Whether a first-time mommy or a weathered veteran, we believe every mother has some valuable wisdom that she’s gleaned along this crazy journey we call parenting. Mommy Spotlight highlights a mom who is striving to create a thriving home in her own unique way.
Tell us a little about you and your family…
James and I have been married for 4.5 years and have two daughters. Anabelle is our future teacher/choir director/actress/cheerleader and is three. Mya is our future athlete/sleep-champ and is 18 months.
What are some things you love about being a mom?
Being a mom is the absolute best thing that has happened to me. I love how my girls have stretched me more than I thought possible! I have discovered a love in my heart that only they could expose and bring out. I love the spontaneity of their thoughts, the imagination that forces me to find that “inner-child” and just have fun! I also love watching them interact with their Dad. These girls love their Daddy, and watching the man I love be so tender and loving with our girls makes my heart jump!
What is one of the hardest things about being a mom?
For me, I struggle with saying no. I want to be involved in my husband’s ministry, to have my own ministry, and to have a somewhat active social life. I fought for some time with the idea of having to let these things go during this season of my life. When I finally realized what an incredible ministry I have staying home with my two little girls, that social life that I cared so much about didn’t seem as important. Learning to say no to things, even good things, is hard, but a lesson worth learning.
How do you balance working with your family life?
I work part time. I coach basketball at a local high school, but I do not teach which means I only work during the season (November – March). It is tricky to maintain regular family time with a crazy basketball schedule, but the key is flexibility (and an awesome husband)! We try to make my job (and my husband’s job) something that we can enjoy as a family. He brings them to my games, they come with me to practice sometimes. As much as possible, we turn my job into family time. We obviously know the importance of being at home as a family, and we make extra effort to do that as well. For instance, date nights are seldom during basketball season, instead we choose to spend the few nights we have free to do something as a family. We also are pretty lame socially during the season, once again, choosing family first as much as possible! I also do a lot of volunteer writing for School to the Nations (mission training NPO), The LeapYear Project, and our local church, but writing is something that I can work on after they are asleep which doesn’t usually interfere with family time. Having kids makes for some great writing ideas!!
As a mom, how do you keep yourself spiritually healthy?
I once heard someone say, “You cannot pour into others unless your glass if full first.” I cannot be the mom that Anabelle and Mya need unless I first fill my cup with God’s Word. This is an area that I struggle with because spending time in the Word requires time and quiet, two things that are hard to find in our household! I am learning to take the time given to me, whether it’s 30 minutes or 30 seconds. I feel like we as moms place unneeded pressure on ourselves to spend hours in God’s Word every day, when in reality this just causes guilt when we are not consistent. God asks for hearts turned towards Him, so whether I am playing dress-up or having my quiet time, He wants to fill my cup.
What is some advice you would give new moms or mommys-to-be out there?
1. Be a wife then a mommy. Your husband will be a better parent partner if he is treated as a husband first and not only a Daddy/Mr. Fix-It/Diaper-Changer. Carve out time to spend together, unplugged from media, as much as possible. Go on dates, talk about something other than the kids, read a book together.
2. Find other moms in the same season. I have a few close friends who have young kids, and because they understand where I am, they are lifesavers when things get hectic!
3. Relax. Babies will eat when the are hungry. Babies will sleep when they are tired. Babies will develop just like God intends. Remember, He is in control not you right?!?
What are a few of your favorite baby/kid products?
1) Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment: Natural diaper rash treatment. Worked great on my girls!
2) LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set :Great way to keep them busy while you cook and helps them learn their ABCs!
3) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? My First Reader: Family favorite!
4) Little House on the Prairie – The Complete Season 1: Great wholesome television that teaches life lessons…one of Anabelle’s favorites!
5) Cuisinart DFP-3 Handy Prep 3-Cup Food Processor: Definitely a must have for a Mommy to make baby food, hide veggies in meals, and save time slicing and dicing too!
What are some of the most helpful books you’ve read on motherhood and parenting?
5) Also, the Focus on the Family Daily Podcast and the Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson Podcast are great resources if you are on the go!
Any tips or tricks on saving money as a mom?
I recently did my first try with Freezer Meals and have had great success. A friend of mine came over and we cooked for 9 hours but walked away with 20+ meals each. I haven’t had to buy meat since November!!
Also, our area has a kids directory that has a list of “Kids Eat Free” restaurants. Find out where kids eat free and frequent these places!!
If you get a chance, swing by Abi’s blog, Like a Thread, and say hi!