Real Mama: Stephanie Emmott

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Stephanie Emmott and I’m 31 years old. I have a nine-month-old daughter named Megan, a husband named Ross who works as a chief estimator for a construction company, and a black lab named Bella.

Where is home?

I’m from Northern Ontario, but moved from Toronto, Ontario to a small community near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada last October.

What are your secrets to balancing your life as a stay-at-home-mama plus anything else you manage to fit into your day?

For me, sometimes it’s easy to forget that I have a life outside being a mama. Before having Megan, I worked at a daycare center every day during the week for almost three years. It was a pretty hectic lifestyle, especially since it was in Toronto, so there was rarely a dull moment. Even though I’m busy with my daughter at home, we tend to get a little isolated at times, especially since I don’t drive and have not yet attempted to brave the public transit system (which doesn’t allow strollers!). I think the biggest secret to trying to balance my life as a stay-at-home mama is to try to get any household chores out of the way as soon as possible to allow more time to do things I love to do just for me – reading and crocheting are two of my favorite hobbies.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My mother and grandmothers definitely. My father’s mother had six children, and my mother’s mother had four – my mom has two. I can’t even imagine how they juggled all those children! I sometimes have to remind myself, when I think it’s difficult with one, that they successfully raised their children with far fewer of the modern amenities that are readily available to us today.

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?

By far, the best advice that I’ve been given (and would give) is to trust your mama instincts. Sometimes it’s too easy to “Google” symptoms, or rely too much on others’ advice, that your own capabilities and the fact that you know your child more than anyone can be overlooked.

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

I don’t think I ever knew what kind of mama I wanted to be. I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper and breastfeed my baby, but I didn’t have any experience with young babies before, so I never really set any expectations for myself. I knew if I did and I failed to meet them I would be disappointed in myself. That being said, I gave up breastfeeding after only two days. Due to her failure to latch properly and the sheer pain breastfeeding caused, I ended up formula-feeding which upset me greatly since I thought I was doing an injustice to my baby girl. Receiving countless lectures from medical professionals about the benefits of breastfeeding didn’t help any. I finally realized that a happy mama makes a happy baby, and that doesn’t mean I’m selfish. Doing what’s best for both you and baby is all that’s important.  

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’m not sure where we’ll be living since the people who previously held my husband’s work position were here for around two years, but I see us with maybe one more child. My plan is to go back to work when Megan is three years old, so I see myself working in a daycare center or school. At times I think about opening up my own center, but only time will tell!

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

Not many people know this about me, but I’m a big fan of classic rock, so I would definitely choose AC/DC, who I greatly admire both for their music and their abilities to overcome several personal tragedies.

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

I always thought I’d love to have the power of invisibility!

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

I actually enjoyed my birth experience. My contractions started at 9 p.m., we went to the hospital at 1 a.m., and Megan was born at 6:16 p.m. that evening after pushing in two different positions. If I could change anything, it would be that my doctor delivered Megan. She was sick so a few different doctors and resident doctors who I wasn’t familiar with were there for her delivery. I didn’t really mind since everyone was so nice and comforting, but they weren’t there at all during my pregnancy so they didn’t know anything about me or my past medical history. Check out Megan’s Birth Story.

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 was definitely a nervous first-time-mama. I would wake up several times during the night to make sure she was breathing, would worry that she was too hot or too cold, etc. Now I’m much more relaxed; I still check on her every night before I go to bed, but I don’t stress myself out (too much!) if she’s on her side or belly, whereas I used to immediately flip her over. Believe it or not, I used to tell myself that I would let her cry it out (at least for a few minutes) before going to her, but I can’t bear to hear her so upset for any length of time.

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

When I feel myself getting stressed or frustrated I have to remind myself to just breathe. Everything is so much easier when you’re calm and your mind is clear.

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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