Being a mama is hard. Doesn’t matter if you’re a work-outside-the-home mom, a SAHM, a work-part-time-outside-the-home mom, or work-from-home mom. Whatever your specific situation, it’s hard and has its challenges. I’ve realized more and more how different motherhood looks for everyone. There really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ (or even ‘one size fits most’) category. And for goodness sake, let’s stop talking about motherhood like it isn’t work. It’s a job. It’s THE most important job and the hardest! Maybe if we change the conversation, our culture will value the work of motherhood a bit more.
But I digress…
This post was inspired by the lovely Hannah Renee from the Hannah Renee blog. She reached out to me and a few other mamas to share a bit more about what motherhood looks like for us. It looks different for everyone, but we can all agree that it is wonderful and we wouldn’t change it for the world. It was so fun to be apart of this collaboration! The other mamas are listed at the end of this post – go show them some love if you have a second! Now pour yourself some coffee and let’s chat!
- Describe a typical day’s schedule. I wish I could tell you that I woke up before my son, but I don’t. Maybe some day when he actually sleeps through the entire night and my sleep isn’t broken into 3-4 hour increments, I’ll wake up before him. Until then, I sleep when I can! We wake up around 7, I head straight to the coffee maker (after getting Charley, of course!), and get the coffee started. I get us some breakfast and then depending on what we have planned for the day, I put Elmo’s World on for Charley so I can get ready (thank God for Elmo!). If we don’t have anywhere to be, we just play and read and sometimes take our dog for a walk. I try to get us outside of the house at least once a day. It helps with everyone’s mood and I know it keeps me sane. Then we have lunch and Charley takes a nap. This is usually when I get to blog, edit photos, etc. It’s my creative time. I am trying to use some of that kid-free time for housework, but….balance, right?! 😉 After C’s nap we play or just do chores. I try to not go out on errands after his nap because I can’t handle the rush hour traffic! Daddy comes home, we eat dinner, then it’s play time with daddy until bedtime. Then, it’s adult time! Ha ha We enjoy our little guy but this is such an important time for us as a couple, especially since we don’t have the weekends together (I’m a nurse and I work part time on the weekends).
- What is one thing as a mama that makes your heart pitter-patter? When I see Charley sitting in his room ‘reading’ books or when I’m reading him a book before nap time or bedtime. Sometimes he’ll lean back and look up at me while I’m reading (cue heart melting!!). He has his favorite books right now and almost all of them are sappy books about how much we parents love our children. It’s the sweetest, but seriously makes me want to cry every time we read them! His favorites right now are by Nancy Tillman (Wherever you are, my love will find you + I’d know you anywhere, my love) and Caroline Jayne Church (I love you through and through + I will love you forever) – they are so special and I think it’s so sweet that he loves them so much!
- How has being a mother/homemaker challenged you? Putting someone’s needs before your own is hard. Even if it’s for someone you love so so much! I think I’ve been challenged the most to be patient and to be more selfless. Most days I feel selfish and impatient, but I know I’m growing in these areas more than I give myself credit. It’s a process!
- Do you struggle with routine or do you have a happy, reliable routine down? I’d like to think I have a relaxed routine… Ha ha We don’t have something planned every day (I think that may change once he’s in school or some sort of mother’s day out program), but there is a rhythm to our days and weeks, and I like that. I like allowing space for Charley to play. I know how important playing is for kids and how play is the work of childhood (thank you Mr. Rogers!!), so I try not to always be on the go. At the same time, I think it’s important for him to be out and about; it’s another way he can learn. And let’s be honest, groceries have to be bought, errands have to be run, and sometimes, mama just needs a coffee date with a friend!
- What are two things you do for yourself to recharge? Maybe in that coveted ‘me time’ or during nap time? I don’t have family close by, so my close friend watches Charley sometimes so I can go to the chiropractor and get an adjustment and a massage. That always helps SO much! I need to start prioritizing self care, and more often than my monthly chiro/massage visits. Yoga used to be a wonderful way for me to meditate and recharge. I need to start doing that again during his nap time! Oh and the second thing I do to recharge is a guilty pleasure of mine: I watch Grey’s Anatomy (any other Grey’s fans here?!).
- How would you describe your parenting style in 3 words? Gentle. Relaxed. Concerned. (Not sure if that last one counts, as I’m sure all parents feel concerned and stressed over the well being of their children!)
- When do you feel the most joy in your day? Be honest, even if it’s once those kids are in bed asleep! 😉 Ha ha I do enjoy when he’s asleep at night, but I feel the most joy in my day when I see him smile. He is so.much.fun. Seeing him smile at Elmo’s World or any DVD of his (it’s usually when a baby or little boy or girl comes on the screen), seeing him ‘read’ a book, seeing him bust a dance move (he’s actually really good & has amazing rhythm!), reading books with him before nap time or bedtime….whatever it is that particular day that makes him smile, that’s what makes me the happiest. Nothing beats that feeling.
- Do you ever feel a sense of guilt being a stay at home mom? Yup! I feel guilt a lot. Even though I get to be home with him during the week, I feel guilty for leaving on Saturday and sometimes Sunday. I feel guilty when I work on my blog or photography business and tote him along. I’m always trying to balance it all and it just feels hard sometimes. I’m proud to show him that I’m chasing my dreams and working hard, but at the same time, I don’t want to take on too much that I neglect my most cherished job of being his mother. Blerg! It’s a struggle, that’s for sure!
- Share 3 activities/places/crafts you currently enjoy with your babes. I love taking Charley to Barnes & Noble. They have a cute play area for children and he loves the stuffed animals and books. And he loves other kids, so it’s his little socialization! 😉 If it’s warmer, we go to the park. He is learning to slide and it’s his favorite thing. Right now he tries to walk down the slide and give me a heart attack. So the park means I have to hover a bit more! We also meet friends for coffee/brunch and I’m pretty sure Charley loves going on Target runs just as much as I do. He gets excited when we go to the Starbucks inside (he flirts with the barista every time!) and whenever we get to the baby/toddler clothes section. I think he may love clothes like mama (sorry babe!)
- Lastly, just for fun, how many babies do you want to have? I think I’d like to have 3, but who knows! I’d definitely like to have another one. <3
I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a bit better and that you felt encouraged by my honest answers to these questions! NO ONE has it all together, despite how much we try to make it seem that way (especially on social media!). Now I invite you to grab another cup of coffee and visit these mamas’ blogs! As always, email me or leave me a comment if you have any questions. We’re in this together! xx
Photography by Jordan Mobley Photography