Editor’s note: Welcome to “Abby in Austin,” a new series by Abby Roedel focused on Austin moms. Are you a mom in Austin? Want to be featured here? Then follow Abby on Twitter @AbbyRoedel and make sure to say hi!
There’s not much common ground between life as a model on the runways of Paris, Milan and New York and being a full-time mom of two little boys. While her life is much different now, trading a calendar of exotic trips for a schedule balancing work, homeschooling and taking care of her sons, they’re all good changes for Holly Shore.
I recently met Holly at one of her favorite spots in Austin – Whole Foods at The Domain – to talk about the highs and lows of parenting, her career before and after kids, and the fact that her six year old ate salmon and kale last week at one sitting.
How long have you lived in Austin?
Where did you move from?
New York City
What’s an interesting thing about yourself?
I’m from Roswell, New Mexico
Favorite kid friendly restaurant?
Favorite kid friendly activity?
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center
Where do you like to go without kids?
Cenote or Hillside Farmacy
Funniest thing your child has said recently?
My three-year-old told me he was going to start calling butter ‘bottom-er.’ My thought was, ‘why does everything have to be a potty joke?’
What are some of the highlights of your career before you had children?
I was a full-time model for 15 years and modeled throughout my pregnancies. My photos were in Vogue Paris, Marie Claire and Elle. I was a runway model and did television commercials for Suave, Pantene and Clairol. Right after I started modeling, I had just done a fashion shoot at the Louvre and then I flew to Greece to shoot a commercial. It was surreal looking around to see a 60 member crew all there to facilitate this job where I was the principal actress.
Are you still modeling?
I do so many things now. I feel like it all connects. I homeschool my six-year- old son, I have a wellness blog (www.IntegrativeMom.com), I’m an Ambassador for the Austin company, Noonday Collection (www.hollyshore.noondaycollection.com). I do fashion shows in Austin, print work and occasional commercials.
What are your hopes for your children?
I think about the hopes for my children all the time, because we go back and forth between wanting them to be really successful. Then, I think their careers shouldn’t be their identity. I want them to have meaningful relationships, be kind and have compassion. It sounds cliché, but that’s what it boils down to.
What are your hopes for yourself as a Mom?
I think maintaining my own identity and not making an idol about being a mom is important. Even now at three and six, I find them needing me less and their dependence on me is evaporating a little bit. There’s a great feeling about being needed. Just remembering that I need to give them room to grow and love them and have them make their own lives and not the life I want for them.
Have you been able to achieve this thing called “balance?”
I constantly feel like I could do a better job of it, because I don’t have a set schedule. I just don’t know if that’s realistic. I feel like I know moms who “balance.” Some people are so good at schedules and routines and planning. I haven’t had a 9-5 job or a set schedule my whole adult life. You have to be spontaneous and flexible with kids. I’ve really learned to be flexible and not have my heart set on any one outcome.
How do you fulfill all of these different roles?
Every one of them ebbs and flows. There are seasons when my blogging gets a lot of attention or another time when I’m on a natural health kick for my whole family. It’s hard. I want to be with my kids all the time, but if I just focus on them, then no one will get breakfast, lunch or dinner or the laundry piles up.
How has becoming a mother changed your life?
My life is 100 percent different. There is nothing that is the same. Now that I have a six-year-old and a three-year -old, I’m feeling more like myself again. It’s all positive change. It’s all consuming. My sister once said that if anyone could get across to you how hard it is to have kids, no one would have them. The joy and love far outweighs it [the challenges]. Part of the reason is the way we chose to parent. I homeschool our kids and we followed attachment parenting. Our kids slept in our bed with us, we didn’t have babysitters. It’s extra intense when you do it that way.
Has motherhood changed the way you view yourself?
It’s an incredibly humbling feeling and at the same time, it makes me feel like there’s so little I know. There’s so many ways to screw up.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I learned so much about the world. I traveled the world. I met my husband on a modeling job. I had experiences that I never would have had otherwise.
What are you most proud of as a Mom?
Today, it’s that my six-year-old ate salmon and kale and roasted potatoes last night. But, it changes on a daily basis. When I see my kids get along with each other, use their imaginations, problem-solve.
Do you have any regrets so far as a parent?
Every time I have lost my temper with my children, because I was worrying about what someone else was thinking. I replay those moments.
What do you value?
I really believe in a holistic lifestyle: mind, body and spirit. I was trained as a holistic health counselor in New York City. The most important foundation to health is a meaningful career, loving, healthy relationships and a spiritual practice. We eat whole, quality foods. I only buy the best ingredients. I only shop at Whole Foods. I’ve become more relaxed about eating [over the years]. We are home the majority of the time and that way when we are out to dinner, or out with friends, I relax about it, because I know they are eating organic, whole foods. What matters is what you do 51 percent of the time.
What advice would you give new mothers?
When I had my first baby, I took him to every class. Now, I look back and I realize that what I needed to do was just enjoy him and not drag him around to all of these different events. I would say slow down and don’t try to be super mom. It’s the one time in your life when you have permission to lie around and be in you pajamas. It’s like a badge of honor in our country to bounce back [to what you were doing before].
What do you love about Austin?
I love that Austin has kid-friendly restaurants that have good, quality food, a nice atmosphere and an area where kids can play. From Trio at the Four Seasons to music festivals, kids are welcome everywhere here.
Photo: Holly’s two boys, courtesy.