S.A.H.M. i AM, an Interview with Emily S.
Tell us more about yourself, your family, and your site:
I’m a social worker with a legal background turned stay-at-home-mom. I’m a West Coast girl who was recently relocated to Texas. I am a wife to an incredible husband and mommy to a fabulous little two-year-old girl. I’m an organizer, runner, baker, menu-maker, laundry washer, sailor, activity coordinator, and wannabe seamstress.
My blog is the little space that I have to myself and share with the world. It’s about me finding my identity as a woman and a mother, while recording the little moments I might otherwise forget. It’s also about sharing my experiences in the hope that they might help or inspire someone else. It’s my little contribution to a community of supportive moms.
Where did you get the inspiration to start blogging?
When I was first pregnant my husband set up a blog so we could keep our families and friends apprised of everything baby related. Despite the fact that he started the blog, I ended up writing 99% of the posts. Writing has always been cathartic for me and the blog was no different. Yes, I updated our friends and families but I also processed my pregnancy and birth experiences, and initially, the challenges and joys of being a new mom. However, I got to a point after our daughter was born where I felt like the baby blog didn’t have space for mom.
I decided to start a new blog that was all my own and had more space for me and my emotions and experiences. S.A.H.M. i AM was born a few months later. I’d quit working outside the home. We’d moved half way across the country and I was discovering who I was as a stay-at-home-mom. I was recovering from post-partum depression and struggling to find friends in a new city. Once again I found writing really helped me process my experiences and sharing it with others helped me find community.
Lately I’ve been writing a lot about my struggle to find balance and time to myself. Self-care is a big challenge for me. You’ll notice I frequently refer to my need to shower more frequently! Also, Texas is a new environment for me so I write about how I’m adjusting to the culture here. I write about a lot of random topics as well. The blog is a little slice of my life so everything from homemade play dough to breastfeeding in public is fair game!
I’m most proud of the posts that I struggle with most. Sometimes I feel like a share too much but it’s always those posts, the ones I almost didn’t publish, that get the greatest response from my readers. I’m still amazed anyone takes time to read what I write and it keeps me motivated to know that people appreciate my words.
You have recipes, projects, and activities on your site. From each section, which was the most fun item to make or thing to do?
Hmmm…that’s a hard one. Let’s start with recipes. All the recipes I put on my blog have emotional significance for me. I know that sounds silly but I don’t put it on the blog unless making it and eating it made me really happy. Consequently, it’s hard to pick a favorite. That said, it’s the holidays and I’ve been making a lot of chocolate chip cookies. Our daughter is a very active participant in this and we have a good time!
As for projects, that’s even harder to decide. I’ve been using my time as a stay-at-home-mom to fit in as many projects as I can. As busy as life tends to be, I try to do things I didn’t have time for when I was working. The heart shaped crayons were really fun to make. The whole process made me feel really crafty and I thought they were just beautiful (and the perfect size for little hands)!
Choosing a favorite activity is easy. I love the beach. The beach makes me feel better no matter what. I’m so glad we live near such an amazing beach. I grew up with a cold, rocky beach and, while I love a good tide pool, I love the feeling of soft sand and warm salt water between my toes.
What are some of the ways in which your family tries to save money?
We try to eat at home as much as possible. Eating out adds up fast! My husband makes big batches of his favorite recipes to freeze in individual servings and then takes them to work for lunch. We only have one car, and my daughter and I take the bus when we can. If it’s less expensive to make it myself, I give it my best shot!
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
I have to say it feels strange to be asked for advice. So many days I feel like I just wing it. On the other hand I feel like I’ve learned a lot in my first two years as a mom. But it’s still weird to give advice. There’s a reason the cliché is “easier said than done”!
1. Be flexible. In my world, no matter how well I plan, things change. I’m happier if I just go with the flow and enjoy the moment I’m in instead of being frustrated and dwelling on the moments that didn’t happen.
2. Know when to put yourself first. It’s easy to always put your children or your partner ahead of your needs. I’ve learned the hard way that I can take better care of my family if I take better care of myself. It took me a long time to accept that this was not selfish.
3. Make messes. Painting is messy, cooking with kids is messy, digging in the garden is messy. All of these things are more work when kids are involved. Recognize your motivations and don’t say no just because it’s easier. Push your boundaries and find a way to get your kids involved in every day stuff around the house. My daughter loves playing the sink while I wash dishes, dumping ingredients into a bowl for dinner, and holding the hose while we water the garden. If I slow down and take the time to involve her in what I’m doing it’s a more enjoyable experience for the both of us.
4. Find community. Being a parent with small children can be isolating, stressful, and exhausting, fulfilling and joyous. In my opinion, having a chance to socialize with other adults and children is essential. It’s healthy for me and healthy for my daughter.
5. Get outside. We try to spend time outside every day. Even if it’s cold, it’s worth it. If it’s raining we can splash in the puddles between downpours. It’s it super hot, we run in the sprinklers. The fresh air never fails to revive me and 5 minutes running around in the yard or walking to the park can turn my daughter into a new person if she’s cranky.
Site: S.A.H.M. i AM: www.simplysahm.blogspot.com