AND SO IT continues. the NEW CHAPTER IN THE BOOK OF WEESTRUCTED, AND YOU’RE INCLUDED. HERE ARE THE STORIES OF MOMS LIKE YOU, AS TOLD BY ONE OF OUR FAVORITES, MARISSA ELLIS. THIS WEEK’S ‘WEE WING IT’ INTERVIEW IS WITH lauren swan. TAKE A SEAT, MAKE A CUP OF COFFEE IN YOUR “MOTHERHOOD WINGING IT” MUG, AND read about lauren’s life (and exciting announcement). ENJOY!
Marissa: Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for chatting with us today. We’re so excited to hear how you juggle your sweet fam and business! Let’s start with a peek into your world. Tell me a little about you and your family.
Lauren: I am a full-time WAHM married to an awesome guy that I met my junior year of college (over 11 years ago). We have a daughter who is four and a son who is two and we just found out we have a third on the way, making us 2 for 3 for surprise pregnancies, lol.
We live in North San Diego about 10 minutes from the house my parents lived in when I was born (where my dad and his family still live) and we love to hang out with our families, go to the beach, and go on adventures (camping, hiking, etc.). My husband and I were super into outdoor sports before we had kids (mostly rock climbing) and still try to get outside with the kids whenever possible.
Marissa: Ha, surprise pregnancies for the win! Congrats on baby 3! That’s so exciting. How have you been feeling?
Lauren: Been feeling pretty terrible, lol. Way worse than the last two so far!
M: Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Being pregnant (especially when you already have kids) is no joke.
L: I guess it’s kinda true what they say about the “morning” (all day) sickness getting worse with each pregnancy! Plus chasing two other kids around and working full time as well can kinda take it out of you 😉
M: That’s what I’m saying! If that doesn’t capture the spirit of Winging It, I’m not sure what does.
L: Well, during my last pregnancy, I was running an in-home daycare by myself (four 2-year olds!) so this is maybe a bit easier at least, haha. So yeah, I would say Winging It is pretty much a life philosophy around here…
M: It’s good to have perspective in these situations! So what do you do now?
L: I am currently a consultant for LuLaRoe, so I basically run an online and in-person clothing business out of our house. I hit the ground running with in and went a little nuts in the beginning, but I am learning to balance life and work and family a bit better now. 60 hours a week plus taking care of your kids full time wasn’t really sustainable for me!
But I love it, it’s super fun to have something to do outside of being a mom – my forced adult interaction time (which everyone needs!!)
M: Uh, yea! I would think that may be a bit challenging! It’s good to hear you’ve sort of hit your stride and found a balance that works better for you. How do you keep yourself and that balance a priority?
L: Well I would say, just like with every parent (and moms specifically) it’s definitely a struggle sometimes. I went in for a well-woman checkup about a year ago just since I hadn’t been to a non-baby doctor since before I had my daughter and I found out my blood sugar was high and I was pre-diabetic, so that was definitely a wake up call for me. My whole outlook had to shift a bit to include more time for me and I am lucky that my husband and extended family were super supportive in that as well. I was able to spend a ton more time hiking (an activity that I LOVE) and thankfully just found out a few weeks ago that my numbers are back in the normal range. But us moms do that kind of stuff to ourselves all the time, we take care of everyone else and not ourselves! And it’s even harder when you’re working, because it’s one more thing to take up your time (not that I don’t love spending time with my kids and also love my job!). But yeah, balance is a bit of a struggle.
I think just knowing that I feel better when I have some time for me, and am a better mom and business owner makes a huge difference. And having a supportive partner who honors my need for that time.
M: Beautifully said! You’re right that it’s hard but so important. And good husbands sure are lifesavers 🙂
L: Totally!!! I’m glad to have a husband that recognizes the hard work I put in on a daily basis and the need for a break most days! (Even if it is me getting to a breaking point occasionally and throwing the kids at him and running out of the house, haha).
M: Ha, oh weird – you just described my life.
L: I mean, basically every mom ever…
M: His face in the background of your photo is so priceless. I was cracking up looking at it. Tell me what was going on there.
L: Well…. As I said #3 was a bit of a surprise for us. We knew we wanted one more, but because his job in sales is pretty unpredictable right now, we decided to wait until after the holidays when his job situation was a bit more clear to start trying. But we were in Kauai a few weeks ago and I was feeling pretty bleh so on our way to the airport I forced him to stop at a drugstore (you know, so I could relax on the plane home knowing I wasn’t pregnant!) and I took a test and it was positive! We were both totally shocked (I couldn’t stop crying, haha) but now thankfully the shock has worn off a bit and we are excited (but still, like, super nervous!). But we just keep telling ourselves that there is never a really easy time to add another tiny human to the family so HERE WE GO!
M: Welcome to the (soon-to-be) mom of three club! This is so exciting! I’m sure a lot of moms can relate to the “I’ll just take a test for peace of mind” feeling.
L: I mean, I thought I was pregnant like five times since I had my son, so I was just thinking “Okay, I will take a test and it will be negative like the 100 other times I had convinced myself I was pregnant and we’ll go on our merry way”. But NOPE, not this time!
My daughter a surprise too, so maybe eventually we will have this whole “making babies” thing figured out.
M: Nah, where’s the fun in that?! Since becoming a mom, what would you say is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about yourself?
