Romi Lassally is a mom to three children (Phoebe, 18; Annabel, 11; and Owen, 8), a wife, a web entrepreneur of the Truu Confessions websites http://www.truuconfessions.com (which include truemomconfessions.com among others)/an author (of the book True Mom Confessions: Real Moms Get Real and a former film producer (who produced the Drew Barrymore movie, Home Fries). Romi answered our questions and let us in on some parenting confessions of her own.
Q: What lead you to start the True Mom Confessions website?
ROMI: I told a girlfriend about one of my mommy misdemeanors – not cleaning up my son's throw up and hoping the dog would eat it" and it was her response – one of disgust and respect/awe – followed by her own tale from the trenches that gave me the idea to start truemomconfessions.com which has since grown into truuconfessions.com.
Q: What was your children's reaction to the site and then the book?
ROMI: Ohhh my …. my oldest daughter thought it was cool and funny and a little frightening. Reading it is still a past time for her and her friends in the dorm. My son is oblivious to the whole thing but my daughter Annabel has read the whole book.
Q: What do you think confessing brings to the moms on your site?
ROMI: Confessing on the site gives moms a unique, safe place to express themselves honestly without fear of scrutiny, judgment or worse, rejection. It provides catharsis for the confessor and easy access voyeurism for the reader. It's entertaining with a little dose of education too. Most importantly, I think it lets moms know they are not alone, not crazy, not BAD MOTHERS.
Q: What did it change in your own life, on both personal and professional levels?
ROMI: It forces me to walk the walk and talk the talk. I wrestle with mom guilt like all moms and now I'm out there preaching that we need to stop trying to live up to unrealistic expectations from ourselves and others. So I think the site — living, breathing, moderating it – is a regular reminder to live by my new credo!
Professionally, the site has provided an incredible platform for me to do what I love – look closely at what modern women really go thru and think about – not just as moms, but in all other relationships in their lives and at significant, transitional times of their lives. You'll see we have brides, wives, body, office and military wives on the site. It's endlessly fascinating to listen in on the conversations.
Running a digital media business is also new to me – the learning curve is steep but I looooooove it!
Q: What's one confession you haven't spilled the beans on … until now?
ROMI: that I knew the sex of my first daughter but didn't tell my husband during my whole pregnancy!
Q: If your children could confess one thing (or more) about you, what would it be?
ROMI: Well, I know Owen would probably rat me out for forgetting to go to his violin recital and consistently forgetting to take him to friends' birthday parties. It's a problem.
Q: How do you and your husband balance work and parenthood? Do you keep to a strict schedule; are you more fly by the seat of your pants or somewhere in the middle?
ROMI: My husband will disagree, but we haven't achieved my goal of egalitarian parenting — I still bear the brunt of most of it. Yes, he handles scheduling my son's sports schedule and he's a very hands-on dad. But it's still pretty old fashioned in my house. Although he did put the dishes in the dishwasher last night.
Q: Your children ages take you from elementary school to college, what have you learned as they've grown? Anything that still surprises you?
ROMI: What surprises me is that I can still be surprised. I feel like I know what to expect — loosely – when my kids venture into a new stage for them, but one that their sibling just went through, so not so new to me. But it's always a little different because each one is such a different kid. For example, my middle daughter, Annabel, is careening into the ‘tween years — eye rolling, hormonal outbursts and all — but even though I saw it coming, it still throws me and I find myself grabbing for a parenting book or talking to my friends with kids ahead of me.
One of the biggest surprises for me — as an only child – is the power of the sibling relationships. On both ends of the spectrum – the exasperating bickering to the ferocious love and loyalty they have for each other often stops me in my tracks.
Q: Are there any traditions or rituals you and your husband have taken from your childhoods and pass on to your children?
ROMI: Not really — but now that you mention it, we're going to try a few 🙂
Q: Pretend we're filming a virtual reality show of your family. What would the camera see in a typical day?
ROMI: – 5:30 am. Me sneaking alone time at my computer
-6:00 my little ones (Annabel 11, Owen 8) getting on the computer next to me to play club penguin or some kid games. All the while I'm saying, "just five more minutes you two…we should be on the computer!" Five minutes invariably turns into 15, or 30 and I swear I'll do it differently the next day. I don't.
– Also a bit of a scramble to get out of the house despite preparing most things the night before.
– Mooooommmmm!!!!!! Where is my library book?????? (that's owen)
– Drop off at school – I try to exercise and then sit down to work.
– 3:15 Back from school – homework done with the requisite amount of frustration from the kids, me trying to help, them getting more frustrated. Occasionally I lose my temper and someone cries. Oy.
– My son makes me try skateboarding – his new favorite pastime and then says to me "you suck. Even for a beginner." Seriously – this happened yesterday.
– Dinner at 6ish. I eat my food. Then I clean off their plates despite swearing I was not going to eat mac and cheese.
– Video chat with daughter Phoebe, who is a freshman in college at Wesleyan. She gets bored with me within minutes and I start to miss her terribly.
– Husband home 7:30ish
– We usually repeat our morning ritual of me sneaking on my computer, them doing the same and me saying, "Just 5 more minutes — we should be reading. This is going to melt your mind."
– 8:30 bedtime – reading, me falling asleep, my husband looking sad because he's just thinking about sex and I just want to put on my flannel pjs and go to sleep because i'm sooooo tired!
Q: Finish this sentence: The best thing about my family is…
ROMI: … their unbridled enthusiasm and ability to love and appreciate life. Especially my husband and daughter Annabel — just so in the moment. And of course, they are MY family – and I am a lucky, lucky, loved girl.
Growing up, what was your favourite book?
I loved a wrinkle in Time. But I've discovered it's an awful read out loud book!
The big Barbie with the ponytail you go pull out of her head to make it longer. Loved that thing!!!
Grease as a ‘tween.
Who was your inspiration and why?
I don't think I had just one person who inspired me!
If you could tell your younger self one thing you know now, what would it be?
Appreciate that fabulous body of yours. Don't ever think you are fat! That guy Charlie is an idiot…move on (before he breaks up with you and breaks your heart). Tell people you love them — they don't all stick around as long as you think they will.