From Highland Park to Hainesville, the Lake County suburbs are vast and everyone is looking for that parent who’s just like them. This month we’re taking a look “Behind the Trike” and meeting the parents who bring Lake County to you every day. Today we meet one of our newest writers, Alli, our “Authentic Momma.”
Alli is a boldly authentic and somewhat sarcastic mom. She either hides away at home some days with her three energetic children (5, 3, and 8 months) because going out alone can be daunting or heads out to conquer the world (or grocery stores) other days. Together with her husband of seven years, they break free in the evenings and enjoy showing their children Lake County. Whether it is a forest preserve, beach, park, or restaurant trip, her family is sure first to wish they never left home and then declare, ‘This is the BEST DAY EVER!’ upon leaving.
On top of all that, Alli’s often busy either doing laundry or photographing the people she loves. In the end, Alli strives to be a mama who teaches her kids that they are more than enough just as they are, that kindness matters most, and that family trumps all things.
The teacher turned stay-at-home mama, Alli, lives in Lindenhurst with her husband Jonathan and their three children: Brooklyn, Owen, and Anniston.
What are your favorite things to do in Lake County?
“I absolutely love being in the water with my family; we are blessed to live in a place with access to so many pools (indoor and out), lakes, and the backyard hose. Eating out is also at the top of my list, (and probably why I’ll never see my high school body again). There really are so many options of fantastic food around here! Also, I love the forest preserves. As my children get bigger I can’t wait to bike more of them and go wherever the trails lead.”
What do you like most about where you live?
“The people, hands down. Our neighbors and community in Lindenhurst make this such a joy-filled place to call home. Whether I’m shopping (aka buying a fast dinner because I didn’t thaw any meat) or enjoying a park with the kids, we meet the kindest people who want to slow down and enjoy life with others. Not to mention the parks and beaches and the parades! Ugh, I’m so happy here!”
What is a memorable and challenging mom-moment you’ve had?
“The most challenging thing for me as a mom is learning to let go of control and let my kids learn some things the hard way. Case in point: my son jumped into a pool this week without a life vest on (seriously horrific from the sidelines). I yelled from across the yard that he needed his floaty as I made sure my baby was safe before running to grab him. His big, fearful eyes under that water looking up at me broke my heart. But that moment is seared into his memory, and I’m praying this ‘learning by experience’ thing means that won’t happen again!”
What is some of the best mothering advice you’ve been given?
“’You can never celebrate your children too much.’ So, we make half birthday cakes, give the kids special privileges at home, and let them have ice cream multiple nights a week.”
“Peggy O’Mara is quoted to say, ‘The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.’ Yeah, that’s pretty intense and probably one of the greatest reminders every day [in my life] as a mom.”
What do you do to take care of yourself/unwind?
“If I can be completely honest, not much, but I know this is just a short stage in life! I enjoy writing children’s stories, chatting with my dear friends, and snuggling with whoever is still awake in the house. Now, if I had unlimited free babysitting for one day and could feel no guilt about leaving the kids … I’d probably end up getting a facial and drinking too much coffee while reading a book on a couch somewhere, then calling a friend to split a bottle of wine while we laugh too loud about life.”
What is something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
“Maybe that I’m a younger mom despite having three kids? I’m not really sure… I’m a pretty open book about all things life so I don’t think there are too many surprises.”
Do you have any future goals you are working towards?
“Absolutely, although nothing career-oriented or changing the world-worthy, my current goal is to take my family on more adventures alone. We come from a large local family and have a fantastic network of friends that we truly enjoy. Although it is so easy to call up a sibling or parent to go on a new adventure with us, we’re working on trying more things with just our little clan. I want my kids to be bold and courageous, to try new things even if none of their friends want to try, too (and PLEASE let it be safe!).”