We were very lucky to interview another amazing mom this week. Katie has two daughters who are in very different stages of childhood. When we walked in the door we were greeted by her 5 year who was writing in her notebook, and her 8 month old who was crawling around everywhere. Katie was in the laundry room washing out tie-dye clothes they had made the day before while her husband kept an eye on the girls. With a 5 year old, an 8 month old, and her own business to run we are still trying to figure out how she has the time to tie-dye!
Katie is a very calm and confident mom and you can hear it in all of her answers. She doesn’t worry about what other people think and doesn’t feel pressured to take advice from anyone. She spoke very candidly about everything including making sure her daughters feel loved, what made her slow down and prioritize, and the dreaded 4th trimester.
Please help us welcome Katie into the Mom of Fame! We hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as we did—but don’t consider it advice, she tries not to give that!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
That you don’t actually have to take the advice. It’s just somebody’s opinion, it’s not fact.
Honestly I was given a lot of terrible advice about motherhood. And a lot of that advice is given with the attitude of “it’s not optional, you’re required to do this”. Especially from medical professionals and the grandparents. So I guess the best advice that I’ve seen would actually be from the internet. Because you can totally trust everything on the internet, right!? [Laughs]. That you don’t actually have to take the advice. It’s just somebody’s opinion, it’s not fact. You just do whatever works best for you and your kid. Because whatever somebody is telling you is what worked best for them and their kid.
I try not to give unsolicited advice. I try not to give any advice at all, unless I’m asked.
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
The beginning is way harder than I had anticipated. The age that [my oldest] is now (5) is a lot of fun. It’s a pleasure to be a parent for her and as [my youngest] gets older it gets easier. But that 4th trimester period is just about surviving. There is very little about it that I enjoy. It’s more about, “okay let’s make it through this period without anybody dying and then we’ll get to the good part”.
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
I wouldn’t say they’re my strengths, more my priorities. They are:
1. To make sure my daughters feel loved for who they are. That I love and appreciate them exactly as they are and not try to make them into somebody else. Or try to make them into “better” people. They’re wonderful people the way that they are.
2. To have perspective and be realistic. That in the beginning things like what your kid eats at each meal seems super important. Basically because it’s the only parenting decision you’re making at the time. So yeah, it’s super important because it’s the only decision you have to make. But as time goes on, it becomes more clear that as long as you’re giving your kids everything that they need; you’re feeding them, you’re clothing them, you’re educating them, and you’re loving them. The fact that once in a while they have toaster waffles for dinner and go to bed sweaty and without their teeth brushed, everything is going to be okay.
3. Flexibility is absolutely necesssary. I’m a planner. I like to plan ahead. I like to have everything all set. We make a meal plan, we almost never adhere to it. But thereotically I have dinner planned for the week. And it makes life harder if I’m wedded to that plan. As opposed to, “okay this is the guidelines of what we’re going to do this week and hopefully we get to everything; but realistically we’re not going to.”
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
So at one point I was trying to do so many things that I literally ran out of gas. Figuratively too, but literally ran out of gas on the freeway.
There have definitely been a couple of times like that. Actually this past winter with [my youngest]. There was a period where my business was growing, I was trying to figure out how to meet all of my business obligations. How to get through our morning routine; get up and get ready and get out of the door on time. We were adjusting to having [my husband]’s job change. So at one point I was trying to do so many things that I literally ran out of gas. Figuratively too, but literally ran out of gas on the freeway.
It’s like I need to prioritize better and I cant just make everybody else happy. I have to literally take care of myself in some ways before I do something just to make someone else happy. If I’m not getting gas, if I’m not buying the groceries then the bare minimum is not being met. And those things need to be done before, “oh grandma really needs to see the kids”. That gets hard sometimes.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
In all seriousness, core strength. Functional abdominal muscles. Luckily that is something you can get back. But it’s annoying me that it’s taking so long.
[I’ve gained] a different outlook on life. To be able to see what’s truly important. Because I want to live intentionally, and react intentionally. And make sure that I’m telling my daughters what is important to me. So I have to know what that is.
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
If their gut is telling them to decline, then they can and should without guilt.
I want them to learn that “no” is not a bad word, that they can and should say “no” to people. I don’t want them to think that they are required to do whatever grownups, teachers, friends, boys, bosses, etc tell them to. If their gut is telling them to decline, then they can and should without guilt.
What is it like owning your own business and having a family?
So my business is kind of weird in that it’s 24/7. There are good parts of that and bad parts of that. I have a client that has a shift that starts at midnight. So I have to be there to introduce the caregiver to the client. At midnight. Normally, obviously, with a small child I would be asleep.
But that also means that there are things that don’t have to get done during the 9 to 5. So if [my oldest] has been begging me to pick her up early from school, or if the nanny says that she needs to leave early, there are a lot of times where I can have that flexibility. Where I pick her up at 3:30 or the nanny leaves a little early and I can run payroll while I’m sitting in the basement with the girls. Or when [my youngest] was less mobile I’d bring her to the office with me and be able to get stuff done while she slept.