El Abad is a mother, business owner, conference organizer and the blogger behind Land of Mom. Among the many tasks she juggles daily, maintaining a sense of self, being a good mom and creating a community for other busy mothers are among her top priorities. She’s a go getter, just like we envision all ZANNI girls, so we’re thrilled to have her share her story here on our blog. And as an added bonus for all the mamas out there, we’ll be popping up at El’s Happy Mom Conference May 6th and would love to meet you!
Talk to us a little bit about your life before kids and after kids. What inspired you to start Land of Mom and build a community for moms?
Before kids, I was an MBA graduate working the 9-5 at what I thought was my dream job. Immediately after giving birth to my first son, my whole life flipped completely upside down. You can talk to relatives, read every book on parenthood, and drown yourself in how-to articles online, but nothing will prepare you for the big life change about to happen to you until it happens. In a flash, everything else in your life takes a backseat to the life you want to create for your greatest love, your baby, and that will really make you reevaluate your life.
I thought about the career waiting for me after maternity leave... but for so many reasons I knew it was time to move on. Even leading up to my maternity leave, I felt it wasn’t the right fit for me, but I powered through it. The environment tended to be negative, it wasn’t supportive and I knew that would makes things even more difficult as a new mom.
I also felt that I deserved more. I had worked hard to build the life I was living and knew I deserved to be a happy mom with a supportive community. I started Land of Mom to support moms that are in that same space I was in. New moms, not-so-new moms, and soon-to-be moms who are seeking support and community. Moms who want to thrive, who know they are MORE THAN A MOM!
Land of Mom fully supports the idea that moms thrive best when they are happy, living a fulfilled life, and equipped to pursue the things that make them happy as a person beyond being a mama.
I’m forever grateful for motherhood because it’s led me to want to set a better example for my kids. It set me on a path of true passion and happiness.
What are some ways other moms can build their tribe or support system?
First, get with like-minded mamas! Sign up for group activities like Mommy and Me classes as soon as the little babe is ready to be around other little ones. Finding any way to be social is everything! You can even do it digitally by engaging with other mamas on social media. All mamas are welcome to join the Happy Mom Tribe - a free private Facebook group and forum for mamas to be able to support one another on the journey.
Second, ask for help! Allow family members in and welcome their help and support. It's true what they say, it takes a village. Your mama, sister, and friends are all there for you. They love you and your baby and are ready to help you. Accept and embrace that.
And lastly, don’t feel mom guilt. You will be a better mama for your baby when you are rested, make time for self-care, and allow loved ones in. Motherhood can be isolating, don’t let it be.
We’re curious, what does a “somewhat normal” day look like for you balancing your business and your family?
For me, as a stay-at-home working mama (is that even a thing?), everything revolves around my boys. Most working days look like this: Get Ryan, my oldest, ready and out the door for preschool. Babysitter arrives to be with Leo, my youngest. I jam out a few hours of work at home or a local coffee shop before doing a grocery runs and other errands. Come home and spend time with my littlest before big brother gets out of school. Pick up big brother with little brother in tow. Play time, snacks, and dinner with my boys. Bath time, story time and finally bedtime. Then it’s MAMA TIME which usually consists of a shower, a good cup of tea, and more work on my passion and mama hustle.
Best advice anyone has giving you about being a mom or someone thinking about becoming a mom?
Ask for help but always trust your gut for everything. I truly believe a natural instinct kicks in when you birth the greatest love of your life. Everyone will have an opinion and try to tell you how to do it “right” based on their own experience, but in the end no one will know what’s best for their baby better than you.
What are three self care practices you can’t live without?
Mani and pedi (every month)
My blowouts (this mane needs to be tamed)
Meditation (to start my day)
What’s next for Land of Mom?
I’m hosting the Happy Mom Conference! We’re so excited to host hundreds of moms and mom bosses at the gorgeous Skyline Loft in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 6th. There will be inspirational speakers, workshops, Mother’s Marketplace pop up shop, and a little bit of pampering, too. We can’t wait for our attendees to experience an incredible day of self-care and self-love where they’ll work on personal and professional growth in all areas of their life: motherhood, career, marriage!
After that when I’m able to catch my breath again, I’d love to explore the world of podcasts. I think there’s a real need in the market for a podcast for Happy Moms to be able to connect via a up and coming platform! Get ready for more inspiration and empowerment!