This week, I'd like to welcome Lizette– a mother to Josiah & Jericho, wife to Morgan and a talented natural light photographer! I can't quite remember when I stumbled upon Lizettes' feed, but I do remember the moment I realized how incredibly sweet she was. I was having a tough mommy day and had posted something on instagram. Lizette had taken it upon herself to direct message me, a stranger really, some of the most inspirational and uplifting words I had ever read. If there is one thing I have learned in my adult life, it is this...genuine, kind hearted people are hard to come by. When you are lucky enough to meet them (yes, even through social media), consider yourself blessed. I hope that her interview will inspire and resonate with you as it has for me!
Tell us about yourself: Where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.
My name is Lizette, I live in Southern California, I'm 31 years old and will be married for 6 years this April. I have two boys, Josiah (2 years) and Jericho (10 months). I am a free-lance Natural Light Family Photographer. (Lizette Trent Photography)
Describe a day in the life of you.
Our day begins at 7 a.m. My husband is usually the one who gets up first to make breakfast for me and the boys (I know, lucky girl!). During this time I get the boys dressed. Since he's a great cook our breakfast can vary from pancakes to gluten free oatmeal to various healthy smoothies. While we eat I nurse my youngest baby and we try and leave the house by 8:45 to make our 9:30 a.m. Hot Yoga class. My husband retired from the NFL almost 3 years ago and is currently working in Trauma. His job is very demanding and he is always on call. Mornings are the only time we usually have together. After our hot yoga class he heads to work and I head home with the boys. I lay them down for their afternoon nap and this is when I get the house in order, prepare lunch, and figure out dinner. If I don't have what I need in our fridge I wait for them to wake up to go shopping. If I'm good to go we usually spend a few hours playing and learning. I lay them down again for their afternoon nap at 3 p.m. at this time is when I start dinner. My husband is usually home around 6 p.m. We try and head to bed by 9:30 at the latest.
Do you have help? A nanny or housekeeper? Family?
I don't have a nanny, but my mom is an hour away and comes over when the kids are sick or when my husband is gone. This is probably the only time I get extra help. There is no one other than my mom who knows exactly what the kids need and does it even before I ask her. Other than her help every now and then I'm a full time mom. I have always enjoyed a clean home. This was the hardest transition for me in becoming a mom. Learning to have peace even in the mess. I've learned to choose between having a clean house or keeping the kids entertained and happy. Sometimes we have great days and I get both and other times I've had to let go of the idea of the perfect house.
How do you manage to have “me” time?
"Me" time is such a rare word for a mom. Does taking extra long showers count? I feel that this is one of those things I really enjoy more than ever. When my husband is home and I can go to our bedroom and just unwind for the night. I can take my time taking care of me while he watches the kids. I also have late night Target runs and errands. My husband knows I won’t be back in an hour. I try not doing it all the time, but it feels good to be alone and do shopping without any distractions. Who thought going to Target with a Starbucks in your hand and cell phone in another was so much fun.
How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? Do you workout? Diet?
Breastfeeding has always been a great way for me to get back into shape. It has helped me get rid of the initial weight put on during pregnancy. After having my second child I wanted to work out, but wasn't sure how to do it with two boys. For a while I just focused on eating right and going on afternoon walks. I eventually found a local Stroller Strides class. It was a great work out that incorporated my kids. However, my husband suggested I start doing Hot Yoga with him. We have been doing it for some time now and I love that we get to spend an hour working out together.
Do you get ready every day? Makeup, hair and curated outfits? If so, how do you do it with children?
Since I'm a SAHM I don't really have to worry about how I look. However, when we have plans on going somewhere like church or visiting family I always plan the boys outfits ahead of time. This is what usually takes the longest. It doesn't take me very long to get ready. As long as my hair is done and I have some mascara I'm good to go. When it comes to fashion I love dressing up, but not everyday. Everyday to me is wearing something comfortable yet cute. In any given minute I can be running to the store or climbing up a slide. I'm a girly girl, but always look for outfits that are comfortable. If I must do something to myself its my hair. I can skip the make up because I like my skin to feel free without the burden of relying on something to make me feel beautiful. I feel like motherhood brought a new confidence in me. Although make up is fun and it makes me look better I feel beautiful without it. I don't know if I could have said that before kids. I guess I saw beauty in a different way before them.
Has your style changed after motherhood?
Definitely! I like to wear things that are cute, but always with breastfeeding in mind. I have a lot of button up shirts. It's always comfy cute and often black. My favorite clothing brand right now is Lulu Lemon. I love the variety of work out clothes they have that can be dressed up or down depending on what shoes I choose to wear.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I watch a mini series (Telenovela) in Spanish that deals with everyday life issues. I record them and watch them while I clean. My husband makes fun of me, but I really think it helps me with my Spanish. Even though I was born in Mexico and speak Spanish fluently I feel like you can easily forget the correct way to pronunciate things. Since my kids are multi racial (Mexican, Black, White and Japanese) I think its important for them to speak Spanish. I try hard to speak to them only in Spanish when I'm at home with them.
If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?
I breastfeed on-demand and on the go. After my first I learned to see breastfeeding in a different way. I think it’s beautiful and natural. I have no problem breastfeeding whenever my son wants to, but he's a baby that gets easily distracted so I try and find places that are more private and where he can bf in peace.
How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?
We put the boys down at 8 p.m. while my husband and I will watch a few shows and head to bed at 9:30. I roughly get 10 hours. I know that sounds like a lot, but it never seems like enough. We got lucky with our second child he was sleeping through the night at around 3 months.
