Carol and I met for the first time at a Build-A-Bear event last year but I was already a long time fan. She has a unique voice- one that she shares as the Managing Editor of NY Metropolista and as a freelance Travel Writer for TravelingMom.com, Uptake.com’s Attraction Blog and Lodging Blog, and Trekaroo. She shares her adventures in the hopes of helping other families discover all the food, fun, and activities this wonderful city has to offer.
She agreed to share herself with Moms of Hue and I know you will find what she has to say as interesting as I do.
Moms of Hue (MOH): What keeps you motivated?
Carol: I love what I do. I have always enjoyed going to new places, seeing new things, and sharing with others when I find something great that they would enjoy too. However, I have the fortunate of being motivated even further by my family. Seeing things with my kids, even things I’ve seen many times before on my own, is always a different experience. Kids are awesome like that. They have such a wonderful way of seeing things and they are always honest about whether they liked the experience or didn’t. I refer a lot to my family not only for new ideas and inspiration, but also for feedback.
MOH: How do you organize your life so that you ensure that you get it all done?
Carol: This has been a bit of a challenge. When you work from home that line between non-working hours and working hours becomes blurry at times. When you have 3 kids, those lines become even blurrier. What I do is visit my calendar/organizer regularly and try to always set appointments or deadlines putting my kids and family first. I select projects and events that won’t conflict too much with my time with them and if I know I will be doing a lot of traveling on a particular month, I decrease the amount of events I attend while at home.
I can’t say that I have mastered the balance completely, and I still sacrifice lots of hours of sleep, but I also select projects that are worth the time I am investing on them, and I remind myself over and over that my kids come first and plan from there.
MOH: What lessons do you hope your kids will learn from you as they watch you work?
Carol: I want my children to lean from my ambition and strong work ethic. I want to teach them to see past the stereotypes of a place or a group of people. I want to teach them to look deeper and see further and to not be afraid to go anywhere their traveling little heart wants to take them. I want them to know that they themselves might suffer through injustices, but I want them to not let the hurt or anger of that moment stifle their ability to overcome it. I want them to see more of the world and know that a person or even a group of people don’t define the world we live in. I want them to know that nothing done or spoken in anger or with hate is spoken or done intelligently or positively.
They should know that there is a whole world outside of their apartment or school, or block or neighborhood, a whole world outside of New York where people think and act differently. I want to teach them to have the courage to walk into new experiences and to do so with an open mind and heart. Traveling with me will hopefully teach them that it’s ok to have your ideas challenged and your beliefs questioned. It’s good for us to be tested sometimes and be forced to evaluated ourselves, because, I want them to know, sometimes we find out that we’ve been wrong all along…or right, as the case may be.
MOH: Who is your biggest supporter and why?
Carol: My biggest supporter without a doubt is my husband, Travis. He was the one that encouraged me to start writing. He saw my potential before I even accepted it. And though my schedule now can sometimes be something he isn’t completely happy with, especially when it requires me to travel without him, he is steadfast in his support of my work and is my biggest fan.
MOH: What advice do you have for other Moms of Hue trying to raise children and maintain positive values?
Carol: Remember that our children develop the core of who they will become from the things we teach them, our judgements, our words, and the way we react to the world. As a mom of hue to biracial children, I don’t want my children to be “color blind”, because that is a part of who I am, who they are, and the beautiful make up of our colorful family. Plus it’s unrealistic. I do teach my children to see more than just the color, and to make the determination of who a person is by their actions and by how they treat others. But that is something only we can teach them and will stay with them through out their lives. So my advice is to be mindful of this, even when we ourselves are tested. There is no greater enemy in the challenges that we may face as women of color than the barriers and walls we set up for ourselves, and in turn, for our children.