When I met Lisa I really didn’t have any friends like her. She is outgoing, loves being the center of attention, and doesn’t care what others think. She was the complete opposite of me and was exactly the kind of friend I needed in my life.
I always tell her that if we would have met in high school we never would have been friends because we are so different. I am so lucky we met in college, though, because she is an amazing person who is always there when you need her.
When Lisa became a mom it made me realize just how amazing she actually is. It all seemed to come so easy to her and she was a great mom with a great little boy. She is always showing him how loved he is and taking him to do fun things to make sure he is getting the most out of life.
Lisa is our first Mom inducted into our Hall of Fame and she definitely deserves it! Let’s show her some love and and shower her with “mom fame”!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
My girlfriend told me how much strain a new baby was on her marriage. She had stressed to try and take time with just each other and to think of things from his point of view.
I, literally, kind of laughed at this (thinking that that there wouldn’t be any strain). I was wrong. The sleepless nights, the multiple diaper changes, the constant breastfeeding – it is a very overwhelming feeling. You end up taking it out on the spouse.
The frustrated feeling did go away. New moms are expected to be so perfect and it’s just not like that in real life. You cannot be the perfect mother and wife while you’re learning to do both at the same time. You and your spouse are partners in this and that is KEY to remember. You need to lean on them.
I tell this to anyone who is pregnant now. I am so glad I got the heads up. You just need to breathe through it. It does get better – SO much better.
How is motherhood different than you envisioned it to be?
Oh, man. This one is hard (yes, I know, we wrote the questions).
I guess the little girl in me always envisioned a very domestic type of motherhood. Being a wife that stays home with the kids and cooks and cleans. The wife that meets her husband at the door when he gets home from work with a cocktail in hand (very Mad Men like).
This was not the case, but I am not disappointed in reality. As much I would love to be a stay at home mom, I know that this is a very unrealistic expectation these days. I love my job and the people I work with. I think Ben benefits from being around other kids and learning new things.
You always want things you don’t have. You learn to accept the things you do. Everyone’s life looks different and I am pretty happy with how mine looks.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
I would be surprised if any other mother doesn’t put this on her list. After kids you have a whole new level of patience. Every morning I hear ‘mama’ about one million times (don’t think I am exaggerating).
Like, why does my son come downstairs to have me open his snack when his father is literally standing right next to him? I guess we will never know the answer to that question. One of life’s greatest mysteries.
I love taking photos. I have actually made a nice side business being a family photographer. Since I was very young I was really good about taking photos.
I used to only take photos of special occasions and whenever we went out and about. Since Ben has been born I wanted to be REALLY good at documenting his life. I, literally, have the camera out at all times. It’s just sitting there ready for me.
The smallest of moments are now being captured on a daily basis.
Beyond the photos, I keep a journal. The journal is not for me. It’s for Ben. From the moment I was pregnant until today he will have a snapshot of what life was life for him and his parents.
I don’t write everyday (or sometimes even every month). I don’t just write about him either. I think he will particularly like his mamas comments the day after the 2016 election.
I think it will be a nice thing, along with all the photos, to give him when he’s older. There is so much you don’t remember from your childhood and if I can give him even a tiny piece, I’m happy.
I make sure Ben knows kindness when we are with our family, friends and when we are out in public. I think, personally, at this particular time in life it is more important then ever to teach your children kindness.
I feel like I do a good job showing this when we are out in public. Ben is a cute and social kid. We get stopped a lot at stores, restaurants and various other places. Older woman LOVE to comment on his cuteness and chit chat a while.
Just the other day a woman and her grandson stopped by our table at McDonald’s (yea, we went there – no judgement). She stopped by to say how good Ben was being and offered her fries to him. My mind was going crazy. *Why would this woman think we wanted her fries?!* Would I ever say that? No, I hated the fact that I even thought it. Instead I told her how very sweet it was for her to offer and thanked her for her kindness. I told her that while appreciated it, we already had a ton of fries at the table (which was true).
That same night at the same place we got stopped by another woman. She talked to Ben and Ben stopped and listened. He was incredibly sweet and kind to her. I’d like to think that he’s slowly learning all about that whole kindness thing.
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
When do I not feel overwhelmed as a mother?! I’m seriously only half joking. I feel like these days you have to do everything right and be so incredibly perfect or else people are going to call you out on it. Thus, why we created this blog.
I want to tell you two ways I was overwhelmed as a mother. One when I was pregnant and one when Ben was a year and a half.
20 week ultrasound. Everything was going great. We were told that we were going to have a boy and there were A LOT of tears from me and the moms (yep – we had both moms with us!). I think I may have even seen a tear from Adam (or at least a smirk).
The tech was taking a very long time on the heart and left the room. She came back with a doctor who was, for lack of better words, a heartless/stone faced/no bedside manner jerk. He was very blunt. He said he thought that there was a hole in the heart and that I had to get genetic testing ASAP.
Well, I did. I had too, right? Wrong. I wish I didn’t. The results pretty much ruined the rest of the pregnancy with worry and stress. My results came back positive for two different abnormalities. We went to more appointments and met with genetic counselors and did end up feeling better.
The hole ended up being a shadow. I wish I could go back and not take that test. I wish that I could go back and tell that doctor where to shove it. If only…
Ben Falling. This moment still gives me PTSD. Seriously. Adam was away on a work trip and I had signed myself up for a photo session with just my Benny (cause I don’t get in too many photos). I was SO excited. This was going to be a mommy date and I just could not wait.
Ben was downstairs playing and I ran upstairs to grab his shirt. I was only going to be a second. Within that second Ben climbed up the stairs and lost his balance. He tumbled down. It literally happened in slow motion.
I ran down and made sure nothing was broken and that he was responding to me. After calling his father (frantically) I decided to go to the ER. I hated this. I hated that I allowed this to happen to my child.
This was the first time my ‘mama bear’ came out as well. They assured me, after three hours, that my son was fine. I just didn’t believe them. They handed me a cookie and milk (which I assumed was for Ben, but was apparently for me) and told me that these things happen and that he was OK. I felt like I failed as a mom. It was awful.
BUT, it did remind me that things don’t always go right and we are not perfect. You cannot blame yourself for everything. You make mistakes. You learn from them. You move on.
Is there anything you feel that you’ve lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Time to myself. That’s pretty much a standard though, right? I used to do a lot more for myself and now, clearly, I find myself doing things solely for my family.
I might want to just chill and watch TV on a Saturday afternoon, but I can’t. I mean, I can and Ben will play by himself just fine, but I feel guilty. So, I plan perfect days filled with fun and activity.
You lose things like time to yourself, but every day I notice that Ben is changing and he might not want to hang out with me in a couple years. I think losing ‘time to myself’ is OK right now. I will get that back later.
I’ve gained a better understanding of what is important in life. I used to be very into buying clothes and material items. Since Ben has come along I literally couldn’t care less about any of that stuff.
I care about our happiness as a family.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
I am a total extrovert. I absolutely love talking to people, meeting new friends, and talking about any and everything with whoever wants to listen. I get it from my father and I really hope that Ben gets it from me.