The Motherhood Project: Danica

Mothers are amazing. One of the perks of being in the blogging world is that I have found lots of other moms out there – all phenomenal mothers and all with their own stories, parenting styles, opinions and advice. My favorite blog posts to read are the ones where women talk about motherhood. Because of this, I decided to start a project; The Motherhood Project. I have a list of questions that I am asking mothers of any age to fill out and return back to me, along with a picture of her and her child/children. Each Friday I will feature one of these wonderful women on my blog. Hopefully Friday’s here on CeeCeeSparkles will become a place where mothers come for inspiration and a smile.

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“Every member of the family is an equal part, and I’ve really come to appreciate that I can’t be a good mom or wife if I’M not taken care of, too.”

Name: Danica | Child: Reese – 1 year old

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Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: I absolutely LOVED my pregnancy. I was so so lucky. I wasn’t nauseated or throwing up or anything. I have never felt so proud of my body for anything and its completely changed the way I look at myself. I definitely had a few meltdown days and dreaded “lightning crotch” (don’t google that, trust me) but overall I was so grateful and excited the entire 9 months! I can’t wait to do it all again!

How was your delivery experience?: Again, amazing. I was induced at 5 days over. I got an epidural and Reese came pretty fast. I was happy and nervous and excited. I still sometimes can’t believe how perfect it went. I honestly wouldn’t have changed anything! It was the most sacred, special day. My husband declares that it was one of the worst days of his life and that he’s still traumatized, but he’s being a dramatic baby. (Reese’s Birth Story here.)

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: Lack of control. To be fair, that’s my biggest struggle in all areas of my life. I really struggle to be patient when I don’t know what’s wrong or what she wants or what I’m supposed to do. I have really struggled with teething because there’s only so much you can do and sometimes it just hurts and they’re sad! I struggled big time with anxiety insomnia for the first 6-8 months of her life realizing that there’s so much out there that I can’t control and from which I can’t protect her. It’s scary! But it’s part of love, I guess.

What is your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: I am not really sure how this happened, but I’m really chill and it’s made our lives so much better. I don’t freak out about everything and I have been able to relax and chill and enjoy my life & baby 90% of the time. I know that sounds contradictory after I’ve reported anxiety insomnia but it’s true! I think it came from being prepared and CHOOSING parenthood, as well as the amazing support network I have. I don’t have a lot of mom strengths, but I am grateful that the one I have is being relaxed enough to enjoy Reese, take care of myself, and be able to love life. I haven’t gotten bogged down into crazy sleeping schedules or calling my pediatrician 3x a week or stayed home going crazy.  

What is your parenting style?: Family-centric, not baby-centric. I worry a lot of the time that I’m too selfish or that I don’t “baby” her enough, but at the same time I’m really happy with our family dynamic. I read in a book while I was pregnant that it’s a disservice to you and your family to make your baby the center of your world, because not only does it drain you and deplete your energy & identity, but eventually that kid will no longer be a baby and the entire world will shift when there’s a new one. Instead it’s best to put the family front and center. The WHOLE family. Sometimes Reese has to cry a little while I finish up some task. Sometimes she has to wake up from her nap early because we’ve got places to be as a family. Every member of the family is an equal part, and I’ve really come to appreciate that I can’t be a good mom or wife if I’M not taken care of, too. I know this sounds bad. But I have really felt good about it and it’s worked so well for us. Reese is well-behaved, self-soothing, social, and chill. She is part of the family and she isn’t a diva. She doesn’t call the shots. We ALL call the shots.

What is the favorite part of your day with your child?: Waking Reese up is the best. Well, more accurately: going into Reese’s room each morning is the best. She’s often awake and quietly reading books in her crib LOL. She is so excited to see me and starts jabbering away. We get dressed and read the usual 6-10 books before breakfast. I treasure that time.

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: My friend Danica Rugg is my motherhood guru. She is such an incredible mom. The best part is that she doesn’t act like that at all. I love that she admits her mistakes and talks about lessons she’s learned. She’s really quick to educate herself, try new things, and look for help. It’s been so inspiring to see her tackle challenges and find solutions to mom/family problems. I love her.

Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: You’re doing better than you think you are, honestly. The best thing you can do when you’re struggling is tap out for a bit. Ask for help. Take a day or an afternoon or an hour – whatever you can swing – to do something JUST FOR YOU. You’ve heard people say it. But really do it. It makes a huge, HUGE difference and fills up your tank so you can be supermom again.

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: For me probably Old Navy and Target – I love the constant influx of new stuff! And it’s pretty affordable to #treatyoself to a new outfit when you really need it. A trip to Sephora definitely makes my day, too. 🙂 For Reese I love Old Navy and H&M best, although I still heart the baby section at Target.

What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without? Favorite product for your child/children?: Does Diet Coke count? Lately the biggest survival product for me has been Kat Von D tattoo liner. It’s so fast and makes me look instantly ready. It makes it easy to get ready even on days when I’m just planning on hanging out at home. For Reese I am all about her jumper/swing. She is in it 2-3x a day. She loves it and it helps me get stuff done!

How has being a mom changed your life?: I thought I had found my calling as a junior high teacher. I had never felt so comfortable and utilized and in sync. It was like sliding in that piece of the puzzle that just seamlessly completes the picture. Turns out that was just one of those dumb corner pieces that matters, but is only a small part of the grand scheme. I did love being a teacher, and it was my calling. But it was a stepping stone to being a mom, and meeting Reese… well that was when I backed away enough to realize the full, beautiful, colorful puzzle the Lord has in store for me. It changed the way I looked at teaching. It changed the way I looked at my husband. It changed the way I saw myself. It changed my relationship with God. It made a lot of things scarier – it’s hard to see those big blank sections of the puzzle when you thought you had it mostly figured out. But why would I ever go back to that tiny, bland corner of the puzzle, even if it was basically finished? Nope. I’ll take the big, crazy, beautiful puzzle, thanks.

*If you have anyone you’d like to nominate to be featured on the blog (yourself included) send me their email or phone number and I will contact them/you! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

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