Happy Monday!! I am so excited to share this month's Modern Mama Sarah Spencer with you! She is the sweetest person with a huge heart for her family and everyone around her! I LOVE her take on motherhood, so let's get right into meeting her!
TMM:Introduce yourself: What’s your name, the name of your kid(s), and where are you from, and what is your business?
Sarah: Hey everyone! I’m Sarah and I’m a first time mom of an amazing 8 month old little guy - Graham. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego and I’m glad to be back here to raise my family. By trade, I’m a nurse. I’ve worked in the ER since I graduated nursing school, but I just recently left the ER to teach nursing students in the hospital setting. I’m loving the change of pace!
TMM: How has becoming a mom changed you?
Sarah: It might be easier to talk about the ways I haven’t changed since becoming a mom! LOL. But honestly, I had no idea how much it was possible to love another human being. It may sound corny, but I seriously feel like this is what I was created to do - be a mom! My little peanut brings me so much joy and happiness. I am more patient, more caring, more tired, more loving, and more me!
TMM: How do you stay connected to yourself while still being a full time mom?
Sarah: That depends on the week, or rather the day, that you ask me. Some days, my 30 minute workouts keep me sane. Some days it’s watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (one of my guilty pleasures). Some days it’s a glass of wine. Some days it’s just taking a hot shower by myself!! My ability to keep my sanity is dependent on my getting a small sliver of alone time each day. I’m an introvert by nature, so having some time by myself to refresh and rejuvenate each day is key - although with a little one, it’s definitely easier said than done!
TMM: Red or White wine?
Sarah: Definitely red.
TMM: What’s something that you are grateful for since becoming a mother?
Sarah: To be honest, I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a mother. My husband and I battled infertility for almost 2 years before we got pregnant with our little man. There were honestly days that I wasn’t sure I would ever get to be a mother. Getting to be a mom, hearing my little man say “mama,” and come crawling across the floor at full speed when I get home from a long day of work - fills my heart in a way I didn’t know was possible. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to get to raise and shape this precious little life.
TMM: What’s one trick or tip someone’s given you that you could share with the TMM community.
Sarah: Super simple and super practical, but this has saved my butt more than once! When you make up the crib, put two layers of sheets/liners. So I put down mattress pad A, sheet A, then mattress pad B, then sheet B. That way, when there is a poop explosion or spit up or whatever in the middle of the night, you just pull off the top layer and put the baby right back down. Let me say, this has come in handy more than once in the middle of the night and even the middle of nap time!
Also, baby wearing is a total lifesaver!! I accomplished so much with my little one strapped on! Can’t imagine going without my baby carriers!
TMM: What could you be caught wearing most days?
Sarah: Umm… Pajamas! LOL, but seriously, I usually don’t get out of my PJs until almost noon!! Graham is usually dressed and ready and adorable long before I am! Once I’m dressed, it’s all about being comfortable and casual. Currently, I’m loving my lularoe Carly dresses! I can just throw one on and it’s cool and comfy and looks like I actually put some effort into it!
TMM: How long were you in labor with your baby(s)?
Sarah: Actually, it was quicker than I anticipated. All of the women in my family have had first labors that were over 30 hours long - so that’s what I was expecting!! I got lucky and my little man only made me suffer for about half that length - 15-16 hours total! BUT I had to push for a full 4 hours!!! He was 8 days late and apparently decided he still wasn’t quite ready to make his entrance. But I had a great support team and he was worth every minute of labor and pushing! I’d definitely do it again!
TMM: What is one thing you do to keep a healthy lifestyle?
Sarah: DANCE!! I am a dancer. I grew up dancing - took lessons for about 18 years and danced competitively in junior high and high school. It helps me stay sane and in shape at the same time. I actually danced all through my pregnancy- even performed at 6 months pregnant. It’s so cool living where I grew up, because I actually take classes at the studio I grew up at from the time I was 3. Some of the teachers and students and I grew up together and have known each other since childhood. When you find something that feeds your soul, don’t ever let it go.
TMM: What is one thing you did as a teenager that you hope your kid(s) won’t do LOL?
Sarah: I think I cared too much about everyone else’s opinion of me. I knew who I was, but I also wanted to fit in. I hope my kids have the self confidence and boldness to be unapologetically themselves!
TMM: At TMM we believe that self-care is right up there with breathing. So, what do you do to make sure you are taking care of you?
Sarah: I’m a total night owl and as I mentioned, also an introvert. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my family--LOVE my husband and my little one, but I need me time every day. So I usually stay up a little later than everyone else. Sometimes I’m grading papers; sometimes I watch TV; sometimes I just chill on the couch with a glass of wine. I try and take a few minutes to be alone and refresh. Of course, I love spending time with friends and family too. I try and find a balance with going out with friends, family, and date nights. Last week I actually went out line dancing with my brother and a group of friends! It was fun to go out and dance and just have a good time. I think the main key is balance. Figuring out what works for you and running with it.
TMM: What’s in your purse?
Sarah: I currently don’t have a purse I use. I toss my wallet between my work bag or my diaper bag!! But all my bags tend to be big black holes - you can probably find just about everything, including the kitchen sink, in any of them!
TMM: What’s your favorite curse word?
Sarah: Being an ER nurse, I’ve heard (and used) just about every word in the book - and then some! Since having Graham, I find I rarely cuss. Actually, I’ve found myself doing something I used to laugh at my dad for - making up weird/funny words (that aren’t really words) for those times where a curse word might be in order! Just don’t tell him because I still tease him about it ;)
TMM: What is one beauty tip or trick you love?
Sarah: I think there are two things I’ve fallen in love with lately. One thing I’ve realized, is the better I take care of my skin, the less I feel I need to cover it up with makeup. So, I use an ah-mazing detoxifying charcoal mask. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and helps keep my acne in check. I won’t lie though, Graham always seems a bit confused when he sees me in it- I know it’s funny looking ;) LOL But, speaking of self-love and self care - this is a super simple way that I do that a few times a week. I just take 5 minutes and shut myself in the bathroom and use my mask. It’s a little me time and leaves my skin feeling so much better.
The second product that I can’t live without are my makeup removing wipes. The ones I use are incredible - you don’t have to wash your face or anything afterwards. So, at the end of the day when I am just beyond exhausted (because let’s face it, keeping a little human alive and entertained all day is exhausting) I don’t have to take the time to put up my hair, wait for the water to get warm, wash my face, dry it, put on my face cream, etc. I just grab one of my magic wipes and in less than a minute all my makeup is gone! I honestly used to just go to bed with my makeup on when I was that tired, but it was wreaking havoc on my skin. I seriously cannot live without these wipes!!
TMM: Anything else you care to share about motherhood or supporting women in general…?
Sarah: The old adage- it takes a village - so true!! Find your tribe and lean on them! We can’t do it alone! And we need to support one another. As mothers, we are all going to have different views on so many things- sleep training, breastfeeding, potty training, diapers, feeding, discipline - you name it, there are a million ways to get it done. But instead of criticizing one another, we need to support and love on one another. We are all in this crazy journey together, let’s have each other’s backs!