“…sometimes you don’t want to hear about My Little Pony for 15 minutes but I remember there might come a time where she won’t really want to talk to me about things.”
Name: Sydney | Child: Paityn, 4
Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: Honestly, no. When I found out I was pregnant I was 18 (babies having babies) I knew in the back of my head that her dad wouldn’t play a very big role and that really scared/stressed me out. I was also really worried what my friends and family would think of me so I didn’t tell anyone except my family and a few close friends. At the time I felt like this wasn’t something to be really celebrated. Of course I loved Paityn right away; I just wish the circumstances were different so I could have really been excited… To top it off I was really sick my whole pregnancy. Morning sickness, afternoon sickness, nighttime sickness it was a party.
How was your delivery experience?: It was a breeze! That should have been my first clue that Paityn would be the easiest child. Once I got my epidural, which thankfully my best friend’s dad was my anesthesiologist and he came in right away it was easy. I pushed three times and she was here!
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: I struggle with self-doubt. Am I adequate? Can I give Paityn everything she needs? Not materialistic things, but wondering if a family really can just be the two of us? Am I doing everything in my power to make her happy? Am I raising her right? Also, trying to get her to let me brush her hair is a nightmare.
What is your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: Two things. 1. Patience! This might sound rude but sometimes you don’t want to hear about My Little Pony for 15 minutes but I remember there might come a time where she won’t really want to talk to me about things. 2. Humility. I’ve learned its ok to ask for help. I can’t take on everything like I want. There’s only one of me and sometimes I need to step back and just ask help. It takes a village.
What is your parenting style?: It’s a mix of a few things; I let Paityn govern herself to an extent. I lay out the rules and explain why we should/shouldn’t do something and let her decide. I want her to think for herself and let her decide, even if I know the outcome will be disappointing. I think you need to experience those lessons and learn the consequences good or bad. I think my whole family does a great job with teaching her that ‘no’ isn’t a bad word. Saying ‘no’ to candy for breakfast or wearing our swimsuits outside while it’s snowing is where ‘no’ comes in handy.
What is your favorite part of the day with your child?: The car ride to and from work. This is the time of day where she tells me some of her secrets, jokes, sings ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson or ‘Bad Blood’ by Taylor Swift for a solid hour. Tells me about her friends, tells me why she’s upset, tells me what she wants to be when she grows up, tells me why she’s happy, etc. These are the conversations I love.
Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: My mom. She’s been in my shoes and she knows all the tears, disappointments and trials that come with being a single mom. She did it with two kids and knowing that she did it all and we turned out somewhat ok inspires me all the time. I constantly think “How did she do this with two kids? I can barely handle one!”
Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: It’s really not a big deal. I can’t say this enough! That can be applied with so many things. I think there’s such a pressure to be a “perfect mom” and not let people see your struggles. It’s really not a big deal if everyone is looking at you while your child is having a tantrum on the floor of the store because you wouldn’t let them have gum. It’s really not a big deal if your child’s hair is a mess that day or if they are dressed as a princess that also happens to be a Jedi. At the end of the day it’s really not a big deal. If you know you’re doing your absolute best, that’s all that matters.
Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child?: I love H&M, Target and Old Navy for Paityn. They’re great because she’s growing so fast I don’t have to spend a fortune for her to look cute in something that will last a few months. I love Zara, H&M and of course Target because sometimes I have to wear grownup clothes and not my Giants hoodie and sweats every day of my life like I wish I could.
What is one product for yourself you can’t live without? Favorite product for your child?: I love GoGo SqueeZ for Paityn because if we are rushing ou the door and she needs a snack it’s ALMOST mess free. I can’t live without my Clarisonic. My skin definitely changed after having Paityn and guess what? Being a parent an be STRESSFUL! My Clarisonic has saved my skin over and over again.
How has being a mom changed your life?: It’s made me change in a few ways; it has made me strong. I’ve faced some situations that were heartbreaking, scary and stressful. Things which I didn’t think I could handle but being strong was the only option. Knowing I’m doing all of these things for someone who I love and loves/depends on me makes me strong. It’s also made me value my time. Time really is precious. They aren’t little for long so who I spend my time with/let in my life has changed. But the biggest way it’s changed my life is seeing how much love can fill your heart. Thinking about Paityn and the love I have for her makes me want to cry. Seriously. As cheesy as it may sound she has brought in some much needed happiness and love into my life. I can’t thank her enough.
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