Mom's the word: Alison Faulkner
This year marks Pregnancy & Newborn’s fifth annual feature profiling […]
This year marks Pregnancy & Newborn’s fifth annual feature profiling five fascinating moms. The list is hardly comprehensive, but it’s a humble nod to the impressive talent, inspiring outlooks and important work of mothers. We hope you find their stories refreshing, encouraging and most of all relatable because, although the details may be different, our journeys all share a common thread.
ALISON FAULKNER, writer, event producer and social media guru
Home: Provo, Utah
Dream concert: Michael Jackson
Most-used emoji: The cha-cha girl
Task she’d like to hire out: Making doctors appointments
Alison Faulkner makes her living blogging, teaching online courses, posting on social media, speaking at events and throwing huge all-female dance parties, which are every bit as awesome as they sound. As she explains it, she’s given herself her own show—“The Alison Show.” It’s a personality brand that allows her to encourage others to be themselves, confidently and without apology.
How did she manage to make a career of helping people find their awesome? “My reckless abandon for doing whatever I want,” she suspects. Transparency is inherent in her personality, so how she portrays herself on social media is an accurate depiction who she is in real life—she’s not cropping out unflattering aspects or adding a rose-colored filter to her reality. “I’m not embarrassed to show myself looking stupid or ugly,” she says. “And I’m not embarrassed to show my house looking really messy.”
She’s also not afraid to dance—and we aren’t talking a subtle two-step. The shameless performer regularly posts clips of her moves on social media to the enthusiastic reception of her audience. “My rule of thumb is: If I watch it a couple times and it makes me laugh, then I post it.”
While expecting her third baby, Fiona, late last year, Faulkner recorded “How to Dance Every Day (Pregnant or Not),” a wildly entertaining video in which she shimmies and shakes her way through the breakfast routine, a gas stop and the produce aisle. (It’s available for your viewing pleasure here.)
She encouraged other moms-to-be to join in the fun by hosting “Alison’s Pregnant Lady Dance Off” on Instagram. With more than 500 entries featuring everyone from pole-dancing first-time mamas to lip-synching dads-to-be, the contest inspired participants to embrace their bumps and bust a move. And the hilarity that ensued made it clear everyone came home a winner.
Faulkner has given herself permission to just “do her” with the hope that others will follow suit. “When you are OK sharing and doing what you love, people want to turn around and share with you,” says the spirited blonde. “I put myself out there first, and then people feel comfortable.” It’s no surprise women (and some men, too) are eager to RSVP yes to the virtual party.
Although her feed is primarily fun and her attitude always uplifting, it isn’t all sugar cookies and crafts for Faulkner. She suffers from anxiety and perinatal depression—and she’s candid about those challenges with her Internet friends, too. “If my struggle can help someone else feel validation … then that’s good for me,” she says. “I like being helpful. I like being impactful. I like knowing that if I share something it helps people.”
But, she adds, “I need to share from a place of strength rather than right in the middle of it.” After she’s come through the rough patch or reached some sort of conclusion is when she feels like she’s best able to add something valuable to the conversation.
Faulkner’s written about how her first pregnancy, with her daughter Ginger, was rough mentally and emotionally—and about how her second pregnancy, with her son, Rad, was worse to put it mildly. And she opened up about how although the third time wasn’t exactly a charm, it was better. She even offered tips for those enduring similar experiences.
Now a few months into their new normal, the mom of three can honestly report that she’s doing well. “I feel great. I feel really great,” she says.
What’s made the difference? “I’ve allowed myself to have help,” says Faulkner. Scheduled child care, regular therapy sessions and an arsenal of tools to help her handle any “episodes” have made a huge impact.
Plus, because this isn’t her first rodeo, Faulkner knows a long night or tough afternoon won’t last forever. “There are phases of mother- hood and phases in childhood, and they come and they go,” she says. “I’ve realized I’m in charge, but I’m not in control.” And that has made all the difference.
Photos: Keri Hale Photography (kitchen), Becky Kimball (dance party), Heather Mildenstein (bucket list)