Today I have a pleasure to introduce to you our first Empowering Mom. Amanda Gross inspires as a mom of twins. She is so down to earth and honest with her answers! Get to know an amazing woman who is not ashamed to admit that postpartum depression hit her and she had to rediscover her new self after becoming a mom.
Hello Amanda.Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you became a mom?
Hello! My name is Amanda Gross. I am 29 years old and a former D1 Volleyball player. I have been married to my wonderful husband since June 3, 2016. I met Paul on a cruise for my sisters 30th birthday and the rest is history!
I became a mom on 9/7/18 to boy/girl twins.
Are you a stay at home mom or are you pursuing your career or passion? Tell us more about what you do?
I am a working momma. I like to joke that I’m a mom at work (because I manage a team) and I’m a mom at home so it never stops! Lol I work for the world's largest online retailer and manage a team of 13 employees who staff warehouse workers for 7 warehouses in the DFW area.
How would you compare your old self (prior to having kids) to the present self. Let us know what is the biggest thing that your kid/s changed about you?
Before kids, I was all about staying busy, going shopping, hanging out with friends and family, going to the movies, binge watching TV shows and I really enjoyed game nights with the friends! I’ve always suffered from anxiety but it’s been amplified since the kids were born. Work used to bring me a great deal of satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment but not so much now. It still feels great to work but I don’t feel I’m centered around “work Amanda” anymore. When the twins were born I remember thinking to myself “who am I now? What do I like? How will I even hold a conversation with other adults? Will my interests even align with theirs anymore? What if I suck at my job now?” All to find out it wasn’t like I was some alien from outer space. SHOCKING, I know. Kidding, obviously but sometimes it feels that way. Being a parent has also made me realize how much you can just want 5 seconds to breathe but when you finally get those 5 seconds, all you want to do is be back with them. It’s such an amazing bond. LAST MAJOR THING: I NEVER realized all my parents did for me. Sounds odd, but so true.
What is the 1 thing (or more) that you wish someone would have told you about parenthood before you had kids?
That post partum depression and anxiety are so real and if you’re feeling the slightest bit “off”, talk to someone.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of being a mother in today's world?
All the opinions and critics are super hard to overcome. Mom guilt takes over enough so it’s really rough to have someone breathing over your shoulder voicing very strong beliefs/opinions. I even have a difficult time brushing off those who mean well but are clearly overstepping with their advice (you guessed it, I’m talking about my mom LOL). People will judge you for everything you say and do so do what’s best for you and your children. At the end of the day you don’t need to justify your decisions to anyone (except maybe your partner).
What is the best memory that you have with your kid/s so far?
Oh gosh so hard to pick one... one of the coolest things to witness was them finally realizing that they had a sibling and watching them interact with each other is incredibly special. They do this reallllyyy cute thing in the mornings when we go to get them for breakfast, they scream out of excitement. It’s like having your own fan base.
List 3 things that were really useful and made your life easier during your babies 1st year. Recommend other pregnant moms what they should have on their registry.
- Boppy Pillows were a life saver!
- Any sound machine that made white noise sound
- The baby Frieda nose sucker (sounds gross but a LIFESAVER)
- Copper Pearl Swaddle Blankets (sold on Amazon)
DON'T waste your money on the Baby Brezza formula machine- it’s a waste of $180 and it doesn’t work! I breast fed twins for 11 months and pumping was a huge reason I was able to. I pumped every 2-3 hours for the first 4 months. I’m not kidding y’all, I woke up at night to pump for 4 months so my supply was overflowing.
Tell your best advice for the first time mom who is expecting but doesn't know what to expect:)
One of the most cliche BUT SO TRUE, enjoy every second because time flies by. I remember just sobbing, begging my 3 week old son to go to sleep in his bed without me holding him because I was so tired. Now, he doesn’t need mommy to hold him. It’s rare when I get to and boy do I miss it. Every thought and decision will give you mom guilt, try to not let it consume you. Do your best and when you feel like quitting, ask for help. Being a parent is a thankless job and it’s the hardest, I mean HARDEST thing you will ever do but looking into the eyes of that little person who loves you so much makes every ache, pain, sob, sleepless night, worth it. Also don’t be too proud to ask for help, I was and I wish I would’ve been more vocal. Screw the “sleep when the baby sleeps” it’s not realistic. TRY YOUR BEST to remember to love yourself and give yourself grace during this journey. No one knows what they’re doing, we’re all just trying to do the best we can. At the end of the day, are they fed? Are they sheltered? Are they dry? Are they loved? Then you’re doing great, now go to the spa and try to get so me time! ;)
Thank you so much, you are definitely deserve many SPA days! ;) Thank you for being so honest and inspiring for other moms. Its encouraging to hear that there is not really one good way of being a parent. Each of us needs to figure it out on our own. We wish you good luck with raising your little sweethearts! All the best for your family!
Please leave comments below telling us what inspired you the most in Amanda's story. Check Amanda's Instagram @amanda_gross1 to connect and support each other!
See Amanda's little sweethearts on the milestone blanket: