Figure out how to take care of OURSELVES as WELL as our babies is a tough job. Tougher than most moms realize and we don’t often have a good example of obtaining that fine line balance. Today I’m having my friend Bonnie Romney on to talk about how SHE makes it work in her house — hopefully, to give you some ideas of how it will work for you!
Bonnie Romney is in many plays in the Phoenix area. I mostly picked her because I like her story of having to put some of her passions away for a bit when her kids were tiny, and then how she has slowly started picking them back up. I have learned a lot from her, and I hope you will too!
This post was inspired by my Maternal Survival Post — which we talk about in this episode. It was a huge “aha” moment and I recommend you check out that post as well!
If you’re looking for something to inspire a few parenting changes around your house — check out my free practical parenting course:
Big thanks to this episode’s sponsor Family Routines. If you’re looking to simplify routines at your house, to ALLOW for more time for you — that course is for you. Remember you can join for a month or a year — there is no obligation to stay once you’ve finished. Be sure to use the discount code mentioned in the episode.
In this episode:
- How do we preserve the person we were before we had kids
- Can/do you want to be the same person you were before you had kids?
- Self-care goals to have as children grow-up
- How hard it can be to have a newborn
- How time magically appears as your child gets older
- We’ll talk about some ideas you could take as a hobby or finding things you enjoy (or become a serial hobbyist)
- Three tips to moms who want to make a change!
Other posts that might interest you:
- Pregnancy Emergencies
- PTA president ultimate tell-all
- Confessions of a Primary President
- Family Routines
- Ode to the New Mom
Producer: Drew Erickson.
Check out my other parenting podcasts:
Check out all my podcasts:
Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys on lucky Episode 13 we’re talking about maternral survival. I know it sounds like we’re talking about like biting through umbilical cords and using our machete in the woods but we’re not we’re talking
about putting your oxygen mask on first let’s untangle it Welcome to the pulling curls podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy parenting Homer, teens even some family travel because heavens knows our lives are tangled. I’m your host, Hilary Erickson.
Hilary Erickson 0:27
Hey guys, so I take a lot of I wouldn’t use the word boring classes as a nurse and one of them is about how to do CPR and all that shocking of moms when they’re pregnant if they were to come in and have like a coronary issue, and sometimes we talk about which we should save the mom or the baby and even now I still get parents who will say if if one of us has to die make it me not the baby.
And here is a newsflash it doesn’t do a baby any good to be surrounded in a dead mom. And that’s what they said in my class and I was thinking about it and I was thinking about how it applies to my life right now. I was kind of in a crisis mode, and I was probably dying inside. I think this was right around the time that I was PTA president primary president, like trying to ramp up this blog working, trying to support a husband who was looking for a job. It was just a rough time and I was thinking I had surrounded these kids with a dead mom. And it was kind of a wake up call for me because as a nurse, in case you’re wondering, the a number one thing is to try and get out the baby so that you can save the mom because when the mom is dying, when they have the baby inside, it’s almost impossible to resuscitate her because the baby takes so many resources away from the mom.
So if you’re pregnant, or we try and say both of you, but your mom’s always our first priority, because if we don’t save the mom, we don’t end up saving the baby. So today’s episode is going to talk a lot about taking care of yourself so that you’re available for your kids so that you aren’t dying inside. In fact, I have a good friend coming on. She’s just a friend. That sounds bad, but we actually met at church she is just the right amount of snarkiness for me. I love a little bit of snark even though I’m a super churchy girl and we actually went on that girls trip that I went on last spring if you follow my blog for a long time And we sat next to each other in the long ride to LA and it seemed like it was just a half an hour so I definitely wanted to have her on because I think she does a great job at keeping parts of herself alive while also still being a great mom I want to introduce you to my friend Bonnie Romney
this episode of The pulling girls podcast is sponsored by family routines how to automate your housewife life. ever wish life was more like you pictured it would be before you had kids being able to spend less time at the mundane tasks and more time teaching kids the fun and valuable life skills you know they need family routines teaches families to simplify daily tasks into routines that help them feel more peace and joy. Save 15% with the coupon code untangled. You can find it at pulling curls calm and the menu under courses or in this episode show notes.
