Real Mama: Becky Patten

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am a first time mama to my happy 3-month old baby girl Ezri Renoa. I am currently 27, married and work in the real estate software industry. I would say that I am passionate about my family, friends and my animals. My husband and I are also rescue parents to our dog Monroe and our cats Artemis and Luna. What’s unique about our family life is that my husband and I took eight weeks of maternity/parental leave together, and then after eight weeks I went back to work and he is staying home with our daughter.

Where is home?

Home is in Cambridge, Ontario! Some might call this a “boring city”, but it’s where work ended up being for both my husband and I and, therefore, home! We just purchased a house here last year and love our family friendly neighborhood.

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

I went back to work full-time eight weeks after my daughter was born. My husband, Colin, is on parental leave and stays home with Ezri. I am quite often asked why we do this. The simple answer is that this is what worked best for our family at the time for financial and job related reasons. I will not lie — it was not easy to leave her that first day of work, but I knew she was in good hands. Everyday, my husband sends me a “pic of the day” and I probably have 20 pictures at my desk along with a desktop background of my daughter to get me through the day! I work with some wonderful people and that helps immensely.

To balance life as a working mom of a 3-month old, I honestly just try to get the most out of each day as possible. That means waking up early and not skipping a beat on weekends when it comes to mommy-baby time, household chores, groceries, taking care of the dog, etc. My goal before going back to work was to try and figure out a schedule for Ezri and with trial and error and observing her behavior, I was able to get one in place that makes the work/baby balance easier. I plan a lot of what I intend to do with each day, whether it be spending time with family/friends or setting aside some time to enjoy some hobbies like TV shows, my husband or scrapbooking. I wouldn’t say I have a “secret recipe”, but with putting thought into the day, having patience, waking up early and having Ezri on a regular bedtime routine, life works and I do not feel overwhelmed. I’m also very lucky she actually follows a routine – so I think part of that is just luck of the draw, too.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I find this to be a tough question as I don’t have just one single person that I look up to in terms of parenting and motherhood. I find it most helpful to surround myself with other mamas and observe their techniques or ask for input and advice as I need it. I am lucky to have so many friends who have coincidentally had babies this year and that has been amazing to have that network.

I do have one friend whom I would love to give credit to (Damla Omilian) and although she is not a mama yet, she lives her life with such a whole heart and positive attitude that it’s infectious. She has inspired me on many occasions to see the bright spots in life when you’re working toward your toughest goals or overcoming a hurdle.  A positive attitude and great support network will get you there and the rewards will be wonderful.

Image by Brandi Nicole 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?

I don’t remember receiving a piece of advice that hit home, but the one motto I live by when times get tough is “everything is temporary.”

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

I am not the type of mama I thought I would be. If you had asked me this a few years ago, I never would have thought I’d be a working mama, for starters, but I also would have thought I’d be more stressed and frazzled. In the past, I have been a generally anxious and skeptical person, but in the last little while I’ve mellowed out. At least I think so… maybe others would beg to differ! While I was pregnant, my husband and I discussed the type of parents we wanted to be, and we were aiming to take things as they come and to try our best, not be stressed and just enjoy the ride. So far, so good and a more relaxed attitude has done wonders for my health too!

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

If I had any superpower, I would love to have the ability to go back in time and just be an observer of events I’d like to relive again. For example, I’d love to have been able to see my daughter’s birth.

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

I made a very conscious decision to not have any expectations about what my birth experience would be. The only thing that shocked me was that my water broke like it does in the movies, and I kept getting told “that never happens.” Luckily I was at home!

I ended up having an emergency c-section after 34 hours of labor and, while it would have been great to do things the natural way, it just wasn’t in my cards and I feel like on some level I always knew I’d end up having a c-section. No real rhyme or reason behind that, but it was just a gut feeling. In the end, if that medical option wasn’t available, my daughter would have likely died because she was being held in by the cord, so I am grateful the c-section option exists. I wouldn’t change a thing about my labor and delivery because Ezri made it safely… although I guess I could have done without the entire 34 hours… that probably could have been cut back a bit! 

Image by Brandi Nicole 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?

One thing I wanted to try and avoid, if possible, was having to rock a baby to sleep and that being the only way they would sleep. I got her used to going to bed and sleeping on her own, but when I went back to work I started rocking her at night before bed more, so a comfort and bonding moment for me too.

That time we have before she drifts off is precious to me and having her snuggled in my arms, almost hugging me, is my favorite time of the day.

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

As I mentioned before, I aim to remember during tough times that “everything is temporary”, but a quote that I live by as a parent is, “Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. This quote reminds me to think about my actions and how they will be perceived by my daughter as she gets older and I hope that guides me through all stages of her life, good times and rough times.

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

Take pictures, videos and write down as many memories as you can. I was surprised at how much I’ve started to not remember as vividly in just a few short months. It’s a wonderful journey to look back on those precious moments and someday your kids will enjoy it too!

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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