Mommaslayer Spotlight

Mommaslayer Spotlight: Stacy Willis

All of our journeys as mothers are entirely unique and complex.  We come from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses, which gives every single one of us a unique perspective on life. What unites all of us though- is motherhood and more often than not- all of us mothers have a lot more in common than we have in differences. We wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite Mommaslayers who truly deserve a shout out. Whether these women are business owners, military members, working moms, stay at home moms, widowed moms, moms on weight loss journeys, military wives, or moms who just slay at motherhood- we wanted to give them a shout out and share with you some of their advice in hopes that it could possibly help or inspire you!

Stacy is a mother to a toddler and currently has one on the way! Congrats, Stacy! She currently works as a Senior Strategist at IMPACT Branding and Design. She feels incredibly blessed to work for a company where she can work remotely from home and that is so flexible with her lifestyle. In fact, last year IMPACT won an award from Comparably as a ‘Best Place to Work’ for women. Stacy received her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering from UCLA and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from San Diego State University. Stacy has been married to the Navy (at least that is what it feels like) for 3 years. Since Stacy’s company is located on the East Coast and she is on the West Coast, her typical day starts around 5 am. Her typical day includes daycare pick-up and drop-off, a lot of video meetings with her clients and team members, and plenty of marketing strategy development for her clients.

How do you take care of your mental health?

Exercise! This is just about the only way I stay sane. I typically work out at least once a day between weight training, running, and yoga.

How do you practice self-care with the demands of motherhood being so high?

I make sure to set aside time for each area of my life. I have a wonderful daycare, so when it is time to work I can focus 100% on work. After daycare pick-up, work is turned off and it is 100% family time. And I make sure to find a way to fit exercise in with family time since I think it is incredibly important for my children to grow up seeing it as a part of everyday life.

How do you manage stress?

I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but my answer here is always with exercise.

How do you maintain your self-esteem & confidence?

I try not to compare myself to others but instead with past versions of myself. My goal is to always be improving at work, as a mom, and as a person. Comparing yourself to others is always a losing game, so I just make sure I’m happier with where I am today than where I was a month or a year ago.

How do you keep your marriage/relationship strong?

Good communication is always important, but that is probably the most repeated advice on the planet. For my husband and myself, there are a couple really important things we do. We both have parts of our lives that are just ours. I have my work and he has his, and it is ok that we don’t know every detail or talk about those parts of our lives all the time. We also make sure to get at least one date night a month, when his schedule permits. Taking time just for the two of us, away from kids helps remind us that we can still talk about adult subjects on occasion.

How do you deal with stressful relatives/friends/coworkers?

I do my best not to. I don’t typically maintain friendships that aren’t positive for both involved. Stressful coworkers are not totally unavoidable, but I try to keep my interactions with individuals like that brief and positive rather than being pulled into complaining or negativity. I’m lucky to work in a place where that is rare.

Where does your motivation/drive come from? What is your why?

This is a tough one to answer. In general, my motivation comes from within. I naturally am motivated to improve myself and my life. I am also very motivated by creating a positive environment in which to raise children, in hopes that I can provide them with all the blessings I’ve been given and more.

Who are your role models and why?

My parents are fantastic role models, as are some of my coworkers. I get to work with fascinating people who have been in the industry longer than I have, and I try to learn from them every day.

What is your form of stress release?

Exercise!

How has your childhood influenced the way you parent and who you are as an adult?

I have very strong and open relationships with my parents, and I long to create something very similar for my children. I strive to take all of the wonderful things my parents demonstrated when I was young as well as adding a few of my own. My parents were divorced and both remarried when I was very young, so I was lucky enough experience a very wide variety of parenting styles. I can now pick and choose the pieces of each that worked well to model my own style after.

What is the hardest thing you have ever dealt with and how did you get through it?

When I was 22, a friend and I were run over by a drunk driver when crossing the street. The accident happened a week before my last round of finals during college. Dealing with both physical recovery and a very intense time in life at the same time was quite the challenge. I was very fortunate that my injuries weren’t worse and I was very lucky to have a supportive family that helped me get back and forth from Sacramento to LA a couple times and move out of my apartment all within a few weeks after the accident.

What are your strengths as a person and as a mom?

I’m still very much a kid at heart, which makes parenting not just easier but more fun. I believe (or at least hope) that I’m pretty good at finding a balance between strict and playful that works well to create happy kids that are also well behaved. I’d love to take all the credit, but I also have been blessed with a child that is simply very good natured.

Where can you improve as a person and as a mom?

I am constantly working to improve my ability to balance work and home. I think I do a decent job today, but I can always be doing better. It is very important for me to be as present as possible with my family when work should be turned off.

Have you ever experienced depression or anxiety as a mom, if so- how do you manage/cope with it? If not, tell us about a time in your life when you were at your ‘lowest’?

I occasionally experience some anxiety as a mom, but it usually only happens when I start letting myself compare myself to others or notice the extreme mom judgment that comes from others. I try to stay away from and above that kind of thinking as much as possible, but there are occasions where it sneaks in.

What is your advice to a new mom who has high ambitions but doesn’t know where to start?

Just start. You’ll never know everything there is to know about being a mom or about your career. I learn new things every day in both aspects of my life. If you use it as a reason not to start, you’ll use it forever.

What is your advice to a mom getting ready to re-enter the workforce?

I won’t give advice so much as share what I’ve learned in my experience. My son loves daycare and I think it is so wonderful for him to spend time playing with other children every day. Having something of my own (my work) keeps me very satisfied and fulfilled and makes me a better person, and as a result, a better mom.

What is your advice to a mom who is stuck in a motivational rut?

Make sure you are doing something in your life that is just for you. If you don’t have something (be it work, or a hobby) that is 100% yours, you will always feel like you are missing out on something.

What is your advice to a new mom that you wish you had been told or prepared for?

Your way of being a mom doesn’t have to look like someone else’s. Make it your own.

What was the hardest part about becoming a mom?

For me, it was definitely trying to keep track of all the things in my life that I’m responsible for. Trying to keep track of all the extra appointments, tasks and activities that I need to do is much harder than it ever was when I was just taking care of myself. To do lists have become my best friend, otherwise, I’d forget half the things I had to do!

What was the best part about becoming a mom?

It made me whole. I had no idea I needed my son to help turn me into a whole person until the day he arrived. It is the most wonderful experience and I love every moment of it.

 

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