This week we are heading to Indianapolis to meet Leah, creator of the blog Snippets of Us. This mama of two prioritizes engaging activity with her children and works full time as a police dispatcher. The best part about Leah is her honesty and positive outlook on her life even with all the challenges that are presented on a daily basis! We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Leah and we know you will too, so grab your wine, coffee or tea and let's see how this amazing mama does it!
Tell us about yourself: Where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.
Hi! I'm Leah and I'm 31 years young. My hubs (Scott) and I live just outside of Indianapolis with our littles; Emily who is three going on 13 and Brody who is 14 months and just about the sweetest little guy ever. Scott and I have been married almost 5 years and have been together a little over 7 years! For the past ten years I've worked as a police dispatcher, currently working overnights with NO weekends off ever (yeah, totally stinks). My husband is a detective for the Indianapolis Metro Police Dept., and has been on for 10 years and so many people assume we met because of our careers BUT we didn't. We actually met at a mutual friend's wedding.
Describe a day in the life of you.
My days are never consistent. It always depends on my work schedule the night before, what day of the week it is (Emily of course doesn't go to school on the weekends), and when Scott is off work since he has a rotating schedule. On a day I work the night before, Emily goes to school and Brody is watched by my mother in law while I sleep during the day. Scott will pick up Brody on his way home and I'll pick up Emily. Once we're all home we try to do something fun for the rest of the evening whether that be going to a park, playing outside at our house/neighborhood, meeting friends for play dates, crafts if the weather is bad...just something to have some fun. I'm not going to act like we are always doing something fun and interactive, because I'd be lying! Sometimes we definitely sit and watch a movie and have snacks and downtime!
Do you have help? A nanny or housekeeper? Family?
We don't have a nanny, I wish we did sometimes! We do have family that helps a ton though. My mother in law watches Brody on days we both work and almost every other weekend my parents take Emily, or even both kiddos, for Friday and Saturday night! It's such a huge help and gives Scott and I some time alone to relax or clean the house. Unfortunately right now I am still working overnight every weekend so it's not like we can go out and get all crazy, haha.
How do you manage to have “me” time?
Me time is something I gave up a long long time ago. Scott used to tell me all the time that I needed to take some time for myself and I just never would. I started to let myself go and put Emily, and now Brody, 100% ahead of myself. It was bad! I have literally just started to take time for me again within the past month. I've started eating better, trying to be more active when I can, and trying to spend more time DOING rather than just BEING.
How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? Do you workout? Diet?
ONE week ago I stared the ketogenic diet! I'm totally loving it and have already lost 8 pounds. Once I'm on a shift that isn't overnight I'm going to try to get back into Zumba which is something I totally love and really enjoy doing. Let's be honest, two little kiddos, especially Brody who is newly free and mobile, keep me on my toes all day long too! I still look at some people and think to myself, "How is she SO fit?!" Who has time for this stuff? I think I'm finally realizing that my kiddos need to have a happy and healthy mama around in order for me to be able to do all the things I want to do with them, so that gives me motivation for sure!
Do you get ready every day? Makeup, hair and curated outfits? If so, how do you do it with children?
When I post photos on social media sometimes I might look put together, makeup and hair and all. C'mon, who wants to put themselves out there if it's not your best self, right? I am totally trying to be better about taking a couple minutes a day to make myself presentable and I have been begging Scott to try to start "seeing" little moments that I might want to remember later so he can make an effort to take more photos with me in them! I know it's hard to do that so when you're not someone like me who loves to document EVERYTHING. Sooooo---maybe I just need to hire a photographer, ha! On days I do "get ready", most of the time I try to do everything during a nap time, a.k.a. freedom time. But let's be real here, I've totally gone Targeting more times than I'd like to admit in my yoga pants, over sized tee, mom-bun, and no makeup!
Has your style changed after motherhood?
Yes! Before motherhood I was in my middle/late 20s and was in the best shape of my life so I was all about wearing the skinny jeans with any trendy top and I loved going shopping. I loved the way I looked then! After becoming a mama (and after two cesareans) I definitely had a different body and still do. Recently I've been loving the idea of a capsule wardrobe for our entire family! Emily's capsule wardrobe is complete (I even blogged about it!) and I'm working on getting Brody's capsule wardrobe blogged. Consequently, I've been totally focusing on more of a simple look and no trendy pieces. I love black leggings and wear them daily! I do own some jeans and other pants that I will wear, if forced, just kidding. My entire wardrobe consists of neutral colors and I love it now.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
The Office. I know I know, the show has been over for years, but I literally watch it non-stop and on repeat daily. When the kiddos go down for the night I tend to stay up later than Scott since I work overnights and that show is always on. I have it memorized and I'll never be ashamed to admit that! HA!
If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?
I tried BFing with Emily for about three weeks until it just wasn't working. We had a horrible night in the hospital after she was born and she wouldn't latch since that night so it was a constant challenge always having to use a syringe with milk to get her attached, her falling off, me not producing enough, me not having enough knowledge about BFing and possibly my unwillingness to go to BFing groups that all played together. With Brody I didn't try from the beginning. Both out babies are amazingly smart and healthy and I wouldn't have it any other way. Of course every parent has to do what's best for your family and for YOU. I had to make peace with that and it was hard and I used to get judged, even by family members about my choices, but I finally started speaking up that fed is best, and I will always stick by that statement.
