Mom of Fame: Balancing Long Work Days and a 6 Month Old

Ann was one of our roommates in college. We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 1 bathroom and 4 girls! As you can imagine, we got to know each other pretty well. Ann was (and is) always so much fun to be around whether we were going out to the bars or just sitting in our apartment watching tv. When she told us she was pregnant we were so excited she would be joining us in the “mom club”.

Before she was even thinking about getting pregnant she asked us all kinds of questions about being a mom. Most of them centered around giving birth and the healing process after. As Ann says in her interview she likes to be very informed before she makes a decision. Luckily, we both had pretty easy deliveries and babies that we could tell her about or she may not have wanted to get pregnant at all!

We had so much fun interviewing Ann while all of our kiddos played (not really with each other, but around each other at least!) She told us all about her transition to being a working mom, how important she thinks empathy is in motherhood, and how she gained a new respect for her husband after having her daughter. Please help us welcome Ann into the Mom of Fame, she definitely deserves it!

What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give it to somebody else?

One piece of advice that I found helpful was from a book I read. It talked about accepting help; especially in the beginning. If someone offers to come over and help you, let them! It seems obvious but even after reading that I still felt like I was putting people out or that they thought I couldn’t handle it.  I quickly realized that people truly care about you and your baby and are happy lend a hand.

The other advice came from my cousin who has two older kids.  I was stressing out about something, probably sleep training, and he told me, “I don’t know if this will make you feel better, but whatever you’re worrying about right now, it won’t last long and then you’ll have something new to worry about that feels more important.  It pretty much never ends.”  I have found this to be true and strangely comforting, it has helped me have a little perspective to know that nothing I’m dealing with now will last forever.

I would give this advice to a new parent, especially accepting help.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I thought I would have more trouble in the beginning.  I haven’t spent much time around kids; I was the youngest in my family and never babysat.  I feel like I’ve taken to it a lot easier than I thought I would. I imagined I would question myself a lot more, but I really don’t.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Patience and Empathy – in those first couple of months when she was just crying her heart out, I think I did a pretty good job of always trying to stay calm.  I would just tell myself that whatever she is going through is worse than what I’m going through.  She has entered this new world and it must be overwhelming. I’m sure she thought she was starving to death when she was hungry or if I set her down she thought she was all alone. I tried to remind myself that she’s not not sleeping because she’s maliciously trying to ruin my night; she’s obviously going through something.

Organization – Just making it to a doctor’s appointment takes a new level of preparation!  Also, getting her prepared for daycare takes a lot of time management and organization.  I always like to keep myself organized, so that when I come home from a long day at work, I can spend more time with her rather than preparing all her stuff for the next day.

Research – I am someone who likes to know all the facts and opinions about everything going on.  I always feel more comfortable making decisions when I have put time into reading everything I can on a subject.  I don’t always listen to it, but for example, as I start to feed her solid foods, I try to read everything I can.  

Describe a time when you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

That first month, I would say, is the most overwhelming, so far. When your body is healing, you’re not sleeping, she’s not sleeping, and you feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing.  On top of that, your hormones are all over the place!  It is somehow the most exciting time, bringing home your new baby, and the most difficult.

Is there anything you feel you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

Naturally, I have lost a little bit of freedom and independence. When I come home from work I want to spend all of my time with her so it’s hard to do anything else!  I haven’t really found balance between spending time with her and taking a little time for myself.  I think as I get used to working and having her, I will feel better about doing a few things for myself, but as of now I focus on spending all my free time with her, which I truly enjoy.

I’ve gained everything. I’ve gained her and she’s amazing. Also, I have gained a lot of respect for my husband because he is so helpful.  He has really taken to fatherhood and is so supportive.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I just want her to be a good person. I want her to learn to be kind and confident and respectful. I want her to understand the importance of working hard and appreciating what you have.

How did the transition go from being home with her on maternity leave to working long hours and having her in daycare?

I think it went pretty well. It helped that I had a friend come stay with us for a month. He stayed home with her and helped me transition. I got to go back to work knowing that she was at home and I could call whenever I wanted and check in.  I was also able to work on my morning routine to adjust for her needs.

