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A New Role: Re-examining Myself As A Parent

7/6/2017

Re-Examining Myself As A Parent

When we started our adoption process, the idea of a parent become more real than ever before, because it could happen at any time. I immediately jotted down “re-examining myself as a parent” as an idea for a post because it was something I couldn’t, and still can’t, stop thinking about. The idea of suddenly having a tiny human watching your every move, mimicking your habits and often becoming a mini-you makes you look at yourself harder than you ever have before. If you do something you’re proud of, you think “Wow, I can’t wait to show my child that.” and if you do something you wish you didn’t, you immediately fear “Will my child do this too? How do I stop?”

Today I’m partnering with Acer to share my thoughts on the topic. They gave me one of their (crazy beautiful!?) Swift laptops to try out and bring along on my adventures as a new working mom trying to achieve the goal of separating work-life and family-life when it’s needed most.

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Re-Examining Myself As A Parent

Let’s talk about my work-life first. I love that Arlo will get to grow up watching his mom run a business. He’ll get to come to mom’s office and see a rainbow world filled with balloons and giant french fry costumes and sprinkles and know that I took something really crazy that I loved and turned it into my job. And that he can too. I love that he’ll get to pull out our new Swift laptop and help research how to turn his favorite food into a giant piñata or share his tiny opinions on what color green he likes best. He’ll get to see what it’s like to design products, take photos, write from the heart and connect with a community. And that’s amazing.

What I don’t want him to experience is the constant need everyone has for me. Someone always needs an answer… on an email or Instagram DM or a Facebook message. I don’t want him to be trying to show me his latest drawing or magic trick and notice that I’m looking the other way. I’m thankful for incredibly portable tools like the Swift laptop that I can take to the office and bring home with me (because let’s face it, after he goes to sleep… I do need to work), but that I can tuck away and not have staring me back in the face, tempting me, in the moments where I need to be present for my son.

And now let’s talk about my at-home life. A fine line in a career like mine! For one, I love that Arlo will grow up around music. He loves it and so do we. We are constantly singing and dancing and once we have a house, we’ll be buying a piano so I can take that hobby back up too. I’m also glad he’ll grow up learning the importance of tradition and the joy of holidays, two things I hold near and dear to my heart.

But there’s two things about myself that have been glaring at me since I made the choice to become a mom: my poor food choices and my lack of reading.

My dad and brothers were always so good about reading, both themselves and to their kids. I, on the other hand, can’t even remember the last time I read a book. Embarrassing. I’ve made it a point to read to Arlo every day since he was born. But I want him to see his mom set an example, that she reads too. That reading isn’t just for bedtime when you’re little. That it’s a life long skill and that it’s still FUN as an adult.

On the food front, running a business means I often don’t have time to cook. And that is ok. I’ve come to terms with that. What I have not come to terms with is the fact that it often means poor food choices for both Jeff and I. How can I be telling my son to eat his broccoli whilst chowing down on a slice of deep dish pizza? It’s a huge priority of mine to find solutions that encourage our entire family to eat healthily, so we are setting an example for him to make healthy choices for his meals.

It’s funny how becoming a mom made all of these habits, ones that existed long before Arlo came around, glaringly apparent to me. Children are sponges and I can already see how much Arlo is absorbing. But I’m glad that it’s given me new motivation to work on improving them. And I’m forever grateful to companies like Acer that have made it possible for me to open a laptop anywhere in the world to get my work done and close it just as quickly to get in those extra snuggles while they’re still plentiful.

So tell me, what qualities about yourself are you really excited to share with your children? And are there any habits you’re hoping to break so they don’t follow down that path? I’d love to hear!

This post was created in partnership with Acer. All content and opinions are that of my own! Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep the Studio DIY party going! Read more about my editorial policies here.

15 comments

  • Kristina B

    Well, I don’t have any kids, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t give my little nephew a giant stuffed shark for his second birthday and his mom some shark books so that a love of sharks may be imparted unto him 🦈💕😂

    • Kelly

      Ha!! I love that you love sharks!! My brother loves cows and still to this day we get him cow stuff. No idea how it started though!

