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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This week's interview comes from a momma who knows, "it take a village to raise a child." Kim is fortunate enough to have family close and friends who are in the same stages of parenthood and they're all helping each other out!
Here's her interview:
How do you balance the mom, work, and relationship roles?
It's tough! Communication and asking for help are the keys to balance. My husband and I know what each other needs to survive. He watches the kids while I have dinner with girlfriends, get in a workout, or just sleep in for an extra half hour. I'm fortunate that my jobs are flexible and allow me time to play with the kids. We also have a part-time nanny who is a lifesaver. [I'm] also lucky to have family nearby who are willing to watch the kids, so my husband and I get away for date nights and even travel every so often.
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?
I had a breakdown over these past holidays. Work was really busy and I had eye surgery that laid me up for a week in early December. I had all of these lofty goals of what I wanted to do with the kids to celebrate Christmas, most of which could not be accomplished. My husband wasn't on the same page about the importance of some of these projects/events. After a failed last-ditch attempt to get the kids a picture with Santa at Arden Fair Mall, I lost it.
Thankfully my mom and sister were able to take my kids to see Santa on Christmas Eve while I worked. When I asked my daughter about the experience, the memorable part was the carousel ride. Much needed perspective from a 3-year-old.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED, OVERSTRETCHED, OR LESS THAN?
Ask for help, either from husband, family, or friends. And then have a meal and/or a drink with girlfriends. They always know how to make a girl feel good about herself.
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?
My mom gave the best advice before we had my oldest daughter - do what works for you. If my kids are happy, if my husband is happy, and I'm happy, then who cares?! I was raised on formula, then Kraft Mac N Cheese and somehow I turned out ok :)
What is the great lesson you've learned as a mom?
As long as the kids are happy and healthy, I'm doing it right.
What is your favorite quote that inspires you as a mom?
Not necessarily inspiring, but one that I find myself repeating is, "This too, shall pass."
What is the one piece of advice you'd like to give to other moms?
Do what works for you!
What do you feel is your greatest personal struggle with the experience of motherhood?
Feeling guilty for sometimes thinking about how easy life would be without kids.
How has your relationship with your partner changed? How has it stayed the same?
It's changed in that there are days when we're just treading water trying to balance everything. Some weeks are busier than others. We're tired.
Thankfully the kids go to bed early enough to give us 1-2 hours of ""us"" time. "
How has your relationship with your friends, family or support system changed? How has it stayed the same?
All of our friends are in the same parenting boat, more or less, which has made life much easier. Kids are welcome to most houses, and we usually don't have to worry about packing diapers and toys.
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!)
Share your relationship status.