While I was “away” on “maternity leave,” I invited some amazing women to come and share their hearts with y’all. The series was such a success, I decided to make it an on-going thing here! Every Thursday, mamas of every stage + season will be dropping in to inspire you with their strengths and their shortcomings–because in this age of Mommy Wars, what we really need is a reminder that none of us can Do. It. All.
Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Leslie! As a first-time mom, she went from working girl to SAH. For anyone in a similar situation, I think her story is going to speak right to your heart. But I’ll stop spilling the beans and let Leslie introduce herself!
Howdy! My name is Leslie and I am a new stay-at-home-mom trying to figure it all out. I am married to my best friend, Bruce, and we have a chubby 9 month old baby named Matthew. I was born in Mexico and was raised Catholic in the amazing but very hot Lone Star State. I have been living in the PNW for about four years and it has been both challenging and exciting all at the same time.
Starting a family in a new home can be really trying. I remember those days. So tell us, Leslie, what do you DO?
I am the organizer in our household. I plan our vacations, our weekly menu, and make sure that our calendar is full of fun activities on the weekends. I also make our yearly photobooks and buy all the wardrobe necessities for the family. These are the activities I do on a daily basis:
I exercise. Exercising daily is very important to me because it makes me feel. I am naturally an anxious person, so sweating it out on a daily basis has helped me with that. Three days a week I go to a park about 15 minutes from my house and work out with Fit4Mom. It’s a lot of fun and has been a great support group. The other days of the week, I like to jog at my neighborhood park and also go on walks when my husband gets home from work. The summer here is amazing and full of sunshine so we definitely soak it in as much as possible.
I cook almost on a daily basis. Now don’t get me wrong, I cook the simplest and easiest meals on the planet. We typically eat some sort of salad with a protein and some vegetables. Yesterday, I bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco, along with a pre-made caesar salad and “made” Chicken Caesar Salad. Complicated, I know 😉
I was blessed cursed with a husband who hates eating out at restaurants, so on the weekends, I also cook. If we do eat out somewhere, it’s either at Chick-fil-a or at Costco (we hardly eat out that when he took me to a restaurant for Mother’s Day, I had the best time and it felt like such a treat!) We also grill often during the summer months.
I clean. This is another activity I do on a daily basis that I do not love, but I do it anyway because I hate clutter. It runs in my family – all the women on my Mom’s side can’t think clearly and get anxious when our home is not clutter-free. That is why I spend all day tidying up and cleaning. I cringe at the thought of having to clean up after 2 or more kids! I feel like I will literally be cleaning all day. Anyway, I do all of the laundry, vacuum the upstairs, clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, and wipe the counters. My husband graciously helps me with cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming downstairs. I hope we can hire a house cleaner one day, but for right now, I think I can manage with one child (or at least I hope).
Is it just me, or does everything seem so much harder with a baby at home? (Seasoned moms, were the first two or three kids not THE hardest?) It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re lugging an extra 20lbs of baby around all day–and having all your work undone in your wake to boot! Rough stuff. So, Leslie, what DON’T you do?
There are plenty of things I DON’T do. For instance, even though I cook often, it does not mean I absolutely love it. In fact, I have never baked a cake from scratch and am terrified of hosting a family Christmas dinner because of my lack of fanciness in the kitchen. That’s why this post also belongs in what I DON’T do. I don’t make fancy meals, and I do NOT bake. Ever. We hardly eat dessert and my husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth, so it works out.
But these two are ones that bother me the most.
I am NOT an artsy/creative homemaker. I constantly browse Pinterest with high hopes of doing some sort of DIY, but I always end up overwhelmed with the steps and amount of time it will take me to finish. I’ve come to the realization that I am not a DIY type of woman. I don’t have the patience for it and I’m okay with that. I still admire those women who do!
I DON’T handle sleep-deprivation well. Oh boy! Handling sleep deprivation is my Achilles heel. I do not function well without 7-8 hours of sleep and when my son was waking up 4-5 times a night every single night for almost FIVE months…..well let’s just say I was not a happy camper. It was the hardest time of my life. I was a complete wreck!
I ended up going home to Texas for a few months just so I could have some emotional support while my husband was at work. Truth is, I never found a solution until he was five months old when we decided to sleep train him. He still wakes up once or twice a night though so I have to go to bed earlier in order to get a full night of sleep. I wish sleep deprivation would not affect me so much but it sadly does. I just can’t function the same. My mood changes and it seems to have an effect on my whole day.
Ah, yes. We are right in the thick of sleep deprivation right now. I will say, though, even though I still struggle, at least having been through this a few times before, I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And in the meantime, there’s plenty of grace.
Before we say good-bye, I know you’ve got some words of wisdom for all our fellow mamas.
As a new Mom, I have received a lot of helpful and unhelpful tips about raising my baby. But probably the one tip I always go back to is to do what you think is right for your family.
Every family is different, and we as moms need to stop putting pressure on each other to be the perfect homemaker and housewife because not everyone is called to do that.
You don’t want to breastfeed? Good. You want to breastfeed until he/she is 2? Good. You want to stay-at-home and have 5+ kids? Great. You want to only have a few kids and go back to work? Great. No matter what you want to do, as long as you are happy, your kids will receive that happiness and love radiating from you.
God gives us each our own calling, doesn’t He? And just the right graces to see us through our own stories. It’s such a blessing when we can find other mamas who are willing to support us in our mothering journeys–even if my journey looks a little different from yours.
Thanks so much again for joining us today, Leslie!
We have been blessed by some wonderful voices so far in this series…but there’s still one missing. Yours!
Are YOU a mom who Can’t Do It All? (And really, who can?) We’d love for you to share your story here at Baking Humble Pie! Just contact me with your previously unpublished submission of 500-1000 words, answering the following questions:
Who are you?
What do you DO?
What DON’T you do?
What tips + tricks can you share from the trenches?