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Mom story: I’m a reality show star

The world has watched Emily Maynard look for love on ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but despite the highs and lows dating brings, the most important person in Emily’s life is always her daughter, Ricki, 7. Emily opens up to SheKnows about motherhood and life in the spotlight.

by Emily Maynard
as told to Julie Weingarden Dubin

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a mom. My daughter, Ricki, is such a kind and happy child and there is no one in this world that I’d rather be with than Ricki. I make mistakes, but I take so much pride in being a mother that I push myself to be better each day.

Emily Maynard and daughter Ricki

Image credit: Becca Bond Photography

I know there will always be people who have negative things to say about my decision to appear on reality shows, but I whole-heartedly feel that being on The Bachelorette was one of the best experiences of my life. The producers of the show were so generous and understanding of the fact that I’m a mom and they were totally accommodating throughout the entire filming.

Women have it hard enough and I just wish that we could all be more supportive and see the good in each other. We’re all just doing the best we can!

Keeping the faith

When I look back at some of the things I’ve been through, I honestly wonder how I made it. But it’s my faith that always helps me. Without my faith, I’m sure I’d be a wreck! I keep a prayer journal and every morning before Ricki wakes up I take a couple minutes to write down all the ways in which I’m blessed. It may sound simple or silly, but it’s changed my life and I find it’s a great way to start the day!

Despite romantic highs and lows, I always stay strong for my daughter. I think being a mom has given me a different outlook on dating than a lot of single girls these days. My heart is so full and it’s helped me to see the bigger picture and realize that in the end everything is going to be fine.

Designing Mom

I love all things girly — from clothes to makeup to jewelry! I love experimenting and finding new ways to express myself.

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I couldn’t resist the opportunity to design my own jewelry line for Towne & Reese, a jewelry company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. My line, “Emily Maynard for Towne & Reese,” debuts this spring on the Town & Reese site.

I’ve been involved in every step of the design process, which I’ve absolutely loved. This isn’t something I’m just throwing my name on — I take a lot of pride in my jewelry and in all of the hard work that’s gone into creating it.

Giving back

Emily Maynard

Image credit: Thein La

No matter what I do, being a mom is my No. 1 job. My daughter, Ricki, is the center of my world and she keeps me so busy chasing after her! It’s so important to me that she understands the importance of giving back, so we spend a lot of our time volunteering in our local community and through our church.

I volunteer at A Child’s Place, an organization in downtown Charlotte working to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. I’m also working toward launching my website which I hope will become a destination for girls and women of all ages to share in the experience of being female. From relationship troubles to makeup tips, I want to create a space for girls to be girls and support each other.

Staying grounded

I think the most important thing for any mom is to teach your children about what matters in life and also remind yourself of those things daily. I’m the same person I was before I went on TV and my priorities haven’t changed at all — I try to focus on others.

At the end of the day, I’m just a normal mom who loves my child more than anything in the world. I see being in the spotlight as a responsibility and a blessing to be able to give back to others in a larger way.

Mom Wisdom

All women need someone or something they can look to for support outside of themselves. Whether some form of religion or spirituality, or friends and family, it’s important to stay connected. I know how easy it is to feel alone in hard times and I’ve found so much comfort and support when I remember to reach out.

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