Real Mama: Tracy Lopez

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Tracy and I am 33 years old. I have a 21 month old son and am pregnant with a little girl, due in April. My husband and I went to high school together, but never spoke until eight years later. We were married in New Orleans & will celebrate five amazing years of marriage in 2014. He is my best friend!

I am currently a working mama. Some days I feel like working is easy, and other days I miss my little man terribly.

I am a total planner and list maker and thrive on organization, although I’ve learned things don’t always go according to plan. I have a design business and love creating beautiful wedding invitations for brides and grooms. I am also trying to re-teach myself how to sew.

Where is home?

Home is Malvern, PA, which is about 25 miles outside of Philadelphia and 15 minutes from the 2nd largest mall in the country (King of Prussia!) I also grew up 8 miles from my current home.

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

I am not sure if I would say my life is balanced, but I try my best. I have learned not to worry about the house as much as I used to pre-kids. I spend the few hours I have in the afternoons playing with my son, and whatever I can get done once he is in bed is what I get done…everything else will wait for another day.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my little sister. She has three children and has been a guiding force in my life as a mama since I first became pregnant. I questioned some of the things she did with her kids, but now that I have my own, I get it….and of course she likes reminding me of that! Haha!

In all seriousness though, she has calmed my fears, answered my questions, and been my go-to person. I am so grateful for her and the knowledge that she has been able to share with me. We talk every single day and me becoming a mama has only brought us closer!

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?

The best advice received: “This too shall pass.” Just knowing that other moms have dealt with the same feelings/issues, etc. brought me comfort during those hard times, and know that eventually things would be different helped. Now I look back on times that I thought were so hard, and realize it wasn’t all that bad.

The best advice I have given is probably for mama’s to trust their mommy instincts. I totally trusted mine and they never ever steered me wrong. We know our babies best!

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

I don’t know if I actually had an image of the mama I thought I would be. To be honest, the thought of being a mama scared me before having a baby. I always worried that I wouldn’t know what to do, but when I was pregnant with my first so many people said I would be a great mother. So looking back, I think I am way better of a mama than I thought I was capable of.

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

This is a tough one…probably Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. I think she is such a remarkable young woman!

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

To have the ability to read people’s minds. I am sure at times I wouldn’t want to have this ability, but it certainly would come in handy as a mama of young kids.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I hope to have a healthy 10 year old boy and 9 year girl and be in a comfortable place in life. I hope to be doing something that I love for a career and just overall to be happy and healthy!

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

My birth experience was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better really, and being a first time mama I consider myself very lucky to have had such an easy experience (I only pray that my 2nd birth is just as easy!). If I could go back and change one thing, it would be that my son was born a week or so later….he came 4 weeks early which was quite a surprise. We were very fortunate that he did not have to go to the NICU and was able to go home on time!

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?

Oh, where do I begin….there are so many things I said I wouldn’t do, but you can throw all of that out the window once that sweet baby is in your arms!

We wouldn’t watch videos regularly (Baby Einstein), but guess what? When it calms down your screaming toddler, you do what works!

I wouldn’t sleep with my “older” baby or let them cry when they got older. But you do what you need to do to get some sleep! As far as the crying thing goes, I knew I could never let him CIO, but I thought I could deal with a little crying at bedtime. Turns out I can’t. And there is nothing wrong with rocking them to sleep because they won’t still need to be rocked to sleep in five years.

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

This too shall pass and our children are only this little for such a short amount of time. I want to savor each and every moment… even the crazy ones that make me want to pull my hair out!

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

I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my story and I have enjoyed reading other mama’s stories. Becoming a mama has changed my life in so many ways…probably the biggest is realizing that God gave us my son to bring us closer to him. I also have realized that I am capable of a lot more than I ever thought I was!

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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