The Mom Next Door Series: Allison K H

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Mom Next Door Interview comes from one of my best friends, Allison - or better known around my house and in my heart as 'Karpy.'  She had her first baby just this year, in February, and watching my best friend make the transition into Mom has been an inspiring and beautiful thing to watch.  Karpy wrote her interview for me earlier this summer when her son, Andrew, was just barely three months old; still in those first few weeks of newborn mayhem and Karpy was just coming off the high of maternity leave.  Even though I knew her interview wouldn't run until now (Andrew has already celebrated his first Half Birthday!), I asked her if it would be okay to keep her interview as is - to show those first few weeks of becoming a Mom in it's full honest glory.

With each new age and stage of raising kids, I've seen myself (and most other Moms) shed a little of the memory of what the past stage really felt like living it.  Sure, we remember the sleepless nights and the overflowing joy of having a newborn - but all the daily frustrations fall away to make room for the new daily frustrations that come with raising a toddler, or preschooler, or I'm sure teenager. As I am currently awaiting the arrival of our newborn, Karpy's words and reflections about those first weeks are so special to me.  They bring a little bit of my own memory back of how fully consuming those first newborn weeks are - all the hard parts and the reminder of how wonderful the itty bitty blessings of something as tiny as a burp can be.

Please take a moment this morning to read more about my best friend Karpy as you may get transported back in time when someone probably no bigger than 10 pound ruled every moment of your days.


Who are you? My name is Allison Hubbard, also known as 'Karpy' by my close friends. I am 31 years old, living in Apex, North Carolina (outside of Raleigh).

Who is in your family?  I live with my husband, Matt; our new and first baby Andrew (born February 2014), and our crazy 3-year old Jack Russell terrier mix, Regi.

photo credit: Bianca at A Moment Like This.

What do you do for work? I work full-time in Human Resources for NC State University.

What has become (at least for now) your parenting mantra or guiding principle? Keep my to-do lists short. If I can cross one or two things off my list in a weekend, I’m happy about that now.

What would your pre-mom self be surprised to know about motherhood? Before I had Andrew, I thought all babies were the same. They all cried, smelled, & looked the same. But as a new mom, I’m amazed how Andrew really is different; he’s mine! I could look at 100 3-month old babies and know which one is Andrew. His cry is so much sweeter than any other baby’s cry. And I actually enjoy the way his poop & spit up smell!

Which chore is your least favorite? Awful to admit, but right now with a new baby that has so many needs- it's taking care of the dog!! Our poor dog! I loved his company so much before the baby was born. Now that I have Andrew, I’m so easily annoyed when Regi has to go to the bathroom, or needs more water, or wants to go on a walk. I promised my husband I’ll love the dog again…. Someday.

What keeps you up at night? Andrew. LOL! But really, being a working Mom. As I write this, I have only been back to work for 5 days, after spending 12 weeks non-stop with Andrew. In the weeks leading up to going back to work, I was having nightmares about whether or not I would be able to pump enough milk, or when I was pumping it started to come out in different colors.

Now that I am at work, I worry that Andrew won’t remember who I am. I get disappointed when I pick him up at day care and he doesn’t hold out his arms and cheer “Mommy!!” when I walk in the door...But, I keep reminding myself that he’s only 3 months old (and if he was talking at 3 months, then I’d have a genius baby;). And I know that being at work is the best thing for all 3 of us (me, my husband, and Andrew). I have a job that is low stress and keeps me busy, happy, and engaged. And day care will be the same way for Andrew… keeping him busy, happy, and engaged.

What do you feel like you are really good at as a mom? Patience, specifically when we first brought him home 3 months ago. Andrew’s only communication is crying (and recently now smiling!). Pre-Mom, I love my sleep and I love my routine. However, at 1am, then 3am, then 5am… I’m impressed that I was not annoyed Andrew was waking me up or crying about something I don’t know. I actually loved the satisfaction of holding him screaming, and somehow calming him down to a peaceful baby.

In the labor classes, they advised us if we ever get frustrated, just put the baby in a safe place, stand outside and take in silent deep breaths. In those first sleepless nights at home, I was grateful for my patience, that I never got frustrated. I loved him so much I never wanted to leave him, I just wanted to hold him and figure out a way to help him stop crying.

What do you feel like you wish you were better at being a mom? Creativity. But I surround myself with amazing friends like Tab (Studer), and also my husband. For example, Matt is really good at making up songs. When we give Andrew a bath, Matt will make up a song like… “scrub a dub dub, Andrew in the tub. Bubbles on your feet, bubbles on the street, steam in your hair, clean everywhere! Scrub your hand, make you a clean little man…” My song is “bath bath bath, bath bath bath…” to the tune of “Jingle Bells”!

Who are the moms you look up to? At this point 3 months into mommyhood, every single mother who “survived” the first month of the first baby!

But really, I admire my own mother who taught me things I am subliminally remembering.  My husband’s mother who taught him to be an amazing father.  My best girlfriends who made themselves available any time of day or night when I needed to talk, and my working-mom girlfriends who give me tricks and encouragement to go back to work and call day care as often as I need to!

Baby Allison and her own Mom

What was the most difficult Mom moment you've had (so far)? I’m still having a difficult time… trying to get my life into a routine, finding a way to keep up some of my pre-parenthood life, all while figuring out a way to include Andrew in all the fun.

There are many times in these first 3 months that I have felt trapped in my own home. My life revolves around Andrew’s 3 hour schedule: eat, play, sleep, eat, play, sleep. I expected the dirty diapers and sleepless nights, but this has been the most difficult adjustment that I wasn't prepared for.

My husband and I dated for about 8 years before we got married, and were married for 2 years before having our first baby. So, we are both struggling with having the social life we used to have in our 20s, but now including Andrew. (We are missed the destination wedding for close friends of ours in July, because I truly want to be home with Andrew, I don’t want to leave him. But in previous years, we wouldn't think twice about being at every single wedding.)

I have to say, though, I LOVE our little family. And I LOVE the changes that Andrew brings to our lives. Going back to work has helped with the adjustment into a new routine, and I know it will get easier as Andrew gets older.

How do you unwind or re-charge? I need to figure this out again (*see previous question!)

What do you miss most from Mom days already gone by? I miss being pregnant (although when I was pregnant, I just wanted to meet the little guy!). I loved the unknown of what he was going to look like, when would he make his appearance; I loved feeling him move around in my belly. I loved the attention from friends and strangers. I also loved my long, strong hair & nails (now that my hair is falling out in clumps and my nails are breaking!)

What are the small joys of being a Mom that you treasure most right now? Andrew changes every day! He has a new smile, or a new baby noise, even a new cry! He makes me THE HAPPIEST I have ever been! Even when he wakes up at 2 am, and I zombie-walk to his nursery…when I bend over to pick him up out of his crib and he smiles so so big, it melts my heart.

I also love nursing him. It’s intimate, one-on-one time that I love having with him. When I’m aching with so much milk, and he’s hungry to nurse, it makes both of us feel better and I love that mutual satisfaction we both have from each other.


  1. My hair fell out in clumps after each pregnancy. It's the WORST! You're right, you will figure out a social life again. It just takes time!

    1. Thank you Shelly! I'm glad I'm not the only "balding" new mommy! :) And thank you for the encouragement in figuring out a new social life, I know we will get there! :)