Hi there! Give us a glimpse into your world. You embody a fun-loving, easy-going persona, how do you remain so confident in an ever-busy-ever-hectic life?
I embrace the chaos. I have quickly learned that as soon as you think things are slowing down, you get side swiped by life and it all seems to be thrown upside down. That is life, especially with kids and a self owned business. There is no normal…and as soon as things feel normal you better watch out! I have learned to just roll with the punches, show myself grace because there is no right or wrong, and when you mess up I always see it as an opportunity to learn and grown from the mistakes!
Love visiting your travels on the 'gram. Where is your dream destination with your besties?
I have a deep love for travel and until recent, my kids were just too little for me to enjoy it as often. So now that they are older I am trying to squeeze as much travel in as I can! I have my heart set on Bali (which I plan to visit this March) and I would love to go to Santorini Greece and Cuba this year.
How do you balance work life with raising your kids?
That is a hard question to answer because I don’t know that there ever really is a “balance”. As a mom with 4 kids and running my own business, I can say it is pretty typical to always feel off balance in some area or another. I think the word of the day is GRACE. You will not always have it together. You will not always show up on time, have the perfectly baked cupcakes for the class party and you might drop the ball and forget a deadline with a client here and there. The goal is to show yourself some forgiveness and remember your kids are learning from your hustle. They won’t always remember what cupcake they brought to the party but they will always remember how mom showed them she loved them and how she taught them work ethic. I learned early on that phones and computers make being accessible at all times the “norm”…I had to have a hard conversation with myself and remind myself that I am not a doctor…in my world there are NO emergencies from my clients. Anything I have going can and will wait when it comes to my kids. I have one lifetime with them…and as much as I love my job and give it all I have…it is always with the reminder my kids will come first.
Any advice to moms who might be entering the fine line of now mothering teenage kids?
Brace yourself. Period. Hormones are no joke y’all! And I spent my life believing it was only girls with the crazy hormones…boy was I wrong! I have many people ask how I have the relationship I do with my kids and I know it has been said over and over you are not your kids friend, you are there parent. I personally agree with that statement to a small degree. I tell my kids all the time, “as long as you live under my roof you don’t have to like me, you don’t even have to think you love me, but you WILL ALWAYS respect me”… and I mean it. BUT I do feel you can not just demand respect. They are people too and the best way to get what you want is to lead by example. I am my kids friend. We talk about everything. There is no topic off limits. Sometimes I cringe to enter into some of the conversations we do…but they will go to someone to talk about it, I want that someone to be ME. I have reassured them that I might not agree with a lot of their choices, but that will NEVER change my love for them and it is fair they hear my side and I will honor hearing them as well… so far it has worked out. My kids know they are my world but they also know I do not make them world revolve around them.
What is a holiday tradition in your household?
We have a big family. As much as I love seeing my kids open gifts, I want them to know the joy that comes from giving as well. We give each child a certain amount of money and they draw names and have to buy one gift for one of their siblings that they know they want ONLY by previous conversation and hearing their needs and desires. We also have memorized “The Night Before Christmas” story and on Christmas Eve after baking Jesus’s birthday cake, we try to go around a circle reciting it until we mess up!
We LOVE the green (plant) love. You have to let us in... Are plants on the gift giving list?
Yes! I actually just found a few air plants at the local home improvement store for a great price so I bought all five they had and plan on giving them as gifts to friends! I love plants and feel adding life into your home just makes for a happier environment so I try to share that with the people I love!
What about you? What's on your wishlist?
My wish list sounds cheesy… but when you have teenagers it is rare to get them all in once place at the same time, so my only wish is a day of love and laughter with my babies… and PICTURES for the photographer momma. Christmas is about the only day I can sucker them into letting me take pictures with them out of guilt that it is “all I have ever wanted” …does that sound convincing yet?
How do you set goals for yourself long-term & short, in order to fulfill the life you've envisioned for yourself?
I am a dreamer and a list maker. I try to set the grandiose goals, then I map them out working backwards to smaller more achievable goals that make them a little more realistic to accomplish. The biggest struggle I have is that I am a creative and my mind goes from one thing to the next faster than I can keep up…so breaking things down helps. I turn off my phone, turn on the radio and sit on the floor with notebooks and I just dream. I write and write and then I try to categorize the goals together to minimize the chaos, then I start breaking down the “HOW” to reach it. Every Monday I try to write out a weekly “to do” list and chip away at them a little at a time. My main goal in life is to live with Joy. To create a life that is fulfilling and making sure my goals, when broken down are still something I enjoy achieving…otherwise I will never cross that finish line.
Looking back at the months that made up 2018, what are you most grateful for?
Relationships. Big decisions to take a leap of faith. Shutting out needless noise and remembering I only have this one chance at life. I can spend it trying to squeeze myself into a box that others see fit for me…OR I can create a life I want and one that I find fulfilling outside of “rules”. This past year I allowed myself to let go and not worry about what others thought of me, let go of the ideas of perfection, to allow myself to love harder, be happier and do life how I wanted. It feels good. Its not easy breaking those molds we have had since we were young, so this journey of change is still a new one and I look forward to the new year with even more new promises to myself to seek and find all the things that make my heart smile.
Follow her busy life on Instagram! @spankimills
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