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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest Blogger:
Abby of Mommy Moments with Abby
"Losing Yourself in Parenthood"

Today's guest poster is Abby from Mommy Moments with Abby. Abby is relatively new to the blogging community, but I'm so impressed with her contribution. She's not out pounding the virtual pavement looking for followers. She's not busy glamming up her blog, like so many of us, or climbing the multitude of social media ladders. What Abby does have is a beautiful spirit and really fantastic ideas for crafts and activities that you can share with your kids!

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Let's get to know Abby better:

Hello, I am Abby from Mommy Moments with Abby.  Here in Gilbert, Arizona I reside with my husband Eric, our two kids (Avery age 1 ½ and Andrew 6 months), plus our 3 rescue dogs (Gizmo, Denali, and Blaze).  

After working in Health Care for about 10 years I found myself with a Bachelors in Health Services, married, mother of 3 fur babies, with a baby on the way.  I had planned on going back to work, but once that little girl was born I knew I wanted to stay home.  

How to make an income and stay home was a big question with it would seem an obvious answer once realized.  I had worked in childcare prior to working in Health Care and loved it.  I loved being a mom and so upon the suggestion and support of my husband my home daycare was born.  

At Home with Abby is in its 2 year now and we are having a blast.  Many of the parents would ask for advice or how to's on the projects and crafts we did and from that (plus a desire to one day write) my blog Mommy Moments with Abby was born.  It’s only been a few months, but I enjoy sharing with others my thoughts on everything and crafts that not only are fun, but can save a buck too! 

My favourite word:
Huggies- because I love it when the kids come over asking or opening their little arms for Huggies.  It is the best remedy for crankiness and mid-day crazies, plus as a mom there will be a day when Huggies aren’t considered cool and may be hard to come by so right now it’s my favorite word! 
My favourite outing:
Maryland- because we got to have a blast meeting family, seeing the area, and eating some amazing Maryland Blue Crab which I am now even more obsessed with!
My favourite famous person:
Amelia Earhart- she loved what she did and didn’t lose herself or her desire even though others may not have wanted her to succeed. 
My favourite comfort food:
As stated above Maryland Blue Crabs are an obsession and I would eat them 4 times a week if I could, not more or I’d probably die from lack of other nutrients.
My favourite emotion:
Calm- because life is so busy that a moment of calm is hard to come by and seldom lasting.
Favourite of my posts:
Baby Food Making because I had thought doing my own baby food would require a lot more money and time, but I can blend while I type!

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Losing yourself in parenthood
by Abby of Mommy Moments with Abby

Parenthood: The days are long, busy, stressful, and exhausting.  Your life revolves around these little people and your job is the most important one found today.  You are a parent.  Your children will shape the world ahead and raise others to shape it more.  It is up to us what kind of world we want them to create because we teach them the knowledge, patience, and decision-making skills they will use to develop the future. 

Wow, did I really take on something of this magnitude?  Did I really realize what having kids means?  Did I think about how my parenting affects others?  Well, I didn’t until I became a mom.  So, now I do my best to create the environment my kids need to flourish.  This seems reasonable and it is, however, I have allowed being a mom to consume me.  A simple moment in my day sent a shock through my system of this consumption.  I realized I had lost myself, likes and dislikes focus on the kids, events of the day focus on the kids, anything regarding me is all about the kids.  This leads me to my current issue of having no idea who I am outside of the kids.  Not that I had a crystal clear vision of who I was prior, but I had career aspirations, hobbies, and the time to figure it all out. 

While I love being a mom, I have thrown myself into it with such fervor that my hobbies are gone with little memory of what they once were.  My life is now developing kid’s crafts, learning tools, I only have a vague idea of what airs on adult TV, finding grocery deals is a form of sport, and cleaning the house is my primary hobby. Leaving blogging to be a cherished past-time which gets set aside if the kids need something or their schedule is off.  No grammar development for me, just unprocessed thoughts on a page because that’s all my time constraints will allow.

I go-go-go non-stop and talk to a crowd under the age of 6 so the conversation rarely delves into adult topics such as how lame the adult sitcom was last night or a major news event.  I realized the acuteness of this problem when I checked my email the other day and saw an article on how the space shuttle was to be retired from NASA.  No, more shuttles for us. Where have I been while this was all being decided? I suddenly found that I have no idea what the events are outside of the kid’s development unless my husband shares a tidbit of information pertaining to the world around me.  Something needs to change! 

So, does being a mom mean that I become a mom warrior with no knowledge past child development, how to get out a stain, or wrestling tactics for diaper changing?  This question outlines my dilemma.  How to be an amazing mom providing everything my kids need to grow into intelligent, respectful, motivated people but still be able to work on developing or expanding my own interests or knowledge all at the same time?  I thought about this a bit and decided that my problem could be addressed.  So, now that I’ve decided to make the change, the question can be asked again, “Does being a mom mean that I become a mom warrior with no knowledge past the needs of the kids?” 

No, I can be a different kind of Mom Warrior, I can still get back to me, but help is needed.  I have decided to start with a few possible solutions and see what works and what doesn’t.  I can start with seeing if I can get an explanation of what happened in the news from a source able to watch it, hopefully the hubby (he is busy too so not sure if it’s possible), while I cook/clean/or sew a torn pant leg is the first start to becoming someone who does it all.  I feel multitasking is going to be key in the solution I seek.  Next, I will work on being OK with having only a few minutes between the kids bedtime and mine to be dedicated to reading a book; must be careful not to neglect the marriage in doing so; maybe a joint designated reading time?  I must also come to the realization that news in spurts can be alright for the kids to watch as long as the storyline isn’t too violent and graphic in order to keep them and me informed of the world outside this house. Lastly, I am going to pick something new to learn and become proficient in and dedicating at least ten minutes a day.  I plan to do all this knowing that in bettering myself I can better my kids.  In fact, I will make this my new mantra: Bettering me creates the opportunity for me to expand and better my children! 

