I’m so happy to announce my first Reader Spotlight! Reader Spotlight is a new feature where I tell you all about an A Little Bit of All of It reader. I choose someone that is either a commenter, subscriber or Facebook fan to highlight.
Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama is the first to be featured! Charise has left comments here on the blog and is also a fan on Facebook. Her first comment here was on my review of the Eric Carle Wooden 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Box . Her favorite post here at A Little Bit of All of It is Raising an Obedient Child is not my Parenting Goal. She believes in nurturing curiosity and openness in her son. She says, “I do want to teach him to be kind, but that is not one and the same as obedient to me.”
Charise is a stay-at-home mom to a 10 month old son. Being a mom has taught her “that everything in my life – the highest of highs and the lowest of lows – was all worth it because it led me to what I am sure is the ultimate experience of my life: being this sweet boy’s mama. Being a mom over the course of the past 10 months has also taught me to savor every moment and to live in the present – something that was very difficult for me in life before Baby”. She wrote a beautiful poem about this you can check out at her blog where she tries to “capture my gratitude for my son’s impact on my ability to stay present.” She describes her parenting style as “instinctive, natural, loving, calm”.
Of course, motherhood is filled with surprises and Charise’s experience has been no different. For instance, she never intended to be a stay-at-home mom. She says,
“I have always been a very driven person, particularly with academic and career choices. Before I had Baby, I didn’t really understand why I would ever put my career on pause to be at home with a child, but now, thanks to getting laid off at 8.5 months pregnant, I can’t imagine not being with my son every single day. It is more fulfilling than I ever imagined anything in life could ever be.”
Instead of working out of the home as she had intended, her day is now filled with time spent outside (whether it’s walking, hiking or playing), reading to her book-obsessed son and spending time on her blog during her son’s naps. She also likes to have one activity outside of home like going to library story time, Water Babies, music class, enjoying a walk with friends or running errands.
Even though Charise and her husband were in the same class at Boston College and had several mutual friends, they didn’t actually “meet” until they randomly met eight years after graduation. They didn’t even realize their college connection until ten minutes into their first date! Of course, their friends couldn’t believe they never knew each other before. It was definitely a case of meeting at the perfect time in their lives!
When it was time for them to start a family, Charise knew she knew she wanted a natural birth. In order to facilitate her goals of no medication and minimal medical interventions, she was very dedicated to doing Hypnobabies for 4 months of pregnancy to prepare and was seeing midwives that supported natural birth. Unfortunately, Baby had other plans. She says,
“He was in the same breech position for the majority of my pregnancy. I did every natural intervention possible to try to turn him including acupuncture and moxibustion, but nothing worked so I ultimately had to have a C-section. As much as this was not the experience I wanted, I am at peace with it because I was still blessed to have my amazing, healthy boy, and that took precedence.”
She is very proud of her family and says they are her greatest accomplishment, a topic she recently blogged about. Her son inspires her to create the best possible world for him.
- The poem that was the inspiration for her blog, I Thought I Knew Mama.
- One of her most memorable moments as a mama, In This Moment, A Memoir of Five Minutes
- Sound Bites from a Miscarriage Journey – Charise says this post “made me proud because it took a lot of courage for me to write and because I wanted to lift the taboo on miscarriage for other women who have experienced it.”
Besides being a mom, Charise loves to write, read, learn, hike, snowboard and travel. She also loves animals and has a passion for green living. You can find her at her blog, I Thought I Knew Mama, on Facebook and Twitter.