#FindYourTribe with Bethany Ciotola

#FindYourTribe is a series dedicated to discovering mamas from around the world. It’s an opportunity for us to get a peek into the lives of amazing women and badass moms.

Bethany Ciotola is an Instagram goddess. Her followers know that she’s super sweet with a love of off-the-shoulder dresses, but that she also has a wicked sense of humor. (Spoiler alert: she’s exactly the same IRL). A model-turned-mom, she’s created an amazing community on social media and through her website, where she speaks candidly on issues such as her post-baby body and why she decided to share her family’s life with the world despite the negativity of social media trolls. Best of all: She’s the first to admit that behind the gorgeous photos, there’s usually a pile of dirty laundry or a toddler temper tantrum that followed.

Let’s meet her, shall we?

After becoming a mom, how did you find your tribe?
When I had Kai, I was the first of my friends to become pregnant. I didn’t know any friends/family with babies so my first tribe consisted of my husband and myself but I wouldn’t change that for the world. We became each other’s tribe and grew closer in a way I didn’t think was possible. After I had Rowan, I met a group of working moms in the city and they have become my second tribe. They are so inspirational and I love surrounding myself with ambitious people. It makes me much more productive and they’ve given me a new definition of what a “mama” can be.
What would your memoir be titled?
Surviving. I’m not mastering motherhood by any means, I’m just surviving one day at a time and giving it my best.
What’s the first thing you do each morning?
Get the boys and make them breakfast and myself a cup of coffee (which will inevitably get cold because I forget that I made it). The boys are my alarm clock.

If you had 12 hours with no outside commitments, how would you spend the day?
I would have my husband take the day off of work. (It would be beautiful outside without any NYC tourists because this is my fantasy scenario). We would take the boys to Central Park for a picnic. Afterwards, I would call upon my fairy godmother babysitter so that my husband and I could see a movie followed by a romantic dinner. Our restaurant host would see how exhausted we were and immediately sense that we’re parents, so would send over complimentary glasses of wine as soon as we sat down.

Do you have a parenting philosophy?
Take all the advice you’re given and do what makes sense in your heart. I’ve seen something work for one parent and go completely wrong for another. Every family is different and every child is different – always go with what seems right to you.

What are the last three books you loved?
Girl on the Train (I can be one heck of a basic B), Fight Club and Lauren Bacall’s By Myself and Then Some.

What’s the last thing you geeked-out about?
Finding out that Bette Midler is playing Hello Dolly on Broadway.

What’s your favorite part of being a parent? Least favorite?
Favorite: Everything. Literally everything. They complete me in every way a person can be completed.
Least Favorite: Blow-out diapers. Maybe TMI, but we’ve all been there and it’s a nasty business. I’m excited to not have two babies in diapers.

What’s your most treasured article of clothing in your closet right now?
A simple lace-trimmed cami that my husband recently saw, thought of me and bought. It’s so unlike him to do that and it’s exactly my style so I have a lot of love for it.

What’s your tried-and-true parenting hack?
Love your kids endlessly and the rest will fall in place. A baby isn’t going to remember all of your epic parenting fails that you beat yourself up over, but they will remember the undying love they receive from you.