We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Furnival and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christina, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I always wanted to be a mom, and (laughably now) I *just knew* I’d be so good at it. I had spent much of my life preparing for motherhood — I am a licensed mental health therapist, I specialize in working with children and their families, and I have decades of experience caring for little ones. Heck, I was even an entertainer for the children of professionals at corporate parties at one point in my life. I was so excited for the shift to motherhood. But becoming a mother was not just life-changing for me — it was earth-shattering. Not only did I not feel like a natural, but my world was turned upside down as I battled through postpartum depression and anxiety, and I struggled to make my reality align with my expectations. And I felt very alone in my experience. On my journey to break free from PPD/PPA, I started my business and blog Real Life Mama (https://www.thisisreallifemama.com/) to shed light on the often hidden experience of motherhood being much harder than expected. At Real Life Mama, I speak honestly about the highs and lows of motherhood so that my readers can find community and feel supported. You are NOT alone in your experience, you are NOT a bad mom, and it’s time we talk about it. Using my professional and personal experience I explore common parenting topics through a therapist’s lens with evidence-backed advice and guidance. Come check out my site!

What should our readers know about your business?
My business combines my personal and professional experiences with my passion. I have always loved helping others and that drive was reinforced by having battled my own demons and wanting to give back. My passion for writing has flourished over the past two years and when you put it all together you get Real Life Mama, a motherhood blog with a therapist’s twist. When I began on this journey I did not fully comprehend the complexity of the business behind blogging, and my background is not at all in website design, graphic design, marketing, nor promotion. I just like to write helpful articles for others to read. But writing great articles means nothing if they aren’t seen, and so I’ve had to work hard to fill skills gaps and make my business grow. With a small business like mine, word of mouth from loyal followers is amazing, and so appreciated. Any like, share, and comment mean the world to me. So please keep showing support! Being a resource to mamas around the world is the goal. Also, there is some exciting news on the horizon as I venture into the world of writing therapeutic children’s books!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My family and I love showing off what San Diego has to offer. Every neighborhood has its own personality and our favorites to take visitors to are North Park, Little Italy, La Jolla, and downtown La Mesa. We always take visitors on hikes in Mission Trails and Torrey Pines, and of course we hit up the beaches, usually Coronado and Mission Beach. Recently our family explored some lesser known sites including the Secret Swing and Rainbow Trails and we are looking forward to taking visitors there soon.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to all the mamas rocking it through the pandemic and taking on way more hats than we have heads to fit. Times are even tougher right now than they already usually are, and yet you don’t give up. This WILL pass and things WILL get better.

Website: www.ChristinaFurnival.com
Email: hello@christinafurnival.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ThisIsRealLifeMama
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChristinaFurnivalRealLifeMama
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-furnival-680a5733/
Other: www.pinterest.com/RealLifeMama

Image Credits
Kevin Tostado, Megan Burgess, Jennifer Sciortino

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.