Motherhood Musings from Deanna P. with Mommy & Me Photography by Heidi Mitchell Photography
Motherhood for me meant accepting that I wasn’t always going to be 100% sure about every decision I made. Sometimes it meant coming out of my comfort zone. It meant leaning in to things that weren’t in my wheelhouse and learning that as long I did it with love, it’d be ok.
If you get any “me time”, how do you wind down or spend it?
My “me time” is usually spent with friends. I love exploring, whether that means a small town 20 minutes from my home or across the world. I also enjoy any time that can be spent outdoors, especially around water.
Has your style changed since becoming a mom?
I have never had much style in the traditional sense. It’s just not something that has come naturally to me and I’ve accepted that. Since becoming a mom I’ve honed in on comfort and practicality. I love my birkenstocks.
How has motherhood changed you?
Motherhood has taught me to enjoy the moment and find the adventure in anything. You can never predict how children are going to react to something. You can hope and plan, but ultimately a meltdown may occur. Be ready to deal with it and not let it define the experience.
What would you say is the greatest challenge of being a working mom or stay at home mom?
I’ve been a stay at home mom for 9 years and just recently started working. The biggest challenge in being a stay at home mom was keeping up with some type of routine, even though what I needed to accomplish on a daily basis was constantly changing. Just when I thought I had it down, it would shift. Being a new-to-working mom has been challenging in that I feel all time outside of work should be devoted to my children. I miss them immensely when I am away, but also have learned how important it is to devote time to my husband and especially to taking care of myself.
How do you manage to keep all of the plates spinning? What helps you juggle motherhood, marriage/relationship, and career?
Prioritizing. I’ve learned to just say no when I need to. I can feel when I am getting overwhelmed and have learned to slow it down. RSVP “no” to that birthday party when we haven’t had a free weekend in months. Order a pizza for dinner, even though I am a stickler for vegetables. Tell the husband to skip mowing the lawn this weekend when we’ve both worked non-stop all week. I know for sure we won’t get to the end of our lives and wish we’d mowed the lawn that one weekend when we were all exhausted or attended that one party for that person we barely knew. We will, however, remember family movie nights and days spent lounging around the pool.
What is your greatest joy of motherhood?
My greatest joy is watching my children discover what brings them the most joy out of life. Seeing my son’s excitement over paddle boarding or my daughter’s love of books. Seeing the world through their fresh eyes has been amazing and something I never realized you got out of motherhood. A bonus, if you will!
What has been your greatest challenge in motherhood?
My greatest challenge has been feeling confident in the decisions I’ve made in how to parent. I tried to take what I felt did and did not work from my own upbringing, combined with a little bit of what I read in the books, but have mostly learned that trusting my instinct is actually invaluable. It’s still incredibly hard to do that though and something that I will probably always second guess.
What most surprised you about motherhood?
The worry. I’ve always been pretty laid back and assumed I’d be a laid back parent. I try to let me kids explore and learn without hovering over them, but I find myself still worried about every little bump, bruise, or cough. Inevitably my mind will usually wander to the worst case scenario, but I’m learning to reign it in quickly and have faith that I can handle whatever comes my way.
Tell us a little about your child(ren) what each of them taught you about being a mother?
My oldest is Brennen and he is 8 years old. He quickly taught me that motherhood would not look like the picture I had in my head before his arrival. I can only guide, not control. I can try to inspire a love of things I find to be important in life, but he will have his own passions and it is wonderful to watch him nurture those. Emmerson is 5 and she has taught me the power of just being sweet. At times, I equated “being sweet” with being weak. She showed me that kindness is absolutely strength. It isn’t always easy to be kind and thoughtful, but it is incredibly powerful.
Do you have a family tradition that you are passing onto your child(ren)?
I honestly can’t think of a single thing we regularly do! I have worried that I am robbing my children of something by not having some traditions in place, but hopefully they do not find this to be the case! I’d say we fall more on the spontaneous and adventurous side and perhaps because of this, traditions are harder to come by!
As a couple, how do you keep your relationship alive after having children?
Showering together! I know it sounds odd, but it’s almost like a business meeting. The time in the evenings is limited and there is usually a lot to do. Dinner must be made, kitchen cleaned, homework done, bed time stories read, prep for the following day, just to name a few! A shower with my husband is usually our only quiet, uninterrupted time to talk about our days and anything else we need to discuss! I guess it’s a “tradition”, even though I said we didn’t have any!
If you could give your child(ren) one piece of advice what would it be? People seem to struggle the most when they forget that the moment they are in right now is not permanent. Always try to see the other side of things. Whether it’s another person’s perspective during a disagreement or simply the other side of a hard situation you are in. Learning to do this has been invaluable to me and quite possibly the only reason I am alive and well today. Hard times in life are inevitable, but they pass. On the other side of that hard time is one of those sweet spots in life. The kind of thing that makes this life so amazing and worth those painful, hard to handle spots.Heidi Mitchell is a wedding & family photographer based in Central Florida. She specializes is creating classic and timeless portraits for families that can be a part of their family history & story. Heidi lives outside of Orlando with her husband and two sons.
Heidi Mitchell is a wedding & family photographer based in Central Florida. She specializes is creating classic and timeless portraits for families that can be a part of their family history & story. Heidi lives outside of Orlando with her husband and two sons.