The Momma Interviews is a new blog series by Catherine O'Brien, LMFT highlighting the thoughts, experiences and wisdom of a unique real-world mom each week, to normalize and validate the struggles and triumphs that are a part of the universally human experience of motherhood for women everywhere.
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WE ARE KICKING OFF APRIL WITH A MOMMA OF TWO NAMED BRYNN. BRYNN IS FINDING THE BEAUTY IN THE MOMENTS OF CHAOS THROUGHOUT MOTHERHOOD AND TRYING TO APPRECIATE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T, "YOU'RE GONNA MISS THIS."
HERE IS HER INTERVIEW:
How do you balance the mom, work, and relationship roles?
It's tough, but I think what has helped me the most is finding out what is really important and prioritizing those things first. Being a mom has taught me that there are so many little, tedious things that I used to think were really important or that I had to get done but after having kids I learned that they aren't that important anymore. For example, always having your house spotless just isn't a reality anymore but this used to be very important to me before having kids. There just isn't enough time in the day. As a mom, trying to balance work, being a mom and being a wife, you learn about time management really quickly.
Most moms I speak to say there are moments when they are ready to throw in the towel. Can you describe a time you felt this way? What got you through it?
So many moments to choose from! One of the worst cases of this was my 2 year old daughter was sick and throwing up, my husband was traveling for work, and my son, who was 3 months old at the time, was being extra cranky. There was one particular moment of that horrible day when I was covered in throw up, trying to calm down my daughter who was sobbing because she had just thrown up on me (again) and my poor son was just in his crib crying because I had to put him in there while I cleaned up the throw up. At that very moment my husband called on the phone from his business trip and I just put in on speaker phone and broke down in tears.
I'm not sure how I got through it but you don't have a choice, you just have to keep on trucking. Every bad moment passes and you can look back at it and laugh.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED, OVERSTRETCHED, OR LESS THAN?
I'm lucky that I have a great partner...my husband. He can tell when I need a little quiet time, a night out with my girlfriends or just a solo trip to the grocery store. I've found that you can't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. We have a lot of family that lives very close, so it's nice to be able to call on grandparents for a little babysitting or just some help. You can't do it alone without going crazy.
I've had parents tell me that one of the hardest things about being a parent is the comparisons and judgements from other parents. How do you personally cope with that?
I try to remember that you never know what someone else is going through, so I try not to judge others. It's really hard though when people have an opinion about how you are raising your kids or what you are doing wrong, etc. I feel like there is no right way to parent and that as long as us parents are trying to do what is best for our children, then we shouldn't compare or judge others.
When all else fails, a really good bitch-fest with my girlfriends is a great way to vent.
What is the great lesson you've learned as a mom?
There are no rules to parenting. No two kids are the same and just when you think you have something figured out, your kids will prove to you that you don't. You really have to just relax and learn to go with the flow. This was a hard lesson for me, I liked to have everything planned out before having kids. Since then, I've learned you can have a plan but it's never going to work out exactly like you thought it would. And guess what? That's ok.
What is your favorite quote that inspires you as a mom?
Life is Tough, but you are tougher.
What is your favorite song that inspires you as a mom?
You're Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins
""You're Gonna Miss This""
Any time I hear this song, it makes me cry. I want to print it out and post it in my house so that when I am in the middle of those crazy moments, it can remind me to just take a deep breath and relax.
What is the one piece of advice you'd like to give to other moms?
Accept help! When people offer to bring you dinner or watch the baby so you can take a shower or nap...say yes! It's hard, but you need help.
What do you feel is your greatest personal struggle with the experience of motherhood?
The never ending worry I have for my kids. I was never really a worrier before having kids so it surprised me that I constantly feel worried for them. Worried that they will fall, hurt themselves, get sick, be sad, not make friends, etc. You name it, I worry about it. It's hard not to worry, I mean I'm responsible for these two little lives, which is a lot of pressure. Thankfully their dad seems to worry less than I do, so they get to learn how to ride bikes and go skateboarding without me chasing after them ready to catch them if they fall.
How has your relationship with your partner changed? How has it stayed the same?
It's changed because you now have other little people to love just as much as you love your partner. There are days when I just don't have any energy left to spend on my husband. I know it's not fair but that's just they way life works out sometimes. I've found that we have to work a lot harder to make each other a priority. Carving out time together, where we don't talk about the kids helps us stay connected. We are a great team but it takes a lot of work.
How has your relationship with your friends, family or support system changed? How has it stayed the same?
My friends and I all had kids around the same time, which is great because we are all going through the stages of parenthood all together. Getting together has definitely changed since before we had kids, it's a lot more pizza and chaos at each other's houses instead of going out to a nice dinner like we did before.
What is something that has surprised you about being a mom (i.e. something you didn't realize you'd enjoy, something you didn't know babies/kids did, something you didn't know could bring so much joy)?
How cute you think your own kids are. I mean everything they do becomes the cutest thing you've ever seen.
How many children do you have? (Include the special make-up of your family steps, adopted, guardianships, halves- or no details at all- up to you!)
2 kids....a 3 year old daughter named Sophie, and a 1 year old son named Race
Share your relationship status.
Married to my high school sweetheart. Been married for 8 years, but have been together for a total of 20 years (since we were 16!)
You Can Find More On Brynn Here: