Meet the Real Daily Moms
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful mothers out there! Here at Daily Mom we are known for bringing you useful and informative articles packed with gorgeous photography. We are a fun loving group of moms, but you certainly shouldn’t let that fool you. Like many of you, many of our days end in tears and frustration and some days we aren’t entirely sure that we are cut out for this mothering gig. Though we all have different parenting styles and fight different daily battles, one thing is for certain – we all love our children to pieces.
In honor of Mother’s Day, today we are getting “real” with you and bringing you a little bit of real life from all the wonderful moms who make up our team.
My name is Elena, and I am the Managing Editor for Daily Mom, and I do everything and the kitchen sink when it comes to making sure Daily Mom runs and grows.
I’m known for taking on too much and juggling an unreal number of responsibilities while being a mom, doing it on-the-go while traveling, never sleeping in order to get it all done. It’s true. I have more things to do than any one person should have to do in a day while taking care of a child. I often stay up until 5 am to get everything done and I still fall short. My to-do list has climbed to an unreachable number of 725 to-do items with no reprieve in sight.
I travel a lot. I take my daughter on my travels. Because if I stayed home doing everything that I need to do I would go crazy. Traveling is my therapy. Then I come back and I push myself beyond limits to complete everything I need to. It’s not for everyone, but that is the kind of balance that keeps me sane. I like being under pressure. Work hard, play hard, right?
I stay up until 5 am one week and then after my body can’t handle that anymore, I spend a week going to sleep at the same time my daughter does. I use volleyball and gym time daily to relieve frustration and to keep my body strong. I make time for those things because they keep my mind and body sane and healthy; sane enough to be a good mother while juggling several things. It’s important to find something special you do for your sanity. That’s what makes me a better less stressed out mom.
I travel with my daughter; I try to focus on spending quality time with her every chance I get , yet I always have “work” knocking on my door trying to distract me. It’s a daily struggle: to keep my attention on her and not run to my computer every time she plays on her own which rarely happens. But I try. Every single moment. I try to be a gentle, understanding, responsible mother, and I don’t always succeed, but I wake up the next day and vow to do better. Over and over again.
The truth is, I’m still trying to find a perfect balance of work, home, mommy time, travel, and fitness.
Speaking of home, my house is never clean. Never. It’s clean for an hour after a cleaning lady comes in. That’s the sacrifice I am willing to make to ensure I can take care of my body, take care of my daughter, take care of my work, and take care of my mental health. And if the house is messy, I don’t stress.
But most of the time I’m winging it. I’m hanging onto a single thread trying to balance well enough not to fall off. I think I do it pretty successfully most of the time but I can’t say I don’t have breakdowns occasionally when there is just too much. And I accept that. And then try to do better the next day. That’s the only thing we all can do. Accept that we are not perfect and every day start over hoping to do better. That’s what being a mom means to me. Always shooting to be better than yesterday.
I’m Megan, and I am the Editor-in-Chief at Daily Mom. I’ve been with Daily Mom since day one, and was once a full-time writer, but now I lurk in the shadows of editing which translates to spending my days and nights attached to my email program. My family very recently moved from the ultra-hip city of Denver, Colorado, to the super-conservative boonies of Michigan because my husband and I dreamed of becoming homesteaders and taking a step back from the busy to strengthen our family bond.
My daughter Vivien is 4 (though if you ask her, she will add in an awesome eye-roll and say, “Four AND A HALF.”) Vivien was literally the easiest baby known to mankind. I’m convinced that a pack of feral cats could have raised her, and she would have turned out just fine. She hardly cried. She seriously slept through the night from birth. She was perfectly content to hang out in my arms while I binge-watched Netflix during my maternity leave. She weaned herself, and even potty trained herself later down the road. See what I mean? I could have a Duggar-sized family if all my babies were as easy.
Then I had William. My mom giggles and says that he is my payback for being such an awful child (and preteen, and teen, and heck, even some of my “adult” years.) After they surgically pulled him out, the nurse brought him close to my head while my doctor began shoving my vital organs back inside my stomach-hole. He was crying, and I couldn’t wait to see the strong boy that I had felt in my stomach for the past 9 months. As I turned my head to look up, he peed- directly. on. my. head. I cracked up laughing, and should have known, then and there, that he was going to keep me on my toes.
