We are so excited for a new Blog Series featuring real mamas, highlighting the beauty and reality of motherhood. First up, let's get to know Abby! Abby is actually Sam and Jessica's cousin - you might recognize some of her precious children from some of our Parker Baby photoshoots. We admire Abby so much for her genuine kindness and incomparable wit.
Abby is a 30 year old mama from Fort Collins, Colorado. She and her husband have 3 kiddos: Lucy (age 4), Karl (age 3), and Rose (8 months old). She has worked at an advertising agency for the last 8 years ranging from full-time to part-time and in-office to remote. Since having kids she has mostly worked remote and part-time. Keep reading below for some of Abby's favorites, day-to-day activities, and a little mama advice ❤️
Favorite mommy product?
Two things: 1) White noise. Is that a mom product? I have become such a light sleeper since having kids, so I really need it to get any true sleep. 2) Protein Shakes from Colson Health while I am nursing. The Boobie Body shakes, specifically the Caramel Coffee flavor. I have been able to exclusively breastfeed much longer with my third child than I did previously and I drink one of these shakes nearly every day. I don’t know if it is because of their tout of superfood-packed products or just because I am less likely to skip meals, but either way, I am a major fan.
Favorite baby product?
Ok, I swear this isn’t a shameless plug but I absolutely love the Cable Knit Knotted Headbands from Parker Baby. They have held up so well with my baby girl and they are the perfect colors and the only bows I have found that don’t leave a mark on her head. Aside from that, I don’t know. Sleeper pajamas with zippers. I mean seriously, why do they still make snap sleepers anymore??
What is your favorite way to have a little me-time?
Games. Sports. Trivia nights. Anything like that. We love doing trivia nights at local breweries and we for sure never get close to winning but it’s still a blast.
A couple more questions...What does a typical "day in the life" look like?
Haha, is any day typical in motherhood? I feel like a typical day with 3 kids is managing curve balls and keeping the emotions of 5 people as balanced as I can. But on a serious note, my kids are my alarm clock. As much as I wish I could wake up before them, I just cannot make myself. Make breakfast and get my oldest off to Pre-K with Dad. Then put Baby down for a nap around 9:30 and have one on one time with my 3 year old. Then off to pick up big sis from school and head home for lunch. Try to work a little in the afternoon during their quiet time/nap time. Make dinner, laundry, clean, work on kid ministry items for church, etc. Dinner around 6 when Dad gets home and then Baby goes down for bed around 7:30, kids around 8. From 8 to midnight is when I typically log my advertising work hours. I am a night owl and evening work time is easier for me than early morning.
Wait for them to get back up. Haha. But when they are finally finally asleep? Veeeegggg. Honestly I just need like 30 minutes to totally veg out with a TV show or social media or something and absolutely turn my brain off. Then I get cracking on work or cleaning after that.
Oh man, I feel like most days I am cracking up at my kids. Two moments in particular stick out as something I still laugh really hard about.
1) It was my very first Mother’s Day. My daughter was like 5 weeks old. We were cuddling in bed and nursing early in the morning and I noticed we were wet. I remember thinking “Hmm… we must be really hot because there is a lot of sweat.” And then I smell it. That sweet distinct newborn poop smell. I lift up the blanket and it is EVERYWHERE. Like nearly covered the entire Queen size bed. (That is obviously an exaggeration, but truthfully, not by much.) I was just shocked and confused and she was crying and I just went and got in the shower immediately. I think we burned those sheets.
2) We have this slow motion video of my son running toward us. He was just under 2 years old. He is all smiles, full sprint, so happy and then his head barely bumps the side of the couch and his smile turns upside-down and his whole body is thrown off-balance. It was the most dramatic thing I’ve ever seen in my life. He wasn’t hurt, he was mostly surprised and the slow motion reaction of his face just kills me.
Baking or cooking. We bake a lot. Both of my older kids love to help in the kitchen. Lucy most loves to bake cookies, roll out dough and decorate, while Karl loves mixing in spices or helping chop vegetables. I am a huge proponent of getting kids comfortable in the kitchen and helping with dinner. They really love it and it makes them more likely to try new foods when they’ve had a hand in making it.
Please share some words of advice for all the mamas out there.
I definitely do not feel qualified to be giving anyone mom advice. That is for sure. However they do say that it takes 10,000 hours to master something and if that is the case then I’ve mastered motherhood like 4 times over right?? I do want to share 2 things. And while it may not necessarily be advice, it is something that I am actively trying to do better myself.
1) Comparison is the thief of joy. Whether it is about your kid or yourself, comparing to others is toxic. Your kid is going to roll, crawl, walk, talk, count, write and read in their own time. And, barring some extreme situation, it will happen in a normal time and they will not be any better or worse off for learning how to do something a few months ahead or behind their peers. God is in control and sweating the small stuff is only hurting your mental (and sometimes physical) health. Now, we also have to work really hard to not compare ourselves to other moms or women we see. Everyone has different priorities and struggles and strengths and weaknesses. Yes, that gal you follow on Instagram has a perfectly clean house all the time with her 3 well-behaved kids, but that probably isn’t real life. And if it is her real life, then I can almost guarantee that she doesn’t volunteer at church, or coach middle school volleyball, or carpool other kids, or have play dates, or whatever. Everyone has different priorities, and it is ok to not have a spotless house as your #1 priority right now. (Can you tell that I am talking to myself here?) So have a joy-filled motherhood and stop comparing yourself to others.
2) Take care of yourself. If my husband is reading this right now, I know he is rolling his eyes and calling me a hypocrite. But like I said, I am working on this. Someone once told me, “You know, saying ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ implies that you first have to love yourself.“ That has always stuck with me. How can I love my little kiddos with everything I have if I am not first filling up to have enough to pour out to them? So make time to exercise, go to bed earlier instead of binge watching a TV show, drink water, sit down and eat lunch instead of snacking on crusts from a PB&J, make time to date your spouse. Do little things every day that makes you feel better and be healthier mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally so you can be the best Mom you can be.