EVERYDAY: AN INTERVIEW WITH LAURA HUNTER AND JENNIFER WALKER OF MOMS ON CALL
If you have been following along for any amount of time you know that we just added a second little one to our clan about 5 months ago. You also know that I am an avid champion of Moms on Call which is, in my opinion, a must have guide for parents of any stage (new, second time, toddler, etc).
I could go on and on about how this little guide and the 2 extremely qualified & experienced nurses (Laura Hunter & Jennifer Walker) behind it helped get my kids on great sleeping and feeding schedules (Sam started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and Chloe at 6) which resulted in a more rested & healthy mama. Or about how the simple, relatable and easy to read guide kept me calm and confident during that very first year of motherhood when your head is spinning from ALL THE BABY THINGS. Or about how their toddler guide has encouraged us to stay the course and be consistent as our sweet 2-year-old angel baby turned three and seemingly overnight figured out how to push EVERY SINGLE ONE of my hot buttons (they don't call it a three-nager for nothing).
But I digress. What I really want to share with you all is their heart for moms who just have questions. Questions upon questions. Because once you become a mom is there ever a day where you don't have a question about something? I had the privilege of sitting down with Laura Hunter and Jennifer to chat and am thrilled to share just a little bit of their wisdom from our conversation with all of you!
What is the number one question you get from new moms or moms in general?
“Am I doing this right?” Every mom needs a bit of reassurance that they can really do this. Whether it is the way to put on a diaper so the poop stays on the inside or recognizing that good parents have babies that cry sometimes. Every parent needs a voice of hope, clear direction and someone to believe that they can do this. THAT is what we love doing at Moms on Call. If you could only pick one piece of advice to give a new mom, what would it be?
That babies are strong, adaptable and resilient and so are you. Choose a few people that have an investment in your family, be it another mom with several kids or a great pediatrician and lean into them as you develop your core parenting beliefs. The internet is filled with time-consuming differing opinions and it is easy to get so lost in it all that you forget the whole reason that drove you to look up 20 websites….the baby/babies that you have right in front of you. Even without the input of the entire World Wide Web, you’ve got this.
What are some of the benefits of a schedule for baby?
Babies have a natural rhythm. After helping tens of thousands of babies over 27 years of pediatric nursing and 15 years of personal baby and toddler consulting, we have had a unique opportunity to really determine how babies respond to a routine. It helps to naturally regulate their gastrointestinal system, helps them to get the rest they need and helps to provide a reliable foundation upon which they can begin to respond to the world around them.
Let's talk toddlers: can you give a few ways to stay consistent in parenting when toddler world seems to be ever changing?
We love this question because we do encourage parents to be ‘Consistent, trustworthy teachers” but that word ‘consistent’ does not mean that we have to force an inconsistant and often chaotic world into something that it is not. It merely means that you consistently tell the truth and consistently stay in charge so that your toddler can feel secure enough in this chaotic world to be curious and creative and sometimes even wildly upset. Because the truth is that we cannot make the world adapt to our children’s preferences - but we CAN help our children to become adaptable to the ever changing world by simply identifying the truth and acting on it. In any stressful situation, ask yourself “what is the reality of life in this situation?"
Say that a new baby just arrived home and you are feeling worlds collide as you recognize there is only so much of you to go around. What is the truth in this situation? Babies take more time and that is OK. This is really the best thing that ever happened to your toddler and it is the most beautiful thing to watch a family come together and serve the youngest and weakest member. So, tell your toddler the truth in a simple and consistent manner. “Babies take more time and that is Ok, you are going to be great at this. I look forward to playing with you later”. Match that with a confident face and a “matter-of-fact” tone and you are well on your way to being a consistent measure of truth in an ever changing world. (And P.S., they do not always have to like the truth - I know I don’t. It is OK if your child does not like the truth of how life really works - when they see us adjusting to it with confidence, they begin to believe that they can do the same; then the world is not something that I have to like all the time, but it is something that I can adjust to - again because your toddler is strong, resilient and adaptable (and although they may not like change, they do love that little brother or sister -give them time and truth will prevail).
Lastly, can you share a funny "mom moment" you've had and how moms on call has helped YOU?
Having the privilege of partnering with parents for so many years has given us ample opportunity to remind ourselves of the truths that we love to teach. It often surprises people to consider that we did NOT handle every situation with confident ease - nor do we expect anyone else to do so. We are just looking to feel more effective, less stressed and have more time to really enjoy our kids. A great memory of this is when I took Grayson to my mom’s rather small church in North Carolina. As the Pastor was saying a verse out loud, Grayson joined right in (thanks VBS!) but his ending was a bit different than the actual verse. It went something like this “He who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be …"and Grayson’s loud ending, complete with head shake “EXHAUSTED!" Oh, the truth cracked us all up in that moment and reminded us all to proceed with good humor. These kids are gonna be OK.
I hope that this little interview has been helpful for you! You can purchase all three Moms on Call books here. Let me know if you can relate over on my instagram @theeverydayexchange!