Now that she is at daycare, I think it is going really well. I think it is beneficial for both of us to get a little bit of separation.  She always gives her caregivers a big smile when she arrives and she looks happy playing with the other babies. They send me pictures and videos and watching her interact with the other children is so cute!  I really think it is harder on me most days being away from her.

The Journey to Motherhood – A Story of IVF

The journey to motherhood comes in all shapes, sizes and stories. We were recently scrolling through Facebook and came upon a very open and honest post from Julie about her struggles getting pregnant and her new journey through IVF.

When asked if she would be willing to share her story with us there really wasn’t any hesitation. She was sharing her story, not for herself, but for people who are going through very similar circumstances.

A lot of times one thinks that the road to motherhood is an easy one, well, it’s not for some. About 10% of women (just in the U.S) have trouble getting pregnant. Thank goodness for modern medicine and the options people have.

Thank you to Julie for sharing her story. If it helps one person it’s worth it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what’s been going on.

My name is Julie Ray. My husband and I got married in July 2017 and we currently live in southern Indiana. Leading up to our wedding I had been on birth control for a few reasons. 1- the main one, prevent pregnancies (ha, jokes on me!) and 2- I had really bad cramping with my monthly cycle and the pills took a majority of that away for me. My husband wanted me to come off the pill more than a few months before our wedding just so we could be ready and my body was back to a normal cycle by the time the wedding came along. With that, my fear was I don’t want my period on my wedding day! I ended up stopping the pill the day of our wedding rehearsal just to be sure!

I knew becoming a mom was something I always wanted to do. But in college, I had a scare. For about 2 years, I would get excruciating pain around my right ovary. Eventually it got so bad that my mother had to drive up to college and pick me up to rush me to my doctor back home. They found multiple cysts, some up to 10 mm on or around my ovary. I was scheduled for surgery the next day. After the surgery, I was informed that they were not on my ovary (thank heavens!) but on my Fallopian tube. The damage was so bad from the cysts flipping and turning that they had to remove my tube. My heart sunk into my stomach. “Will I be able to have kids?!” was the first thing I asked. The doctors assured me that I would have no problem since I had the other tube.

6 months after getting married, we started to see a fertility doctor. I knew I was going to have a hard time but I wanted to make sure the other tube was not blocked. After some blood tests, ultrasounds, a painful HSG test, the doctor said we are fully functional, well as most as I can be. But… we are going on 1.5 years of trying, timing, calculating, temping, CM watching, lots of negative pregnancy tests, sad nights, emotional weeks, and disappointing days.

January 9 was the start of our next process. We began our IVF journey. My husband, thankfully, has infertility coverage through his insurance so as soon as I was able to get on his, we started our appointments. I am 10 days into my cycle and a lot of shots, ultrasounds, blood work, later, we are coming close to our retrieval day. After the retrieval we plan on doing the PGS testing where we can see if the embryos are genetically normal. This also increases our chances of the embryo sticking when transferred. Anything that we can do to improve our odds, we are doing! By the end of February, we should know if we are pregnant! Fingers crossed. If not, we have elected to freeze any mature embryos for future FETs.

What has made you the most overwhelmed about getting pregnant?

The emotions that go into it. There would be some pretty sad and exhausting days this last year and a half. Why me? How is it so easy for them? Hearing people say “Just relax, it will happen” ” Just keep trying” “Don’t think about it” “Have some wine” “Are you pregnant yet?!” …. that was by far the worst one. Especially since they did not know what we were struggling with.

You feel like you are not adequate to be a mother, not supposed to be one, if it doesn’t happen naturally. You see people getting married after you, and within 2 months, posting that they were pregnant on social media. People who weren’t even trying, used protection or just “look at their husband/significant other” and boop – I’m Pregnant!

There was a time that I had to take myself off social media because I couldn’t emotionally handle seeing anyone else get what I was craving. There was a jealous and hateful feeling that would come over you when you see that. But then you feel selfish for feeling that way because this is something they clearly wanted as well. It was so hard to get over that.

What advice have you gotten about the process (if any)?

See the comments before that you would receive from people that didn’t know you were struggling with infertility…. but after I started talking about it, joined a IVF support group on Facebook, I found more and more people that were also struggling or had gone through it in the past.

