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Moms are the coolest June 08 2017

(image by ElyFair Photography from our Love Mom Well Event)

(Photo by ElyFair Photography from our Love Mom Well event)

One of my absolute favorite things about the shop is some of the relationships that I have made with my customers. Molly is on the top of that list. Every time Molly comes in the shop, its like she is brining the sun in with her. She is joyful and calm but honest about being a mom. Those traits are some of my favorite combinations. Being a mom is awesome but so crazy hard. I am so encouraged when I am able to have an honest conversation with another mom about the struggles that come with these cuties. 

One day in particular that stands out to me was a day when I was complaining to Molly about how my husband was about to go abroad for 14 days and i was dreading it. Molly listened so patiently and was super encouraging. She then told me that her husband would be soon deployed for 5 FREAKING MONTHS!! She didn't tell me this to downplay my experience or to make me feel bad, she was just relating to me. I saw her often while her husband was deployed and she just handled it. I am sure it was hard,emotional, and there were plenty of days where she wished she could throw in the towel but she handled it.

(photo by Amanda Zabrocki Photography)

When her husband finally returned, they all wore our "all the emotions" tee as they greeted him. I can't think of a more perfect tee. It was one of my greatest privileges to be a very very very very very very very  very small part of such a special day.

(Photo by Amanda Zabrocki Photography)

Anyways, Molly was sweet enough to answer some of my questions for our blog! Hope you enjoy reading !


I have Natalie,who is 3 years old and Samantha, who is 1 1/2.

 Are you working, not working, worked until you had kids, working with kids or whatever other version of of career that I am not thinking of? 

I am sort of working! I studied communication design at Texas Tech, but instead of entering the traditional work force right away, I joined the Air Force Spouse life and moved to Mississippi with my husband right after college. Since then, I have been doing family photography and picking up freelance design jobs here and there.

What brought you to Oklahoma?

I am from El Paso, TX. I moved to Oklahoma City when my husband was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. I didn’t know what to expect from this city, but it has proven to completely steal my heart! The local community is so vibrant and kind, and really seem to take care of each other. I absolutely love that.

 What does your day to day look like?

My days start by waking up with Samantha, who always ends up in our bed at some point in the night. Natalie joins us shortly thereafter and then we’re all up for the day. Each week day changes, but it ALWAYS starts with LOTS of coffee and Kid Netflix. I used to make French Pressed coffee for myself every morning but I’ve succumbed to the Keurig because it brings me coffee faster. I try to get out for at least a little bit during the day, whether it be to the park or even mundane grocery shopping, because I start feeling really stuck in my house if I stay in too long. As a consequence, my house is in an almost constant state of disarray.

 What is the greatest parenting hack you have discovered as a parent?

I bow down to Netflix and Amazon Prime video. I ended up being a mother who has absolutely zero qualms about screen time. I’d like to say my girls only watch educational videos, but they also watch a LOT of Dinotrux and sort of weird videos of toys being unboxed on YouTube kids.


What is your biggest challenge as a mom?

My biggest challenge has been holding on to my true sense of self. It is incredibly easy to get lost in the role of MOM, or even WIFE, and then lose myself. I love both roles of course, but I also miss aspects of the person I used to be. Now that the girls are getting older, I’m finding time to uncover dormant parts of myself.

What is something simple/silly/helpful that gets you through a tough day…or any day?

I definitely value time spent with loved ones (or by myself!) somewhere out in the city. It isn't enough to have coffee or wine at home, or even at a pretty park— being a part of the city's bustle really energizes me. For example, I’m currently at Hank’s Coffee & Wine in Midtown while the girls are at school, writing up these answers. Visits like this are very restorative for me.

 Are you and extrovert/introvert/both and what challenges does that bring as a parent?

I am an introverted extrovert. I think if my friends knew how many introverted tendencies I have they’d be surprised, because I tend to be very outgoing in crowds and during events, and am not afraid to strike up conversations with strangers. It takes a LOT to psych myself up for such occasions though, and I do crave quiet time with my husband and girls. I am perfectly fine going out and doing things on my own, but am readily putting together playdates or lunches with my friends. It’s an ever-shifting dynamic.

 What is that thing you have been dreaming of in the back of your head, big or small? It could be something as simple as a bath to yourself or changing Oklahoma schools or whatever.

I would like to really get my photography and design career kicked off. I have felt stagnant for years, which I also equate to a sort of betrayal to my talent and how many people helped cultivate it. I feel rusty and out of the game, but I just recently claimed howdymolly.com, so now I HAVE to make my website!

I also have some fun ideas that combines my love for design and my more geeky side. I would love to see that realized soon.

 What is something really important that your kid(s) grows up knowing? You can’t say that you love them! That is too easy.

I want the girls to feel that they can come to my husband and me with anything. Between my husband and me, we have a lot of the basic pitfalls of being a young adult covered, so I know we can listen to them with empathy and hopefully without any judgement. They need a safe place, and I hope they can find that in us.

Also, I want them to realize “NO” is a complete sentence and that they don’t owe politeness to ANYone unless they give it willingly. I’d like them to be black belts but we’ll see where we get with that!

The girls are probably also learning that it’s ok to make mistakes and break things, because I am doing both ALL the time.

 What has been the hardest phase/thing you have gone through as a parent? It can be related to your kids or not.

I guess I’m in a perpetual phase of not knowing how to “mom” or how to “adult.” I deal with a lot of anxiety and it has inspired me to develop a lot of unhelpful coping mechanisms. I work constantly to overcome them, and even though most of the time I fall into the same bad habits, I’m grateful for a husband and kiddos who love me all the same. Now, to not pass those things onto the girls!


Momming ain't easy May 02 2017

I have been dreaming for months now of starting a blog where moms can be real about motherhood; the highs and lows and everything in between. So here it goes. Hope you guys hate it. wink!

 My pal, Amy Lester, has always been the mom I imagined when I started dreaming of this blog. Watching Amy as a mom has inspired and challenged me, mainly because she is willing to be raw and honest about parenthood and because she and Justin have a delightful sense of humor. So here it goes!

Amy and her kiddos( Photo by Elyse Fair from our Love Mom Well event)

(Amy and her kiddos at our LOVE MOM WELL event. PC: ElyFair Photography)

How many kids do you have and what are their ages and names?

I have 3 kids Kash-7, Noble – 3, Ruby June- 2

 

Are you working, not working, worked until you had kids, working with kids or whatever other version of career that I am not thinking of?

I just started a full time job, I was working part time on the weekends. It was hard on our family. Easter weekend was the first weekend in almost 3 years that we have had all together.

 

If you do work, what do you do?

I'm the Nursing Supervisor for Just Kids Pediatrics and Urgent Care

 

Are you from Oklahoma and if not, what brought you here?

Born and Raised in Oklahoma, we lived in Portland OR for 1.5 months shortly after we were married, but realized we love OKC more than we thought, and (mixed with some other reasons) decided to move back home.

What does your day to day look like?  

My day?...Get up and shower, make lunches, get ready for work, kiss my kids and husband, drive to work, encourage the staff, find the best way to make the day function well, put out fires, love on other people's kids, take vital signs, comfort worried parents, swab for flu and strep, take x-rays, give Tylenol, give suckers, give hugs, give shots, give more hugs, make sure staff has everything finished for the day, drive home, help make dinner, give baths, put on jammies, change diapers, snuggle, read books, sometimes rock and sing, pray, say goodnight, watch a bit of tv with my husband, fall alseep on the couch, collapse in bed at 9:30, maybe make room for sex with my husband and fall asleep.  I'm sure I left some things out.

What is the greatest parenting hack you have discovered as a parent?

Kids using a straw to eat Gogurt!!! It is so much less messy.

 

What is your biggest challenge as a mom?  

Being a mom has so many big challenges...but I think my biggest challenge is making time to take care of myself. If I am spent, I can't pour into them very well. I get cranky and I yell way more than I want to. It is sooo hard for me to do things that refresh and replenish me, but I am learning that it is so very necessary for my sanity, and for the hearts of my children.

 What is something simple/silly/helpful that gets you through a tough day…or any day?

Music. I love music. It calms me. Also deep, quality conversation with a friend....and a good nap.

 

Are you an extrovert/introvert/both and what challenges does that bring as a parent?

I used to be super extroverted, but the older I get the more introverted I become. I think becoming a parent does that. I find myself feeling so overwhelmed in crowds now, when I used to thrive in those settings. It is definitely a different ball game than when I had no one else to look after or worry about.

 How do you relax when you are stressed?  

I don't really know, so if you have any suggestions, I'm open to them!

 

What is that thing you have been dreaming of in the back of your head, big or small? It could be something as simple as a bath to yourself or something big, like changing careers.

I have many dreams, but lately, I can't stop thinking about foster care and adoption. It’s in my heart. One day we will open our home. (We just need a bigger one :-), legitimately.

Also, I want to go to Disney World every year. Seriously. It's magical.

 

What is something really important that your kid(s) grows up knowing? You can’t say that you love them! That is too easy.

Justin and I talk about this all the time. I think there are a few things that are equally important to us.

We want our kids to have a love and understanding and respect for all types of people from all cultures, religious preferences or not, abilities or disabilities, etc. We want them to know that love makes a difference, even if small, and it changes lives.

We also want them to know that there is no choice they could make that will change how we feel about them. They don’t have to perform for our love, and even if they royally fuck up we still love them the same.

We want them to know that we (their parents) make mistakes...and we keep going. We own our decisions, do what we need to do to make things right, and we move forward. We don’t want to hide our faults or mistakes from them.

 

What has been the hardest phase/thing you have gone through as a parent? It can be related to your kids or not.


By far the hardest phase was last year. Our oldest daughter went through a great trauma, the kind of trauma that most parents don't want to think about. We were thankful for what did not happened but so devastated by what did.  We grieved. We were angry. We fought for her. She disappeared for a while. Not physically, but emotionally and socially and we did not know how to help her. We put her in therapy. It affected every part of our lives, home, work, school, our marriage, finances, even what small social life we had...cause let's be honest, when you have three kids, doing anything social becomes very difficult. It was such a dark time for us. We didn't feel like God was near or that he even saw us. It felt so lonely and it took months for me to not feel mom guilt. MOM GUILT is a real thing. We worry about every decision we make, every word we speak, every action or lack of action. We are doing the best we can to raise beautiful, kind-hearted, mentally emotionally and spiritually healthy small people who make a difference in the world...trying to hold it together long enough to make it to bedtime, so we can go to bed, sleep lightly so we can hear every sound they might make in the night, wake up, and do it all again the next day.  Why? Because there isn't a better job out there. From the moment I very first held my oldest, I knew I'd never be the same, and it would be the hardest and most rewarding thing I will ever do in this life...be her mom. So feeling like I was helpless to help her and that I could have potentially protected her from all of it, was excruciating. It took months for my heart to let go of all the what-ifs and allow myself to sit in the shit for a while. To call it what it was and grieve and sit stay there...in order to heal and to help her heal.