Real Mama: Sam A.

Image by Toni Kuluris

Tell us a little about yourself…

I’m 26 years old with a wonderful, supportive husband and two beautiful children. I married my best friend in August 2008. Our daughter, Emma, was born in January, 2011, and our son, Matthew, was born in November, 2012. I work full-time as a loan officer at a local credit union, but I also have a passion for the arts — dancing, crafting, photography, writing, and graphic design.

Where is home?

I was born and raised in a small town in northern Ohio. I have lived here all of my life. Well, we moved one town over after we were married, but then moved back after about a year and a half. It’s a nice, peaceful place, for the most part. I feel comfortable here, especially with my family being close by.

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

I’ve learned to never take a minute for granted of the time I have to spend with my family. I work full-time outside the home. As much as I miss being with my family during the day, it’s also nice to get away — even if it means being at work! But, as soon as five o’clock hits, I’m basically sprinting out the door because I can’t wait to be home with my little ones and my husband. I definitely don’t bring my work home. Although I have hobbies that I like to work on at home, I try not to let them interfere with the time I spend with my family.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My children and husband have inspired me to be a wonderful mama and wife and strive to be a good person. They’re the most important people in my lives and I would do anything for them. My own mother has also been a big inspiration to me. She was a wonderful parent to me. Although sometimes I disagreed with her growing up, I look back and see that she always made sure to look out for me and helped me become who I am today. We’ve always had a very close relationship, and I want it to be the same for my children and me.

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 certainly have received a lot of advice since becoming a parent, some of it was unwanted and some of it was not very good advice at all.

The best advice I’ve probably received and even passed on is to never be afraid to ask for help. There were days that I would be ready to rip my hair out, crying, and exhausted, all because I felt like I’d be a failure if I asked for help. I’m a do-it-myself type of person, but it’s okay if you ask for help once in awhile. Have someone take the kids off your hands for a bit and go have some “you” time. It doesn’t make you a bad mama, nor does it make you a failure. Everyone needs a break once in awhile.

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

I never had very many expectations of parenting. I had some hopes, though. I’d hoped to be a fun mama that my children would want to be around and have a good time with, but I would also know when discipline is needed (being a parent of a toddler, tantrums are not uncommon!). I also thought I’d bring my children up to be respectful and polite. So far, I’d like to say I’m doing a pretty good job in both of those areas.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Honestly, as long as I’m still happily married with two amazing children, that’s all that matters. I’d like to say I’d win the lottery and never have to work another day in my life and could spend all day at home with my family, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim. While I love my current job, I hope to eventually make something of my passion and hobby one day and be able to work from home. We’ll see…

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

The power to heal. I absolutely hate to see my children sick or in pain. Imagine if your kisses really could heal their booboos and take away their pain.

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

I had to have an emergency c-section with my daughter, which was neither what I had hoped for or expected. Everyone imagines having their child naturally, but for some it’s just not possible. With my second, I was told from the get-go that I’d be having him via c-section as well, because my OB does not like to do VBAC. This one, however, was scheduled and planned.

I don’t know what it’s like to have my water break and I wish I could have experienced the laboring and pushing that one would feel with a natural birth, as well as not having to go through the extended recovery time from surgery.

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 guess I’ve become more compassionate. I’ve also realized that babies aren’t as fragile as you’d think. Before having my daughter, I was terrified to hold a baby, as if they were breakable. They’re not.

I also thought that I’d have to keep my child in a “bubble,” basically scared to take her out in the cold and even in public because of how many germs she would be exposed to. Overprotective much? I’ve learned it’s best to be cautious, but not overprotective!

As far as the “I’d never do’s,” I always said I’d never give my child any candy or sweets too early on, but that didn’t last very long. My husband and I also say that our daughter will not date until she’s at least 25. We all know the odds of that are very slim… haha! If my parents would have pulled that on me, I wouldn’t have been very pleased with them!

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

Enjoy the present, as life moves quickly whether you’re ready or not. Your children will grow in the blink of an eye, so savor the moment and never take your time with your loved ones for granted!

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