Hilary Erickson 2:47
Hey, bonnie, I’m so happy to have you here on my podcast.
Bonnie Romney 2:51
Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
Hilary Erickson 2:53
So Bonnie, what do you do to take care of the body that was the person you loved before you had kids
Bonnie Romney 3:01
I barely remember her Hilary barely getting she there’s a lot that I do I think it kind of changes over time. Do you feel like you’re the same person? You were?
Hilary Erickson 3:12
Not at all.
Not at all, you’re ever going to be the same person. But I think sometimes I forget that I had interests or ideas or plans before I had kids.
Bonnie Romney 3:21
I mean, it kind of feels like a black hole a little bit, especially in the beginning. So when I think about it, I think I kind of kind of found myself in stages. And I don’t know if I was so good about it. In the early days, I think I really kind of fell prey to the idea that everything I was supposed to be doing was supposed to be in service of the baby and the family and everyone else, which is, you know, in theory, a laudible goal, but at the end of the day, you’re not taking care of yourself. You’re not actually taking care of your family. Right, exactly.
Yeah. So like when my when my children were really small. I started picking up reading again, because it was something I could just do when they were sleeping and it didn’t take a lot of effort because I was tired. All the time, I’m sure you know what that’s like. So I read a lot, I read a lot of really books that interested me that had to do with my major in college. So I was kind of catching up on politics and history and things to just keep my mind up to date. Because, you know, you lose all those brain cells, and you feel like an idiot after you have a baby.
Hilary Erickson 4:18
Yeah, for sure.
Bonnie Romney 4:19
It’s not just me, right. And it was kind of reminding myself that I was a capable, intelligent woman that I went to college that I, you know, could accomplish all these things that I had accomplished things and that I could still kind of push forward in those interests that I had before. So I did a lot of reading and then I also I have like a, like a hobby problem. I don’t know if there’s an addicts club for
Hilary Erickson 4:43
seven step program for hobbiest
Bonnie Romney 4:44
their program. Have you ever seen the movie? Brothers Bloom? No. Because I can early 2000s film it’s like quirky comedy. Anyway, Rachel wises character is this woman who just like flits from interest, interest, social, like learn a language and then she’ll learn how to do this other thing. Such as this crazy skill set. And I always kind of felt like that I’m not as talented as she was the film but I, I just have this like urge to conquer a hobby. And then once I do, I’m like great. Next,
Hilary Erickson 5:11
check off crochet next. Exactly.
Bonnie Romney 5:14
So I learned to knit when my kids were little I learned to knit that’s kind of something I had in the back of my mind I wanted to do for a while and my mom started with me. And so I learned to knit which was really fun because I couldn’t’ve things for the kids which are really easy and fast. So it’s, it’s like a nice way to get yourself in a knitting to have to make a giant scarf or some things we could tiny little booty. And then it can wear it. It’s really cute. So it was just sort of small things like that, where I was felt like I was learning something new and challenging myself in small ways.
And then as my kids got older, I was able to kind of get back in touch with the sort of the trajectory I had been going on. I was a performer as a teenager and as a young adult that I kind of took a break when I got married and when I had kids and as my youngest turned about three and I know felt like I really had time where I could leave a lot, I finally got out and started auditioning again and doing shows. And now I enjoy taking performance contracts. And now I feel like I really have a place where I can go, that is my own, where I am contributing to something outside of my home as well as inside of my home. And that’s kind of I think, what I had been looking for and building up to all along so I would really suggest, you know, and I don’t know what that looks like for everyone. It’s not, it’s not ever going to be the same thing that makes you feel fulfilled inside.
