A self-described "robomom," Debbie Vasquez wanted a new way to bond with her robot-loving sons.
Enter competitive 'bot battles!
The mom of two teens has joined her family on the newest season of "BattleBots," which premiered June 23 on ABC, and the Vasquez fam is bringing their ultra-sharp 'bot Splatter into the supercharged arena.
Teaming up with husband Jeff, who's a senior engineering technician, and sons Matthew and Jason, Debbie is ready to take on the competition.
Debbie spoke with mom.me over email, telling us about the compromises that come with teamwork, her boys' passion for science and why she's not crazy about the term "YOLO."
What inspired you to start working on badass robots?
My boys were hooked on "BattleBots" at a very young age, basically since they were toddlers. My inspiration to get involved was basically knowing that if I didn't get involved, I would get left in the dust.
What are the best and most challenging parts about working with family on a robotics team, as well as a show like "BattleBots"?
Best: Spending time with my family, brainstorming new ideas and working together on a common goal.
Challenging: Taking all of these great ideas and compromising so everybody's happy.
You're showing serious #girlpower and #mompower. What do you want your kids to learn or take away from your experience?
"BattleBots" is what initially sparked the boys interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). I think what they took away from the experience was this excitement and renewed energy to keep pursuing their passion. They have an end goal—they want to do well in school so they can have careers doing what they love.
What quality makes for a good mom?
Having your family be your top priority, and having a good sense of humor.
What is your favorite quality in a dad?
Leading by example.
What did you think you'd be when you grew up?
What trait do you hope your kid inherits from you?
My street smarts and intuitiveness.
What is your idea of misery?
Having to wake up really early before the sun rises.
If you could switch lives with anyone, who would you switch with?
My kids—they've got it pretty good.
What's the one quality you wish you had as a parent?
I wish I was a better, more health-conscious cook for myself and my family.
What is the social media platform you can't live without?
I'm mostly only on Facebook ... I think I could live without it.
What was the last thing you binge-watched?
What talent do you wish you had?
I would love to be an awesome tennis player.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Police officers, fire fighters and the armed forces.
What word or phrase do you never want to hear again?
"YOLO"—usually just an excuse for bad decisions.
What is your favorite motto?
Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it.