You ever meet someone and you just hit it off accidentally? When you meet that person you don’t realize what role they may later play in your life. Yea well that’s Mel for me. I met her in my “one week of party days” in a club in Miami. Kept in loose contact over social media and now here we are a year later helping each other with multiple avenues of advice from business, motherhood and fitness. Mel Pillard has been a mother for 7 years. She has a son named Ethan. In the midst of running behind her multi sport athlete son, she is working a full time job, traveling and trying to get her non-profit up off the ground. To help start off the non- profit, she is about to take her turn in this blogging world. So without further ado, here is my first #BTGfeaturefriday.
Aysia: Mel it is so great to have you on the blog! So we’re just going to jump right in. When did you become a mom?
Mel: At 19. I was a sophomore in college and had to drop out.
Aysia: Being a mom now is hard so I can only imagine how difficult that was for you. So short blurb about your labor story. (i’m obsessed with them! lol)
Mel: As you know, nothing went as planned. So as I said, I had to drop out. I had to get a job at Home Depot. I worked up until the day of my labor. I was dealing with preeclampsia throughout my pregnancy but my doctors told me not to worry. Well that day I started to feel weird like things were off. It turned out my blood pressure was in the 150’s over 120’s. So I drove myself to a low income hospital near my job and 26 hours later, I had my son!
Aysia: That is a crazy story! And I thought my 20 hours was bad but 6 more hours I would have just about died. I was so over the whole process after my change of plans. But now you have Ethan, the greatest thing ever. How do you feel becoming a mom has changed you?
Mel: It gives me purpose. Before Ethan I just did what I wanted. I dated and went about life how I pleased, and now I’m more cautious. In raising him, I found my purpose in life.
Aysia: What’s the biggest struggle of being a single mom?
Mel: Mom guilt. I feel guilty if I’m giving my attention to something else and not Ethan. Since there’s not two parents in the household, Ethan definitely gets more out of me because I don’t want him to ever feel like he’s missing out on something with it just being me and him.
Aysia: I can definitely understand that. I left the house the other day without Tate and felt the mom guilt. It comes in all shapes and sizes. For you, what’s the best part of being a mom?
Mel: He’s my best friend. And he thinks I am his too, that’s what’s even more great!
Aysia: That is so sweet!! So we all know; mommyhood is hard. How do you keep from getting overwhelmed? What resources do you use?
Mel: Even with the mom guilt, I just always make sure to take time out for me. One way I do that is working out. I take all my frustrations and stress out at the gym so I don’t bring them home or transfer them to Ethan.
Aysia: Definitely! In speaking of hard, I know your child is older and more independent but, I barely have time to shower and yet you always look so fabulous. I need the secret lol. How do you do it?
Mel: Again that time for me. As far as getting dressed, I take no more than 20 min to do my make up. And I honestly only wear it on the weekends and if I have a presentation at work. On the weekends, I’ll take a little more of that me time and dress it up.
Aysia: That’s what I need. That little more time to get dressed up. But I’m sure that’ll come as Tate gets older. Okay, best tips for moms who are trying to get healthy/ fit but don’t feel they have the time or energy to do it?
Mel: You don’t always have to go to the gym. I pay so much for my phone plan why not put it to use right? I use a lot of apps on my phone to get some workouts in at home. I also do leg lifts and those type of workouts while I’m cooking. So I do a lot of trying to find other ways to incorporate it in my day to day activities.
Aysia: That is great advice. Just adding it to something you already do, thus killing two birds with one stone. What’s one thing you can share with new moms that you wish you would have known starting out?
Mel: It’s okay to let others help. When Ethan was first born I’d hover over his dad and my mom making sure he was okay because no one could get the job done like me. But they both would tell me, you have to let someone else do it. When Ethan first started going with his dad I would call so much he eventually stopped answering my calls telling me I had to let go some. And he was right.
Aysia: That’s my problem. I want all the help but I want the help done in the way I want it done. Definitely learning to let go a little more. So now here you are, experienced mom, an entrepreneur; what made you decide to create a blog?
Mel: I have so many moms ask me things about parenthood, make up, health etc. You’d be surprised to see the amount of messages I get in my inbox about it. But at the same time I hear so many of those same people say they didn’t think they could just message me and ask. So I figured I’d group it all in one place so they can see I have the same issues as them. On the blog I can give advice and tips on things such as fitness, beauty and motherhood.
Aysia: That is so great! When people visit your site what do you want them to get or feel? What’s your purpose?
Mel: I want them to feel that I’m relatable. I want them to feel they can relate to me and the things that I’m experiencing. No matter what topic they came there for I want them to feel the advice they get is real and comes from the heart.
Aysia: So what’s in store now?! What’s next?
Mel: I really want to get my non profit up and running. I basically want to give back to the community of single mothers. I know a lot of single mothers have less fortunate circumstances and don’t have the same opportunities as others. So giving them motherhood skills and lessons is a really big passion for me. I want them to feel prepared as best as they can for motherhood. Still fine tuning things but definitely keep an eye out for it.
Aysia: Alright ending it off light, funniest thing Ethan has ever said or done?
Mel: Oh goodness. Ethan’s a jokester. He loves to play and make jokes. So last April Fools him and my mom got me good. It was in the morning before work and school and he kept bugging me about when I was going to brush my teeth. And I kept telling him wait a minute, soon, etc. So I finally went to brush my teeth and when I turned on the faucet the water was coming out red. Now I didn’t know they had put food dye in the faucet, so I’m freaking out and Ethan’s just laughing and laughing. So that was probably the funniest thing.
Aysia: OMG that is so funny! I probably would have freaked out too. Well thank you so much Mel for being my first feature! I appreciate it so much and can’t wait to read your blog!!
p.s. Don’t forget to check out Mel’s upcoming blog releasing in the next few weeks!!