Last week, momlogic sat down with television superstar-turned-child-author Mario Lopez, and now we talk with his incredible sister, Marissa Lopez Wong, who cowrote the much anticipated Mud Tacos!, a new children's book chronicling the siblings' childhood adventures.
Momlogic: What does your "mom" life entail?
Marissa Lopez Wong: I'm a stay-at-home mom with three babies, who enjoys hanging out with her husband. There's not much more room for anything else! But, before I was a mom, I worked in probation and studied criminal justice. After I married my husband, and when he was still in the NFL and we were moving around a lot, I decided to stay home exclusively. And I can say with all honesty that this life is just as hectic as my life as a career woman.
ML: What was it like working with your brother?
Marissa: It was a wonderful experience, but more importantly, it was fun. We just laughed and laughed throughout the whole process. He's my best friend. We really believe in our ideas and hope that we have a chance to write more!
The mom that I am today, I owe to my brother. His friendship molded me into what I am today, and when I think of him, I think of all the happy experiences of my childhood. And I want my children to have the same thing with their siblings. Having a strong bond with your siblings is very important, and I want my children to know and act on that.
ML: What's the perfect balance between work and motherhood?
Marissa: As moms, we need to realize that we can't be 100 percent in everything we do. The ultimate supermom does not exist. I try to take time for myself to work out, to be creative, and to do things that make me happy. It's important for me to know that just as you can be successful in any venture, you can be successful as a mother, and it is just as rewarding. Being a successful mother and wife is very important to me. You have to try to be happy, and do things that make you happy. You just can't get married, have kids, and expect everything else to fall into place. It takes work.
ML: One of the key themes in Mud Tacos! is the importance of using your imagination. How do you incorporate this with your family?
Marissa: Imagination is very important for our family. I try to keep my kids active and always have them outside. Of course, I allow them some morning cartoons, but being active is a big part of their life and mine. I encourage them to take a small bucket with them on our walks and collect things that are interesting to them, whether it be rocks, leaves, sticks, or whatever. Then we go to the park and play, using our imagination to turn what we found into an adventure.
ML: How do you incorporate your culture into your everyday life with your family?
Marissa: The easiest way to incorporate culture is through food. My husband has a colorful culture. He is part Chinese and Hawaiian, and I am Mexican. We also infuse our holidays with culture. And our kids understand Spanish. In the same way, Mud Tacos! is sprinkled with culture in a way that shows what we are surrounded by and encounter on a daily basis.