What is a priority for you, and what gets sacrificed? For example, everyone looks great but the house is a disaster, or the house is clean but work deadlines get pushed back.
My husband and kids are always a priority. This means that at times I've had to reject job opportunities for them. It's been challenging, but I know this season of their lives is going by so quickly that I take everyday with them as a blessing. I know there will be other opportunities for me and I don't regret that one bit. As I mentioned before sometimes the house isn't completely perfect, but my mom always reminds me that it's okay. It doesn't always have to have a clean house as long as my kids and husband are happy. I think as mothers we are our own worst critics. I'm learning to be easier on myself.
Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?
I cook dinner four times a week and on Saturday. I get Friday and Sunday off. I try and make a little extra food for dinner to save the leftovers and eat for lunch the following day.
Have you ever felt like you are loosing yourself to motherhood and or life? If so, how did you bounce back?
Yes! I remember before I got married feeling so secure in my television career. I had always dreamed of working for Spanish News Network Univision. When it finally happened I felt accomplished and independent. A few years into it I married my husband we moved to Cincinnati where he began his career in the NFL. Since he was gone most days for practice and games I felt alone and desperate to work. It was hard to get a television job there so I became a full time wife. My pride made me feel that I had done so much to achieve a dream and yet was doing nothing with it. Somehow I started to look down on what it meant to be a stay at home wife (my perspective has changed since then). Finally, I remember praying and asking God for direction. I started to pick up photography and realized that this was a passion of mine that I could pursue. It gave me independence and I began to use my creativity once again. As a mother I continue to hone my craft and grow in my purpose. I want to have something outside of my husband and kids that make me feel good about myself. This has been both my purpose and peace of mind.
Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?
My husband is a great cook and I have learned a lot of my culinary skills from him. He has been very patient with me in the process and has been a big support in that area. I do most of the cooking now, but I love when he sees that I have a lot of catching up to do whether its household chores or editing photographs from shoots. He always rises to the occasion and helps ease the stress by making dinner for the boys and I.
How do you manage motherhood and marriage?
It's been a learning process. I know my husband needs me just as much as the kids do, but in a different way. Before Josiah and Jericho it was just us. He was my only baby and of course now it’s been an adjustment to put two little kids before him. He has been a great trooper, but at times I feel like I've had to check myself and ask if my husbands’ needs were met that day or if there is something I could have done differently. I know that one day my boys will leave my nest so it’s important that I don't neglect my husband.
Do you work? Do you work in an office or at home? What does your work consist of and how do you get it done during the week?
I am a Natural Light Photographer and take pictures of mostly kids and families. I love that I'm able to book shoots around my kids. I edit typically late at night when they are asleep so that I'm not taking time away from them during the day.
Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?
Definitely! I love that most of my friends are mothers. I love that we can relate and learn together. It feels nice to know that I'm not alone and those tantrums, picky eating and an array of other things are completely normal and we can work through it. I'm very friendly so it's not hard for me to say hello to other moms at the park and make new friends.
What’s the least favorite household chore you dread doing?
L A U N D R Y! Goodness gracious that has been my biggest struggle. It's not the loading and unloading that I loath, but more the folding and putting away that gets me so annoyed. Although I dread doing laundry I've learned that the sooner I wash the less clothes I have piling up. I'm also big on hanging clothes vs. folding. This saves me from having to iron and makes it easier for everyone.
Describe a recent experience when you didn't have it “all together” and how you handled it all.
A few months ago my husband was out of town for work. My youngest baby Jericho was sick on a Saturday night. I tried everything I could to make him feel better, but nothing was working. He's a really big boy (born 10lbs 6 oz and currently weighs 27 lbs at 10 months). My small frame began to take its toll by the second night. I was sleepy, tired and drained, but somehow had to muster the strength to hold him all day long all while looking after my 2 year old as well. I just remember telling myself this too shall pass and by the end of the day when I finally laid them both down realizing I was able to do something I never thought was possible.
Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to __________________
Shop for yourself. Am I the only one who feels that their kids need something more than you do?
What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home?
Faith in God gives me balance. Asking God to show me what areas in my life are lacking and where I can improve. I always knew kids change everything, but I didn't know to what extent. I am learning to be more balanced when it comes to the relationship I have with my husband vs. the relationship I have with my babies. At times it’s so easy to overlook your husband because he can take care of himself and the kids need me. However, I'm learning more that its okay to leave the kids for a few hours and just spend time alone with him. When we go out and its just us two I realize for myself just how much I miss him. So yes, sometimes I'm so tired, but I know that just cuddling on the couch watching a few shows makes him happy and we do it.
What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?
I hope that in a few years when my boys are both in school to become a full time photographer. Right now my priority is my husband and boys, but photography keeps me sane. I do look forward to the day when I can really began to go after my passion in a bigger scale and show my kids that their mom is doing something that makes her happy.
What is one thing that keeps you sane?
God. I think God keeps me at peace. Gives me understanding and wisdom in how to tackle everyday issues and things. I gain perspective and pick my battles. I have a greater appreciation for the small things and let the things that bother me go. I know being a mother is hard, but He gives me the strength to see the big picture. To understand that what I'm doing now matters and that I'm not just raising two little boys, but men who will grow up to be husbands and fathers. I want them to love a woman the same way their father loves me. To me that is the most important job in the world.
What is one question you'd like to ask our fellow mama readers who can answer in the comment section below?
How do you handle public critics or stares when your kids are having a meltdown?
Thank you so much Lizette for being apart of this series and sharing such inspirational words of wisdom. Your beauty has always shined so brightly in my heart, and even more so after reading your interview. To see more of gorgeous feed, follow her @lizettetrent
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