Mom to Know: Grace Boland


We are re-launching a new monthly feature: Moms to Know.  Each month, we will be doing a quick interview with one of the moms in our Branch Community. We are kicking things off with Grace Boland.

Tell us a little about you and your family.

GB: My family and I have lived in Naperville for nearly 10 years. My husband, Ryan, is super outdoorsy (think Paul Bunyan) mixed with a dash of Mark Wahlberg. I know. Swoon. We are among the rare breed that decided we should spend more time together during the pandemic and turned a part time passion project into a full-time business. We have 2 boys, Nick(10) and Jonathan(6). They have taught us a lot about parenting, patience, and play.

What part of parenting do you find the most challenging and the part that is most rewarding?

GB: Navigating big emotions has been hard. I’ve struggled with not wanting to fix everything for my kids as they struggle. I hate seeing their frustration and my mama bear instinct is to swoop in and help them. But I’ve learned the struggle often leads to strength and character building. I want my boys to grow up feeling confident and secure in who they are, and that sometimes means I need to back off.

What has surprised you most about being a mom?

GB: I didn’t anticipate finding myself again at 40. The moment I became a mother, I felt an extreme shift in who I was and what my role was in this world. And I accepted it. But I also deeply missed the person I was before becoming a mom. She seemed so much more carefree and fun. The truth is, while I progressed into motherhood, I evolved into someone I like EVEN more than I did before becoming a mom. I am more courageous and assertive. And I figured out how to have fun again 😉

How do you rate your level of “mom guilt” on a scale from 1-10. Explain.

GB: I spent a lot of time feeling guilty in the early years of motherhood. I was on a quest to do it all and be it all. I rarely asked for help, and if I did, I wasn’t direct about it. Today, I’m probably at a 3. While I have some guilt about missing my children’s activities here and there, I’m no longer afraid to ask for help or take time for myself. If I take care of myself on a mental, physical, and emotional level, I can take care of my kiddos with that much more love and focus.

Who inspires you and why?

GB: My mom. She passed away when I was very young. I don’t have as many memories of her as I’d like, but she left a lasting impression of how I want to raise my family and live a life without “what if’s”.

Do you have a favorite hobby or activity that you intentionally make time for each week?

GB: YES! Hot yoga! Yoga has given me a creative outlet I’ve been seeking for some time. The music, sequencing, and ambiance take me to a place of peace and play I do not feel in any other setting. If I am not teaching, I am taking a class. Yoga is my church, adult recess, and reset. I also make date night a priority. It’s one of my most favorite things.

If someone would describe you in one word what would it be?

GB: Positive

Fill in the Blank: If I had one week to myself I would _____ and _______. 

GB: If I had one week to myself I would go on a Hawaiian yoga retreat and I would drink cute little cocktails with umbrellas.

Any life lessons you would like to share?

GB: If something scares you, it’s likely worth exploring.

Words of wisdom for new moms.

GB: Take the trip.

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