Real Mama: Amanda P.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I’m a 33 year-old mama of a toddler boy and two Boxers. My son Parker is two, and my dogs, a boy named Stewart and a girl named Tivi, are both four. My husband, Curt and I have been married for three years and we dated for seven years before tying the knot.

I work as an accountant for a manufacturing company. Although it’s a stressful job at times, I really like it.

I enjoy reading, love playing board games, and have a serious addiction to crime shows on television. My husband and I are avid Arkansas Razorback fans (even when it’s difficult, like this past season).

Image by Stacey Clarke Photography

Where is home?

I live in a small town in the Arkansas River Valley, which is in the northwest area of the state. My husband and I were both raised here, as were our families. This area of Arkansas is very mountainous and beautiful. There are several state parks, a few lakes and some great weekend trip destinations all within driving distance. It’s a great place to live.

What are your secrets to balancing your life as a working mama?

Most of the time I don’t feel it’s very balanced at all! There’s a saying: “Your inbox won’t be empty when you die.” It’s the belief that not everything always has to be done. There are days I am behind at work when I leave in the evening. The house isn’t always clean and the laundry isn’t always done. Sometimes dinner is takeout, Parker doesn’t get a bath, I don’t make it to the gym or something else gets left undone. So I guess the balance comes in the fact that I try not to let the stuff in my inbox stress me out.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

There are so many people who have been an inspiration to me. Parents (mine and others), grandparents (mine and my husband’s), friends, teachers, bosses, coworkers and even some strangers have all inspired me at some point in time. Sometimes, it’s a specific event and other times it’s just who they are that inspire me. I have been fortunate to encounter so many people who are just trying to make the world a better place. I hope I will be an inspiration to my son, and that I have and will surround him with others who will inspire him, too.

Image by Wendy White Photography

What has been the best advice you’ve received as a mama? What do you feel is the best advice, if any, that you’ve given as a mama?

The best advice I’ve received is also the best advice I could give: you have to take care of yourself or you can’t take care of your baby. Mamas need to know that they should ask for help when they need it or accept help when it’s offered. You cannot neglect yourself.

Are you the kind of mama you thought you’d be?

No, not at all. I am much more of a go-with-the-flow type of mama than I thought I’d be. I’m generally a pretty rigid, rule-orientated person, but I try to be less so with my parenting approach. Parker is a very rambunctious, curious little boy and I try to let him explore on his own as much as I can while still making sure he is safe.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

My husband and I intend to buy land and build a house within the next ten years. We don’t intend to have more children. So in ten years, I see myself with a similar (but hopefully, more advanced) career, with the same little family, doing whatever it is that a 12-year-old Parker will want to be doing.

Image by Wendy White Photography

If you could have lunch with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?

I’m going to cheat a little bit on this one. He wasn’t famous, but I would love one more lunch with my dad. He passed away when I was in high school, so he never met my husband, will never meet my son and didn’t get to see the person I grew up to be. For him to see that would be worth more to me than an opportunity to eat lunch with a stranger, even a famous one.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

There are some really awesome super powers. Flying and being invisible immediately come to mind, but I would want to ability to heal pain. It’s awful to see someone you love in pain and I always wish there was something I could do.

Was your birth experience all that you hoped it would be? If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Unfortunately, no it wasn’t. I was hospitalized for several days due to pre-eclampsia, and then had a Cesarean section at just less than 35 weeks. I didn’t get to hold Parker for more than 24 hours because I was still on IV medication to regulate my blood pressure. He was in the NICU, and I couldn’t get out of bed to go see him. It was heartbreaking. It really affected my early bonding with him. I just wish I could have had a complication-free pregnancy and birth.

Image by Wendy White Photography

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?

It definitely has evolved. There were so many things on the “I’ll never” list. I was going to be the by-the-book mama, the one that follows all the expert advice. I thought Parker would always eat his vegetables and never watch television. I’ve now decided that ketchup is a perfectly good vegetable and that if Parker watches some cartoons or plays on the iPad, not only will he not be scarred for life, I can also get the kitchen cleaned. Although I’m not a perfect parent, I’ve think that my parenting is perfect for our family.

Is there anything else you wish to share with the Mama Say What?! audience?

Enjoy your babies. You will never get today’s moments again, so make the most of them!


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