Friday Family Spotlight: Meet Abby’s Family!

I am excited to feature Abby’s family this Friday. She is a hard working mama with a super big heart! I hope you enjoy learning more about her family! 🙂

Who are the members of your family?
Right now in our home we have myself, Kris (my amazingly supportive husband who works as an Engineer outside of the home), Owen (our adorable, lovable 2 month-old son), and Auntie Peege (my sister, Gioia, who has moved in for now to help us – she has been a wonderful support as we adjust to parenthood and I transition to being a work-from-home mom — I run a business out of our home and she has stepped up to help with office work, housework, and the occasional babysitting when I need to meet with clients out in the community!).

How did you meet your significant other?
Kris and I met when we were both 19 in one of those “friend of a friend of a friend” type situations. I was at Augustana College my freshman year and he was at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana as a sophomore that same year. One of my girlfriends at Augustana was best friends with his roommate’s friend – got that tangled web?! Well anyway, she ended up meeting Kris and suggested that he and I start talking. I had already decided to transfer to UIUC and as luck would have it, he was down at school in the summer visiting friends the day that I went for my Transfer Student Orientation. We decided to meet up so he could give me a tour of the campus. We had one of those instant connections, walking all over campus, through the Arboretum, and even lying on the sidewalk looking up at the stars at one point! He was an Astronomy major and was super impressed that I knew that Polaris was the technical name for the north star! Here we are over 8 years later and have been pretty much inseparable ever since!

What’s your number one secret for stretching a dollar?
DO THE RESEARCH! This is one way that Kris’s analytical brain has definitely rubbed off on me. Whenever we buy anything semi-big, we always do a ton of research. We use the Internet (there are reviews on everything!), friends/family, and one of my favorite finds as far as setting up what we needed for Owen was the Baby Bargains book. It really helped me limit what we needed as far as the nursery, layette, and other baby goodies! As a first-time mom, I didn’t know what I was going to need and would have easily gotten caught up in all the cutesie stuff for babies but this kept things practical and gave us only what we needed. The time invested ahead of time is always well worth it in the end, even when you are cross-eyed after staring at the computer for 10 hours straight putting together a baby registry!

What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” — Mary Kay Ash
We are the only ones that hold ourselves back so once we let go of our own self-prescribed doubts, anything is possible!

What is the best and worst parenting advice you have ever been given?
BEST: “Trust your gut.” As a new parent, I have done gobs and gobs of research out on the Internet, from gas, to poop, to diet – you name it, I’ve probably looked it up…After all, I needed something to do during all of those late-night feedings in the beginning and what’s better than trying to learn about my little man and what he is going through?! But in the end, despite everything I’ve read, I am Owen’s mom and I am uniquely attuned to him. Kris and I were meant to be his parents and in the end, it is up to us to decide what is best for him. Yes, we will certainly make our fair share of mistakes, but ultimately we are acting out of love and have more than a leg up on any information out there in knowing what he needs and how to provide for him!
WORST: “Let him cry it out.” Not only does it break my heart to see those little tears, but I also know that he is not yet physically able to self-soothe. He is looking to us to show him that the world is safe and that he is provided for. If we abandon him during times of stress, what is he going to come to think of the world and his place in it? I know I like to be comforted when I am stressed, hurting, frustrated, etc, so why should he be any different? This is not to say we are not letting him learn to soothe himself, but we give him developmentally appropriate opportunities for self-soothing and limit how much distress he feels so that he can make some progress without feeling alone in this world.

What goals do you have for your family in the next year or two?
My goal first and foremost is to raise Owen as a happy, well-adjusted human being. I want him to know that he is loved and that he has a safe and secure place in this world. Other than that, as I mentioned earlier, I am a work-from-home mom. As a business owner, I have the potential to increase my earnings based on how hard I work. There is a dream in my heart of retiring Kris by the summer of 2014 from his current job so that he can either start his own business or simply have more time to engage in anything he chooses. He enjoys wood working and survival camping and I would love for him to be able to pursue what he is most passionate about. But more than anything, I want him to have the opportunity to be home to witness all of those precious first moments for Owen as well as any other children that we may be blessed with in the future. I am fortunate to not have a job outside of the home so that I can work around Owen and I want Kris to have that chance as well!

What has been your toughest challenge as a mom so far?
Accepting help when it is offered. I am so fortunate to have an incredibly strong support system of family, friends, and neighbors. It has gotten to the point where we have actually felt the need to turn people away – oh what a problem to have! When I had Owen, my entire world changed and I finally knew what love at first sight felt like (yes, I love Kris, don’t get me wrong, but it took more than looking at him to come to that decision!). I felt this intense urge to provide EVERYTHING for him. But as all new mothers find, there is simply not enough time or energy in the day to do this, nor is it healthy for him. My role as a parent is to raise him to eventually be an independent, functioning member of society. It is not only okay, but also important, for him to know other people and see that his needs can be met by people other than mom. Not only that, but like they say when you take a flight, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. I sometimes have to be reminded that it is okay to engage in some self-care and when I take that advice, I find I can be a much better provider for him because I feel better and have more energy!

Thanks Abby for sharing your beautiful family with us! 🙂

Would you like to have your family featured in a Friday Family Spotlight AND win a FREE $10 gift certificate to Mom’s Milk Boutique for your participation? If so email sarah@momsmilkboutique.com with the subject line “Friday Family Spotlight Inquiry” and share something interesting about your family in your email message.

Have a beautiful weekend all!

Sarah

Tags: housework, parenthood, supportive husband, university of illinois champaign, university of illinois champaign urbana

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