Did you have any questions for beauty blogger and makeup artist, Greta Gasparian? You are in for a treat because Greta answers fourteen of your most burning questions in this episode. Learn about her personal life from childhood and UCLA education to marriage and becoming a mom. About her career, Greta lets us in on building a business, podcasting, and time management. No holds barred, she also delves into more sensitive subjects on going through postpartum depression and struggling on being a working mom. Do not miss this tell-all episode as you get to know Greta on a deeper level.
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Solo Q & A: Knowing Greta Gasparian
If You Could Go Back In Time And Change One Thing, What Would It Be?
I wanted to do something a little bit different and I thought of this cool idea of doing a solo Q&A because I get a lot of questions and feedback of people wanting to get to know me a little bit more on a personal level. I thought I would give you the opportunity to ask me questions and I would answer them. I have a bunch of questions that I screenshot from Instagram and I feel some of these are going to get me talking a lot. I feel some of these might have a lengthy response. The first question is, “If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?”
To be honest, I don’t think I would change anything because I’m a firm believer that everything that’s happened in your life, all these experiences you’ve had in your life, the good, the ugly, especially the bad, these things shape you. They make you stronger. They teach you lessons. They are big learning moments and all these things shape you as a person. I don’t have regrets. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve done things that I might’ve wanted to take back. Had I not made that mistake, had I not done that one thing, I would have never known that these are the repercussions or that you should never do that again. To answer your question, I wouldn’t change anything because I will probably wouldn’t be the person I am now if I did.
How Is Your Marriage?
The next question is, “We want to know more about your hubby and your relationship if you’re willing to share.” I got this question a lot as I was briefly looking over the questions and I get this question a lot in general in my DMs. It totally makes sense that I get these questions because naturally, people are curious. They know I’m married, they know I have a baby, but they don’t know anything about my husband or our relationship because I keep that part of my life private. I probably will keep it for the remainder of my time on social media because I’m a private person. I don’t like to share that much of my private life because I don’t feel the need to. It’s not natural to me. It’s not that I wake up wanting to share these things. Because it’s not natural to me, it’s very uncomfortable for me to even talk about it. I also don’t know what I would say. Also, because my husband is a super private person and he just doesn’t get why social media even exists. He doesn’t get the point of social media and sometimes I have to sit him down, explain it to him and let him know why I personally am on social media and why I love social media. When I explain it to him, he gets it. He doesn’t get it to the extent. He’s never had an Instagram of Facebook. I don’t think he can even operate these things.
As far as my husband goes, I don’t know what to say about him exactly. I’ll say some basic things. He is five years older than me. He is a very hardworking guy. He is a family man. He is the greatest dad in the world. He’s so hands-on with Levon and that’s probably why Levon is obsessed with him and prefers him over me. He’s a good guy. I think the one thing that attracts me to him the most is his soul. His soul is so pure, kind, and caring. I don’t think there’s anything more attractive about a man than when he’s just genuinely a good man, a family man, somebody who puts his family first. As far as our relationship goes, I think the state of our relationship is great. I don’t have complaints.
We’ve gone through so much in our relationship. We’ve been together eight years and we’ve gone through a lot of life experiences specifically together. He’s experienced a death in his family. His father passed away. My father passed away. We were together when these circumstances happened. We’ve gone through a lot of hardships together in terms of our relationship, but I think the one thing that’s kept us together is obviously our love. Another thing is if he wasn’t as open-minded to communication as he has been to me, I don’t think we would be together. We discussed in our previous discussion with Gayane, the marriage and family therapist. The biggest problem in most relationships is miscommunication. I know this so it’s important for me and for him to have open communication.
If there’s anything that bugs me, if there’s anything that’s weighing heavy on my heart, him and I will sit and we’ll talk for hours. At night when the baby’s asleep, he’s home, I’m home. The day is over, it’s time to chill and spend time together. We can have hour-long conversations. I’m saying it in that way because I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to have an hour-long conversation with a man. It’s almost impossible to keep their attention span, but we can do that. It’s very seldom that we have these long conversations and it must be something serious that we are having a long conversation about. If there’s something that I need to speak to him about, if there’s something that he’s done that’s upset me or vice versa, we always talk about it. Another problem that we used to have is we used to not understand each other. We used to bump heads a lot. It was because we didn’t know how to communicate with each other. I would get upset quick and get temperamental and he doesn’t respond well to that as a person. I needed to learn how to calm myself down, gather my thoughts, and then approach them with a conversation. I think the most important thing for couples is to figure out each other’s language. Because once you figure out your partner’s language, then you’ll know how to approach them and then you’re so much more likely to have a great open communication or just a good conversation to get to the bottom of something.