I am type-A to a fault. I like order, organizing, structure and routine. To this day, I stretch myself too thin trying to “have it all.” I’ve been known to have full-fledged panic attacks if things don’t go my projected way. William was diagnosed with colic and reflux as an infant, and tested all my strength from day one. Now that he’s two years old, he has meltdowns and temper tantrums that make me wonder if he was possessed by a demon during his nap time. He is unpredictable and wild. I know that he was put on this earth to shake me up. Parenting the perfect baby is easy. Parenting the strong-willed child breaks you down and makes you stronger. I spend my nights reflecting how I parented my son (and daughter!) and striving to be better, for his and my sake.
I’m not perfect at all. I yell like a crazy-person and cuss like a sailor. I pop open a bottle of champagne (pretty much) nightly after I finally wrestle them both into bed. We’ve had take-out for dinner three times this week, and it’s only Thursday. While you may walk into my home and see that it’s clean, there are areas of my life that are horribly messy. And that’s real, and I think it’s perfectly okay. Priorities shift often. People change. Instead of judging other moms, I hope to be a sounding-board. We’ve all had amazing, Pinterest-worthy days, just like we’ve all had days of pizza for dinner and everyone sporting jammies for two days straight. I like to think that, even if something makes me “look” like a bad mom (like the fact that I’ve all but given up trying to style Vivien’s hair, because she cries if I come at her with a comb) those are the days that my kids will remember as good. The days that I yell at them for making a mess before someone comes over, or tell them to be quiet so I can finish my grocery list may stick more; and, while I have good intentions, they may not carry over as that to my kids. We’re all human, after all. We all want our kids to grow up and be awesome. After all, I know that both my kids, and their unique personalities, have made me evolve into a way better person.
I’m Jessica, and I am an editor here at Daily Mom. I am best known for my countless articles on nutrition for both adults and children; my fear mongering articles on why you need to get rid of EVERY PRODUCT WITH EVEN A SINGLE TOXIN OR CHEMICAL! Seriously, all of them… just save yourself the stress of reading every single label and throw everything you own away now. Kidding though, sort of. I am made up of approximately 50% caffeine and 50% sarcasm and it is a brutal combination until you get to know me. After that, you realize I am actually rather charming and pretty spunky albeit very loud.
I am a mother to a gorgeous, very long haired, high spirited, sweet and occasionally rotten, wild child. Effectively, he is actually never wrong. He is the light of my life and the reason I wake up everyday – which is partially because he is usually dragging me up to make his breakfast. I have tried since birth to parent with a gentle approach, but some days I yell and some nights in a bewildered combination of exhaustion and desperation I cry and wonder how the heck I can get him to listen to me without screaming and yelling. Truthfully, he tests every ounce of patience I have, but has taught me so much about the selfless kind of love you can have for another person, and he has changed my life in the most positive ways.
I had (and still occasionally have) every intention of being that mom who throws Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, makes Pinterest-worthy crafts and serves dinner at the same time every night. However, sometimes I think that Pinterest has ruined parenting and made mothers across the world feel inadequate. Sometimes I believe we all need to take a step back and pat ourselves on the back and be proud of all that we do instead of worrying about what we don’t. I also despise the phrase “mommy wars”. While I believe that mothers should always be building each other up, I believe it has been taken to the extreme. I believe that moms, like everyone else, are entitled to their own opinions and should be able to express them. I believe as a person and a parent everybody should stand firm in the decisions that they make on a daily basis. Do your own research, make your own decisions and stand by them. NEVER spend time spreading hatred on the Internet or in real life. It is bad karma and a waste of energy.
I am a “Work From Home Mom” which isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. Some days it means that my child is watching his 100th episode of Paw Patrol so that I can finish up a client’s meal plan or respond to an e-mail, and other days it means I am counting the minutes until Dad gives me a reprieve so I can jet out to yoga and go hide at Starbucks in hopes of being productive. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for a thing. The ability to work and still devote so much of my time to my son is priceless, but it certainly comes with many challenges.
