TORONTO MOM- M.I.L.K (MOM I’D LIKE TO KNOW)-#TUESDAYINTERVIEW
Briana Santoro, Mother Of Austin Joseph, 2 and Kingsley Scott, 6 wks old
Briana Santoro is a mother of two boys. She runs her own online business called Super Food Babies that offers postnatal and prenatal supplements and other products useful for raising a healthy child from pre-
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Briana Santoro. I live in Toronto with my husband Steve and our two boys Austin (age 2) and Kingsley (6 weeks). I have a background in business strategy, consulting, and marketing. I later followed my passion, went back to school and became a Certified Nutritionist. I split my time between being at home with my boys and working to help other moms raise healthy kids.
Q: Can you describe your philosophy on parenting?
When it comes to raising my kids I often say that “intuitive parenting” is my philosophy. I read a lot of parenting books and speak to a lot of experts, as well as other moms. I love hearing about what worked and what didn’t work for others and then I go with my gut and implement what feels right.
Q: How do you manage your family? Are there specific ideals you value?
I am passionate about supporting my kids to become the best versions of themselves. While they are young I want to give them as much opportunity as possible to explore all types of interests from music, dance, sports, etc. As they get older and settle on specific interests of their own I want to encourage them to follow through on their interests, even through difficult times, to help them develop a strong work ethic. I am also passionate about food and healthy eating. The food we eat is what builds us into the physical people we become. Teaching them to enjoy and appreciate healthy food as well as how to prepare it is very important and encouraged on a daily basis.
Q: What is your work/home life balance like and how do you manage it? If you work or hardest part of being on Mat leave?
My online business, Superfood Babies, keeps me busy and I am also the Director of Marketing for my husband’s financial firm. I don’t take a mat leave so to make it all work we have a part-time nanny that helps for about 20-25 hours a week which allows me to get some work done and I also work when the kids go to bed at night. It’s busy but I love what I do and I also love being home with the kids. Another great strategy my husband and I implemented is that he gets one night a week to do his own thing, I get one too, and then one night we hire a sitter and have a date night together. We started doing this when my first son was young and it was one of the best things we did!
Q: How has your life changed going from 1-2 kids? How is having kids two years apart? Was it planned? Would you recommend people having kids 2 yrs apart or spacing it more?
Life is definitely more hectic with 2 kids but I felt that it was more of a shock going from 0 to 1 than going from 1 to 2. My whole life completely changed when I became a mom. The second time around I didn’t feel that my whole life changed, I just felt that my already very busy life got a little bit busier. We hadn’t specifically planned on our kids being two years apart but my husband and I both have siblings who are 2 years apart from us and I think it was sort of an un-discussed decision to space them this way. There are times when I think having them spaced out an extra year would be easier but I know that as they get older they will enjoy being so close in age.
Q: What do you find the hardest about having them close together?
I think the hardest part about having them close together at this point is being torn between wanting to give my whole self to each of them. Austin (my oldest) and I had a really great thing going before Kingsley (my youngest) arrived. Now that Kingsley is here I want to make sure that he gets the special one on one time with me that Austin got but I don’t want Austin to feel left out in any way. It’s definitely a challenge. One that we are still trying to figure out.
Q: If you could tell all the parents on Pink and Blue one thing, what would it be?
My first piece of advice would be to not get caught up in comparing your kids to others. I know that sometimes it’s easy to get stressed when other kids are doing things before your kids (e.g. walking, talking, potty training, etc). However, all kids develop at different stages. I would often say “well, he won’t be using a diaper when he’s 16 so at some point between now and then we will get there”. I used this expression for sleeping through the night as well, it helped a lot! My second piece of advice would be to enjoy every moment as it passes by. They grow up at lightning speed!
Q: How has becoming a parent changed you?
It’s made me a better person. A much more efficient person. Giving birth to my boys made me feel like I could accomplish anything. It showed me that I am much more powerful and capable than I ever could have imagined.
Q: What kind of moms do you look up to?
I look up to many different types of moms for different reasons. I look up to the full-time career moms for being able to balance everything. I look up to the part-time working moms for their ambition to pursue a career while still making time to be home for their kids. I look up to the stay-at-home moms for their ability to be a mom day in and day out. Most of all, I look up to moms who love being moms, who adore their kids, and who are passionate about raising kind, happy, healthy little humans.
Q: What are some of your favorite ways to relax or treat yourself?
Massages. I LOVE massages! That being said, massages are more of a once-in-a-while treat rather than a regular occurrence. My favourite ways to relax on a regular basis are to read, have a bath, exercise, nap, etc. Now that I have 2 kids it becomes more challenging to find the time for these little pleasures but they truly are essential for my overall health and wellbeing. I spend a lot of energy focusing on my husband and sons. I notice that if I don’t take time to focus on myself, I get out of balance. It’s a constant battle, but I have learned that balance is the key.
Q: What your fav thing about being a mom or most surprising thing? Last but not least, what do you love most about being a mom?
I LOVE BEING A MOM! There is nothing better. Don’t get me wrong, it has its challenges, but overall nothing brings me more joy. My favorite thing about being a mom is getting to meet my kids. I don’t mean just meeting them when they are born, but getting to meet them each and every day as they develop into the people that they are. I can’t wait to see what’s next and I am so grateful to be along for the ride every step of the way.