Mom of Fame – Teri

Teri is another amazing mom with a lot on her plate. She has three little girls-one with special needs, a full time job, a blog, and a husband. That’s more than enough to keep her beyond busy but she somehow found some time to answer our questions for us. All of her answers are thoughtful, raw, and very relatable. She talks about having to put her perfectionist personality aside, raising three independent girls, and making sure her youngest gets everything she needs to strive.

Please help us welcome her into our Mom of Fame, she is such a deserving addition. Also, check out her blog, My Cuteish Life, if you are looking for a fun blog that talks about motherhood, organization, and home decorating.


Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.

Cute-ish is not even a “real” word, but if there was ever a way to describe my life, this would be it! I’ve probably said it 100 times. To me…it is when you’re trying or putting in the effort but the end result is well…so so, okay, better than average maybe but definitely not quite as good as planned! This in a nutshell is my outcome 90% of the time and you know what?!? I’m okay with it! I’ll take it. Who has time for perfection?!? Was character ever built through perfection? Well, yes it probably has been but we’ll go with no to make me feel better.

My name is Teri Morton and I am a thirty something woman who is responsible for keeping three tiny humans and one tall, skinny (and quite handsome I might add) husband alive and fed. I AM NOT A WRITER! LET ME REPEAT…not a writer. I write like I talk which isn’t perfect and isn’t always even logical but I beg you to bare with me! I work full time as a public accountant. Yes, I’m one of those crazy people who actually enjoys numbers and the balance that accounting brings…but I tell myself that I’m not your stereotypical accountant. I do enjoy creating and making things fun or pretty. Some of my favorite things to make cute-ish are my three crazy baby girls…Gracie Faye (8), Addie Gayle (6), and Enslie June (1). I spend my days running between my office, school pickups, doctor appointments (loooooooots of these but that’s a story for a different day), soccer practice, horse-back riding lessons, church and squeezing in outings with my family and friends! I manage to make this all work with the help of coffee (so much coffee some days), my tribe of amazing women and family members, prayers and a wee bit of wine. I do not always make it look easy but the key is I generally make it nonetheless. I hope you all will enjoy some of my ideas on how to handle organization, home decorating, family fun, mommin’ (you’ll soon learn I love new words), and reviews of products and places I love. Please join me in making this life CUTE-ISH!

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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?

“Your house can wait. The dishes can wait. One day, the kids will be gone and all you’ll have left are dishes and the house to clean. Let that be your focus then.”

Yes, I certainly have [taken this advice]. I am a perfectionist by nature and it makes me feel crazy and anxious to look around and see a mess…but it makes me even more crazy (and anxious) to try to keep everything spotless with all my littles around. It’s simply not possible to have it all done all the time, so I have given myself permission to accept this.

Yes, I certainly would [give it to someone else]. I can’t exhaust all my energy on spotlessness and I don’t think anyone else should either when little people (and big people) need your attention more.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

I think I expected it to be calmer and probably easier (ha)! I don’t think I expected quite as much chaos.

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I am fiercely independent and strive to instill this in my children while also giving them as much help and support as they actually need. I feel like I have done a “decent” job of creating little independent ladies…except the baby of the family. She still needs some work. 😊

I aim for consistency and feel like I can consider myself consistent with them about 80% of the time. They typically know how I will react to a situation before I actually do react. They know what crosses the line (and not that they don’t ever cross it…because they do) and they know that will bring more serious consequences.

I am not an overly affectionate person by nature. I’m not super touchy feely but I know how important physical touch is…especially to little ones and they get more hugs/kisses and pats in a day than I could ever possibly count. They know they are loved.

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

Our baby has a chromosome abnormality which has resulted in her needing a LOT of therapy and her immune system was really down for about 3 months (immediately following her diagnosis) …meaning she had the flu, RSV, 2 bouts of febrile seizures and a constant ear infection during that time in addition to the therapists’ visits (roughly 3 a week) and regular doctor visits. I’m an accountant and of course these 3 months were smack in the middle of tax season in which I work 55 – 60 hours. It was an extremely overwhelming, stressful time of trying to process her diagnosis, juggle work, appointments and just regular “mommin’” life.

