Meet Tiffany | Mother of Three
This Mama's story...
From New Jersey to Singapore and everything in between. Mom of three; Collin, 15, Shauna, 11 and Liam, 8 and wife to Matt. My husband and I were the first of our friends to get married and pregnant. We were 21, so honestly what didn’t change? Not just the normal prepping for an hour to leave the house kind of thing, our entire world changed. We suddenly had nothing in common with our friends. Our priorities were so different. We weren’t available at night for a drink and fun times. Friends at that age don’t come over to just hang out with you and your baby. We were losing touch with everyone and depending more on each other as a couple. At the age of 21, we weren’t quite done growing up ourselves. There was still a lot to discover about ourselves and each other. Our marriage was young and fragile. The first few years of parenting taught us a lot about the people that we wanted to be.
My husband is in the Coast Guard so we move on average every 3 years. Most of our homes have always been on or near the beach and we loved that. Mentally preparing for a move was easier when my kids were younger, I could tell them there is a roller coaster near the new house and they were like “sweet can we leave tomorrow?” It was easy to convince them that the new place would be better and more fun. I also had some tricks to make the moves easier. For example, they always got a new comforter and a few items for their new bedroom, this way they were excited to get there and set up their room. It would take some time to settle, find friends, hobbies, and our natural stride but it always worked out.
One year, we got orders to Toledo, OH. Is there even water in Ohio? That was our thought. This surfer family moving to the mid-west. I was about to be living my worst nightmare. No beach, cold and surrounded by farmland. Yet, three years later I cried harder than I ever have leaving somewhere. It still hurts. The schools, families, the ease of being in a small community was something we had never experienced. Life was simple in Toledo, and I was able to slow down and cherish my kids’ activities and the friends I made. Every member of our family had found happiness easily. Our daily life made us happy. When it was time to move again, we decided to go big. We chose to fill an international billet and today; we are in Singapore. We moved to Singapore in July 2018 and my kids have just started their first school year here. My oldest will graduate High School from here. There is so much yet to see and explore of our new home. I am still waiting to find those friends that I can let my guard down with and speak my non-filtered mommy thoughts with.
The best advice I can give to any other families who are constantly moving is to be positive and embrace each new journey that comes your way. Set up a routine and stick to it. Structure is key! The second kid will fall into the routine and the rules. It will cut down on so many arguments because the expectation is clear. This advice also helps with moving, it gives your family a sense of comfort and familiarity in the new home. Yes, you have to be tough for a while, but then everyone knows what to expect, what to do and it leaves so much more time for fun and laughs. This includes your spouse knowing the routine and the expectations. Everyone has to pitch in; it is not all on you Mom!
There are a lot of moments when you question yourself as a Mom, but for me rocking my children when they were babies was one of the moments that I could let out a deep breath, let the day go and embrace the moment. Knowing I was doing everything right at that moment when they finally settled down and fell asleep. I enjoyed those moments when they settled down, and all they needed in the world was my arms around them. It felt like I had magic that could put them in this dream world with nothing but happy and safe thoughts. Being a mother gives me the best feelings, my heart beats out of my chest. The hardest part of motherhood is being tired and trying to take time for yourself. Taking care of yourself is harder than you think. Everyone says take care of yourself, but what does that mean?
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