I love to workout and eat and cook healthy food from scratch, but don’t be fooled… some days I don’t move off the couch, and we have been known on occasion to order Chinese food. I have learned and am still learning to be okay with this. Life isn’t perfect. I try to treat both my body and my son with love and respect. In this I have learned that sometimes respecting and loving yourself and your child means a dinner where the remains can easily be thrown in the trash, makes no dishes and ends with snuggles and kisses on the couch.
I think life is hard and I think parenting can be even harder. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and I struggle with having ulcerative colitis. Some days I really think that staying in bed would be my safest bet. However, every day I get up. I love my son, I work on loving my life, and I try to keep in mind that we are all just a work in progress. I truly believe that life itself and motherhood can be the most beautiful gifts we will ever be given. It is all in what you make of it. I also remind myself that nobody is perfect… even the ones who you may think are the real life, quintessential “Pinterest Moms”.
Oh, and most importantly I believe that most things can be solved with an exceptional glass of red wine, the company of a great friend and a joke that makes you laugh so hard you almost pee your pants. Actually… who are you kidding, if you have popped out one or more kids, you probably really did pee your pants.
I’m Dani, an editor at Daily Mom, known to have written articles about how to successfully grocery shop with toddlers, how to make bath time fun for everyone, and what the latest children’s fashion is, complete with professionally taken photos of my two kids who are dressed to the nines and clean from head to toe, that all give me the appearance of having my shit together.
The truth is, I don’t grocery shop with my toddlers, I hurriedly submit my groceries online in about 10 minutes, hoping I remember to click “bread” to the list or else we all suffer for the next week; bath time is never fun for anyone, unless I drag both kids in the shower with me, to which I semi-enjoy the hot water, even though two little heads keep bumping into me saying “excuse me, excuse me” (the only time they seem to show manners) while they try to take over the prime center spot in MY shower; and as soon as I bribe my dressed up kids to sit still for a split second to shoot what I only pray is a clear photo, they are off and running, and 5 minutes later, come back to me covered in dirt, pee, and chalk, pantless and shoeless.
I’m a woman and I’m a mother; a former job-hating nurse turned (some days job-hating) stay at home mom, former clean freak who now tolerates dirty floors and smelly bathrooms, former perfectionist who now realizes that I can only control my kid’s personality and behavior so much, and former no-exercise natural 6-pack flaunting turned even if I make it to the gym, I still manage to have a constant 5 month baby bump.
Real life with kids is hard. It’s not always pretty and put together. It’s eye-rolling, curse muttering, ponytail wearing, and back breaking hard. It’s definitely not what I had pictured going into it. They say becoming a mother changes you and makes you a better person; although I see changes in me, I’m not sure they’ve made me a better person yet. I’m still selfish, I’m still immature, I’m still vain, I’m still impatient… But, God gave me these children, and He wants me to take care of, nurture, and love them while they are here on this earth. So until the day He takes them back to Him, I will do my best to raise my kids the way He would want me to, through my imperfectness, through my doubts, and through my exhaustion. I will keep living my real life, because it’s the only one I have, and someday I hope to see these “changes” in me that I’m sure we have listed somewhere in a Daily Mom article.
I’m Ashley, one of the editors at Daily Mom, often known for my photography tutorials, and most recently, articles on potty training and preparing to bring a new baby home. Taking photos and writing is part of my daily life – no joke. For the past year and a half (almost), I’ve taken a picture of my first born child every single day. I don’t stage my shots (well, not most of them), and I try to keep it real. I want my daughter to look back on those photos and be able to relive her childhood through them.
Unfortunately, I don’t get in front of the camera often enough. While I believe my kid is cute enough to be photographed at any time of day, I hardly apply the same rule to myself. I used to photograph myself all the time. I used to love a good self-portrait (hardly the same as the selfies “the kids” post these days). But, motherhood has zapped a lot of that energy from me.
I’m due with my second child within the next 4-6 weeks. My face is constantly blemished (I blame my unborn son). I’m exhausted and it shows. My right leg randomly falls asleep and my pelvic bone hurts. I often pee on myself when I sneeze. This pregnancy isn’t nearly as easy as my first, and I just don’t have the youthfulness I wish I had for my (almost) 4 year old daughter. I am quite certain she’s ready for her baby brother to be born so that her mommy can hold her and play with her again the way I used to. I pray each day that I can be the mother she needs me to be for her.
