Ava Grace's Closet: Mama Monday : Jenny from Spry on the Wall

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mama Monday : Jenny from Spry on the Wall

Sometimes, you forget the ones who are closest to you. 
Or in this case, ones you are the biggest fans of.
I love stopping by Jenny's blog, Spry on the Wall, to see all of her picks from the runway. So fun! 
And she always has a kind word to leave on my blog.
I couldn't believe I hadn't already harassed her to join our Mama Monday series. Am so happy she agreed. 
Please welcome, my friend (who I am dying to call a Georgia peach) Jenny:
Do you work outside the home or stay at home? What led you to either decision?
 I work part-time out of our home and my daughter is in pre-K full time at a nearby school but I was a stay-at-home mom until she was 3 years old. The decision to be a SAHM was sort of made for me after I quit my job in NYC and we relocated to Georgia for my husband's job.  I was looking to do some freelance work, etc (this was pre-economic meltdown) and right in the middle of the move I found out I was pregnant.  Then the economy tanked and there was just no prospect of any employment in my industry (or anywhere else much in the small town we moved to).  But, by that time, I was super pregnant and I became a SAHM by default which actually turned out to be a blessing because my girl had bad acid reflux and the first 6 months were rough. We got transferred again and relocated to another part of Georgia when she was 18 months old so by that time she was ready to socialize a bit more and craved being around lots of other kids. We eased into a Mother's Day Out program a couple of days a week for a year with the plan being me easing back into a work situation.  I landed my job and then we went with a full day preschool when she was 3.  By that time she was getting bored with being home and with me most of the time so the full day program was a no-brainer. She loves school so much, which makes it easier for me to do my own thing.

Did you always see yourself as a stay at home/career woman? Was it a dream of yours?
I always figured I would be a career woman, coming from a single parent household I didn't really know of any other way.  I struggled as a SAHM, I lost sight of who I was and just felt like a failure all the time. I loved being there with my daughter and seeing her grow and change, but I found being at home isolating and frustrating.  Frustrating in that I really hated feeling dependent on my husband for money, I had always earned my own way and had my own money, so it just felt weird and awkward. I struggled dealing with that and still do to a certain extent. I realize that's more my perception than reality though, it's an issue I need to work through.  Also, that first year my balance was way off, I was "Mom" 24/7 and that was not a good thing.  I ended up consulting with my sister-in-law who is a Life Coach who specializes in life balance for parents.  That helped me tremendously, I learned to give myself permission to have some "me" time.

What frustrates you most? What would you change if you could?
That extra 10 pounds I can't seem to lose. Ha, ha!  But seriously, being the primary caregiver is frustrating at times.  My husband is great and helps a lot, but let's be honest if you are a Mom the majority of the "kid stuff" lands in your lap especially if your husband is the primary bread winner. And that's fine.  But it gets frustrating if she's sick and has to be home and I have a deadline or have to travel for work.  I've burned a lot of midnight oil just keeping up at times.  I'm responsible for getting her to and from school, her activities, doctor's appointments, etc.  I'm lucky that my schedule is very flexible, but that also means I multitask way more than I'm comfortable with.  I'm also very jealous of people who have family nearby who can help out with the kiddos.  It's just us and that gets stressful and we don't really have the luxury of that safety net.  That means date nights are almost non-existent and we really have to coordinate schedules. God forbid if we are both sick at the same time.

If you are at home, do you plan  to work one day? If not, do you ever see yourself staying home?
I'm ready to work outside of my house every once in a while, even if that means an additional part-time job, especially since she starts Kindergarten this August.  I'm just waaaay too isolated sometimes and miss interacting with people on a work level.   

Any words of advice for mama's struggling with this decision?

 Do what's best for you and your family.  No situation is the same and what works for one person may not work for another.  And for all of our sakes let's be kind to each other and respect each other's decisions.  I've been on both sides and one decision isn't better or worse than another.  Bottom line, we are all Moms and we all work hard!

The decision to work outside the home or stay home with your children is such a personal one. There is no right answer or right decision but rather, I truly feel each woman must do what is right for her and her family. I commend each and every mother out there for this. It is not easy. We are women and man, we're amazing.

Jenny, I think all of us as SAHM's can totally relate to how you felt. It is a HUGE adjustment. I still struggle with how I fit in and worry that I might lose myself some days. 
I also don't love relying on my husband financially but realize that I too am making a sacrifice by being home vs growing my career and that my family needs me right now. 
Seems to make me feel better on most days. 
Thanks so much for being here today!

This will conclude the work/stay.home series. Look for a new Mama Monday feature beginning in early March!  

And, by all means, if you would like to participate, flip me an email :: avagracescloset{at}gmail{dot}com
See other Mama Monday interviews here:
Janet | Beck | Kylie | Megan | Iva
Katie | Chene | Barbara | Michelle | Christina


  1. I loved this series, I'm a little sad it is coming to an end! Great interview Jenny! How great that you got to have a little of both worlds!

    1. Fear not sweet Barbara! The series will continue just with new questions.

  2. Awww, Susan thank you for the sweet words!

  3. I would love to be able to work at home. I love the part about being kind and respecting each other. I missed the other parts of the series and will have to catch up.

  4. Great interview! Couldn't agree more with the "we are all moms and we all work hard!"

  5. I agree that managing the house is the hardest part of being a SAHM. Right now, our house (which is my workplace) is a bit topsy turvy (messy). Between blogging, chasing two kids around, orthodontist appointments and the whole family being sick at one point or another the past three weeks, I'm just treading water! I'd love a bit more assistance... But I'm glad I have this and not more to juggle. :)

    1. Oh Karen! I am SO with you. I also think that being home makes you "see" things you wouldn't otherwise care that much about. Not sure if I make sense.

  6. Good stuff. Being a SAHM also was thrust upon me when my husband died. I'm so glad I didn't pursue going back to work immediately. Working from home is great except for those days when my son doesn't go to school.

    That's what I'm battling right now. I'm choosing to believe and achieve. It's tough but I don't give up very easily.

    1. Reina, I can't imagine. You must be one strong woman!

  7. a great interview--nice to get to "meet" a new Mama =)

  8. I think what you have to do as a Mom, and be so selfless all of the time, is really the toughest and most important job over everything. What a great series. Looking forward to the next one. Thank goodness moms have blogs now as outlets, right;)

  9. I love this series - great interview! It's so important to remember that each family is unique and everyone has something different that works best for them.

  10. Hi Hi, Jenny! nice to "meet" the husband here as well. i would certainy call you a georgia peach :)


  11. The best family blog post i have ever read.

    work at home


I love reading every last one. Thanks so much for stopping by our little blog. xo.

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