Real Mama: Lindsay Potter
This laid back Southern mama gives us a peek into life with her wonderful husband and gorgeous baby girl. Her response to the question of if she thinks she’s the mama she always expected to be especially moved me. Every night she tells her little one just how special she is, lays her down for bed and strokes her cheek for a few minutes before walking out. What an amazingly loving relationship they seem to share. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself…
I am 27 years old and happily married to the love of my life, TJ. We have been married for three years and have a gorgeous baby girl named Danica, she is 16 months old.
I was a competitive swimmer pretty much from the time I could walk until my sophomore year of high school when shoulder problems forced me to quit. I still love to swim laps when I can find the time, and have spent the majority of my summers teaching swimming lessons to children.
My husband recently started his own business and I am so proud of him! It is especially nice that he gets to be home more often now that he is self-employed, both Danica and I really enjoy it when he is home.
My husband and I enjoy being outdoors and sometimes it seems like we are never home. My husband is the youngest of three and I am the youngest of four. We are blessed to both have such amazing families that also live a short drive away so we are able to visit them often. If we are not at a family function, we can be found playing in the mud on our ATV, camping in our RV or cruising the lake in our boat.
But no matter what we do, we are always having fun just being together. We don’t get to do all of those things as much now that our daughter is here, but we definitely would not change that for the world!
I am a fairly laid-back person and struggle some with social anxiety. I am very sensitive and emotional, a diaper commercial can put me into tears. I have to change the channel when one of those commercials come on about the poor dogs and cats who have been abused and need loving homes. I have two cats that I adore and I look forward to the day I can have a pot bellied pig. I love animals and cannot even bring myself to squish a spider, instead I make my husband put them back outside.
Or if necessary, I will flush one down the toilet and tell myself that it can swim.
Where is home?
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from high school in 2003, I moved to San Marcos, Texas to attend Texas State University. During my last semester of college, I was assigned to be a student teacher in New Braunfels, Texas and that is where we now call home. It is such a beautiful little town with so much to do, a really perfect place to raise a family.
What are you secrets to balancing life as a mama, loving wife and stay-at-home-mom?
My only secret is that I try my best. Every day I try to do some kind of cleaning around the house. It might be laundry today and sweeping tomorrow. I have heard that if your house is too clean then you must not be spending enough time with your family.
I try to keep it organized, but if you run your finger along our coffee table you might find some dust. Oh well, I would rather work on a puzzle with my daughter than dust the house.
I make dinner most nights and we always sit and eat as a family at the table, a tradition I grew up with and will continue.
I make sure to give my husband attention every day with a kiss out of the blue or a random back rub. I think it is important for our daughter to see that mama and daddy love each other.
I have also tried to contribute to paying some of our bills by watching another child in my home during the week. It is not much, but at least I feel like I am helping a little, plus it is nice for Danica to have a playmate.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My mama is definitely my biggest inspiration. She is the most giving and generous person I know, and I strive to be as good of a mom as she is. She raised four wonderful daughters and did a lot of it all on her own, she is amazing. She has always been there for me and she is the one person I know that I can always count on, no matter what. Whenever something happens in my life, it could be good or bad, the first person I want to call is my mama. When I am sick I still want my mama and will call to tell her just that! She has always been my best friend and I consider her to be my hero.
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 I have received is to “smile and nod” when others give you advice!
A mama knows her child better than anyone else and we have an instinct that tells us what we need to do. Every mama will try and tell you how to get your baby to sleep through the night, or stop crying during the day, or how to discipline them, etc. But just because one thing worked for one baby does not mean it will work for the next.
I appreciate all advice and listen to it, but I always remember that I know what is best for my daughter.
My best advice is to trust your instinct. If you think there might be something wrong with your baby then do not be afraid to wake the doctor in the middle of the night or even take them to the emergency room. It is always better to be safe than sorry. And if mama thinks something might be wrong, then there is a good chance there is.
Are you the kind of mama you thought you’d be?
Yes and no. I always knew I would be a very caring, loving and fun mama; and I believe that I am. I am always telling Danica how much I love her and give her a lot of hugs and kisses throughout the day.
I cannot get enough of blowing on her tummy or nibbling on her neck to make her laugh. I could play peek-a-boo all day just to see her smile. She loves it when I chase after her and say, “I’m going to get you!” and I will chase her until I am sweating, and then do it some more.
I sing to her every night even though I am an awful singer. We always give kisses before bed and I tell her how special she is, and I remind her about all the fun things we did during the day. I lay her down in her crib and run my fingers through her hair and lightly stroke her cheek for a few minutes before I walk out.
The “no” part of my answer comes from not realizing I would need or want a break from my own daughter.
I never understood how a parent could want a break from their child or get so frustrated at them, but it definitely happens to me! There are days I beg my husband to take Danica with him to run an errand so that I can just lay on the couch for 30 minutes and do nothing. There are days that Danica drives me crazy and I just want to scream. But I think this is all a normal part of being a mama.
Do you have a mama mantra? Or something you find yourself repeating over and over when times are tough?
This is just a phase! So many times Danica would have a terrible time falling asleep for a nap, then a week later she would be awesome at it. After sleeping for 12 hours straight every single night for many months, she all of a sudden started waking two or more times a night. I would remind myself that it was just a phase and my awesome sleeper would return, hopefully sooner rather than later. I could go on and on with all the phases she has gone through. This is just a phase!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Wow. My husband and I will definitely have two children, maybe three. I am not sure that we will be living in the same house but I hope to still be living in the same city. I hope that my husband has found great success in his business and we are able to live comfortably with me being a stay-at-home-mom. I can see myself driving Danica and her sibling(s) around to swimming practice or any activity she enjoys.
If you could have lunch with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?
Michelle Duggar. I want to know what her secret is to raising so many wonderful children. They all seem so kind and even the two-year-olds are well-behaved. How does she do it?
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I have always said I wanted the power to be invisible. Now that I am a mama, it has changed to being able to “kiss it and make it all better.” I wish I could make the pains go away and be able to heal any illness.
Was your birth experience all that you had hoped it would be? If you could go back and change
anything, what would it be?
I had the most amazing pregnancy and was such a happy pregnant woman. I loved every single moment of it and even though I only delivered four days shy of 40 weeks I never felt uncomfortable.
I dreaded that my happy pregnancy would catch up with me somehow when it came to the labor. I was right!
My labor was great and the contractions were not so bad in the beginning. The only thing I would go back and change is not getting Pitocin when I had only been in labor for maybe nine hours and it was bearable labor.
Pushing was harder than expected, and when my OB said, “Oh no, she is sunny side up,” I freaked out. Giving birth to a sunny side up baby was beyond difficult and made for an awful recovery.
I would like to say the labor was easy but the delivery was brutal. But no matter how much pain it caused, it was still a magical experience and I will never forget the moment I saw Danica’s sweet face for the first time. I cannot wait to do it all over again someday.
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 do not think it has really changed. The newborn days were extremely difficult on me because Danica did nothing but cry for the first three and a half months. Then all of a sudden she turned into a laid-back, go-with-the-flow, kind of baby. She’s definitely changed, but I do not think I have.