Four years ago, I stepped away from a full-time position as a training and development consultant for a management consulting firm. I used to travel the country every week. I worked with C-level executives, and enjoyed the adrenaline rush of working day and night to meet a ridiculous deadline. But I gladly handed over my professional status to be a stay-at-home mom and full-time photographer. My work these past 4 years is different, but I can honestly say it’s much more rewarding.
Although, let me be honest: being a SAHM isn’t nearly as glamorous as some people may think it is. Yes, I have the opportunity to stay at home with my children while they are young, but it has not come without sacrifice. I saved my paycheck for two years before stepping away from a full-time position (with benefits no less). Our family rarely goes on vacation or even to the movies. We find luxury in the few hours of calm (often watching something like The Walking Dead) each evening after bedtime. My patience is tested every single day. My homemaker skills are pathetic. I’m far from perfect, but I honestly believe that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now. Be it a stage of life or God’s will, here I am… ready to serve.
I’m Danielle, and I have been a writer for Daily Mom since its conception; and have recently become the Instagram Manager. I’m a Pittsburgh native who returned home from an 8 year stint exploring all that is Northern California with my husband about 2 years ago. I run a household of chaos with my 4-year-old son, Graeme, 2-year-old daughter Marley, husband Stephen and cat Gizmo. I love theater, wine, social media, writing, photography and coffee (which I only recently developed a taste for and obsessive addiction to within the last year). I hate germs, toxins, beef stroganoff and truffle oil, in no particular order. When my daughter was born, I discovered my passion for and missed calling in micro-fashion styling. I can be found on any given day dressing Marley in outfits that would put Carrie Bradshaw to shame, carrying out daily photo shoots in my front yard and scouring thrift shops and yard sales for vintage children’s clothing.
My life, in a nutshell (or at least in the above paragraph), sounds pretty put-together. But one thing I learned over the last 4 years is that motherhood is anything but that. My days are messy, intense, stressful and often overwhelming. There are moments I think I can’t possibly last another minute and that finish line at the end of the day seems to be getting further away with each passing hour. But then, just like that, tears are shed, hugs are had, a switch is flipped and all of the feelings of desperation and helplessness are replaced with an overwhelming and all-encompassing burst of emotions, fueled by a love that only your children can provide. It’s a love that flows through their blood, and it is the light at the end of the darkest of tunnels.
Motherhood isn’t easy. It was never meant to be. It has taught me to be all-giving, selfless, and most importantly, self-loving. I think sometimes people see a “disheveled mother” out in public – her hair is tied up in a messy ponytail, she isn’t wearing any makeup and she’s dressed in jeans and a tee – and they instantly judge her. “Oh, how sad. She’s let herself go. I will NEVER do that when I become a mother.”
But what’s really happening in this situation, beyond the obvious lack of time in this mother’s daily routine, is that she has learned to love herself. With the days of her beautiful, put-together self behind her, she has seen herself in the truest, rawest and most important form of beauty. And she has learned to be herself, to love herself and to let go of all the bullshit. At least, I have, anyway.
Hi there! I’m Heather, the social media manager here at Daily Mom, wife, and mom to Ben (age 4), Julia (age 2), and a wee little one on the way (September 2016). When I’m not scouring the Internet for interesting stories for our Daily Mom facebook page, carefully curating our Pinterest boards, among other things, I’m working as a marketing manager in the healthcare field. In my free time, I enjoy pureeing my own baby food, cloth diapering, making homemade lotions and salves, and growing my family’s food in a field in our backyard.
Who am I kidding. I dropped all that sh** once I had two kids (and to be honest, I’m a terrible gardener and never grew much for food), and nowadays, we’re lucky if I remember which days Ben has preschool, when the kids last had a bath, and to feed the dog (our poor, forgotten first “child”). Most days have a good amount of this:
After Ben was born, I became a SAHM. We had Julia two years later, and shortly after she turned 1, I somewhat begrudgingly went back to work full-time. I nervously took on a 3-month contract position, figuring, “Well, if being a full-time working mom is terrible, it’s only 3 months.” A few contract extensions later, and I’ve just hit the 1-year mark at a job that definitely is not terrible. I’ve been able to make friendships, be creative, and use all the education I spent years obtaining. I’ve also spent hours at my desk, wistfully gazing at the photos of my children, wishing I were home with them, and daydreaming about the fun things we would be doing if we were together.
