CELEBRATING THE BEAUTIFUL MESS THAT IS MOTHERHOOD ON THE SUNNY SIDE
By Farrah Alexander
I’VE WANTED TO BE A WRITER since I was an 8-year-old girl jotting out notes in a tree pretending to be Harriet the Spy. I typed copies of my first publication, “Johnson’s Journal” (a la my maiden name) on an old, heavy typewriter that required quite a bit of oomph for a third grader to lug around. I sold the typewritten copies to sweet neighbors and family members willing to humor a curious child and read her stories about the latest jelly shoe fashions and The Baby-Sitters Club book reviews.
Also, as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom.
There’s nothing more I’ve ever wanted than to have a child of my own to unconditionally love, nurture and raise. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have two children calling me mom.
Daniel is my 3-year-old son who loves to cuddle and have very long and detailed conversations about marine animals and dinosaurs. His wild curiosity, memory, imagination and analytical skills amaze me. He’s also completely unaware of how unintentionally hilarious he can be. My husband and I love trading stories and quotes from Daniel at the end of every day.
Penelope is my baby girl turning 1-year-old very soon. She loves to giggle and closely watch her big brother’s shenanigans. I’ve spent nearly the past year staring into her big, beautiful eyes and kissing her sweet, chubby cheeks. If her fierce independence and wild nature are any indication of her future, she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
I know every parent believes their child is amazing, but they really are, aren’t they?
I couldn’t possibly ask for a better partner to raise these little goobers with than my husband, Patrick. We met 10 (I can’t believe it’s been 10!) years ago. We decided we’d like to love and drive each other crazy for the rest of our lives when we married in 2010. Although our weekends are now filled with kids’ birthday parties, zoo trips and early bedtimes, we love the family we’ve made together and can’t believe how much fun we have.
I left my 9 to 5 job after Daniel was born and have been a stay-at-home parent since then. Although I’ve never worked harder in my life, spending the days with my babies is incredibly rewarding and it works for our family. I generally don’t believe there is an overall best practice in terms of parenting. There are just different things that work for different families.
I can’t check any one box in terms of my own parenting style. I cloth diaper, but I also use disposable diapers. I breastfeed, but sometimes my kid eats hot dogs. I’ve co-slept, but I’ll do practically anything to get some sleep. I’ve been essentially winging it since I became a mom, and it’s working out pretty well so far.
I’m the type of person you never have to apologize to about your messy house. You don’t have to change out of your yoga pants or explain the bags under your eyes. You don’t have to explain you normally serve free-range, organic chicken, but today your kid will be enjoying his McDonald’s chicken nuggets shaped like boots. I get it, am here for you and would like to pour you another big cup of coffee.
Although jelly shoes have made an unexpected comeback, a couple of decades have passed since I was an aspiring juvenile journalist and my passion for writing has persevered. During the days I spend with my kids when I’m lucky enough to catch them sleeping simultaneously, I love to ignore the heaping mountain of laundry and write. I run my blog, fortheloveofwineandcoffee.com, where I write about a variety of parenting topics, share DIY projects, recipes and newsworthy stories. I also contribute to the Huffington Post and am often found in the parenting section, but also dabble in politics, entertainment and news.
The instant gratification of publishing online is great, but there’s just nothing like actually holding a publication in your hand and turning each beautiful, glossy page. Southern Indiana has always been my home, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic place to raise my kids as well. I’m so pleased to be a part of Extol and can’t wait to celebrate Southern Indiana and parenting with you.
Column: Hoosier Mama by Farrah Alexander for Extol Magazine