Meet A Houston Mom: Meet Rania Mankarious – Host of the Balanced Voice Podcast | West University Moms

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?

I was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I moved to Houston in 2004 after getting married. 

Child(ren) and Age(s)? 

I had 3 kids 3 years apart and they are all still quite young! 

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…

I am shy, am moved to tears very easily, but am also very strong. I have no issue fighting for something aggressively and tackling things head-on.  

Favorite local activities to do in Houston? 

While I should say “running in Memorial Park” – the truth is, I love Houston restaurants and I love going out to eat! 

Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?

Of course Tiny’s No. 5, Helen’s, Milk & Cookies! Beyond that, anything in the River Oaks District makes us all so happy! My kids love Le Colonial and Toulouse for outdoor dining. Sal y Pimienta is like a second home to us. Tony’s and La Table are consistent favorites. Bludorn is another one!

What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out? 

It’s nearly impossible to plan a time for pampering and/or mom’s night out these days. 

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!

Beyond being a mom and involved in the kids’ lives – my biggest commitment is to Crime Stoppers of Houston and the many things we are doing. While I am excited about all of it, I am really thrilled to have our new podcast: The Balanced Voice Podcast. This has offered us a unique way to have difficult but balanced conversations that offer solutions. The roster of past guests has been incredible – please join us and follow what we are doing! Also, let us know what topics you want to hear about and who you want to hear from! Email: szuiker@crime-stoppers.org

How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

Absolutely. Everything we do is in partnership with the Houston community. Moving to Houston was very hard for me years ago, now I cannot imagine living my life anywhere else. I love this community and the people in it. I also get to work with the best staff in town and the great board members, volunteers, partners, and donors! I feel thankful every single day! 

What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?

My advice changes based on the stage of your life your kids are in – and where you are in your career but for me, I started running Crime Stoppers when my kids were little. Early on in my career at Crime Stoppers, I was challenged to build the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters anywhere in the world. Needless to say, from the get-go, the job was very demanding. I knew I could handle it but I didn’t want my girls to ever resent the work or my commitment to it so I often explained that they had “power” over much of it. For example, I’d tell them the moment they wanted me to pull back or even resign, it would become a true consideration. This gave them a say in what I was choosing and made them feel both part of the work and the successes. To date, not only do they support and champion my position but they often write that one day they want to “take over Crime Stoppers” so they can “continue the important work their mom does every day.” It means more to me than words can say. And of course, I still have many moments of guilt – but I allow myself equal moments of grace, time, and pause. I think more of us need to do this! 

What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids? 

Exercise more. Once you have kids, you’ll absolutely love them with all you have but pregnancy will take a toll on your body!! Exercise preemptively!! Also, sleep in more often; sit and bed and watch your favorite movie more often; have an ice cream Sunday on the couch more often and when you feel like doing nothing – actually stop and do nothing. It’s amazing how quickly your time will become the property of those kids you love so much – but savor it when it’s truly your own! 

Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?

Starbucks —> Wine —> Netflix. 

Rania Mankarious podcast

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