That support system is WAY different that the support system of someone not going through it. There are a lot of things out there about IVF to make it work: acupuncture, pineapples, yoga, naps, icing the shot spot before/after, writing journals. But in the end, you just have to do what you feel is best.

What would you tell someone going through the same thing?

There is a stigma about IVF, which I am happy is going away slowly, that if you are going through it that you have failed. That you have to go to someone for help to get pregnant. But people struggle with infertility for so many reasons: PCOS, husband/wife are in the military and not home to conceive naturally, work different schedules and are not home at the same time, low sperm count, missing parts, and so many more.


I know what I struggled with was I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want their pitty, or sympathy. But the hard part was, without talking about it, no one knows what you are going through and may say/do things without knowing that it effects you in a negative way. My advice is if you are comfortable with it, talk about it. Share that you are going through this. You are not alone. My hardest thing to overcome when realizing that this is the journey we would have to take to conceive a child, was that I am not the only person that has to go through this.  The biggest thing is to change your mindset. This is an unfortunate thing that you have to go through, and its not an ideal thing, but its here so you have to face it head on. Others get pregnant naturally, this is how you ARE going to get pregnant. And it is okay. It is okay to ask for help, to cry, to share you story with others. 

It’s such an emotional and private thing but if you keep it bottled up, it will be something you find only you and your SO are left to deal with and bear. After opening up about it, I have received so much support and love from others – it was overwhelming. As soon as I hit Post, i felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. It wasn’t a secret I was hiding anymore, I am not the only one who knows about this. Now that is totally something you have to be comfortable with doing but for me personally, it was a game changer. 

How can someone be supportive to a friend/family member going through the same thing?

After sharing my story with a few close friends/family before posting on social media, they were so intrigued. None of them had struggled with it before so they did not know the emotions and process that goes into it. But from the outside in, don’t pry. If the person going through the process is open, they will share what they want. If you are curious about what they are going through, read some articles, do your own research, then ask them questions. The effort you put in to show you are genuinely there to support and take this journey with them will be proven. Don’t feel bad for the person going through this because they didn’t do anything wrong.

There are friends who just put you in their prayers and send love/positive thoughts your way. One of my best friends texts me every night at shot time and just sends words of encouragement. My sister and mother cheer on my follicles to grow every morning after the ultrasound updates. My sister bought me a pineapple necklace for Christmas – and yes i started crying… (symbol for infertility and that you are a strong person on the outside and spikes on your shell to defend off the bad things in life, with a sweet center and crown on your head).

Texting a friend and saying “You got this. This is your month” goes a long way. 

Have any of your relationships with mom friends changed because of this?

My sister had my 4th nephew 5 months after we started trying, and I got a negative pregnancy test the day before. I was struggling wanting to go to the hospital to see him because I was jealous.

My brother actually called me selfish for not wanting to go, but then my parents told him what we were struggling with and he came to me crying to hug me and tell me he didn’t know. But like I mentioned earlier, I had to learn to put my own personal feelings aside and be happy for them.

My friends who were finding out they were pregnant, or having kids, or raising kids, I had to at first, separate myself from them because hearing comments about the kids, positive or negative, made me think “I want that” or “I want your sleepless nights”.

But after some time, my mindset changed. A small amount of jealousy remains but my happiness for them that they do not have to struggle with this beyond trumps it. 

Anything else you would want to add?

You are not flawed.

You are going to be a mother one way or the other. If that is your goal, you will achieve it. Find a group of people that have gone through/going through this and use them as a support system. They TRULY get what you are going through and can lend a helping hand, offer advice from what they did, or vent about the same things together. You are not less of a woman because you are struggling with infertility. You are STRONG because you have been chosen that you can get through this and I know you can handle it so here- try me! Whether I know you or not, if you need someone to talk this through with or just ask some questions, please let me know and I am happy to help! 

Secrets of a Daycare Director: 5 Things You Must Do Before Choosing a Daycare

Choosing a daycare for your child(ren) is hard! There are so many options out there, how do you know which is best? What should you be looking for? What should you ask? Should you send your child to a chain? A private daycare? An in-home?

Only you can make these decisions based on what is best for your family but I am here to hopefully make the decision a little easier. Before I became a stay at home mom I was the director of a daycare. I gave hundreds of tours and saw all different kinds of parents looking for all different kinds of things. After giving all of these tours I decided that these are the 5 things you must do before choosing a daycare.