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

I don’t actually feel that I’ve lost anything other than time…time disappears so fast since having children. Maybe it would have with age anyway…but I feel like time is so fleeting and it does feel like I’m always running out of time, whether it be for things I want to do or just things I need to do. (And…before kids I was able to keep things completely organized and looking prettier than I do now.)

[I have gained] everything. It all sounds so cliché…but I can barely remember a time before my girls. They are our focus, what we do, what we care about, what we enjoy and what makes us crazy. I am so much more compassionate, understanding and accepting of the fact that I know so little. Before kids, I thought I had life figured out…haha! I now know that I have nothing figured out and that is great! I will get to keep learning for the rest of my life…learning things for them and with them.

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

I want the girls to know that there is absolutely nothing in this world that they could ever do that would make me love them less. Their best is enough for me…less is not, but if they are trying their best…I will be 100% accepting of that and always have their backs. If they have a problem, we have a problem and they can bring it to me and know they are not alone. The world is full of people and things that will turn on you on a dime…I desperately want them to know that while that is so true…they don’t have to worry about this with me or our God.

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Mom of Fame – Laura

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Laura was born to be a mom. She started babysitting at a young age, went on to be a nanny and now is a preschool teacher. While we were doing our interview her two girls were playing on the playground with their dad. That is, until they missed their mom too much and just couldn’t be away from her any longer. They compromised so that we could finish up and the girls agreed to stay with their dad as long as their mom was in full-view the entire time.

Laura’s background should have made becoming a mom really easy, right? I mean she knows more about kids than most of us. She realized pretty quickly, though, that nothing really prepares you for becoming a mom and it’s much harder than she thought it would be. Her answers were completely relate-able and it was so refreshing to hear how honest she was. She talked about what it was like to have kiddos only 15 months apart, how she makes sure to make time for herself, and her journey with breastfeeding.

Even though Laura says being a mom is hard, she still makes it look easy. Her girls are best friends and are both totally in love with their mom. Please join us in welcoming her to the Mom of Fame, she definitely belongs there!


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?

Sleep when they sleep and enjoy each moment because it goes fast. I feel like when they were babies I was a lot better at taking this advice; especially sleeping when they slept. It was harder with [my second], I think, because [my first] was still kind of like a baby. She was 15 months when [my youngest] was born so it was like I had two babies and [my first] didn’t really understand. I feel like I still try to enjoy everything and it’s gotten more fun now that they’re older.

Another thing was making time for myself, I guess. I think when they were babies that was hard for me because I was obsessive. I didn’t want to miss anything. I went back to work when they were both 9 weeks, so I didn’t want my mom or mother-in-law to tell me anything that happened. Then with working, I had guilt in doing things for myself. Now I don’t. I’m trying really hard to do that still; making time for myself. I’ve gotten better as they’ve gotten older and I know they’re okay.

I would tell people those same things. I always tell my friends that if they have any questions or anything to ask me. I’m not just going to go, “so…you need to do xyz with your baby and if you don’t you’re a crappy mom.” I’m not going to do that. Everyone makes their own choices. I try to do the same and I can’t stand when people tell me things. I feel like I’ve learned to just nod and smile.

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How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

This is going to sound weird, but I thought it would be easier. Because I started babysitting when I was 12, I was a nanny for 10 years, and I’m a teacher. So I was like, “I know kids, I’ve got this!” No one prepares you for the lack of sleep, the poop, the puke, all of the stress. Like, you have to keep a person alive. And no one prepares you for that. Nothing prepares you for that.

I feel like the beginning was just survival. I look back on it and I think how did I make it through that first year? Especially with [my second]. I don’t even remember her being an infant because it was such a blur with two little kids. And everyone was like, “how did you do it?” It just happened; I just did it. I feel like now that they’re older, I’m enjoying it more and I have fun with them. It’s kind of more like I expected. We get to go do things and they’re funny and they make me laugh and make me smile.

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Hard Worker

Showing my kids that I’m a hard worker. This past year has been really awful for a lot of reasons and I’ve had to do everything on my own. So I feel like when they’re older they can see that I was strong and they can be strong in similar ways.

