Mom, you are the real MVP has been on hiatus for the last two months as I prepare for the holiday season.  As many of you know I have written a book- it is now available on Amazon. Please click the link in the header to be taken to the site to order your copy. To order an autographed copy click here- www.adventuresofnappy.com.blessedbethetie.com .

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Beth Allen, the amazing artist who illustrated Nappy and the first day of kindergarten will be our last mom MVP for this year. Beth and I were introduced as part of the CoLAB project, a collaborative effort between Latina bloggers, ALT Summit and Blogalicious. Nappy is the result of that collaboration. Beth took the time to answer a few questions read below:

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AS: You are an amazing artist! Was art always your career choice?

I was 9 when I decided that I wanted to be an artist. I remember it specifically! There was just nothing else I wanted to do. I went though a period in high school where I thought it would be more responsible to go into a more dependable field, I even applied and was all ready to go through ASU’s Nursing program. Then at the last minute I realized I had to listen to my heart and major in art.

AS: As parents, it is natural for us to encourage our children to pursue careers that are “practical” or “stable” like medicine or law. What advice do you have for parents to encourage the cultivation of a child’s inherent talents and gifts?

Well, I find for my kids, they are most creative when they are away from screens and given free range to explore and make things without worry about the mess. (we clean up afterward). I always have paper, crayons, markers, watercolors, clay, etc around for the kids to use. Also, sending them outside seems to help as well. I think the workforce is changing so much with the rise of technology. I think that creativity and thinking out of the box is going to be a high priority for many companies.

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AS: How do you balance the demands of motherhood with those of being a mompreneur?

I’m not so sure I balance as much as juggle haha! I try to not let work take over my day, which can be really hard sometimes. I try to keep for the most part to a schedule-mornings are getting kids ready for school, cleaning, shopping, running errands, and shipping. Afternoons are for painting or sketching. evenings are dinner, family time, bedtime. Evenings I usually catch up on emails or do invoicing. It is not always the same and sometimes I have to be flexible- (kid staying home sick or something) but for the most part this schedule has really helped me get things done without letting it consume my life.

AS: For some, the term self-care is synonymous with self-indulgent. In  reality, it is the exact opposite. Women who neglect themselves and forget to nurture themselves are at risk for both mental and physical disease. As any mother can attest, when we are sick the home just doesn’t function the same. Taking the time for adequate self-care can make us better caretakers. What self-care routines have you incorporated into your schedule?

This one is a tough one for me. I try to take time for myself but it doesn’t always happen. Some mornings I will get up early and run with my best friend, some days I will take a nice long bath in the evening. Getting outside is something that always refreshes my mental health and makes me feel happy. I think just knowing when I need to stop and take a break or rest is the hardest part for me. I do find if I catch it early or plan ahead to take time for myself I am much happier than if I wear myself ragged and THEN take some time to myself if that makes sense.

AS: Blessed be the tie is dedicated to strengthening the ties that bind by ensuring that mothers schedule quality time into their daily schedules. As a busy working mom, I struggled to make sure that my children could feel my presence and that I wasn’t just showering them with presents. In what ways do you schedule quality mommy and me time into your daily schedule?

I have 5 children, so spending one on one time with each one is tricky. I try to take any opportunity I can to connect with my kids. I used to think it needed to be big and over the top to be special, but i’ve learned that even the littlest, simplest interactions can build relationships just as well if not better. If I find all my kids at friend’s houses except one, I will try to take at least a little time to read to them, or have them work one on one with me, or do something they like to do. Reading to my kids is my very favorite thing to do as a mother.

AS: Our partnership began as part of the CoLAB project. The book, Nappy and the first day of kindergarten is a result of that. Did you consider a career as a children’s book illustrator?

I have, actually! I have illustrated some books for my friends and have always thought it would be fun to write and illustrate my own. I loved illustrating Nappy and interpreting the words into pictures in my mind, and then watercolors on a page. It is a different kind of creative for me than painting portraits, so it is fun.

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AS: If you could nominate one mother for the mom MVP who would it be? Why?

I have so many talented mvp mom friends! That is a really hard choice. I am always amazed by my best friend Reachel Bagley and how she is able to do everything she does (which is a lot) so well!

8. As a new mompreneur, I find inspiration in almost everything it seems. What inspires your paintings?

My paintings are inspired by things that touch me emotionally when I see them. Colors, faces, nature, design. I love finding something I feel passionate for or about and trying to paint it or the feeling of it. I find the more excited or passionate I am about something, the easier it is for me to paint.

Follow Beth on Instagram – @bethannallen . View more of her work at www.bethallenart.com .

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