I’ve known Lauren a good portion of my life. From T-ball days to High School and beyond. We’ve never officially been in the same “circles” because she ran around with one of my sisters, but the thing about Lauren that’s amazing… she doesn’t really have “circles”. If you want to meet someone who gives everyone the time of day, has friends from all walks of life, and can strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, then you must meet Lauren S.
I could go on to say much more, honestly I have a ton to say, but I don’t want to delay you from hearing what Lauren has to say about her motherhood. So without further ado…
Meet Lauren S.
I am a small-town gal who grew up in the middle of 2 sisters. I come from a very large hard-working Catholic family that has all the crazies and imperfections any other family may or may not choose to admit to, but always had an abundance of love and affection. I’m told I have an old soul and an independent attitude. I graduated high school top 10 in my class. In lieu of college and acquiring an enormous amount of debt while having no idea what career I wanted, I chose to buy a house. I’m very practical. I lucked into a job after high school as an office manager for a wonderful construction company that has turned into a career and an extended family. I…eh-hem…enjoyed my early twenties and didn’t marry and start a family until my late twenties to early thirties. And here I am now, 35, married with 3 children, living the dream. My husband Steve and I have a daughter, Millie (6) and twin boys, Holden and Hudson (4). They are my motivation for everything in life!
What are the difficulties of being a working mom? What are the joys?
Being a working mom is so very bittersweet. I carry the guilt of having missed so many milestones and not being able to attend every school function that happens during the working day. (And it seems like most do.) I also struggle with balancing the cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, baths and quality time with my family in the few short hours we have during the weeknight evenings…and all before a semi-reasonable bedtime. Throw in a Home and School meeting along with a practice or 2 and inevitably something falls to the wayside. The sweet part is missing my kids. You read that right. I’ve always said that I wasn’t built to be a stay at home mom. It can be a tough thankless job and I am grateful to miss my kids and avoid some of the unwanted frustration I may have towards them by the end of the week. Also, the planner in me feels more secure knowing God forbid anything ever happened to my husband or our marriage, I could maintain our lifestyle on my salary. Again…practical.
How would you describe yourself as a person?
This is a tough one for me. I live each day trying to make God proud. There are far more days than I’d like to admit that I’m asking God for forgiveness as I lay down to sleep. I struggle with self-value. I listen to judgement too easily. I’m also a people pleaser which is an ongoing impossible task to achieve. This is something I work on daily. I don’t want my children to imitate my behavior. I want them to see the best in themselves. I strive to be the role model I want my children to have. Those 3 kids teach me new things about myself every day. I have gained a whole new perspective and confidence after those miracles came into my life.
Being a mother is the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’m not a perfect mom. I lose my patience more than I want to admit. But I love my children with everything I have. I’m thankful they are so resilient. Their love makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
I want/need to be a better wife. I wrestle with the hurt and resentment raising 3 young children brings to a marriage along with 2 different sets of morals and values. Marriage hasn’t been the fairy tale I thought it would be. There are too many days that we must remember to love each other when we don’t even like each other. I’m learning to be more honest with myself and with my husband about my wants/needs/feelings. It turns out he has no clue how I’m feeling 99% of the time. I’m learning to put him first and in return he imitates my behavior. We’ve put a ton of work into our marriage over the last 8 years and I don’t see the effort getting easier soon. With all of that said, I appreciate what we have so much more than I might if it were easy. Even on the hard days I know I’m not going anywhere. Are you kidding?! I’ve put way too much into us to give up now! And honestly, the older the kids get, the more “easy” days we have in our marriage. We are getting the opportunity for fall in love again in a whole new way.
Tell us something you value in others, in life, or just generally.
I value honesty and integrity above all else. I appreciate when someone is genuine, even if I don’t care for what they have to say. At least I know what I’m getting or where I stand with them. I pray with my children every night that they do the right thing, even when nobody is looking. I also remind them that God is always looking. Sometimes it’s harder to do the right thing and I appreciate those that do. In the more materialistic column, I would say a good cup of black coffee and a clean house! Everything else seems easier when I have those last 2 things.
What is the outcome you wish for your children and how to you attempt to achieve that?
I wish for them to be God-fearing productive citizens that show kindness above all else. I believe if they are all those things, they will find happiness in whatever path they take. Like I said before, I hope that my husband and I are modeling this behavior. I firmly believe it all starts at home. We have to leave the rest in God’s hands.
Is there one thing you wish you would have done differently from the start of your marriage/parenthood?
I really try not to have regrets. Everything we’ve done has brought us to where we are now even if it was a hard lesson. And what’s the point if we can’t change it now. But being more honest with myself and my husband about my wants/needs/feelings from the beginning would rank at the top of the list, if I could do anything over.
What is one piece of advice you’ve received, and you always use?
Love ‘em through it! We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Stubborn pride has never solved any problems. It might necessitate tough love, but love, nonetheless.
Who do you look up to in your life? (there could be more than one)
Both of my parents and all of my grandparents are amazing individuals that I have always looked up to…but that goes without saying. I have an amazing tribe of friends with tons of qualities I admire. One that stands out is my dear friend, Jayme. She has loved me through everything in my life. I’m in awe of her honesty, integrity and humility. She’s never judged me but always encourages me. Jayme has inspired me in faith. Her devotion to her family is second to none and her patience is like no other. But most of all…her attitude and ability to laugh about almost anything is what makes me look up to her. I’m so grateful that she is a part of my life!
What have you learned along the way that others may also benefit from knowing?
You never stop learning. A little bit of humility goes a long way. Appreciate what you have while you have it. And know that there is always and answer…you may not like the answer at the time…but God has a plan. Trust in him!
What do you feel are the hard parts of being a wife and mother?
I’ve always said that being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding job you’ll ever have. I think that can be said for being a wife as well. Nothing about it is easy…but it’s worth it!
Tell us three fun or interesting facts about you.
- I love to dance. Don’t know how good I am at it, but if there’s a beat I can’t help myself! All 3 of my children have inherited this from their momma. We have many dance parties in our living room.
- Not including my parents, sisters, husband and kids, I’ve lived with 13 different roommates. (How else was I going to afford my own home when I was 20?)
- I’m an ordained minister. It was an easy internet application. I couldn’t tell you why I did it exactly. But if you need to have someone legally marry you…I’m your gal 😉
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
Thank you Dana for reaching out to me. This interview was a very therapeutic experience. And all you mommas out there…it probably hasn’t been said recently, if at all….you’re doing an amazing job! You deserve a glass of wine in a quiet room…even if it’s in the bathroom with the door locked! Go ahead and treat yourself 😉