Another thing I respect in our relationship is that him and I are very alike in the sense that we never hold grudges. If you asked me what was their last fight, I can’t remember because we will have that argument or that conversation and that’s it. Once that conversation is over, that’s it. It’s done and over with. I forget about it. I keep a tab open. I have the conversation, we get to the bottom of it and that’s it. It’s closed. It means I have completely shredded that file out of my head and I don’t think about it. If we argue again, I never bring it up like, “Remember that one time?” No, that one time does not exist right now. Right now our conversation is about this and only this. I think the number one important thing that I love and respect about our relationship is that we never hold grudges. That’s something that I never used to do before in the beginning, maybe because I was so young. I was a lot more stubborn back in the day. Over the years I’ve learned that we will never get anywhere if we hold grudges. We will never get anywhere if I don’t know how to approach him. I think the best way to figure out how to approach your husband or your significant other is to realize from previous fights or arguments when you approach him pretty much accusing him of something or coming at him in a negative way, how does he respond to that?
I can pretty much guarantee that he doesn’t respond well to that because nobody would. Imagine your significant other came up to you and immediately accused you of something or immediately temperamental with you or negative with you. I don’t think anybody would respond well to that. I think an important thing that you can do is put yourself in your significant other’s shoes because you know this person very well. You know what pisses them off. You know how to speak to them. You know how to word your words. Men have a very small and short attention span. You know what’s going to get your husband’s attention or your significant others and you know what’s going to piss them off. Don’t piss them off, just have a conversation, get to the bottom of it and move on.There's nothing more attractive about a man than when he's just genuinely a good man who puts his family first. Click To Tweet
The next question is, “Where did you grow up and we want to know more about your childhood.” I was born in Armenia. I moved to America when I was five with my family and I’ve been here since. To be honest, I can’t recall so much of my childhood so I can’t bring up certain instances. What I can say is that I feel such a deep connection with Armenia and my Armenian community, but specifically Armenia. I feel connected to that country. I feel connected when I get there. I feel good when I’m in Armenia. I miss it sometimes, especially with the Velvet Revolution. I feel the sense of longing. I want to go back and visit because I haven’t gone in years. When I go back, I almost replenish my soul and then I come back to life. To be honest, I can’t tell you so much about my childhood in Armenia, but as far as my childhood in general, I think I had a pretty good childhood. It was definitely hard moving to a new country for my parents. It might’ve been a little bit harder for us as well.
Where Did You Grow Up?
Another thing I can say about my childhood is I had to grow up very quickly. That’s one problem that I don’t that people have in America. Not everybody, but life experiences, life situations make you mature and grow up. I’ve had to mature at a very young age. I’ve always taken care of my sister. I’ve always helped my mom. I’ve always helped around the house ever since I was young because I had to. My mom had to work, my dad had to work. There was a lot that fell on my shoulders and it made me mature sooner than maybe most children. I never minded that. I never saw it as a burden. Maybe I complained when I was a kid. Who hasn’t? In fact, I appreciate it because there’s a lot that life taught me because of that. I always had to be responsible and my parents knew I am a very responsible person. I was the kid my parents never had to worry about. I could stick up for myself. I was disciplined. The one thing my mom would probably complain about is that I got into trouble a lot because I went to a ghetto middle school and I had to stick up for myself in that school. I would get into a lot of trouble in middle school because people would try to bully me and I wouldn’t have it. I have zero tolerance to that stuff. You can’t bully me. That’s not to say people haven’t tried to bully me.
I don’t remember that much of my childhood. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because I have total mom brain or maybe I blocked parts of it out, but I can’t give you a certain instance where I’ve been bullied and that it’s affected me. Maybe because of just who I am. Maybe it’s because my dad always taught me don’t take things from anybody. If somebody hits you, you hit them back. Total Arma lessons in life. Those things are real things you need to know. If somebody hits you, defend yourself. Maybe that’s a reason why I never was bullied and it could also be I wasn’t susceptible to that, but I never gave somebody that opportunity, which sounds bad. I always stuck up for myself. People knew they couldn’t mess with me. To sum it up, I grew up in Armenia and I can’t recall anything bad happening in my childhood.
