Linda Parra | "How does she do it?"

February 20, 2015 8 min read

With the official launch of "How does she do it?" blog series, we welcome Linda– a mother to Elle, wife to Ever, who owns a dental practice in Arizona and loves crossfit. If you don't know who she is, you've probably seen her daughter Elle, who was named one of the top 10 stylish kids on Instagram by 
Harpers Bazaar! Did I mention she LOVES fashion and styles her wardrobe around her mini to match!? Not only is she gorgeous, but the sweetest mama you'll ever meet! Linda has supported our small business from the very beginning, and my love and respect for her has grown even more after reading her interview. The best part of this series is that you are able to get a sense of who these women truly are, which goes far beyond those small squares we love to see. 

Audio courtesy of Anabell @pregnancyperfect |

Tell us about yourself: age, marital status, number of kids and business.

 31, married 6 years, 1 daughter (2yrs) definitely working on more lol Dentist/Office manager to our family practice.

Describe a day in the life of you.

I wake up at 4:45 to make my crossfit class (I do this 4 times a week) I get back 6:30 jump in the shower then proceed to get Elle & dressed. Make a quick breakfast (usually a smoothie,egg cupcake, or breakfast toast) then drop off Elle at her pre-school before 8:00. I get to the office around 8:15. I work until12:15 and leave to pick her up before 1:00 We eat lunch together then I put her down for her 2 hour nap, at that time I prep dinner, clean house, and do laundry. When she wakes we usually have a snack and try to have some outdoor fun until my husband comes come around 5, he usually joins in. Then Elle has dinner, bath, & a book, I get her to bed around 7:30 which is the time my husband comes back from his crossfit class then we have dinner together and I'm in bed no later than 9. next day repeat. 

Do you have help? A nanny or housekeeper? Family?

I don't have a nanny but I do have someone that helps clean my home 2 days a week. She mostly does deep cleaning and washes sheets & towels. My mother takes Elle every few weekends and when we need to go out of town and can't taker her. She is the only person I leave Elle with.  Elle usually doesn't want to come back after a weekend of Cheetos.

 How do you manage to have “me” time?

"Me time" is very important and even though I think could use a lot more of it an occasional visit to the "drop in day care" while I get a man/pedi always helps.

With a newborn and or toddler, how do stay in shape? Do you workout? Diet?

I don't diet but I've always tried to eat pretty healthy, I have pizza & doughnuts but not daily. But to be fair I come from a very thin family. I've always worked out and for the last year and half I've been addicted to crossfit. I try to go at least 4 times a week and always to the early class before Elle and my husband are up because I can't take that time away from them in the evenings. 

Do you get ready every day? Makeup, hair and curated outfits?  If so, how do you do it with children?

I always get dressed up to leave my home. I learned this from my mother who is always put together. She taught me that you should always put your best face forward because you never know who you might meet and what the day might bring you. I translated this to meaning "put your game face on" if you feel good you do better. Don't get me wrong I feel just as confidant in sweats as I do a dress but a dress gives me that extra push and most days I need all the help I can get. I usually put my outfit and Elle's together the night before because it makes the morning run smoothly. 

Has your style changed after motherhood?

My style has definitely changed a lot. I wear less jewelry, lower heels (sometimes) and longer seams. I try to match and coordinate so sometimes it's a bit challenging since toddler clothes isn't has trendy or edgy. It's a delicate balance between me dressing too childish or Elle dressing too mature.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is watching T.V. My husband and daughter have took over the screen, so it's either Disney Jr. or football.

If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?

I only breastfed Elle for 4 months but wish I'd done it longer. I gave her formula while at work and breast in the afternoon and night but as she slept more and ate less through the night my supply began to reduce. I didn't pump, which I believe was my biggest mistake but when you know better you do better and I'm sure the next baby will better deal.

How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?

I get about 7 hours, I try to get to bed as early as I can because I know how important sleep is. I don't do well with out sleep, it's worse than a hangover for me.

What is a priority for you, and what gets sacrificed? For example, everyone looks great but the house is a disaster, or the house is clean but work deadlines get pushed back.

