Hi Mamatoga readers! My name is Caitlin Lewis, I have been married to my husband Shane Lewis coming up on 11 years and we have 2 boys, Bryson (8) and Chase (4) and our favorite family dog Casey! I’m a working mom as a Marketing Specialist at a local company, Guyson Corporation.
What is your typical schedule like during the week?
I try, and I mean try to get up by 5:30-6 so I can watch some news, make coffee, and enjoy quiet time. Normally the boys can sleep through everything except when I get up so I stay very still! Once my boys wake up we normally have a snuggle session on the couch for a good 20 minutes, this starts my day off happy! My babysitter arrives at 7:30 and I’m out the door to a full day of meetings, phone calls and office time. I leave work around 5. When it is nice they are always outside, during winter months is a tad bit more difficult but I still try and get them to be active.
What do you find tricky about your current set-up/schedule? What would you change if you could?
I have a great babysitter who has been with me for 2 years and really helps me a ton. She comes to my house in the morning which is a great relief from having to have to fight the kids to wake up and get ready and out the door. I work 8-5 and my job is super understanding and flexible with me. Doctor appointments and school functions, I’m there for every single one. My issues are not so much with scheduling, it is trying to parent via phone sometimes when you work 40 + hours a week you still need to be a part of their day, If my older son is having an issue and I have to talk to him over the phone I have to shut my office door get on the phone and tell him to get dressed! Haha!
What do you like best about your current set-up/schedule?
I have the luxury to have my babysitter meet me on my lunch break to be able to sit and have lunch with the kids or meet them at the park. She also sends me videos and photos during the day of all the fun things they are doing.
What are some of your top must have products for the parenting part of your life? What are some non-mom must haves?
WIPES, Wipes wipes and more wipes! (They work really good on a quick clean down of the car ☺) Zip-loc baggies CamelBak cups If you have boys, say good bye to your clean bathroom and invest in some Clorox wipes
Coffee Wine Comfy pants Stashed ice cream the kids can’t find
Do you have time for yourself? What do you do during that time?
I think like every mom, we make it a point to try and make time for ourselves but as soon as we leave our house our little friend “Mommy’s Guilt “steps in to crush our fantastic time! But I know this is one of the best things you can do for your family. Moms are always on overdrive so when it comes time to relax it is almost an awkward state of mind. After my husband passes out on the couch around 8 (yes before the kids) and laundry is done, dinner is cleaned up I sit down and indulge in the most cheesy TV shows that my husband or kids won’t watch with me. Like Pretty Little Liars (I know teenager show) but I’m hooked! Sometimes this is accompanied by a nice large glass of wine depending on how many fights and injuries happen that day between the boys.
What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
You need to do what works for you; there is no mom handbook or a lifeline. We are all kind of winging it out here and hoping for the best! Schedule yourself, working, soccer practice, grocery shopping, and dentist visits can get overwhelming quick if you have a full-time job. But remember family is ALWAYS priority, the job will survive without you even if you don’t want to admit it. My husband works a ton so I make sure my boys know hard work is the key to success and nothing will ever be handed to you. But when my husband and I are home we are Mom and Dad and that’s it. We find ourselves playing play-doh most nights or watching documentaries with our older son.
Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Do you think people are open about it?
Yes! Pinterest is the death of me. All these moms are out there making homemade soap and have these cute little houses with their perfect decorations and I’m over here like ‘hey I kept the kids alive today!’ Moms like to act like they have it all together, we don’t, no one does. We cry, we scream, we laugh and we feel insane. Enjoy every special moment even the insane ones, they will be gone before you know it!
What is one thing you’ve realized/learned about motherhood that no one ever told you before you had kids?
Your boobs leak everywhere, even when someone else’s kid is crying. It isn’t the weight gain from the pregnancy that will get you, it’s afterwards when you have no time for yourself and eat the kids’ leftover food. SAY GOODBYE TO A CLEAN HOUSE.
Most of all when you become a mom part of your heart goes with them and you will never be the same. You will never be able to go out to dinner without talking about them or showing a picture of an accomplishment they’ve achieved. Parenting is super hard but it’s my biggest accomplishment and I love being Bryson and Chase’s mom.
If you had an extra hour in the day you would spend it…?
With my husband; with kids and jobs it is nearly impossible to ever talk without get interrupted. I would like to go and sit and have a coffee or a movie that didn’t cost $50 because everywhere you want to go or do add $50 for the babysitter!
Do you find it hard or difficult at all to stay connected to friends/people in your life now that you have kids? Do you find there is any gap or gulf in between you and the friends/people in your life that don’t have kids? Any tips on how to stay connected to those people?
Once you have kids, you and your friends are not on the same path, no one is at fault you lose touch. Your lives change; you can’t be carefree and go out whenever you want. I mean most of the time you don’t want to even leave because you’re too tired anyways. Throughout your life you have different stages of friends and it’s not a bad thing, it is hard to always be on the same page as someone. Now I have mom friends where I can tell them about something disgusting my kids did, like poop on the floor, potty training issues or that they just aren’t listening you! My old friends might not easily connect with these topics. I think it is super important once you are a mom to have mom friends. They will make you feel like you’re not doing it all wrong, you will tell them a story and they will say “my kid did that last week” and it will give you a sense of normalcy.
Is there anything you find yourself doing as a parent that you swore you would never do before you had kids?
Geez- like everything! No TV, no sugar, no yelling; I do it all and hate myself for it most of the time. But it is survival. Opening packages in the store while shopping to keep them quiet, turning the music up in the car when they are mad they can’t go to the park. The biggest thing is letting them sleep in the bed. My husband has taken up residence on the couch!
Thank you to Caitlin for sharing her Mom Life with us. To read more from this series, click here, and to take part yourself, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. xoxo