Any Advice For Someone Who Wants To Start A Business Centered Around Providing A Service?
The next question. “Any advice for someone who wants to start a business centered around providing a service?” My biggest advice for somebody who has a business or wants to start a business centered around providing a service is that you need to have excellent customer service skills. Try to separate yourself from your business idea and think of how you feel as a consumer when you are getting a service. When you’re getting your makeup done, has a makeup artist ever done anything that made you feel uncomfortable that you didn’t like, that maybe turned you off? Has your eyelash girl said something or done something that rubbed you the wrong way? Separate yourself and think of yourself as just a consumer or a customer. Think of the negative instances that have occurred and try to avoid that. If you have gotten a service where you weren’t happy with the results, how did you respond and how did the person providing that service respond to you? For example, if you hated your makeup and you wanted to wipe it all off because it was so bad, how did that person respond? Were they like, “I have another client and there’s absolutely no way.” Did they refund you? Did they try to accommodate you with someone else at the salon? You need to have great customer service skills to build rapport with your customers because I think the biggest way you can gain is word of mouth.
When your girlfriend goes to a great makeup artist, the first thing she does is, “I went to this guy or girl and they were amazing. My makeup looked great. He or she did exactly what I wanted him to do.” That feedback is what sticks with a customer. How did you make them feel? Did you give them what they wanted? Were you listening to what they wanted out of this experience with you? You have to think about this because if you want to have a customer come back to you, you need to make sure that experience was positive. It gave them the result that they wanted and that they were happy with your work and you in general. Because I don’t think I’ve ever sat in a makeup chair where the makeup artist hasn’t communicated with me. Some people don’t want you to communicate and that’s okay too. I’ve provided a service. I’ve done makeup, I used to freelance. The one thing that my clients appreciated about me is that I listened to them. There were clients who didn’t want to talk at all. I could pick up on that hint that they were giving me close-ended responses. That gives me the impression that you don’t want to talk. That’s okay too.
Some people just want to enjoy, some people just want to chill and relax and you need to pick up on these hints from your customer. Some people want to talk and you might not want to talk but you can’t talk. If your customer is sitting there and talking about something, you’ve got to talk back. You’ve got to make your customer feel you care and you should care. I think the biggest thing is to think of yourself as a customer. Think of the good instances, maybe the things that you appreciated. Maybe the greeting that they gave you or they sent you off with lipstick or something in a jar and that made you feel good inside or that made you feel they appreciated you or they thought of you. You should think of how these instances made you feel, the good and the bad and try to implement or not implement these kinds of things in your business.
How Do You Come Up With A Unique Business Name?
The same girl asked another question. Her question is, “How do you come up with a unique and catchy enough name?” I’m assuming she means in terms of business. Here is my thought process when it comes to names. Throughout my life, I’ve had to come up with several business names for the different businesses that I’ve had and I’ve always wanted to give my business their own identity. That’s exactly how I see a business. I see it as its own identity. In my opinion, your name or your logo or whatever, it should somewhat be representative of what your business is. If you’re doing makeup, maybe you can have the word beauty or makeup or looks or something that pertains to that. Your customer might see your Instagram profile or might stumble upon a business card and know what you do. This doesn’t apply to all businesses.
For example, for me, my thought process is I literally take out a journal, I get a pen and I start writing words. For example, for Plan Chicly, when I was thinking of the name, I had the name Chicly previously for another business I wanted to do but never did. That word specifically I felt was very complimentary to what I’m trying to do. Chic in the sense that that’s my style. My style is effortless. It’s chic. It’s also something that will be okay generations to come. That’s my idea of chic is a staple. It’s something that never dies. The LY came in Chicly because Chicly. It made sense to me. I put the word Plan in front of it because I wanted people to know that I am an organizational and planner brand.Anyone who owns a business knows that one month might be good and the next month might be unstable. Click To Tweet
It’s obvious, but it’s not obvious. Plan Chicly, elaborate. It might get someone curious. It might get the ball rolling, they might even click on my page and get to know what I’m all about. Don’t push it with names and you should trust your gut with the name. If you love a name then you should sleep on it and see if you feel the same about it the next day. Maybe ask your friends or girlfriends like, “What do you think? Does this name represent what I provide as a business? Is it obvious what it is or maybe I should continue looking?” Another thing, if you’re stuck, there are a lot of name generators on the internet. Google business name generators and I’m sure a bunch will come up and that might help you. As a creative person myself, I’ve come up with all my business names on my own and I think about them. I take my time and think about a name because it’s important for it to represent my business and my brand. Don’t rush it. Take your time. If you want something unique and catchy, maybe use a thesaurus. Go on Thesaurus.com and put in a word chic and see what else comes up. Maybe something might spark you and it might get the ball rolling and you might take that word and implement it in a way that’s unique and catchy.
