Real Mama: Lauren Walz

Lauren is a wife, mother of one, and a work-from-home mama who has recently joined the Mama Say What?! team! We’re excited to have Lauren on board and can’t wait to see what interesting articles this free-lance writer comes up with. Real Mama

Tell us a little about yourself.

Where to start? I am a recovering lawyer who spent six years working in Silicon Valley and then burned out right around the time I got pregnant with my daughter. I took some time off to be home with her (she’s two and a half now) and I’m now a freelance writer. It’s a very different life, but a good one! I want to spend time with my little one while she’s still little.

I’ve been married to my husband for ten years this month (yay!) and I couldn’t ask for a better partner and co-parent. He really is amazing. My daughter is also amazing but she mixes that with a healthy dose of daily exasperation.

Where is home?

Austin, Texas.

What are your secrets to balancing your life as a work-from-home mama?

I work part-time from home and I am still working on striking a balance. It’s hard to make enough time to work when I want to be with my daughter as much as I can… but I also need the “adult time” to feel human and really be present with her when I’m with her. I’m still learning to fit it all into the day and I’m convinced there just aren’t enough hours! The first thing to slip is housework, but I’m working on being at peace with that. My house may not be featured in a magazine anytime soon, but it’s clean enough and it’s not worth the stress!

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?

Everyone has to find their own path. No one parenting style is perfect, but there are lots of good parents out there, and the most important thing is to know your own child and parent them the best way you know how.

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

Yes and no. Being a mama isn’t something you can really prepare yourself for, no matter how many books you read.

I thought I was going to follow a complete attachment parenting philosophy, because that really resonated with me when I read about it, but then we ended up sleep training early and it was the best thing we’ve done.

I did stick to a lot of things I wanted before my daughter was born, like exclusively breastfeeding, making my own baby food and bringing her up on healthy foods, but so much of parenting is just ebb and flow and figuring out what works… until it doesn’t.

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

I would love to be able to put my child to sleep whenever I wanted with a wave of my hand. Bam!

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 everything I hoped it would be. I was prepared, which helped, but I also had luck on my side. I had a very quick, (relatively) easy labor and I gave birth with no medication, which is what I wanted. She was born about an hour after we made it to the hospital and although I had been in early labor all day, I didn’t fully realize this was “it” until maybe four hours before she was born. I was able to hold my baby and nurse her immediately, and I treasure those first few moments of bonding we had. I’ll always remember them.

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 has evolved so much! I don’t think I’ve done anything I swore I’d never do, but I tried to keep a pretty open mind. I really believe that good parenting is all about knowing your child, so the more she’s grown and changed and really shown us her personality, the more my parenting style has adapted to fit that.

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

“This too shall pass.” I know now that raising a child is nothing but a series of phases. You find something that works, and it’s great… until it doesn’t. So you just have to stay on your toes!

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