Detroit Mom Welcomes Albiona, a Livonia Mom

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Once you become a mom the hardest statement to answer is, tell me about yourself. We’re asked this question frequently – job interviews, new meetings, social gatherings. I usually defer to what I do. “Hi, I’m a pediatric speech and language pathologist, I’m the assistant director of the Kaufman Children’s Center in West Bloomfield, I am the proud mother of two amazing humans, and I’m a wife to Sam”. It’s a practiced script and the truth is, that’s not who I am. Those are the blessings in my life that I am grateful for every single day.

Who I Am?

On my worst day, I oversleep, I make weak coffee, and the workout is laughable. And on this day, I’m still Albiona. Someone who will make the best of any moment, ask a lot of questions, and recognize any challenge as an opportunity for growth. I think one of my best qualities is my constant state of curiosity.

This curious state is what led me to write. You can often find me reading, listening to podcasts, or watching a docuseries. I do enjoy a good Netflix binge, particularly during the cold winter months. I LOVE yoga and wish I did it more. My dream is to be able to do inversions with grace and ease, but for now, I’ll celebrate that I can hold crow — most of the time. I love learning, listening, and connecting with others through their stories. I am healthy-ish, and I like it that way. Practicing all things in moderation is my happy place. I try to say yes more, but trust my gut when the answer is no.

How do I put myself first?

I’m supposed to put myself first?? Just kidding! Over time I realized this was necessary. This became easier as my children got older and became more independent. Putting myself first means I am recognizing and honoring my wants and needs. The only way to do this is by setting boundaries where need be. It’s not the most glamorous answer, but it’s the only way I can truly take care of myself. Self-care is the ultimate test in tuning in to each moment, listening to my voice, and proceeding from there. That was the true challenge for me, and still can be at times: giving myself permission to do the thing I need in that moment. Things that help me reset are yoga, exercise, reading, being near water, and connecting with loved ones.

My Family

I’ve been married for over 20 years to a Detroiter named Sam, and we’re blessed to have two kids, Adrian and Hana. My son is 18, and he left for college this year, which was so incredibly hard!! He is considerate and kind, has a huge heart, and the most remarkable work ethic. My daughter is 15, and she is an amazing human who thinks deeply about things, quietly observes, and has amazing instincts. We’re a family that jokes a lot, places great emphasis on kindness, and is mildly obsessed with soccer. I’m in the phase of parenting where I get to really watch their personalities develop and identities take form. The hardest part about raising teenagers and young adults is letting go, watching their journeys unfold, and being a source of guidance rather than the constant solution.

I grew up in Royal Oak and now live in Livonia. My husband and I are both Albanian Americans. Our parents immigrated to the Detroit area as young adults. My upbringing was rich with tradition and cultural experiences that I try to create for my kids as well. I have always lived in Michigan, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a huge fan of all four seasons, and I love each one for a different reason.

There are so many great gems in Detroit that we enjoy, but Supino’s Pizzeria is my all-time favorite place to eat! My other favorite spot in Detroit is The Detroit Writing Room. It is where my writing journey began and continues. I can’t recommend it enough, and I don’t know where my journey would’ve taken me had I not scheduled a coaching session with the brilliant Stephanie Steinberg two years ago.

I am looking forward to writing for Detroit Mom. My hope is to create a space through my writing where mothers can feel seen and heard. When I began my writing journey, it started with the dream to author my own book. When I began to research parenting resources and websites, I found two dominant themes. They were either packed with “how to” articles featuring endless checklists that felt daunting, judgmental, and intimidating. Or, they offered little guidance, and didn’t give parents practical tips or ideas. This led me to my sweet spot — somewhere in between the overly prescriptive parenting resources and the woo woo resources that left me confused. And with that I created my own website called Kiddos+Insights.

I like to reflect and take a deep dive into the parenting journey. But, having worked with children and families for over 20 years, I can also provide simple solutions and ideas that parents can put into practice in their own homes. My hope is that my writing and content will allow you to solve parenting challenges by helping you reframe the way you see your child’s behavior while reflecting on your parenting journey. I’m looking forward to connecting and can’t wait to hear your stories and learn from this amazing community.

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