Patience

Everyone has always told me I’m a pretty patient person. Even though [my daughters] know how to push every single button I have, I try to be really patient with them. I want them to be independent and I try to encourage them to do things by themselves. Even if it’s going to take 20 minutes to put their own shoes on and it’s probably going to be on the wrong foot. But at the end of the day she did that; and she might make me 10 minutes late to something, but I don’t want her to feel rushed. Or I don’t want her to think she can’t do something just because I am impatient. I don’t want to squelch that, I want them to feel they can do things. I don’t want them to feel frustrated, I don’t want them to feel me being frustrated. I mean I have to be patient all the time with kids. It is harder with my own and hopefully they feel that I’m patient most of the time.

Loving

I try to make sure they feel loved, safe and happy every day by making a warm, loving home. I try to make sure home is their safe place. I try to give them extra cuddles, we always read stories and I always tell them how much I love them and that I’m proud of them. We always talk about how they can do whatever they want and I always try to encourage them. [My oldest] just wants to be a mom, she says. [Laughs].

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

I feel like I’ve been overwhelmed a lot, just by everything that has gone on in my life. The past few years have been really hard. I don’t ever do anything for myself. So last year I told my husband, “I’m going to get a hotel room for a night”. So that’s what I did. I went up to Birch Run, got a hotel room by myself, went shopping, had wine, took a hot shower, ate hot food, slept in a bed with no one touching me, watched chick flicks. It was amazing. I’ve said ever since then that I need to make it a point to do things like that because I do get overwhelmed. If I’m not taking care of myself then my kids start getting affected and I’m snappy at everyone and no one really deserves that. So after I did that, I felt human again.

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

Sometimes I feel like there are days where I don’t even recognize myself. It’s like, do I have a hobby? Do I have any things that I enjoy doing? What makes me happy? I feel like in a sense I have lost part of myself where I just don’t know anything anymore. But [with everything that’s happening in my life] I’ve started to talk to my friends again. I’ve started to get myself back and find myself again. And be my own person, which I think is good, because I think I’ve been consumed with my kids and that’s not really healthy.

I feel like I’ve gained a lot. I like being a mom. I like seeing things through their eyes. Seeing them learn new things and seeing them grow is fun. Seeing them be best friends is really fun. So I feel like I’ve lost myself, but I’ve gained them. I’ve gained everything. I love them.

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

I want them to learn to be independent, kind, compassionate, strong and loving women who never give up on their dreams. I want them to know that it’s okay to ask for help. I feel like that’s something I have struggled with, especially lately, and I’ve gotten better about being like, “okay, I need a break.” So I want them to know that it’s okay if they’re struggling with something and that they can ask for help. And I’ll always be there for them and love them no matter what.

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Tell us about your extended breastfeeding experience.

[My youngest] is still obsessed with my boob and she’s three [laughs]. Which I think people are like, “why are you doing that?” I’ve always said, with both, I would let them self-wean. But with [my oldest] I got pregnant when she was 7 months so I dried up. So she made it to 13 months before we were completely done. With [my youngest] I’ve tried. I have tried. But her face. Like she just gets so sad. It’s really only at night and in the morning. And I time her and give her only 5 minutes. Honestly I’m ready to be done, but she’s not. I feel like people are like, “you’re weird, you’re doing that for you”. No I’m not. Honestly at this point I don’t care if she was done tomorrow. I might be a little bit sad because I like the bond we have but at the same time I get really touched out. I get touched all day by [my students].

I know it’s good for her, but she’s not a baby, she doesn’t need it. I never thought I would be nursing a 3 year old. She can ask for it, she has teeth. But her little face, I can’t tell her no. It’s not hurting anyone. She’s fine overnight at other people’s houses. I was just gone for four nights and deep down I was hoping I would get back and she wouldn’t ask, because I don’t bring it up. But she asked me, and I don’t usually say no. I can say no to a lot but she just gets too upset and it’s not worth it. So here we are, 3 years later, still going at it.

Mom of Fame – Lisa

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We both met Lisa when we were going to college at Michigan State University. She is a completely genuine person, has a great sense of humor and has fun wherever she goes. We can tell she is using those same traits to her advantage when it comes to motherhood.