**Soon I will be putting together a list of essential questions to ask while on a daycare tour. It will be included in our next newsletter so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out!**


When I was a director I HATED when people would do this. It seemed like they would always come when I was either trying to eat my lunch (like poor Ryan is trying to do above) or right when I was trying to leave for the day. Now I say I hated it, but I completely understood why the parents did it. When you call and make an appointment with a director for a tour several things happen. First, she writes it on the calendar where all of the teachers can see it. Then she walks around the morning of and reminds the teachers that a tour is coming and what time. This means that everyone is on their best behavior. The director is prepared for exactly what to say, the teachers are using their sweetest voices, and the children are doing the most engaging activities (because the teachers planned it that way).

When you just drop in for a tour you are able to see a more genuine version of the school. You can first see how the director handles having her day (and probably her lunch) interrupted. Then you can hear the teachers when they don’t necessarily know they are being heard by a prospective parent. And finally, you can see what the kiddos are doing in the middle of a random day. I’m sure most places would prefer a scheduled tour, but if I were you, I would just drop in! (And if they won’t accept a drop in tour, they are probably not the place for you).

When you are touring a daycare or preschool you are obviously looking at a specific room depending on the age of your child. You really should look at ALL of the rooms, though. I was always amazed when I was giving a tour and the parents wanted to skip all of the rooms besides the one their child would be in. I understand you may be short on time, but trust me, this is necessary.

For one, if your child is there for more than 6 months they will probably be going to the next room. It would be a shame to choose a school because you loved the toddler room, but then have to pull your child out because the preschool room is terrible. Also, if your child is there all day they will inevitably be with the other teachers for part of it. The end of the day at most daycares consists of creatively shuffling the kids around so that teachers can go home while ratios are still upheld. This means that your child will end the day with a different teacher than they started with. Don’t you want to meet everyone who will be with them throughout the day and the year?

Every two years a daycare has to renew their license (if the daycare you are looking at isn’t licensed…RUN!). This means that a consultant shows up randomly and makes sure the daycare is following all of the necessary rules. At the end of their visit they write a report to show the violations that were found. Before even visiting the daycare you should check out their licensing report. This is available online and should be very easy to find by googling “daycare licensing reports in ___ (if you live in Michigan, you can find it here).

A few things to keep in mind when reading the reports. First, don’t panic! It is the licensing consultant’s job to find things wrong with the daycare so there will always be at least a few violations. Second, not all violations are created equal. Be sure to read what the violation is before deciding the daycare doesn’t deserve to watch your child. Teachers are only human and sometimes accidents happen. Finally, if you are really uncomfortable about something you read but like everything else about the school, ask the director about it. You will learn a lot from how she answers those types of questions.

In order for you to be comfortable with sending your child to a daycare, you have to trust them. The best way to begin to build that trust is to speak to other parents who trusted them with their own children. Many schools will already have a list of parent references, but if they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask for one. Then actually CALL a few of the parents on the list. Make sure you have specific questions for them so that you get as much out of the call as possible.

Now obviously if they are providing the references, they are all going to be people who had good experiences at the school. This is what you want to hear, though! If you are looking for complaints about the school check out google or yelp. Right now you are looking for people to ease your mind about sending your child there, and a parent reference list is a perfect place to find that.

Each parent is looking at different things during a tour depending on what is most important to them. Along with those, I would suggest you also focus on three things; the teachers, the children, and the equipment. Specifically:

Teachers: The teachers should be engaged with the children. She should be on the ground with the kiddos or in a chair near them. She should also be speaking in a positive way to the students and about the school. Feel free to ask the teachers specific questions about how the day looks in her classroom, what curriculum she uses and/or what she does about behavior problems. The teachers should be prepared to answer questions and the director should be able to monitor the class while she does so.

Children: The children should look happy! Now obviously there will be crying kids every time you walk into a daycare, but the majority of them should look like they want to be there. They should also look engaged in the classroom and the activity that is going on. Finally, they should look comfortable with the teacher and the director.

Equipment: The equipment should look well taken care of. If there are a bunch of broken toys or cracks in the floor it’s not a good sign that the school is staying updated and safe. The equipment should also look age-appropriate. This is important for keeping the children engaged as well as for their safety.

