An Interview with Heather from “Mommy Only Has Two Hands”
Can you tell us a little bit about your family and your blog? Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging the weekend my son came into the world. I wanted to document everything about parenthood, everything about my life that he has changed, all of his milestones. I was a pretty proud momma after nearly two years of trying to conceive. J Myster was our little miracle.
What has been your biggest challenge as a mom?
My biggest challenge, thus far, has been trying to balance my work-at-home job, being pregnant, and taking care of a very active two year old. Many people think it sounds like a cake walk but really, even as a work-at-home mom, you still have deadlines to meet and things that need to get done at a certain time. And even though you can make up your own work schedule, it’s still sometimes hard to accomplish all of this with the demands of a two year old. Then, of course, there is my hobby and passion, which is my blog. Not a day goes by that I don’t spend at least a few hours on my blog responding to comments and emails, doing product reviews, and handling advertising. It’s something I really enjoy.
What are your top three tips for other moms?
Prioritize! If there is something you have to get done, don’t sit on it–do it. My biggest downfall has been thinking “oh, I can accomplish that this evening”, but then that time comes and you are dealing with a cranky child, your husband comes home from work and needs your attention, and things just happen. Also, you don’t want to be too rigorously scheduled. Sometimes you just have to drop what you are doing and get into a little tickle fight with your kids on the floor. Its okay not to be super mom and its ok to leave the dishes in the sink until the next day. GASP! Yes, I said it’s okay. So my top three tips for being a happy mommy are: Prioritize, stop and have some fun, and remind yourself you don’t have to be super mom!
What are some of your favorite brands for things like food, baby clothes, diapers, etc?
I love G Diapers and Bumgenious Diapers (we use cloth), and I breastfeed but I really like the Medela breastfeeding pumps and accessories, as well as the Playtex ventair bottles that work really well with a double pump. Can you tell I’m getting ready for baby number 2?
Do you have any money saving tips and tricks you can share with our readers?
Coupons, coupons, coupons! First of all, set a monthly grocery budget. Don’t go to the store unless you’ve written out your weekly menu for the week. Yes, I said write a menu. Write out what you will prepare for your family every day. Then of course, clip those coupons and shop store sales. I don’t buy a single item unless it is generic, on sale, or I have a coupon for it. I usually save at least 20% at the grocery store, but have been known to save up to 55% percent on my grocery bill.
What kinds of coupons or savings do you look for when shopping?
Things I know my family will consume or use. I don’t use a coupon just to use it and if I don’t use it, I pass them on to friends who might. I try to use coupons in conjunction with store sales- that is where you really save your dollars.
What was the most difficult part of the transition between career and becoming a stay at home mom?
For me, it was feeling like I wasn’t doing enough for my family or for my husband, financially. I first started watching other children to bring in an income. I did that for two years until pregnancy brought me down the road I am on now, which is a data entry work at home job. It took me a long time to get here, but I’m hoping this turns out to be something that will allow me to spend more quality time with my kids. It’s still frustrating at times, not having the income we once had when I was working as an office manager, but one day when my kids are in school, I will be that career mom again.
You mention on your blog that you are in the process of helping your son understand there will be a new addition to the family. Do you have any advice for other moms whose little ones are struggling to understand or cope with the new addition?
My son has had other little ones running around our home since he was about 3 months old, so he has become acclimated with being around other children. What I think will be difficult with bringing in a new sibling is that this child won’t be going home to someone else’s parents at the end of the day! I have no real advice yet, as we’ll have to see how things go when we bring his baby brother home, but I do know its important to spend quality time with your older children, so they know they haven’t been forgotten. I still plan to take my older son to the park or just out places (him and me, without baby brother) after the baby is born. I think too often we put the older children in that, “hey, now you have to be a big boy or big girl” scenario and they don’t understand. They can feel like they’ve been replaced. Making them feel important and letting them help with their new siblings will help them bond with the baby and hopefully there will be less resentment.