Trista Perot, the mommy half of Mommy Upgrade, a blog which she shares with Princess Cupcake, her daughter, was very nice and agreed to answer to some of our questions on being a mom, blogger, and all around successful person.
In this interview, you’ll get to find out more about this great project that she shares with her adorable daughter, about how she decided to set it up, about her fondest memories, and the importance and pleasure of spending time with your child. For this and many more, just keep on reading!
1. Let’s begin! Care to tell our readers a little something about yourself?
Hi there! Thanks so much for featuring me. I’ll start with what’s most important: I’m a mom of an early tweenage girl, am married to my LSU grad school sweetheart, and have three fur-babies that keep us warm at night and company during the day.
We live in a Dallas suburb called Las Colinas and have been in the DFW area since the early 1990’s.
2. What’s the story of MommyUpgrade? What determined you to start a blog and how has it evolved since your first post?
Truthfully – I started MommyUpgrade as a proving ground for another website I was building. I was teaching myself how to build my professional website but didn’t want to make any mistakes on it; so MommyUpgrade started as my “safe zone” where I could mess up and it didn’t matter.
I’ve always enjoyed writing (my undergraduate degree is in Newswriting and Editing) so it quickly evolved into a side hustle that I loved doing.
MommyUpgrade began really as a “how to” site with a lot of crafts mixed with parenting experiences. Over the years, it has evolved into more of a lifestyle blog but I’m making an effort to focus more on the DIYs in 2019.
3. What have you learned from blogging? How did it impact your life, and what motivates you to keep it up and running?
I’m a person who LOVES continuous learning, and there’s nothing that changes more than blogging and social media, so it definitely feeds that craving I have for new challenges.
For me, blogging came along at a time when I was transitioning a bit in my career, so it was a launch pad for me to return to my love for marketing and offered me the opportunity to work in the digital space.
4. You blog, you’re a mom, you are an entrepreneur. So how do you manage to stay organized and make time for everything?
Ummmmm….. who says I’m organized??? You should see my desk! LOL! Actually, I have a number of tools I use to manage the multiple client accounts, the people who work for me, and my daughter’s insane schedule of soccer, basketball, girl scouts, etc.
Also, having an incredible team of people that work for me helps. And my clients are the absolute best, which really helps, so I love what I do. None of it feels like “work.”
5. Do you have any advice for our readers on that matter?
If you want to get into the weeds of how I personally manage myself, it’s pretty simplistic. The way I found that works for me, is to have my calendar sync up across all my digital devices.
I use a paper planner, but I use it for my to-do list. Each day I list out the things I need to accomplish and break down the BHAGS (big, hairy, audacious goals) for clients (I consider my blog a client too) into manageable steps and plan them into my calendar.
I hold myself accountable – and my assistant does too — and every so often, I have to take myself out to coffee and have a come to Jesus meeting to focus on what’s important and listen to what I’m struggling with.
If it feels like I’m stressed out constantly or not doing a good job, then something’s out of balance and I need to hire more help. You have to have help.
The other thing I have learned to do is to say no. Not every opportunity is right for right now, no matter what it pays. I trust that if I’m doing the right thing the right way, other opportunities will come my way.
Lastly, I really try not to compare myself to other digital influencers. My path is not their path. I may not have 500K followers on Instagram or Facebook, and that’s a choice I made a long time ago to have clients and not go all in on just my own blog. I focused on other areas of my business and my life. No regrets.
6. Want to share a funny kid-work balancing story or event?
Hmmm, like the time I was taking care of a friend’s little girl and my girl, and I had a TV station appearance?
I took the girls with me downtown to the station for the interview because I thought they’d enjoy seeing it from behind the scenes. I left them alone in the “green room”. They were so well mannered and shy, I was confident they wouldn’t speak to anyone.
I gave them my phone to record the interview for me on the TV in the room so I could see it right afterward. I figured by giving them a task, they’d also stay out of trouble. When the segment wrapped, they were trying to hide their smiles so I knew something was up.
I looked at the footage later and it was about 1 minute of decent recording and the remainder was silly selfies in front of me on camera and fits of giggles and running 9-year-old commentary about my interview.
It’s the best video I could ask for and I’m 100% glad I couldn’t see them through the glass wall or I’d have lost ALL my concentration!
7. What do you most enjoy doing with your kids or what is your favorite family tradition?
My daughter is super sporty, and we spend a lot of time supporting her athletic interests. Nothing makes me happier than to see HER happy with her performance on the field/court.