Mom of Fame – Julie

Julie and I were very close in high school. She was one of my absolute best friends though the throng of high school drama and joy. We got along incredibly well and had so many of the same interests. Julie was (and is) the type of person that gets along with everyone because she is emphatic and kind. She knows everyone’s situation is different and respects that.

Unfortunately, after high school, we went to different colleges and only saw each other once in a while when we were home for a break. This is where I adore social media. For the people I considered a best friend; to be able to get a glimpse inside their life since I cannot be there.

Julie and her husband got pregnant years ago and reached out to try and take some maternity photos closer to the date. I was so excited to try and get this together. It’s with much sadness that I have to say she lost her first baby boy at 21 weeks pregnant. I was in shock and awe at how she took an incredibly sad situation and handled it with such grace. But, that’s Julie. Through friends, family and faith she was able to get through one of the hardest experiences of her life.

But, Julie was now a mother. She was always made to be a mother. For anyone that knows her, knows this. She now has a one year old baby boy with another one on the way. I wish for nothing but happiness for this family. Julie deserves the title of Mom of Fame in the most deserving way.


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?

“Every child is different”

This advice is so accurate. Not every recipe works the same for every kid. Having friends with children and many nieces and nephews, I saw what worked for them and was disappointed when it didn’t work for me. Why does my baby still need a bottle before bedtime? Why is my baby still waking up during the night? Although I should remember the advice that every child is different, it’s easy to compare where your child is at. I believe it is helpful advice to mothers who need the reminder that IT’S OK! It’s ok if some things don’t work for you. You’ll find your own groove in time and everything will be ok.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I never imagined motherhood would be this hard. I have a very helpful husband and family and I still find it difficult to find time in the day to get things done. If I’m not working, I’m playing with William, cleaning the house, or picking up where William just made a mess after I cleaned! It truly can be exhausting and every day I can’t wait for his bed-time so I can sit on the couch and relax. The funny thing is that after William goes to bed, I miss him and can’t wait for him to wake up again.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I always thought that I had very little patience for anything- I’m a fast walker, I drive fast, and I hate long lines. However, I surprised myself with the level of patience I have with my son. Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to get him dressed for the day. Sometimes I make three different meals to find one food that he’ll eat. If he’s not feeling well, I will hold him as long as he wants just to comfort him. But someone driving 5 mph under the speed limit? NO.

I always try to remember that he has feelings as well and try to react accordingly. It may be hard for him to communicate how he is feeling, so I try to understand.

I always try to be goofy with my boy. We have dance parties every night and see who can yell the loudest. Even though he’s at the age where he’s an educational sponge and learning so much, I try to remember he’s a little boy and I can only be goofy like this for a short time before he tells me I’m not cool anymore.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

As a working mother who travels a lot, it was difficult for me to get back to my career after having William. I knew I wanted to breastfeed for as long as I could, but it got to the point where I would stress about pumping in the small airplane bathroom or finding nursing rooms at every U.S. airport just for some privacy. Additionally, I would often check in with my husband and stress out about how much milk supply we had left to be sure we wouldn’t run out.

It was also challenging finding time to pump while traveling. I never wanted to miss any important meeting, or the opportunity of networking and getting to know co-workers better. Work was very accommodating of being a mother and allowed me to step away whenever I needed to, but this was pressure I put on myself. How can I be an awesome employee and an awesome mother at the same time?

All this being said, one specific time I lost it was on a flight to Phoenix. I already cried on the way to the airport for leaving my son, and my flight was delayed. We didn’t board for 3 hours after we were scheduled to leave. Just before boarding, I wanted to pump since it was a long flight and realized I accidentally put one piece of my pump in my checked bag. I cried at the airport.

Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I feel like I lost all my free time. The ability to watch an afternoon movie (I fall asleep if watching at night!). Meeting up with friends spontaneously. When I do have a free hour when William is napping, I am overwhelmed with the possibilities of what to do- should I catch up on laundry? Should I watch a TV show? Should I empty the dishwasher? Oh, the freedom! By the time I finally decide how I want to spend it, he’s up again!

