I’m SO EXCITED to kick off my new series: #FabMoms! Since I’ve become a mom I’ve built an incredible, supportive network of other moms (both online and offline) who inspire me everyday. I’ve learned something new from almost every mom that I’ve met, and I love hearing their unique stories. So to celebrate these amazing women, I’ll highlight a new mom each week where they’ll answer my 15 questions about their definition of “motherhood”. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, work full or part-time, own your own business, are a brand new mom or have five kids, you are all amazing and deserve the spotlight every now and then!
I’m excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Olivia Howell. Olivia and I are fellow Rookie Moms and are both in the midst of completing the 52 weekly challenges. I love following her new mom adventures over at her blog, The Lovely Sisters as well as her Twitter and Instagram.
So, without further ado, here’s Olivia’s spotlight:
- Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
My son is named Weston, and he’s just about 9 months old!
- What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
I am a middle school Latin and ancient History teacher, as well as a freelance writer and blogger.
- What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
Well, we have two typical days: work days and weekends. Work days begin at 5am, when my husband gets ready for work first, and then takes Weston so I can get ready. I get his bag packed with clean bottles, get all my things ready for school, and then Weston and I head out, around 7am. I drop him at my mom’s house, where my sister, or mother and step-dad will watch him until 3PM, when I get back. After picking him up, we often see friends, or visit my grandmother. Sometimes we don’t get home until 6PM, and I let him crawl around and play, while I throw laundry in, make dinner, wash bottles, and clean up. I give him dinner, my husband gets home, we (sort of) eat, and then it’s bathtime. I’m not the most consistent parent with bedtime, because, well…I miss him during the day and want to spend time with him. Often, he falls asleep in our arms on the couch, as we wind down, or we all get into bed to chill out and relax together. Those days are quite long and tiring! I rarely have time to even shower! Weekends are, obviously, much more relaxing…we wake up late, eat a long breakfast, play a lot, and most of the time, we run errands as a family or go out to lunch. There’s usually an afternoon nap, and a later, more relaxed dinner.
- Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
It’s really, really hard being a working mom. I was the first woman in my family, ever (seriously), to go back to work with an infant. Weston was three months old when I went back. To be honest, I don’t really know how I do it. I would say, just go with your gut, and remember that you are indeed doing the best you can! It’s incredibly hard juggling both lives…!
- When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
Actually, it was recently. I took a personal day from school and Weston and I had a totally “normal” day. Breakfast, errands, playing…it was wonderful. It was the first time I truly felt like a mom!
- What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
I think the hardest thing about being a mom is worrying. I worry that I won’t be there for him, or that something will happen to him. I really and truly try to cherish every single moment with him, because life is insane and you never know what could happen.
- What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
The most rewarding thing about being a mom is watching their little brains grow right before your eyes! It is astounding watching him learn how to sit, and then crawl, and now stand! I’m so proud of him.
- What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
I think the most shocking thing about becoming a parent, for me, is now thinking about what my own parents went through. I look at every milestone that Weston goes through, and I think, “now I get it!” I get why my parents cared, loved, and protected me so much. It is true what they say: there is no love like the love you have for your child.
- I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
Honestly, I think my favorite mental snapshot is the moment he was placed on my chest, directly after birth. He was just SO HIM. A sweet smile, hands ready to grab, eyes wide open. He became my best buddy at that moment.
- What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
I have to say that the best purchase we made was our Jumperoo! We started putting him in at three months, and I really feel like it helped him learn to sit, gain muscle strength in his legs…oh, and it was a great, safe, place to put him while I was doing things around the house! We even have two of them!
- What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
My whole life I’ve wanted to be a writer…and I never did much with my writing. After I became a mother, it made me have the strength to pursue my passion! Who knew that would happen?! Not me. I learned that I do indeed love to learn, and love to write. I learned that having my son makes me feel strong and incredibly capable of conquering the world.
- What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
When I find a few minutes to relax, I like to catch up on my favorite television shows: Shark Tank, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Modern Family, About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher, and of course: Parenthood!
- What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
My favorite thing to do with Weston is simply to go walk around our town. He loves people watching, and I browse stores; we often run into people we know. It’s relaxing, fun, and I am so proud to show off my little one.
- I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
We’ve gone to Green Cactus (Mexican food) in Huntington, NY, a lot with Weston! They have wide, open seating, perfect for strollers. It’s clean, open, and often not a ton of people there…and if there are people, it’s mostly families. I never feel self conscious having him there.
- Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
Just to remember that every day is different. Nothing is set in stone. My grandmother reminds me of this all the time! Babies change daily (even half-daily!), so don’t get worried that the one night of no sleep will last forever…take every day as it comes, and just do what you need to do to get through to tomorrow!
If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to feature you!