And for a lot of women I know it’s it’s working, they need to work full time to feel like they’re void is being filled. And it really is an individual thing. I’m very lucky that I can take acting contracts and get paid and do them periodically. I can take a lot or I can take a few I can take a couple. It’s very flexible, and I don’t have to support my family necessarily on it, but it definitely helps pay for the trips we go on. So I feel very, very fortinate in that way, but I do think there are so many things so many avenues that women can take to try and fill their buckets, if you want to call it that. Yeah,
Hilary Erickson 7:07
yeah, while you were talking, I was thinking about how we’re given a newborn and you pretty much have to do like a one 80 in your life where you kind of just taken care of yourself and maybe a husband for a little bit, but you all the sudden your entire life has to surround that baby when they’re a newborn. And so I think like digging ourselves out of that hole can be hard because you kind of forget all those skills and ideas and plans when everything in your life and all those hormones just make you focus entirely on that baby.
Bonnie Romney 7:35
Oh, yeah. And I i’m sure lots of your listeners have suffered from postpartum and I know I did it with one of my children, which nobody caught at the time and that really was a dark hole and it I wasn’t taking care of myself even very physically very well at that time. And so to work your way out of you know, just being at work your way up to doing just the simple things of taking care of yourself basically it’s a lot can be a long process and and of course, why The hardest things is when you’re in it, you feel like there’s no way out, you feel like there will never be time that will come free that will allow you to do the thing that you want to do, even if it’s a simple thing, and we just have to keep reminding women, you know, for those of us on the other side that it does absolutely get easier. Time does free up. It seems miraculous. You don’t even really know how it’s happening. But it just it does.
And it’s funny because I you know, my youngest is now eight. So it’s been a while since I had a baby, but we just got a puppy a couple of months ago. I was shocked at how similar it was when I was waking up in the middle of the night and I just had to be on call all the time. And it took me right back. And granted it’s not as intense as it didn’t last as long but it was right back to that same feeling of almost helplessness. And I remember having breakdowns and all those things that I had when I had babies where it was just, you know, I had to call my sister who grooms dogs and say is how can I get better and she had to remind me Yes, it is going to get better. And it’s the same way with children. It is going to get better and it does.
Hilary Erickson 8:58
Yeah. And it does doesn’t get better, like overnight ever. Yeah, it’s a slow process and slow your leader brain comes back and your desire to do things come back. Because even if you’re in a place where you like, I don’t, I feel like I’m fulfilled. I don’t know what I’m doing for myself slowly. It does come back to you, I think.
Bonnie Romney 9:15
Yeah, it does. And I, I don’t know if this is a problem for everyone. And I wouldn’t say with a huge problem for me, but I think it was a little bit of a problem for me as I do think sometimes we are bombarded with a lot of messages that tell us what we need to be doing to care for our family, the best, you know, in some traditions, that is saying you need to be home and you need to be there for everything. And I do think it’s okay to step back and say, you know, I want to be here for this, but I need to be somewhere else for me so that I can be a present mom and be a present person and to just be able to take an honest look at what works best for your family as a whole and to not focus solely on solely on a child. It’s so interesting being a mother and feeling like your responsibility is to just give just give give, give, give give Yet to other people, and it seems like it’s so selfless and noble and it is absolutely and being a mother is, is amazing and such a selfless thing to do. But that can’t be your only reason to live.
I don’t think so just live for another individual. And especially, we’re pouring things into children that we, at the end of the day can’t, we can’t control we don’t know where they’re going to go necessarily. It’s not something we can control 100% we can’t control their lives as adults. And if we aren’t our own individual person, you know, we can’t have all of our hopes and everything that we care about relying on a child’s not fair to the child, certainly it’s not fair to us. So I do think it’s important that we that women retain their sense of who they are and what they need and what they want. And then there’s, you’re such a better example for your child. It’s been really interesting. You know, as I have kind of found these new levels of myself, you know, creeping out of the baby phase and having my kids along to see what I’ve done.
I started running at one point, and I ran a half marathon and my daughter was so proud of me. I think she was five you know what it was, so It’s great for kids to see that their parents are accomplishing things that they’re not just at home picking up their dirty socks, you know that they’re individuals that have interests. And it’s been nice to see my children’s interests grow as a result and start to realize what is out there that they can do.
