Erin is a very special kind of person. She is the kind of person that worries about others before herself. She is, in all honestly, the type of person you want by your side through thick and thin (I don’t think any of her friends would argue this). I am so incredibly happy to call her one of my very best friends.
I knew when she became a mother that she would be a rock star. She is the most organized person I know and she gives a 110% to everything that she does. Ryan is SO very lucky to call her mom and vice versa.
It is hard to be as honest and real when it comes to blogging to complete strangers (and friends). It’s not something that just comes naturally. This is especially true for Erin. She is not the type of person to put her baggage on other people. She isn’t the type of person to talk openly about personal matters. But, she did just that for her mom of fame interview. This season of her life has not only been joyful, but it’s been challenging in ways most of us cannot understand. She is an incredibly resilient person and mother.
Without further ado, I am very excited to induct Erin into our Mom Hall of Fame forever. She deserves it more than she will ever know.
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?
One of my best friends told me that no matter how hard motherhood seems to get to just remember that “the days are long, but the years are short” (which happens to be a quote by Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project).
She is also a stay at home mom so she wanted me to understand that sometimes the days are not going to be all fun. There might be no sleep, a cranky baby, and lots of housework to do. In the end, though, each day needs to be cherished because time goes by so fast.
I didn’t quite understand this until I was a mom. My little one is less than a week away from turning 6 months old and I just can’t believe it. I have already had to put away his newborn, and 3 month clothes, and the 6 month ones don’t have much time left. I am definitely taking her advice and really trying not to get stressed out by the little things, and focus more on the good things that happen each day.
I will give this advice to any friend who is having a baby so that they remember to stop and enjoy these days because they go by so fast and we don’t get them back
How is motherhood different than you envisioned it to be?
It is honestly more fun than I thought it would be! I used to work in a daycare and I absolutely hated going into the Infant Room. It was either 4 babies crying, or 4 babies sleeping and super boring. I was worried that I would be bored, especially as a stay at home mom. This has not been the case at all, though. We have created a little routine each day and I love playing with him (especially now that he smiles and laughs!) The time flies and I can’t believe it when my husband comes home and it’s already time to start making dinner!
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
I have always been very good at multi-tasking. As a teacher there were so many different things happening in the room and you had to be aware of all of them (or a kindergartner could stick a penny in a wall socket —true story!) As a mom I feel like you are also always doing a million different things at once! I feel that I am able to juggle all of these different things while still giving each one the attention it deserves.
My husband and his friends have a reunion every year and one year they were listing everybody’s super powers for a game they were going to play and mine was “unending patience”. I think this may have been a dig at my husband (because to be with him you need to be patient, haha) but it was also a compliment to me. I have prided myself my whole life on being a very patient person (with kids at least) and I feel like I have only become more patient now that I’m a mom. I’m sure my patience will be completely tested once he’s a toddler (and a teenager!) but for now, it’s definitely one of my strengths.
I know this sounds kind of silly to say as a strength for motherhood but I think my experience has really helped me feel comfortable being a mom from the beginning. I have been working with kids since I started babysitting in middle school and I’ve worked with many different ages including infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary schoolers since. Through my training I also know developmentally appropriate activities to do with my son (through first grade at least!) This really gives me an advantage as a stay-at-home mom because I know he will be learning even though he is not in a school setting.
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
The answer to this question came to me the fastest, but it was definitely the hardest for me to put into words. It was when my son was diagnosed with Down syndrome.
When I took him for his 4 month check-up, the doctor was slightly concerned about how he kept sticking his tongue out, so she wanted to have a blood test done to analyze his chromosomes. It was a total shock and I left there feeling so stupid. How could I not have known? I am his mom, I am supposed to know if something isn’t right. I am also a teacher who has had classes in special education, I should have seen the signs. I had been staring at his face for four months and it never even occurred to me that anything was wrong.
The week we waited for the test results were basically torture. My mom told me “you know, we’ll be okay either way, right?” And I knew she was right, but I said, “I just want his life to be as perfect for him as possible”. Because she’s also a mom (and a grandma), she knew exactly what I meant.
So, after a full week, the results finally came back; he did have Down syndrome. It was a rough couple of days for us (and our friends and family) as we processed the information. We are doing so much better now, and realize how lucky we are to have this little boy in our lives.
Even so, the diagnosis was and still is very overwhelming. It’s overwhelming for the obvious emotional reasons, but it was also overwhelming for the logistical reasons. Right away we had to take him to see a cardiologist, genetic specialist and ophthalmologist. Then we had to sign up with our local Early On program who is going to service him for 2 hours a week at our house. Every 6 months he needs a blood test to check for several different things, as well as see a dentist by the time he is 1 year old. The list goes on and on (I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking about all of it!) but I know I was chosen to be his mom for a reason and it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.
Is there anything you feel that you’ve lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
I have lost my independence (obviously). Having dogs was good practice for this because you have to keep them in mind when making plans but having a child completely takes it away from you. Since baby cages are frowned upon it makes it very hard to go out and do things unless you have a plan for the baby. Luckily I have parents that live close by and a husband who is very understanding of my need to occasionally do things by myself in order to keep my sanity!
I gained an understanding of true love (I know, sappy, right!?). Everyone tells you when you’re pregnant that you’ll understand true love once the baby comes out but I didn’t really believe them. I am not a touchy feely person and don’t really believe in grand romantic ideas but once that baby came I was immediately obsessed. I can’t get enough of his snuggles, I miss him when I’m not around him, and every decision that I make is made with him in mind.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
My mom used to always tell me that “life’s not fair”, and although I used to hate when she would say it to me, I would like to instill the same thought process into my child.
Obviously “life’s not fair” is not a super optimistic thing to teach your child, but it is a very necessary one, especially in today’s world. I think it really helped me to understand that things are going to happen that seem unfair, but that’s okay. I want my child to know that sometimes you’re going to want things that other people have, and sometimes they’re going to want what you have. It’s really best to not compare yourself to others, but to instead enjoy and appreciate your own life!