Lori McGrath is a freelance writer living in Metro Vancouver who was named in the 2012 Top 30 Vancouver Mom Bloggers. She loves life as the mother of a four year old boy and has an amazing husband to share in the joys and challenges of parenthood and life. Catch up with Lori on her blog The Write Mama where she dishes on life, love, motherhood and half-baked banana bread, on her Facebook fan page or on Twitter where she’s @thewritemama.
1. Give us a play by play of a regular day at your house…
I have been lucky enough to be home with my son since he was born. We often have lazy mornings in our jammies or walk to the park and have play dates with friends. He also likes “helping” me with chores such as laundry, vacuuming and washing windows. LOL, my mom has asked me how I ever get anything done around here (see answer to #4). I also have him signed up for classes to give structure to our days and he has really enjoyed all the different kinds of classes such as dancing, music, swimming, gardening, t-ball, soccer, skating, crafts, and cooking. My husband often works from home so we have a lot of time with him but it can be a bit chaotic with everyone home all the time! We are looking forward to kindergarten in the fall but our routine is really going to change.
2. How has being a mother changed your view of life?
Life is a lot less about me now and more about looking after my son and my family. Having said that, I think I have gone too far the other way and as a mother, I do need to take more time to look after me so I can be at my best.
3. What has been, in your eyes, the biggest reward of motherhood?
I would have to say seeing the world through the eyes of my child has given me a renewed purpose and enjoyment of life.
4. What has been, in your eyes, the hardest struggle of motherhood?
Just keeping up with everything. I need so much energy to looking after all the needs of my preschooler and family that it is hard to take care of all the details of life that should be happening on a day to day basis. I want to play with him but then I don’t have the laundry and cleaning done etc. I hired my housekeeper back even though I can’t really afford it. Something’s got to give.
5. In what ways are your children exactly like you?
Ha ha, he talks like me. Lots of my expressions like “na na na na no” and “oh GOD” have come back to bite me! He’s also funny and tries to crack jokes preschooler style with no punchline! My jokes also have no punchline.
6. In no more than a couple sentences give us a description of how you felt throughout your pregnancy/ies…
I was overjoyed and especially loved feeling the little kicks and flutters of the baby and the knowledge that two hearts are beating as one. I was not so overjoyed lying on the bathroom floor with cramps and nausea for the first few months. And I was devastated by the pre-eclampia/HELLP Syndrome that happened at 7 months. It was totally worth it in the end, but it ain’t ever happening again.
7. How to do you measure a parents success in this world? Do you think you measure up to your own expectations?
If your child is happy I think that is success. My son is a happy little guy so I feel good about that. I don’t know if I can claim total responsibility though because he is just good natured in general.
8. What are some of the lessons you have learned from your own parents about parenting?
If anything just about being close as a family and making time to be together on special occasions. Some of the things were what not to do. It was a different time, and we were spanked growing up. My child doesn’t even know what that is. I teach him hands are not for hitting. Stuff like that.
9. What do you love about who you are as a woman and as a mother?
I love the decision I made to stay home with my child while he is young and to just be his mama. I love that I started a blog to document my journey to share and connect with others. Since I became a mother I have learned so much about myself and I love that. I am still working on loving myself.
10. How do you battle “parent guilt” on a daily basis? What advice would you give to others?
Just that when you know better you do better (thank you Oprah) – when you make mistakes when you are parenting or lose your temper, you are learning what works and what doesn’t work. You pick yourself up, wipe your tears away, and then you commit to doing better next time.