This week’s Monday Mama is my cute friend Laura. When I was about to begin labor, our apartment flooded and I had to push through my contractions on a mattress in our living room. Laura came to my rescue, made me a little beanie for my babe, and just sat with me on our mattress talking me through labor and becoming a new mom. I love her for that!
She is a wife and mother to firefighter/paramedic/personal trainer Brady. She has a 15 month old busy little boy named Emmett. Her profession is being a personal assistant to her toddler and a helpful housewife to her busy husband. She and her husband are originally from Arizona and Oregon but are currently living in American Fork Utah where they want to stay permanently.
Here’s her story:
“I graduated in Family Studies at BYU and I loved my major. I also wanted to be a smart mama. I feel like it really prepared me to become a mother. I have always wanted to be a mother, especially since that is how I was raised. I am the oldest in my family of 6 kids and naturally, I was the constant babysitter and helper. My youngest and only sister was born when I was almost 16 years old. So transitioning into motherhood has been great for me but still a surprise.
I loved my degree but I secretly didn’t want to tell people what I was majoring in. For whatever reason, I had put a negative stigma to it, thinking that it was just the “Mom” major and it is true that MANY other women go into this major. “What are you going to use it for anyway?” people would ask me. But I quickly realized that I don’t have to prove myself to the world my choice of being a mother with an unused degree. That is my two cents on that.
The major thing that has helped me love motherhood is that I feel like I have an identity. My husband Brady has an awesome career as a firefighter/paramedic and people LOVE asking him about it. I guess I felt competitive and ashamed for not having anything to bring to the table before I had my boy. But now that we have our son, I felt I finally had something to be passionate about. And I have loved that we have finally settled into our much anticipated and traditional roles as a mother at home and a bread winning father. Although, this situation doesn’t work for everyone, it has brought much happiness to our family. But I was also wrong for thinking that my worth was conditional on what I did. Doing my best was all that mattered. I am sure many woman have felt this way too!
And I never needed to compete with him. We are a team and in this together in raising a family. It has been tough trying to get him a fire job. We have moved around a lot and there are many nights where he is away at the station. And the hardest part is when he comes home but is dead tired from being up all night with calls. Sometimes when he comes home I just want to say, “Here honey, take him, clean this and I am going to take a nap!” Being a mother is exhausting, demanding and draining. But overtime, we have established good routines, like letting my husband sleep when he get home, and then he can help me. He has been a great father and partner in all of this and I am eternally grateful. I am sure many women out there also don’t have the best family situations or working conditions as well and I can understand how that feels now.
I also sympathize for the working woman, especially the pregnant working woman. It isn’t easy that is for sure. They whole year I was pregnant, my husband was going through a difficult paramedic program with volunteer overnight shifts, 12-hour clinicals at the hospital and lectures at school on top of that. So I needed to support us with a full-time job and still finishing my schooling, as a part-time student. I was working at plumbing and electric company in the office and felt comfortable. However, when I was 5 months pregnant, out of the blue, I got laid-off and I wasn’t sure where to go from there. We were so scared. How was I going to get a job? Being 5 months preggo? Would he quit his paramedic program? But prayers were answered. It is funny how things work out! I found a fantastic part-time nanny job with a family that only needed me for a short amount of time anyway, while the mother recovered from surgery. It was a much better job anyway since I was going to be a mother soon anyway. And I also went back to work at my old job as a server at Tucanos Brazilian Grill. It was kind of crazy trying to squeeze into my uniform and serve large trays of drinks while being slightly big but it felt good to know that I was working hard to support my family and have a baby soon! After a while it became too much and I started being a hostess instead. Another miracle through it all, was that I felt great working and being pregnant too.
Lastly, I just wanted to touch on the subject of perfectionism as a mother. THANK GOODNESS I found the book, “The Burnout Cure” by Julie Hanks early on in my life as a mother and wife. It has changed my life. I would recommend it to any woman who feels like she needs to do it all exactly right and then falls flat on her face with exhaustion. We don’t need to complete a new craft every day, look amazingly fit one month postpartum and have a sparkling clean home! It just simply doesn’t work like that ha ha. We need to focus on what is important and be content with our efforts in every step of the way. Less is more! I love how the Author in the book explains it. Instead of just having a “To Do” list we should also have a “Ta Da!” list! This is where you list the great things that you have done that wasn’t necessarily on your original To Do list. Like talking with a friend in need for half an hour, cuddling with my baby while we watch Dinosaur Train together or dropping something to the station that my husband forgot and getting a hello out of it is just to name a few for me. All in all, I try to still do what I love but not get burnt out. If I give myself my time, I will be better able to give more of myself to my family. I hope I was able to speak in a way that was real so that I can connect with other woman that share the same feelings I have felt as a new mother!”