Now to put this plan into action, the hardest part!  My husband had the idea to put signs of the Arabic alphabet to help me start to learn dedicating ten minutes a day.  I feel better already! Unfortunately I now find the dilemma of explaining them to kids who are learning the ABC’s. Not the easiest thing to do since they don’t exactly match up perfectly.  As for my plan to watch the news during the day, I find it easier to focus on it when all the kids are down for a nap at the same time even if it’s only for 20 min.  I find it hard to keep track of what is being said without feeling like I’m neglecting the kids when they are up and playing.  I am devising ways to incorporate news stories to toddler conversation to help with this so that I’m not completely out of the loop with world events.  Difficulty has been found with reading after the kids have gone down for bed.  I’m often so tired I start to fall asleep during the first page.  Not sure how to remedy this since sleep is important for intellectual and physical growth, plus sleep helps one maintain sanity during the day.  I plan to continue to think of new things to do in order to reach my goals, developing those goals as I grow.

What have I learned at this point in my plan?  I have found that I was meant to be a mom.  I love it; love the poop, pee, tantrums, and screams.  I realize that sounds crazy, but they come with cuddles, inspirations, creativity, growth, giggles, smiles, and (the best part) love.   I have found that learning a language is hard.  It is a full time job if you didn’t grow up bi-lingual.  Due to this discovery I am adamant that my children learn multiple languages early on so it won’t be an issue for them down the road.  Aside from the struggles I’m experiencing learning another language, the first time you recognize a word or in my case the symbol representing a sound/letter either written or spoken you get seriously pumped.  It’s a rush of excitement because you grew.  Growth feels awesome! 

Oddly in experimenting with these changes, I have discovered that I’m more tired than I realize.  I am not sure that sleep isn’t a luxury us parents will not get when the kids are young.  It is an issue that I continue to experiment with on how to gain sleep, but find time to do all I want to in each day.  I had forgotten how world events can evoke emotions even when they have nothing to do with you which seem absurd when you think about it. Watching the news has not only made me more aware of external factors attributing to my emotions but has caused me to realize that from what little I know of history, it seems to be repeating itself.  All in all, change is occurring and I am optimistic that more changes will happen as I continue to strive to balance it all.  Through these changes I will understand better how to lead my kids as I learn to lead myself. 

Most importantly I have realized that being a parent is not an easy task, but one should be proud of taking it on and truly dedicating themselves to it.  You and I made the choice to have a baby and we should not be afraid or feel tied down to that choice.  I hope that as I use the moments I can find or make for discovering me that I will have a better understanding of the events in the world, I will be better equipped to offer a wider array of knowledge to my children, and that I will be able to better myself for my family becoming a mom not defined by the label mom, but one who defines the label.  The choice we made can only make us greater and yield the opportunity to truly make a difference in this world with these changes I will make a difference.

I offer us both some closing thoughts from me to you for the journey of growth ahead. Don’t lose yourself in the process, discover the greatness inside of you and on the hard days remember that by finding amazing things out for yourself, you create a new discovery for your children.  Never stop learning about who you are and always be brave enough to pass that knowledge on.  Read a book or newspaper, watch the news or how-to networks and smile at the person you’re creating within yourself because you are a mom or a dad and the only people your kids have to show them that losing yourself in something can lead you to the path you were meant to travel if you remember to stop and take in the scenery!

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Thanks so much for being my guest today, Abby! I think we can all relate to what you're expressing. We want the best for our kids, so we strive to be the best people we know how to be. Abby, I wish you much success on your journey. It's clear that you care deeply for your children's futures. I hope you do allow yourself time that is just for you, whether or not it benefits the kids, since a happy and fulfilled mom is a good mom. You're well on your way!


  1. It's amazing how all consuming being a parent can be. I wonder every day where the time goes. I'm a lot like you too--I spend so much time on "kid stuff" that I have no idea what is going on in the adult world. I didn't realize how little time I would have. I'm trying hard to find some sort of balance. It's not easy at all!

  2. When I got my 200 Hour Teacher Certification the topic of balance was stessed a lot. Not just in a physical sense. I think the trick in life in general is to find balance. What makes it more complicated for parents is that we are finding a balance not just for us, but for our kids lives as well and I definately agree with you. It's not easy at all! Thanks for the comment Rach!

  3. Nice to "meet" you! I had to laugh at the NASA thing, as I rarely watch the news either, because it's simply too depressing. Often times when I hear of a big news event, I'm wondering "where the heck have I been?".
    Great post :)

  4. I totally understand. I missed the whole shuttle thing too ;)

  5. Thanks for the comments! It's amazing how quickly things can pass you by if we don't take the time to notice them. Thanks for the support!


  6. Hi Abby, Thank you for stopping by the Big Green Bowl today! I came to check out your blog. My kids are teenagers now and I'm past this baby stage, but I remember it all too well! This post about losing yourself in mommy-hood is actually a theme that has been a big part of my life the last couple of years. Now that my kids are older and I have more time for myself, I am only now rediscovering who I am again! You are wise to consider this now, and with your husband's help and blessing, take care to continue to include in your life, the things that make you happy. Like doing this blog! If you begin now, you lessen the risk of truly "losing" yourself in motherhood. I know you can do it and I wish you luck!