Last year's MOPS theme was "A Beautiful Mess: Embracing Your Story". We featured some stories of CV MOPS moms and mentor moms. That feature is back by popular demand again for our newsletter this year. The theme is "Be You, Bravely!" Here is Kristina's story:
Tell us about yourself and your family.
My name is Kristina Brochu. I grew up in the central valley and graduated Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo were I majored in Agricultural Communications and meet the love of my life, Ron (on the first day, in my first class of all places - it was love at first sight!). Ron and I will be married 3 years this November and have one daughter, Claire who is two. We live on a ranch in Palomares Canyon and have 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 horses and many head of beef cattle. I became a full-time stay at home mother in May (praise Jesus!) and run a small special-event floral design company in my free time.
Tell us about your experience and involvement in MOPS.
I joined MOPS when Claire was just two months old, and what a blessing it has been! This is my third year in the group and my first year on the leadership team as Creative Activities Coordinator.
What is your favorite thing about MOPS?
Creative activities! I am a crafty person by nature - so being able to pair my love for crafting with much-needed fellowship with other mommies makes for an amazing experience for me.
What is the wisest mom advice you have ever received?
Well, not sure if it's technically "mom" advice, but... "Let it go!"
What were your thoughts when you found out you were pregnant with your first child?
Shock. My husband and I (longtime boyfriend at the time) had been dating for three years throughout college and the first couple years of our post-college careers when found out I was pregnant. He will tell you (and I have to agree) the hardest thing we have ever done was to tell our family we were having a baby, but once the initial shock wore off - we (along with all our family who were about to be first-time grandparents and aunties) were full of support, joy and excitement for what our future held for us. I must say though, planning a wedding in 3 weeks, while 10 weeks pregnant is for the birds!
What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?
Honestly, when I am stressed out, I clean. I wish I had a better answer that sounds more relaxing and lavish, but this is what does the trick for me. Am I proud about it or taking clients - no!
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Understanding 99.9% of my toddler's gibberish when no one else can - it's like we have our own secret language! My favorite thing though is Claire's first morning snuggles - I know my time is limited with these, so I take in the moment every chance I have.
What did you learn about being a mom from your own mom?
Cloth diapering really is great - especially if you have a baby with super-sensitive skin!
How has motherhood changed you?
I have gone all "Type A" and now make my grocery list by aisle. This way I can get in - and out - before anyone can even say "melt down on aisle 6."
How has MOPS changed you?
By attending MOPS and hearing all the transparent day-to-day stories and testimonies of other moms, I have become empowered to share my own stories without shame. I know that there are plenty of other mothers going through the same situations as I, and want them to know that they are not alone in their battles!
What is your proudest parenting moment?
Each morning before breakfast, Claire reminds me she needs to feed her kitty - makes me so proud to know she already has the capacity to care for another before caring for herself.
What is your biggest challenge as a mom? Have you overcome it? How did you overcome it?
Balancing tidiness. It is a work in progress for me!
What is the one most important principle you want to teach your child(ren)?
To know the value of a dollar.
What is a must-have kid product that you recommend?
A baby swing! We are already on our third swing and we've only had one child.
What is your mom motto or favorite mom quote?
"I didn't lose myself when I became a mother, I found myself."