I’m a mom. I have two boys who are currently twelve and nine years old. (A fun combination of ages with all the hormones…) But, just like you, I’m also more than that; I’m not just a mom.
As you are already aware, Columbia Mom is made up of a group of wonderful women who are, of course, moms. But so many of us have another side of us that you don’t know about. So, we are starting a new series called, “I’m a mom AND…” where we give you, our valued readers, a glimpse into who our Contributing Writers and Executive Team are.
So, let me introduce myself to you! My name is Leah.
I’m a Mom AND…
1. I’m a Blog Editor and Writer
You can obviously see that I’m a Contributing Writer for Columbia Mom. But, I’m also the Editor. I love being able to read through all our contributors posts each month, and help share their stories with all of you. It truly gives me joy, and is such a fulfilling part of my life.
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was in middle school. I used to spend hours writing stories. English was my favorite subject in school, and I excelled at it. In college I wrote for our school newspaper and minored in Journalism. Then, when I became a mom, I started a blog about motherhood. It was that experience that led me to begin writing for Columbia Mom when we moved to SC.
I imagine my love of stories and writing stemmed from my love of reading. My love of reading has also inspired me to pursue other avenues…
2. I’m a Podcaster
I created and host my own podcast called YA Book Chat. It’s a podcast all about Young Adult books. Yes, I’m a 40something year old woman who reads and LOVES Young Adult books. They are just that good!
I’ve been reading my whole life. There is nothing like getting lost in a good book! But, aside from reading books, I also love chatting about them with friends who have read the same books. One day, almost four years ago, I realized that I could combine those two loves in the form of a podcast. So, 90 episodes and 32.6k downloads later, here we are!
My love of stories has also opened up other opportunities for me as well…
3. I’m a Storyteller
I have a degree in Theatre and worked as an actor in Chicago for 11 years, after which, we moved to Columbia. I don’t really do much acting now, but I put those skills to use as a children’s storyteller. I work for Wings and Whimsies as Blossom, the Flower Fairy. You can see Blossom and her friend Zephyr flitting about local festivals, such as Tartan Day South, and the Charleston Highland Games. We also do birthday parties, occasional events at Riverbanks Zoo, Leprechaun visits for St. Patrick’s Day, and more!
The acting side of me has also led to…
4. I’m a Full-Time Middle School Theatre Teacher
My high school English teacher once told me I should major in English in college. When I asked her what I’d do with an English degree she said, “Be a teacher.” Not gonna lie … I literally laughed in her face. But, in an ironic turn of events, I am now a teacher. A Theatre teacher, not English, but still a teacher.
I was never one of those people who knew from a young age that they wanted to be a teacher. Honestly, I NEVER pictured myself as a teacher. I wanted to be an actor, that’s it. And I was an actor for many years. But when I lived in Chicago I also started working part-time as an acting teacher for a local theatre company, and I really enjoyed it. So, when my mid-life crisis hit, I found myself trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. And, I landed on teaching. It’s been a LOT different than I thought it would be…it’s overwhelming, exhausting, and so very difficult for more reasons than I can list.
But, I’m now in year three of teaching Theatre to sixth through eighth graders, and I’m still here. Let me rephrase that so you can catch it … I started teaching in 2020. Yeah … THAT year. To say it’s been a rollercoaster ride is an understatement, but I’m teaching a subject that is a passion of mine. And while many of my students were placed in my class and didn’t request it (which means they don’t want to be there), it’s worth it for the ones who do enjoy it. And now, we are in Spring Musical mode, which makes it all worth it because I LOVE directing!
Well, that’s a little about me and who I am outside of being a mom. I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about me.