vaccinate your children
There are a lot of dangerous myths about vaccines circulating on the internet and within parenting circles. The idea that vaccines aren’t safe for your child isn’t just untrue—it’s dangerous and puts their life at risk.
Some parents are worried that their child could get the disease from the shot itself. That’s a valid concern, since technically a vaccine does hold the actual virus. But vaccines are made from bacteria or viruses that have either been killed or weakened, making the danger to your child miniscule. There’s an extremely small chance your child may have a negative reaction to the shot, but the reaction will be less severe than if they actually got the disease.
As a parent, you’re responsible for your child’s health. While anti-vax parents are just as concerned for their child’s health as you are for your child, this is one parenting tip that you should simply ignore should they suggest skipping out on the flu shot or other vaccines. Following the recommendations of doctors everywhere to vaccinate your child will keep both them (and children around them) safe from life-threatening diseases. Just like everything in life, getting a vaccine isn’t 100 percent risk free. But the small risk of your child having a serious reaction or complication from the vaccine is outweighed by the massive health benefits.
Everything should be sanitized
When you have your first child, you tend to take every precaution to keep them germ-free. You wipe down every single surface, spray every toy with disinfectant, and are always stocked with hand sanitizer. But are you really keeping your child healthy by keeping them away from germs? Probably not—in fact, you may be making it easier for them to get sick later in life.
There’s an interesting idea called the “hygiene hypothesis”. The hypothesis is centered on the idea that some exposure to germs and microorganisms when someone is a child will help them boost their immune system and limit illnesses as they grow up. So when parents clean every surface and object their kid comes in contact with, their child’s body won’t know how to protect itself from it later on. Exposing your kid to microorganism and a little dirt here and there probably make them sick, and will actually help their body learn how to fight the more harmful germs.
Many studies have shown that exposing infants to germs can offer them increased protection from illnesses like allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease when they’re adults. For example, people who grew up on farms and in rural communities have shown lower rates of allergies since their body has been accustomed to those irritants since they were born. That doesn’t mean you should expose your child to potentially harmful diseases, but a little dirt here and there might actually be good for them in the long run.
My husband and I recently started watching the Netflix show Working Moms, a show about, you guessed it: working moms. But instead of showing the perfect, Instagram-worthy version of parenthood, they show what being a working mom is actually like. And guess what? It’s not always pretty. They talk about the struggles around breastfeeding in the office, their post-baby bodies, and postpartum depression.
As a working mom myself, it’s refreshing to see people talk so openly about these taboo topics. Being a mom is hard. And being a working mom is even harder. And while I’ve never regretted it for a second, there are a few things I wish I had known before diving headfirst into balancing motherhood and my career.
Weekends don’t exist anymore
Before I had my first kid, my husband and I used to live for the weekends. It was our time to spend time together to reconnect, go on dates, and take quick weekend trips. But as a mother, you’ll never stop working—which means those stress-free weekends are no more.
Add on top of all of your parenting responsibilities all of your job responsibilities, those weekends become a blur. More often than not, you’ll have to work on the weekends just to keep up with everything. If you work for yourself as I do, it was still hard to make the change from having my schedule exactly the way I want, to not ever having a day off.
You’ll feel guilty. A lot.
Am I working too much? Am I scarring my children from missing important parts of their lives? Is it wrong to want a career? Shouldn’t I be content with being a mom? I didn’t know how guilty I’d feel for wanting to continue my career after giving birth.
I constantly felt like I was being judged by other mothers, my coworkers, and my boss for “trying to have it all”. And even though I’m glad I chose to do both, I still sometimes feel guilty. But I love being an entrepreneur and I love being a mother. Those things don’t have to be separate. You need a balance between the two, but if working makes you happy, don’t feel bad about it.
Society WILL judge you
Even though being a working mother is getting more and more socially acceptable, it’s still not the norm. If you’re living in a WASP-y neighborhood like I do, you’re going to get some side-eyes from stay-at-home mothers. It used to bother me, but I’ve been able to tune them out and just focus on myself. Because I’m happy and my children are being taken care of—and that’s all that really matters.
Your Mother-In-Law will also judge you
Everyone has their own views and advice on how to raise kids. And they’re always willing to share it with you. Whether it’s your mother-in-law, your neighbors, or even some random mom you pass in the grocery store, you’re going to get unprompted advice and snide remarks about how you’re raising your child wrong. Just accept it’s going to happen, smile, thank them for their “advice” and continue about your day. There’s no escaping the opinions of others who think they know what’s best for your kid. But you’re the mom and you don’t need the approval of others to raise a healthy and confident kid.
At the end of the day...
Parenting will never be easy. Sometimes, trying to balance your job and your own career goals with your newfound parental responsibilities will seem impossible. But if having a career is something that’s important to you, you’ll be able to find that right balance.
Hi there, I'm Molly! I am a business owner and devoted mother to two boys, Lukas and Henry, and wife to my husband, Erik.