Occupation: Interior designer and owner of Fig & Dove
Children: Craig, 17; Christopher, 15; and Brady, 13
Hobbies: Cooking, designing and creating, & walking and running.
Life as a mom is busy, real busy. When you add on your career, which includes owning your own business, things can begin to get even more hectic and harder to juggle. However, Colleen Waguespack has found a way to always live her life on the go, but to do it all with grace. Her secret? Knowing that you simply can’t do it all.
As a mother of three, Colleen encourages all moms to look at what’s most important and when. While the laundry may be overflowing or the dishes may need to be done, Colleen wants fellow moms to know that your kiddos won’t remember those things. What they will remember, though, is the time that you spent with them.
How would you describe raising your children?
C: I’m a mom of three boys and they’re three completely different children. I’ve had them at three different schools for most of their lives. Our middle son is on the autism spectrum and he has a completely different set of academic and social needs than my other two sons. One of my sons is really into sports and another is really into leadership exercises and youth government, so it’s interesting because they’re three boys, but they’re three very different people.
What are some things you like to do together as a family?
C: We love to play cards. I can’t recommend playing cards enough. There’s something about what your kids will tell you over a card game. There’s a natural family chatter that is really healthy. I also like to cook as a family and give everybody their task. It drags them away from their phones and gets them doing something with their hands.
What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?
C: Just getting to know your children, especially as they get older. There’s a big difference between moms and dads. When a kid gets sick, they call their mom. Kids will let their guard down in front of their mom in a different way than they will with their dad, and I’ve always liked that.
How has parenthood changed you?
C: A lot, especially because I have a child with special needs. It has given me perspective, so I feel like I’ve done such a better job of seeing other people’s sides of things. I’m way softer on people.
What do you love most about your job?
C: It’s creative. You have to love what you do to be a working mom because it takes so much energy and extra effort and coordination to just get work. You’ve already done 20 things to just show up at the door at work. I love mine because I was always creative, always had a thousand ideas, and I love that I found a way to come up with a creative career that allows me to do that. It gets me excited about work.
What has your job taught you about parenting?
C: In owning my own business, I’ve very much tried to involve my kids with my business and get them excited about our growth and sales. They come to the office and help us ship and pack and they help us load the car when we’re going to a show. I’ve learned to make my kids a part of the business and that has been a real feel-good thing for us. They feel like they’re a part of it.
How do you make time to relax?
C: I only relax one time, one place: in the bathtub every night. Anybody who knows me knows there is no relaxation, no stop, no pause, except for the bathtub. What I love about the bathtub is you can’t bring your phone in the bathtub. I take a bath every single night
and I bring a book. It flips my brain from work and kids to a different place.
What’s your favorite date night with your husband?
C: Going to Houmas House because you can walk the grounds, have a drink, and have dinner.
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
C: From Maria Shriver’s Ten Things I Wish I’d Known - Before I Went Out into the Real World, you can do everything in life but not all at the same time. There’s a season for everything in life and it doesn’t mean if you’re not doing it now, you won’t do it. You need to decide what phase of life you’re in.
What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
C: The biggest one is optimism. I’m an eternal optimist. No matter how bad it gets, I can see the positive spin. I’ve got a lot of grit, but the glass is always half full to me and my sons are like that, too.
What are some things you want to do that are still on your bucket list?
C: Take the kids to Europe, design and build my own house, and play tennis.
What’s something a lot of people don’t know about you?
C: My tip for keeping my energy up is brushing my teeth! Whenever I get tired at work or drowsy in the afternoon, I brush my teeth. It wakes you up as if the whole day is starting over.
What was your first job and does it help you now?
C: My dad had this idea that I should pot mint and herbs and sell them to the neighbors when I was younger. It was very entrepreneurial looking back and I did always like making things.
Which family member has been your greatest role model in life?
C: My dad. I was one of six kids and my youngest sister has special needs, and he worked so hard with her. He had so much patience and he just exhibited 100 percent love for her at all times, and that was the best example for me with Christopher coming along. I’d see my dad do it with complete joy and patience. My dad was an attorney and successful, but he was able to feel like a present father and that was a great example for me.
Do you have any advice for other parents?
C: It’s really hard to juggle working and being a parent, but finding a way to make your children feel that you’re present when you’re there is really important. It isn’t easy to do; it’s something you have to be thoughtful about and make the conscientious decision to be a present parent.
The parenting item I couldn’t live without…navigation tool on my phone.
In my fridge, you will always find…CoolBrew.
Favorite movie growing up…Mary Poppins.
My guilty pleasure is…Blue Bell Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream Ice Cream.
My dream travel spot is...Paris.