My name is Tracy, I am 28 and I live in Northern California.
Did you experience easy or difficult pregnancies and births?
Both of my pregnancies went fairly smoothly. Besides nauseau and vomiting in the first 16 weeks, I made it through pregnancy just fine. I had a few scary complications with my first pregnancy (my daughter Andie) and we were hospitalized at 29 weeks because her heart rate kept dipping. They monitored me in the hospital for a couple days and released me on bed rest and I had to do stress-test monitoring a couple times a week. I ended up getting induced for something called IUGR (Irregular Uterine Growth Restriction) and she arrived almost 3 weeks early, but still weighed in at a healthy 5 pounds and 15 ounces. My son, Nolan, who is almost 3 months old, came on his own at just over 37 weeks, and he was a solid 8 pounds. Both of my labors and deliveries were fairly quick and I pushed for less than 10-15 minutes with both kids. The moment they both came out is something so surreal, there will never be words to express my feelings during those exact moments, it’s intense and so incredibly special.
Are you a stay-at-home-mom or working mom? How does this work for you?
Currently I am a stay at home mommy. I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with my kids and see them grow and change on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel the need to get out and have some adult time, but I am constantly reminded that this time in my life with little babies is so short. I do see myself eventually returning back to work when the babies are bigger and in school.
How did you decide on your child/rens names?
Andie is just a name my husband and I both loved, and his middle name is Andrew so we thought it was kind of a little tribute to him. Her middle name is Jean, which is my middle name and also my grandma’s middle name. Nolan is also just a name we both really liked and his middle name is Louis after my grandpa. Both of my grandparents are incredible people – and we really hope our kids grow up to be like them.
How has your life changed since having children – positive and negative?
There aren’t any words to truly describe how much I love being a mom. I never really thought of myself as a ‘kid person’ and didn’t expect to enjoy it like I do. Kids are fun, energetic, and they bring a new aspect of of adventure to my life. I look at my children every day and am blown away that these tiny humans grew inside my body. I feel so proud of them and when they smile & laugh I feel a happiness I never knew I was capable of feeling. My family consumes my life right now, but I feel very blessed. I know this time will pass so quickly and it always stresses me out because I want to thoroughly enjoy this time with them being little. I would say the toughest part of becoming a mom is the 24 hour feeling of total responsibility of two people. I am always worried about their health, happiness, and wonder if I am doing things right. I want them to grow up kind & happy and live lives they are proud of. The absolute HARDEST part of being a mom? Both of my kids hate the car. Now that Andie is older and facing forward, she does just fine, but Nolan screams when he is strapped in and it gives me anxiety any time we go anywhere. Neither one of them like being strapped in, they have free spirits and love the independence of being out.
Where are your children at school, and how did you make this decision?
Neither one of my kids are old enough to be in school, but I am considering starting Andie (she will be 2 in May) in a little pre-school this fall for a couple of hours 1-2 days a week. She loves other kids and I think she would really enjoy doing art projects and having time to play.
Are your kids more like you or your husband, and in what ways?
Nolan is too little to tell. Andie has a feisty littler personality, but she is absolutely one of the sweetest kids I have ever known. She loves to hug and kiss and has such an interest in other people. I am so proud of her. I would say she has a little of both of us in her personality.
Describe the “type” of Mom you think you are?
I am not sure what type of mama I am. I would say I am an optimistic mom, and everyday I do my best to keep things in perspective. We have chaotic days, but when I have a few moments of feeling utterly overwhelmed, I think of all of the people in the world who are unable to have children and want them so badly. I know they would give anything to experience the chaos. I need to be grateful for it all. Sometimes this perspective goes out the window and I lose my patience, but I would say for the most part this perspective keeps me grounded. I also know it goes too fast and I will wish for these days back someday.
How do you stay organised or in a routine – or do you live in organised chaos?
I try to keep the car, diaper bag, and house ‘picked up’. I go through their clothes and toys every few weeks to try to stay on top of getting things they don’t need out and rotating their toys. We don’t have a very strict routine, but we do try to get Andie down for a nap at the same time everyday and stick to bedtime around 8pm. I try to get out every day with them, even if it’s just a quick ride to the park.
What is your favourite activity as a family?
I am lucky because my husband has a job that allows him to be home 20 days a month. We love going to the park, going to Costco, and going for walks.
Describe your ‘Mommy-me-time’?
There isn’t a whole lot of that going on these days… but I do still get time to get my hair done, and am lucky enough to have great friends I try to meet up with once a month. It sounds strange, but I don’t mind doing their laundry and even just a few minutes alone to fold and organize their stuff gives me a break.
Describe your proudest moment as a Mom.
Everyday I have moments where I am proud of my babies. But I would have to say seeing Andie meet her little brother for the first time made me proud. She was so sweet and interested in him. She has been so loving to him and I haven’t seen her purposely try to hurt him – occasionally her hugs and kisses are a little rougher than we’d like, but she hasn’t been jealous. She really has a sweet soul.
Any advice for other Moms or Moms-to-be.
Trust your gut, believe in yourself, and remember everything is a phase… everything. When times are tough, they won’t last long. And these little voices, hands around your legs, and food on the floor will only be here for a short time. They will grow up. Fast. Cherish the time and do your best to keep your chin up and focus on the positive. 🙂
Thank you Trac for sharing your tips and tricks and your sweet family – Andie and Nolan are lucky to have you as their momma.