Super Mama Series: Kristy Malik

 PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KRISTY MALIK. PHOTOGRAPHY BY  AN ENDLESS PURSUIT .

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KRISTY MALIK. PHOTOGRAPHY BY AN ENDLESS PURSUIT.

Welcome to the Super Mama Series! I created this as a way to showcase actual messy-but-beautiful lives of women who are mothers and live creatively. By no means are any of us perfect, but we are striving to do our very best. Super Mamas are women who mother sacrificially, love deeply, and acknowledge their weaknesses gracefully.

Meet Super Mama Kristy Malik. Kristy has been happily married for 11 years to her college sweetheart and doing her best to raise (4, soon to be 5) little humans to love others and live the life they were created for. She is a wanna-be photographer, coffee and dark chocolate lover. She is also the Regional Area Coordinator for Walking with Purpose women's ministry. 

ON MOTHERHOOD

"I find myself thinking how everyone is someone's son or daughter in this world. It helps me to empathize and be more compassionate towards others when I find myself feeling not so inclined. Being a mother has taught me that I am capable of more than I thought I could ever be. It has also taught me that the more I think I know, the less I actually know.

Seeing things "click" in my children's hearts and minds [is so rewarding]. I love when their world opens a little more and you see their horizons widen in front of you. Whether it's a new song my preschooler has learned, my Kindergartener learning to tie his shoes, my 5th grader finally grasping decimal division, or my 2nd grader finding her love for books and wanting to read nightly to her little brothers.

 PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KRISTY MALIK. PHOTOGRAPHY BY  AN ENDLESS PURSUIT .

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KRISTY MALIK. PHOTOGRAPHY BY AN ENDLESS PURSUIT.

[Before becoming pregnant, know that] you don't have to let strangers touch your belly. Have no shame about asking for help. If you need it, ask. And, yes, you will need it. My best advice-- when in doubt, go with your gut. Worst advice usually begins with "back in my day..."

Best baby item purchase I made: a baby wrap! I only discovered them with my 4th and wish I had one for my previous babies. It was so much more comfortable and natural to wear than our other baby carriers and my son loved it. When I couldn't nurse for as long as I wanted with him, it really helped us to bond, especially while I was chasing after his 3 older siblings. I had the Moby wrap with him which was perfect since he was born in late fall. For this baby, I got the lighter Sollybaby wrap. Sure there are common items that lots of moms love and swear by (Baby wraps! Portable swing! Tommie Tippee bottles! Mamaroo (so I've heard)!) and I always love hearing what other moms love. But at the end of the day, every mom has different needs, and different babies. And really, babies don't need that much "stuff." If it looks like something that will help you and your baby, then go for it. If not, don't sweat it!"

ON THE WORK LIFE JUGGLE

"We got pregnant with our oldest within our first month of marriage. We were the first couple in our group of (mostly unmarried) friends to get married, let alone have a child. I always felt like it was right for us though, and my husband and I were always supportive of each other when we each felt we needed a coffee break with friends or a night out. I also continued to work part time from home after our first child so always felt connected to "the outside world" those first few years. I've been able to work part time from home since then, most recently with a women's ministry that is amazing. I love everything they are about and find the work very fulfilling. It's only a few hours a week but helps me feel connected to other women, and with a cause that I'm passionate about.

 PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KRISTY MALIK. PHOTOGRAPHY BY  AN ENDLESS PURSUIT .

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KRISTY MALIK. PHOTOGRAPHY BY AN ENDLESS PURSUIT.

My husband and I have been through various seasons of managing responsibilities. Depending on his job situation (long hours/traveling) or my situation (whether pregnant/sick, working part time etc.) we communicate where we need help. Our responsibilities are primarily stereotypical, it just works for us. He enjoys helping the kids with their homework at night which I love, and does some of the after school activity driving, which I also love! Oh and he always does the bills. Always. We learned that the hard way very early on in our marriage. (Not my gift!) 


"Communicate communicate communicate."


During this season of pregnancy #5 I've been particularly sick and tired. I've found that going over my calendar with him for the week and identifying potential times when I know I'll be tired and may need help is great. As a Type-A worrier, I need to talk through everything and he likes knowing how he can help specifically. He's also a wonderful problem solver. It's a win-win.

I currently love the BabyBump app, but also my Instagram, Facebook, The Target Cartwheel app, and the Waze app. Twenty20 is also a fun photography app I love.

A current challenge would be making time for myself amid our busy schedule and working part time from home. I got a new planner for Christmas and I've found that sitting down to carve out down time has been instrumental. I'm a much happier and a better mom when I leave myself some margin!"

ON SELF CARE

KRISTY MALIK / SUPER MAMA SERIES / nicolemcaruso.com

"Nowadays, [I spend alone time] sleeping! But usually reading up on news with a cup of coffee or tea, or calling a friend to catch up. 

[Amidst chaos I stick to] daily prayer for sure. My day doesn't go as well if I don't! After that exercise for 20 min if possible (lately that happens only 2-3x/week). 

[My beauty routine] consists of doTERRA's Verage skincare line, Bareminerals foundation serum, Honest Company Eyeliner and mascara, and Burts Bees tinted lip balm. Usually [wearing] leggings and a tunic dress, sometimes with a long vest or sweater, suede booties."

ON FAMILY TIME

"[We loved] travelling to Southern California. We've been there to visit our family a few times and each time flying with kids gets easier. The jet lag is always a challenge but we've learned to let the kids stay up as late as they want that first night so we aren't all up at 4 am the next day. (Even late night ice cream trips to keep them awake!) We love exploring different neighborhoods and areas. The kids love the beach. Having family there lets us feel like locals while still getting to play tourists.

On a perfect Saturday, we all sleep in until 8 or 9. My husband makes pancakes while we stay in pajamas for the morning. Then we either go out for lunch, to a park, or a movie as a family, or visit a winery or brewery with friends or neighbors. In the summer, having friends/family/neighbors over a for a nighttime fire pit with s'mores and good food!

Every night at dinner we go around the table and share "High/Low" where everyone shares the best part and worst part of their day. It almost always starts off great conversations with our kids about things we otherwise wouldn't know.

[Kids books we're loving]: Secret Pizza Party (only recently- my preschooler laughs hysterically every time), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and White Rabbit's Color Book.

[This week] we FaceTimed my husband during dinner so he could participate in "High/Low" while he was traveling for work."

Nicole M. Caruso

I was born in Manhattan to two native New Yorkers who met working in the Garment Industry. Fashion was the family business. Suburban Connecticut is where I grew up and often daydreamed about someday attending New York Fashion Week.

When I was in college studying Communication & Media, I met the man of my dreams. We married nearly one year after our first date, and have been adventuring together ever since. While we moved around the country for his job, I freelanced as a makeup artist, worked in retail, and blogged about style & beauty as a creative outlet. 

Moving back to New York led to serendipitously working for two major fashion houses, where I learned the ins and outs of the industry, and attended Fashion Week both backstage and in the tents. Soon after, Verily Magazine brought me on as Beauty Editor, which was my dream job. It combined all of my passions and hobbies into one, and granted me a deeper understanding of print and digital media. One year after that, I had my daughter and experienced true fulfillment in motherhood. 

Everywhere I have traveled, I have met incredible women who inspired me to be the best version of myself; to wake up every day feeling confident and ready to Carpe Diem. I want to inspire women to explore their feminine genius by investing in their self-worth. This lifestyle blog is the place where I can share my worldview, my experiences, and my tips and tricks to live a more fulfilling life, which include expert style and beauty advice, tips for healthy living, and reflections on marriage and motherhood.