Family Life

Whitney Presley, PhD

OCCUPATION: education specialist, owner of Le DOODLE
HUSBAND: Steven Presley
CHILDREN: Walker (3), Eden (newborn)
HOBBIES: running, traveling, painting

Whitney Presley is a Doctor, an entrepreneur, and a super mom. She recently got her PhD in educational leadership and started her own business, Le DOODLE (a cotton candy catering company that serves all types of organic cotton candy), all while being a mother to her three-year-old boy–and with a little one on the way! That being said, she knows a lot about patience, perseverance, and setting aside time for yourself so you don’t get lost in the craziness that is parenthood. Parenthood isn’t all craziness, though; lots of it is about enjoying the little things and soaking up all the love you can get before they aren’t so little anymore.

What does a normal day look like for you?
WHITNEY: A normal day typically involves me fixing breakfast for my son and getting him ready for school, then my husband brings him to school. Once he leaves for school, I check my business emails, and I may have a client meeting for an event where we discuss details of the event and do site visits for it. I also spend time creating content for my business page, and in the afternoon I’ll pick my son up from school and do some sort of activity with him like going for a walk or taking him to get ice cream. Then it’s preparing for dinner and bedtime.

What are some of the joys and challenges of raising your child?
WHITNEY: One of the joys would be watching our son learn and grow. It brings me immense joy to watch his little personality grow each day, and we’re so excited to welcome our little girl, Eden, and see what her personality will be like and how those two will interact! 

A challenge would be trying to find that balance as a working mom and dad. I just finished grad school, and I’m running a business, and sometimes you reach these points where you don’t want to miss any moment with your child, so you have to learn how to juggle. It’s a lot.

How would you describe yourself as a mom?
WHITNEY: Supportive, patient, and inspiring. Patience and support play hand-in-hand, as I want my children to always know they have a strong support system in me and that I’m taking time to develop their needs. Everything I do, whether it’s getting my PhD or starting a business, I want to be an inspiration to my children and show them not to give up on their dreams.

What do you like to do as a family?
WHITNEY: My husband and I are both very busy, so we cherish the little moments. My son loves to build forts, and sometimes it’ll be just the three of us under blankets, pillows, and a flashlight. We also love taking him to the park and riding around on a golf cart around the neighborhood.

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
WHITNEY: Just experiencing the love our child has for me. He shows his love in different ways, like when he has the biggest smile on his face when I wake him up and when he’s so excited when I pick him up from school. You really can’t put a price tag on that.

What has parenthood taught you?
WHITNEY: Perseverance. I have always been a driven person, whether in my career or in my educational aspirations. Then you bring motherhood into that, which is a career in and of itself, and it can be challenging. There will be days where I feel like I have a million things going on, but I have to keep remembering to never give up and to do my best. 

What are some things you hope to teach your children?
WHITNEY: Humility and compassion. I want them to understand where real values come from and to teach them to volunteer and give back to the community. I also want them to know they’re not better than anyone because we are all in this together.

What is something your job has taught you about parenting?
WHITNEY: My job as an educator has really prepared me for the educational side of raising a child. I’ve had so many experiences of working with different children and parents from all walks of life, which have molded my perception of what it’s like to be a parent and have helped me decide on the type of parent I want to be. My job has also opened my eyes to the humility and compassion that I want our children to have for others.

How do you tackle any challenges you face as a mom?
WHITNEY: With patience, careful evaluation of the situation, and an attempt to determine the best situation moving forward. Having a really strong support system helps, too, whether it be your spouse, family, or friends. Remember that it takes a village to raise children and know it’s okay that you can’t take on every challenge yourself. You can reach out for help!

How do you make time to relax?
WHITNEY: You honestly just have to schedule time for yourself or else you’ll get lost in parenthood and its challenges. For me, running is relaxing. It’s a great time for me to be by myself. I had to find that time to go for a run, so I had a conversation with my husband about what we can do so I can find that time every week.

What personality trait of yours does your child also have?
WHITNEY: He is definitely a hard worker. When he tries to complete tasks, he won’t give up, and he’ll try different ways to succeed. I also notice his compassion. His teachers will often tell us that if a child falls down at school, he will run and give them a hug.

Do you have any advice for other parents?
WHITNEY: Not to compare yourself to others. Today’s society is very social media-focused, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in what you see other parents and children are doing. It’s easy to go down this rabbit hole where you’re questioning your own parenting or comparing your children to other children. Remember to do your best for your child and tap into your support system. Despite what you see online or what other moms are doing, just know we’re all in this together and trying to raise our children.

Quick Q&A
In my pantry, you will always find…Cheez-Its
My favorite dessert is…bread pudding
My favorite food is…sushi
My favorite holiday is…Thanksgiving
My guilty pleasure is… handbags
The first thing I do when I wake up is…drink a glass of water
I’m always laughing at…my child
My dream travel spot is…Italy and the Maldives

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