An Interview with Photographer, Nursing Student, and Blogger Lorena Webber
Tell me about your family and your blog?
I’m a 31 year old, stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls, Sara (6) and Sophie (3). I have been married to my husband, Doug, for almost 11 years now and I feel very blessed to be married to a creative man that loves to cook, decorate, and organize. We live in the quaint, family-friendly little town of Safety Harbor, Florida. Currently, I’m back in school working towards a nursing degree with the hopes of someday working in the ER. I volunteer in the Critical Care Department at a local hospital every Wednesday and thoroughly enjoy every moment. In my spare time I love to read, blog, dance, take photos, spend time with my family, travel, and sip wine while making food with my husband.
I started my family blog about two years ago as an online journal to record memories of the girl’s lives as they grow up. I got inspired after my sisters and I raided my parent’s home and got a hold of a bunch of their old keepsakes and pictures stored in multiple bins around their house. It was all so disorganized and none of it was being enjoyed or reminisced over. We found so much stuff! We spent about 6 months going through all of it and along the way found love letters from the 70′s, their wedding plans, my mom’s wedding dress, all of my dad’s Navy memorabilia and of course a ton of pictures of me and my siblings growing up. It inspired me to do a better job of taking photos of my two daughters and recording their lives as they grow up. In January 2010, I started my family website/blog. Sitting down to write and post pictures of my girls and family is one of my favorite things to do and one of my only creative outlets next to photography. I didn’t realize how much I have already forgotten and how fast my girls are growing until I started looking back through my old post’s recently. I can only imagine how I’ll feel when I look back 10 or 20 years from now. I have not shared this blog with many people, just my close family and friends, but I feel proud of it and hope you will enjoy reading as well.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a mom?
One of my biggest challenges as a mother is living in the moment and being mindful. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in thoughts of what needs to get done while I’m on the floor playing with my girls, or to start checking e-mails at the stoplight instead of taking the time to carry on a meaningful conversation with them. I always find myself jumping to the next task or thinking about the next thing, and sometimes not having enough time to get it all done. I’m working on taking time to be in the moment and to clear my mind of distractions, so that I can give my full attention to what matters most to me in life. I’m also working on being a better listener, and when I stop and listen I’m amazed at what I hear and how sweet my girls are. I’m also reminded of how quickly they are growing up. I don’t want to miss anything or ever be too busy for them. I want them to know that I always have the time to listen to what they have to say. Additionally, I think it’s important to be mindful in every area of one’s life and I’m striving to stop and enjoy the very exciting life I’ve been blessed with, right now, “in the moment”.
What are your top 10 tips for moms?
1. Focus on what you want your outcome to be at the end of the day, when you lay your head on the pillow, and the rest will fall in to place. I’m sure you won’t just hope for a perfectly clean house without dust bunnies (although that’s important too), but that you can say you made an impact on your kids lives, enhanced your own well-being, and have stronger relationships with your spouse, family, and friends. If you focus on what you want your outcome to be at the end of the day, your priorities fall into place.
2. Respect your children. Sometimes I catch my girls using a very loud tone or rude words and they sound just like me. That’s when I’m reminded that I’m not setting a very good example. We expect our children to respect us, but how can we expect that from them if we don’t respect them as well. They are people with feelings too.
3. Spend quality time with your children every day so they get your attention in a positive way as opposed to acting out to get it in a negative way. If they feel they matter and are important, they are more likely to listen.
4. Teach your children virtues and how to behave in non-conflict moments. When you are yelling at your child in the heat of a bad moment, when they have made a mistake, it’s not the most optimal time to teach- when everyone is angry. Teach them good character traits while doing everyday things and in a non-conflict moment, when they are receptive and not upset.
5. Always praise great behavior.
6. Enjoy your children. They are so much fun and kids LOVE seeing mom and dad have fun and let loose.
7. Teach them to be grateful and have them verbally say what they are thankful for often. It’s an instant mood enhancer and reminder of all the wonderful things you already have.
8. Read to them often.
9. Apologize to your children when you make a mistake and let them know you aren’t perfect.
10. Enjoy every moment and be in the moment. I know how easy it is to get caught up in my to-do list, checking e-mails at the stop light, and speeding through life. Turn off the computer and cell phones and disconnect from the world to reconnect with the little people that desperately need you and love you so much.
My husband taught my girls 4 rules to live by. You can check them out here: http://www.dougwebberfamily.com/Webber_Family/Family_Blog/Entries/2011/6/2_The_4_Rules.html
What common mistakes do you see other mom’s making that you wish they wouldn’t?
I remember thinking to myself, before kids, that I would never let my kids behave the way the “mother over there” is letting her kids behave. After having my own children, I quickly learned that a two year old will push every button, test every limit, and does not care about the way they appear (or make mommy appear) to others. Now that I’m a mother of two girls and realize how hard it is to raise children, I try not to judge other mothers. Most of us are trying so hard to be the best mothers we can be and provide our children with the best opportunities in life. It’s not my place or anyone else’s to judge another parent. I usually try to comfort other mothers by saying a short little, “I know how your feeling, hang in there” and giving a little wink.