We met her at a park near her house where she says they basically “live” during the summer. Her 2 year old daughter and 5 year old son had to walk right by the playground to come sit with us (basically torture.) But they were good sports and even took a few pictures before they went to go play with their dad. It gave us some time to have a great chat with their mom. 

She is a teacher who spends her days taking care of other people’s children (middle-schoolers—scary, right!?) and the rest of her time taking care of her own! We had so much fun interviewing Lisa and found ourselves laughing the whole time. She talked about having her first-born while living away from her family, dealing with medical issues, and how she stays calm amidst the chaos (lots of singing—especially Christmas music)! She is an amazing mom and you can see it on both of her kiddos’ faces. Welcome to the Mom of Fame, Lisa, you definitely deserve it!


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?

I think the best piece was when I was told, “the days are long but the years are short”. Because when my son was born he was a hard newborn—he was colicky and had allergies, it was hard. We were up 5 or 6 times a night and I would remind myself of that. Like, this time is long right now but it’s not going to be like this forever. They sleep eventually [laughs]. And now he’s going to kindergarten. I’m like, “oh my gosh, how is he going to kindergarten already!?”

It’s okay to understand that there are hard times and not every day is going to be good. But overall, it’s really great to be a parent.

I would [give that advice to other people]. I think it just reminds you to appreciate the time. It’s okay to understand that there are hard times and not every day is going to be good. But overall, it’s really great to be a parent.

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How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

When I was pregnant with my son not many of my friends had babies and we lived in a different state at the time so I don’t think I really had an example of friends with young kids to watch. I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t know that I even had a “this is what it’s going to look like”. We were kind of winging it daily. I read all the pregnancy books, but I never read the “now you have a kid” book. Which was probably a mistake. But I’m really happy with our family and how things are. This is how I wanted it to be. I think everything is actually really good. We have a fun time together.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I’m a pretty calm person. Even when the kids are upset I’m usually pretty calm through it and it helps to calm them down sometimes. Even if I’m kind of flustered I try to remain calm. I read somewhere once to sing to your kids, at times when they’re [upset], especially as babies. I just remember with diaper changes, the kids going nuts on the diaper table and I would just sing. And I read that it was more for you than for them. So sometimes I just sang whatever I wanted! It was a lot of Christmas songs, whatever month it was!

I’m a determined and hard-working person. I think in raising them already I’ve been pretty determined about things. I gave up milk protein because I was really determined to nurse [my oldest]. I feel like that’s a good lesson for my kids; I want them to be determined, hard-working people. I hope that’s a strength.

We have a lot of fun. I feel like we’re always doing stuff. We live [at the park] pretty much. We just always look for fun activities, even if we’re just at home. We do dance parties and “fun wrestling”. I just hope my kids are having a lot of fun because I feel like we are.

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

Ohh, let me think [laughs]. I think overwhelmed is when they’ve been medical issues—beyond the daycare colds that they all get.

When it’s totally out of your control and you’re like, “I don’t know how to fix this”. I think all moms just want to fix things. So that’s overwhelming.

We’ve done the hospital visits, stayed overnight at the hospital, we’ve done specialists. [It’s overwhelming] when it’s totally out of your control and you’re like, “I don’t know how to fix this”. I think all moms just want to fix things. So that’s overwhelming. I feel like we’ve generally been pretty calm through it and then afterwards we were like, “oh my God, that was really scary!”

In the day to day, I feel like going back to work when they were babies was an overwhelming time, too. Because both kids went on sleep strikes then. So just working and functioning and hopefully doing good at your job. I think the medical stuff has always been harder, though.

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

No! [Laughs]. I don’t know. Free time! And sleep. I don’t feel like I’ve actually slept in five years!

[I’ve gained] everything. This is just my life now. The kids are my life. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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

I want them to learn to be kind people and caring and hard-working. I just want them to know that they’re very loved. We moved back to Michigan so that they could be surrounded by family. So there’s a lot of people that love them and see them. I just want them to know that they’re loved and share that love. I want good people. You want the world for your kids, right?

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What was the difference in having your first child in North Carolina (and away from family) and your second in Michigan (with family around)?