What Are Some Things That Inspire And Motivate You In General?
The next question is, “What are some things that inspire and motivate you in general?” Many things can inspire me and many things can motivate me. I might listen to a song that I wholeheartedly love. I envision where I’m listening to this song, anywhere in the world. I might envision myself on an Island listening to the song and just relaxing. Every time I hear that song moving forward, I feel relaxed, I feel great. I feel I’m going to be on an island soon. Songs can motivate me, people can motivate me and inspire me. I am truly what you would imagine a very creative and imaginative person to be. I can look at a purse and that might inspire me for a planner. I might look at somebody’s t-shirt color and I’m like, “This would look good.” I might even look at the randomness things and it might inspire me to make a product or inspire me to include that one thing in a campaign in the future. I get inspired by everything around me to be honest. There are things that don’t inspire me, but there’s a lot of things that do inspire me and I can’t pinpoint one thing. When I do feel stuck on my favorite place, depending on what I feel stuck on. If I feel stuck on my design process, I always go on Pinterest.
Pinterest is number one when it comes to being inspired by design, color, campaign, and by that creative aspect of my businesses. As far as inspiring me as a person, I listen to inspiring people. I listen to people speak. Oprah as a huge inspiration of mine. People I follow on Instagram are a big inspiration of mine. In terms of the biggest thing that motivates me in general, it’s where I see my life in the future. It’s where I want to be in the near future. Thinking of the circumstances of my life, the life experiences I can experience in the future when I make let’s say more money or when my business is stable. The things I can experience when I get to that point in my life is what motivates me. I don’t mean that in a monetary and financial way. I mean that all over. It’s not because I’m trying to get rich quick because I’m not getting rich quick. To have a business and operate it is expensive. It’s time-consuming and it takes a while and I know this. The things that come in your life along the way as you progress is what motivates me because I can’t wait to experience things that I haven’t experienced before. I can’t wait to live in a home where maybe I can decorate it to where I feel great.
I can’t wait to have an office space Kylie Jenner to where I can have total creative freedom. These are the things that motivate me to work harder, to do better, to never give up because I want to experience that. I want to progress in my life and be able to have certain things in my life where I can do more and be more. With that, I can be better and do better for people. Anything can inspire me. Motivation, it’s the progression in life and the life experiences I have with this progression that is to come.
Did You Experience Postpartum Depression?
The next question is, “Did you experience postpartum depression? If so, how did you deal with it and overcome it?” Yes, I did experience postpartum depression. For me, it was weird because it came a few months after I had my son and it lasted for a few months as well. This isn’t my first instance with depression and I’ve never been severely depressed, but I have gone through moments of depression depending on life circumstances I’ve had to go through. As far as postpartum depression goes, for me specifically, it had a lot to do with my hormones. It had a lot to do with breastfeeding because that was the biggest stressor in my life at the time. That was a huge contribution as to why I was depressed in the first place. I spoke about this briefly before. I put a lot of stress on myself to breastfeed. I had a very low supply of milk, but I just kept pushing myself. I also had not much of an appetite, so I wasn’t eating well. Thus I didn’t have that much milk and I didn’t deal with it in any specific way. I think when you’re depressed it’s hard for you to do things that make you happy because you’re in such a dark place in your life and for your brain to say, “Snap out of it. Get out, go for a walk, drink some water. Maybe exercise. Read a book. Take the day off, see who can watch the baby so you can get away.” To get yourself to do these things is a little bit difficult because you’re clouded by all the gloom and I was definitely in that circumstance.
