Motivating Momma: Autumn

Since May is a month of celebrating mothers I have been working on my first ever interview series for my blog called Motivating Mommas. One thing that I have learned that is vital to motherhood is finding other mothers who encourage you and inspire you to be better. I tend to seek wisdom from women who have been where I am and made it through. If you are interested in appearing in this series on my blog please let me know!

When I began my journey in blogging I could have never imagined the friendships I would form with women near and far. My blog has offered opportunities for me to encourage and be encouraged by women all over the world. There are some women I have begun to correspond with on a regular basis and today I would like to share one of them with you.

Autumn is a motivating momma. She has overcome many obstacles in her life and still maintains the energy and patience that raising a toddler requires. She oftentimes posts about her journey through motherhood on her blog Welcome to My World, a blog about life, love, loss, and cancer. I find her blog particularly motivating because I can relate to so much. Our daughters are the same age and going through many of the same phases at the same time. I love to see what works in her household and communicate back and forth about our lives. I know that we don’t know each other beyond the blogging world, but I consider her a friend.

Please take a few minutes and read through my interview with Autumn. Also, check out the link above to see her blog.

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1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

I have three children. My step-son Logan is 15, our son Mason is in Heaven and he would be 3 1/2 and our daughter Avery is 2 ½

2. What was the biggest challenge you faced in the early stages of motherhood?

I had quite a few but I think lack of sleep was very hard on me. Since I was going through chemo until Avery was 3 months old I was doubly exhausted. I really did practice sleep when the baby sleeps. Not every time she slept but probably more than I would have if I would have felt better. Luckily she would sleep for a good three hours in-between feedings and on the weekends or if my husband had off we would take turns and do every other night so we could both get some sleep.

3. What lessons did you learn from your own mother?

I would say the biggest was that it was perfectly fine to stay at home with my daughter. I had worked ever since I started high school and sometimes two jobs. I had never planned on staying home because I didn’t think it would be possible. When I was pregnant with my son I started to think that I eventually wanted to stay home with him. After I had our daughter I went back to work but with daycare issues we decided it would be better if I stayed home with her. It has definitely been a transition from working to staying at home but I feel that we made the best choice for our family.

4. What is your most recent struggle as a mother?

The most recent struggle I have is wondering whether I am enough for my daughter. We try and get out and socialize and do educational things but I always wonder if I am giving her enough. I am by no means a teacher but I do my best. I have thought about trying to find a daycare for her one or two days a week but I am undecided on that.

5. What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned about being a mother?

Patience. I am/was the most inpatient person. Both of my children have taught me to have more patience and just take it easy. After we lost our son and even when I was pregnant with him I realized I needed to slow down and enjoy life more. With my daughter I definitely have more patience than I ever did before. We love to go outside and go for walks or blow bubbles. Things I would have never taken time for before I had kids. I am so grateful to both of my kids for teaching me this very important lesson.

6. What advice would you give to a new mom?

I would have to say listen to your baby. You know your baby better than any book or anyone for that matter. Definitely don’t let someone make you feel bad for your decisions because every baby is different. I thought I was going to follow every parenting book to a tee. I finally started doing things that worked for Avery and things started going better. Yes, I did some things a little earlier than what is suggested like feeding her cereal but she was crying because she was so hungry and she spit up a lot. The crying would start around 5:00 p.m. and go for about an hour. I decided I couldn’t listen to her cry anymore because I felt so bad for her. The more formula she was given the more she would spit up. After giving her a little cereal in the evening she quit crying as much and her spitting up got better. I couldn’t believe the change in her. She was so happy!

7. How do you make time for yourself despite the demands and pace of motherhood?

My alone time usually consists of exercising which it totally fine with me. Whether it’s hiking, going for a walk or the gym I always try to get at least four days of exercise in a week. I am lucky because my dad has workout equipment at his house so I can go over there and workout and he will watch my daughter for me. I also get my hair done probably once a month. I normally would not be going that much but I am totally gray Sometimes writing is my alone time. Most of the time I am writing with my daughter crawling all over me. If my husband is home I can sneak upstairs or outside and write. It’s so funny because even though it can be frustrating having Avery crawl on me when I am writing I miss her when she is not around.

8. What is your favorite part of motherhood?

My favorite part. There are seriously so many. When I am showing Avery something new and she starts to understand I just love that. I love being able to teach her things and I love how excited she gets when she understands something. I also love the cuddles and that right now I am her bff. Avery has always loved to cuddle and it is great! Okay I couldn’t pick one 😉

9. Do you have any established family routines?

With Avery we go to the park or go to the YMCA and go swimming. I love going swimming together. With Logan we do have some shows we watch together and we usually make popcorn and just hang out.

