Mamá Crush Miércoles: Veronica Hernandez
Hi everyone! For my second Mamá Crush Miercoles installment, I had the honor of interviewing my gorgeous friend, Veronica Hernandez. I met Vero during a pre-natal yoga class at About Families. We bonded over our love of bulldogs, running, and due dates that were just days apart.
Through this series, it is my hope to change the way we talk about motherhood. I have heard people tsk-tsk at working mothers, claiming that their time would be better spent with their babies. Similarly, I’ve heard critics of stay-at-home mamas tout claims of a lack of independence, of a loss of talent. The reality is that all mothers should be supported and appreciated! Sadly, it is usually mothers who are the most critical of one another.
I got through some really tough times in my pregnancy simply by taking some of these incredible women out for coffee and hearing their stories. Talking to them about how they do it, how they get through their days, helped me realize that I can, too.
So, without further do…
On Veronica: I am 34 years old and somewhat new to the Coachella Valley. I moved out here in December 2014 from Orange County. My fiancé, Emilio, is originally from Los Angeles and has been living in the Valley for seven years. We welcomed our son, Max, on Sept. 12, 2015. The other two members of our family include Stella, my six year old French Bulldog, and Smokey, Emilio’s Rottweiler. To say that we are a busy family is an understatement. We have an eight month old baby who is now crawling after the dogs and keeps us on our toes. I am a Realtor and Emilio is a Border Patrol Agent.
On a Day in the Life: Mornings are always crazy, especially now that Max is on the move. I typically wake up around 5-5:30am to get my quiet time and my workout in while Max sleeps. I take my dogs out on their daily walks. I make breakfast, and have my coffee while Max has his eggs. I sit Max by the window so he can look at the dogs playing; that keeps him entertained. I dedicate about one hour exclusively with Max in the morning: we play with anything we can get our hands on - pots, pans, and wooden spoons, or I'll teach him how to make sounds. He likes to watch me put on my makeup so, I sit on the floor in his room and play with him some more while I get ready. Then I am off to work.
Sometimes it is easy for me to say goodbye in the mornings, and sometimes I want to cry because I know I will miss Max so much. He is always in his playpen when I leave, and I can see his head full of hair and his big eyes peaking over as I walk out the door. There are times when I am in my car and I will go back inside the house to give him one more squeeze. Evenings are the best. There is nowhere I would rather be than home with Max. I spend time rolling around on the floor with him, and chasing after him when he sneaks away. His favorite thing to do is crawl after our French Bulldog, Stella. It must be because she is his size. Max will crawl all over the house to pet her or smooch her.
On Family Traditions: I have started to take Max to church on Wednesdays. I grew up religious, but never practiced my religion. I would occasionally go to church. Now that I have a child of my own and I see how good God has been to my family, I want Max to grow up with a strong belief in God. I want him to know that through hard work and prayer, anything is possible.
On Childcare: Emilio and I have a wonderful nanny that helps us with Max 3-4 times a week. We trust her and know that Max is very loved and in good hands. I do not get jealous of my nanny. I actually admire her for the hard work, patience and love that she had for our son. A teething, cranky baby is exhausting, but you would never be able to tell by the way that she handles these situations. We really love our nanny.
On Favorite Motherhood Moments: My favorite motherhood moment has always been when Max snuggles on me. There are times where I will wake up with the intention of going to the gym and I won’t go. What I end up doing is sneaking into Max’s nursery, picking him up and letting him sleep on me. He is such a little busy-body nowadays that he doesn’t have time to snuggle his mama anymore. He has better things to do, like crawl after the dogs or throw the remote control.
On Sh*tty Mom Moments: A couple of months ago, Max woke up at 2:00AM crying because he was hungry. I held him, fed him, and thought he went back to sleep. I put him back in his crib with the remainder of his bottle so he could finish it up. He ended up knocking the bottle of of his mouth, and it dripped all over his PJ's and bedsheets. When I woke up in the morning my poor baby had a wet onesie.
On Running: I recently ran a half-marathon. My training schedule was "whenever I could fit in a run." I signed up for this run not to PR my time, but to do something for me. This was a treat for me. As far as my gym schedule: I have no started to workout three or four times a week. I run two or three miles, then hit the weights. On gym days, I wake up at 4:45am, so that I can be home in time before Max wakes up. Emilio works until midnight so I try to be mindful of his sleep. My fitness goal is to get back to my pre-baby weight. I gained thirty-seven pounds, and have lost twenty-seven of them already. I am only ten pounds away, and know I just have to keep at it.
On Other Amazing Mamas: I admire all stay at home and working mamas alike. Being a mother is hard work. Going to work to earn a living for your family is hard work. Leaving your baby at daycare with a sitter, being home with him/her 100% of the time - it is all hard. I have friends that are stay at home moms and I ask them how they do it, and they ask me the same. We are all in different situations.
On Parenting Advice: As cliché as it sounds, the best piece of parenting advice I have received has been to enjoy every minute with my baby because they grow up so fast. They really do grow up too fast. I go back and relive memories of Max as a newborn on my phone pretty often.
On Hopes & Dreams for Max's Future: I hope that my son grows up to be the very best person he can be. Respectful, hard working, honest and loving. I know that he will be successful because Emilio and I will provide him with all the tools he needs to a doctor, lawyer, writer or whatever his calling on this Earth is.
Thank you so much, Vero!