Real Mama: Andrea Jacko

Image by Jess Stauffer at J3Designz

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am a 29-year-old first-time mama to my beautiful little girl, Maggie, who is ten months old. I have been married for almost three years to my amazing husband and best friend, Scott. I work full-time as a registered nurse in a very busy critical care unit.

Where is home?

Home is Muskegon, Michigan. We recently bought our first home and it’s so nice to have a place called “ours”

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

I work full-time as an RN but thankfully that is only three days a week. I wish more than anything that I could be a stay-at-home-mama, but unfortunately finances do not allow it at this moment. For our family, it is so important to cherish those moments that we do have with each other and as cliché as it may sound — we make every moment count. These last ten months have gone by so fast —it seems like just yesterday I was in the hospital giving birth to my sweet little girl, and now she is almost a toddler! We are big on family time and we try really hard to put the technology away and truly be there for our little girl.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My mother, hands down. She is such an amazing woman and I truly believe that I would not be the wife, mother, daughter, sister I am today if it was not for her. My father passed away when I was only three years old and she did such an incredible job raising my two siblings and me. We all turned out relatively normal!

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 just to relax. Sometimes that’s easier said than done though. Being a first-time mom can be so stressful but very rewarding at the same time. I try really hard to not sweat the small stuff and try to really enjoy Maggie doing what she does best — being absolutely adorable!

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

For the most part I am, but until you actually become a mom, you don’t truly know what it will be like. Then, the moment they are born your whole world is totally changed and nothing else matters. I felt like I was made to be a mom and my life is now complete.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I hope to be still head over heels in love with my hubby and have another child. It would be great if I could be a stay-at-home-mama. If that is not possible, I would love to be a school nurse and have the same schedule as my children.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I would love to be able to put a bubble around Maggie and prevent her from all the hurt, pain, tears and heartache that she is going to face. Hearing her cry makes me physically nauseous and this is only the tip of the iceberg to what is going to come her way. I am definitely the mama bear type and I want to protect her at every cost.

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

It was the exact opposite of what I thought it would be, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Scott and I took Bradley Method classes and I was so excited to have him as my coach as we brought our baby girl into this world. Maggie, however, had a different plan in mind. We found out at 30 weeks that she was breech and there was no turning her (She was stubborn just like her mama before she was even born!). So thus, I had a c-section scheduled for August 3rd. But again, Maggie wanted to do things on her terms and at 37 weeks, on July 16th at 5:25 am, my water broke as I was getting out of bed.

My hospital was very baby-friendly and even though it was a c-section, she never left my sight the entire time and I was able to lay skin-to-skin with her in the recovery room. She nursed within 45 minutes of being born —this was the most important thing to me as breastfeeding was something that I was very adamant about doing. I love Maggie’s birth story because it was the moment I became a mom and in the end, that was all that mattered.

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?

Ha! There are many things I said I would never do but then you become a mom and everything changes. I never thought I would let Maggie watch TV but she loves Curious George and Veggie Tales and it allows me to go to the bathroom, cook dinner or let the dog outside.

Do you have a mama mantra? Or something you find yourself repeating over and over when times are tough?

My favorite mantra is “she’s not giving you a hard time, she’s having a hard time.”

There are so many exhausting moments in motherhood, especially when you have a baby that just will not sleep unless she is right next to you with your boob in her mouth (and Maggie is a big boob girl!). But I know that in this moment, that is what she needs. She needs her mama to be right there, knowing that I’m not going to leave her.

By Kathy S.

Kathy S. is Mommy to a beautiful daughter named Cassidy, born in January of 2012. Currently living the small town life in South Western Ontario with her handsome hubby, she is a Sales and Marketing professional with aspirations of being a stay-at-home-mom one day. In her spare time she enjoys cooking/baking, reading, scrapbooking and being outdoors. You can find posts from Kathy in Real Mamas, Real Recipes and Real Reviews.

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