Jen Schefft Waterman is a former contestant of “The Bachelor”, star of Season 3’s “The Bachelorette”, and author of Better Single Than Sorry. Today she has two children, 2-year-old Mae Elizabeth and 4-month-old Charlotte Grace, with husband Joe Waterman. She was nice enough to give Tackling Mommyhood a glimpse into her life as a mother.
You recently gave birth to baby Charlotte Grace in July. How is Mae Elizabeth adjusting to her new baby sister?
Mae has really warmed up to Charlotte, but it definitely took her a while. The first day we brought the baby home, Mae was more hysterical than I’ve ever seen her. It broke my heart as I didn’t want Mae to think we had somehow replaced her. The first few weeks, Mae just glared at me whenever I held the baby. She also tried to hit the baby whenever she had the chance! Thankfully, Mae is finally used to Charlotte and very sweet with her now.
What has been the most challenging part of motherhood for you so far?
There have been so many challenging things – I didn’t realized how much physical work it would be. Running after kids and protecting them from hurting themselves is tiring! The thing that surprised me most, though, is how much I worry about these two little munchkins. I wish I could keep them in a bubble for the rest of their lives to protect them from the big bad world, but of course I know I can’t!
Can you share a funny mommy story with our readers?
After I had Charlotte, trying to figure out how to juggle two kids was a challenge (especially on very little sleep!). In the first month or so, I was a disaster. I’d have play dates set up at the park and be waiting at the wrong park for an hour. I threw away my car key in a public trash can instead of throwing out my coffee cup. The worst thing I did was put Mae in her car seat and not strap her in. I just completely forgot! I noticed quickly, thankfully, when I saw her trying to climb out!
What advice would you give soon-to-be mothers or new mothers?
I read everything there was to read out there for new mothers, and it actually made me crazy. There is so much conflicting information (from parenting methods and sleep training to what type of stroller you need, etc.) that I was completely overwhelmed. Every new parent needs to trust their own instincts and do the very best they can. There is no need to try and be perfect because you’ll just set yourself for failure. Just know you’ll make mistakes along the way and that it’s okay. I’d also tell them to get as much sleep as they can now!