Before I had a baby, I was really unsure of whether I would stay home with him / her or not. I’m a big advocate for encouraging mothers, no matter what they decide to do, because being a mama is already hard enough without all the unnecessary guilt others like to impose. We all have different circumstances, challenges and struggles. When we had Cove, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to decide for myself whether I wanted to stay at home or not, and after returning from maternity leave (to the most amazing job, which I loved), I felt like God had another plan for my life. There was a little guy at home who I wanted to spend every second with and a husband who was all in with their startup. More than my boys needing me, I needed them. I was so excited when the beautiful Hannah Rennee asked me to be a part of the “Let’s Be Honest Mama’s” interview group to share some insight into my life as a stay at home mom.
Motherhood itself has been the biggest growing experience for me. I have learned more through it than probably any other experience in my life, and I know it will continue. There are so many things I wish I would have known (and I am sure people tried to tell me) before having a baby, but I think it’s something you have to experience for yourself. Being able to stay at home with my baby and have a side hustle I’ve always dreamed about, is one of the coolest things ever. I am so grateful for technology and how it has given me this opportunity. I’ll stop rambling now, because I could go on and on about motherhood and just answer the interview questions…
1. Describe a typical days schedule.
We typically start our mornings bright and early at 7 am. After lots of coffee and breakfast, we usually play in the playroom or I try to get ready for the day. We are still taking two naps, so Cove goes down for his first and I catch up on emails, blogging and chores around the house (often times finish getting ready). In between naps we usually get out of the house for a few hours. Sometimes it’s the park, a play date, Chick-fil-a, grocery runs or just walking around somewhere. We both go stir crazy if we’re inside all day. Then back for an afternoon nap, and I finish doing some work and start prepping for dinner.
In the past year, I started cooking more, and I really enjoy making fresh meals for our family and the time we share eating together. That’s not something I ever thought I would hear myself saying, but I am thankful for the joy it’s brought all of us. After Cove’s afternoon nap, we play, read or go outside until Ian finishes up working, and then we have dinner as a family and hang out until bath time and bed. After the little guy goes down, it’s mine and Ian’s time together. I’ll tidy up the house from the days activities and we’ll read, watch tv and hang out together (we have some exciting stuff coming to TST soon, so lately we’ve been putting in the extra hours working – more to come).
2.What is one thing as a mama that makes your heart pitter-patter?
Definitely all the physical affection. I love when Cove stops playing and lays a big one on me or when he runs up to me, squeezes my legs or neck and sits in my lap. Another huge thing I love is seeing him learn. I never thought I would get so much joy to see the lightbulb go on in his head. Makes me so proud.
3. How has being a mother/homemaker challenged you?
In a lot of senses, motherhood has stripped me of pride and selfishness in areas I didn’t even know existed. I’ve learned to give more of myself than I ever thought possible. It was a huge and heavy reality to take that bundle of joy home from the hospital and realize the weight I carried in raising him to be a kind and strong young man. It’s also challenged me to be the best version of myself. He hears everything I say and mimics everything I do. If we were to really look at our lives and how we interact and have relationships with people, a huge portion of that is shaped from how we were raised by our own parents. It makes me want to live every moment with such intention that Cove always knows where I stand on things and that even when I mess up (which I most definitely will), I need to be honest about it with myself and everyone else around me and do better next time.
4. Do you struggle with routine or do you have a happy reliable routine down?
I wish I was a more laid back person. I think having a kid helped me release some of those uptight tendencies I had, but we love a schedule. We started Cove on the Moms On Call schedule at about one month and it changed our life for the better. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but it was definitely for us. We will probably always have a routine, just because I know Cove and I both do well with it. (We’ll see how our next baby does with it… We have a feeling he / she will be a total wild card.)
5. What are two things you do for yourself to recharge? Maybe in that coveted “me time” or during nap time?
My work is definitely a huge outlet for me. I’m super grateful to be able to do what I love from home and still raise my baby, but I really needed that creative outlet and adult interaction. It gives me so much energy and passion. Ian and I also schedule regular date nights / days where it’s just the two of us and we either do something we did as newlyweds or we go somewhere we’ve never been. It always leaves me feeling motivated and full of life. But love does that doesn’t it? And lastly, I love a good girls night. After Cove goes down to bed, I will meet up with friends for tacos or coffee. So grateful I have a husband that always encourages me to pursue my passions and have fun. Shameless plug!
6. How would you describe your parenting style in three words?
Intentional. Passionate. Cultivating. (Might seem strange, but when we love our kids, we discipline them. Check this article out)
7. When do you feel the most joy in your day? Be honest even if its once those kiddos are in bed asleep.
Definitely the moments when we’re out exploring and Cove and I are laughing like kids together whether it’s at the park, Target or in our backyard. I hope he always thinks I’m this fun and funny. Also when we’re hanging out as a family of three when Ian is done working. I know that sounds clićhe or silly, but since the minute I started dating Ian, we both had this dream of raising babies and family together, and that’s what we have now. It’s those moments where were dancing like goof balls or reading the same five books a thousand times that I realize I am living in my dream.
That, and my alone time in the shower – haha.
8. Do you ever feel a since of guilt for being a stay at home mom?
Never. This is one of the best jobs in the world. I really wish that there wouldn’t be so much judgement or shaming for either way of thinking though. I remember when I was trying to make the decision of whether I would stay at home or stay at my job (which I loved) and how many people felt like they needed to tell me what I should do or tried to make me feel guilty for what I was doing. If everyone looked and did the same thing, it would be such a boring world. No mom needs to feel guilty either way when she is doing the best she can for her and her babies.
9. Share three activities/places/crafts you currently enjoy with your babes.
- Picking up rocks and exploring outside usually by the lake. It’s our happiest place and it’s Cove’s favorite thing to do right now.
- Traveling or day trips. We don’t get to do them often, but I guess that’s why they are special. Visiting new places with my baby is one of the best feelings in the world.
- Listening and playing music. Music is so special to me and Ian, and we love to share in that experience with Cove. He already loves to play drums and dances every time music is on.
10. Lastly, just for fun, how many babies do you want to have?
Two. And if there was a third, it would most likely not be planned – ha.
To check out all the honest mamas out there look below:
Mary Salas honeywild.co // Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Hannah Rennee hannahreneeblog.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Tanya Taylor hislittlelady.com // Carla Thompson curiousnatalia.com // Kymberly Janelle lifewithkymberlyjanelle.com // Emily Lindsey happilylindsey.com //
Some of my favorite iPhone pics of motherhood: