The Mom Next Door Series: Stacey R

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I am so happy to bring today's Mom Next Door Interview to you from my dear friend Stacey.  Stacey and I met through work where she eventually became my boss (because she's amazing) and was one of the people that helped me transition smoothly and confidently into full time sahmhood.  I was so nervous to tell Stacey that I was leaving work and whether or not she meant to - her words of support, encouragement, and understanding about taking a break from the world of grown ups and move to the land of chaos and children (hah) helped me so much.  (thanks for that Stacey).  

I have always admired Stacey as she is resilient, honest, and a dedicated friend, colleague, and above all Mom to her three kids.  Please take a few minutes to read today about Stacey and be inspired as I always am by her graceful march through all of life's beautiful and unfair moments.


Who are you? I am a 45 year old, full-time working Mom who lives in Murrieta, CA with three amazing kids and one slightly crazy cat. My oldest daughter is 14 going on 18, my son is 13, and my youngest daughter is 11. Some of the details in the previous sentences may explain why I have no blog, website or anything other than Facebook!

What do you do for work? I work as a Director of Client Program Management for Scantron. I am fortunate to work from my home as a remote employee and travel just often enough to enjoy a night or two in a quiet hotel room. I consider myself very blessed to honestly say I love what I do and the people with whom I work.

How do you unwind ore re-charge?  Being a San Diego native, the beach is definitely my happy place. The sound, smell and sight of the ocean relaxes and rejuvenates me. Spa treatments are good too!

What do you feel like you are really good at as a mom?  I would say one thing I’m good at is keeping a sense of humor – you've got to be able to laugh at yourself and your kids too and enjoy the lighter moments in life.

What do you feel like you wish you were better at being a mom?  I can do a better job teaching and modelling the value of exercise as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. I’m afraid what I’ve taught my children is it’s easier and faster to drive somewhere than to walk somewhere. When I suggest we go for a walk, it might take a few minutes to persuade them to come along just for the exercise and fresh air without needing a particular destination. Regardless, one is a swimmer and one is in martial arts so it’s not too late to change!

Which chore is your least favorite?  Taking out the trash. I used to somewhat joke with my late husband that it is the man’s job to take out the trash. Now, my son fills the much-needed and appreciated job of trashman in our house.

What is the one "Mom Tip or Trick" that you can share that has made your life easier somehow?  Teaching my kiddos age-appropriate levels of independence and self-sufficiency. For example, all three of my children have been packing their own school lunch since they were in Kindergarten or 1st grade. I would make sure we had a variety of healthy and fairly easy items to pack in a lunch, and they would make their own selections. I can’t think of one time when they complained about their lunch because they made it!

What has become (at least for now) your parenting mantra or guiding principle?  Life isn't fair. Some things are beyond our control, not what we expect or want, but it’s often times in our best interest to adjust and keep going. I encourage my children to focus on what is in their control and think about how their behavior or attitude affects a situation. 


Who are the moms you look up to?
1. My neighbor, Amy, who is about to have her seventh child. I don’t know how she does it all.
2. My friend, Jen, who willingly chose single motherhood. I didn't sign up to be a single mom, but she did, and I admire her for that.
3. My friend, Vanessa, who has adopted two beautiful children when she and her husband struggled with fertility. From her stories, I’ve learned that strangers can inadvertently be rude or even cruel to adoptive parents, but she has a relaxed demeanor, not letting others’ comments get to her.

What are the small joys of being a Mom that you treasure most right now?  I really treasure the one-on-one time I have with each child. Sometimes these opportunities come in small increments of time, but whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours, I love having time to talk and connect with each child individually. One piece of advice I remember being given early on in motherhood was to foster an environment where your children want to talk with you because they know you will really listen. Start this when they are young and it’s more natural for them to talk about ALL kinds of things, and it will continue through the teen years when you want them to talk with you most.

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