I used to worry that being a mother would be so tiring I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else. For me, it had the opposite effect. Now I am more determined to do well because it affects my son. I feel like I have gained motivation to succeed as much as possible to be a good role model and provide for my family. I never thought I would love someone so much but I would literally do anything for that kid.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

Respect, kindness, determination. I want him to live a happy and fulfilled life.

You had a late term loss and it seemed, through social media, that you were handling it with such grace. What got you through that loss and what advice and/or guidance would you give someone in a similar situation?

Faith, family, and friends.

Being a Christian helped bring my husband and I comfort. We met with our Pastor who prayed with us. We told ourselves that we lost our son on earth, but he will enjoy the glories of Heaven and we will see him again someday.

Our family didn’t leave our side. They were with us at the ultrasound, at the hospital when I delivered him, and with us every day to offer support.

In dealing with loss, we were in a dark place and having our family surround us with their love really helped.

We have close friends who went through a similar loss who were easy to open up to. It always helps talking to someone who knows exactly what emotions you are experiencing. They helped explain that grief comes in many different forms and to not be angry at each other if we are grieving differently. As a newly married couple at this point, this advice really helped us and strengthened our marriage.

To anyone going through a loss- whether it be early or late- my biggest advice is to never give up hope. I know it’s easier said than done. It’s ok to cry and it’s ok to be angry. You will go through all the emotions and that’s normal. You aren’t alone. Talk to someone about what you’re going through. There is a network of people who have been in your situation who would love to help. Grieve how you need to, remembering that this too shall pass.

Mom of Fame – Lindsay

I met Lindsay when she started dating one of my husband’s friends. She immediately fit in with everyone and I knew right away that we would get along perfectly. Fast forward five years and we were both pregnant at the same time and due only weeks apart.

When she went into the hospital to be induced her husband kept his friends updated daily in a group text. It took her several days and a pretty scary delivery but eventaully she had her beautiful baby girl. Two days later I went into labor and had my son within a few hours of getting to the hospital. We gave birth only 2 days apart but our experiences were so completely different. Lindsay told me later that when her husband told her how quickly we had our baby she said “you know I love your friends, but they suck”.  

In reality she was extremely happy for us because she is just that type of person. She puts others first and you can really tell that when watching her as a mom. She had to wait longer than most to have her happy ending and because of that she doesn’t take anything for granted. Please help us welcome Lindsay to the Mom of Fame, she deserves it more than she realizes!


Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

I was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania. I moved around the country (St. Louis, Virginia Beach and Atlanta) after college, but settled back down here in 2001. I met my husband Ken in October 2012 when he moved here from Michigan for a new job. We bonded over our mutual love for sports, our families and friends. I feel like we clicked instantly and I knew he was “the one” when my dog Captain kissed him on the first date. This is our joke, but Captain was a rescue and afraid of men, but jumped right up on Ken’s lap and loved him from day one. We adopted another dog, Lollipop, after buying our new house in September 2014. We got married in June 2015 and knew we wanted to start a family (human babies) right away. We faced some challenges along the way and eventually were blessed with a beautiful baby girl in October 2017. She is now 15 months old and we really count our blessings each and every day.

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? 

There’s no shortage of advice when you’re a new mom. I think the best advice was probably that each kid is unique and that you will figure out what is best for your child and know what your child needs. We were also told by friends who recently had their first child that the first month or two is insane with little sleep, but that time passes quickly and you will survive and thrive again. For the most part [I did take the advice]. The second piece of advice helped me through those tough first few months of adapting to minimal sleep and being responsible for a tiny human being. I would definitely [give that advice to others].

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I imagined lots of fun activities like going to parks, museums, beaches, Mommy & Me classes, festivals and etc. I pictured doing these things with my friends with kids as well. The difference is I didn’t realize kids have different nap schedules, kids get sick A LOT (which changes plans frequently) and I didn’t imagine some things I thought my daughter would love (MyGym) were terrifying to her and more like torture than a fun bonding experience. On the serious side, I have more love and patience than I ever thought possible. I seriously can’t stop hugging and telling my daughter how much I love her while she’s still little and can’t push me away.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Sense of humor.First, I’m silly with my baby girl, dancing, singing, giggling, making faces and etc. I love to make her laugh and giggle. Second, I use sense of humor to get through the tougher times of motherhood and life in general. 

