Do you ever get people crushes? Like there’s nothing at all sexual about it, but you are just really into a person because they rock so hard?
Well, I’m people crushing hard on Samantha from Mother Haggard, and she volunteered to be featured on my blog which is really great news for EVERYONE.
Samantha is a mom of a little toddler lady, blogger, freelance writer, Sweet Valley High enthusiast, and one of the funniest people I know. She’s also from Canada which makes her automatically nice. I know stereotypes are wrong and all, but this one is accurate and I’m going to stand behind it.
So settle in to meet Samantha and get ready to laugh!
Becca: What inspired you to start blogging at Mother Haggard?
Samantha: Well, after becoming a mother, and especially a stay-at-home mom, I found myself just completely lost in motherhood. Any free time I had was spent researching sleep schedules or baby purée recipes or washing tiny spoons and basically feeling completely overwhelmed with anxiety. I had a real yearning to reclaim a part of my old identity and to get back to hobbies that didn’t include singing Raffi songs at full bore at all hours of the day.
Around 9 months postpartum, after reading Sandra Boynton’s board book Barnyard Dance! 17 times in a row to my daughter, I sat down and wrote a weird, absurd piece called “How I Lost the Pregnancy Weight Doing the Barnyard Dance!” And although it was a pretty accurate reflection of where my head was at in the moment (pure insanity), it felt so good to be writing again. Shortly after that, Mother Haggard was born (slightly less painful than my actual birthing experience).
So you’re Canadian eh?
Becca: Do you know Robin Sparkles? Do you enjoy maple syrup? Thoughts on broad obnoxious stereotypes?
Samantha: I am actually an American living in Canada, so I have the best of both worlds! I grew up in the States and moved to Canada during university. It’s great, mostly because I can say both “y’all” and “eh?” in the same sentence with total authority. I do this often.
Robin Sparkles has so far eluded me, which is a real rip-off, but it’s probably because I spend most of my time in the grocery store instead of the mall.
Maple syrup, flannel, universal health care, poutine, 18 months of maternity leave, apologizing unnecessarily to strangers/inanimate objects: these are all things that I love. Do I miss the beach, wearing flip-flops year round, and Publix grocery stores? YES! But truly, I have met so many wonderful people here in Canada, and I feel blessed that my daughter will be able to experience aspects of both the USA and Canada in her life.
The Satire Queen
What has been your favorite piece you’ve ever written and why?
Samantha: Thank you! Satire is so fun and satisfying to write, as you know. One of my favorite recent pieces is “5 Unique Party Themes for Your Baby’s First Birthday,” complete with party themes such as, “Recreation of Your First Week Home from the Hospital,” “The Office” and “Ancient Rome.” I wrote it after falling into a Pinterest wormhole of insanely elaborate birthday party ideas for babies, which left me feeling both amused and depressed. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and recognize the ridiculousness of most situations.
I also once wrote a Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic fanfiction full-length satire novel called Hobbit Heartache, which I believe may be my greatest accomplishment to date. It has sold upwards of ten copies.
Let’s Talk Mom Fashion
Becca: What are the latest trends you are seeing in Mom fashion?
Samantha: Great question! You know how important fashion is to me.
Lately, I’ve noticed a real movement towards going green—considering things like sustainability and conservation in our day-to-day wardrobes. This can usually be done by wearing the same pair of leggings 20 times in a row before washing them. Or wearing basically the same outfit every single day. Also, wearing ill-fitting jeans with inner thigh holes is going to be hitting the runways this spring, so get those pre-pregnancy jeans out and ready!
Another trend that I enjoy but haven’t seen catch on quite yet is blanket-wearing: literally just draping yourself in a blanket and going about your day. It’s fun, it’s warm, and usually frightens strangers from talking to you. Win win win.
The Funny on the Interwebs
Becca: Any good recommendations for us to keep the laughs coming?
Favorite babysitter from the Babysitters Club: Stacey
Favorite Sweet Valley High book:The Evil Twin mini-series, books #95-100. Yes, I know that’s SIX books, but just trust me on this, they form the most important mini-series in the history of literature. Read them NOW! (And then message me so we can talk about it because my mom is really tired of me grilling her about Sweet Valley High conspiracy theories.)
Favorite NSYNC band member: JC all the way, baby
Favorite salad dressing. Just kidding… no one likes salad.
Favorite flavor ice cream: Umm, I like ice cream flavours that have 12 different dessert items crammed into them, so anything called something like, “Brownie Blast Cookie Dough Cheesecake Crumble.” Basically the kinds that horrify my husband.
Advice for Moms
Becca: Any advice for moms looking for a hobby or side hustle business? Like blogging or freelance writing for example. Or crochet. Perhaps ax throwing.
Samantha: Aw man, I totally should have picked ax throwing as my hobby instead of blogging! Way more therapeutic. Well, I think it’s so important to have a hobby or project or something that you enjoy doing that’s just for you. Think of it as a kind of self-care. It will likely mean lots of early mornings or late evenings since moms typically don’t have an abundance of free time, but if you find it rewarding, challenging, and enjoyable, it’s so worth it.
Another thing worth mentioning is that if you find that your hobby has become stressful, it’s okay to take a step back. Not everything needs to be turned into a side hustle and not everyone needs to be a “Mompreneur” or a “Boss Babe.” (And yes, I am shuddering HARD at both of those terms.) Your hobby does not have to be commercially successful in order for it to be a worthwhile use of your time.
Any parting words of parenting advice to lay on us?
Becca: My go-to on this is “none of us know what we are doing” so the bar is LOW.
Samantha: I love that advice, and need to remind myself of that daily!
I suppose if I could go back in time to that exhausting, stressful first year of motherhood, I would tell myself to remember that everything is just a phase. I wasted so much time stressing over sleeping habits, developmental milestones, introducing solids, etc. For every night of bad sleep, or every week that my daughter decided that she suddenly hated napping, I would think, “Well, this is just my life now.” And it sure feels like it, but it’s not. Things change. It will get better, and easier (…and harder, too, but let’s not dwell on that right now). It’s all just a phase.
(You may find it helpful to whisper this out loud to yourself for several minutes, perhaps while hiding in a closet eating Brownie Blast Cookie Dough Cheesecake Crumble ice cream. Just a suggestion.)
That’s a perfect way to end. That ice cream sounds like heaven and you know we all want in on that mom group.
Read more from some awesome moms exploring hobbies, writing books, and building businesses: