I met Mary for the first time in our neighborhood playing with her daughter. Her kind, friendly spirit simply draws you in. I’ll be honest, I was dying to photograph her beautiful blond hair for months!
Enjoy Mary’s story…
1. How has Motherhood changed you as a woman?
In almost all ways I’m the same person I was before having my daughter. That said, something does totally shift in you when you have a child. I’ve always been very independent, but when my daughter was born I ceased being #1. I think this change is more drastic for mothers than it is for fathers (perhaps initially because the baby is dependent on you for food/breastfeeding, etc). Another thing that changed for me is that I was a lot more career focused before I had my daughter. She just became more important to me.
2. What is your full time occupation?
I work in international development – I used to travel a lot internationally and loved it. I also worked long hours on proposals and projects. When my daughter was born, I surprised myself by deciding to take a lot of time off. I left my job to spend more time with my daughter. Fortunately, I was able to find a part time opportunity with my same organization. This way I have more manageable hours and I don’t have to travel while she is so young.
3. Tell us about your family (number of children, the family you were raised in, where you are from)
I am the youngest of three girls; we were raised by a stay at home mom and had loving and engaged parents, both mom and dad. I grew up on both the east and west coasts, as well as the southwest.
4. What is one family tradition you have raised your family with?
Hmmm, I’m not sure it is a tradition per se, but for us we just want to enjoy our time as a family as much as possible. A lot of parents that I know enjoy taking trips away from their kids, but my spouse and I really enjoy traveling with our daughter.
5. What are your “must-haves” as a Mom?
Regular nap times and regular bedtime. A schedule of fun activities and lots of books. It may sound simple but those things are the key to happy kids, in my opinion 🙂 Kids really respond to structure – nothing crazy rigid but something that makes them feel safe.
6. What is something you are talented with or passionate about?
I’ve always been good with people – I remember names and things they tell me; people come to trust me, which has a huge impact. That skill has helped me grow quickly in both my professional and personal life.
7. Any advice for new Mothers?
As much as possible, BE GENTLE on yourself. Things change a lot when you become a mama, there is no need for self-judgment. Also, please try not to listen to any judgment from others. Try to surround yourself with those that won’t judge you.
8. Where do you call home?
Wherever my family is.
9. What is a favorite past-time you do with your child/children?
Music classes, concerts, etc. Reading books.
10. What has motherhood taught you?
Wow. That question could be the basis of a book 🙂 Motherhood has taught me to look at life through the experience of my child. It has also taught me that I have more infinite love in my heart than I could have ever possibly imagines.
11. Do you have a favorite quote about motherhood?
I don’t have one specifically on motherhood, but one of my favorites from Rilke could definitely be applied to motherhood:
“Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.”