Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Yvonne Condes is the editor and co-founder of MomsLA, a blog dedicated to motherhood the way it could only happen in Los Angeles. From food to schools, local politics to weekend activities, they uncover the unique parenting angle on LA life and have been named one of the top mom blogs in the city. Yvonne sits down Momstamp to give us a glimpse of the LA mom behind MomsLA.
Tell us about yourself…
I’m Mexican-American and originally from Tucson, Arizona. I studied journalism at the University of Arizona, later working as a newspaper reporter. After having my two boys, I started blogging about what it was like to live in Los Angeles with kids.
How did becoming a parent influence your life and work?
Having kids completely changed my life. I’m more willing to take risks, seek out adventure, and try new things. I want my kids to be fearless and follow their passion so I try to set a good example.
What surprised you most about parenthood?
My life really changed after meeting my husband and having kids. I didn’t know I was capable of so much love. I think your world gets so much bigger when you have to think about and care for other people. I cared for other people before, but it’s more profound when they’re your children.
In what way is parenting in LA different from other places?
It’s different being a parent here because it’s such a big city with every different neighborhoods and issues. We have to deal with traffic, overcrowded schools, the high cost of living, and now a drought, while also living in a beautiful place filled with amazing opportunities and incredible things to do. It’s really like nowhere else.
Our goal at MomsLA is to provide useful, fun, and interesting information for parents. We have a summer camp guide that has been very popular and we’re starting a birthday party guide. We also have an “LA’s Top” series where we talk about the top family-friendly beaches, best places to get ice cream, best date night destinations, etc. Plus we have our picks of things to do for families on the weekend. We also talk about neighborhood issues, education, and local politics.
How do you separate being a parent and a professional parent?
It’s hard because I work from home and have this career so I can be with them as much as possible. But often times I think they end up just seeing me on my phone or on the computer because I don’t work traditional hours. It’s hard to step back from work and disconnect.
What is your co-parenting relationship like with your husband?
Co-parenting is easier in some ways now that the kids are older. They have opinions and can do things for themselves so we don’t have to figure everything out for them.
Lately, we’ve made sure we’re on the same page with our boys so we’re not giving them conflicting information. (Like yes, you can have a soda then the other parent says “We don’t drink soda!” This happens a lot)
How is your parenting style different in the summer ?
I don’t want them to do a lot in the summer. They have so much going on during the school year that I want them to do nothing and be kids. I will say that this summer was tough. We didn’t do that many camps and I felt a little bad that they didn’t have a ton to do.
One fun thing we did this summer and I hope becomes a tradition is “Mom Camp.” For a week, a mom would take all the boys one day and we’d switch off. The kids had a great time and the moms were able to work the days they weren’t on camp duty.
How do you prep your family for back to school?
I was waking them up early, but that went to hell the week before school started. I think we were all tired and both of my boys were sleeping more than usual. Hopefully it allowed them to get enough sleep so they’ll wake up for school!
Have you come across any great back-to-school finds?
While I was shopping for back to school clothes for my boys, I found a pair of jeans on sale. (Back to school also means back to mom!)
Yvonne’s Parenting Quick Tips
Because I work from home I try to only do work during the hours my boys are at school. I don’t go grocery shopping or run errands during that time if I can help it. I make them run errands me, but I make them think they’re doing something fun (this is working less and less as they get older, by the way). A trip to Target isn’t a trip to get laundry detergent. It’s a trip to find out what they can buy with their allowance money. The grocery store isn’t about buying food for dinner it’s about picking out ice cream and popsicles
Run When You Can
I use their after school activities to get in a workout. Instead of watching baseball practice or tae kwondo, I’ll go on a run or a walk.
Four Legged Baby
We got a dog instead of having a third child. My kids are getting older and I really wanted to have another baby. It didn’t happen so we got a dog, It’s not the same as having another child, but it’s been wonderful just the same. It’s also amazing how it’s changed my boys’ lives. They really have a sense of responsibility and love taking care of our little Chuy.
Pay them to try vegetables. Forget about hiding vegetables in kids’ food. I would pay my boys a quarter or a dollar to try vegetables. Some they continued to hate, but others they ended up loving like carrots, broccoli, and kale. I think I’ve spent a total of $5.