Welcome back! I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am. There have been so many nuggets of wisdom shared from all the moms I have interviewed so far. You can check out the previous interviews here.
This week, I am sharing my interview with my friend Kaley who I met as a freshman at Indiana University. Kaley may not know this, but she and her husband played a pivotal role in my life. Kaley and her husband (then boyfriend) led IU’s chapter of a campus ministry called The Impact Movement. Through my involvement with Impact, I rededicated my life to Christ, met some of closest friends and also met the man who would eventually become my husband!
Since my freshman year, I have watched Kaley become a wife and mom. I have seen her family grow and thrive. I hope you enjoy her thoughts on motherhood!
Tell me about yourself. Who are you? What do you do? How many children do you have?
Hey! My name is Kaley Puckett. I am a domestic engineer 😉 aka stay at home mom and a personal trainer. I am a mother of 5 amazing kiddos: Ramiyah (10), Elyana (8), Isabelle (6), Nalah (4), and DJ (2).
How do you define motherhood?
This question really made me really think! I’ve been a mother now for 10 years (still can’t believe that!). My definition of motherhood has definitely evolved over the years. I have come to learn that motherhood is full of seasons with many obstacles, triumphs, and lots of problem solving. It’s exhausting, joyful and a learning process. [There are] continual opportunities to practice what you preach and laboring with only glimpses of fruit. It’s a marathon, finding a good balance between being selfless while remembering yourself. Motherhood is full of sweet, sweet moments. