Real Mama: Kelly Sereda

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Kelly Sereda. I am 28 years old and have my Masters in Education with a specialization in Reading Literacy. I enjoy reading, dancing, acting, and singing, though I haven’t performed in years (aside from being on stage in front of my kindergarten and first graders!). I love children, which is why I pursued Education and hope to one day open my own school where I am able to assist teachers in recognizing and understand the need to teach to the individual student.

I am a stay-at-home-mama and I just starting to take off with a private tutoring service geared towards primary and elementary students.

Image by Shelby Leigh Photography

Where is home?

Home is Maryland: born and raised. I met my now husband there and began my career in the state. It wasn’t until a month before our now 15 month old son was born that I moved out of state (to Pittsburgh, PA) for the first time ever. It’s been the hardest, yet best, 15 months of my life.

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

Being flexible is a must, but I do have a schedule which my son follows. It is more for me and my sanity than it is for him (although it has definitely helped in his good nature and restful nights). I also make sure my husband and I have alone time each night.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I could name so many people. So many mothers, friends, aunts, sisters, and even strangers have touched and influenced my life. In all honesty though, at this point in my life, I find that I am my biggest inspiration.

It wasn’t easy moving away from all the friends and family I knew, just so my husband and I could find a way for me to stay home with our son. It hasn’t been easy not having friends around or making friends in this so called ‘city life’ that I now live in. It hasn’t been easy leaving my job in teaching, which has been and is such a passion of mine. It hasn’t been easy realizing that we aren’t exactly financially stable anymore now that I stay home. Living off of one income is HARD. It wasn’t easy having a miscarriage without my family or friends here to hug me and love me.

But through it all, I have found I am braver than I ever thought I could be. I am stronger, wiser and a better mother and wife because of this path God has guided us to.

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?

“They will ________ when they are ready.” Whether it be walking, talking, giving up a bottle or paci, learning to use the potty, etc. I don’t know many adults who still babble, crawl, drink from a bottle (well a BABY bottle), suck on a paci, or still wear diapers. With patience and time, all children will learn to do these things or drop certain habits. Sure, encouragement from parents and caregivers certainly helps, but there’s no use worrying about what will eventually happen.

I haven’t verbally given this advice to other mamas (I don’t think) but I do demonstrate patience to other mamas through my words and actions with my own son as well as with their children. I have been told more than once while babysitting, tutoring, or during play groups or visits that I am very patient. I hope this is something others are able to pick up on. It is an important quality to have!

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

Not really. I always thought I would mother my son with the help of my own mother, sister, friends, aunts, etc. Instead, I am the best mama I can be to my son with occasional visits with my sister-in-law, mother and father-in-laws and occasional visits with my Maryland friends and family. While it’s a sad thought, it’s been best for our family.

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

Channing Tatum. No need to explain. Oops, was this supposed to be an inspirational answer? It’s not!

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

I would love to be able to fly. I would enjoy avoiding traffic and it would be a much easier and faster way to make trips back and forth to Maryland. Plus, I would love a bird’s eye view of things every now and then.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I hope I own and run my own school along with the help of my husband. I would love to have settled down somewhere and purchased a home by then. It’s hard to imagine… my son will be 11 years old in ten years!

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

Definitely! I wouldn’t change a thing. From the wonderful epidural, to the third degree tears and infection landing me back in the hospital a week later for three days – I wouldn’t want things to go any differently! My husband bonded with our son for the first two hours of his life while I was being stitched back up, my mother-in-law spent time in the hospital with my son and I once I was readmitted and my champ of a son took to breastfeeding like a pro for 11 months! Go Magee-Women’s Hospital (and mama and dada too, of course)!

How has your mothering evolved since those early newborn days? Is there anything, thus far, in your approach to mothering that you swore you wouldn’t do?

I have a TON more energy. Makes sense though; labor, delivery and that “fourth trimester” is HARD WORK. I definitely am more lenient than I thought I would be about what Caleb eats. It’s hard to please both my husband and son when both are a bit picky about foods. Caleb goes in and out of different phases so I just let him eat what he eats in order to keep that belly full and that body healthy.

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

Sure: This too shall pass.

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

There’s nothing better than being a mama. While it’s EXTREMELY difficult at times, don’t disregard EVERYTHING your mother, and mother-in-law say about parenting… you and your partner turned out ok, didn’t you?

By Melissa T.

Melissa is a full time working mom to her first baby boy (born 3/11) and beautiful baby girl (born 6/13)! Melissa was married to her best friend in September 2009 and lives in Maryland with her family. When she is not working or being a mom (is there time for other things??) Melissa is always on the go... she loves to go out to eat with her hubby, a good glass of wine, reality television, spending time outside and hanging with her friends and family. Check out her Blog at http://thesugarandspiceofeverydaylife.wordpress.com/

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