Spotlight Series: Tina Unrue

Introduce Yourself.
My name is Tina Unrue. I’m 46 years old and have lived here in the DMV all my life.

Tell me about your family.
I am happily married. Mom to one strong-willed, 10-year-old daughter. Stepmom to two grown adults, and step grandma to four littles, ranging in age from newborn to 8 years old.

How long have you lived or worked in NoVa? What area do you live/work?
I’ve lived in NoVA for about 25 years and currently reside in Stafford, VA.

What is your business?
My business is Selfish Mama. I offer life coaching to stressed out and overwhelmed mamas that are ready to live a life they love and parent from a place of confidence and intention.

Tell me the story of how you got started.
I suppose my story starts in 2009. That’s when my life turned upside down, for the best and worst reasons. I became a mom to a 2.5 pound baby girl. She was delivered three months premature.

Although I knew becoming a mom meant I’d want the best for my child and that I’d be her cheerleader and advocate til the end of my days, I didn’t realize how severely that would be tested from Day 1. The struggle to ensure she was healthy and grew steadily was obviously the job of the stellar team of doctors and nurses. I, too, had a major role of course; not only because I wanted to, but because I had to.

The struggle to find work/life balance after having a premature child was excruciating. I wanted to be with her all the time, but couldn’t afford to stay home. So I became immensely resentful of my job. I blamed it for my limited time with my daughter. I blamed it for adding stress to my life. I blamed it for a 2+ hour commute each day that only contributed to my absence from my daughter’s life. Finally in 2015, I became brave enough to identify next steps for a new career that would allow me to spend more time with my daughter. I pursued life coaching as a career in 2016 and became certified in January 2017.

What’s your favorite thing about your business?
My favorite thing about this is life coaching transforms lives. It’s so fun!

What’s something you struggle with being in this area?
Admittedly, the biggest struggle is convincing mamas to invest in themselves. Mamas tend to spend all kinds of money on their children, but still put themselves on the back burner.

Do you feel supported as a female entrepreneur?
I do! There is NO better time to be a female and an entrepreneur…honestly! Whether it’s local or virtual, there are a ton of options to get support and surround yourself with mentors and fellow female entrepreneurs to propel your business and life to new heights!

What is the biggest obstacle you face as a working mother?
When I worked for the federal government and did coaching on the side, the biggest obstacle was leveraging time most efficiently and dealing with energy drain from my day job. Now as a mama who works from home, it’s a whole different challenge. It’s feeling like my business is as important as if I worked out of the home and it’s not just another to-do item to fit in with all the other home/personal stuff.

What advice would you give to someone just starting as a business owner?
My advice for a new entrepreneur is to believe in yourself. Mindset is the biggest challenge. You can know #allthethings, but if you don’t believe you can DO #allthethings, you won’t.

What do you do when you’re not working or being a mom?
Family is the most important thing to me. So if I’m not spending time with my family, I’m reading personal development books/podcasts. (I’m a personal development junkie. :))

Favorite local restaurant?
Fav restaurant is Sedona Taphouse in Fredericksburg!

What do you do as a family on the weekends?
When my daughter was younger, we’d go to playgrounds, carnivals/festivals, and petting zoos, farms, etc. Now that she’s older, we attend plays, go hiking, watch movies, and more!

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about being a mom?
I am a BIG advocate on mamas defining a model of motherhood that works for them, which requires them to be aware of their beliefs! What a fantastic question! My old beliefs included me ALWAYS being available, I’d never yell or lose my temper, and I’d always put my daughter first. I’ve  now adopted new beliefs that include me being available when it matters; that showing my emotions – even frustration – is ok as it’s teaching my daughter that a range of emotions are acceptable; and my daughter is my priority when she needs to be (of course!), and when I WANT her to be. That latter belief shift for me was significant because I want my daughter to learn that while she’s my #1 in my life, it doesn’t mean she is always a priority in every single moment.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to start your own business?
I’d have to say my husband has had a substantial influence on my decision to start a business. We owned a computer business for nearly a decade when we were in our 20s. And when I became distraught with the wash-rinse-repeat monotony of day-to-day life, he was nothing but supportive of me figuring out what I wanted to do to be happy.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you? 
I’m such an introvert that I tend to be really quiet and shy. So those that “think” they know me might be surprised to know that I love to dance and sing!

Anything else you would like to share with the reader? 
Yes! To all the mamas reading, I want you to know that you are just as important as all the other priorities in your life. You deserve a seat at the priority table. It’s a “me too, not just you” mentality. And that is NOT selfish! It is necessary to take care of ourselves so we can give our best to those we love. Prioritizing yourself teaches you to value yourself and teaches those you love to value you too!

Xo, MomingInNoVa

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