My priority is Elle, My biggest sacrifice is the amount of time I spend at the office. I'm sure if I spent more time it would be more lucrative and I would be a bigger help to my husband who is also a dentist. I sometimes feel guilty but when I see how happy my child is, that feeling quickly fades. I know she will only be small once and I don't want to miss is it.

Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?

I make quick breakfasts of either smoothies, egg cupcakes, breakfast toasts because that is all I have time for but I try to cook at the very least 4 dinners. I need to get better planning the meals because I spend too much time at the grocery store and feel like I waste food. (another thing I feel guilty about)

Have you ever felt like you are loosing yourself to motherhood and or life? If so, how did you bounce back?

I feel like I'm coming apart at the seams weekly, not everyday but at least once a week. I have major anxiety about everything. Then I get mad at myself for not acknowledging my blessing and snap out of it. My mom is also very good at giving me the "deal with it" "that's life" pep talk.  She never lets me feel sorry for myself and I think that is what really helps. You just got to push forward but stop and take it all in. Life is a beautiful struggle. 

Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?

My husband is a major help. He is the one that stays late at work so I can leave early and take a day off during the week to have a girls day w/ Elle & my mom.  He's very supportive in anything I have going on. He cooks (grills) on Sundays and fixes what he can around the house. There is times I wish he helped more with the daily cleaning but I pick and choose my battles. 

How do you manage motherhood and marriage?

Motherhood has took a toll on my marriage, to start off we co-sleep, which was always my husband's idea. We are both over worked and have opposite schedules because he comes home after his afternoon crossfit class energetic and pumped and I'm ready to call it a day because I went to mine at 4:45. We try to have a weekend with out Elle and go on weekend trips. Fridays we try to have date nights, even though Elle usually joins. Marriage is work, and If anyone says it's not they are lying or maybe I'm just jealous, LOL! But I thank god for my husband because although he's not perfect he is pretty amazing and treats me like a Queen.

Do you work? Do you work in an office or at home? What does your work consist of and how do you get it done during the week?

I work 4-5 days a week half days, mornings are our busiest time of the day so I do feel like I get a lot done in that time. Since Elle was a week old and up until 2 months ago she was at the office with us. She began to get restless and refused to nap here so we decided to put her in half day preschool so that I could work in that time. Even though I work less time than before I get more done with out her there.

Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?

I have the same friends as before motherhood and surprisingly they all have children around the same age but I see them a lot less now. I'm sure it's because we are all busier as new mommies. I need to schedule more play dates for sure. 

What’s the least favorite household chore you dread doing?

I love a clean house but I really don't enjoy cleaning, I love to cook but hate the aftermath. I just try to keep things as clean as possible until my help comes those 2 days a week. 

Describe an experience when you didn’t have it “all together” and how you handled it all.

A time (there's been many) when I didn't have it all together was just one of those days when everything goes wrong, you're behind, your kid is sick, you're upset at your husband, your home needs a major repair. I just step away from the current and look around all blessings and appreciate the good. When you don't focus on the bad it's easier to see what makes you happy. Sometimes that means simplifying your expectations. 

Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to __________________

As a mother SLEEP is a luxury. 

What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home?

My philosophy IS balance. It's about taking the good with the bad and not being so hard on your self or others "Live and let live" and always always always gratitude. Every night before I go to sleep I say thank you for all the good things that happened that day, even if it was just the opportunity to cook a dinner for my family. It's important to take inventory of your happiness because sometimes we over look the little things that bring us pleasure.

What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?

My dreams outside of motherhood is to grow my practice. I'm also in the process of opening a local children's boutique and hopefully grow that into a larger online shop. 

What is one thing that keeps you sane?

My mom keeps me sane and grounded. She been through so many trials & tribulations and she's always happy (ok sometimes she pissed but very short lived) she never complains (ok only about food at restaurants) and she's been wildly successful (i just wanted to use wildly) but she's has done very well for herself.

What is one question you'd like to ask our mommy readers who can respond in the comment section below?

The question I'd like to ask is if as a mother you ever feel like your over compensating for shortcomings. Example, I buy my child everything I never had or I give into their demands because I feel guilty for not spending enough time with them. I think we all do this to some degree.

Thank you so much Linda for sharing a glimpse of your perfectly imperfect life! Don't you just adore her?! To see more of her lovely feed – follow her @babyellestyle

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