  • Pat Newman

    Kelly you guys were the cutest couple and now you are the cutest family. Arlo is getting so big and too cute can’t help using that word in reference to the Mindells

  • Emily

    I’ve rally been enjoying your motherhood posts on here and social media. Your candor is so refreshing and it’s really fun to watch little Arlo grow! You and Jeff are great parents 🙂

    You should think about joining bookofthemonth.com! It’s a monthly subscription service, so you commit for x number of months and every month on the 1st their judges release 5 new fiction (and a few non fiction every now and then) and you choose 1 title that you like, and if you want to add another it’s just $10! All hardcover too. And they ship them right to you. I joined this year and they’ve introduced me to so many awesome titles and authors, and usually I just get on the waitlist at the library so I don’t end up buying them all. Might be a nice solution for a busy mama! Also it pairs so nicely with can’t clutch this 😉

    • Karli

      Hi, librarian here 🙂 Just want to chime in on the library thing…Emily is so right! Get the books for free from your library & you don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t like or finish them. Also, Arlo will love the variety of books you bring home. Not to mention story time and all the other amazing programs public libraries do. It’s never too early to take him to his first story time.

    • Kelly

      Thanks Emily! So glad you’ve been enjoying these posts. It’s been a fun topic for me to write about! And I’ve never heard of this and it sounds AWESOME! I’ll definitely look into it!

  • Jackie

    I am the mother of two young girls and always think about how what I do influences them. I work out, eat healthy, read and other things I want them to pick up on for myself and for them. I think it’s normal to change when you become a mother and become more aware of your actions. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this !

    • Kelly

      Fully agree, Jackie! It sounds like you are setting such a great example for them!

  • Karli

    My kids are 2 years and 10 months. I felt so guilty every time I had a soda and my son would ask for some of my “water”. It is much easier for me to not have the food around that I do not want him to eat. Since having my son it definitely shed light on some of my bad eating habits. Nothing like having a kid to make you look inward. Today is day 16 of no added sugar for me (but whose counting, right?) and I feel like it’s transferred some healthier habits on to the rest of the family, even if they didn’t love soda & sweets like me.

    • Kelly

      That’s awesome, Karli!! My sugar habit is a BAD one and one I do not want to pass on to Arlo and I so agree that it’s much easier to just not have it around than to try to hide it or something!! That’s great that the changes you’re making are already having an effect on your fam!!

  • stephanie thannhauser

    I love your blog and this is a really interesting post. I think it’s also important to show our children that it’s ok to NOT be perfect. It enables kids to make mistakes without worrying which helps them grow and flourish. Doing your best is always good enough xxx

    • Kelly

      SUCH an interesting point, Stephanie!! And I absolutely agree. You can learn so much from mistakes. I sure have! I also think it’s great for children to see that even as an adult, you can improve or change your habits if you set your mind to it. There is always room for growth and I think that’s so inspiring to them!

  • Janice Carnevale

    Joining a friend’s book club forced me to read one book per month. And I’ve found that I can make time for 3 books per month. I try to do at least one business per month, because there are so many I want to read – and the book club book is always fiction.

  • Anne

    Hi from a new fan from Sweden!

    I just wanted to share some comforting thoughts on the food/children aspect. Maybe I’m just stating the obvious and this is really uninteresting but in that case just scroll on by ;).

    I has always been a fulltime employee so I’ve never had to cope with the “work around the clock” bit as a business owner, but on the other hand I was a single mum for most of my two childrens childhood, my youngest was only three when I got divorced (from a VERY absent dad).

    My experience that I learned was that you don’t have to create a lot of variety and amazing dishes for children, they enjoy to eat similar food more often than adults. And I discovered that it’s not that hard to create shortcuts to eat healthy. I used to for example make a lot of bolognese sauce, tomato sauce etc to put in packages in the freezer in smaller containers. Very easy and fast on weekdays to just boil pasta and add some veggies like broccoli etc. I also did a lot of oven baked chicken filets (that I always bought on special prizes ;)) to have in the freezer. So easy to use for salads or pasta or tortillas or rice and sauce or…. and fish cooks very fast and tasty in tin foil packages in the oven.
    For me it was also a question of money since fast food strangely enough is rather expensive in Sweden.

    As for vegetables I discovered that if I made a plate of “snack veggies” like carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, small pieces of raw cauliflower or sweet peas and gave them while I were cooking and they were hungry they almost ate it without thinking. No nagging needed 😀

    Anyway, I’m sure you will find out the best way on your own. Just wanted to chip in with some of my own experience.
    Have fun with the new house! I love interior decoration so will follow the updates eagerly.
    Anne

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