I’ve lived both sides of the fence, and you know what? Neither is an easy job. When I was a SAHM, I constantly felt like I was failing my children by not having fully planned out days of enriching activities and playtime. And now as a working mom, I’m constantly worrying if I’m missing out on milestones, wondering if our nanny knows my kids better than I do, and feeling like all I do is struggle to keep up with the duties of my job, motherhood, and running a household.
I’ve forgotten preschool pajama days, mixed up projects at work out of sheer exhaustion, accidentally sent Ben to school with granola bars that “may contain trace amounts of nuts,” and sprinted out of work in a sheer panic after getting the dreaded, “child-just-threw-up” text message. But there were plenty of struggles when I was a SAHM too – just different ones. Looking back on the past year, my version of motherhood has definitely changed – I’ve been challenged, and have grown as a result. And the kids? They’re fantastic. Which is all I could ever want.
My name is Kristen. I am a stay at home mama to my one and only son Elliott who turns 4 this summer. We spend our days loving our life in Birmingham, Alabama. When Elliott’s daddy gets home from work, we both bombard him with kisses and stories of our day. I have been with Daily Mom for about a year as a writer. I love to write. I am slowly learning how to operate my camera in a legit way and I love the friendships I have made with my Daily Mom crew.
I am a chronic over-thinker of all things, but especially parenting. I am too aware that decisions I make today can have a lasting effect on my son and I often comment to my husband that Elliott won’t be going to Harvard now because he watched too many episodes of Paw Patrol today. It is half sarcastic and half guilt because I feel like I didn’t do my best that day. Yes, I need to lighten up, but I read too many articles on parenting. Imagine that, someone who writes for an online parenting magazine reading a lot of articles and taking them too seriously!
One of my favorite things about being a mama has been becoming friends with other mamas. Being part of a tribe that helps me raise my son is empowering. One of my least favorite things about being a mama has been all the judgment and comparisons that can arise when mamas feel insecure or too secure in their decisions. I wish we could all be in a place with our parenting where we make informed decisions that we can stand behind and not take different decisions by someone else as an attack on our own decisions.
I am a source of comfort for my son but I suck at playing pretend. I cook dinner almost every night but I can’t keep my house clean. I am patient, until I’m not and then I am really not. When it is all said and done I hope my son will remember all the snuggles and not me dozing off or checking my phone while playing legos. I hope he will remember spaghetti night and not the dirty floors and I hope he will remember my smile more than my stern face. Despite all my faults I know I love my son fiercely and I pray that love is enough.
I’m Stephanie, a contributor and Giveaway Manager here at Daily Mom. I’m an Army wife that’s always on the move, mother of two preschoolers, and currently expecting our third child in October.
While my posts for Daily Mom range from building resiliency in your children to tips for working at home while being a SAHM, or running safely in the dark, truth be told, I’m no expert in these fields. I’m usually just trying to solve a problem within my own home. Raising children in a military household is not for the faint of heart. Talking to your children about new places, new schools, new friends — and dad’s new job — never really goes over well, and in these moments, I worry about the effect all of these transitions will have on my sensitive, social, friend-loving children. Will they be okay never truly having any roots? Will they adjust? Will they be happy? Will we be happy? I’m always researching. Writing. Photographing for memory’s sake. Then, researching some more.
Being a mother, no matter your lifestyle, is hard. Putting another life before your own, in every aspect, is hard. On most days, my home is never “guest ready” – or even close. Errands can be near impossible, thus I always rely on my dependable friend, Amazon Prime. Meltdowns are always likely — for both myself and my children. I may never get the hot dog song out of my head — hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog! And, I’m pretty sure I haven’t taken a shower, used the restroom, or gotten dressed without a child (or dog!) at my foot for the last 4.5 years. Bring it on, baby #3!
