Any mom can attest to the notion that having children turns your life upside down. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever have, but moms will also agree that it’s the best one.
So, the Today in St. Louis team assembled a group of local moms around the St. Louis area to share their secrets to mastering motherhood. In our first Mom Panel segment, we focus on hacking your morning routine.
The group met on a Wednesday afternoon at SqWires Restaurant in Lafayette Square. These women made time in their busy schedules as working moms to be a part of TISL’s Mom Panel. They were meeting for the first time, ready to open up to each other about the ups and downs of motherhood.
“I have this one pair of sweat pants that my husband is just like why?” laughed mom of three Shaunna Moore-Thuet.
Marissa Paine is also a mom of three, and an Entrepreneur. While her kids are in their late teens and early twenties she remembers what it was like not having much “me” time.
"When I first get home you know after work and it’s like I love you and I can’t wait to talk to you, but mommy needs a little moment when she first gets home," she explained.
The women all burst out laughing in agreement. Some of these women run their own businesses. A few work from home and others are at the office and on the road. Their kids range in age from 4 to 22 years old.
Danielle Smith is a mom of two middle school aged children.
"I used to think if I could just get them to sleep through the night. If I could just get through the terrible two's. For the love of everything can I just potty train, which was my worst parenting experience of all time,” Smith said. “But now that my kids are in that middle school age group, it just comes with a whole new set of challenges.”
Paine agreed saying, “Teenage and young adult are so different. I was a great teenage mom, I don't know how I’m doing as a young adult mom."
Today in St. Louis’ Allie Corey had the mom’s spill their secrets to managing their morning routines.
Melissa Mitchell, a mom of three, just started a new alarm system with her phone.
"My kids all know I have four alarms on my phone and they hear it go off and so one alarm is they got to get their shoes on. They are different songs or ringtones. I started that this year and we also have a ringtone when we have to get out the door and its Happy, so when they hear that they drop what they're doing and they go to the door. The alarm thing this year has been the most helpful,” Mitchell explained.
Paine agreed, "they will remember that forever. We used to have this morning song that we would do. ‘We're going to have a good day’ and I’m like that will last forever and sometimes my daughter who's in college will say I need to hear good day so that stuff that you set early on it lasts forever and when in doubt, use fear."
Rachel Jackson is a single mom to three kids and a niece she took in.
"For me, I started getting up early. It was just about meditating for me. Centering myself because you could be super busy and lose your balance just emotionally and mentally. So, I always start the morning with myself. Just taking my time getting me together. I also do a lot of night prep with them which is really important,” Jackson said.
Smith says she and her husband split the morning routines.
"For us I think it’s divide and conquer. At one point, I said alright why is all of the chaos mine? I don't want to take ownership for every chaotic moment in this house. So, how about you make your own lunches the night before? Super, makes the mornings easier."
Mom of four Sarah Howell remembers having a moment when she realized things needed to change in her morning routine.
She said, "I think similar to you my 4-year-old looked at me one morning and said mom, I just don’t like when you talk to me that way and those are big words from a 4-year-old. I was like a drill sergeant so it was really time to take a deep breath and come into myself and say I need to do something differently. So, we have family meetings on Sunday. I involve dad so he feels responsible too and I have a great husband, he's super involved dad."
Moore-Thuet says her morning hack is all about energy drinks and finding what works for her family.
"My boys have special needs so I have to let go of some of those expectations that things that work for everybody else aren't necessarily going to work for me. So for us, we started doing kind of like a little folder chart and there's pictures inside of it and it always starts with I want or I need and they can take the picture and they can stick it on the outside envelope."
"What I love about that the most and this conversation is the theme is do what works for you. Free yourself from the pressure to be how someone else is and let your house be your house," Paine said.
The next ‘Mom Panel’ will tackle the issue of Mom Shaming and bullying.