Openness. I am open and honest and willing to communicate with anyone. I am open to new ideas, trying new ways of doing things and often reach out to my friends and other moms for advice or best practices when something isn’t working out.

Empathetic.I try to understand what others are going through and why they may act/react a certain way. For parenting, I am trying to understand what it must be like for her and what she may be going through even though she isn’t able to express or communicate to us fully yet. This is particularly helpful in stressful times when she smacks food out of my hands or throws it back at me during meals.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

The first few months were really difficult. We had a mostly healthy 38 weeks of pregnancy and took all the classes we could and felt prepared to enter parenthood. We knew there would be much to learn on the fly as well. At 39 weeks it was determined I had high blood pressure so they wanted to induce. It took about 3.5 days from the time they started different induction methods until our little girl was born. I experienced some complications and she was born with fluid and meconium in her lungs so she was rushed to NICU. I didn’t get to hold her until the next day due to my recovery from the complications. I cried when I first held her from an influx of emotions and love. Then all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with anxiety and panic. She spent a week in the NICU. My husband had to start a new job four days after we brought her home. Luckily my mom is retired and lives relatively close so she came down every day to help out while he was at work. I was literally scared to be left alone with her. The anxiety was unlike anything I ever experienced before. Of course, I felt like a bad mother for feeling that way. Around six weeks she developed colic and started spitting up and crying in pain frequently. After several doctor visits it was determined she had acid reflux. On her 3 month birthday we met with a Pediatric GI Specialist that helped us remedy and deal with her discomfort and reflux. At that point, we realized we had a very happy baby and from there on the anxiety decreased and I began feeling more confident in my parenting. I feel bad at times to think of how stressed and anxious I was in the beginning, but I know now that we made it through as stronger parents and partners. There’s still plenty of anxiety that pops up from time to time, but I believe that’s normal and it’s nothing that consumes me.

Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I’ve lost my privacy, you know, going to the bathroom alone, for even a minute. It’s one thing when she started coming in with me. It actually made me laugh, but now she’s intently watching me and sometimes offers me toilet paper, and that is taking some getting used to. 

I’ve gained perspective and how to be present. Much of my time is spent sitting on the floor with her and watching her play, playing with her or reading to her. The smartphone, Facebook and texts can wait until she goes to bed. I am a working mother so I only have so many minutes a day with her and I do my best to be fully present and enjoy her.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

Compassion. There’s so much negativity in the world today, but I hope that she will always keep an open mind and seek out opportunities to experience different cultures, have friends from different backgrounds, and help those who are less fortunate or those with differing abilities. I enjoy volunteering with different agencies in my community and sit on the board of a nonprofit. Between the diversity in our family and our volunteering efforts in the community, I hope that our daughter will also have a passion for giving back or just being open and caring to all individuals.

How do you think becoming a mom later in life changed how you handle motherhood?

There are definitely benefits of having children younger and there are benefits to having them when you’re a little older. My husband and I were both able to travel and experience the world before we met each other and have traveled quite a bit together before starting our family. I know for me personally, I grew and matured so much in my 30s. Like most people, I faced and overcame many different battles during my 20s and 30s and really learned who I was and wanted to be. I learned to be more confident in who I am. I chased my career goals, reached many of those and now I am at peace slowing my career down a little while growing our family. I’m still working and growing with my career, just at a different pace and I am more than satisfied with that. With that said, I don’t really feel like I am missing out on anything by taking time to spend with my family and raising a young child. Sure, I miss getting together with friends on the drop of a dime sometimes, but both my husband and I still take time to go out with friends and we take time for ourselves. I feel confident in who I am and what I want in life for me, my family and my daughter. I have always wanted to be a mother and it took me a little while longer to find the partner/teammate I wanted to start a family with. Then when I found him, it took us some time to get pregnant and have our little girl. It was all well worth the wait and I learned that good things truly do come to those who wait. I count my blessings for both daily and try not to take our life for granted.  

Momfamers Resolutions/Goals for 2019

We wanted to start out 2019 on the right foot by making some goals for ourselves. Lisa decided to split up her goals by quarter while Erin split hers up by category. Either way, we are both hoping this is a positive and productive year for both Momfaming and for ourselves!


Instead of writing out resolutions for the year I thought (for me) to narrow it by quarter. I don’t do super well with full year goals so I am hoping by narrowing it down everything will get done. Here’s to 2019!

