Please welcome our newest celebrity blogger, Marcela Valladolid!
After beginning her career as a food editor for Bon Appétit Magazine, Valladolid, 38, went on to become the co-host of the Emmy-nominated Food Network show The Kitchen.
She is a chef, author, designer and businesswoman who is currently working on her third cookbook, set for release in spring 2017.
Already parents to 19-month-old son David, Valladolid and fiancé Philip are expecting their second child together — a daughter — in December. Valladolid is also mom to son Fausto, 12.
Goodbyes, goodbyes. And every time it gets a little bit harder. The reality is, I couldn’t be more fortunate. I get to make a living doing something I love. But somehow, still, the older I get, the harder it becomes to get on a plane each time for work. Off to the east coast again. Saying goodbye to Fausto and David.
Growing up, my mom was a stay-at-home mom. I knew that her entire world revolved around us, and she relished being involved in every school project and every craft. I remember how much I absolutely hated coming home from school if she wasn’t there — she was very active in our community and church, so there was always something going on, and I certainly did not like sharing her with anybody!
And yet, still, she took us to school every day, she made our lunches, she was always room mom for one of our classrooms, and she planned Christmas menus and décor MONTHS in advance.
As much as I try to do all of that, I just can’t. My dear friend Emma was trying to make me feel less guilty the other day by trying so hard to convince me that being room mom wasn’t even that great, but the truth is, I’d die to be able to commit to something like that. It breaks my heart that I can’t even commit to being a once-a-week hot-lunch mom.
But then something will happen, like a conversation with Fau who is jumping into preteen any second now … and that little moment will make everything worth it. In that moment and conversation, I remember that someday my children will not only appreciate the hard work. but will admire it. My boys will not only respect and admire women and see them as their equals, but they will also see them as sources of inspiration and knowledge.
And I remember that, even though I grew up in a different culture, leaving to find my way and build a career (while uncommon at that time and incredibly hard) was an important step for me and for my family.
A few weeks ago, Fau was going to bed and, out of nowhere, said something like, “You probably inspire a lot of women to do things that maybe they thought they couldn’t do.”
Fau throws these at me every once in a while, and every time it reminds me that the common denominator to a happy child is not whether or not you work and give them “things,” but it’s just LOVE: good-old-fashioned, I’m-gonna-sit-down-and-hang-with-you-and-just-chat-about-life-and-listen-to-you kind of love.
I’m trying to build something here — not just for me, but for them. Not just for financial security, but so they are able to see the results of hard work. It takes a lot of self-work on guilt (as well as the support and kind words of the world’s most fabulous man at my side) to walk myself off of the ledge when I’m having a challenging moment … and yes, sometimes I just want to walk away from the universe and stay home, roast a chicken, and put my babies to bed. But I carry on.
Now there’s a new one coming. She’s my first girl … oh, the pressure! But the universe is wise, and it waited to send me a girl until I was mature enough and solid enough in my convictions to be able to be a good example of a woman forging her way.
Will there be mistakes and doubt? Absolutely. Will it get any easier to leave her, David and Fau next year when I’m back to work? Probably not.
I just remind myself that nothing of value comes easy. I’ve never been the person to take the easy road, anyway. I do the best I can to remind my family as often as possible that I love them more than life itself, and to let them know that every step I take is with them in the very front of my mind.
I quietly work on the guilt so as to not pass on that energy or feelings to them. I surround myself with people that are supportive of our insane family dynamic, and I savor every minute of every day I have at home with my family.
My sister has this saying: “If mom’s okay, the kids are okay.”
And you know what?
We’re actually more than okay. We’re blessed and happy and at peace, and so ready to welcome this little girl.