This is the first in a new series on Children Too called Feature Friday. Each Friday I will be highlighting Mamapreneurs that inspire me every day. These moms are pursuing their passions while balancing their families, and rocking it! Additionally, if you would like to be considered for Feature Friday please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first mom being featured is my dear friend Caitilin Paul. I met Caitilin at our local library’s storytime. Our kids are just two weeks apart and really great friends. Her determination to make a great life for her family is part of my inspiration for starting this blog. I hope you enjoy getting to know her.
Hudson, 18 months
Prior to what I am doing now, I worked in corporate retail for over 10 years. I assumed that after I had my son I would go back to work and figure out a way to balance the crazy hours and be a mom. I worked really hard to build my career and I was comfortable doing it, not necessarily happy or fulfilled, but comfortable.
The day I gave birth to my son, Hudson, everything changed. At that moment, I knew as I held him that I had to be the one to take care of him. I didn’t want to be the first one to drop off their baby at daycare and the last to pick him up. Only seeing him for a bedtime book and a quick snuggle. I knew that wouldn’t be enough for me. The only problem was I didn’t know how to make that happen.
While I was trying to figure this out, I took the advice of an old friend of mine. After ignoring her suggestions for almost a year, I started taking something called Juice Plus. I was struggling to recover physically from childbirth. I was tired all the time and trying to figure out how to take care of myself while balancing being a new mom. Also at that time, she asked if I wanted to try the business side of it. I told her no because I was still a bit skeptical. Plus, I decided to become a dog walker with my son in order to stay home with him (what!?)
A month after starting, I changed my mind. I called her and said “I’m obsessed. Everyone needs to know about this. How do I start my business?” I had felt the impact quickly, done some research on the company and found their mission was to inspire healthy living around the world (which I loved!). After researching the product further I found they had almost 40 gold standard studies on their product (no wonder I was feeling so good!). I knew it was something I needed to share with everyone.
Honestly, the day I started my business I had no idea how passionate I would become. In the following months, my body finally healed itself from childbirth. Something that was not happening with physical therapy or traditional medical care. I had more energy than any other sleep deprived momma I met at the playground. My skin cleared up and as a result, my confidence in the company and the product grew.
Now, our whole family is a Juice Plus family and our health picture has been forever changed. No antibiotics since we started, less time sick, more energy, better sleep, and more awareness of what we put into our bodies. The list goes on and on. All of these things come from flooding our bodies with whole food nutrition every day.
As a mom, it gives me such peace of mind knowing that even when life gets crazy and meals aren’t as healthy as I want them to be, we have our safety net. I don’t think I would be so passionate about sharing this with other families if our health hadn’t been so profoundly and positively impacted by it.
I believe that being healthy should be easy and accessible for everyone. That a healthy family is a happy family and that it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s not about being perfect it’s about balance and small changes that add up over time. It’s about what you do every day that makes a difference. Not what you do some days (that goes for the good and the bad!).
I am committed to helping families understand this. I am grateful for the opportunity to change an untold number of lives for the better by helping them to find their healthiest self. Sharing easy solutions through my Juice Plus business like the Children’s Health Study (a way for kids to get it for free) or a delicious and healthy recipe I’ve found are all ways I share my passion.
One of the things that keeps me going is success stories from happy customers. I’ve heard everything from a mom saying she can’t believe how much healthier her kids are since starting Juice Plus. To a mom who finally isn’t exhausted every day. A husband asking for more salad because of their Tower Garden. Or someone who was inspired to make a change by the healthy cooking or running pictures I share. Every time I hear something like that it inspires me to keep talking, sharing and living the mission.
When I decided to start my business, I knew I was passionate about what the product could do for people. I never imagined how passionate I would become about what the business could offer. Honestly, if you had asked me two years ago if I would be doing something like this I’d have said you were crazy. However, having a business with this company is allowing me to do the things I am passionate about: being home to raise my son, working from where/when I want, helping people get healthy (starting with my own family), and creating long-term financial options for us. I also help others to do the same.
I strongly believe that everyone should have choices! Whether you want to stay home and raise your kids, quit your job because it makes you unhappy, go back to school to follow a passion or just have a backup plan. The latest person I’ve had the privilege to lock arms with has a simple goal, she wants to be home in the morning to take her son to school and we are going to make that happen.
How much you love them.
How strong it makes you- physically, mentally, emotionally.
Oh, my gosh, what isn’t in my bag?
For Hudson- toy dinosaurs, cars, and trucks, his favorite book (and a few extra in case he changes his mind while we’re out and about). “Bunny” his current lovey. Right now a lot of rain gear (Hudson loves to be outside and it’s been raining the past week or so). Snacks (apples, Bambas). These adorable burp cloths my sister-in-law gave me. They can be used for any sort of toddler emergency. Extra clothes and a remote control (just go with it).
For me- Aquaphor, my wallet, snacks (no one likes a hangry momma). Juice Plus chewies (for my sweet tooth and to have to hand out to other mommas). A Juice Plus complete shake (to prevent grabbing junk while out and about). Water, my phone to snap pictures of Hudson. Probably a petrified cheese stick I forgot about and hopefully a diaper/wipes.
For me, it’s really important to have balance in pursuing my passion/work. I want Hudson to see me working hard and doing something meaningful. But I never want to do that at the expense of spending time with him. I work in stolen moments while he naps/after he goes to bed. Some days that means I go to bed with the house a little messier than I would like it to be. But hey, it will be messy again by 9 am the next day anyway.
I try to get a solo run in once a week. I can choose to push myself a little farther/faster, relax and go slow, clear my head or use the time to think. Either way, it’s time I spend doing something just for me and no one else.
Stop thinking about it and try it. If you fail, learn from your failure and try again. You get one life, so create one you love. Don’t just settle for comfortable. And if that didn’t work I’d make them watch the video “the time you have, in jelly beans,” it really made me think.
Juice Plus- https://cpaul.juiceplus.com/us/en
Helping Families Get Healthy- http://healthylivingrevolution.com
Caitilin’s Instagram- www.instagram.com/caitilin13
Absolutely love this. I applaud every single Mom that makes staying at home work. I know that you all work tirelessly to make it happen. And I am so very proud of this generation of strong, young women. You go mamaprenuers!
Allison, thank you for allowing me to share my passion. It was an honor to be featured on your blog. You are an inspiration to me and so many other mommas. Keep up the amazing work!
You are an inspiration to all who know you! I have loved watching you be an incredible Mom to Hudson while also building your own dreams. I also love how you and Andrew have incorporated healthy living into your family life. Hudson’s a lucky little guy to have you as his Mom!