My Mom Life: Danielle

IMG_1210In today's My Parent Life meet Danielle,  mom to two boys, ages 8 months and 3 1/2 years. Prior to having kids, Danielle worked as a pediatric and NICU dietitian, but now she's a stay at home/work from home mom. She writes her own blog (click here to check it out) and is starting her own nutrition private practice focusing on prenatal and pediatric nutrition.

What is your typical schedule like during the week?

Each day is a little bit different.  Most days, I try to be up by 5 to work on some blogging stuff or any other projects that I have going on or just to take an uninterrupted shower!  The baby is still getting up a few times at night, so my wake up time in contingent on his last feeding and if it’s a morning where we don’t have anywhere to be.  On Mondays, I round the boys up and bring them to my mom’s around 7:30 so that I can feed the baby one last time and head out to teach Baby Boot Camp.  If we don’t have other appointments going on, I attend class with both boys in tow on Wed and Fri.  The other days, we typically get out of the house by running some errands or going to the park.  In between all of that, I try to keep the house clean and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner while keeping both boys occupied.  My 3 year old still takes a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.  We have dinner around 5:30 or 6 most nights and the boys are in bed by 8.  I’m not far behind because the baby is still waking up a few times most nights.

What do you find tricky about your current set-up/schedule? What would you change if you could?

Being the parent “in charge” of everything can be challenging.  It is also challenging for my husband to be away from our boys so much, but it works for our family for now.  If I could change something, it would be to give him some more time with our boys.

What do you like best about your current set-up/schedule?

I love that I am able to be home with my kids at this stage.  It’s not easy, especially in the winter when we’re stuck inside quite a bit, but I am so thankful to be able to be here for all the good and bad.

Do you have time for yourself?  What do you do during that time?

I have a little bit of time to myself here and there.  Days where I can get the boys to nap simultaneously are amazing.  My “scheduled” time for myself includes volunteering up at the Double H Ranch and working on things for my blog and private nutrition practice.  If I get the boys sleeping at the same time during the day, I generally work on more of the same or try to catch up on laundry, etc.

IMG_1391What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?

Give yourself a break!  Everyone has something that they are good at and something that they are not so good at and that’s ok.  With social media and especially things like pinterest, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to do it all and feeling guilty if our lives don’t look as perfect as others.

Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Do you think people are open about it?

I do wonder sometimes!  I think people are becoming more open about it than before, but it can be hard to openly admit that you’re struggling.  All moms have a lot on their plates no matter what they do and I think being open and accepting to every mom’s situation is important.

IMG_2541What are some of your top must have products for the parenting part of your life?

Lily Jade diaper bag Rock n Play Go-Pod Travel high chair Crayons and small notepads that I keep in my bag for restaurants Wake up clock that turns green when my 3 year old can get up for the day Coffee Wine

What are some non-mom must haves?

Athleta work out gear Waterproof Mascara Rodan + Fields Mineral Peptides Ipad, MacBook Air and iphone

Give yourself a break!  Everyone has something that they are good at and something that they are not so good at and that’s ok.  With social media and especially things like Pinterest, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to do it all and feeling guilty if our lives don’t look as perfect as others.

What is one thing you’ve realized/learned about motherhood that no one ever told you before you had kids?

That motherhood is the most amazing and incredibly challenging thing all at once.  I love my little guys with all of my heart, but some days are just plain hard!

IMG_2735If you had an extra hour in the day you would spend it…?

Sleeping.  Talk to me in a few months and hopefully I’ll have a more exciting answer for that one!

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?

It can be difficult to stay connected to friends and other people in my life now that many of us have kids.  With so many things going on, it can be challenging to get together on a regular basis.  Technology makes it a little easier in some ways because we stay in contact via text and other social media in between.  I try to get together with my friends who don’t have kids and make sure we talk about other things.  It’s way more exciting to hear about what they have going on!

Is there anything you find yourself doing as a parent that you swore you would never do before you had kids?

Bribing with chocolate.  As a pediatric dietitian, it’s something I swore I’d never do, but the promise of a Hershey kiss in the morning helps keep my 3 year old in bed most nights so I go for it!

Thank you to Danielle for taking part in the My Parent Life series, to read more in the series, click right here. To take part in the series yourself, email me at Jenny@mamatoga.com. To read my My Parent Life entry, click here. xoxo