We're celebrating empowering moms within our community all month of May, and each Tuesday we are featuring one #bossmom local to San Diego.
Empowered Mama Spotlight: Kristin Helms
Being a mom means playing the role of housekeeper, nurse, chauffeur, personal assistant, chef, and so much more...add a hustling mompreneur into the mix, and you have a superhero. [and you are most definitely also a superhero if you're a stay-at-home mom, too, because we ALL know that is equally exhausting and non-stop hustle and bustle].
In this new Empowered Mama Spotlight blog series, we are featuring mothers who inspire, uplift, make a difference in their community, and add zest to the world of motherhood and beyond.
She articulates the heartfelt and honest side of raising tiny humans through her own writing, which has been published in Big City Moms, Literary Mama and the Huffington Post.
After putting herself through college by selling ad space in the school newspaper by day and waitressing by night, Kristin received a B.A. in communication, with an emphasis in advertising, from San Diego State University. After graduation, Kristin began climbing the corporate ladder in marketing and public relations and it wasn’t long before she was leading the marketing department for one of Hyatt's largest properties in the world.
When her daughter was born in 2013, Kristin decided to make a life pivot, and traded her power suits and office with a view for yoga pants and life on the home front. Her transformation from corporate life to stay-at-home mom life has been a riotous journey, brimming with unexpected emotions, re-self-discovery, and the most beautiful moments of her life.
Kristin is a member of Women Writers, Women’s Books, Publishing Mom Bloggers, and Boss Moms. She is also the Founder of Mom Tribe San Diego, a networking community connecting and supporting moms through local events.
We sat down and asked Kristin a few questions we thought would be helpful for mamas:
1. If you could give a new mom one piece of advice, what would it be?
Find other moms! Motherhood is like a pendulum that swings between the most magical moments of your life and the most overwhelming moments of your life. The only other people on this planet that understand that gamut of emotion are other moms who are going through the same things. Join a new mom’s group, introduce yourself to other moms at the park, put yourself out there. It seems scary at first but it’s so worth the friendships, support and strength you’ll get out of finding your mama tribe. Find your nearest FIT4MOM location here.
2. If you could give a toddler mom one piece of advice, what would it be?
Hold on tight? LOL! JK (kinda) – but really, I would say—allow yourself grace. When your toddler is having an epic meltdown on aisle five at Target or he/she is the one grabbing sand toys away from the other kids at the park, as moms the first thought that crosses our minds is always, “this is my fault” or “what am I doing wrong?” And that’s not fair to us. This season of life is tough – they call them the “terrible twos” and “threenagers” for good reasons! Just remember to breathe, stick to the values you’re trying to instill in them and find peace in knowing you’re a GREAT mom.
3. How/when did you know it was time to say goodbye to corporate world and dive into being a stay-at-home mom when Blake was first born?
As my maternity leave was nearing the end, I would envision returning back to my job—the commute, the long hours, the frequent evening events—and it just didn’t fit anymore. My priorities had shifted. I feel very fortunate that I even had the option to stay home as I know that’s not an option for every mom—we all make the best choices for our specific circumstances and family.
While I was grateful to stay home with her every day, I also quickly realized I needed an outlet outside of “just mom”. That’s when I began writing about motherhood: the humorous moments, the heartfelt memories and the hard times.
4. When you had your youngest, Gavin, did you ever feel like you'd want to go back to the corporate world, or did that solidify your calling and passion with Tribe Magazine and launching Mom Tribe San Diego?
After having Gavin, my second, I was just sort of in survival mode. I had a rough start with “two under two”—a lot of anxiety, I wasn’t sleeping, I stopped writing; I felt overwhelmed and like I was failing in all aspects of life. That was definitely a tough season of motherhood for me. But then around the time Gavin turned 6 months old, it was like the sun came out and I started to finally feel human and energized again. While life was still chaotic and hard, it just became our new normal and I got into a groove that worked. When the fog lifted, I rebranded Tribe Magazine as more of a literary magazine, focused on soulful and heartfelt articles about motherhood and started accepting essays from contributors. After that 6-month pivot point, I knew I was finally in the right place and mindset to give Tribe what it needed to launch forward.
5. If you could give moms advice on starting a blog or diving into writing about stories of motherhood, what would it be?
Don’t write what you think others want to read, just write it how it is. Write what you’re going through-- your thoughts, emotions, point of view, the magic, the journey and the tears. Some of my most popular essays are the ones where I just unloaded my heart on paper and then sat there thinking, “Should I really hit ‘publish’ on this one?”
Writing about something as personal and important as motherhood feels very vulnerable, but it’s also extremely therapeutic and valuable (both for the writer and the reader). Every time I get a comment or an email from a reader who says “thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking” – that makes it all worth it.
I’d also advise new writers/bloggers to send your work out into the world – beyond publishing it on your own blog. Write guest posts for other blogs, submit essays to parenting websites and literary magazines. There are so many wonderful online publications looking for content about motherhood, and it’s a great way to build your network. You can submit to the FIT4MOM blog here.
6. How has Tribe Magazine and Mom Tribe San Diego impacted your life?
It’s really been an amazing journey. What started as a “nap time” passion project has grown into a platform that reaches 50,000 moms daily. It’s been powerful to watch it grow and witness how it touches the lives of moms all over the world.
The best part for me has been connecting with the other mom writers. I’ve published close to 200 mom writers and authors on Tribe over the past year, and every single story has moved me in some way. I’m a better mom and overall person having read their words and for that, I’m forever grateful.
Mom Tribe San Diego is just beginning, so I can’t wait to see how this new venture takes shape. Based on the overwhelming amount of support from the local community and the local moms who’ve volunteered their time to help plan the events—I’m very excited for the future of the group.
7. What's your favorite part of being able to connect other moms through your online magazine and recently, in person meet-ups?
My favorite part is witnessing the connections and support that exists on Tribe’s site and social media channels. It was important for me to create a safe space for moms– check the mommy wars and judgment at the door. Tribe is simply about moms lifting each other up through motherhood, business, and life. I can’t wait to bring that same sense of camaraderie and encouragement to our new in-person Mom Tribe events.
8. Anything else you'd like our mamas taking part in Month of Mama to take away from your #bossmom journey?
My favorite quote: “Grace: It’s how you accept winning and losing, good luck and bad luck, the darkness and the light.”
Whether you’re a working mom, stay-at-home mom, or boss mom, allow yourself grace along this journey through motherhood. You’re raising tiny humans—it’s hard, messy, amazing and beautiful. Allow yourself to feel all of the emotions that together make up the most powerful role on earth: mom.
And just in case no one has told you lately: You’re doing an AWESOME job, mama. xo
Go say hi to Kristin on social media!