Have you ever wondered how in the heck all of the other moms do it? What is their driving force, why do they make the parenting decision they do, and how do they pull it off so well? I know I do. I love picking other mama’s brains, getting their insight, but most importantly, receiving their encouragement, regardless of how much we are alike or different.
Thanks to Hannah, from Hannah Renee Blog, I was recently asked to be apart of an incredible collaboration with a handful of other stay at home mamas, where you can get a peek in to each of our lives and how we handle this crazy thing called motherhood. At the bottom of this post, I’ll be sharing links to a ton of awesome mama’s sharing their stories and welcoming you in to their lives; so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
1. Describe a typical day’s schedule. Honestly, it just depends on the day. While we are huge fans of a schedule, Noah started going to preschool twice a week in September, so our days aren’t exactly the same. What I can say though, is we try our best to stick to our normal meal and nap times. But if you really want some insight in to what our typical day looks like, you should definitely follow along on insta-stories!
2. What is one thing as a mama that makes your heart pitter-patter? JD and I have prayed with the boys before bed since we brought them home from the hospital. Recently, we’ve developed the habit of us all getting down on our knees next to Noah’s bed and saying our prayers together. Just a few nights a go, Noah reached over during our prayers and wrapped his little arm around my back and snuggled in closely to my side. I gave him a sneaky sideways look, and when his eyes met mine, he said, “I love you, honey.”
3. How has being a mother/homemaker challenged you? I think the biggest challenge I face as a stay at home mom would be the feeling of loneliness. Prior to having kids, I had been working since I was 16 years old. And while I thoroughly enjoy “me” time, I have always been involved in activities and social clubs. I have been apart of a group or organization since childhood, so when I quit my job to raise our babies, I had a complete culture shock. Creating new relationships with other people in similar seasons of life can be difficult, especially when we aren’t in a situation of “forced community” like college. You have to get creative, join play groups, volunteer; but once you get the hang of things, you figure out exactly what you need to provide you with balance.
4. Do you struggle with routine or do you have a happy reliable routine down? Personally, our family thrives off of routine. My husband and I are very Type A individuals, so we run like a well oiled machine when our family is functioning around a schedule. Our oldest was not your normal newborn – he HATED sleep. So as soon as he was old enough, we immediately implemented sleep training which naturally put together a routine for us that we follow to this day. Of course, the older the boys get the easier it is to eat at different times or nap later than normal, but they are significantly happier when they know what to expect.
5. What are two things you do for yourself to recharge? Maybe in that coveted “me time” or during nap time? The original reason behind creating Amber Lately, was to have something for myself. Something to call my own, outside of my babies, that gave me creative power to do whatever I wanted. It also allowed me to connect with all kinds of other woman, which has been incredibly inspiring. And while I sincerely enjoy it, I wouldn’t necessarily say that blogging “recharges my batteries.”
What really helps for me to mentally reset is actually pretty embarrassing to admit. It’s good old-fashioned trash tv. Seriously, I could sit and binge watch ‘Scandal’ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ regularly, and every Monday night, you better believe I’m posted up in front of ‘The Bachelor’. I just can’t help myself, but it seriously helps me to unwind. The other thing I usually enjoy indulging in, is baking. Again, a totally unhealthy habit, but baking just makes me feel good. I love the warmth it can add to a home, and the boys aren’t complaining about having fresh treats around the house. So I bake. Constantly.
6. How would you describe your parenting style in 3 words? Loving, regimented cheerleader.
7. When do you feel the most joy in your day? Be honest even if it’s once those kiddos are in bed asleep! 😉 In the hour right before bed. Once we have cleaned up from dinner, and picked up all of the toys, we usually let the boys pick out a movie they want to watch together as a family. We all snuggle in on the couch, or make a pallet on the floor, and we just be.
8. Do you ever feel a sense of guilt being a stay at home mom? I actually feel the complete opposite. JD and I knew that when we had kids that we wanted for me to be able to stay at home with them. Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t in a place to stay at home when I was growing up, and while she did an excellent job with what she was given, she had to miss out on certain things because we had bills to pay. So when the time came, we were thankfully able to make the decision for me to be at home with the boys. I absolutely love that I get to be so deeply involved with their lives on a daily basis. I also never have to worry about being able to make a sports practice or a school party. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and the time spent during this brief season of life.
9. Share three activities/places/crafts you currently enjoy with your babes. The zoo would without a doubt be our number one favorite place to go. I’ve gone to the zoo at least once a year for as long as I can remember, but since having kids, we are there at least once a month. The boys LOVE seeing the animals, and since I stay at home, we usually go during the week and are really able to enjoy it.
An activity that I love having the boys participate in would definitely be swim class. Our community that we live in is on the lake, and we also have a community pool, so it was extremely important to us that the boys learn how to successfully swim at a young age. Noah and Emmett love it, they have learned how to work with other kids while in a class, and have gained a great life skill.
And when I’m feeling really wild, something like to do at home with the boys is paint. I will put some old sheets down on the kitchen floor, lay out some paper, and we get to painting. To see them pick their own colors and brushes without any rules, and just let their creativity flow is one of my favorite things to experience with them. (Just make sure your kids are stripped down to their undies if you’re going to give it a try.)
10. Lastly, just for fun, how many babies do you want to have? Four. Maybe. We are currently expecting our third at the beginning of June, so check back in with me then! 🙂
I hope you guys have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me and what my motherhood looks like. And if you have any questions, please feel free to put them in the comments – I would be happy to answer them! Now refill your coffee cup and head on over to these other mama’s blogs to get VIP access in to how they handle their motherhood!
Hannah Renee Blog // His Little Lady // Honeywild // Curious Natalia // Happily Lindsey // Elements of Ellis // Life with Kimberly Janelle // The Southern Trunk
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