(photo via @carmenthemodernmom)
Do you know one of those mamas that just seems to do it all? Balancing family, life, work, all the while looking as effortlessly chic as ever?
Carmen Shaw, of carmenthemodernmom.com, is one of those non-stop super mamas! Carmen is a mother of four, with her kids ranging in age from 1-18. This boss babe has over 15 years experience in the baby industry, having owned and operated a successful baby store in Vancouver for years. With her seemingly endless wealth of knowledge on “all things baby”, she went on to create an outlet to share her thoughts and opinions through her blog and instagram, both of which have amassed a huge following of loyal mamas from all over the world. As if that wasn’t enough, she just recently helped her husband open a new hot spot restaurant in their sunny home state of California, where she’s taken on the role of Creative Director. Now, this DockATot-loving mom has graciously agreed to spend a few minutes with us to chat about it all!
DOCKATOT: Your instagram account is so much fun to follow. And we can't help but notice how hard you work to answer every question and respond to comments - what motivates you to do it?
CARMEN: Honestly, sometimes I don't even know how I do it. It's important to me to respond for a few reasons but number one is supporting motherhood. It can be so hard to navigate especially with new babies!
DOCKATOT: How did you get into blogging and social media?
CARMEN: I owned children's and maternity retail stores. After moving from Canada to the US and leaving that industry (after 12 years of my own stores and 3 years for another company), I decided I couldn't stay away so I started blogging as a hobby. That turned into much more when people realized I wasn't someone sharing posts for money but actually sharing good gear advice and motherhood help because I loved doing it!
DOCKATOT: Ok, we just spent way too much time checking out the Instagram from the restaurant you just helped your husband open! It looks beautiful and SO yummy. Tell us about it.
CARMEN: We opened a brand called Fox and Fiddle California. It's a modern type pub with delicious made-from-scratch food and yummy cocktails! My husband owned restaurants for many years in Canada but after falling in love with California living we up and moved to start over here. We plan to expand over the next few years over the SoCal area.
(photos via @foxandfiddlecalifornia)
DOCKAOT: Let's talk about work-life balance. You seriously do it all, how?
CARMEN: My grandmother was the hardest working lady I know. She taught her kids great work ethics all while looking amazing, having the cleanest house and serving the yummiest food. (That she grew in her garden to provide for the winter too!) I look up to her and want to make her proud looking down on me from heaven.
DOCKATOT: Your kids range in age from 1 to 18. How has mothering changed since your kids have such a wide range in age?
CARMEN: It's totally different. I hear moms say they can't believe how much it changed in 3-4 years and laugh! There weren't as many car seat rules like the 5 point harness or chest clip height or flipping them forward facing. The strollers were not designed as well to be lightweight and compact or as great to convert to doubles. The picking was definitely less!
DOCKATOT: Beauty/Fitness routine: how do you keep it all so together?
CARMEN: I don't really have a beauty routine. I keep things simple like hoping my shampoo washes off my makeup well enough! Lol! I am fairly active so I keep fit by running around work and chasing kids so you won't see me in the gym! Plus, if I'm honest I hate the gym or real working out! In this picture below, my son Kaeden surprised me by ordering us these black masks. I kept saying I wanted to try them. Best $4.00 spent on eBay! Ps. They totally do work! And yes they feel like a layer of skin is coming off with the mask.
(photo via @carmenthemodernmom)
DOCKATOT: After spending so many years in the baby industry, you must have some favorite baby products! What are they?
CARMEN: DockATot of course! And no that is not because I'm answering for you. I believe that is one of the best items I ever got for my baby. I had 3 kids co-sleep and my DockATot was a game changer! If I was to pick a second close runner it would be the Owlet baby monitor. Again for great sleeps.
(photos via @carmenthemodernmom)
DOCKATOT: Raising a girl, how is it different than the boys?
CARMEN: She is sassy! My best friend growing up had girls while I had boys. Our kids were the same age and I always thought she raised demanding baby girls and couldn't believe she would let them pick their clothes. Now that I have Apple the opposite of my dreamy well behaved, don't care boys I had to say sorry to her! Girls know what they want! That I'm learning.
DOCKATOT: What motivates and inspires you to work so hard?
CARMEN: My kids are my motivation. I had a hard childhood and moved out at a very young age. I had to grow up fast and knew I was going to want a better life for my kids. I look at their faces and will work extreme hours and take great risks to build a good life for them. I also give them more hugs, kisses and love than they think is needed but they are my reason for life.
DOCKATOT: Who are your style icons?
CARMEN: Ok, so this is bad. I don't follow much for pop or tv star or models. I do watch Housewives though so I'd have to quietly admit I search up some of the outfits or sunglasses and buy them when I see the ladies rocking them. Especially Dorit of Beverly Hills. Love her look.
DOCKATOT: Any advice for entrepreneurial mamas starting off?
CARMEN: Be sure to know your market and ask yourself "what is it that you have to offer that makes people want to go to you?" Understand your books and how much is actually profit. Many people think if they buy an item for $5.00 and sell for $10.00 they made $5.00 but if they took into consideration labor, rent costs, shipping, electricity, bookkeeping and accounting and so many other things they would realize they actually made $1.00!
DOCKATOT: What’s next!
CARMEN: I'm doing a Meet & Greet + Carmen the Modern Mom baby gear day at Newport Cottages at Fashion Island CA in June. I'm also speaking at Mommycon in Vancouver this July! I plan to do more Meet & Greets this year because I get so much enjoyment out of talking about all things BABY!
FUN FACTS ABOUT CARMEN
Lives in: Palm Springs.
Go-to snack for Mama: Hard-boiled egg.
Go-to snack for Babe: Cheese cubes.
Favorite place to visit: Florida
Default nail color: Red.
Last date night: 2 weeks ago.
Can’t stand: People who lie.
Fave photo editing app: I'll never tell!
Blogging since: 2015.
Where there’s no WiFi: What?? No WiFi!? That can't be real.
Mantra: Live life vibrant!