Mothergood Feature: Tracy George
1. I am a wife, mama, entrepreneur, a creative, and a business owner! I call myself a creative because I do many things! I am a photographer, a crafter, a blogger, a homemaker, the list goes on! I don’t like to put one name to all of the things that I love to do because who like limits?! I have been married to my husband for just shy of 4 years now. We got married when I was 19 and he was 20! Since then, we have had 3 beautiful girls, Marlie, Hazel and Emma! The girls are currently 3 and under. I know, we are crazy! And, yes! We DO have our hands full! I am a stay at home mama and I love that we are able to make that work for out family. I have my 2 side businesses that give us some extra money here and there but I’m mainly mama! I have come a long way from where I was when I was younger and I thank God so much for the doors that He has opened for me and paths that He has led me to. I was adopted when I was just a young child and went through years of child abuse. In high-school, I finally mustered up the courage to talk to someone. After that, I was in foster care for a good amount of time. I moved 6 times in less than a month and self taught myself that building relationships with people was useless because they were just going to be gone one day. Abuse and foster care changes a person and changes them for good. I was lost for so long. It wasn’t until I had turned 18 and was out on my own, homeless, that I decided that I couldn’t live the way that I was living anymore, and that my past, my abuse, and my story didn’t have to be the end of who I wanted to be or was made to be. I went to church with a friend, and saw the worship leader singing his heart out, and fell in love. I obsessed over him for awhile, like any girl my age would have respectfully done, of course! That worship leader is now my husband! Between 18 year old, homeless me, and today, wife-mom-business owner me, I have learned so much about myself and the things in life that I love and the things that I was made to do. I have gained wisdom and now have such a heart for anyone who is struggling in abusive situations or teens that are struggling through the foster care system. So, to shortly answer the question- Who am I and what is my background, I am Tracy George and I came from nothing but sadness and feeling so very worthless, to being a wife and mother, and following my dreams of creating and starting my own, thriving businesses. I don’t let my dark, sad past determine who I am today and I don’t let it haunt my relationships or my family. When you are in the dark place and you see that light, there’s no reason to look behind you, just keep looking forward at the great things that are to come. There’s no honest reason to stop and turn around to see that place when you were meant for so much lighter and brighter things.
2. To me, the most fulfilling thing about motherhood is the laughter and the smiles of my babies. I could sit back and cry for a couple minutes just watching their little personalities form and their lives moving forward. The most special thing is when my oldest daughter tells me “You’re special, mama”. That’s a hit right to the heart, am I right? When I am feeling like a less than perfect mom and a terrible housewife, it’s almost like they can see straight into your soul and can tell that you need encouragement. I think that their innocents and their tender loving hearts are the most fulfilling. Kids have so much love in their hearts and they see no color and see no evil. That in itself is just so fulfilling. The most challenging thing in my motherhood walk is the constant perception of what a “Perfect Mom” should be and what a “Perfect Mom” should do. The idea/Worldly view is that the kids should be dressed to impress daily, hair done, shoes polished, face spotless. Also add, the house should be spic and span, laundry should be folded and put away, even the window seals should be cleaned with a toothbrush! Don’t forget that a huge homemade dinner should be made too! On top of all of that, YOUR hair should be done and make up looking perfect! The struggle of trying to meet the expectations of what the perfect mom should be and what a super great mom actually is.... man is that rough! It is such a challenging part of motherhood and I think that so many of us face that issue. But, here’s the thing ladies, WE DON’T NEED TO FEEL THAT WAY. I can preach that all day long, and I recently just started actually living it. It’s okay that the kids have a Pj day! It’s okay that the laundry is in a pile on the couch for a couple (or few) days! We don’t have to live up to the TV mom standards! Once we stop comparing ourselves to all of the other mamas around us, we will start to live life so much more free. It’s okay if your IG isn’t perfect! It’s okay if you don’t have a million followers, you’re Pinterest is unorganized? IT’S OKAY. Little Suzie’s mom volunteers at preschool? COOL! You don’t have to do that to be a great mama! The way that Stacy parents her kids might be great and work super great for her family, but the way that you parent, may also be super great for your family. We all “Mom” differently! It’s us who sets the tone for our families and us who knows our own limits and where we excel and where we need work. Not our neighbors or the other moms on the PTA, or whoever it is that you are comparing yourself to. Why are we comparing ourselves to people that aren’t ourselves and aren’t in our situations or even under our own roofs. Dump the comparisons, mom your way!
3. For a long time, I was only “Marlie’s Mom” or “The Girls’ Mom”. People wouldn’t start with “hey girl, how are you, what have you been up to?” It was always “How are the kids?” That was extremely tough for me because I wanted to be me. I was given a name for a reason and people should use it, right? I adore being a mother and raising my kids, but they aren’t all that there is to me. That’s what I struggled with. So, that was how my businesses and my blog were started. I had this idea in my head that I needed to be “More than Mama”. I needed something that people wanted to ask me about instead of only asking about the kids. Something that my husband could ask me about at the end of the day instead of the same kids routine everyday. My kids fuel me to be the best person that I can be, and I can’t be that if I am not doing something that excites me. I can’t teach them to reach for the stars and go for their dreams if I am not giving them that example! My businesses revolve around my kids and their needs and out lives. My blog is about our lives and our day to day. The ups and the downs, and the teaching moments of motherhood. My first business was started by wanting to design clothes for them and it turned into a full blown side hustle! Like I said, my girls need an example of what making your dreams come true looks like, so if I can’t show them that, where else are they going to learn it from? That is how motherhood is incorporated into my identity, is my identity, and how within that, I am still able to have my own identity.
4. My advice for mothers and anyone who wants to be a mom is firstly, it’s okay to need a break. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, and it’s okay to ask for help. The worldly view of a perfect mom is someone who can do it all on her own but it’s okay to dump that and just ask for help! If you need an hour or two to refresh yourself so that you can relax and be the best mom that you can be, for goodness sake, just do it. You can’t be the best mom for your kids if you aren’t the best you, for you! Do not feel one ounce of guilt for needed some you time. Being a full time mom can be so challenging and can start feeling so trapping if you don’t get any time for yourself. Really, even if it’s just an hour to go to the grocery store alone, YOU NEED IT, MAMA! The worldly view is that mothers need to always put their kids first, their husbands second, chores and everything else next, then the dog, oh yeah don’t forget the cat, and then, finally, themselves. Ladies, do not feel one single ounce of guilt for putting yourself first for a change! Get a sitter and get some you time! Go shopping, get your nails done, go for a walk, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel refreshed so that you can return to your children, husband, and home calm, relaxed, and ready to be the best that you can be. Next, it’s okay not to love every minute of motherhood. You know the times when the baby is teething and screaming while all you’re trying to do is get a second of sleep? Yeah, you don’t have to love that moment. When the baby dumped out all of the baby powder onto the carpet floor? Don’t have to love that either! Love your children, but don’t feel bad if you don’t love the situation. Think of someone who LOVES their job. Their full-time job. They LOVE their job but they might have a bad day here and there. Motherhood is a full-time job and you don’t have to love all of the minutes in the day. Lastly, even the “best” parents don’t know what the heck they are doing sometimes. Motherhood is a journey and we are all just winging it! No one knows all of the answers and no one can do it perfectly. Don’t be hard on yourself for not knowing all of the answers your first time around, or even your fifth. Motherhood is a learning experience. A hands-on learning experience that no one has all of the answers to.