The way that I overcame it is naturally. To be honest, when I had to stop breastfeeding, I got a bad infection in general. My milk supply completely stopped. I didn’t have to tie my breasts. I didn’t have to do all those remedies that women do to stop breast milk. It forced me to give my son formula and forced me that, “Your time has come to an end. You can’t breastfeed anymore.” When I stopped breastfeeding within a week I immediately felt better because this big stressor in my life had gone away. I didn’t make that decision, which I think made it easier because I wouldn’t have made that decision because I would have never given up. Because that was something I made mandatory in my life. It wasn’t even an option for me. Because that thing was taken away from me in a way, I had no choice. It was a lot easier to deal with. I overcame it. My hormone slowly started to go back to normal. Breastfeeding has a lot to do with your hormones. When that went back to normal, I mustered up the strength to hire a babysitter because I finally felt I wanted to get creative again.
I wanted to do blog posts again. I wanted to reconnect with everybody again. When I took the first step of trying to find a babysitter and then I found one, I instantly felt relieved. I also felt guilty that I felt relieved too. That might’ve contributed to a little bit of my postpartum depression lingering on because I felt guilty that I wanted to be away from my baby. That’s okay to feel that. It’s overwhelming being at home all day every day with a child. I don’t know how stay at home moms do it. It’s difficult. In my opinion, it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world and I commend any mom who can keep their sanity and be a stay at home mom because it is tough. Now that Levon is in school, I truly don’t know how I did it before. I have five days out of the week that I can work from the moment I drop him off to the moment I pick him up. I like that I have that freedom that if I want to get my nails done during the week, I can do that. Because usually, unless my nails weren’t literally horrible, I wouldn’t go to get my nails done because I knew I had two days out of the entire week to focus on work, hone in on my work and do my work. Now that I have this freedom, it feels nice. It’s also something that’s necessary for Levon and for me to progress and evolve in our lives. When I think about it that and I think of it realistically, it takes some of that mom guilt away.
If you are feeling guilty, maybe your kid is new in school mine or maybe you hired a babysitter or maybe you just got back to work and someone else is taking care of your kid, do your best to think realistically because that will help you so much more than thinking emotionally. Because emotionally all of us miss our babies. Throughout the day, I miss him. I want to be with him and I will be. I try to be realistic when I’m feeling upset or I’m missing him.If you want to have a customer come back to you, you need to make sure that their experience with you was positive. Click To Tweet
The next question is, “Was it hard getting into UCLA? Trying to get in at the moment, so scared. Also, what was your major?” When I was in high school, right when I graduated in 10th grade, I got my GED and I went straight to community college. I went to Valley College and then I did my two years there and then transferred right away as a junior to UCLA. As far as, was it hard getting in, it’s gotten a lot worse because it’s so competitive because a bachelors is nothing. A masters is the minimum at most jobs. Depending on what your major is and what industry and work field you’re in, but there are resources available to you. There are so many things that your school offers. You just need to look into it and find what applies to you. For example, when I was in school, and I’m pretty sure this program is still around, there were two programs called TAG and TAP. TAG gave you guaranteed acceptance to certain schools in California. For example, Irvine was one of them. It means that if you got into TAG, then you had guaranteed acceptance to the schools under that program. However, TAP did not give you guaranteed acceptance, but it looked amazing on your resume.
Was It Hard Getting Into UCLA?
Imagine you have a pile of admissions folders. I feel TAP bumped you up one higher and it was definitely beneficial and I think that’s one of the main reasons why I got accepted into UCLA. That’s definitely a program you should look into getting into. It’s also simple to get into these programs because all you need is a 3.5 GPA and you need to take honors classes. If you are new to community college or you’re about to finish, it might not work because there are a certain amount of credits of honors classes that you need. I would get on it ASAP and I would also do the easy classes. It’s so much easier to get a good grade in an honors English 101 class or a communications class or a sociology class versus Bio 105. I would definitely do the easier classes just to make your life easier.