I’d drive her to the end of the earth if it meant I could watch her confidence swell doing something she loves so much.
As far as a family “tradition,” Friday nights are pretty sacred around our house. It seems to be the one night that we usually don’t have any games or meetings to attend so we go out to eat as a family. Everyone knows to turn down invitations because that’s our night!
8. Confession time: what do you consider to be your biggest parenting success? Would you also share your biggest parenting failure?
Biggest parenting success? Keeping the tiny human alive!
Biggest failure? I definitely don’t role model good eating habits. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t all junk food 24/7 in the car, but we’re far from a “sit down and have a meal with protein, vegetables and a fruit 7 days a week.”
I try, but I bow down to those all organic meal-planning moms who feed their children farm to table Insta-worthy plates at night.
9. On the same note, which were your best and worst days as a mom?
My best days as a mom are the ones where I can just hang out with my girl. I realize she’s growing up so fast and she’s like – halfway to moving out already!
We took a girls trip, just her and me, over Memorial Day and it was during the most insane time of our lives. While I was truly nutters for planning it then, it turned out to be magical to just escape and spend time with her, forgetting the craziness at home for 5 days.
Worst days as a mom? The ones where I lay down at night and realize I didn’t have a single quality moment with her, and I hate myself for it. I feel like I’ve cheated her, and I don’t want her to remember those days, ever.
10. What helps you decide to post/not to post pictures of your children on social media?
Rule number one: I never post anything that I think she would regret when she is older. Having said that, the tweenager is slightly more objective than she used to be about photos.
However, she is a bloggers’ kid and she also knows the drill about sponsored content. She willingly poses for the photos for special opportunities – especially if they are related to philanthropy. (I never force the issue of her being in photos though.)
I also make sure the photos are clean and couldn’t easily be photoshopped into something distasteful. If I can avoid it, I generally don’t post during an event if she’s with me.
I’ll wait until we’ve left the location before I’ll post anything that shows that she’s on premises. I also don’t use her real name on my blog.
11. Would you share your opinion on a controversial parenting subject?
My opinion on all that is you do you. There is no one way to mom. Keeping the tiny humans alive and happy is your number one priority, and keeping yourself is the same. Stressing out over what other people think is a waste of energy that you could be using for something good.
12. Tell us all about your favorite baby or child accessory or product.
Well, my daughter is a little older now, but I can remember that the Bumbo really changed our life. We used that more than the high chair and it was so portable, we took it on vacations and to visit family and moved it all over the house.
As a sports mom, I can tell you there are two things that I can’t live without. I LOVE the all-weather sports pods for those games where it’s a frigid 40 degrees, and the wind is blowing or it is raining, or both, and you’re stuck on the sidelines watching.
Yeah, your friends may laugh that you’re in this little domed tent, but your toes aren’t frozen solid and you aren’t getting rained on, and soon they’re handing their children through the window to sit with you. Mmmmm hmmm. Who’s laughing now?! LOL.
The other is the fold-up wagon that you can get from the warehouse club for like $50. They fold flat for your trunk and they are just the BEST for keeping in your car all the time. I use ours for absolutely everything.
13. While it might sometimes be hard to find a moment for yourself, what are your favorite “Me time” indulgences?
Those Friday nights are my favorite time to unwind, as I very rarely get “me time” on my own. When I do, I’m usually crafting or reading.
If I can read during a bubble bath, that’s a major win, but I’m pretty sure I have some sort of radar that the second I hit the water, the entire family – including animals – are sent a bat signal to come find me and ask me questions.
14. Want to share your biggest achievement/what you are most proud of?
I am definitely not a braggart, so this is a question I am skilled at dodging. I will say the biggest compliment I’ve ever had was when I was asked by my daughter’s ballet teacher to present to her moms group on “How to raise a kid with character.”
I reluctantly did it, and even presented it to another mom’s group shortly after. I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on momming, but at least to that point, I guess I’d done a fairly good job raising my tiny human.
15. To wrap things up, do you have any advice you want to offer our readers?
It’s so easy to compare yourself and how you mom to other people. Just don’t. What’s right for you and your family is just that.
No one is perfect, and we are all going to legit do something they [the kids will] “need” therapy to work through, so just do the best you can, be present every day, and know that every day is a chance to do things a little better – hence, the MommyUpgrade. 😉
Have another question to ask Trista or something you’d like to find out about these Moms? Then leave it in the comments, and we’ll be sure to ask your questions next time around! 🙂