This year in honor of Mother’s Day, we want to partner with our amazing Apollo Box mamas and encourage you to go after your dreams.
As a mom, you’re always on the lookout for your family’s best interests. Next to scheduling play dates, making dinner, playing make believe and helping with homework, it can be easy to stay in “mom mode” 24/7 and put all your hobbies and passions on the back burner.
But your dreams are important and still worth pursuing. Even while you’re in the smack middle of motherhood. We want all our Apollo Box moms to have the opportunity of looking back on their lives and thinking, “I am so glad I did that.” Now “that” could be starting up an Etsy shop, going back to school, jumping back in the workforce or starting a blog. Whatever your dreams or passions are, we want to help you pursue them!
So to give you a little inspiration, we’re sharing the story of our dear friend Maria Jose Ovalle.
Maria-Jose Ovalle – Very Busy Mama
Maria-Jose is a wife, mother of 3 and the hilarious voice behind Very Busy Mama, a lifestyle blog for moms. Next to touching on all the topics that come along with Motherhood, Maria Jose also gives you a look into her family life, shares outfit ideas, beauty product reviews and a glimpse into her acting work and video creations.
As soon as you start talking to Maria-Jose you immediately realize that she is honest, relatable, an optimist and unapologetically herself. Scroll down below to read our interview with her and see how she manages to be an involved mom, wife and still pursue all her creative endeavors.
- How Would You Describe Your Work Situation
I freelance, blog and act. It’s sort of unexpected. It’s a little bit of a rollercoaster, the work comes in waves but there’s always something in the pipeline. Different projects come up at different times and it’s never the same twice. It’s everchanging.
- How Did You Start Blogging
I became a mom in 2009. At the time I lived in the UK and was not exposed to the whole mom blogger phenomenon in the States. I had just gotten back to work in 2010 and came across a blog that made me feel like I could start my own blog. My original blog was called “Mummy’s Busy World” and I wrote about motherhood from the point of view of my one year old. At the time the blog was a creative outlet for me. It literally sparked joy!
Later when I moved back to the U.S., I wanted to write for myself outside the realm of parenting. That’s when I started Very Busy Mama in 2012. Now I blog a lot less but it’s my baby
and I use it to create all different types of content. A lot of the things I start on the blog end up on my YouTube Channel or social platforms.
Very Busy Mama is my homebase — it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for me, like auditioning to be a host on a national TV show and working with other brands through my storytelling. Now when everyone can have something online, the blog is a springboard for different things.
- In Your Words, How Would You Describe Your Blog?
Real and funny. It’s life with humor. Everything in there, if I’m talking about fashion, it has a touch of humor because that’s how I am. Even the deep topics I cover like depression have a bit of humor, because that’s how I deal with life.
And people respond well to it. They tell me all the time, “Your blog is so funny!”. The tone of the blog is my pride and joy.
- On average, how much time do you set aside for your blog / projects / ?
If I have something big that I’m working on with another company or partner, I will just have to carve out the time. I used to not sleep, I don’t do that anymore. I refuse to work at night even if I have a deadline —I’ll find time during the day.
As far as writing my own blog posts, it’s a labor of love. You can do it quickly if you need to but I prefer quality over quantity. If I do a video I can do it fast but I love to shoot it, edit it, make it look good.
- Describe a “good day”
- I make sure I take all my meds!
- I get a good night’s’ sleep the night before a busy day.
- I write down everything I need to do for the next day
- I pray. I seriously do. I just take some time to pray, tell God everything I got to do that day and ask for God’s help.
- I don’t focus on the things I don’t need to do. If the kids have hot dogs for dinner, it’s OK. I try to make my day as anxiety free as possible.
- What Do You Like Best About Your Current Setup?
Truly what I like best is that I can spend the time with my youngest daughter. With my first kid I went back to work full time after a year, with my second I was in a very dark place dealing with depression and I didn’t get a lot of sleep. With my youngest — I feel the happiest I’ve ever been and every second I’m with her I cherish.
I don’t stress about work, because I know that work will come. This setup has really taught me how to be and enjoy the moments. As soon as I let my guard down, relaxed a bit, it made it so much easier.
- What Do You Find Tricky About Your Current Setup?
I think the tricky part is that mostly it [freelancing] can play with your mind, the uncertainty of it. It can make you question your self-worth, but it’s teaching me to keep things in perspective.
- Do You Have Any Time for Yourself?
I always try as much as I can to make time for myself. I’ll cook easy meals for the kids and my husband cooks for himself because he gets home late from dinner, but he likes to cook so it works out for us. I also learned how to let go of the little things.
Sleep is a huge priority for me — I make sure to be in bed early. Sleep has changed my life after not getting enough for so many years, in fact I had to go to a therapist to re-learn how to sleep.
- What Do You think About the Concept “Women Can’t Have It All?”
I think women can have it all, you just can’t have it all at once. We live in an ‘instant world.” Instant likes, instant comments and when it comes to our work or dreams we want that instant gratification and when it doesn’t happen right away we feel like we are not being successful. Being a blogger or successful (in whatever work you do) and have instant success isn’t possible.
You can do it all. I think when people think you can have it all, you have to have it all at once, but you can’t.
- Did You Have Any Doubts or Fears about Starting a Blog? If So what were they?
Yeah, there’s always the doubts “am I good enough”, “are they going to pay me for this” or “why would they work with me?”, but honestly, the older you get , the less you give a shit. As soon as I stopped doubting myself, things got easier.
- What Piece of Advice Would You Give to a Mom Who Wants to Start Her Own Blog, Side Project or Business While Being a Stay At Home Mom?
Just do it. You’ll never be 100% ready to start it. For the people who want to blog and are afraid that no one will read it, exactly, no one will read it. That’s the perfect opportunity to make mistakes as you go. Just start it.
- What’s the Biggest Blogging Mistake You Learned From?
Seeking perfection, being truly concerned why aren’t people reading this? And struggling with self-doubt. We want that instant gratification, instant likes, and with something like a blog it takes time to build up. You’d like it to go viral but you’re not a Kardashian. But as long as you believe what you were doing, you should be happy and you will get to that goal but you have to give it time to marinate and work it.