It was harder [in North Carolina], for sure. [Our first] was colicky and difficult and we didn’t know what the heck we were doing. We never had a break. The first time we left the house without him was months and months in because we didn’t know who to get to babysit him. It was different because there wasn’t a ton of support. People flew down to see him but then they would go back. I remember when people left the first time I was just crying and my husband went to work too and I was like, “oh my God, everybody left me with a baby here. By myself.”

In Michigan [with my second] we had a lot more support. People came to the hospital to see her. That was nice. I remember in North Carolina my husband had to leave the hospital while I was in labor to go take our dog to the kennel. When he came back I was in *labor*. He was *late*. He went and I was peaceful, and he came back and I was like, “where were you!?” Here, we took [our first] to grandmas and it was no big deal. It was definitely easier, for sure.

Mom of Fame – Katie

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Recently we had the pleasure to “meet” another wonderful blogger. Katie is the creator of the blog Homespun Habits, a special education teacher and a mother to three beautiful children. We aren’t sure how she does it all, but she seems to do it while also having fun! Her blog is another one we would really recommend, especially if you need some DIY inspiration! Here is a little more about her in her own words:

I am a special education middle school teacher. I am currently teaching where my children go to school and feel so blessed to be able to be there with them.  I also teach a couple of classes every semester for a state university. Blogging is something I have always wanted to do and just recently took the leap. I am approaching my 10 year wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. We have 3 kids. 2 boys and a girl ages 8, 5, and 3. We also have 3 dogs so it is always a little crazy at our house. At times it can be overwhelming but we wouldn’t change anything!

We loved Katie’s answers and pictures, and we think you will too! She gave us an honest view of motherhood by touching on post partum anxiety, being flexible when necessary, and adjusting to having a daughter after two sons.

Welcome to our Mom of Fame, Katie! Thank you for participating in our interview!

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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?

You’ll always be chasing the rainbow when yours was in your backyard the entire time.

“You can’t do it all.” And “you be you”. Those 2 things have stuck with me and I would definitely pass that advice on to anyone. I’ve learned the importance of simplifying life.  It makes things so much easier. Be you. Don’t try and be anybody else. You’ll always be chasing the rainbow when yours was in your backyard the entire time.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

Honestly, at this point I don’t really remember how I imagined it. I’m sure it was more like happy music playing in the background with kids holding hands and skipping along the sidewalk. Wrong!!! Haha! Although those precious moments do happen…they are few and far between. The reality is motherhood is hard. Everyday brings a new challenge.

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What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

Oh man I feel like I could use 3 strengths 😉 No but really I am super organized. That definitely helps to manage the constant chaos of 3 young kids. I’m a hard worker. I hope they can recognize that one-day and implement it into their own lives. I’m not perfect. I’m trying to take each day at a time and be more flexible and not get upset when things don’t go perfectly.

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

I can still remember when my oldest was a newborn. My husband worked 12 hours shifts (which he still does). The days were sooooo long with a baby that I was just getting to know.

Looking back now, he was the perfect baby. It was me who was a hot mess.

It was summer time and it was so hot outside. I can remember sitting outside on the backporch just rocking the baby praying that I could make it until my husband got home. I felt so overwhelmed with that first baby for a while. He totally rocked my world as I knew it. Looking back now, he was the perfect baby. It was me who was a hot mess. I had post partum anxiety and didn’t figure it out until he was about 6 weeks old.

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

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost everything about myself. I don’t say that in a sad, depressing way. But life is no longer about me. Everything I do, every decision I make is based on my kids and their well being.  I do find that as they are getting older I get to get a little bit of “me” back.

I have gained so much. A new persepective and outlook on life for sure. Seeing life through the eyes of a child is a much more magical place to be.

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

I want them to learn to be kind and always love others. Hard work pays off. Don’t expect anything from anyone and don’t do things for people expecting something in return. Choose happy. You are responsible for finding your own happiness. Always remember it’s okay to not be okay. Most importantly I will love you forever and you can always come home.

What is biggest difference between raising your boys and your girl?

Boy was this a shocker for me. After having 2 boys the little miss rocked our world. I always envisioned this sweet little girl with braids quietly playing on the floor with her Barbie dolls. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Our little girl is a firecracker with a huge personality and attitude. We wouldn’t trade her for the world though. She keeps up with “her boys” as she calls them and doesn’t miss a beat while shes at it.