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Monday, December 30, 2013

SAHM - Elizabeth McGregor

Elizabeth is such a dedicated mother, 4 young ones in her home including step-children. Always on duty even answering friends' questions, as a former nurse, this mama may know it all in my book. Most beautiful pregnancy photo ever below, Elizabeth has some great ideas on how to keep perspective on being a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM).

All photos from Elizabeth McGregor  

1.      How long have you been a SAHM?
I became a SAHM after my 6 mos old was born. When I had my first son I was in nursing school and only had to be gone 1-2 days per week and my sister-in-law watched him for me while I was in class. I realized when I was around 18 weeks pregnant that I was having major anxiety about leaving my baby with a sitter when he was an infant. I spoke with my husband about it and realized I could not leave my baby. He told me that we would figure out a way to make it work for me to stay home. I am so grateful that we did.  
2.      How many children and what are their ages?
I have two sons. Brennan is 7 and Camden is 6 mos. I also have two step-children, they are 13 and 16. Dalton and Josee, respectively.
3. What is a typical day like for you ?
I always wake up at 7am and pump. I am lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night. I have no idea why. My first son did not sleep through the night until after we stopped breastfeeding at 13 mos, but this one does. So when I wake up I pump the side I am not going to feed him on. Then I wake up the boys and get Brennan ready for school. We take Brennan to school and when I get home I put Camden to bed for a nap. Sometimes I lay down for a nap too, but I usually do some laundry and watch a show. 

Then when he wakes up, we nurse and play and hang out. Then he lays back down for a nap. I find something to do like dishes or laundry, or vacuuming. Then we go and pick up Brennan from school. 

When we get back Camden lays back down for a nap and Brennan usually plays outside with the neighbor kids. Our next door neighbor is kind enough to sit outside with them and keep an eye on the boys. I am usually doing dinner prep around this time. Then we eat supper and watch some TV and do homework and practice our spelling words and whatever else we need to get done. Then Brennan reads in his bed while I nurse and lay Camden down and then I tuck Brennan in. It is not all that exciting!

4. Why did you decide to stay at home?
I guess I answered that above. I have always wanted to be a SAHM and the time was finally right. I am loving it so far.
5. What is important to you when it comes to be a SAHM, what do you try to make sure you do each day, what do you want your child to learn from this experience being home with you?

I want my children to know that they come first and that family is very important. I always want them to see me putting them and their needs first so they know that family is our number one priority. I also want them to know that Mommy loves them. At the end of the day, if they grow up feeling loved and cherished, then I know I have done something right.

6. What do you think most people do NOT understand about being a SAHM? What do you think they think about your day that isn't true?
I think people do not realize that it can be very monotonous. I think that most people realize how much work it really is, but I think sometimes my husband forgets that I basically have the same day every day and that although I love it, sometimes talking to him is the highlight of my day.
7. What helps you to be a good SAHM?
Some days I am not sure if I am a good SAHM. I think that I just appreciate it so much because I worked outside the home for so long. I really appreciate when family is making plans for holidays and birthdays and weekend trips to the lake, I don’t have to wonder what my work schedule is and I can just say “Yes”. It’s wonderful!
8. What is your advice to a mother thinking of being a SAHM? What tips would you recommend for getting through the days?
Have friends. I have a group of moms on Facebook that were all due in June 2013 and we talk every day. I enjoy the interaction and speaking with people who know what you are going through. It is nice to know that you are not the only one lamenting over using the last of your saline spray and painful clogged ducts. 

Of course, I enjoy this group too and hearing about other Moms experiences with different age groups. Also, I am planning to start knitting. I play the piano and enjoy taking pictures, but I think it is important to have some hobbies and quiet activities you can do when the baby is finally asleep and you don’t want to risk banging around doing the dishes in the kitchen or vacuuming.

9. What is the best part about being a SAHM?
Getting to be there for every moment. My little guy will not have any milestones that I will miss. It is so precious! Also what I mentioned above. Having worked as a nurse for so long, it was just engrained in me to work every other weekend and holidays. I still pause when someone asks me what I am doing this weekend or “fill in the blank” holiday. I am just so trained to expect to have to be working for at least some of the planned events. I love being there for mornings, afternoons and bedtimes too! I have worked every shift, so I have missed all different times of my eldest son’s day. I love that I don’t have to give up any time.
10.What are the challenging parts of being a SAHM?
As I mentioned above, the monotony. Also, my friend and I were talking today and we discussed how sometimes when you are a stay at home mom you can feel isolated. I don’t feel this way often, but sometimes I do.
Also, my husband has been out of town for the past 2 months and will not be home for another two weeks. He did come home for 9 days over Thanksgiving, which was wonderful, but I was almost more used to him being gone at that point. ;) 

There are many days that I would just like a break. I would like to go to bed without having to listen to the baby monitor for even 30 minutes, or have someone else be on bath duty, shoe tying duty, or dishes duty. But again, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
11. Anything else you want to add?
Netflix has been my sanity saver with breastfeeding babies!
12. If you were not able to be a SAHM what would you be/do/work as?
I would be a nurse. The thing about being a nurse though is that once a nurse, always a nurse. I am still a nurse, even though I do not work outside the home. My friends call me for medical questions and I find myself always thinking and responding with my nursing brain. It is just part of who I am. I have worked in Labor and Delivery (3 years), which was amazing! I loved being a part of bringing pure, wondrous life into this world. I also worked in the NICU. It was not for me. Many people say “Oh, I could not do that”, and although it’s true that there are some sad situations in the NICU it is 98% happy. I loved the babies, but it wasn’t always enough of a challenge for me. I enjoy a fast-paced environment, hence how I ended up in the ER. I love the ER and I do plan to go back to work 2-3 days a month once my husband is in town more regularly. I will work in the ER again for a travel agency. I think I would like to keep my skills current. I miss starting IV’s. Weird, I know, but true!

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