Real Mama: Kathy Schwarz
This beautiful Canadian mama shares a glimpse into her life as a stay-at-home mom and wife. Her heart is clearly overflowing with love for her little girl and she’s just doing her best to soak up all of the moments they spend together. And that mama-knows-best confidence that everyone talks about? It grows for her with each day! I think you’ll totally relate to Kathy’s responses in so many ways. Enjoy!
1. Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a new mom living in a small town in South Western Ontario. My husband and I met almost seven years ago, and will be married for two years this coming September. We welcomed our little princess, Cassidy, on January 22 and feel so blessed to have her in our life.
I am currently on maternity leave being stay-at-home-mom and enjoying every moment at home with my daughter. However, previously I was in a sales and marketing role for a local furniture manufacturer. I have also recently completed a part-time human resources program through the same college that I attended for marketing. I like the idea of having a few different options for work in the future.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking/baking, being outdoors and scrapbooking. Mind you, I am just getting into scrapbooking and I had no idea just how much time it takes!
2. Where is home?
Currently home is New Hamburg, Ontario. It is basically right between Toronto and London. My husband and I moved here almost three years ago after we said we would never move outside of the city (we were both born and raised in Kitchener, about 15 minutes from where we are now). However, now that we live here, I don’t think that we would ever move back.
3. What are you secrets to balancing life as a mama, loving wife and a SAHM?
Secrets? I’m not sure that I have any! I feel like I am still learning how to balance everything, even though Cassidy is almost six months old. I definitely take advantage of the time I have at night when the baby is sleeping. I’ll either clean, read, watch a movie or just have a nice, grown-up chat with my hubby. Now that Cassidy is getting older, I feel like the days fly by and I hardly get anything done.
I feel it’s also important not to beat myself up over the little things. If the laundry doesn’t get folded and put away immediately, oh well! There is always tomorrow. I want to enjoy all of the time that I can with my daughter and husband while I have it.
4. Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Hands down, my mom! She is the strongest, most independent, wonderful woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She raised my brother and me as a single parent, and even though some times were tough, she pulled through and made sure we had a great childhood. Now that I am a mom, I appreciate her so much more for everything she did for us.
She has been my cheerleader, my shoulder to cry on and my best friend. I have always said that if I can be half as great of a mom that she is, I’ll be okay!
5. What has been the best advice you’ve received as a mama? What do you feel is the best advice, if any, you’ve given as a mama?
The best advice received and given is the same. Enjoy every moment! It’s unbelievable how quickly your child grows up. I had been told this too many times before giving birth and didn’t really think of it too much. But now that my daughter is here and can sit on her own, is starting solid foods, and so many other wonderful things, I get it!
It only feels like yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital and I could have her cuddled up on my chest to take a nap. It’s crazy just how much you can miss those moments!
6. Are you the kind of mama you thought you’d be?
Yes and no. I always knew that having children was a part of my life plan. I knew that I had so much more love to give and it’s unreal just how much love you can feel for one person!
The part that really surprises me is just how attached I am to my daughter.
I didn’t think I would be “that mom” who would spend practically every waking moment thinking of my baby and wanting to be with her. I know that I do need a break every now and then, but I absolutely love coming home to my husband and little girl once I have had that time to myself.
7. Do you have a mama mantra? Or something you find yourself repeating over and over when times are tough?
This too shall pass! Even though there are tough moments (and there are a lot!) they don’t last forever. Tomorrow is a new day, and when you walk into your little one’s room and see them for the first time in the morning, that smile makes it all worth it!
8. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I have always had a tough time answering this question in job interviews, so answering it here isn’t any easier!
I would like for our family to be settled in our “forever home”, with possibly a little brother or sister for Cassidy and working in a career that I absolutely love!
9. If you could have lunch with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?
Ellen DeGeneres! I just think she would be so fun to sit down and talk to — she’s such an inspiration!
10. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
That I could go back in time! There isn’t anything that I would change, but a whole lot of things I would love to relive again.
12. Was your birth experience all that you had hoped it would be? If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
When it came to preparing for labor and delivery, I went in with no plan. Having never experienced it before, I didn’t want to assume it would go one way, but then end up going the other.
It’s scary not knowing what to expect! But now that I have done it, I would do it again in a heartbeat. My contractions started around 8 p.m. and by 2 a.m. we were at the hospital. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very far along, so the one thing I wish I could change was waiting at home a little longer.
I experienced really painful back labor, and due to that, I asked to have my epidural fairly early.
By 7 a.m., we were settled in our room, my epidural was in and then we just waited. It was a slow process which resulted in having my water broken and being put on Pitocin, but when I could finally push, I did for about 25 minutes and then our daughter was born!
13. How has your mothering evolved since those early newborn days? Is there anything, thus far, in your approach to mothering that you swore “I’d never do…” and you are?
I am so much more confident now than I was during those first few days. Just the thought alone of bringing our baby home made me very nervous, so when it was time I was terrified! Since everything was a new experience, we just had to find our own groove. It came eventually, and now, I rarely question what I’m doing or the decisions I make.
The one thing I swore that I would never do, and now do too much, is cry when I have to leave my baby. Going out for the first time without her was much tougher than I had ever imagined it would be.