Hilary Erickson 11:14
Yeah, something that’s kind of exciting for Bonnie’s family is they have done a play together on Christmas. They do Christmas Carol, local theater. And so that’s been really fun as the girls who I’ve always thought were kind of shy, did these plays, you know, just watching from the sidelines, you know, you kind of brought them out of their shell. And that’s exciting.
Bonnie Romney 11:30
Yeah, it’s really fun. They do sort of pretend to be shy. Oh, you get them on stage. And here I am. It must be in their genes. I don’t know. Yeah. No, it is really fun. It’s been fun to do as a family, and to kind of give them something new to do.
Hilary Erickson 11:46
It’s really fun. Okay, so I was at a retreat this past weekend, and we were talking about how we need a hobby because my obbies always been blogging and now it’s my job. And so I was thinking about how I need to find a hobby. That’s not a paid hobby anymore. So what are some things that you’ve done you serial hobbyist? Maybe could consider just like a short little list. Maybe less it. Yeah, reading, reading is a great one. Just make sure you’re enjoying it don’t feel like you need to read something because everyone else is reading it or whatnot.
Bonnie Romney 12:16
That’s true. It’s true. And the stuff that I read tends to be happy and like I would join book club and nobody want to read the books that I choose, which is fine. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. But I get stimulation from reading from reading a theory and things like that, that are boring to other people. Yeah, this is gonna feel like traveling through time though. Because if we if we go back, it’s like, I went through the scrapbooking phase. Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. I went to
Hilary Erickson 12:38
I was a published scrapbook or back in the day. Yeah. So was I I take my hobbies really serious.
Bonnie Romney 12:44
I know. So do I and I Same, same, same same. So I did scrapbooking for a while and then I picked up knitting. I picked up running, running turned into yoga. I’m really kind of got my eye on doing like silks. I want to learn some acrobatics. Doesn’t that sound fun? I thought you were gonna leave me some so no
Hilary Erickson 13:02
in the air I get it now
Bonnie Romney 13:04
I don’t have that much patience. Yeah silks in the air. I play piano and I’ve always studied voice so I’m always have those going. And oh, I just want to put a plug in for that. I think it’s so but obviously I’m in the arts and so they mean a great deal to me but it’s so common find women and husbands as well who played an instrument and sometimes fairly well and just stopped and it’s so fulfilling, I think to continue along the path of learning your instrument, whether it be voice or whatever you play and sharing that a family is so great important. It’s so it’s good for everyone.
So pick up your clarinet and play it again is what I’m saying. Pick it up squeak. You’re never too old. You’re never too old and I really honestly feel that way. I still plan on learning the guitar one of these days that’s on my bucket list. What else what else? I mean, I’ve done needlepoint a little bit. I’ve done sewing
Hilary Erickson 13:53
cereal hobby cereal hobbyists. It’s so I’m sure your podcast
Bonnie Romney 13:57
and I taught myself to do graphic design. So now I do Some marketing work on the side. Yeah,
Hilary Erickson 14:02
yeah, I think the key is to find kind of what you enjoy. And then, you know, push the boundaries of that and see what else you can do that maybe you would also enjoy as well. Yeah, yeah, I agree. And honestly, if you’re if the thing you really enjoy is your work, then what a bonus that is. Sometimes I feel like I need a hobby. But maybe because I enjoy my work so much. I don’t really need an extra hobby, plus, blogging swallows everything. If I were to take my flute back up again, I’d have a Flute Podcast,
Bonnie Romney 14:28
you know what I would listen, I would listen to your flute podcast. Now, I think you’re right. I mean, I, I definitely know people who are very, very, very fulfilled by their work. And like I said, I mean, my work is fulfilling, but it also wasn’t full time work. So it’s kind of it’s in its own category. But yeah, it is finding just what gives you that kind of release that break and makes you feel confident and capable.
Hilary Erickson 14:50
Yeah, and I think it’s great to have a hobby with your spouse or partner because you guys act together sometimes or you do
Bonnie Romney 14:57
yeah, we sing together. Yeah, sometimes as well,
Hilary Erickson 15:00
and it’s nice to have the hobby that doesn’t involve your spouse.
