We had so much fun interviewing Maggie. It was the perfect summer day so we did the interview outside while enjoying a glass of wine (she offered and we just couldn’t resist!) Her one and a half year old was nice enough to take a few pictures with mom but she spent most of the time playing while we chatted. She was blowing bubbles, climbing on her play structure, and even got to run through the sprinkler (after the interview)! It gave us a great glimpse into their life at home.
Maggie is a laid-back mom who lets her daughter explore. She seems to not let anything bother her but tells us that her patience is definitely being tested by her “stubborn toddler”. While she was answering questions we found ourselves nodding along and agreeing with everything she said. She brought up some stuff we haven’t talked about yet including her “mom-tribe”, her social life, and how she feels about her body after having a baby.
Help us welcome Maggie into our Mom of Fame and feel free to nod along with her answers as well!
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?
So it’s not really advice, but it should probably count. Just someone telling you, “you’ll be fine, you can do it.” Like, however it works out, you don’t need a philosophy or whatever the book says it’s your baby and you’ll know what to do when it happens. I think someone finally told me that ‘cause I got a lot of advice and I was like, “well, I don’t think of any of these things”. I’m never gonna think of any of these 10 sweet mom tricks and life hacks. But there were a few people who were like, “no, it’ll be fine. You’ll figure it out. It’s not a big deal.” I think that was really reassuring. I will probably tell other people that. That you figure out your own, kind of, rhythm.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
It’s crazier. A lot busier. But, I think it’s a lot like I imagined, which is helpful. I think I had a lot of really honest mom friends that gave me a good idea of what to expect. And that helped. So I don’t think it was anything too, too different. I think a lot of the things that people told me were the things that were true. Like it’s hard on your marriage and on your social life. And on all of that stuff. But I think the actual “momming” part is pretty close to what I thought it would be.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
This one was really hard for me. I’m going to be honest. I kept asking [my husband] but he wouldn’t answer the question for me.
I am really stubborn and [my daughter] is really stubborn so I think I am passing that on to her. And I think it can be a really good thing sometimes. Because when she was really little if I said I was going to go out that day and do something, I’m not going to give up just because 17 things have gone wrong. Even if she spit out on her entire outfit and everybody is soiled, we are going to go and we’re going to do this thing we said. So that actually turned out to be kind of helpful in the beginning with her. And it probably still is because now I have to out-stubborn a stubborn toddler.
The other strength I work on is patience. I think I’m getting a lot better. I think I can be very patient with her most of the time. I think that’s a strength I would want to be better at. I think I thought I was really patient until I had a toddler.
I think we spend a lot of family time. I think with extended family and we have a good network. I think that’s one of our strengths. We have a mom-tribe, we have a family-tribe, we have a lot of support. I think we’re able to lean on that better than I thought we might be able to. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help and I think we were able to when we needed to. I don’t know if it’s really my strength as much as the people around us strength but we lean on them. Which is good.
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
Like every other mom says; all the time! I think the most overwhelming for me
In today’s day and age you’re so worried about bullying and sensitivity and all this stuff and then your kid might be the bully.
was probably recently she’s been biting everyone at school. [My husband] was out of town for one week, which apparently makes her bite more. It was the third day in a row and she bit two kids in one day. So I was on my own for a couple days and I had to pick her up and she had bit half the classroom. In today’s day and age you’re so worried about bullying and sensitivity and all this stuff and then your kid might be the bully.
And then I think she’s 1 and a half and it’s just instinctual and she’s not a bully or anything else. Your head says, “okay it’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it” but your heart says, “oh my God, she’s biting other kids, this is terrible. What kind of demon child am I raising that has no manners and is terrorizing her class!?” So that was kind of overwhelming. The biting is getting better. I will say that it is true that it’s just a phase. They worked a lot on it at daycare. On using our words and talking about our feelings.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
Early on in pregnancy I was a little bit uncertain, as I think everyone is, about how your body is going to start changing. That was always kind of a trigger for me and I was trying to read up on that. And I read this really inspirational blog post about losing your self-consciousness and just sort of
The things that I thought were a concern when you don’t have kids, are not really your priorities anymore.
going all in on that. And I think that’s definitely something that has changed for me. I’ve lost a lot of what used to worry me. The things that I thought were a concern when you don’t have kids, are not really your priorities anymore.
All the way down to worrying so much about what you look like and so much about the number on the scale. A lot of the things, that used to be really self-centered, but self-esteem concerns for me got a lot better. Because I did have a really good pregnancy and I read a lot about believing in your body. It is growing a human being and that is one of the greatest things it can give you. And to really appreciate your strength and the whole, it’s cheesy but, the whole “power of being a woman”. I thought that was really something I did gain out of that experience. I am a lot more comfortable in my own skin now. Surprisingly, because I thought pregnancy was going to really do the opposite.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
I want her to know that there aren’t any limits on what she has to do or has to be. I think that’s something my parents always instilled in me. There are
If she wants to be, whatever, I don’t have a predetermined outline for her. And I want to instill that in her, that she can find her own path.
guidelines to be successful; you have to get an education, you have to live within the law, you have to do these big goals. But it wasn’t ever that we want you to grow up to do what we do or we want you to be like us. That was never something my family stressed and I think that shaped a lot of my willingness to try new things. I kind of hope she learns the same lesson. That just because we’re 9 to 5 business types, that doesn’t have to be her life. If she wants to be, whatever, I don’t have a predetermined outline for her. And I want to instill that in her, that she can find her own path. She should; she should listen to her own gut. I don’t think it will be easy to instill that in her, but I’m going to try!
How do you manage to keep a semblance of a social life with a toddler?
I’m glad it seems like we have a semblance of a social life. [Laughs]. We try. I think we kind of gave into the idea that our social life is just going to have to involve her more now. So we tried to find more social opportunities that are family friendly. We joined the hospital-sponsored parenting group and we still see them. Which kind of helps because it’s all people in that same phase and even if the kids are going to be a diasaster they’re a disaster together. So we all go out and we meet up regardless and that gives us some alternatives. And with our group of friends we have a lot of friends who are having kids right now so we just try to come up with opportunities where maybe we don’t go to the bars and the fancy new restaurant openings as much as we used to.
And then I think we also really tried to make sure we were comfortable leaving her early on. We made sure to leave her with family members and we made sure to try to be okay with that. Even though it was really scary in the beginning; to just go out and leave your baby and take breaks. I think that really helped later on because now we can leave her with a sitter, we can leave her with parents, we can leave her with friends. I think now, at one and a half, we’re more comfortable. Not that we never get nervous and never think about it and want to check in. I think that helped us a lot to just trust in that. And to ask for time away.