Tania Kolesnik | "How does she do it?"

June 26, 2015 10 min read

This week I'd like to to introduce you to Tania– mama to the cutest duo, Henri & Magnolia. A Wife to the Dustin -- who seems like the sweetest daddy ever...all while being a stay at home mom who is running several businesses. Have you ever stumbled upon someones Instagram feed that it's so inviting that you end up scrolling back to weeks on end (not in a weird creeper status way lol ). Well that was me when I had found @MAMAINBLOOMand started following her instantly.  After reading her interview while editing, I realized we had way more in common and I am so excited to share her story!

Tell us about yourself: Where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.
I live just north of Toronto, Canada. Married for 3.5 years to my best friend since high school. 2 littles (Henri, 2.5 & Magnolia, 1). i’m kind of all over the place professionally; let’s say communications specialist turned property manager, small business owner, creative & most importantly stay at home mom!


Describe a day in the life of you.
everyone is usually up between 7-7:30am. we take our mornings pretty slow; do our family yoga, make breakfast together, play, put on some music & have lots of dance parties. silly shenanigans are our specialty! the littles go down for nap around 12pm until 3pm, which buys my hubby (who also works from home) & i time to get our work done. after the kids get up i take care of lunch & we usually watch a movie while daddy finishes his work. then we head outside for a hike if the weather cooperates. if not, we’ll visit the museum, aquarium or art gallery a few times a week. or we’ll do a fun art project at home. after that, it’s time to unwind a bit while we cook & have dinner. then it’s bath, bottle, book, bed for the babes. once they’re down, we finish up our work & tidy the house. if we’re lucky we’ll have some time to snuggle on the couch & watch tv before bed. depending how stressful the day, a glass of wine sneaks into the mix!


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


formal, scheduled, paid help? no. amazing parents who take the role of grandparents very seriously? yes! my wonderful parents usually watch them for an afternoon/evening or two a week so we can get out of the house. they’re constantly helping us juggle everything, we couldn’t do it without them! even a Costco run sans kids can feel like a date sometimes, so we’re very thankful for any help we can get. since the birth of our daughter, we caved & now have a cleaner come once every 2 weeks & i swear it’s saved my sanity!  plus my husband is so awesome & by far does more around the house than i do.


How do you manage to have “me” time?
“me” time happens when & where it can! i’ve battled generalized anxiety disorder for the majority of my adult life, so i truly understand the power of claiming a simple moment as my own to rejuvenate & add to my serenity. i do mini meditations throughout the day, in creative ways like in the shower or when the kids are still strapped in their car seats before we leave the house, while they’re watching a movie or before bed. the power of ten deep, slow breaths with your eyes closed is immense & never lost on me. but of course, about once a month i’ll take the majority of a day just for myself & that’s important too. if i need time for “me”, i’ve learned to ask for it & not feel guilty taking it.


How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? Do you workout? Diet?
being in shape isn’t as important to me as overall health (physical & mental) . i guess once you’ve been faced with the chronic physical or mental struggle, you get a new perspective on what health means. for me, right now, i’m working on changing my mind as opposed to my body. i guess in a way i’m working on changing my mind about my body. after i had kids, i felt this inherent need to figure out all of my body issues but my tune has since changed. i want them to see me having a healthy, at times challenging, but overall accepting relationship with my body. it’s normal to get frustrated with your body, it’s normal for your body to change but ultimately, i want them to see that they have the power to accept themselves regardless of how their measure up to media standards. my biggest lesson when it comes to my health, is that showing yourself love & acceptance is the first step in making better choices towards positive changes. i want to model that for my children!
Do you get ready every day? Makeup, hair and curated outfits?  If so, how do you do it with children? 


umm, no. listen, i’m a mom with two very little kids! it’s just not a priority right now. i mean, i shower (obviously!) & if we’re leaving the house i’ll put something acceptable on. but no. a statement necklace to put the perfect finishing touch on a flawlessly curated outfit just isn’t in the cards for me right now. but in a way, it’s made getting ready when i am going out with my hubby or friends much more fun because it feels fun again! now it sounds like i wear pajama pants out of the house, i swear i don’t! okay, only once to pick up formula last week but it was late & no one saw me so it doesn’t count ;)


Has your style changed after motherhood?
yes! & totally for the better. i’m much more of a minimalist now. less accessories, less makeup, reasonable footwear. it’s glorious! i buy a few good quality pieces that can be easily mixed & matched with my existing wardrobe each season. i think i used to use clothes to hide my body but since starting on this whole journey of self acceptance, i’m now finding i use my style to accentuate what i’m most confident about! 


What’s your guilty pleasure?
do i have to pick just one!? baths. the kardashians. mini eggs. i could go on forever…
If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?
i breastfed both babies for about the first three months but had the hardest time! between some medical complications, poor support & lack of supply, my breastfeeding was cut short. which makes me even more thankful for good quality, organic formula! 
How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?
around 7 or 8. i’ve been blessed with good sleepers! 


