Occupation: Fine art photographer specializing in babies and kids and part time Mother Goose teacher.
Your Age: 32
Number of children and ages: 3 kids, ages 11, 8, 3
When you were a teenager and you thought about your future life what did you think and how does the reality match up?
In my high school yearbook next to my grade 12 graduation photo it states that I wanted to be a doctor and have 2.5 kids. What it did not state was that I wanted to be an obgyn. I have always loved pregnancy and birth and babies and kids. Life takes twists and turns and now I don't deliver babies but I do photograph pregnancy and birth and babies and kids and am very happy with that. I also have more than 2.5 kids so in the end I've surpassed all my own expectations
What is the hardest thing about being a mom?
Those moments where you want to close your eyes and hope that when you open them the sight in front of you has changed because you know that there is no one going to help you. Things like the dog shredding a diarrhea diaper all over your bed or your toddler delighted with himself after pouring the full bag of sugar all over the kitchen.
What is the best thing about being a mom?
Homemade cards and sticky kisses and watching these creatures that look like you and act like you but are not you. It's pretty cool.
When you think about your parenting style, what words would you use to describe it?
When you think about your parenting style, what words would you use to describe it? With the little ones I am very attached, co-sleeping. Breastfeeding, all that good stuff. I think babies need their mamas and mamas need their babies. As they grow I think I am relaxed with high expectations. I am a stickler for manners and good behavior but I don't care if they clean their rooms or match their socks.
All new mothers get lots of parenting advice, sometimes more than they want! What was some advice that you appreciated and would pass on to others, or alternatively, what was the worst piece of advice you ever got ?
The best piece of advice was about bath time: turn off the hot water first to avoid scalds. The worst was this idea that you need a change table. Save that money and buy more receiving blankets. You can never have enough receiving blankets.
What is the one thing you wish someone had told you before you became a mother?
I wish someone would have told me that they will be coming by to clean my house once a week, forever.
What kind of grown-ups do you hope your children will become?
I hope they remain kind, generous and healthy. I also hope that they become independent enough to want to blaze their own trail and not want to live with mom and dad into their 20's.
How do you keep a sense of balance in your life between being a mother and a person in your own right, or between your career and family (if you work outside the home)?
I think a balance is a myth. It implies that I am more than one person. In reality I am just Donna. Donna is a mother, a wife, a photographer, a sister, a baker of pies, a runner, a joker, a lover of both solitude and chaos. I am all of these things and more no matter what hat I might be wearing at the time. Life is less like a balancing scale than it is like a garbage bag: try and cram everything in there without it ripping open.
What do you do to ‘get away from it all’?
Well when I want a break from the kids I go to work. When I want to break from work I hang out with the kids. Working from home is good like that. Also I like to go running. It's great because it's just me and an ipod and I can listen to music with cursing.
This last question is an open one – if you feel there is something you’d like to add that doesn’t fit into the questions I have written – here’s a chance to add and answer your own question.
My advice for new moms: Enjoy it!! Play!! Try and go with your gut and don't stress out. When mama is happy, everyone is happy. You can replace *happy* with any other emotion and that statement still holds true.