MomViews: How A SAHM Keeps Sane

MomViews Motherhood Through My Eyes

Stay-at-home parents have a tough job. From sun up to sun down, they are doing their best to care for their family. One stay-at-home mom (SAHM), Marisela Morales, blogs about her experience at Everything SAHM. Marisela also offers tips for other stay-at-home moms and how to cope with many of the issues SAHMs face.

MomViews: You’re my go-to gal whenever I need a little encouragement in this stay-at-home world, and I’m so thankful for your blog. Are there any other blogs or people you turn to for inspiration?

Marisela Morales: Thank you!  I am so flattered ;)  Well, I definitely love your blog!  I have also been fortunate to connect with a large group of Christian bloggers on Facebook.  I get lots of encouragement and inspiration from them.

MV: Although you and I have expressed the pains of other’s thoughts on SAHMs, it’s great to hear something nice for a change. What are some of the nice things people have told you about staying home with your child? 

MM: The biggest compliment I can get from staying home with my child is my daughter’s love and demonstration of the things I’ve shown her.  It is so rewarding to see her go up to a crying baby and try to comfort them and show empathy.  It is rewarding to hear her politely ask for things and say thank you.  I love that she says “God bless you” to people when they sneeze or to greet people at church.  That, to me, is the biggest compliment.  These things can be taught regardless of whether one stays home or not, but for me, staying home has enabled me to focus on the little things such as these even more than I did when I was a working mom.  My husband also will tell me he is so happy with all I do for our family.  He brags about me to his co-workers, which is always nice.  It is also nice to have another mom call me a great mom.  My neighbor just did that the other day, and it was really nice to hear.  I find the greatest support comes from other stay at home moms just validating how truly hard but rewarding staying home can be.
MV: You recently wrote a piece on how giving mom free time for Mother’s Day is the best gift she can receive, and I couldn’t agree more! In what ways do you use mommy time? 

MM: I use a lot of my mommy time to blog and do social media, quite honestly.  I need to often kick myself in the behind to get myself to do something relaxing and just for me.  I like to get pedicures every now and then and massages.  Evenings out with other moms to go watch a movie, have dinner, or even cook together makes for nice mommy time as well.  

MV: As a SAHM myself, I find it can put a dent on your relationship, more so when your significant other is well-established in their career. How do you keep yourself in love with that “tall, dark, and handsome hottie?”

MM: To be totally honest, the first year as a stay at home mom was REALLY hard.  I didn’t have myself together, most days I still don’t.  But I felt I needed to make money from home and got distracted from taking care of my family.  That proved to be a little hard on my marriage.  Finally, my husband told me all he wanted was for me to enjoy my time at home with my daughter, even if our budget was a little tight.  Long story short, he helped me prioritize.  His support and encouragement grows my love for him.  He has his bad days, like everyone else . . . but I try to just think of staying at home as my job and focus on that despite any power trips he may occasionally have.  My job is no less of a job than his.  My position is to enable him to do well at his job.  That may be by cooking healthy, providing encouragement, not complaining when he works long hours, or letting him nap when he’s had a long day.  He recently got a promotion.  Quite honestly, I don’t think he would have been able to accomplish that if we were both still working because he’d have to dedicate more time to doing things at home and less time to work.  His free time and all his money, is for the family.  Just seeing where his heart is and knowing we are his priority makes me love him that much more.  We don’t have consistent date nights, but we do try to have a little bit of time together here and there to reconnect.

MV: Having been through ups and downs of being a SAHM, what advice would you give a new SAHM?

MM: My advice to a new SAHM would be:
1.  Talk to your husband or partner and decide on your family’s priorities and each person’s “job descriptions”.  Knowing the family’s priorities, will help you determine where to focus your time and energy.  Knowing what is expected from each individual, will avoid conflict and misunderstandings down the road.
2.  Own your SAHM job full heartedly.  If you can afford to be a SAHM, then make that your job.  Everything else passes on to be a hobby.  For example, I have a home business, a blog, and a podcast.  They were each eating up too much of my time.  As much as I love each of those projects, they absolutely have to pass on to be a hobby.  Something that is done when I have the time.
3.  Don’t forget about yourself.  You are still an individual with skills, talents, dreams, and goals.  You still have needs and interests of your own.  Explore the things you would otherwise not get to explore if you were busy working for an employer and taking care of a family.  Being a SAHM is definitely a 24 hr job, but you have the freedom to take a half hour here or an hour there to read a book, start a blog, take a class, . . . whatever floats your boat.  Just do it!  Keep your mind going and growing.  Connect or reconnect with people.  You can do this by joining mommy groups, taking your child to public activities, or even as simple as using social media.  Staying home can be lonely if you isolate yourself to your home.