L: Oh man, I don’t even know where to start! I would say that it has to be really understanding the depth of power and strength that I posses. I was a tennis player all through college so I have always understood my physical strength pretty well (although I have NEVER felt stronger than right after I birthed my second babe in a tub in an upstairs room in our house, I can tell you that for sure!). But really it’s more this emotional power that I have discovered. Having kids has tried me in ways I never knew possible, it really is the most physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting “job” I have ever had because I have NEVER cared about anything as much as I care about taking care of my family (and my kids in particular).
But I have learned to love my body so that I can pass on some fierce body love to my daughter and son (something I was never taught growing up). And I have had less sleep in the past two years than all my years at college combined and yet I still pushed on and kept going each day. I have felt the most INTENSE emotions since becoming a mom (love, frustration, happiness, fear), yet I still am able to freaking function each day and keep a pretty even keel to deal with it all. And I think all those things take an insane amount of inner power and strength to do, something that I was never tested on as much since becoming a mom.
M: Preach, mama. I literally just said “mmm hmm” out loud several times while reading that. Nothing can prepare you for the roller coaster that is motherhood.
L: Exactly! Like I have never loved someone so much and simultaneously wanted to get as far away from them as possible as my I do with my headstrong daughter. That girl has changed me (and my Type-A control-freak ways) more than I ever knew possible.
M: Isn’t it insane how much power they have for being so small?
L: Yes! It’s scary… lol
M: Haha, I feel like we’re the same person. I tell my husband every day that our boys’ cuteness has literally saved their lives on occasion.
L: Oh totally!!! Same thing over here (that and coffee, lots of coffee. And a few mornings a week at daycare, lol). Which now makes me sick of course. What a cruel trick pregnancy has played…
M: Soooo much coffee. The same thing happened to me with this pregnancy. I’m coffee obsessed and couldn’t stand it during my first trimester. It gets better!
I really like what you said about “body love”. It’s a crazy time to raise kids with everything going on in the world. Our twins are boys, so when we found out we were having a girl this time, my head started spinning. I felt like a crazy person because I would just word vomit random thoughts I had about raising a girl in this world! The challenge is there for boys too, the conversation will just be framed differently I guess.
L: Yes totally. Body love is a MAJOR passion of mine. I grew up being told that I need to lose weight (as young as age 5) and food was always a struggle for me. I went through some disordered eating in middle school and didn’t really start to appreciate my body until college, when I played tennis and worked my butt off and was amazed at how strong and capable my big body was. I had always felt like it must not be a very good body since it was big and took up more space than society seems to think is okay. But having a daughter specifically has FORCED me to change my thinking on all that. I have worked really hard to love myself just as I am, and to measure my health based on numbers from my doctor that do NOT include my weight or the size clothes I wear. After I had my son I participated in 4th Trimester Bodies Project and let me tell you, nothing makes you embrace your body like being photographed nearly naked at six months postpartum with your second child, lol.
But I knew that I HAD to change the way I thought about myself for my daughter. I wasn’t going to pass on the same terrible body image that my grandmother had passed on to my mom and down to me.
M: Oh my gosh, you are incredible. Your kiddos are in good hands.
L: Awww thank you! I freaking try! It’s hard sometimes, that’s for sure. But loving myself has been like the BEST thing I have changed about myself in the past few years. Just for me personally, outside of being a mom and a wife and all that. And it’s why I love selling clothes (that has given me a lot of confidence too). I feel like it’s my duty to help pass some of this body love along to other women, because there are a ton of us that are lacking in self-love and it’s really sad.
M: It’s all connected, that’s for sure. How we feel about ourselves and what our priorities are pour into every other part of our life!
L: Exactly! The other day my husband said, “I love how your confidence has grown and how you dress now. You just seem so put together, like not just a ‘Target Mom’ anymore”. Hahahah. I was like “WAIT A DANG MINUTE”.
M: Hey now – easy on the Target moms!
L: I mean, first of all duh I’m still at Target four times a week.
M: Target and Starbucks are basically my besties for life 🙂
L: Exactly! And I still wear leggings and comfy clothes, I just add a necklace and cute shoes every once in awhile. Ugh, it’s hard being such a cliche sometimes…
M: But I totally get what he means. Sometimes just putting in the extra minute of effort makes all the difference. Plus LuLaRoe is the cutest ever.
L: Yes! And it gives women the confidence to pattern mix and be bold in their clothing choices, which is awesome.
M: It really is. I say that as I look down at my candy corn leggings…
L: Sitting here in my Classic T and black leggings…. hahaha.
M: We may be cliches, but we’re cool ones 🙂
L: So stoked I have the best pregnancy clothes this time around! And don’t even need to buy anything new!
M: Now you’re thinking! Well, this has been so great. It’s been great getting to know you and learning a little about how you Wing It on the daily.
L: Thank you!!! I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me and hopefully other mamas can read this and know that they aren’t the only ones who struggle with this amazingly crazy job!
CHECK OUT MORE OF MY WORDS AND A FEW FROM MY PAL, AND CREATIVE BABE (OF WEESTRUCTED) AMY ON OUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT: @MOTHERHOODWINGINGIT
AND DON’T FORGET TO HASHTAG HOW YOU ‘WING IT’ WITH #WEEWINGIT
MARISSA ELLIS IS A WIFE, MOTHER OF TWO (SOON TO BE THREE), AND ALL AROUND AWESOME HUMAN BEING. SHE RESIDES IN DENVER, COLORADO.