Meet Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Hello! My name is Mallary Tenore Tarpley, and I’m a mother of two. My daughter, Madelyn, was born in February 2016 and my son Tucker was born in September 2017. They’re exactly 19 months apart. I’m married to Troy, my fun-loving and supportive partner who is always finding ways to make me and our kids laugh, even on tantrum-filled days. 

I’m always in awe of Madelyn and Tucker, and I love seeing how their little minds are developing in this stage of life. As Madelyn and Tucker have grown, I’ve grown alongside them in unexpected ways. My children, it turns out, are the best teachers I’ve ever had. They’ve taught me what it means to truly empathize, to put someone else’s needs before my own, to find peace in moments of chaos. They’ve been the most important part of my life story to date.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember and started writing about motherhood and mother-daughter relationships long before I became a mom. After my mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 11, writing helped me grieve and cope. Now as a mom, writing helps me celebrate the joys, and make sense of the challenges, that accompany motherhood. My writing is shaped by my experiences, so I often write about motherhood, loss, and food – and how the three are intertwined. I also love writing about nursing/pumping, weird parenting wins, and life as a working mom.

I work full-time as the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. I feel fulfilled by my job, which involves a mix of program management, fundraising, event-planning, occasional teaching, and more. But for as much as I love my job, I experience mom-guilt and the “juggle struggle” every day. While juggling motherhood and work, I try to think in terms of work-life harmony rather than work-life balance. Balance suggests that the various roles we take on — as a mom, a partner, an employee, etc. – need to be given equal attention and weight. Harmony suggests that these roles can coexist and even complement one another. And so I go about each day seeking this harmony in hopes that it’ll bring me — and my family — happiness.

I also find happiness in running, doing yoga, spending weekends with family and friends, being outdoors, reading memoirs, and writing. Since becoming a mom, I haven’t had as much time to write for pleasure and I’ve missed it. That’s one of the many reasons why I’m looking forward to writing for the Austin Moms Blog. I love the idea of being part of a community of mothers who want to support one another and share their experiences, tips, and lessons learned.

I think one of the greatest assets of mom blogs is that they can connect women who are at similar stages in life. They can impart wisdom and wit, humor and happiness. They can help remind us that we’re not alone. 

With that in mind, I’m excited to share my stories with you as a new Austin Moms Blog contributor. I also want to hear from you — in the comments section of my posts, on social media, etc. Most of the lessons I’ve learned as a parent have come from other moms’ stories and from my own on-the-job training. I look forward to getting to know you, and learning from you, while on this journey!  

Mallary Tenore Tarpley has two children – Madelyn (2016) and Tucker (2017) -- who are exactly 19 months apart. She adores being a mom and is happiest when she’s spending quality time with her children and her husband Troy. When she’s not lugging around one toddler and chasing the other, she works full-time as Associate Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, and as a lecturer in the School of Journalism, at the University of Texas at Austin. She moved to Round Rock with her family in March 2017 after living in St. Petersburg, Florida, for 10 years. As a Massachusetts native, she misses her family and friends up north but feels at home in the Lone Star State. She loves writing personal essays about motherhood and occasionally publishes them on babytarpley.com. You can find her on Twitter at @mallarytenore.

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