Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guest Mom: Hilary Fuller

I'm so happy to have one of my great friends, Hilary Fuller on DOH today!  I am excited to be kicking off a guest post series with mothers that are willing to give us a peek into their daily lives.  We all run our homes differently and I figure we can all learn and be inspired from one another.  Enjoy!!

Thank you, Deb, for letting me guest post about my family and our daily way of life! I am a stay at home mom to two young kids; Quinn, age 3, and Kellen, 16 months. I didn’t set out to be a stay at home mom but after two layoffs in a row, the second of which when I was 8 months pregnant with Quinn, it became a logical choice for our family.

These photos sum us up pretty well. Taken on New Year’s Eve, my husband would prefer I showed the nice, normal family picture. But the other one really is more us.

What do you love about motherhood?
I love being home with my children and watching them grow. Of course, some days are easier than others. And many days I wish I had a job just so I could get a break. It can be relentless, staying home. My mind runs all the time. Not even when I worked 70 hour work weeks did I work this mentally hard.  Of course it’s physically taxing but the mental work I find much more exhausting. Besides, running up and down the stairs to attend to my children all day and most of many nights keeps me in my pre-pregnancy jeans. So at least there is that.

Describe a "typical" day at your house.
Our typical day is pretty low key. Many parents find comfort in constant activity. I’m not like that. We try to run one errand or go at least one place outside the home each day. I find the kids do better if they have different scenery, even if it’s only the grocery store (which it usually is). We are blessed to have a home with a playroom and backyard suitable for the kids to run around in. Last summer a neighbor wanted to get rid of their playset so we offered to take it down and haul it off. It took us weeks to reassemble and rebuild in our own backyard but the kids now have a slide, swings and fort. Not bad for free (other than the cost to buy some new lumber and stain to spruce it up)!

Twice a week Quinn attends a mommy’s day out preschool. It’s only five hours each day but she gets to interact with peers, learn to take direction from other adults, and learn her preschool curriculum that I haven’t been as good about teaching her. And that is where my guilt lies, being a teacher to my children. I’m not good at it. I think I should be. But I’ve never been the teaching type. I hear what other parents are doing for their children and it gives me mini panic attacks that I’m not doing enough. What comforts me is knowing they will learn what they need to, in spite of me. Plus, my children will grow up knowing a strong foundation with a loving mother. So I’m off the hook, right? Well, okay, not off the hook. But lets thank our lucky stars for blogs, Pinterest and all the mothering help out there for parents like me!

What are activities you & your children enjoy?
Some of our favorite activities around here include coloring, play-doh, dancing, visiting the park, and make believe. It’s not original but it’s tried and true. My husband and I are both pretty goofy, and I’m afraid it’s rubbed off on our daughter if not our son. Time will tell on him. My kids love to be tickled and chased. We do a lot of that. I’m usually asked to be some sort of animal and then chase them around while making animal noises. I wonder what the fly on the wall thinks of us?

Here is Kellen dressing up as a chef while making Quinn & mommy dinner

Every now and then I find a craft or activity online that I know Quinn will get a kick out of. But more often than not, it results in a mess. I don’t much care for messes. I clean up after everyone enough as it is. When I bake I usually include them.  But I keep a close watch and only let them do the parts that aren’t too messy. Sorry, that’s just me. I’m sure it’s stunting their learning or something equally devastating. Did you see that video on YouTube of the two kids who got into the flour? Not having it! I don’t care how much money you can make on YouTube just from posting it. What I want to know is if the flour company sent over a cleaning crew as a thank you for all the free publicity.
Quinn & Hilary making cookies

What tips do you have for days that aren't going so well?
You know the baking I let the kids help with? Well, when they’re climbing the walls and throwing tantrums and it doesn’t seem like the day is going to end, I let them eat what we baked. I find bribery to be highly effective. Hear me out.  My children eat pretty healthy. The food items are pretty bland and it’s the same things over and over, but overall pretty healthy. So having a few cookies here and there when it results in sanity seems like a win-win to me! And if all else fails, we go on lots of walks in the red Radio Flyer wagon.

Thank you so much, Hilary!!  I love how honest you are about your life.  It can be so easy for us to compare ourselves to others and how great of a job they are raising their children.  Thank you for sharing!!  If you'd like to be a guest mom, let me know.  You can email me at deb AT doseofhappy DOT com.

|Pictures taken by Hilary Fuller|


Heather Benzel said...

What a great post! Somehow two sisters ended up polar opposite! I may have two kids also, but that's about where it stops. It's funny, when we were younger, I was going to be the stay at home mom and she was going to be the "career" woman. Things have definitely shifted and although we all have different triggers, methods, and ways to handle stress, we are all battling on the same team. Thanks for sharing!

Whitney Kay said...

This is so fun, Deb! I'll have to check back for other mom profiles! It's fun to see Hilary...seems like I haven't seen her since high school!