Teachings Tuesday: Your Family Can Drive You Mad

Cranky Mom

 

Now that everything is back to normal — aka my family is back up North — I have a sigh of relief. Not only was I somewhat dreading their visit because I wanted everything to be perfect, but there is my mother.

Most daughters have a wonderful relationship with their moms, and I have always wished that was my case. You see, my mom has a habit of jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about things instead of asking. I, on the other hand, would rather ask or find the truth before opening my mouth about anything. Because of this, we bump heads quite often. Some people think I am being disrespectful, but if they listened to the way my mom talked to me or anyone else in our family, they would be a lot more understanding. Either way, it is a new week and everyone is back home.

My parents had not seen Sebastian since he was six months. Occasional FaceTime sessions do not really count. So, it was interesting to see my son’s reaction when he saw his grandparents. Since we FaceTime Jeff’s family more often, Sebastian was more likely to open his arms up to Jeff’s mom and dad. Although he did not want to be with my parents at first, with time he got comfortable again.

There were days I just did not want to be bothered with my mom, and those days were usually when I would have to remind myself that it was only temporary and that she would be returning back to NJ once her time here was up. Having someone tell me I was not doing “the best for my son” drove me up the wall because Jeff and I have been trying our best to raise our son without anyone else’s help.

Last night, Jeff told me that his was very pleased with the way we have been raising Sebastian and he thinks we are doing a fantastic job. It is always nice to hear someone’s positive feedback. It reassures you that you are doing the best you can. If only some people would be a little less judgmental. ;)

I hope you are having an awesome Tuesday!

‘Til tomorrow, loves…

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Life After The Big Day

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You often hear about the perks of motherhood, but there is nothing like witnessing your child’s first breath, or holding them close after hours of labor. I know because I experienced every possible emotion on the big day.

After 18 hours of labor, I was told my dreams of natural birth (and that means no epidural either) were shattered. As my doctor and the anesthesiologist prepared me for surgery, I had to prepare myself mentally. I was sad and scared of what was to come.

“Going under the knife” is a phrase many people use when they have surgery, and it was the best way to describe my experience. I even wrote a post on my blog about it addressed to my son. Regardless of how I had imagined my birth should have been, seeing a healthy little guy was all I needed to reassure me that everything was going to be okay.

The healing process was interesting. Pain meds and a lot of Google searches were part of my morning routine. I did my best to not use the meds. I knew my body would heal on its own. Caring for my son during the days that followed my C-section required help. I did not want it, but I knew I needed my husband and my parents more than ever. Just getting in and out of bed was a hassle.

Below are 4 lessons I have learned from my C-section that applies to being a first-time mom:

1. Help is critical.
Whether you like it or not, you will need help. It might be emotional (someone to talk to) or physical (while caring for the baby).

2. Things will not always go as planned.
No matter how many times you try to convince yourself that everything will go according to plan, you must prepare yourself for when things go the opposite.

3. How you feel is mental.
You can really scare the heck out of yourself by thinking about all the things that can go wrong. Stay positive!

4. Keep smiling.
I have a permanent smile where my son was born thanks to my C-section, and another in my heart. So, I try my best to keep smiling even when things get tough.

‘Til tomorrow, loves…Motherhood Through My Eyes Signature

 

Happy Love

happy love
The All You Need is Love Project is a movement to inspire more love on this planet. The more we come together, the more love we can share. Join the revolution here!

LAST WEEK’S LOVE TOPIC:

Using descriptive language tell us what makes you smile. Describe the images that come to your head which put a grin on your face.

There are many things that make me smile. Among them is being able to witness happiness in my son’s face. Hearing Sebastian giggle always brings a smile to my face. It starts off loud, such as a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day, and dies down into somewhat of a gargle. It is the cutest thing ever!

Another thing that makes me smile is family time. Whether it is a simple stroll at the park or even a quick swim, I am addicted to the moments I get to share with my boys. There is nothing more beautiful than watching Jeff interact with Sebastian and Rocky. These are the moments I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Your turn.

Want to join in? Cool! You don’t need a blog, you can just take photos and use the hashtag #allyouneedisloveproject — it’s that simple. But, if you have a blog and want to join us each Thursday, you’re more than welcome to do so.

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MomViews: How Mommy Stays Fresh


mommy blog, motherhood, motherhood through my eyes
mommieknowsfreshBecoming a mother does not mean you lose yourself. Although some moms lose their “cool” it does not mean we all do. I recently had the chance to chat with Caprece of MommieKnowsFresh on how moms can stay hip while caring for their little one.

MomViews: I love reading parenting blogs that keep things casual and funny, and your posts are always fun to read. How do you manage to stay fresh while raising your little girl?