Another program that I was in, the whole gist of it is you can use your volunteer hours to bump up your grade a full grade up. Let’s say I did 200 hours and all I had to do was get a B in my class and my teacher would have bumped my grade up to an A because I did those volunteer hours. I don’t know what this program is called. I’m pretty sure it’s still exists. Definitely look into the resources. Talk to your counselors, let them know you want to increase your chances of getting into these tough universities and I’m sure they’ll give you a bunch of options. Another thing that I did was there was one on our society that showed up on your transcripts. We all know that universities look for extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, and all these activities. They want to know that you are a student that’s involved because they want you to be involved in their schools as well.
If you prove to them you’re involved in your community college or your high school, if you’re trying to transfer out of high school, then they love that because they know that you’re that kind of person and that kind of person will probably be in societies and help out with the school in general. They know that you’re that person and they know you’re more likely to do the same things at their school. There’s also an honor society and it’s the only society that shows up on your transcripts. It’s called TAE. They offered it at Valley College. I’m not sure if they have it at other community colleges, but when you’re in a club or a society in high school or college, those things you list in your application. They don’t physically show up on your transcripts. However, this one society did. I definitely knew I wanted to be in that one because that made my transcripts look so much better.
Do your best in school. Try to get a high GPA. The higher your GPA, the higher your chances of getting in. As far as what my major was, I studied Psychology, so it was the only subject that I was interested in and enjoyed learning about. Surprisingly, I never took any business classes, which is weird because I feel that’s something that I would have loved as well. Maybe that happened for a reason only because I feel Psychology serves a bigger purpose in my life and I’m so happy and I say this all the time. I’m so happy I studied psychology. I apply everything I learned at UCLA in my everyday life and I read books all the time based off of research. I know also with my major what to believe in and what we sources are reliable and that’s very important too.
Somebody asked, “Why podcasts?” I think podcasting is a very popular platform and I definitely wanted in on all the fun and action. I also love it because you can listen to a podcast anywhere. All you need is your phone or a computer and headphones and you can listen while you wash dishes, while you work out, while you’re getting your hair done. It’s very accessible and I love that. The only thing that matters when you’re listening to a podcast is what the person is telling you. That makes it so much more meaningful. I think people retain the information you’re trying to give them a little bit better. That’s why I decided to go the podcast route.
I’m so happy I did because it has been so fulfilling to see people respond and feel inspired and empowered by the things and the messages that my guests and I are providing women. I don’t know how to explain it, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt this fulfilled in my life. Fulfilled meaning I feel to my core that I’m on the exact path I’m meant to be on. I was always meant to be on this exact path, which is probably why it feels so fulfilling to me because I’m doing something I meant to do. I know that podcasting will eventually lead to something bigger and better for me, for the community of women that follows me, the audience. I’m happy I did it and I went for it. Because I genuinely felt in my heart it’s something I wanted to do and I’ve put my all into it, people have been responding well and it’s a nice feeling.
How Do You Manage Your Time And Make The Most Out Of Your Day?
The next question is, “How do you manage your time and make the most out of your day?” I struggle with time management all the time. Not as much only because Levon has started school, so I’ve gotten into a whole new routine. Previously when I would work from home, I only had a babysitter twice a week. I only had twice a week, sixteen hours total a week to do work, focus on work and only work. That was hard for me because there’s only so much you can do having more than one business in sixteen hours a week. It’s hard. Now that I have way more time, I almost don’t know how to prioritize my day because I’m so excited I have so much time. The one thing and that helps is the night before, I write down everything in my brain. I have a journal in front of me, my computer or my phone or whatever you write in and I jot down things, “Finish website. Do this, do that. Don’t forget to call and make this appointment.” It doesn’t need to be things that I need to do the next day. It’s things that are rolling through my mind and I’m jotting it down so I don’t forget. From that long list of things I need to do, I pick and prioritize the most important for the day that’s coming.Chic is a staple. It's something that never dies. Click To Tweet
I’m also very realistic with my time. I won’t put five tasks on my to-do list if I know I’m not going to make it to all five only because I’m a control freak and it irks my nerves that I didn’t finish a task. I don’t want to do it when I get home because when I get home, I want be with my kid. I want to chill, I want to relax, I have housework I need to do, I want to spend time with my husband, I want to watch TV, I want to read a book. I don’t want to think about work-related stuff or tasks when I get home and when my day is over. As far as how I make the most out of my day, definitely being realistic with time helps me. Also, I try not to let little stressors get to me, even though that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I know. I’m human. I have up days, I have down days, but I do my best. However, I can’t control it. There are some weeks I don’t want to do anything and I have to force myself to because if I don’t do it, no one will. Those weeks are definitely tough and I give myself a lot more leeway in those weeks and I rest because I think to myself, “If your body doesn’t want to do it, it’s probably because you’re overworked or you’re exhausted.” Take it slow, take a chill pill, don’t be an overachiever and maybe when you have better energy, you can do all the millions of things you wanted to do. Also because those things are not urgent and they can wait.
