We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Benoit and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I’ve always been an “all in” type of person. If I commit to something, I like to do it all the way to the best of my ability. I get frustrated when there are too many things at hand and they cannot be executed “well”. And yet motherhood is very much the act of accomplishing everything in just an average ~feeling~ way (which is a fallacy in itself because moms are awesome overachievers by nature). Over time, I’ve had to adapt my expectations and let go of other things in order to put my best effort in the most important things. For example, I started blogging when my first born was about 7 months old. I was so excited to start writing again and to connect with other moms who were in the same stage I was in- career/goal driven but at home tending to their family. I researched social media strategies, created a website, and wrote draft after draft of blog content/instagram captions. As I caught steam, I was able to devote time to my blogging every week, and was even able to connect with other ladies who were doing the same. Every week we would meet while our kids were in school and we would support each other and work on our own separate brands. It was extremely liberating in the sense that I was able to give a chunk of time for my passion project, and yet still have the space to give my family my very best. Then life happened. Coronavirus changed the way we did life, school shut down, I became pregnant and gave birth to my second son. Nothing has been the same since. Needless to say, all that I put into my website and building a brand came to a screeching halt. I’ve gone from “all in”- making my blog a business- to only connecting on Instagram when I have the time or energy (for reference, I haven’t published a blog post on my website since… April 2020). If I’m honest, I am disappointed that I haven’t “accomplished” more, or achieved the growth I thought I would. However, I wouldn’t change a thing about this venture or my journey. Everything that I have written or shared has been 100% authentic to me and what’s going on in my world. And in real life, work life balance changes. There are ebbs and flows to all of it. While I feel down in this season, there will come another season of renewed energy, time, and creativity. But for right now, my best work is in my children, our home, and our life together. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Writer? Blogger? Influencer? IG mom? I’m not really sure what I’d call myself. When I started blogging/writing, I specifically asked God- “What am I an expert in?”. He answered me and told me to be true to myself. He said I was good at being me! And that’s what sets me apart from others…I’m just Danielle! Ultimately, I would like to encourage and connect with other moms. I’ve spent too much time believing the lie that I’m alone. I’m not alone, and neither are others! Right now, I am challenged with this stage of life. Wrangling two kids (ages 2 and 7 mo) is just plain hard. By the end of the day, I’m wiped. So it’s difficult to want to sit down and write/edit/create when I really just want to connect with my husband and enjoy an episode of Schitt’s Creek. To overcome this challenge, I’m just letting this season play out. It is what it is. There will come a time, maybe sooner than I think, where my kids won’t need me so much. They’ll be at school at the same time. That will be my sweet spot to share all the ideas and things I have stored up. But right now, I’m soaking up all the little moments. Maybe that’s the lesson I’m learning now: don’t wish the present away. Enjoy the moment. Take it all in. And carry that joy into the next season.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Heirloom Haul- the most ADORABLE tea time! Fleastyle in general is just so inspiring. I really appreciate the thrifted creativity Detour Doughnuts- Jinny (the owner) puts out these monthly flavors that are TO DIE FOR. Her creativity is incredible! Not to mention the doughnuts are light. fluffy… truly a culinary work of art. Hutchins BBQ- Will is quite the brisket master but when we don’t want to clean up… Hutchins is where it’s at! And there’s free dessert. Yes please! Lemma Coffee Roasters- I like their original location in Downtown Carrollton. The back of the shop has their coffee roaster which is pretty cool to see. They just opened a location in Frisco though and we love it! We get our beans there every week so we can make pour overs at home. Summer Moon- they make their own coffee cream/sweetener called moon milk… it’s very sweet but very good! I usually get their iced coffee with what they call a “wispermoon” aka a splash. You can also buy the moon milk to take home! It’s always crowded though so be prepared to wait. True Fire- Get the gyro saltimbocca pasta and thank me later Haywire- Legacy West is just a place to see and be seen (is that lame to say?) Haywire brunch is super tasty though. The brunch burger is my favorite! Scheels at Grandscape in The Colony, TX- Scheels is toddler paradise. There’s a giant green space in the back that my son Beckham likes to run around on. Inside the store, there are lots of attractions like an aquarium. Lots of dad’s take their kids to look around there 😀
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Elizabeth Lucht, Beth Dryer, and Hannah Crowl- these are the types of friends I have prayed long and hard for. They have shown me unequivocal support, grace. love, and have given me hope in seasons of hardship. They are trustworthy, honest, so much fun, and beautiful inside and out. I am encouraged by them and they way they do live, love others well, and are just free to be. I could go on and on. Everyone would be so lucky to have friends like these in their lives. Will Benoit – my husband. my rock; faithful, strong. encouraging and my partner in everything. Will is a leader in business and his creativity and ingenuity inspires me everyday. This last year has been one of the hardest years for us… COVID, the trawls of owning a small business during COVID, having a baby- and yet here we are together through it all. There isn’t anyone I would rather walk through difficulty or joy with than Will Benoit. I am always so proud to be a part of him. “Lies We Believe About God” by William Paul Young- this book transformed the way I see God the Father. God, even in hard times, is ultimately good. He is always good and has always been good. I’ve never been without Him, and this book continues to bring me great freedom in my relationship with Him.
Elizabeth Lucht Misty Swilley