spotlight on mom: 5 questions - joanne and her daughter

spotlight on mom: 5 questions - joanne and her daughter

by Andrea Chinalai August 21, 2017

This week we are featuring Joanne from NY.

Age: 34

How many kids: 1 girl

Age: 3 years old

1) How has motherhood surprised you?

When I was pregnant, I was very prepared for childbirth. I read every book, took all the classes, and watched all the videos. My delivery went extremely well. I was so proud of myself that I actually got to follow my birth plan and I was in control. I couldn’t love my husband more that day; he was the best coach and advocate for our family. One more push and I heard the classic movie line quote, “It’s a girl” as she entered the world. The nurse handed me my new beautiful gift and as I held my baby in my arms I actually thought “Oh, Fuck! Now I am a MOM, what do I do?”

I was so surprised about how unprepared I felt and alone. The first few weeks were very hard (even though I did have help and a huge support system). Life as I knew it had changed and that was a difficult transition. There was a light at the end of the tunnel and with the help of my family I was learning who the new ME was. Now it was an US and it is the best thing in the world. 

2) What is a typical day like?

My daughter is very active. She loves to learn and explore. We try to do something new everyday. If it is a new book or activity it is a goal of mine to add it in the mix.

She is starting preschool in the fall so for now we are home together. She takes gymnastics once a week and we have routines of going to the park and library. She stopped napping at 2 ½ so we have lots of time together.

Seeing local friends and family is key for socializing and to help with my sanity of being around other adults. I feel like we eat all day. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, more snacks, and dinner. It is a constant buffet of food.

3) What is the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me is the long days together. My husband works in NYC and we live on Long Island. We recently moved out here from Astoria and it is a big change. We left many friends back in Queens and we had a really nice neighborhood. Lots of kids and many activities always going on. We opted for the bigger living space and the great school district for her future.

He gets home (if it is an early night) at 7:45 but most nights it is 8:45 or later. I cook, feed my daughter, my husband comes home, second round of dinner, clean up, bath, story and she goes to bed.

I am exhausted and usually go to bed myself not leaving any “me” time. Trying to find that balance still 3 years later. My husband and I are trying to have more date nights so we do have some extra time together with adult conversation and no Shimmer and Shine playing in the background. 

4) What is the biggest joy?

The biggest joy is hearing her laugh and be happy. If she is playing with our dog or watching a funny movie, the sound of her voice brings so much joy to my heart. Knowing that she feels safe and secure is a great happiness for me. I also can’t have enough “I love you, Mommy” and hugs.

5) What is the best piece of Mom advice you've been given or would give?

This is super cliché but the “enjoy every moment” mantra rings true for me. Unfortunately, it does go really fast. I would just hold her in my arms and try to take it all in. Her smell, her face, the touch of her soft skin. I would close my eyes and try to implant the memory in my mind saying, “I am never forgetting this moment.” The days carry on and the moments start to blend. The milestones the first year come quickly and I wish I wrote down more memories because you do forget. Thank goodness I took a million pictures.  

Bonus:

6) What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Definitely wine or a good Margarita! Mommy has to unwind.




Andrea Chinalai
Andrea Chinalai

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