Did You Feel Pressure To Get Married/Have Babies ASAP?
The next question is, “Did you feel pressure to get married/have babies ASAP?” No, I never felt pressure to get married only because my family never pressured me. Also probably because I was young. I met my husband when I was eighteen. We got married five years later when I was 23, so it’s not like I was at an age where my parents felt like the thing that Armo parents go through when you’re at a certain age, which I don’t know why they do that, but they do. I get it. It’s just a parent’s concern. As far as children, I probably feel it more that I have a kid because everyone wants to know when I’m going to have my second kid. Although that question is annoying, I’ve just gotten used to people asking me. You know when there’s times where everyone and their mother is like, “When you having another kid?” That’s when I might feel pressure.
However, I’m a very realistic and logical person. If I feel pressure and it’s starting to bug me, I sit down with myself and I have an open conversation, me, myself, and I. I’ll sit there and I will analyze. Everyone is giving me the advice that I shouldn’t wait longer than X amount of years to have another kid. They’re saying it because it’s easier for me, because of this. I list my pros and cons in my head and I might do this throughout the day, but mainly at nighttime when I’m chilling or maybe when I’m showering and I have time to think to myself. I just logically put out reasons why I don’t feel ready to have another kid and I make my own point valid and I come to my own conclusion of how I feel about, for example, having another kid.
Do I feel pressure? Yes, sometimes I do feel pressure. I think if somebody repeats or a few people repeat the same thing over and over again, you feel some pressure. It’s also up to you to logically think through that. Either appreciate it, don’t appreciate it, agree with it, disagree with it, and move on. Form your own opinion. Listen to people. Let them tell you what they want to tell you because you never know. These people are speaking from their own experiences and what works for them might work for you, but it might not. Just be your own advocate and think things through. If something’s pressuring you, think about it. How do you feel about it? Once you’ve come to your own conclusion, then you know what to do moving forward.
Do You Have Tips About Baby Food?
The next question is about baby food. Tips about baby food. My biggest advice for moms who are starting their babies on solids, for example, is to give your children whole ingredient meals. For example, don’t give them processed applesauce or processed baby food. Honestly, and I don’t mean to offend anybody, it’s harmful for your kid to buy those Gerber baby things. It’s not healthy. Don’t give your kid that. If maybe budget or money is a concern, it’s better for you to buy a nonorganic avocado and give your kid that versus those jarred foods from Ralph’s or something.
Another tip about baby food is keep a staple things that your child likes in your fridge at all times because sometimes kids go through phases where they don’t want to eat anything and then they go through phases where they want to eat everything. Just be smart with their nutrition, but try not to be too restrictive. For example, I’m very strict on what Levon eats and I was much worse when he was younger because I know the importance of nutrition in a child’s life. However, now that he’s older and let’s say we’re out and they have French fries at a restaurant, I don’t mind. He can have some French fries and some chicken tenders. However, I will never give him French fries and chicken tenders at home because I want at least 90% of his nutritional intake to be healthy, wholesome food. This matters on age only because they get older, they see other kids doing it. They want things from you and they use their words to tell you what they want. I don’t think you should restrict your child because the more you restrict them, the more they want. You should be very smart and implement healthy smart habits when they’re younger.
I don’t give Levon sweets at home. No chocolate, no lollipops. I don’t even have these things in my house because he doesn’t need chocolates, lollipops and candy. There is no need for a child to eat these things. He gets his sugar intake from fruits, which he loves, and he enjoys way more than candy. If we are at a party and a kid is eating candy and he wants a candy, he can have a candy. That’s not a big deal because it’s very seldom that he eats it. When he’s out, it’s okay. I don’t restrict him and he can have it. I limit it. I’m not like, “Go take all 50 lollipops.” No, I’m not. I’ve also instilled healthy habits in him since he was a baby. He gravitates towards fruits, vegetables and those kinds of things versus candy, chocolates, junk because that’s all he knows. Also, if you’re looking for baby recipes, you can follow my cooking page @CookingDailyWithGreta. I have a bunch of great recipes for children. I have some of Levon’s favorite foods on there, so that’s a great resource if you’re interested. Food in general and specifically baby food.
