“You will have bad days; you will cry; you will lock yourself in the bathroom while all the kids are crying and banging on the door – give yourself a minute then come out swinging. You are a tough mama and you will make it through – heck, you will probably be crying tears of joy in about 3 seconds when one of your kids wraps their arms around your neck and says “love you mom.””
Name: Karlie | Children’s Names: June – 2, Marlie – 2, Lincoln – 6 months
Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: Yes and no… I loved to feel them kicking and dancing around in my belly, but it definitely wasn’t as “easy” as I had hoped it would be. I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies, gained almost 70 lbs with my twins, had preeclampsia, and all the other goodies that come along with pregnancy, so it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. However, I was so impressed with what my body could go through. When I was pregnant with my girls I would sit for hours and just watch my belly stretch more than I ever thought was possible, I LOVED that part of pregnancy.
How was your delivery experience?: My first delivery was a little terrifying – I was on hospital bed rest for 3 days then had to have an emergency C-Section at 35 weeks. We always knew it would be a C Section because both girls were breach but the rush of people running around and flooding my room to get me into surgery was a bit overwhelming. I had a minor panic attack. With my son, it was a planned C Section and it went so smooth and calm, it was actually really enjoyable.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: Feeling adequate. I’m a working mom and I hate leaving them every morning with tears streaming down their faces (and mine). I know my situation is temporary and as soon as my husband finishes school I can be at home with them, but it still doesn’t ease my troubled heart. I feel like I’m neglecting them even though I know my husband is giving them the greatest care. I also really struggle with bedtime – my husband works nights and getting 3 kids to bed by myself is rough!!!
What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: Making the most of every moment I am with them. Since I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like to with them, I try my hardest to fill our time with fun activities. I make schedules for the day, prep the night before, arrange play dates, and sometimes flat out exhaust myself trying to make sure everyone is having a good time.
What is your parenting style?: Survival… just kidding… but probably just relaxed yet firm. I don’t know proper terminology for styles. Ha ha. I pick my battles about what’s really worthy of discipline, then when I feel it warrants discipline I am firm. I always follow up with lots of hugs and kisses after the hard part is over.
What is your favorite part of the day with your children?: There are so many!!! Watching them make each other laugh, how sweet the girls are with their brother, when they tell me they love me just out of the blue, when they wake up from their naps all groggy but really chatty, when I come home from work and they run and tell me “I miss you at work,” the big wet soggy kisses little man gives me, when they fall asleep in my arms, watching them learn new things, the list is endless… kids are so great!!
Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: Ashley Gardner – the quad mama. She had 4 baby girls at once!!! She is always so positive and has such a great outlook on life. You should totally watch her show “Rattled” – it really put things in perspective for me – if she can handle 4 babies, my load is definitely manageable. I basically stalk their family on instagram, youtube, and blogs because I think they are so amazing.
Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: Enjoy the stage your kid is in – I know I used to always look forward to when they can crawl, or talk, or walk, etc. Or I would look in the past and miss the sleepy snuggles all day every day, or how dependent they were on me and wanted me for everything, etc. I think it’s important to love the stage you have and not wish for something else; past or future. Also, don’t get caught up in the “failures” you have each day, focus instead on the success. You will have bad days; you will cry; you will lock yourself in the bathroom while all the kids are crying and banging on the door – give yourself a minute then come out swinging. You are a tough mama and you will make it through – heck, you will probably be crying tears of joy in about 3 seconds when one of your kids wraps their arms around your neck and says “love you mom.”
Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: For Me: Target and H&M – I’m pretty low maintenance and haven’t bought stuff for myself in quite some time. For Kids: Kohl’s, H&M, Target and surprisingly – Walmart – my kids are young enough that they don’t care about brand names and Walmart has some cute stuff for so cheap. I love that their clothes don’t usually have graphics plastered all over them and they fit my kids so well!!
What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without? Favorite product for your children?: For Me: A hair elastic – ha ha! I know that seems ridiculous, but I can’t go anywhere without one either in my hair or on my wrist. I try to wear my hair down some days but it always ends up in a pony tail for one reason or another. For Kids: Johnson & Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion – the purple one. It smells DIVINE and keeps their skin so silky smooth!
How has being a mom changed your life?: In every way possible – it’s made me sentimental, a cry baby, a worrier, anxious, brave, tough, protective, strong, spiritual, happier, crazier, flabbier and the list goes on. I am so proud of what I can do, and what they can do, and I feel so much more accomplished than I ever did before they came along. Don’t get me wrong – it has rocked me and made me wonder if I have a personality outside of my kids, but my world revolves around them. All of my conversations, choices, emotions, and thoughts are consumed by them and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My kids (and husband) have my whole heart.
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