It’s true – motherhood changes every aspect of your life, from the everyday mundane to even your life’s goals and dreams. After leaving a public school teaching position to be home with my children, I knew I needed some form of my previous childless days to keep me somewhat sane and feeling like an adult. Finding a teaching position as an online English Instructor at a local community college ended up being the best career move I could have made, and later finding the amazing creative outlet that is Daily Mom, has only enriched my life and made me a better mother (i.e. research, write, implement, research some more…). Both moves would have never happened without welcoming motherhood into my life, embracing it for everything that it is, and enjoying (ok, sometimes it’s more like tolerating) the day to day ups and downs that come along with it.
I’m Erika, Graphic Designer at Daily Mom. I contribute a few Pin images monthly on varying topics usually dealing in the realm of parenting advice, many of which I know nothing about despite having three kids of my own.
Honestly, I always thought having a “big” family meant I would know more about parenting than I actually do. When each child is so completely their own person, and life continually throws curve balls, it’s nearly impossible to have absolute opinions on anything human. The dishes are usually piled in the sink, toys are rarely where they belong, and we hire someone to clean for us every other week because, well, we need it. I rarely leave the house with all three kids alone, unless I know I’ll have another adult around to help and, when I do venture out alone, things quickly get interesting.
I’m a woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend; frequent hairstyle changer, from long to pixie and back again; former IT Data Migration specialist who considered quitting everyday turned part-time WAHM photographer; former Type-A who looks a lot more Type-B these days; take-out extraordinaire; and former yogi who daydreams about returning to the yoga studio one day when every childless-outing doesn’t require childcare.
The challenge of raising small humans is a challenge I don’t take lightly. But, I strive to celebrate the small victories and do my best not to take myself too seriously. I take each day as it comes, remembering that this time doesn’t last long and I’ll never be perfect. In the middle of the hardest days, I try to picture my future peaceful household with little to no laundry, stuff where it belongs, dishes clean, an empty sink, and walls free of the marks of childhood (a.k.a marker lines on random walls) and I know I’ll miss the chaos. I know I’ll wonder what my kids are doing and worry about them still. Parenthood is a journey and with each milestone comes new challenges I won’t be 100% prepared for, but I’ll do my best and we’ll figure it out together. I complain almost daily, but I’m so thankful to God for this amazing privilege to raise my beautiful children.
My name is Sara, and I’m a Graphic Designer at Daily Mom. I’m a mother to four kids, ages 8, 6, 4 and 20 months and they are incredibly lucky to have me. As far as parents go, they could have done a lot worse. I’m not perfect, but I work hard, love them well and do everything I can to prepare them for inevitable adulthood. Each time I remind them of their good fortune, my older kids laugh and roll their eyes. Even so, I’ll remind them often… but not because they need to hear it. I say it out loud because I need to hear it: I’m a good mom.
This parenting gig is hard. On some mornings, I’m greeted by cuddles and kisses, and on others, I wake up to the sweet sounds of, “You’re a butt brain and I am telling on you”! My days are this delicate balance between, I can’t believe how big they’re getting, this is all going so fast, and they will move out eventually, right?! Because some days I don’t know how much longer I can survive this.
On the rough days, I am my own worst critic and I tend to be really hard on myself. It’s especially easy to fall into the ‘I’m a bad mom’ trap when I’m comparing how I parent to how other people do things. The truth is that I am not the best mom ever, but I’m the best at raising my kids, and I’ll remind myself of it as much as I need to. My kids need me and have been entrusted to me. I have been uniquely gifted in ways that will shape their little hearts and minds.
I have never done a thing in my life to deserve my kids. They are tangible expressions of God’s grace in my life and a constant reminder of the undeserved blessings He bestows on me. I’m incredibly lucky to have them.
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” — Jill Churchill
Happy Mother’s Day from all of us crazy, busy, exhausted and perfectly imperfect moms to all of you!
Tags: #parenting, 2016, bad days, bad moms, hard life, life, love, mom, Mommy, mommy moments, moms, mother, motherhood, mothers day 2016, patience, pinterest, pinterest moms, real life, real moms, real world, spring, spring 2016, tantrums, toddlers, writers
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