How Do You Budget?
Another question was budgeting. I’ve had instances in my life where I’ve been good with money, meaning I could be careless. I’ve also had instances in my life where I had to be on a tight budget because I couldn’t afford to be careless with money. I have experiences with money and without money. I think my biggest tip is you just have to be smart when you buy things, especially when you are on a budget or you can’t afford it or you don’t have the means to spend so much on unnecessary things. Before I would walk into home goods and buy everything under the moon, sun, and stars that I might think I will use one day. I have a pile in Levon’s closet of things I might use one day. I’m so much smarter. I think twice before I buy something. If I have extra cash for that month that I just don’t need, all my bills are paid for, everything is covered, I will take that money and I will save it for the next month in case the next month is a little more unstable. Because anyone who owns their own business knows that one month might be good and the next month might be unstable. The best way that I’ve learned to budget is when I have an overflow of cash, I save it for the next month’s bills, insurance and all that. When I don’t, I’m very conscious with what I purchase.The only thing that matters when you're listening to a podcast is what the person is telling you. Click To Tweet
The last question is, “What are of your pet peeves?” My number one biggest pet peeve is when humans lack common sense. I cannot even begin to describe to you how irking and frustrating it is when someone doesn’t have common sense. For example, if you see a mom or a woman struggling with a kid on one arm, 40 bags in the other, trying to open a door, push a stroller in, then the kid, then the dog or whatever, don’t stand there. Go and hold the door open. Help her with her bags. That to me is common sense. You don’t even need to be courteous to do that. If someone’s struggling, go help them. I’ve had so many instances where I’m disciplined with my feelings because if I’m not, I can probably get temperamental and angry because this lack of common sense in humans is so prominent in America. I don’t know why it is but it just is.
What Are Some Of Your Pet Peeves?
It frustrates me and I probably will be the mom that walks by and goes like, “You’re an idiot,” and walks right by you. Because if you see me struggling and you’re standing there staring at me, why are you staring? The worst is when they’re trying to approach you but they’re waiting for you to give an okay. The whole common sense portion of this all is that you don’t wait from my okay. You just come up and help. I’m not even asking you to carry my kid to the car. I just need you to hold the door open for three seconds. Common sense is 100% my number one biggest pet peeve.
My next biggest pet peeve is probably fake people, people who pretend to be something they’re not. Whether they’re overly nice, overly positive, overly bubbly, but in reality, they are negative, have no personality and not great people and they try to act they are. I’m going to call it a talent of mine, but I could sniff it from a mile away and sometimes when I can’t and I recognize these habits in people, I completely distanced myself. If you’re fake to yourself, you’re not going to be real with me. That’s just the reality. There is no need for you to be in my life. Another thing I absolutely don’t like and as a big pet peeve of mine is materialistic people, meaning people whose material objects like purses, cars, accessories, rings, diamonds, those things define them and they feel good because of the Gucci on their back, their shoes or their bag. Why should a purse define you? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Materialistic people just are so insecure with themselves that they think these material objects will make them look more secure, more confident, more pretty. I don’t understand that concept.
I feel the amount of effort you’re putting to buy these material objects you can be putting in yourself and read a self-help book and be a better person. My last pet peeve would have to be I can’t stand drivers, especially in LA. I have crazy road rage and I do my best because I drive my kid around to be calm. People are so dumb and inconsiderate when they drive. It pisses me off. I get frustrated quickly when I drive.
That concludes our little Q&A. This was super fun. I definitely want to do another one of these again. I hope I gave you good answers and good feedback. I hope this was resourceful. If there’s anything else you want me to follow up on, a follow-up question, you feel free to DM me. You can DM me on my personal page @GretaGasparian or our podcast page, Inspiring Women Podcast. I respond to everybody. I love your feedback. I love that you are open. When we share conversations or we have conversations, you respond back with your thoughts and your experiences and I love that. It connects us. Every time I feel I’m slowly building this community of women, it makes me feel happy. I’m very grateful for you all. Thank you.
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