Meet Claire Trainor- local mom of two boys, and Author of the children’s book DifFerENT! Read on to find out more about Claire…
How many children do you have and what are their names and ages?
I have two boys, Thatcher (3) and Theodore (Teddy, 1).
Where do your children go to school?
Thatcher attends Mom’s Morning Out at Redeemer (Westmaple) and Teddy isn’t in school yet.
What made you decide to raise your family here?
I grew up in Bloomfield Hills and absolutely LOVED my childhood. Birmingham/ Bloomfield is a very family-friendly community. The network of moms who have lifted me up since having my boys has truly made all the difference. My family is also nearby, which is a game-changer, especially when you have kids. The seasons Michigan has to offer provide fun for the whole family. I love crisp Fall trips to the various Cider Mills and the endless activities Summers in Michigan provide on the lakes and outdoors. The Birmingham Parks are a family favorite year-round, whether it’s for the slides and swings in the sunshine, or for sledding in the snow.
What’s your favorite family activity in Birmingham/Bloomfield Hills?
Our favorite family activity involves anything outdoors, whether it’s biking for ice cream at Stroh’s in the summer, biking to our favorite parks, sledding at Booth Park, or being out on Orchard Lake with the boys.
Where are your favorite places to eat with your kids in town?
Team Trainor LOVES Little Daddy’s for early dinners. Our toddler is a wild one, so the casual atmosphere at Little Daddy’s and endless kids meal options is right up our alley. We also love sitting outside at Market with the boys during warmer weather, and Commonwealth is my go-to with the boys.
What are your kids favorite classes/activities around town?
During the winter months, open gym at Troy Gymnastics really saves me. Thatcher can jump and climb and slide out all his energy. I also loved indoor Total Soccer in Royal Oak and Detroit Kid City is always a fun option. Great Lakes Crossing is an awesome rainy-day spot; the boys love lunch at Rain Forest Café followed by Peppa Pig’s Playground. Both Thatcher and Teddy did Kindermusik at the Community House in Birmingham and loved it. It was a great outlet for them, as well as for me to meet other moms. My husband took Teddy to his classes, which was a great way for baby and Dad to bond. The parks around Birmingham are always great options for an afternoon or morning of fun outdoors.
Tell us about your book “DifFerENT”.
I wrote DifFerENT when I was pregnant with Thatcher. The inspiration for the book was my niece, Emma, who lives in Japan. Emma is the oldest cousin and several years older than my boys, so she and I have had a really special relationship since the start. I wanted to write a children’s book that really celebrates our differences. I think it’s so important to be accepting of people of all walks of life, of all backgrounds, races, religions and those with different viewpoints. This story was a way of driving home that message in a fun and playful story of a young girl from Japan who attends school in Michigan and navigates being seen as “different” due to her accent. I hope it makes kids feel like what makes them different is really their superpower- what separates them from the rest in the best way possible. I included the bento boxes as a fun nod to the Japanese culture (my sister-in-law’s bento boxes are true works of art). I also included them as a fun activity for parents to do with their kids, demonstrating some very simple recipes in the back of the book. If I can make these bento boxes, anybody can, because anyone who knows me knows I really can’t cook!
Book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/DifFerENT-Claire-Trainor/dp/0999221000 or just search “Different by Claire Trainor on Amazon”
Instagram: @clairelizabethtrainor *I love signing and sending personalized books. Find me on Instagram and direct message me. I also have limited edition Yukiko dolls to accompany the book.
What do you do to balance your own life and mommyhood? What do you do for “me” time?
When I had Thatcher, I really thought I had to prove I was a “great mom” who spent every waking moment with her baby. When Teddy came around, I had learned so much and gained so much perspective. I now know that the well-rested version of me who takes care of herself and her kids is how I’m able to really show up for my boys and be the best mom to them. You have to take time for yourself so you don’t get burnt out. Communication is key- state when you need a break and really plan ahead and block out the time, whether it’s a gym session, which always re-energizes me, or a cup of coffee with girlfriends, or a solo trip to Target. Also, recognize those moms who are really there for you and want the best for you and lean on them for support. Chances are they’ve felt the same way as you and can really offer support and love (and wine!). My girlfriends are my lifelines.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
People might be surprised to know that I love extreme experiences, like sky diving and bungee jumping. And they may also be surprised to know that I deal with anxiety. Sometimes the image we project to others is that we have everything figured out, and while I try to be as transparent as possible, especially about motherhood, most of the times those that don’t know you will only see your highlight reel. I LOVE motherhood, but I’ve also struggled with anxiety, exhaustion, and feeling like I’m not doing enough, whether it be not doing enough for my kids, or not doing enough to achieve my ambitions and future career goals. I’ve learned that just spending quality time with your kids is ENOUGH, though, and that taking time for yourself to pursue your dreams and what makes you you is beneficial to everyone.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband, Andy, is truly the most supportive husband and hands-on Dad, and that makes all the difference in the world. And my sister, Julie, who has kids close in age to mine and also happens to live right next door is my lifeline. She’s always there to talk me off the ledge, lend support, or let me know that I’m enough, and that is everything.
Do you have a special hobby?
I’m currently working on a novel, which has always been a dream of mine.
Do you have a charity that you are passionate about/actively involved in?
I’m on the board for Humble Design, which is a non-profit near and dear to my heart that I truly believe in. They furnish homes for families (lots of women and children, men too, and now veterans), who have been previously homeless. Humble uses all donated goods (check them out if you have furniture, dining sets, or toys to donate: www.humbledesign.org). Humble truly turns an empty house into a home for these families, many of whom have children who have never had their own bed. It’s truly remarkable to see and the retention rate of families who stay in their homes and don’t return to homelessness is tremendous.
Anything else you would like to tell our followers?
I want all the moms to know that being a mom is hard work and they are doing GREAT!!! Find your people and lean on them.
Thank you Claire, for your authenticity and openness about life as a mom! Your energy and passion for life is admirable. You give the best reminder to all of us, that we are ENOUGH to our children, and how we appear on the outside is not always how we feel on the inside! We all need more of that honesty, because I can guarantee as moms we all feel that way at one time or another! Thank you!