Mama Crush: Tania Reynoso
Hi Friends! I am excited to share another installment of my Mamá Crush series, featuring the fabulous Tania Reynoso. I met Tania over 10 years ago at church, then we met again later in a Mariachi class. We had one of those rare friendships where our parents were friends, and so were we - so we actually looked forward to dinner parties together. We even came out in each other's quinceañeras! It is so surreal that we are both mothers now.
I have always looked up to Tania, but when she became a mama before so many of our other friends did - my admiration grew tenfold. She is smart, funny, and so fabulous! She makes motherhood look cool.
As you know, I have been working on this series because I believe that it is critical that we hear stories of how women are balancing motherhood, careers, and everything in between, so that we understand that following our dreams is not always easy, but that it is definitely always worth it.
So, without further ado...
On Tania: My name is Tania Reynoso, previously Martinez. I am 29 years old and I am from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. 100% Mexicana! My parents moved to Los Angeles the Summer of 1996 when I was 8 years old. I remember being very confused about the move, but excited to ride on a plane with all my family so I didn't question it.
I have lived in the Coachella Valley for a total of 12 years now. My family and I first moved here when I was in 8th grade, which is also the same year I met the fabulous writer in charge of this interview. I also met the man I was lucky enough to marry.
We lived in the Valley for 4 years, but were forced to move back to Los Angeles for better work opportunities for my dad. In 2006, I lost my dad to a stroke. He was playing soccer just like he did every Friday. It deeply impacted my family, and we have not been the same since. I was only 18, and didn't take it very well. I have learned to cope, and have taken on life like I knew my dad would want me to.
In 2009, my husband and I got married after I found out I was pregnant (oops!). My mom freaked out and rushed the wedding (typical Mexican mom). My first boy, Aiden, was born May 2010. Then came Ethan in September 2012. And finally, my Evin in December 2016. So now we are a crazy family of 5 (6 if you count our giant puppy, Cody), and sometimes I just don't know how I manage everyone.
Sometime in between all that craziness, I went back to school and managed to receive my Bachelors Degree in Psychology. It was very difficult trying to handle a child, a second pregnancy, my marriage, my family, and my life in general. But, I was able to do it, and got my diploma in June of 2014. I must say, it was one of the proudest and most empowering moments of my life.
On Being a Stay-at-Home Mom: I am currently a stay-at-home-mom by choice, something I NEVER thought I’d do. Things always seem to work the opposite of your original plans, don't they?
My typical weekday begins anytime between 6:30-7am. I take Aiden to school, take our dog Cody for a walk, and try to get some chores done. If I'm really tired, I try to get a power nap before the rest of the kids and my husband wake up. Then it's breakfast time, clean a bit, help my husband with his work clothes, lunch, etc. Then it's clean up after lunch, pick up Aiden from school, feed the boys again, clean up, rest, catch up on shows, spend time with the boys, make sure Aiden does homework and does his daily reading, kid showers, bedtime snack, clean up, bedtime for the boys, mom gets to finally shower, and if I am not dead tired, I watch a show or catch up on social media.
Getting a daily routine is EXTREMELY difficult when you don't have a job. Therefore my days are always different and I struggle to keep motivated to get stuff done, because no one gives me a deadline. It's honestly one of the things I miss the most about having a job and a set routine.
On Family Traditions: Our traditions are similar to those we grew up with. Everything from Christmas celebrations to simple things, like listening to our favorite traditional Mexican music full blast on YouTube: we love everything from Mariachi to Selena to Banda to the brilliant Juan Gabriel. I love seeing the kids getting into the music of our Mother Land! My dad was a huge Beatles fan, so we listen to that a lot too. I remember my dad playing videos on our VHS, and putting the volume full blast. It was always The Beatles, The Doors, Queen, Elton John, etc. My dad loved English music, but also loved his Mariachi and JuanGa! I get my love of diversity in music from him. I want to instill that in my kids.
The kids also look forward to fun family time during the holidays: egg hunts for Easter, family trips during summer break, our yearly camping trips, and specially dressing up for Halloween.
On Favorite Motherhood Moments: The moment I saw and held each one of my boys for the first time. The moment you finally get to see their little faces is such a remarkable and indescribable moment. I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think about it. It will be a moment and a feeling I will never, EVER forget.
On Shitty Mom Moments: Shitty moments happen ALL the time! The good thing is that the sweet/happy moments outweigh the shitty ones by a landslide.
Just to give you a few examples of what I consider shitty moments:
- Tantrums from one or all 3 of my children.
- Struggling to get them to listen to anything from putting on their shoes to putting away their toys at the end of the day.
- Fights over dinner. (Always involves broccoli and gagging).
- Losing my cool.
- Sick babies. (Which is not their fault, but vomit all over the bed in the middle of the night will always be considered a shitty moment for me).
- Late night trips to the hospital. (Also not their fault, but who enjoys staying up for hours in a hospital room waiting to hear what's wrong with your baby?)
- When they get physically hurt. (Which we can blame on their clumsy arms and legs).
- Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera...
On Favorite Books to Read: My Aiden is the one that is the most into books. He is such a good reader and truly enjoys bringing new books from school. His favorites right now are all Dr. Seuss books, and he recently got into Goosebumps. They are chapter books, so I am very proud of him.
On Self-Care: I make sure I get some me time every once in awhile; I feel like I NEED it for my own mental well-being. I love my boys, but sometimes they drive me insane and I have to step away. A simple trip to Target by myself while drinking some Starbucks is one of the best feelings ever when you are stressed. Girl-time is a must for me, too. I live in a house full of boys, so I try to get some time with girlfriends. Grabbing dinner, brunch, drinks, whatever we can get to have some alone time and catch up. Getting my nails done (which only happens about 4 times a year) is also a great way to have some essential "me" time.
On Husband Time: Finding alone time with my husband is extremely challenging with 3 kids. Our moms live out of town, so our most reliable babysitters are not exactly reliable. But, we do try to go out on dates whenever we can. I'm not going to lie, sometimes that means going weeks without going out on dates. So we settle for movie nights after the kids have gone to bed, while enjoying a good glass of wine. That has to be my favorite/most affordable type of date :)
There has been times where we actually just take out glasses of wine and sit outside by ourselves while we just have a nice, relaxing talk a few feet away from our kids.
On the Best Parenting Advice: I remember when I was pregnant for the first time, and I was really into reading about my pregnancy, what to expect, and what to do. However, one day I was talking to another young mom, and she told she wished she had a guide on how to parent instead. Pregnancies are typically only 40 weeks long. Raising children involved a lot more time than that. So why not look more into that instead? Look into guidelines for parenting, spend more time getting advice on how to raise that little human you are carrying around in your belly, read articles, ask questions, look up on Pinterest! I still read a lot about my pregnancy, but by the second time around, I was focusing more on the years to come and how to be a better parent to my children.
On Hopes and Dreams for the Future: I want nothing but happiness and success for them. I want them to fulfill their dreams and live up to their potential because I know they are capable of a lot. I just hope I am doing a good enough job as a mom today to push them to be kind, giving, loving, respectful human beings.
On Striving for Love, Not Perfection: Please don’t be fooled by the smiling faces in the perfectly posed pictures throughout this interview. We are not always at our best: there are days my boys throw tantrums, when I lose my cool, when the grown ups have arguments, and so on. But that doesn't mean we are not a happy, loving family who deeply cares for each other. Every mom is perfect in their own way, and I am in awe of how different moms make things work for their families! I have read all the Mama Crush Wednesday posts, and each mom is so different and so amazing. We need to keep empowering each other, and helping each other thrive!
Thank you so much, Tania!