Mom of Fame

Mom of Fame – Jen

Beautiful chaos. That's what we walked into when we went to interview our newest mom of fame, Jen. They had all just gotten home from a day at the pool and Jen was being pulled in about three different directions. Her oldest wanted dinner, her youngest wanted attention and her dog just desperately wanted to get out and play.

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Beautiful chaos. That’s what we walked into when we went to interview our newest mom of fame, Jen. They had all just gotten home from a day at the pool and Jen was being pulled in about three different directions. Her oldest wanted dinner, her youngest wanted attention and her dog just desperately wanted to get out and play.

Throughout all of the chaos Jen didn’t seem the least bit frazzled. She took it all in with ease and got everyone what they needed (even if it was cereal for dinner ❤ ). Jen is a super woman by the very definition. She has had a long and hard road to the completed family she has now. She has gone through loss and the difficult road of fostering to adopt.

Beyond everything that she has gone through she is always making time for her family and her friends. She is the type of person that would put down everything to help someone in need. She is so deserving of the mom of 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?

If you love your kids and you show them that love and you do the best you can for them, you’re doing a good job.

The best piece of advice I was given was probably that everything can’t and won’t always be perfect so just try to just enjoy it all in the moment and with all of the imperfections. I think that you get caught up in wanting everything to be a certain way and unfortunately that’s usually just setting yourself up for disaster, for disappointment.

The advice I try to give to other people is that you always are going to feel like you’re not doing something right, or that you’re failing. But even the most experienced mom is learning (and failing) every day. And we’re all just doing the best we can so don’t be hard on yourself. If you love your kids and you show them that love and you do the best you can for them, you’re doing a good job.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I guess I always had a vision of a very, I don’t know, “Cleaver-Family” style of motherhood. Just with everything going “just so” and being a very organized mom. You know you didn’t deal with challenges about fertility and pregnancy and things like that to even get to the motherhood step. I think that the challenges that I faced make me appreciate being a mom even more, though. All through the frustrating moments and the times when you feel like you’re going a little bit crazy, you do appreciate it. Especially when you have had a hard road to get there you do appreciate what you’ve got.

One thing is that I felt like I was going to be sad about was watching them grow up. I was like, “oh I’m going to be so sad when they’re not a baby anymore”. But I’m not. It’s so cool to see your kids turn into this person. I think every stage has been cool, but just when they start to get older, they can have real conversations and they start to really look to you for advice. It’s a really, really awesome thing.

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I am also trying to teach them about body positivity and acceptance. I feel like it’s important to love yourself.

 

I would say the best thing that I’m doing is teaching them to be kind and good people. Really making sure to take the time to talk to them about qualities that are important to me and that I wish I could see more of in other people.

I love them like crazy and I would do anything for them. I know that’s probably pretty standard for most moms. Currently I am trying (and struggling) to find a balance between being a woman, and a mother and a career-woman and doing everything else but matter what stage I’ve been in they’re always my first priority.

I am also trying to teach them about body positivity and acceptance. I feel like it’s important to love yourself.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

Today? This week? Or ever!? [Laughs].

The first time was just the early days of nursing through the night and not getting enough sleep. I think sleep deprivation was always hard for me with both of my kids- I didn’t deal with it well. When [our youngest] was home with us for her first few months of being here she was not sleeping well through the night yet and would wake up every single night. I kind of just got to the point where I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to do it anymore. Luckily, with that, [my husband] was good about getting up and taking some of the night shifts- he was definitely better at that than I was.

One time at the mall I had [my oldest] in the stroller and she was having a tantrum and we had had bathroom incidents. I went to go buy something and I could not find my wallet. So I was running around like a maniac certain that I had lost it there. And it was in the top of the stroller under our coats. I found it after I had reported it to the mall people and I was like, “oh I never used to be like this.” Definitely felt like I had lost it!

I would say there are many time when I’m overwhelmed or frustrated. Sometimes mornings, for us, are particularly hard when we’re trying to get ready to go. Everybody has to go somewhere different and I have to get everybody ready and out the door. Also, now trying to get to work myself at a time that’s not too late.

Also, emotionally, some of the times when we were going through foster care and adoption. Trying to balance being a good mom to [my oldest] and being a good mom to [my youngest] and knowing that our future (with her) was uncertain.

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Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

Yes! I think that I didn’t realize how unselfish you had to become – about your time and your ability to get yourself ready. I would have never thought that I was a selfish person, but I was definitely selfish with my time; and selfish with my wants. Not even physical things that I wanted, but just things that I love to do, like traveling. I didn’t realize how important those things were to me and how much it would have to change when I became a mom. Now that our kids are getting older we are able to do some more of that. But still, with everything, you have to come second.

Also, when I decided to be a stay-at-home mom, I always had it in my mind that that was everything I wanted in life. Then I realized that, for me, it was important to have the accomplishments and accolades coming from something else. I wasn’t getting that when I wasn’t working and that was hard for me.

[I have gained] an understanding of love like I never imagined. And an appreciation for my parents; for my mom especially. I think that you could never appreciate how much your mom sacrificed for you, and loves you, until you have your own kids and you see what that feels like. I think a lot of times we think that moms are annoying or overwhelming or overbearing, but when you become a mom you realize that there is nobody that you could ever love more than your kids.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

Love and compassion and humility. How to be kind and how to love all different types of people. That above all, I want them to be to be good people. But you still have to do things to make yourself happy too. You only have one life to live and you have to do the best you can to find the balance between those two things.

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Tell us about fostering and fostering to adopt. Talk to us about the process and the emotions that went into it. 

[My husband] and I knew that we wanted to have more kids but we weren’t able to have more biological children. I wasn’t able to stay pregnant. So after talking about it for quite a while I convinced him that we should look into foster care since private adoption was so expensive that we knew we’d never be able to afford that. So we thought, “what better way to help a child and potentially grow our family?”

So I guess the main thing when going into it was that everyone said to us, “you need to understand that the goal of foster care is reunification, it’s not adoption. It’s to reunify kids with their family.” So I heard that and I said that I could process that and I could deal with that. When in my heart the whole time I was like, “oh, no. We’re going to grow our family this way”. It didn’t even occur to me that there was the potential that my baby could go back.

So that started a 2 year journey of up and down heartache. Her birth mom was trying to work on a plan and we would go to every court hearing and hear what was going on with her. While we were trying to be encouraging to her and encourage the goal of foster care we were also selfishly attached and unsure how we would deal with her going back to her family. We were very fortunate and were in a situation where, although her journey was long—2 years was a very long foster care journey—we were fortunate that we were placed with one child right when became licensed, and then we only had one child the whole time and we were able to adopt her. So that was a very ideal situation for us as far as the foster care system goes.

But if you are going into foster care with the primary purpose of growing your family, you have to know that it can be heartbreaking for you.

I think as far as offering advice to other people that are considering it I would say to really have it on your heart to know that the goal is reunification. And if you feel like your family is complete but you are open to the idea of growing your family, then foster care might be for you. But if you are going into foster care with the primary purpose of growing your family, you have to know that it can be heartbreaking for you.

But obviously we feel like [our adopted daughter] is one of our two biggest blessings in life. We teach both of our kids everyday that adoption is just another way to grow your family and that children all come to their parents through different ways. We tell her that [our oldest] grew in my belly and she grew in my heart. She knows she was adopted and we talk about adoption a lot. And she’s awesome.

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