Life Enrichment
Brenda Wood Brenda Wood

Give Mom the Mother’s Day She Wants!

11Alive’s Brenda Wood and four other Atlanta moms discuss the challenges and joys of each stage of motherhood.
Flannery Keck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sibley,-Kelley-IMG 0311--8x10Kelley Sibley
CEO of Bamboo Juices
Mom of one, age 4 months

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage?
Watching her become more interactive with me every day. She can now smile and laugh with me, which is so much fun!

What is a challenge of this stage?
Sleep! I am so tired! My baby is up during the night and up again early in the morning, and it's really hard to work all day on a few hours of sleep.

What is the biggest misconception people have about this stage?
I might be the only one who this applies to, but I just had no idea how hard it would be. My sister and friends made it look so easy.

How can Best Self readers support moms in their own lives?
Give her the gift of health. My husband watches our baby while I take a long walk and puts her to bed most nights so I can take a few minutes to read my health books that I find so inspiring. The best gift is time to do what inspires you.

 

 

 

 

 

Cooper,-Meghan-IMG 0247-8x10Meghan Cooper
Blogger at "JaMonkey," founder of "Yeah, Let's Go!"
Mom of two, ages 3 and 7

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage?
I love that their minds are little sponges. They pick up everything they hear – and I mean everything. I love teaching them about things and getting them interested in things that we enjoy.

What is a challenge of this stage?
Potty training. It's the worst. Lots of extra stuff to carry around and icky things to clean.

What is the biggest misconception people have about motherhood?
That we as mothers have to give things up in order to raise children, or that it takes all our abilities to do so, leaving no time for other aspects of our lives.

Around Mother's Day this year, what support would be most helpful to you?
Support from my partner to go have a mom's vacation. Moms don't get sick days or time off. We are always "on," so it would be great to be able to disconnect and unwind for some adult nurturing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smith,-Maria-IMG 0201-8x10Maria Smith
Blogger at "Mamalicious Maria"
Mom of four, ages 2, 5, 6 and 8

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage?
Little kids love their mama. They run to me at school pickup and are happier to see me than anyone else in my life. They are so open with their love!

What is a challenge of this stage?
Being a mom of little kids is physically hard – I tend to have a child on my hip for most of the day. Lack of sleep, organization and privacy come with the territory.

What is the biggest misconception people have about this stage?
People think it's all play dates and crafty Saturdays, but they don't understand that those play dates and projects might end in temper tantrums or a huge mess. Most people don't understand the extreme amount of patience that is necessary.

How can Best Self readers support moms in their own lives?
Do the same type of things you did when she first had her baby: bring her a meal, offer to fold her laundry, take her kids to the park so she can shower alone. Even if her "baby" is 2, she still needs everyday help.

 

 

 

 

 

Goldsholl,-Maria need-credMaria Goldsholl
COO of Mom Corps
Mom of two, ages 11 and 15

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage?
Watching their "adult" personalities begin to form. I'm also particularly proud when I witness kindness in them – it makes me feel like we have done something right.

What is a challenge of this stage?
When they are young, as long as you kept them safe and gave them love, you were successful. At this stage, so much more can go wrong. A woman in the supermarket once said to me, "Small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems." That couldn't be more true!

How can Best Self readers support moms in their own lives?
Help her lead a healthy life, whether it's cooking for her, helping her with childcare so she can go to the gym or just providing an ear for the release of stress. I recently joined Iron Tribe Fitness, and the community there has helped me stay focused on my goals. It is so important to help each other be healthy so that we can be the dynamic, ambitious moms we want to be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood,-Brenda-IMG 0396--11x14

Brenda Wood
Evening news anchor for 11Alive
Mom of two, ages 29 and 32

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage?
The "Mommy Bank" is now officially closed. Yay! It's also such a joy to watch them establish themselves in their careers and marriages.

What is a challenge of this stage?
Letting go. Boy, is that hard! I still want to guide and protect them. Learning how to keep my mouth shut and let them "fly" without me is definitely a challenge.

What is the biggest misconception people have about this stage?
That when the kids are gone from home, mothers skip off into the sunset to frolic in free time. Not true! When kids become independent, it is a rude awakening to suddenly realize that you too are now on your own! That's a big emotional and psychological adjustment. So indulging in your newfound freedom takes a momentary backseat to discovering what your new focus in life will be.

How can Best Self readers support moms in their own lives?
Spend an unhurried, relaxed day with your mom. Just sit and talk. Dream. Laugh. Touch. Top it off with something really good to eat.