How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?
Generally I get a good 5-6 hours but have the ability for 8 hours. I just would rather have some time to myself than get more sleep. Maybe that's a bad thing, I don't know!
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.
I feel like we have super happy kiddos and that's because we're always trying to be active and interactive with them. Even though it drives me crazy sometimes I don't actually get too caught up in making sure the house is totally clean all the time. We go to bed with toys on the floor and they're still there when we wake up! I also love getting out of the house and doing something as a family, however Scott is a total homebody, so most of the time I'll take one of the babes with me when I go somewhere for a little bit.
Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?
We're at a really odd stage I think where we either eat different things or at different times due to our schedules. We have been trying to get into the whole "everyone eat at the table" thing but most nights that just doesn't happen. Scott and I will eat our ketogenic meals while Emily is having her own dinner and Brody has recently started hating being in his high chair so most days he's just wandering around coming back to the table for bites when he's hungry. Ha, this sounds so horrible but really it's not!
Have you ever felt like you are loosing yourself to motherhood and or life? If so, how did you bounce back?
Yes! All the time I feel and have felt this way. Motherhood totally took over and I started to forget that I'm an actual person too, not just a mother. Even though being a mother is the most amazing, best and most rewarding thing in my life, I had to start thinking about me as well. Taking time away for do Zumba, meet with friends for coffee or dinner, having a sitter come over for a few hours on a night I'm off...all of those things have really helped me start to get "me" back.
Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?
Scott is a huge help! I used to get so overwhelmed because I felt like I was responsible for everything; the house, the kids, the happiness. He never acted like that or did anything to make me think that, it was just how I thought. I recently stopped "asking" him to help me out, and just started making it known that we're a team and neither of us need to tell or ask the other to do certain things. We simply just-get it done. Just because I make the mess, he can clean it up if he's able, and the same goes for me. It's no one's "turn" to pick up the toys or do the dishes, they just get done by whoever can do them. Usually that means one of us is playing with the kiddos while someone else is cleaning. Of course I get annoyed sometimes when our entire kitchen island is covered with random stuff, but I have to remember that I did some of that too!
How do you manage motherhood and marriage?
For the longest time these two didn't mix well together. We had to work hard to make things work and to figure each other out after becoming parents. Generally now, we tend to take time for each other when we can, whether that be once the kiddos are asleep, during dinner, just in passing. We try hard to remember that we're the adults and parents in the house and our kids don't control everything. If they're sad about not getting their way-that's ok. They need to learn that life isn't all about them. I really enjoy our weekly date nights and try to keep those consistent. I think another important thing, like I've mentioned above, is that we do make time for ourselves alone. I enjoy going to Target or getting my hair done, Scott like to go golfing with his friends. It's all about balance and what works for your family.
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 do work a full-time out of the house job as a police dispatcher and have for about ten years. Luckily, once I leave my job nothing comes home with me. I leave all the stress there. I've got so many more important things to think about once I'm away from work, I'm happy my career allows for that separation for sure.
Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?
I had a group of friends before becoming a mama that I hung out with all the time. We would have wine-nights, go out to dinner, just hang out. Of course once a baby comes along they take over your social life and it's so so much easier and realistic to hang out with people in your same scenario! We have a couple of Scott's college friends who live near us with girls the same age as Emily so they're who we mostly get together with. I actually have met a lot of mamas from Instagram, too! One mama who is also my hair stylist, I met her on Instagram and we've become great friends! I even met one of my neighbors with a daughter a year older than Emily through Instagram! We live 3 blocks away and never would've known!
What’s the least favorite household chore you dread doing?
I hate doing dishes. Hate it with a passion. Generally Scott does the dishes, always, and I'm super thankful for that!
Describe a recent experience when you didn’t have it “all together” and how you handled it all.
Oh my gosh I feel like this is me all the time; never all together, haha! I don't know that that's even possible with two kiddos 3 and under, two parents working full-time out of the house, and crazy schedules that never line up. I think you just have to learn to roll with things as a parent. There will be times when the kiddos are literally running the show, the husband is, or you all are in it together. I just try to remember to laugh...a lot.
Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to __________________
...go Targeting solo with no time restraint! Oh! Also, washing my hair. It sounds silly but it takes awhile to dry and style it and I always feel like a million bucks after I've been able to properly shower!
What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home?
For sure I think balance can exist! Is it going to be perfect on a day to day basis? No, not for us at least. I try to remember that what I think balance looks like for my family isn't going to be what another mama feels balance is for her family. Comparing ourselves and our families to others is just silly in most cases.
What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?
I love blogging and I'd love to be able to stay at home and work as a full-time blogger one day!
What is one thing that keeps you sane?
With me working overnights I definitely consider myself to be a night owl. I love being able to have that time, even a couple hours, to myself. I turn on The Office, relax with my tea, and browse my social media and it's just a time for me to be quiet and have quiet in the house!
What is one question you'd like to ask our fellow mama readers?
I'd love to know if there are any other keto-mamas out there reading this!? If so, what are some of your staple meals you cook for yourself or even for your whole family? You know, the semi-quick/not too many ingredient recipes that all of us mamas need! Also, regarding social media mamas and influencers you love to follow, what photos/posts do you love to see the most?