Real Mama: Vanessa B.

Image by Webber Photographic

Tell us a little about yourself…

I’m a 31-year-old stay-at-home mom to a rambunctious 23-month-old, Donny. My husband and I are currently expecting our 2nd child, a little girl, due June 1st. I love to laugh and I am a bit of a homebody. My family is very important to me, and I do everything I can to keep close connections.

Where is home?

We currently live in a small Indiana town. I like small town life, but I miss being close to all the amenities of the city. The shopping spoiled me; however, being close to family trumps everything else when you will soon have two children running around the house.

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

I think the biggest secret to being a loving wife is to make the conscious effort to be nice to your spouse.

Do the little things. You won’t always feel like doing it, but try to do it anyway. You don’t feel loved by someone who isn’t nice to you. And if you are lucky like me, your husband will reciprocate.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from your mate. If you don’t ask, he might have no clue what you want.

As for the mama part, I’m still working on it. Sometimes I feel like my toddler is God’s way of teaching me to be less selfish and to have more patience with life. I have a lot of learning to do still. Ha!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I think the biggest inspiration in my life has been growing up in a happy home with parents who really tried to instill in me old-fashioned family values. Looking back, I have a lot of respect and admiration for all that they did and continue to do to support me and my siblings.

What has been the best advice you’ve received as a mama?

The best advice I think I’ve received as a mom would be to just do what works. My own mother is pretty no-nonsense and from the beginning she told me to ignore what everyone else tells you to do and just do what works for you and your baby.

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

I think I’m more of an amateur than I thought I would be. I expected this gush of love and motherly warmth as soon as my first child was born, and that just didn’t happen. Instead, I felt like I had been thrown to the wolves. And I’m slowly finding my place, and trying to figure out who I am, now that I’m not just me, I’m ‘mom’.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Good question. Hopefully happy and healthy… the rest is a mystery.

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

Flight, which is an odd answer since I am terrified of heights and hate to fly. But if I could fly on my own volition, that would probably take out the element of ‘oh my God, I’m going to fall to my death’ and my fear would be gone. And think of all the vacations I could take with no airfare!

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

I was induced and ended up with a painful emergency cesarean section that led to general anesthetic being used. So if I could change anything, I wish I would have been lucid for the first two hours of my baby’s life instead of being off in recovery somewhere else.

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’ve done everything I swore I’d never do… co-slept, yelled in anger, spanked, let my toddler totally change my life. I think I have less outright fear than I did in the early newborn days, but coping with the general constant state of anxiety that is motherhood has taken awhile.

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

Ask for help from your spouse. The best thing I ever did was let my spouse know when I was overwhelmed, and he was more than willing to help and I loved him all the more for it.

By Alex T.

Alex is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area currently living in Utah with her hubby where she's a work-at-home-mom to her rambunctious son TJ (born Oct 09). She loves to travel, loves art and art history, soccer, photography, and is a little bit of a foodie. When she's not chasing after her son or working for Mama Say What?!, she's running her graphic design and illustration business. Check out her website ( and her Etsy shop ( to see the most recent projects she's done.

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