It is my pleasure to introduce the last Featured Momma for May, my friend and another amazing momma, Lynsey! Lynsey and I met while in college as sorority sisters. She has always been someone I can turn to for practical advice who responds with grace and compassion. Lynsey is a beautiful person inside and out, a wonderful mother, and I'm very thankful for the friendship we've had throughout the years. Thank you for sharing your insights into motherhood, Lynsey.
Age: 37! Yikes! When did that happen?
Children: Girls, Ages 15,14,11 and 11
Occupation: Stay at home mom now. Formerly HR Business partner for a large healthcare consulting firm
The most rewarding part about being a mom?
Watching them grow into wonderful young women. It’s a little bittersweet, but I’m so proud of who my girls are becoming. First and foremost, they are kind and just, and lead with love, even for strangers. Their academic and athletic achievements are great, too, but I’m mostly in awe and feel so joyful when they recognize injustice in their own small worlds, and exhibit kindness and compassion for those around them. (This is sometimes classmates, and sometimes a stranger on the street.) I get to watch them becoming brave, strong, caring women who believe they can change the world, and it’s such an amazing journey to be a part of.
The most challenging part about being a mom?
When they were young, it was the constant neediness and exhaustion. They couldn’t do anything for themselves, and it left me brutally depleted. Especially when I got remarried and went from 1 to 4 kids that were under age 8. There was a definite learning curve on managing things on a much larger scale. Now that my kids are in middle and high school, protecting them from things I perceive as damaging while not being “the worst Mom ever” is tough. I’m more conservative (my kids are not allowed to have social media accounts, including tiktok) but I can’t see how the exposure to the overtly sexual and over-photo-shopped model looking influencers could be a positive thing for their self-esteem. There are also eye-rolls and long sighs, but at this stage, allowing them to be accountable for their own decisions is super hard. I want to save them (ie help them write that term paper) but if I do, they will never know that they can do it themselves and/or learn time management skills.
The best advice about motherhood you’ve received?
Do what works for you/your family. If your kids' travel sports are making it impossible to have family dinner, and you are all exhausted, why are you doing it? We went through this recently with 2 daughters stepping away from ultra-competitive dance. One won a national championship, but was so burnt out with practicing 20+ hours a week that she decided to take a break. I had major heartburn about her falling behind her peers (gotta keep up with the Joneses!) but looking back, it was by far the best decision she could’ve made for her emotional and physical health. She’s happier than she’s ever been, and managing middle school pressure so much better without the added stress. I’ve vowed to do rec sports only moving forward, and only keep up with what my family needs at any given time, which doesn’t mean olympic-style training and grueling hours. We also eat dinner together again, and it’s incredible how much their relationships with each other have grown. They’ve become their own little tribe, which is a huge comfort when you’re in the throws of adolescent girl drama.
How do you practice self-care as a mom?
I take a holistic approach- I have an autoimmune disease that likes to rear its ugly head when I get too stressed- either I stop and take a break, or my body will do it for me. That being said, I see a therapist, and take a low-dose prozac daily for my depression (I used to be embarrassed about this, but I’ve grown to accept that it makes me uniquely me! (I also am open with my kids about this- depression is hereditary, and the more I model healthy management, the more likely they are to seek help if they need it.) I walk 5-6 days a week, and I eat super healthy. I’m also a big fan of getting up early and going to bed early. My time is the wee hours of the morning (I get up between 5-6am) and have a cup of coffee with my dog in silence and plan my day. Being fully awake and having some time to myself makes a huge difference when I wake everyone up at 7:30 and start running the morning routine so we get to school on time. I also try to be in bed by 10:30- if I don’t get enough sleep I’m a real crank! Also, and maybe most importantly: SNACKS. When I’m in a foul mood, the first thing I do is grab a granola bar. 95% of the time, it helps. When I’m mad at my husband, he usually asks if I’m hungry. I make a very concerted effort to keep healthy snacks in my car, purse, etc- life is no bueno when I’m hungry, and I often am too busy/not hungry enough to sit down for 3 meals a day.
Must-have baby registry product?
I LOVED my Moby wrap, and my post-birth binder. (Baby Products have come a long way since I had an infant!)
Favorite quote about motherhood?
“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood- finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.” -Jodi Picoult