Happy Monday, Mamas! Let’s get this week started right! I hope you all woke up ready to crush your goals and have a wonderful week!
Today is the first post out of the series Monday’s for Moms! I hope you all enjoy and learn from other mamas, too! 🙂
First up, we have Kayla Ritchey (facebook.com/https://www.facebook.com/kaylaaaXmarieee / instagram.com/k__ritchey)
My name is Kayla, and I’m 23 years old. I have a 2 year old daughter, Piper Jean. She is my only one and she has such a big personality. I was 21 when I had her so I had to grow up pretty fast after she was here!
Are you a working mom or stay-at-home mom? What is the hardest thing about staying home/working? And what is the best thing about staying home/working?
I was a working mom, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I am home with her temporarily. BUT, I love being a working mom. The best part about being a working mom is that I get a chance to be away from Piper, and get a break (somewhat). The hardest part is that I tend to miss out on some things that happens while I’m at work (i.e. her saying a certain word for the first time).
What are some of your favorite activities to do with your child(ren)?
My absolute favorite thing to do with Piper is take her to the park and walk. I did it all the time when she was learning to walk, so it’s kind of “our thing.” But she is so independent nowadays that she is learning that she can actually play at the park with other kids, instead of standing with me the whole time. We also like to go to different places and get lunch! (Piper is amazing at restaurants, so I don’t have to worry about temper tantrums very often LOL).
What have you found to be the most challenging part of being a mom?
The most challenging part about being a mom.. where do I even start? Being a mom in general is difficult. You’re trying to do everything right and the way other people want you to, and it’s stressful. Personally, the most challenging part is getting other people that see her to do things my way, and not their way. I know that grandparents, aunts and uncles want to spoil kids, and it’s okay every now and then. However, there has to be a line drawn. If I say something is not okay, then don’t do it.
What have you found to be the most rewarding part of being a mom?
To me, every day being a mom is a reward of some kind. Every day that I pick her up from the babysitter’s and she gives me her ornery grin, it makes my day so much better. Every time she learns something new and I’m there to witness it is rewarding. Seeing her grow up and change every single day makes being a mom so rewarding. After 27 hours of labor and nearly 2 hours of pushing, every day with her may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me.
Have you been through any hardships as a mother?
When Piper was 3 days old, i had to take her to Nationwide Children’s hospital because she was jaundice. What I thought was going to be a few hours, turned into 5 days. They admitted her because she had a temperature of 96.1 degrees, which is dangerously low for a newborn. They ran test after test after test, and still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. They even did a spinal tap on my 3-day-old baby. Luckily, on day 5 of me crying, being stressed out, my milk drying up(worst pain ever, next to childbirth), and after I had to yell at the doctors to figure out what’s wrong with my kid, we got to go home! And even though we still don’t know what was wrong with her, she has been healthy ever since.
Moms need “me time” too. What are your favorite me time indulgences?
My favorite me time indulgence is taking a long shower, and laying in bed. This sounds so simple, but it truly is my favorite thing. I don’t have to worry about her and what she could be getting into – I can just stand in my near-boiling shower and unwind. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I have recently started drinking wine too, and that’s always nice, too!
Disciplining a child can be difficult. Maybe you have come up with something great that other moms can use. How old is your child and how do you discipline them?
Disciplining Piper is difficult. Growing up, my siblings and I got spanked, popped in the mouth and sent to our rooms. I didn’t think raising my own kid would be this hard! My mom made it look so easy! However, we are making it work. When Piper gets in trouble, depending on how serious it is, she gets either popped on the hand or has to sit on the couch for a certain time period. I do take toys away for a little while, and will give them back after I think she has earned them back. She’s only 2 so we are trying to keep it simple. (However, I’m open to any other advice/tips!)
What is something you wish you knew before you became a mom, or your best advice you would give to a mom-to-be and future moms?
Before I became a mom, no one told me how hard the first few months are. I was fortunate enough to not go through postpartum depression, but it was still so hard. I had to figure out how to keep this tiny human alive. No one told me how tired I was going to be, or how I was literally going to forget to eat for like 2 days at a time. However, I’m surviving! My best advice to new moms – don’t try to please everyone, You are the only one who knows what’s going to work best for you and your baby. You do NOT have to do what everyone else “recommends.”
Being a mom, we go through stressful times, happy times, silly times and funny times. What is your funniest/ most embarrassing/ favorite MOMent yet?! (We all love funny mom stories/moments, right?!)
I’d have to say my funniest MOMent, was back in October of 2017, on trick-or-treat night. It was Piper’s first time trick-or-treating, and it definitely did not go as planned. I dressed Piper up as a little lamb and she was so cute! However, we learned very quickly that trick-or-treating was not her forte. She refused to walk herself up to get any candy from anyone; I had to carry her the whole time. Then she sat down on the sidewalk and screamed/cried for about 5 minutes while other parents with kids walked by. (It was nice to have other parents ask me if I was okay though!) I just laughed the whole thing off, took Pipe home and we passed out candy with my sister and brother! She was way better at passing out candy, than getting candy.
I was a young mom in my eyes. I was nowhere near prepared to be a parent. I didn’t want to be a mom at 21, but alas.. there I was. If you are a young mom-to-be, here is my advice – people are going to tell you that you can’t do it, that you’re too young to know any better. And you know what? YOU CAN! You CAN be a good mom, no matter what age you are. You can also be a good mom whether you are single or with someone.
I’m lucky enough to be married to my daughters father, but it is still hard. We have to work as a team. Becoming parents together caused a lot of fights between he and I because we had different parenting styles. However, I’d like to think we are doing a pretty good job so far!
Being a mom is hard, but it is doable. Keep going and keep doing what you think is best! You’re going to kill it!