Advice from Atlanta Media Moms
They are the familiar voice you hear on the radio each morning, the behind-the-scenes of TV networks, or the predictor of the weekend weather. These women are moms, just like you. Atlanta Parent asked them how they balance powerful careers in Atlanta’s media, and when the makeup comes off, how they handle being mom.
Director of Ad Sales Integration, HLN/HLNtv.com
Bailey, age 4; Braeden, 18 months
Andrea Bibbs has worked for Turner Broadcasting System for over 17 years, starting there as an intern, and now as director of Ad Sales Integration at HLN. Her own mom shared this advice: “To take care of myself and not feel guilty about it. Fill up your power source first.” After becoming a first-time mom, she was surprised she could juggle everything. “Before I was a mom, I was wondering how I would sleep and eat and keep a child alive. An invisible cape comes on and it allows you to survive off a few hours of sleep or no sleep.” Bibbs set a goal after breastfeeding. “I started working out again. I have a goal of running ten 5k races, and I’m now at seven. I’m also training for a triathlon.” She spends her free time with her kids attending museum openings, to see her husband’s work or other artists’, and competing in races.
Host, Atlanta & Company Talk Show (NBC)
James, age 4 years, 6 months; Issac, 18 months
After hosting the daily talk show, Cara Kneer switches gears to be with her sons. She says the best advice anyone gave her about being a mom is to “love your child for who they are, not who you want them to be.” She says that working makes her a better mom. “I’ve lived both, working and not working, and I can honestly say it is hard for me to stay home,” she says. “I realize it makes me a better mom if I have both.” She spends her free time with her boys at Fernbank Museum of Natural History and at local splash pads and playgrounds.
Host, Good Day Atlanta (FOX)
Ava, will be 2 years in October
After work, Katie Beasley loves coming home, taking the makeup off and playing with her daughter. With her friends, she created an email chain of advice and best products to share. “We have a baby registry list email and I continue to add things I can’t live without, or would do differently. Things like getting them in their crib instead of the bed or products that were a waste of money.” She follows the advice she was given when she first had Ava: “Sleep when the baby sleeps. We took a lot of naps together during my three months of maternity leave.” In her free time, Beasley frequents the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and local malls with her daughter.
Radio personality, Star 94.1
Lauren, age 4; Reese, will be 2 years in September
Jenn Hobby says the best advice she received about being a new mom is “Do something brave every day. It can be just getting out of bed and walking around, it’s different for every mom.” Her daughter Reese is one year with a clean report after a battle with pediatric cancer, which Hobby says changed everything. “You realize the things you worry about are very small compared to being healthy and happy.” She balances mom and work life with help from her husband. “I have an awesome partnership with my husband Grant, and we share the responsibility of parenting. Pick the right partner who will be in it with you 100 percent.” Hobby and her girls spend their free time at Braves games and visiting Marietta Square.
Meteorologist, WSB-TV (ABC)
Kenneth Robert, 7 months
Katie Walls is a relatively new mom. She went into labor soon after telling Atlantans about the weather on Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat. She was told by her friend Julie, “You will make mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up for it.” She survives the work and mom balance by making sure to prepare the night before. “It is a constant juggling act with a lot of forethought the night before for the following day, making sure everything is ready for him.” Walls spends her free time walking with her son around the neighborhood, which she says has helped her lose baby weight.
Products: Favorites and Throw-Aways from the Moms
“Big sleep swaddlers like the Moms on Call Swaddle blankets – they are the key to getting baby to sleep. Birp cloths that also stretch over the car seat are the best. I always buy the Milk Snob brand for my friends who are new moms. They are stretchy, washable and come in fun colors.”
“Your baby needs about five pairs of zip pajamas – half of the clothes people give you, you don’t use. All of the clothes are cute, but not practical. I think my boys spent the first 6 months in onesies.”
“Gro-eggs are great, they test the temperature of your baby’s room by light changes. From red, orange to blue depending if it’s too hot or too cold. I didn’t have to check the thermostat, and we still use these in the girls’ rooms. Also the Medela Breast Pump, great to balance pumping with work.”
“Lauren didn’t like the BabyBjorn, but Reese did. I was never good at those wrapping carrier things, I would just end up tangled up in it!”
“The Beco Carrier was the best the first three months because he didn’t want to be put down. His play mat and Sophie the Giraffe. A funny thing I received, and didn’t think I would use, but do, is the Wee Block – it’s very useful for a baby boy. I also love OxiClean for getting stains out.”
“The snot sucker was a shocker to receive, and I haven’t used it yet, but probably will eventually when the time comes.”
“The sound machine is very handy, especially with my hours. Blackout curtains, really soft blankets and pacifiers – comfort things.”
“The wiper warmer went right back to the store.”
“Munchkin Arm & Hammer Disposable Changing Pads, I use this for everything, bottom of car seat and on top of changing areas. I give this to all of my new-mom friends. Doc-A-Tot was the best thing when we had my son, we didn’t feel afraid to have him in the bed, and it was a great tool to transition him to the crib.”
“Clothes, a lot of clothes. Before you know it, the really cute things are too small. Pacifiers, my kids didn’t like them at all. Cloth bibs, I love the plastic ones, less laundry to do.”