I 'met' Erica Ehm on Twitter - and earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet her in person at a Yummy Mummy Club event in my city. Of course, she was already familiar to me, because I used to watch her on MuchMusic when I was younger!
When I met Erica this winter, she was personable and friendly. A couple of days ago, I called her for a little chat, for this interview. Once again, we started talking up a storm. (I found out - and don't be mad - that her children don't wake up before 7:30 a.m. In fact, her daughter likes sleeping in until 9 a.m! I know, the unfairness of it all!)
Anyway, we talked about our experiernces as moms, about blogging, and about her website, Yummy Mummy Club - an awesome site for every woman and mom, a website that proves we're all yummy - because, after all, 'yummy is a state of mind!' Erica's Yummy Mummy Club is a great resource for moms across the country - I wish it had been around when I first became a mom!
Here is my interview with Erica:
Erica Ehm... you're such a busy lady! From television to radio, to recently publishing your first children's book, Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery, and of course, being the brains behind Yummy Mummy Club - tell me, how did you make it all happen?
I made things happen for myself. I took the initiative. I believe strongly in the saying: "If you build it, they will come." If you wait around, and do nothing, nothing will happen. So I made things happen for myself. I had kids late in life, and when I had my son, I had a mini nervous breakdown. I didn't know what to do with him, I had no training... I was struggling to get out of bed everyday. I would look at other moms pushing their prams, wondering how it was so easy for them... And eventually, I realized: it is not easier for them. A lot of moms act like everything is perfect, when it is not. Nothing is perfect. So many of us struggle with the same issues, the physical and emotional aspects of motherhood.
I started to write things down. I wanted to write something for women to tell them the truth - that we are not alone. That it is hard. No one before our generation had done anything like this before - before the Internet, women would use Valium to deal with issues. Twitter and the online world has helped so many people by allowing us to connect. It's a place we can go to vent, to complain, to share stories, get ideas. It's a huge group of women with parallel challenges.
What has been your biggest achievement?
This is probably a tie, and the two things are interconnected: Having kids - raising 2 amazing, beautiful, passionate kids, and starting and watching Yummy Mummy Club grow to what is has become. My website is such a proud achievement of mine, more than my time spent on MuchMusic, even. It started from nothing, just a twinkle in my eye, and by sheer force, vision and passion, I made it what it is, along with all the other great women I work with. Finding Sharon, who is now the editor of Yummy Mummy Club, and everyone else who works for Yummy Mummy Club, and seeing it expand... I never believed it would be what it has become. It is literally changing women's lives! I started something that has taken on a life of its own.
What are three pieces parenting advice you'd offer new moms?
1. Pretend you're an old woman, and look back on this, on your life right now. It's all about perspective. Some things are so insignificant... and they seem so much more important than they are... chill out, relax. Enjoy.
2. Don't try to find the perfect balance - it doesn't exist. Life is like a rollercoaster. You will be happy, sad, up and down, all over the place. But it all evens out in the end. Don't freak out when times are bad... you will get through it!
3. Feed your kids adult food from the time they are toddlers. There is no reaon for you to make a different meal at dinner time .- You should all eat the same meals!
Who has been the greatest inspiration for you?
Life is full of inspiration... different people inpsire me for different things. Of course, my mom (@journeywoman on Twitter) is a huge inspiration - she's intelligent, loyal, supportive and very driven. Sharon DeVellis is also an inspiration in my life, because she puts family before her work. I tend to sometimes put work before family, and she's a great role model in how to balance work and life with passion. She's equally driven, but by different things. My dad is also my inspiration. He survived the Holocaust, and came here and became a success.
Erica, where do you see yourself in five years?
I'll be the mother of a teenager! That is a scary thought... as well, I hope that my website has managed to weather the changing technologies - I hope it continues to evolve, to grow. I want it to be a safe haven for moms with kids across the country.