Caprece: Thank You! I try not to take myself too serious, and I’ve incorporated that philosophy into my parenting style. There are two things I love to do; Laugh and Write, thankfully as a parent I’m never out of material.

MV: There are so many things parents can learn from their children, and you do a great job in sharing these lessons on your blog. Is there a recent one that really stands out in your mind?

C: Be Silly! Sometimes my schedule can get pretty hectic, but my daughter reminds me to spend a little time each day being silly. Playtime on the floor every day is good for the mommy soul.

MV: Is there anyone in your life that has inspired you to be the woman you are today? Briefly explain who and how they’ve been a positive light in your life.

C: My mother is a constant inspiration; she’s always stressed the importance of family. No matter what was going on in our lives she always made time for us to have fun.

MV: What is your favorite memory of this person?

C: She’ll kill me for this, but my mom has always been very petite so to poke fun at family gatherings she would put two balloons in her butt and two in her shirt to make her look “voluptuous”. She’d be dancing up a storm and I’d be in tears, she’s always been really fun. Life is about balance, she was our Mom when we needed it, but also our joy when we needed it too.

MV: What advice would you give a mother doesn’t see the “fun” in motherhood?

C: As a mom you do what works best for you, but the joy in having children is that you get to experience childhood all over again through the eyes of this tiny person who fills you with love. If that doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will.


Thanks for joining me this week. Stop by next Wednesday for insights on how one stay-at-home mom keeps sane. Also, don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s post for a continuation of the #AllYouNeedisLoveProject.

Sebastian Turns One!

Sebastian Turns One

I went from finding out I was pregnant, to going into labor and now celebrating my one-year-old son’s birthday — all in a blink of an eye. Others warned me this would happen, but I never thought it would really happen. Why do these kids grow up so fast?

Today, Sebastian will be surrounded by loved ones and will eat ice cream cake for the first time. He is an ice cream lover and a fruit junkie like his mama. And to celebrate his very first birthday, we will have both available for our guests, along with his favorite dishes: moro de guandules con arroz and carne encebollada con ajies, and pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce.

Mini burgers (sliders) and hot dogs will also be available, since it is going to be a ball park theme. Sebastian will be sporting his NY Yankees outfit and infant cap. I can see the smiles on his face already as everyone tries to get him to take photos, or the serious face he makes when people try to get him to pay attention to them. We will have to wait and see what happens today. All I can say is I am excited to have everyone I love be able to join us, whether it is physically or in spirit.

I love you all, and thank you so much for helping me make this day special for my little guy.

‘Til tomorrow, loves…Motherhood Through My Eyes Signature

MomViews: Making The Most Of Where You Live

mommy blog, motherhood, motherhood through my eyesJust You And Me KidFor most moms, it is not about literally giving their child the world, it is about showing them the world around them. In today’s MomViews segment, Brandy Martin, blogger at Just Me And You, Kid!, shares how she comes up with simple local adventures to explore with her son.

MomViews: Living in the San Francisco area must be interesting for you and your son. Always something new to try! How do you find these awesome places to write about on your blog?

Brandy Martin: We often don’t appreciate what is around us. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I often found myself out of ideas when it came to thinking of something to do. But for my son, the whole world is new and everything is a unique experience. Having a child has really opened my eyes and allowed me to find entertainment in the simplest activities.

I search Yelp reviews to find the best parks, or the best candy store in each city. I find new parks and beaches on Google Maps. I asked other parents at work for activity recommendations.

MV What do you like best about going on these adventures with your son?

BM: I love making memories with my son. And I believe that he
will remember these adventures far into his adult years. I remember catching a tad-pole in a small creek bed with my mother when I was four. The oldest part of everyone is the child, so if I make my son’s childhood interesting he will hold onto that forever.

MV: I noticed you share most of your trips on your blog, is there one that really
stood out that you’d like to share?

BM: My son and I love heading out to Santa Cruz. It’s just far enough to feel like a real vacation, but not far enough to make the trip expensive. We enjoy the boardwalk, and love to visit the local beaches.

MV: What type of adventures does your son really enjoy?

BM: My son enjoys the simple experiences. A trip to his favorite park or the beach. I find the more money he spends, the less he cares about the experience.

MV: What advice would you give a mother that would like to make more time for her child(ren) but doesn’t have the financial resources?

BM: Children are simple by nature. An adventure to them is an experience that engages their senses and activates their imagination. You don’t have to spend money to entertain a child. Visiting a new park, going to your local beach, setting up a tent in the front yard, or giving a tea party for your child are experiences that will be remembered and won’t hurt the pocket.


Thanks for joining me this week. Stop by next Wednesday for insights on how to keep things fresh while being a mom. Also, don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s post for a continuation of the #AllYouNeedisLoveProject.