Bonnie Romney 15:03
Yes. I do love I love acting. And I really enjoyed acting with my family over Christmas. But it was a little jarring to kind of have them in my space because it felt like it was my space. But now at the end of the day, it was great. And it was fine. It was just one contract so we are doing it again.
Hilary Erickson 15:20
So what Bonnie does is she just picks up she auditions and then you pick up contracts. And then so if you need a specific time off, you just don’t audition for things that are that.
Bonnie Romney 15:29
Yeah, period. Yeah. So this summer we travel. That’s my newest hobby. It’s very expensive. I don’t recommend it. Especially with three kids. We got it. We decided we want to start traveling more. And so this summer I didn’t audition for anything this summer so we could have the whole summer off and take some time to family travel. And it was totally worth it. It was great. And you visited beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona.
Flagstaff, Arizona. That’s right. I didn’t go there for the whole summer.
Hilary Erickson 15:55
Yeah, well, you should have it’s better than Phoenix. It’s September in Arizona guys Yeah. We’re just better. We should have you back on in February when we’re like it’s great!. Yeah.
Alright, so if the moms listening that just kind of feels lost to motherhood, what kind of advice would you give her like three, three tips,
Bonnie Romney 16:22
three tips, okay, remind yourself every day that it is going to get better, that you’re going to find more time, try to find one thing, one new thing you can do or something maybe you previously did that you want to continue and do whatever you have to do to start that in any small way. Whether it’s buying a book to help you learn, I basically had to teach myself knitting from online tutorials. But YouTube is great for that. And you can watch short little clips to get you through, you know, whatever you need to learn and then just don’t feel bad about it. Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t be spending that time on yourself. Because you should
Hilary Erickson 16:57
Yeah, and you know, and if just Let your husband know that that’s why you’re doing it. Maybe he doesn’t know why you’re taking knitting — it seems fruitless and just, maybe you might need to tell him what benefit you’re hoping to get out of that so that he sees the whole vision as well, because he may just think it’d be cheaper to buy a sweater, honey, when you’re thinking, but I really want to be able to use my hands to make something for our family that will last a long time and we’ll be able to get to the grandkids or whatever.
Bonnie Romney 17:22
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. If you need to communicate that. I think I was very lucky that my husband intuitively understood that I have a very dynamic mother in law who does everything more than me. Oh,
Hilary Erickson 17:33
well, you can have her on your podcast can have her on my podcast.
Unknown Speaker 17:37
Well, Bonnie, thanks so much for coming on. I think this is such an important subject. I think it’s interesting to see how other moms incorporate themselves into their life. And we’ll talk to you later Okay,
Bonnie Romney 17:47
thank you so much.
Hilary Erickson 17:48
Okay, guys, I ended up just loving that talk with Bonnie and I hope you guys enjoyed it, too. She’s really well spoken and just a smart lady. She was saying that it sounded kind of like she only made time for hobbies and that is definitely not true. She is is an excellent mom while at the same time just has so many talents that is willing to share them and is excited to kind of explore new things as a mom and I just think it’s sometimes hard and sometimes you need an example to remind you of things that you might like or you might want to try. Thank you so much for joining us on today’s episode. If you’d like to know more about keeping yourself alive, check it out in the show notes where I’ll talk a little bit more about it I’ll include some important links as well as the posts that inspired this podcast today.
Big thanks to our sponsor family routines for making this episode possible. You can find out more about family routines in the show notes and you can also google it if you want to take a peek even further
special thanks goes out to my friend bonnie is a fun episode and it’s kind of awkward when she’s not like an air quote influencer but she’s just a smart lady. And I think you guys have friends like that and hopefully it reminded you maybe have a friend you have that you could talk about a similar topic with over dinner sometime.
If you liked today’s episode, I’d love it if you’d share it subscribe it, review it all the things sharing it with friends on social media actually really helps us out because the more ears that we get listening to this podcast the better it really helps us out. Thank you so much for the people that have reviewed us already on iTunes. I hope to have you with us next time we drop an episode every Monday and until then I hope you have a tangle free day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai