Affects of Motherhood: Interview with Amanda

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How old are you?
-Twenty-three.

Are you married?
-Yes.

Are you a homeowner?
-Yes.

How many children do you have?
-Two.

How old were you when you had your first child?
-Twenty years old.

Was it planned?
-Yes.

Do you regret having a child at a young age?
-No.

What are their genders?
-Both female.

What are their ages?
-Natalie is 3 and Olivia is 11 months.

Okay, let's look at the comparisons between your single life and your life now.

What is the most stressful situation you came across daily when you were single with no children?
-Just worrying about myself. I was mostly concerned with staying healthy and exercising, deciding whether or not to go to college, and I decided to. However, when I got pregnant, I wanted to leave college, and I did. I never really liked school much, I'm more of a family person.

How often did you exercise and what were your eating habits like back then?
-I exercised 7 days a week and I didn't eat a lot. I was very worried about wanting to be skinny. I lost a lot of weight and I did it the wrong way. Not eating a lot made me really crabby.

When you got married, what became the most stressful factor?
-Finances-credit card debt, rent/handling all our finances as a couple.

And now that you have a husband, a home and two children, what is the most stressful situation you find yourself in daily?
-I have to care for my children, clean the house, appease my husband (thank God he's laid back and not uptight about everything), and do all of this even when I'm tired without being able to take a nap or rest when I want or need to, and I work part time.

How many hours do you work a week?
-20 hours at my part time job, but really, 24/7.

Do you exercise currently? If so, how often? And how are your eating habits now that you have so much to be concerned with?
-I exercise three times weekly for about twenty minutes give or take a few. I eat more often in a day, because if I didn't, I wouldn't have a lot of energy to do everything.

Are you satisfied with this? Do you feel healthier now, as opposed to when you were single without children?
-Yes, I'm emotionally more stable, more responsible, organized and motivated.

Did having children make you and your husband grow stronger, or further apart?
-Definitely stronger because it requires teamwork.

Do you feel you could do this without your husband?
-I could but I wouldn't want to.

Do you feel that you are in better control of finances now, as opposed to when you were first married? If so, why?
-Yes. We figured out a system that works;I handle the finances and it works out well.

What does he take care of that helps you in being a mother?
-Anything I need him to: He works full time, he'll even work over time, helps take care of the kids when I'm at work and keeps up with maintenance around the house. Anything I need help with, he'll help me.

Do you feel he puts in an equal amount of work in comparison to you?
-Yes.

Does observing single moms in your community make you value your family life anymore than you already do?
-Completely. I don't know how they do it.

It seems like the more you have on your plate, the more you have everything under control.
-Yeah, because you realize you have to.

With everything so available to observe and learn about in school and media, what is your biggest fear for your daughters?
-The violence and drugs starting at younger ages, the way young girls dress nowadays, and how kids grow up too fast. I don't want that to happen with my daughters.

Do you feel a sports bar is an appropriate place for your children to dine with you and your husband?
-Absolutely not.

Why?
-They are exposed to drinking and adult conversations.

Where is the most appropriate place for your children to dine?
-Their own kitchen table.

(Laughing in agreement from previous question's answer) Do you have a computer and a television?
-Yes, both.

Does Natalie know how to use them?
-Not yet. She has a Leap Pad.

When she is able to use both devices, will you have parental controls on?
-Of course. I'll have my eyes on.

Would you and/or your husband want more children? If so, what gender?
-My husband would. I'm content. We both would want a boy.

What is the most rewarding thing about motherhood?
-Watching your children, the way they grow up. When they do good things, you know it's because of how you raised them.

Any closing statements?
-Motherhood is a blessing. It really is. I am complete with Natalie and Olivia.

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