Quarter One (January, February, and March):
Prep for baby #2 in ALL ways possible

This is a big one right now. There is so much to do and not that much time to get it all done.

  1. Finish nursery (ahhhhhh)
  2. Go through Ben’s old clothes to see what I can use and wash those along with all new clothes.
  3. Go through and see what we still need.
  4. Prep at least a weeks worth of meals for when baby is here.
  5. Pack hospital bag.
My husband did the painting, floors and molding! Time to put it all together now! You can’t tell from the pic, but the one wall is pink and the others are gray.

Quarter Two (April, May, and June):
Make a family budget (and stick to it)

Adam got a new job last year and we cut a few things from our expenses. That helped, but now we are about to have TWO in daycare. We need to look at other ways to stay on a budget.

  1. Cut not needed items.
  2. Get a finance planner. Decide how much money should go into each category for every month (grocery, entertainment, etc.)
  3. Don’t take kids shopping with me. Ben talks (both) of us into a toy of some sort when we are out.
  4. Look for a good used car.

Quarter Three (July, August, and September):
Get body back in shape

I am allowing myself until quarter three to not worry about getting back in shape. I am hoping with breastfeeding that going into the third quarter I will be down to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Quarter Four (October, November, and December):
Organize my life

There are a lot of things that I try to do and WANT to do, but my life is not organized in a way that allows me to. Here are a few things I want to make sure I start doing.

  1. Keep a family calendar. This way Adam will see when all appointments, playdates, dinners, etc. are.
  2. Keep a journal schedule. I write to both my kids and keep two journals of my own. Need to plan a day for each.
  3. Write down a monthly date night and keep to it.
  4. Each month have one day where I spend solo time with each kid.
  5. Make time for myself (whether with a friend getting a manicure or by myself reading).
Got us a ‘week’ calendar to write down appointments and dinners. Put it in a spot my husband wouldn’t miss!


If I’m honest 2018 sucked for me. That’s hard to say since it was the first full year that Ryan was alive, but everything that didn’t have to do with him basically sucked. Because of that, I thought I should write out some resolutions to help me take control to (hopefully) make 2019 better!

I split my list into 4 categories and made specific goals for each. Each one is a running list that I will add things to or delete things from whenever I feel it’s necessary. Here are my goals for 2019:


  1. Host friends and family more often — I love having people over and am always so happy after we do it, but we just don’t do it often enough.
  2. Say yes to more invitations — Again, I love hanging out with people but am always worried it will interrupt Ryan’s schedule. I want to be more flexible and just say yes without worrying!
  3. Have a date night once a month — Even if it’s just watching a movie after Ryan goes to sleep, we need to make more time for our relationship.
Time to say yes to more and fill this planner up with fun things to do!


  1. Use the elliptical or treadmill at least 3 times a week — I always feel better after I work out and I need to get back to doing it!
  2. Make dinner at least 5 times a week — This will not only help me to lose weight but it will also help us save money if we’re not eating out as much.
  3. Spend less money at the grocery store — I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me but I can’t go to the grocery store without spending at least $100 (please let me know your saving secrets!)


  1. Sign up for a class with Ryan (Mommy & Me, Swimming, etc.) — I said I was going to do this last year but I never really did.
  2. Put my phone away during dinner and use it less while Ryan is awake — I don’t want him to think it’s normal to always have a phone in front of your face so I have to make sure that it’s not what he always sees.
  3. Take more pictures — Last year my parents bought me an amazing camera and I definitely haven’t used it enough!
How’s my form? I definitely need to get some practice and use this more!


  1. Volunteer more with the Down Syndrome Guild — I joined the board last year but I’d like to be more active and do more with them this year.
  2. Be more positive — I am definitely a half-glass empty girl but I’d like to try to move away from that for my own sanity and so that Ryan doesn’t hear a bunch of unnecessary negativity.
  3. Write more — I have always loved writing. I’m not sure what I want to write more of (besides blogs) but hopefully I’ll figure that out!

Like I said these lists may change throughout the year as my life changes but I am going to try to accomplish at least these 12 things. Here’s to a better 2019!

What are your resolutions? Comment and let us know…maybe we’ll add them to our lists!