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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mom of the Month - Kate Smith

Congratulations to our July Mom of the Month Kate Smith! Such a hard working super star mother! Her boys are her world - yet she finds time for herself daily, too, something I REALLY admire and think all moms need to strive to do for themselves in order to be those strong mommas they want to be for their kiddos. She has great advice for new moms also.

Thanks for sharing, Kate!

Images shared from Kate Smith

1. Describe your children in 3-5 words. How did you choose their names? 
Lucas is kind, gentle, thoughtful, intelligent, and introverted. Maddox is goofy, cunning, sharp, thoughtful, and fun. My husband and I always loved the name Lucas, even when we were just dating. We named Maddox Maddox by default. We couldn't decide on a name throughout the entire pregnancy, but Maddox was always thrown in the mix. I thought I'd have an epiphany when he was born and know for sure his name. I didn't. Instead, since he was kinda sorta Maddox the whole time so I thought, well, I can't name him anything else.
2. How old are your children? How did you tell people you were expecting a baby?
Lucas is 8, Maddox is 6. I honestly don't remember when or how we told family I was pregnant. I can only remember that during my first pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage. My family was sitting around the dinner table eating lasagne and I asked if anyone knew if ricotta cheese was pasteurized. Questions ensued. Two days later, I lost the baby.
3. How would you describe your pregnancies? How was delivery, birth and labor for you? 
My pregnancies were very different. I only carried to 34 weeks with Lucas. My water broke at work at 11:30, started full blown contractions and he was delivered via emergency c section at 2:07pm. He was a strong 7lb premie thankfully, but my blood pressure rose toward the end and even after I gave birth. He wanted out!  Maddox was a breeze. I walked into the hospital for a planned c section. As they were hooking me up, I started having contractions. I walked into the delivery room and a half hour later he was born.

4. Describe yourself as a mom in 3-5 words. 
As a mom, I think I'm loving, present, engaging, and my kids would say I'm weird.
5. What type of mom do you hope your children think you were someday when they're old enough to tell you? 
I hope my kids will think that I gave them all the love and support they needed. And that I didn't yell at them too much.
6. What things have you done as a mom that you're most proud of? 

As a whole, I'm proud to be a mom. Becoming one is so scary and so life changing, it's not for the faint of heart. I was terrified of becoming pregnant, terrified of needles, terrified of what labor would be like, and terrified I'd be a horrible mother.  I'm proud I faced all my fears, put my faith in God and faith in my husband, and did it anyway. Best. Decision. Ever.

7. What have been the most difficult parts to being a mom? 
The most difficult part of being a mom is the worry and the wonder. Am I raising him right? Are my choices for him the best they can be? How much will this screw my kids up? Do they have enough freedom? Or perhaps too much? Will this laid back summer filled with too much screen time make them forever irritable and I unsocialized? Do they drink enough Milk and eat enough veggies? Will playing with nerf guns turn them into serial killers? And the worst part is, within all this worry, there is no guarantee. You have to have faith in what you're doing and hope it all works out. That's scary.

8. What is your favorite baby/child product(s) that makes your mom job easier? 
My most favorite baby product that was a life saver for me was the nipple medicine dispenser. We had lots of ear infections the first year and this was a game changer. My favorite product now? I'd have to say llbean backpacks. Those things take a licking year after year.

9. What advice about being a mom would you give to a brand new mother? 

The best advice I can give a new mom is to breathe. Just breathe. Everything will be ok. You got this. You have mommy instincts you can rely on. 

And most importantly, if you wonder if you should call a dr about your baby, just do it. It will make you feel better and that's what the nurses are there for. I cannot tell you how many times I worried and wondered and I should have just called.
10. What is a typical day like for you? 
My typical day starts around 6am. Boys are no doubt up, too. I make my husband breakfast and lunch and send him off. Get the kids breakfast and at camp by 8:30. I work part time in the morning, and try to fit in a walk/run then too. I grab the kids at noon, eat lunch, and then it's chore time until my husband comes home. I make dinner, relax until boys bed time. I usually stay up too late to get my junk tv time in. Just for me. And my wine.
11. What 5 things would you like to do with your kids someday, if anything were possible and money no object? 
5 things I'd like to do with my kids. Good question. Top of the list, I'd like to bring them to college on their first day. And then watch them graduate. I'd like to take family vacations when they are adults. We take them now, but want the tradition to continue. I'd like to take my oldest to an nba or mlb game and explore the culinary world with my youngest.
12. What are your favorite things about fall that you're looking forward to? Best moments of summer? 
I love the fall. It's the best time of year. I love the air and the warm colors. This year we are getting our family photos updated, very much looking forward to that. This summer we are taking a few vacations and seeing lots of family. Eating plenty of lobster and chowder and of course beach days are always on the to do list.

13. Tell us a time where you felt like you failed at parenting... but then realized you truly had not failed, things worked out fine. 
When my oldest was about 1, I got into a yelling match with my dad, which was very unlike me but it had to be done. As I was screaming, I was holding my son. The argument ended with me taking my son and leaving. I felt so horrible that he was just witness to this. With the screaming and bad energy. It was awful. He saw me crying and in a way not even I had seen myself with my dad. I felt so bad. 7 years later, I guess you could say it was ok. He doesn't remember a thing, it hasn't happened since, I learned a lesson, and become a better parent because of it. And, my dad and I are great.
14. What makes you a strong mom? 

I think resilience makes me strong. I'm not perfect and know it. But I strive on the daily to do my best, to try harder, and to start fresh each day.
15. Anything else you want to add?
These little guys are amazing. I cannot imagine my life without them.

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