current city: Memphis
living situation: I live with my husband Blake; our two boys, Jack (five) and Will (18 months); our Springer Spaniel Bessie; and last but certainly not least, Fred, our friendly squirrel who lives in the front yard. He makes it into all of Jack’s family portraits.
occupation: I work four days-a-week at an all-boys school as the seventh and eighth grade counselor. I love my job, and I love my schedule. It allows me to have the joy of professional fulfillment and adult time, as well as that extra day “off” to be a mom, help at my child’s school, have play dates, run errands, and enjoy some time to myself. Am I busier on my “day off” than the days when I work outside of the home? Yes. Always.
how do you structure your time and space? We are pretty regimented around our house just because that’s how things work best for us. Perhaps this explains the stresses we had this summer with no schedule! Multi-tasking is definitely the key to our household. I’m not good with clutter, so I’m pretty anal about keeping things neat most of the time. While this is great in some respects, I will say that by 7:15 when all of the small people in my house are snug in their beds, I nearly always melt right into mine.
Our daily routine typically involves my heading to the gym first thing at 5:15ish and arriving home at 6:35 to little people slowly waking up. My husband showers while I start working on kids’ lunches. By 7:25, we are all dressed and mostly fed, and I am ushering everyone out the door, always with a Diet Coke in my hand and an extra one in my purse for later.
My husband is incredibly helpful with everything involving the boys and household chores. There’s no doubt, we couldn’t make it without him. Our nights right now are a little stressful only because he is working late each night. That means that the kids are pretty bored with me and are anxiously for dad to be home regularly for dinnertime soon.
But, typically dinner is at 5:30 with baths shortly after. We play games or read books, and then bedtime it is. I’m not good with any chores after the kids go to sleep. I always hear moms say that’s when they do household chores. Nope, not me. I’m totally done for the day, except maybe some bad reality TV and the latest US Weekly.
using the metaphor of seasons to describe the phases of women’s lives,
-what are the particular challenges and highlights of your current season? As many mothers would say, a lot of my highlights turn into challenges quickly – especially around the four o’clock hour. The highlights are certainly the innocence Jack exudes when he’s so excited about new experiences and meeting new people. I love feeding into all of that by just being silly and surprising the boys constantly. Some of the highlights are also messy and involve spaghetti explosions or finger painting with ice cream. It’s fun, and hey, it all washes off pretty easily.
Currently, I’m most challenged by/with my “Crazy Will,” as Jack calls him. He’s pretty head-strong, and when he’s unhappy, he’s very unhappy. My challenge comes at the typical witching hour when I’m just worn out. With Blake working late lately, the afternoons seem looonng. He’s also not sleeping through the night right now, so that’s an added bonus. On a positive note, today was a good day, and who knows what tomorrow will bring. It’s funny to me because the day can change so quickly with little guys. I’m certainly much more flexible than I used to be, and I even surprise myself with how things that used to bother me no longer do. I think that’s just a part of motherhood and having to “roll with the punches.” That’s also what makes it a lot of fun!
-what season(s) preceded this one? The past few months have been pretty stormy. With some family medical issues, frustrations dealing with a major construction project, and job stress, I sort of felt deflated ending the summer. I honestly wondered how I would muster the energy to start the school year well. Thankfully, it’s been an incredibly smooth transition. Things fell right into place as they usually do. I have felt rejuvenated by new students and fun colleagues at work, my kiddos have loved their new classrooms and teachers, our family health issues are going really well, and the housing project is moving along rather smoothly. So, do I wonder if the wheels are about to fall off? Maybe just a little but I’m enjoying the smooth ride while I can.
-what season(s) might your future hold? I think our immediate future holds a lot of busy months that would normally seem stressful, but given all of the plans and projects we have, (and how well they are going right now!!!) I’m just excited about it all. I feel like we are going to have more fun each and every day as Will gets older and can communicate more effectively. Of course, I’m realistic and know it won’t all be rosy, but I do feel hopeful. I think I usually have a negative view of winter because it limits our outside activity, but I’m really looking forward to all the excitement that the next few months will bring.
favorite family activities: being silly!!! anything outside, lots of swimming, eating dinner on the patio, dance parties in the kitchen, going to the lakehouse and beach, and Jack and I especially love baking!
favorite solo activities: working out, having wine on the patio while listening to beachy music, reading magazines, planning creative projects that I sometimes start and rarely finish
source(s) of inspiration: I am inspired by music, my friends, people who are genuinely happy and peaceful, and artists (more specifically painters). When I’m down, my husband inspires me. We are very much each other’s yin and yang.
best MakeShift moment: One of my favorite things about nursing was the ease and convenience of it all. I remember being out all day and not having to pack bottles, and I just thought that was such a blessing. I really hate packing diaper bags! I selfishly loved that it allowed our schedule to be incredibly flexible. I never would have thought about how nursing would actually make things easier, but it certainly did for us.
[if you or someone you know would make a good “mother of invention,” please check out the nomination process and questionnaire located on the sidebar to your right.]