Join us today for an interview with one of our new World Moms Blog writers, Nicole Melancon, the “thirdeyemom”!
When did you first become a mother?
Hmmm….this is a funny question of course. My husband and I met young in college and had a very long courtship (according to my parents who pretty much gave up on us ever getting married). We dated six years before we got married, moved from Chicago to Minneapolis immediately after our honeymoon, and then delayed starting a family for five more years!
My excuse [on waiting to start a family] was always, “Let’s just do ONE more trip!”
As avid travelers, we didn’t want to stop because we knew children would be the end of our international adventures.
Little did I know, my mother is a softie, and I was able to leave for my first trip abroad without my son only nine months after his birth! I had my son at almost 33 and my daughter exactly two years and four days later at almost 35, just fitting her in before I was considered “high risk” pregnancy! Lucky me, I had my Grandmother’s fertile Myrtle genes!
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota land of 13,000+ lakes and a very extreme climate. I have always been a Midwest gal, being born and raised in a suburb of Minneapolis, going to college at University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!), and spending most of my twenties in Chicago.
What language(s) do you speak?
Besides English, I also speak French and am learning Spanish.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
I decided to actually start my family after I was laid off from my job. I was rapidly approaching 33, and finally got laid off from a terrible job. Humbled, I looked for a new job, but not with all my heart and soul. The unexpected passing of my two-year-old nephew made me do a reality check on my life and what was most important. The next month, I stopped the pill, got pregnant immediately and the rest is history. I never ever planned on being a stay at home mom. I have always been career-driven and worked my butt off to get to where I was in the corporate ladder.
But, I realized that I was never ever truly happy. Having my son, going through three months of severe postpartum depression and finally recovering made me realize that I never wanted to leave him with anyone else, no matter how lonely or difficult a stay-at-home mom’s life was. To this day, six and a half years later, I haven’t gone back, and I realize it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve had with my kids for anything.
Why do you blog/write?
I have always loved to write. I started keeping a journal my freshman year in college, when I had fallen in love for the first time in my life. From that point on, I wrote constantly documenting all my travels, as well as the ups and downs of life. Writing has always been incredibly therapeutic for me. I love to write!
Once I had children, my journal stopped. I was sleep-deprived and busier than I have ever been. Plus, I felt like I had nothing to write about anymore except diapers, blow-outs, constant feedings and loneliness for my old self and life. I waited a few years and then finally enrolled in a writing course.
I’d always dreamed of writing a book. I started my first book last year and wrote constantly for about six months. But then, I realized it was way too difficult to write a novel at 9 o’clock at night. I didn’t have the time to do a good job and was getting way too frustrated for something that was supposed to be fun.
Thus, three months ago on a whim, I decided to start my blog. I felt like I had a lot to say about my travels and experiences, yet was finding that my friends were getting bored of me talking about it. My blog, thirdeyemom.com, has completely changed my life. It’s been my outlet, my connection to the world, my savior, and a way for me to be myself.
As a stay at home mom with no career after many years climbing the corporate ladder, I’ve finally found something that makes me feel good outside of being a parent. Something for myself. It has been a phenomenal experience so far and had truly changed my life.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
I leave my children once or twice a year to travel abroad either with my dad or by myself to volunteer. To a lot of moms, this may sound nuts, selfish or just plain not possible. I am fortunate to have a supportive husband and mother who both, provide care and love for my children while I’m away. Boarding a twenty-four hour plane ride for three weeks without your children seems sacrilegious.
I would never be able to do what I do without knowing my husband and mother are there watching over my pride and joy. Besides travel, I love to learn and I love to be outdoors doing any kind of sports. I read constantly and never watch TV. I’ve got a tremendous amount of energy which can sometimes be hard. I wish I could be more patient!
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
I am extremely concerned about two things: The effect of technology and overall wealth of our nation. Technology has sped up the pace of life and also made all communications different. I worry about my children spending too much time on the Internet or texting their friends, or me, all the time. Capitalism also concerns me. Each generation seems to have so much more than the last.
I want my children to understand the value of working hard for something in life and that not everything is given to you for free. I had my first job at 15. I did Saturday chores for two hellish hours each weekend. I want my children to have the same values and realize that life isn’t as easy as you think. You’ve got to work hard, be a good person and give back. Finally, I find it hard to raise children when our families live so far apart. I’ve often heard that it takes a village to raise a child. I miss my “village”!
How did you find World Moms Blog?
Actually, you found me!
Is there anything you, as a parent, find difficult in raising children in today’s world?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Nicole Melancon. To read more from Nicole, please visit her blog at www.thirdeyemom.com.
Photo credit to the author.
I think we might be on the same page, Nicole. We’ve purposely chosen to slow down our lives as much as we can, and I can’t say we really have any problems raising our kids. (It has been a long journey to get here though.)
We found many of the issues we were facing with our eldest son disappeared once we removed ALL electronic entertainment from his life. That was five years ago, and as I watch our kids entertain themselves for hours on end every weekend (and when ever they can during the week) I know we’ve done them a great favour. (Our eldest, now nine, has very restricted screen time now. The others still none.)
Thanks Karyn for your comment and nice welcome! I look forward to getting to know you more! Nicole
Congratulations on your first post! I think it’s great that you have found a way to keep your passion for travel alive. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.
As for a challenge in raising children — definitely technology. How much is too much? It’s like candy to kids!
Thanks Veronica! I am so excited to be writing with such a great bunch of women! I look forward to the journey ahead with WMB! N
Welcome thirdeyemom! Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures (I am jealous about your travel getaways)!
Thanks Eva! The problem with traveling is that it is an addiction! But I think it is a good one as it keeps you learning and growing as a person. I look forward to getting to know the group! Nicole
Great post Nicole! Yes, I can relate to your concerns for our country and children. And I miss my village too!!
So nice to “meet” you Nicole! From one Minnesotan to another- we must talk! 🙂
Hi Nicole, welcome to the WMB family! Look forward to getting to know you better. And I am so envious that you can travel sans children!
Welcome Nicole! Can’t wait to get to know more about you, your family & your travels. I love that you still follow your passion and go abroad. Even it if takes you away from your kids at times, I am sure you come back more invigorated and present, which positively benefits them. Plus they will learn from your adventurous example. Very cool!
Welcome!! Looking forward to your posts and can’t wait to hear more about your travels. Where have you gone? Do you volunteer every where you travel What kind of volunteer work do you do?
Thanks Maggie! I’ve pretty much traveled all my life. First with my parents, then I studied, lived and worked abroad and ever since then have kept going, somehow or the other. Its gotten harder with kids yet I’m fortunate that my mother and husband watch them frequently so I can either volunteer or go on a trek with my dad. I have loads of stories on my blog….if you are interested. I discuss my past volunteer trips to Morocco (last month) and Costa Rica as well as other trips i’ve taken over the years. Glad to meet you too!
wow, it sounds idyllic, being a SAHM and being able to travel sans kids. You get your cupcakes and you get to eat them (or not) too! I’ll have to check out your blog. Welcome to our world. I know how you feel about writing and trying to be intelligent after hours. I’m a freelance writer (primarily for the Smithsonian Institution) and it continues to amaze me that I mange to get paid for some of the run on sentences, dangling modifiers and comma splices I write down late at night for highly intelligent folks. I guess that’s why I always try to review my work in the morning before sending it along. Good luck with your book (you’ll finish it someday)!