WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A FIRST TIME MOTHER?
Take time for yourself! Self-care is so important as a mother for our metal health alone. I don’t and still don’t do this enough but I’m trying to take my own advice.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A MOM WHO EXPERIENCES LOSS ON HER MOTHERHOOD JOURNEY? HOW DID YOU COPE WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE OF LOSS?
This one is hard because we all experience loss so differently and cope differently. We were smacked right in the face, honestly after 2 healthy pregnancies and babies miscarriage wasn’t really in my mind when we found out we were pregnant for the third time. After it all happened I knew the exact moment we lost our turtle, unfortunately I showed no signs of miscarrying, and needed medical attention. I wanted to know why, I read and took copies of every ultrasound report, the ob didn’t give me many answers, and that’s probably the hardest part we all want to know why things happen. My advice would be just try every day, if you don’t accomplish it that’s OK but try, try to get out of bed, try to get dressed, try to cook a meal, a little at a time and eventually you accomplish all those things.
DO YOU EVER GET TO THE ‘END OF YOUR ROPE’ AS A MOTHER ? WHAT BRINGS YOU BACK?
Probably daily, am I proud of it? no! Do I go into their rooms and snuggle them while they sleep and I cry? Yes! I have 3 children with 3 very strong personalities, they push buttons daily and feed of each other, my husband is gone before we wake up and can work late nights so I defiantly reach the end of my rope. I find just going outside or locking myself in the bathroom for a few deep breaths brings me back, and then telling myself I get wine when the day is done
WHAT DO YOU THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES MOTHER FACE?
Mom shaming!! Just stop people! I know it’s so hard not to judge each other I feel like as humans we always do it but think about you at that stage, if the child is fed happy and healthy let the moms be!
HOW DO YOU BALANCE CAREER AND MOTHERHOOD?
I love that I chose to open my own business after my 3rd child, it’s not always easy and most of the time I’m working while the kids are playing and I have to stop what I’m doing mid stitch to help them, I still work 2 days a week at a “corporate job” to get me out of the house, but I’m defiantly a lot less stressed. Before I had my 3rd child I sat back and looked at how much time I actually spend with my kids during the week and cried! I was literally speeding to work and speeding home to get them by 6 making dinner, giving them a bath and putting them to bed I/we were miserable.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE CHALLENGES / REWARDS OF HAVING A BLENDED FAMILY?
The biggest reward is so much love for everyone in the family for instance my son has so much love from his father his girlfriend her family my husband myself and his family we never use the word step son or half-sister/brother we are a family that’s that! What have you found helps your successfully co-parent? Having boundaries, thinking about what I’m saying when I’m saying it and clear communication is key! My son’s father and I have always put our son first aside from whatever else may be going on between us.
WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY WITH SINGLE PARENTING / DATING / NAVIGATING RELATIONSHIPS?
Being a single parent was probably the hardest thing I’ve gone through, we moved literally across the country and separated 5 months later, I had no family and very few friends, my whole support system was so far away from me. I lived in a horrible apartment and struggled finding a full time job that supported myself and B. Although my main support system was so far away they were always there for me, and I developed great friendships who were also great support and eventually I moved us out of that apartment and was able to have a secure job to support us. Dating with a child wasn’t always the easiest, I didn’t go out like my friends did. I actually met my husband on a dating site. I did however found it easier to date someone who didn’t have children although most didn’t “get it” but if I dated someone who also had children we were trying to navigate schedules to see one another, my husband got right away that my son always came first, and that it would take time for him to be able to enter our family.
HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE THE WORLD OF CO-PARENTING / CUSTODY?
Schedules: Taking every day as it comes, transition day as we call it is always the hardest on everyone, I never had to go from house to house my parents divorced when I was 18, so I don’t know what he’s going through we try and make the transition as easy as possible but at the end of the day it’s 2 separate homes. We have had the same schedule for 3 years but he is 7 so when I drop him off and his dad will be picking him I make sure to remind him he will go to daycare after school and then his dad will pick him up and when I will see him again, with him now in sports and extra circulars we see him on days that aren’t ours which I think helps everyone as well. My two youngest don’t understand where Bentley goes and why so we are also trying to navigate that aspect of it as well.