Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Up Close with Timberly Whitfield of "Coffee Shop Confessions"

What mom doesn't love hearing juicy, heartfelt confessions from other parents about their children and the men in their lives? Then gabbing about what they've heard to others? In my experience, not many. That's why the new YouTube's CafeMom Studios' web series, Coffee Shop Confessions, is sure to be a hit among parents –– especially moms!

The cast of Coffee Shop Confessions (from L to R) Alex McCord, Timberly Whitfield, and Julia Knight.

Hosted by three incredibly witty and savvy moms and a dad: TV personality Timberly Whitfield, Real Housewives of New York star, Alex McCord, Julia Knight, and actor/founder of Cafemom Andrew ShueCoffee Shop Confessions launched earlier this month and features re-enactments of hot topic secrets that the hosts tackle roundtable style.

Even though it's only been on the web a few short weeks, it's already becoming a mommy must-see.

I recently caught up with co-host, producer, and mother of two, Timberly Whitfield, to get her take on parenting, the new film Bully, and more!

Timberly Whitfield

Check it out below:

1       What advice would you give a new mom who feels overwhelmed?
"Breathe!  I know it sounds too simple, but I'm telling you it works.  Just a few deep breaths can do wonders for calming a stressed-out mom.  I have to constantly remind myself to do the same, because it's not something that comes naturally.  The shallow breathing that we typically do only increases anxiety.  Slow breathing really stills the mind and body in the moment, and you can then operate from a better place and deal with the situation at hand.  My mother is a yoga instructor and has been doing yoga all of her life, so I definitely take this from her.  Whenever I can I take a Kundalini yoga class which involves yogic breathing, and that keeps me centered for a long time!

I would also tell an overwhelmed mom to talk about whatever it is that is making her feel that way.  Keeping things inside will only make you feel more frustrated.  Talk to a friend, your husband, your children even.  I love because it's a website that offers a safe place for moms to talk to other people who are going through similar situations.  And sometimes that's all you need - an opportunity to vent and not be judged!"

1           What do you hope to bring to "Coffee Shop Confessions?"
"We are three real moms (and a dad), all from very different backgrounds, who don’t always agree.  So, first of all, I hope we are entertaining!  We do want people to keep watching.  We weigh in on moms’ secret confessions and I hope from time to time people will take away some useful tips and/or advice they can apply to their own lives. 

Mom Confessions is a very popular feature on the CafeMom website, so they decided to build a show around it.  The confessions are reenacted, then the four of us – Andrew Shue, Alex McCord, Julia Knight, and myself – dish about it.  We had such a great time working together, and there was instant chemistry.  I hope that comes through."

Moms are always looking after everyone else; how do you find balance being a working mom? 
"I don’t know that we find balance, per se. I think balance can be a scary word because it implies perfection, and therefore seems unattainable. I see life for a mom more like juggling. You know when you juggle (which I learned to do, by the way), your eye stays focused on the ball that’s in the air, not down at the other balls in your hand. As moms we are constantly juggling many things. We are master multitaskers. Whatever “ball” is in the air is what we are focusing on in that moment. So you’re in that moment when you’re at work. You’re in that moment when you’re playing with your kids. You’re in that moment when you’re preparing dinner. And, so on. It ain’t easy! I’m always working at it."

How would you describe your parenting technique? 
"I don't know that I have a "technique," but I definitely should get one!! I remember how my mom could give my brother and me a single look, one we thought was terrifying, and that look would end any fighting, arguing, misbehaving in an instant. Well, I certainly don't have that. Wish I did! I guess I'm more of a softie. My husband is tad bit tougher, so that helps."

Have you seen the movie, Bully? If so what were your thoughts? 
"I have not seen Bully, but it's definitely on my list to see. I am horrified by what I've seen and heard in the media about bullying. There are a lot of wonderful things about our modern technology, but I think bullying has gone to new heights because of it. Between social networking and the use of cell phones, there is so much more harm that kids can do to one another now. It's definitely a whole new world - very different from when I was growing up. I'm very happy that the rating for Bully was changed from "R" to "PG-13." I think it's important that all parents see it, and then view it a second time with their teenaged children. The more people are aware, the better chance we have putting an end to bullying! It is an "epidemic" that has to stop."

You can watch Coffee Shop Confessions here!

Do you watch any mom-focused web series?