Pensacola Moms to Know: Meet Rachael Dannelley

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Pensacola “Moms to Know”

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We are grateful to our sponsor, KIA AutoSport of Pensacola, for supporting our mission of educating, encouraging, and empowering local moms through the lifelong journey of parenthood.

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Meet Rachael Dannelley

Rachael Dannelley with her husband and two sonsTell us about your family. How many kids do you have? What are their ages?

My husband Joshua and I have been married almost 11 years and have two beautiful sons, Colin (age 3) and Mason (age 1).

What do you do for a living?

I am a CPA, and I have worked in public accounting for most of my career, but I recently started a new position as the Controller for Jerry Pate Company.

What do you like about raising a family in Pensacola? What is challenging about raising a family here?

Pensacola is a fantastic place to raise children, and there are always festivals and community events to participate in during every season of the year. The most challenging part of raising a family in Pensacola for me is just not having our extended families nearby for last-minute support.

Rachael Dannelley and her two sonsWhat do you consider to be the greatest joy of motherhood? The greatest challenge?

Witnessing my sons in an act of kindness (sharing a snack or a toy, holding the door for someone, using kind words) is one of the greatest joys of motherhood. Like most working moms would say, the greatest challenge is finding the right balance and coping with the guilt of not being present at all times in their lives.

What do you do to recharge? How do you practice self-care?

As an accountant who sits in front of a computer for long hours at work, I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Whether it’s playing at the park or on the beach with the kids or even doing some yard work, just being out in the sunshine and fresh air makes me happy! I also don’t mind relaxing while getting a good pedicure every so often too!

What is your favorite local thing to do/place to go?

With the kids, we love to go to Benny Russell Park. My husband and I like trying out new restaurants and breweries all around town for date nights.

What book are you reading (or listening to) right now? Do you have a favorite podcast?

I am not a fan of the quiet so I’m always listening to music or a podcast. My guilty pleasures lately have been Drama Queens and Dateline podcasts.

What is your favorite local business in Pensacola?

Thanks to my serious caffeine addiction, Bodacious Brew is one of my favorite spots!

What is your best advice for a new mom or a mom in a difficult season?

You are not a failure! Especially in the days of “Pinterest Moms” and perfection portrayed on social media, all moms FEEL like a failure at some point or another, but it just isn’t true. Parenting isn’t easy for anyone no matter what situation they are in so just keep on keeping on! Sleepless nights and toddler meltdowns get the best of all of us. Keep loving those babies AND yourself!

What is the one thing you wish you could tell ALL moms about raising kids?

The saying “The days are long, but the years are short” is the truest statement about parenting. Some of the hard days seem like they might never end, but then suddenly, your chunky little baby is already dressing and feeding themselves and you aren’t sure how it even happened. Don’t take one second of it for granted!

Anything else you would like us to know about yourself that makes you uniquely you?

I am an adoptive mom. The journey through infertility and adoption both wrecked me and built me into the person that I am today. While neither of those things make me unique, when you are in the middle of it we as women often feel alone like “the only one.” I hope by being willing to talk about my journey, other women won’t feel as unique as I did for such a long time!

Rachael Dannelley with her husband and two sons

Pensacola Moms to Know

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The Navy brought Jen and her family to Pensacola in 2018 following a 3-year tour in Belgium. Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen’s career path took her to Washington, D.C., after college, where she lived until she married her husband, Tim, in 2007. Balancing family and career against the backdrop of military life has made her appreciate the importance of friendships, connections, and finding your “mom tribe” wherever “home” may be. While living in Belgium, Jen took on her most challenging role to date, that of a stay-at-home-mom to her two sons, Timothy and Charlie. In this position, she has been forced to face her fear of cooking, has learned that you never “catch up” on laundry and that she continuously works longer hours for less pay! Fueled by coffee, Pure Barre, and dry shampoo, she feels like she’s “winging it” when it comes to motherhood most of the time, but couldn’t imagine a more rewarding journey. She continues to learn from her kids every day.

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