Around The Way Girl: Laine Berry

The older I get, the more I realize that life is not always in my control. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I’m a control freak.  If you were to tell Laine Berry that by 25 she would be married in Chicago with two kids,  we are not quite sure she would believe you. She obtained her degree (while pregnant…twice) in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising from Illinois Institute of Art. When she realized a corporate office job wasn’t for her, she decided to fully embrace motherhood and looks damn stylish while doing it.  She is hoping to inspire other young moms on living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Laine recently started the blog Skinny Mom Jeans in which she shares her adventures of being a young Chicago mom and is  creating a network for mothers as well.  She is definitely not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. Even if you’re not a mother, you’ll want to bookmark her page for her natural beauty regimens and easy to follow recipes!

FullSizeRender (9)Tell us about Skinny Mom Jeans

I got inspired by someone on I found on Instagram, Onehungrymami. She was always posting these beautiful photos of food she would make for her family such as over night oats or just really easy to make breakfasts. I wanted to try it out and make my food pretty. It inspired me to do the same for my family and I’m not a chef, but I knew I could make her meals and they would be healthy.

I started posting the recipes to my personal Instagram and was receiving a lot of positive feedback and my followers kept suggesting that I start a blog. That’s how I started Skinny Mom Jeans I was half-assing it at first because around the same time I accepted a job with Groupon.

I realized Groupon wasn’t the job for me and I quit. I went through a couple of months of, “What’s my career of choice?” ” What’s next?”  “What do I with my life?” I just started to fully embrace being a mom. I wanted to find other cool moms in the city and have adventures with our kids. After talking with Derek [Laine’s husband] he encouraged  me to start the blog again. I began posting on Instagram, made a Facebook page, updated my Wix site. I figured if I’m going to be at home, I’m going to start a mom blog.

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Starting the blog has inspired me to cook more, eat healthy, live healthy, and plan activities. That’s really how it started. I fully restarted the blog about two months ago and my following is growing pretty fast. It’s been super inspiring and I’m super excited about it. I hope my blog can launch into something bigger, but if it doesn’t there’s no expectations. At least I created something cool that involves my daughter. I love having her help me cook and walking around saying, “Skinny Mom Jeans!” I feel like the blog makes me not just a mom.

What does your day usually look like?

Well, ok. Derek usually wakes up the kids and I get to sleep-in until 8:30 am, yes, that’s sleeping in. I inject coffee into my veins and make the kids, Derek, and I breakfast. I usually post the breakfast to the blog or Instagram. At 10:30 am I start getting the kids ready, bath, hair, clothes. Ivy is in school now and she has the cutest little uniform. I drop Ivy off at school and Ezra and I head to Little Beans Cafe. Little Beans Cafe is an internet cafe where kids can play as well.  I think I’m the only mom that goes there to work. Sometimes moms walk up to me and are like, “Your child is throwing goldfish…” and I’m like “And??…”   I work there for a few hours, updating my blog, reaching out to products, bloggers, and other moms, really anything that’s going to help my blog grow.

Then I pick up Ivy from school and Ezra naps. I continue posting, make dinner, work out. Once Ezra wakes up we have our family time, it can be a walk, or an activity, dinner, Target…haha anything really. The kids go to bed around 7:30 and that’s really time for Derek and I. We usually watch our shows and after thirty minutes Derek is asleep on me.

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Then I do it all over again–It’s kind of crazy. I don’t know if many people my age could handle the stress in my life right now. But there are so many good parts. I love the time Ezra and I spend together at Little Bean. It’s the first time since he was born that it’s just been us two. I wish Derek and I got to spend more time together, but with his schedule and mine it’s not always easy. It makes the time we spend together so much more special. Even if it’s just thirty minutes, it’s quiet and just us.

It’s very routine, but I’m learning how to spice it up everyday, while maintaining the same structure. I never feel like I don’t have a minute to myself. It works–so far, so good. Hopefully it helps us survive winter.

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What were some of the challenges you had starting Skinny Mom Jeans and where do you see the future of the blog?

Deciding to start in itself was hard and fully embracing the challenge. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself–like I need a million followers, I need to make money off of this, it needs to look awesome. It all really detoured me from starting. When I took that pressure off I really just began to enjoy blogging.

I really hope the blog grows, but more than that I hope I inspire other cool moms to live healthy and be active with their kids. Through the SMJ I was able to start a walking club with other moms. We get together weekly and we are able to chat with each other as our kids tire each other out. We are not basic Lululemon  moms either. We can talk about our kids and other things as well and it’s one night the kids are going to bed easily. 
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It’s nice to be around other young moms who understand motherhood and the struggles. For the first year and a half I was a mother I had no other friends I could really talk to or get advice from. We are all really cool Chicago moms who are different, but can relate to one another.

With having both a daughter and son, do you feel like you’re raising them differently?

I try not to. Derek and I were just talking about how Ivy is bossy. I think bossy is a good thing. I think it is one of her biggest strengths. Yes, as parents we have to figure out how to get her to know the difference between being a leader and being bossy. She’s a natural born leader. If a young boy were telling his crew what to do nobody would consider him bossy. Being a boss is awesome. Derek agrees, but it’s also about having manners and talking to your peers. She is only three though, we might be stressing about this one too hard.

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We constantly reflect on ourselves as parents and how we want our kids to be. I really try my hardest to raise them the same. However, they are different people. I don’t believe in my girl not being able to be bossy and my boy has to be strong. Ezra is very sensitive boy, way more sensitive than Ivy. They are different people, I tweak things into who they are, but I’m not trying to mold them into anything. I want them to be exactly who they are and figure out how to thrive as that person.

It’s a lot of pressure. It is–I have two human beings that I am responsible for and need to survive the world. My main focus is not fucking it up and they aren’t able to thrive into a successful person. It’s crazy. I have awesome parents though. I have never been in a position where I am seeking their approval. I know it’s there. I want my kids to feel the same way.

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

That’s a horrible question. Okay, let my think of how old my kids are going to be. Ivy will be…holy shit Ivy will turn 9 in five years. Ezra will be 7. Woooow. I honestly couldn’t tell you where I’m going to be in a year. It’s not that I don’t have goals or aspirations. The older I get the more I realize that life is not always in my control. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I’m a control freak.

I hope I’m still living in Chicago, married, and I would love owning a home. What am I going to do career wise? I couldn’t tell you. I just hope to be healthy and happy. That’s all you could really hope for. I want to be the mom that hosts everything. I want my kid’s friends at my house all of the time. I want big Halloween bashes, sleepovers, boys going through my pantry, and always something cooking. It’s a weird to hear myself to say that out loud. I want a home where everyone feels welcomed.

I just want to be happy.

What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

RUN! hahaha just kidding. My 20 year old self?  What was I even doing?  Don’t burn bridges. Make as many different friends as possible. It doesn’t only have to be people that look like you, dress like you, listen to the same music. Be nice

Don’t be threatened by other females. Don’t talk shit about other females. Support and connect with one another.  We should be helping each other grow instead of tearing each other down. Make these connections, it make life easier and a lot more fun. Love more.

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Lastly, what’s your favorite thing about Chicago?

The energy. I love the people and the many different types of people. You can find culture at every corner. I love the attitude everyone has here. Everyone has this badass attitude, but still very warm and welcoming. I adore New York, I feel like Chicago is a smaller and friendlier New York. I always want to come back to Chicago. I went to Austin to visit my mom and when I got back [to Chicago] I knew it was home.

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Be sure to peep Laine’s blog here and follow her Instagram and Twitter @skinnymomjeans

XO,

Ariel

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