The Urban Ohana
Ria Pretekin was born and raised in Los Angeles. But nine years ago, she decided to leave the Southland for another big city– Chicago. Her intention was to try something new, live in a different city for a year and come back home.
“I ended up falling in love with the city (Chicago),” Ria tells Mommy In Los Angeles®. “I even convinced my mom, dad and sister to leave sunny LA and move to Chicago.”
In the Windy City, Ria landed a job at the University of Chicago, got certified as a yoga instructor and became a mom. She launched her blog, Urban Ohana as a way of sharing her motherhood journey with friends and family living in different parts of the country. But her blog has been steadily gaining readership outside of her family and getting attention from brands and organizations that want to collaborate with her. Ria writes about a variety of topics, and always stresses her Filippino cultural pride.
Her motherhood journey includes several years as a single mom and she credits her family for having been the support she needed when she had her kids.
“I could not have survived without the support from my incredible parents and sister,” she says. “I am so fortunate to have their help in raising my kids.”
Currently, Ria is living with her husband and raising Bella Rae, 5; and Jonah Rian, 4 months. She’s also making occasional trips to Los Angeles with the children so they can get to know the place where “mommy” grew up.
Congratulations Ria! We love your story and your blog! We can’t wait to have you visit us again… (and hopefully move back one day)!
What inspired you to become a blogger?
My sister encouraged me to create a blog and told me that she really thought I could do well documenting my motherhood journey. Since I have family all over in California, Ohio, Illinois and the Philippines I thought it would be a great way for family and friends to read about my family’s adventures and feel connected to us even though we may be miles away.
What is your proudest Mommy Blogger Moment?
I am a private person and a perfectionist to the point of making myself stressed out. It was so scary to publish my first blog because I was letting the world in to my inner thoughts and exposing any errors in my writing. Writing my blog has allowed me to let go of that perfection and to open up and expose my authentic self.
What’s your favorite place to take the kids (while visiting) LA?
We never miss a trip to Disneyland. My entire family is Disney obsessed and we always spend at least one day at Disneyland or Disneyland California Adventure. When I was growing up, Disneyland was a special treat, something we did when we were celebrating something important so going there now with my kids brings me back to my childhood and makes me nostalgic of all the fun times I had there.
What’s your favorite LA hang out without the kids?
I love the Hollywood Bowl and no where else comes close the the sound, feel, and experience of watching a concert there.
What’s your best motherhood advice?
Trust your own instincts and don’t feel pressured to conform to traditional American norms of what good parenting is supposed to look like. I have found that a lot of the rules and suggestions for parenting do not consider the values that come from other cultural backgrounds. Being Filipina-American I have found that many of the tips and suggestions I find in books and parenting classes do not seem to line up with the way I was raised and what I find my gut tells me is right.
Connect with Ria!
Blog: Urban Ohana
Instagram handle: @urbanohana
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/ria.abesamis