Real Mama: Kate Dorsey

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I was born in Boston, raised in Charleston, South Carolina and now I live in Saint Louis with my husband, baby Nolan, two cats and a dog. During the week I’m a graphic designer for a large wholesaler of paper and ink (yes, like Dunder Mifflin). I also run my own photography business, work on the site design for Mama Say What?!, and of course, hang out with my sweet boy and his Daddy. My husband is a pilot so I’m home alone a lot, and that has definitely affected what kind of parents we are!

Some things I love (other than my family), are photography, books, the ocean, the Appalachian mountains in the fall, raspberries, horses, eating out (it’s time that I embraced that I hate to cook) and traveling.

Where is home?

Home is technically Fenton, Missouri, just outside of Saint Louis, but I feel MOST at home on the east coast where I was born and raised. However, I suspect I’ll be a Midwestern girl for life now. I married a big-time Midwesterner and now we have a mini-Midwesterner.

What are your secrets to balancing your life as a mama, loving wife, site designer for MSW, professional photographer and your full-time job?

Just take it one day at a time. I have definite moments of “oh my God, I don’t think I can do this,” that creep up on me. But of course, I always get through it. All of the things you’ve listed are things that just have to be done, there isn’t any ducking out of them. I recommend asking for help if you’re ever overwhelmed, too.

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 got was to just be patient. I’m not a very patient person by nature so I always worried that I might lose my temper with my kid when times got tough, especially when he was a newborn and it was more difficult to tell what he wanted/needed. Patience is key, and it has also helped me to stop and smell the roses a little bit. You gotta soak every bit of these kids up while they’re little because they grow so fast!

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

See above. I was sure I’d be a little more impatient and less go-with-the-flow than I am. You have no choice but to go with the flow when you have a child, or you’ll drive yourself crazy!

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

“Tomorrow is another day.” No matter how hard it gets, the sun is still going to rise tomorrow, and someday, even the hardest times will be a distant memory. I also constantly remind myself that as long as we have our health and each other, a roof over our heads and food on the table, things aren’t as bad as they could get.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully with two or three more kiddos!

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

Jesus. I’d love to hear the whole story from his point of view.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Time travel… I often think about what it would be like to live in a different time, I’d love to go back and see it first hand!

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

I had a pretty good birth experience. If you had asked me before I had Nolan, I would have told you the ideal was to go into labor naturally and have him with as little intervention as possible.

Of course that didn’t happen! My water broke at 38 weeks on the dot, labor didn’t start on it’s own, I had to have a whole boatload of Pitocin and I had an epidural at 7 cm.

I didn’t get to use the birthing pool we ordered either.

The good things about my birth were enough to cover it though, I was surrounded by family (which was a must for me), I was calm and happy the whole time, the baby came out healthy and strong. Isn’t that all that matters?

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 think the only way my mothering has changed is that I’m more used to how all-consuming it is.

The newborn stage is such a shock… you’re in pain, you’re exhausted and you still don’t get a break. I found myself loving my baby, but really longing for the time that I had before to just sit and relax. Now, he’s not that much older than a newborn, but I’m used to having him around all the time now and my old life seems like a distant memory. I’ve found new ways to adapt so that I feel like I’m getting a little “me-time” as we’ve gone along. And of course, his schedule has evened out and that’s helped a lot.

One thing I swore I would never do is let him sleep with me. We still don’t co-sleep… he’s been in his crib since his second day home — but every morning before work when he wakes up, I bring him into our bed for breakfast and snuggles and we always fall back asleep for a few hours. I swore up and down I would never do this because it freaks me out, but we’ve done it since he was tiny!

Image by Amanda Forbes Photography


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