HOMETOWN / WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW? Orig. from Washington State, now living in St Louis, MO
ON THE WEB The Mommy Padawan
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Two
DAY JOB Stay-at-home mom
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married
FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK My favorite children’s book is “I Love You, Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt. I fell in love with this story about a little boy who keeps trying to think of horrible, scary things to become but is never able to come up with anything that would make his mom stop loving and taking care of him. I think it’s an important message and loved reading it to my boys.
Right now, my toddlers favorite bedtime story is “The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover” – a classic that I liked when I was little as well!
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
My family is my work 🙂 After being laid off while on maternity leave, I found a few part time/temporary jobs here and there but nothing seemed a great fit. I was really unhappy with the poor level of care I felt my son was getting in daycare and it cost almost as much as I made so all this and more led to me staying home full time. It was really scary and uncomfortable at first for my husband and myself both (one income – yikes!) but I’m so happy and thankful for this opportunity now and feel I’m exactly where I should be. Now the challenge is carving out time for myself – to write, exercise, read and sometimes just for private, quiet time.
HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?
I was very wild in my younger days, that’s for sure. I’m quite a bore now compared but I’m also more responsible, more settled and have a better, stronger sense of myself. Being a parent helped me understand what unconditional love really is, how it can feel so good to give everything of yourself to another person and how to care for and nurture another human being but also allow them space to grow and experience things on their own. I’m very over protective at times but feel like everything I’ve experienced was for a reason.
HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
Becoming a parent changes everything, relationships included. I don’t think I completely understood how important and vital communication is to a relationship until having kids! You are stretched and exhausted to your limits and stressed to the max at times. My husband always says, it’s the highest highs and lowest lows. You have to really learn to not just to feel but to truly express your gratitude, support, respect and love for one another – and express it often. And to make time for your relationship, especially romantically. While not always easy, I feel like parenthood has changed things all for the better.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
This was a hard question for me. I tell my kids often that I love them and I want them to know I am here for them no matter what. I try to love, nurture and care for my children with all my heart but I am always questioning or doubting myself as well. Did I help my son enough or do to much? Did I answer that question well enough? Did I handle that situation correctly? I feel I am a natural mother, like this was something I was always meant to be but there is no built in manual.
When you have a baby, someone doesn’t drop all the answers in your lap. And it’s really hard at times. That’s why my web site is called the Mommy Padawan: padawan means beginner or student. I try to be open to the lessons my life and family can teach me and to always do better.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
My husband is so loving but also has the patience of a saint most of the time. He loves teaching, talking about and showing our son the world around us.
As a weakness for both of us, I think we both have to remind ourselves that each child is born a totally unique individual with their own personality, likes and dislikes. It can be tempting to get frustrated and wonder why a child might do things so differently or be so picky about certain things but this is also what makes each one of us special and our own person.
WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
It’s just me and my husband. We’re a pretty good team and usually know when one needs to tag out for a break as well.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
Oh my gosh, how do people answer this one? Haha! Every day I have great, awesome moments and terrible, frustrating ones as well. For me, parenting is a never ending learning process. Just when you think you have something figured out, the game changes! It’s a great reminder to stay open, honest, kind and patient, with yourself and your family both.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
This might sound odd, but I feel like one of my best parenting moments was giving birth. Seeing my children for the first time, making that connection, feeling the overwhelming love and just being totally in awe of them.