S: Hello! My name is Sundi and my family and I live right outside of Atlanta, in Douglasville, GA. My husband and I have four children.
I became a stay at home mom shortly after the birth of my oldest child 6 years ago. I was an English teacher for almost four years. While staying home with my children, I received my Master’s in school library media, and fulfilled one of my goals of becoming a school librarian. I recently went back to work full-time as a school library media specialist. I absolutely love my job, and I feel blessed to have it. I would say that the ideal situation for me would be to work part time until my youngest begins school.
I am married.
Tell us about your children.
S: I have four children, two boys and two girls, which I always dreamed of having! R.J. is 6, India is 5, Alexa is 18 months old, and Braydon is 6 months old. My first two are a year a part, both born in September. The last two are a year a part, both born in March. No, I did not plan it that way, especially having them that close together, but I love it! My children are very outgoing, high spirited, intelligent, curious, and full of life! There is never a dull moment around them. They keep me laughing (when I’m not pulling my hair out)! My baby boy seems like he’s going to be the mellow one, which I’m keeping my fingers crossed for. I need at least one of my children to have my quiet, laid back personality!
Tell us about your births.
S: With my first child I read all about natural childbirth, and was totally prepared to birth naturally. I ended up with a C-section, and was very disappointed with that. I felt cheated out of truly experiencing birth. A part of me felt violated that I had been cut open to deliver my child, when I felt it was an unnecessary C-section, which I know doctors can be prone to perform. Since I had my daughter a year later, I went ahead with another C-section. I felt more positive about that C-section, because I knew it was coming, and was mentally prepared.
When I was pregnant with my third child, I knew that I wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). The doctor that I went to said that she would not support that decision, and how could I live with myself if I pushed for a VBAC and possibly have a brain damaged child because of my uterus possibly rupturing. Her scare tactics did not work on me. I did my research and I decided to change doctors and find one that would support my desire for a VBAC. I found Dr. Joseph Tate, who is a VBAC supporter, and he helped me deliver my third child naturally!! I was so happy and exhausted when I finally gave birth to her. In a way that birth was healing for me, and let me know that my body could deliver a baby the way it was meant to.
My fourth baby was born by VBAC a year later. This time I had an epidural!! I was thankful for my natural birth experience, but I did not want to go drug free EVER again! I loved that epidural. My son ended up being my biggest baby at 9 lbs, 4 oz.
Did you breastfeed? How did you manage it?
S: I have breastfed all of my children. I didn’t even stop breastfeeding while pregnant, because honestly, I felt so guilty for getting pregnant so fast that I couldn’t fathom making my children stop nursing. I tandem nursed with both sets of children. Basically I would feed the newborn, and after the baby finished, if the toddler wanted to nurse, then I would nurse the toddler. Sometimes both at the same time. Crazy, I know! But, again, I was not going to deny my toddler because I had a new baby. I have nursed my children until they were around 2 years old. So, I’m currently nursing my 6 month and 18 month old.
Since I’m working, I pump twice a day at work. I nurse my baby in the morning before I leave, as soon as I get home from work, in the evenings, and all weekend. Breastfeeding is more time consuming in the beginning when you have to nurse around the clock. Right now, I’m able to manage my household duties pretty well while nursing. I’m able to chat with the other children, help my son with homework, or just rest while I nurse.
How do you balance work and motherhood? How do you carve out time for yourself?
S: So far balancing work and motherhood is going well. I’ve been working almost 3 months, and it has been pretty smooth. That’s mainly because I have a great support team. My mother watches my children while I work. If I didn’t have her to care for them, I probably would have stayed at home for another two years. My evenings and weekends are basically devoted to my family, and I enjoy it a lot. I enjoy being able to get out of the house and do something that I enjoy. Again, though, I would prefer to work part time, and I’m looking into trying to work part time. I honestly feel that when you have young children, as much as possible, one parent should try to stay at home. But, I’m doing what I have to do right now, and hopefully soon, I can scale down to part time. I usually make time for myself in the evening after all the children are asleep. This doesn’t always happen, but I try.
What is your biggest parenting challenge right now?
S: My biggest challenge right now is juggling 4 children! Although I always wanted to have 4 children, I imagined that they would be spaced farther apart. I enjoy loving on my children and giving them the attention that they need, but it can be very hard to make sure to do that. I had it going well when I had three, but having four has somehow thrown me off my groove, and I’m working right now to make sure that all of my children feel included, loved, and paid attention to.
Who is your child-rearing support group, and how does your husband contribute to child-rearing?
S: My parents, husband, parenting books, and helpful information that I find on mommy related blogs. My husband is good about affirming the children. He makes sure to build them up with positive praise, and also shows and tells them how much they are loved and adored.
What is the most important value, ideal or philosophy that you want to impart to your children?
S: I want to impart to them to try to live a life that is pleasing to God. I hope that they end up being strong Christian men and women who work hard, have careers that they enjoy, have a generous heart, treat others with kindness, and choose their spouse wisely.
What advice would you give to a new mom?
S: Enjoy your children. They are blessings. Sometimes, when the nights are hard, or the days are hard, you can forget that these little people are huge blessings from God.
Sundi is a new writer for Baby and Blog! Look out for more content from her in the coming weeks ?