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.

given the age of my children (2.5 & 1) & our the general pace of our lives, i find it hard making time to keep up with my personal interests & friendships. i mean, there are always things getting sacrificed but those are the two that stick out most in my mind. i’m blessed with an incredibly supportive group of close friends who do nothing but encourage & love us, but i always wish i could give them a little more time & attention. i think the personal interests thing is a little bit of a self conscious point for me too because i loathe when people refer to me as “just a stay at home mom” but i mean, in a much more dynamic & incredible way, i sort of am! i should celebrate it more often i think because i love it!
Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?
yes! but it’s totally selfish because i find cooking to be so relaxing & cathartic. i’m not the best planner, so i wing it more than i should admit. we’re constantly stopping at the grocery store to grab ingredients but it’s also made me very resourceful in the kitchen! with a good imagination & salt, you can make anything taste good, i swear.


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


all day, everyday. but i think that’s normal! there’s a quote somewhere that says something like “behind every great kid is a mother who thinks she’s doing it all wrong.” that rings so true for me & i try to remind myself of it whenever i’m feeling helpless. my mind is a constant struggle for me but i’m also so thankful for the opportunity it gives me to dig a little deeper & get to know myself better. taking the negative & finding the positive (even just with the dialogue in my own head) has helped me tremendously.


Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?
we’re partners, through & through. we help each other in every aspect of our home life, our friendship, our marriage & our children. i always have to keep quiet when girlfriends complain about having to do it all without any support from their spouse, because i’ve never experienced that. i’d like to think i would have never fallen in love with a man who didn’t see us & our roles as equally important. i’m so thankful for him & feel blessed that my children have a man like him to look up to!
How do you manage motherhood and marriage?
it’s a challenge, of course. because we both work from home we get a lot of “must be nice having him home to help & being together all of the time” & it is! but it’s also a dance that not many could master. lines get blurred constantly between us & our roles. the way we make it work is to be understanding of the hat we’re wearing at certain times. if it’s work time, we’re working. if it’s family time, that’s where our focus is. “us” time is important too! sure they all get tangled sometimes but we try our best.


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?


this is where those blurred lines come into play again but yes, i work! i’m a stay at home mom (the most challenging gig there is!) who gets my other commitments done during naps & after the kids go to bed. right now my focus is supporting my hubby on the back end of his business (architectural design) & coordinating for the properties we manage. we also design & handcraft wood products from a small studio in our home for our small business Urban Flora Co. which is a creative outlet we both love & depend on for our sanity.


Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?
i’m the first one in my close group of friends to have a baby & if anything, it’s brought us all closer. everyone loves our babies so much & is are always taking the time to come hang out. it’s so amazing! i’m a little apprehensive of the whole “mommy friends” thing because, as i’m learning, it can be a very judgmental & toxic space. i have a few that i’ve made since having kids that i love & cherish. i think friends, especially mom friends, have to build each other up & not tear each other down. i hold on tight to the good ones!

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

i will sort the laundry. i will do the laundry. i will fold the laundry. but don’t make me put it away! it’s a complete & total mental block that has my entire family grabbing outfits out of piles of clothes on the floor of our bedroom. & vacuuming. 
Describe a recent experience when you didn’t have it “all together” and how you handled it all.
oh, man! i have at LEAST one of these experiences everyday, if not every hour. generally speaking, the way i get over the challenging, less glamorous moments are just really honoring the exact way i’m feeling while they’re going on. i give myself serious pep talks in my head to calm myself down & try very hard to give myself the same level of calmness & understanding i would anyone else i love! i believe in feeling the depths of every emotion before you’re able to move past them & it works for me.

Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to __________________.
have some alone time. not even to do anything in particular! i’m an only child & thrive off just having time in solitude sometimes. 


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

my philosophy on balance is that it’s totally nonexistent & will drive you mad if you pursue it. i think everything happens for a reason & i’ve learned to trust in the path of my life. even if things go poorly or i’m going through a tough time, i always remind myself that it’s just part of the road that leads to bigger & better things! that way if you see the rough reality of the mundane day-to-day stuff as necessary, you make the best of it & really relish when things are on an upswing. everything resolves itself, everything comes full circle & our job is to hold on tight for the ride. 
What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?
i’d love to go to Italy & France to take intensive culinary courses one day. i’d love to expand our entrepreneurialism (i always have a new business plan in the works & would love to have some of them realized one day) & lastly, i’d love to continue with my blog, Mama In Bloom. i love the way sharing can bring people together & i learn so much about myself through the process, it’s a total win-win. 

What is one thing that keeps you sane?
my husband! he’s my best friend. i tell him everything & lean on him for support always. everyone who knows him will tell you he has a heart of gold & he loves me unconditionally.


What is one question you'd like to ask our fellow mama readers?
how do you deal with judgement from other moms? moms are such a connected group but sometimes i feel like we’re the hardest on each other & that reflects on how we feel about ourselves as mothers. i’d love some tips that have worked for other moms!

Thank you so much Tania, for sharing your story and being so candid about your struggles. Its refreshing to read that through it all, you find away to look at things differently and be the positive mama that you are! If you would like to see more of Tania's gorgeous feed and or blog, follow her here and here

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