10. What are three fun (non-motherhood) facts about you?

Three fun non-motherhood facts. Hmmm.

I have only been on a plane twice and that was to fly to San Diego and back home with two of my best girlfriends. We weren’t there for long but we it was a blast. We ate, drank, shopped and hung out. It was a total girl’s trip and I loved every minute of it!

Not sure if this fun but it is probably kind of funny. I just purchased my first pair of leggings a couple of months ago. I am positive that now that I have some they will go out of style. The same gal that convinced me to buy the leggings asked me if I wanted to try on jeggings but I am not ready for jeggings.

I am an only child. It is fun but it can still be lonely at times.

Motivating Momma: Desiree

Since May is a month of celebrating mothers I have been working on my first ever interview series for my blog called Motivating Mommas. One thing that I have learned that is vital to motherhood is finding other mothers who encourage you and inspire you to be better. I tend to seek wisdom from women who have been where I am and made it through. If you are interested in appearing in this series on my blog please let me know!

The first momma I am featuring on my blog is my friend, Desirée . Desirée is a beautiful woman of God and I admire her so much for her faith, family, and friendship. I first met Desirée at her former church where she worked with Upward basketball. My husband travels to events like Upward ceremonies and performs his basketball tricks along with giving his testimony. Desirée was present at one of his shows and a little over a year later we crossed paths again. Both of our families had begun attending the same church in a different city from where we had originally met.
My husband and I had just begun attending our current church home and we were invited to join a home group that met during the week. We were nervous because we had not met many people in the church yet, but the moment we pulled up to the host house Desirée pulled in behind us and asked if Sam was the “Sizzla” (his performing name). Right off the bat I knew that God had brought Desirée into my life for a reason.
God has been forming our friendship for exactly a year (THIS WEEK!) and I am so thankful for all of the wisdom she has given me. She is a wealth of knowledge and has an amazing testimony about motherhood. It seems only fitting that as Mothers’s  day is approaching that I thank her for being an awesome role model for me. The following is my interview with Desirée.
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1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
2 kids, Grace 11 & Gavin 10
2. What was the biggest challenge you faced in the early stages of motherhood?
Having 2 only 18 months apart was a lot of work but I would say not having a church family or friends for  support.  My family was wonderfully supportive, but early on I didn’t know other moms or Christian women.
3. What lessons did you learn from your own mother?  
My mother taught me to be kind and a giver. She always showed others her love through acts of kindness and acts of service.
4. What is your most recent struggle as a mother?
Technology!!! Finding the safe boundaries and limits to time and information. Teaching my kids the right way to handle themselves via text, FaceTime, and email was certainly not in any hand book. Social Media!!  To educate them on cyber bulling and internet safety, ugh it’s a big scary web…
5. What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned about being a mother?
 To help my children build a relationship with Jesus. For them to know Jesus in their youth, building a strong foundation.   I also hug & kiss them and tell them everyday they are loved.
6. What advice would you give to a new mom?
To be patient. You will be exhausted, there will be situations when u feel defeated but trust in God’s plan. Also I would say, WORDS are powerful so be positive when talking to your children always build them up with your words and love.  When you do fail (we all have moments when words come out faster than your mind can stop them) forgive yourself and apologize to them, let them know that we make mistakes and want to be the best Mom we can be for them.
7. How do you make time for yourself despite the demands and pace of motherhood?
I MAKE time in my schedule because I know the negative effects it has on us moms not to have a social life, hobbies or interests.  We need the “break” to refresh our minds and to fill our bucket(from the book The Five Love Languages.) Not making time in my past resulted in depression, fatigue, loneliness, over eating and feeling inadequate. So I encourage moms to join a women’s bible study or a moms group to get started at expanding your circle of mommy friends. I am able to MAKE time for myself because of others like my husband, mother, grandmother, and friends help.
8. What is your favorite part of motherhood?
Loving on my children, and being loved by my children.  Watching them grow up and become wonderful people who love God and want to show God’s love to others is truly a gift.
9. Do you have any established family routines (game night, library dates, etc.)?
   We do enjoy a family movie night as well as a family game night.  We also love to play sports together and go camping. We also take our children on individual date nights so that each of them get valuable alone time with Mom or Dad.
10. What are three fun (non-motherhood) facts about you?
-I love playing and coaching Volleyball
-I have a servants heart, so to serve Christ by serving others fills my heart with Joy
-I am an inductee of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame
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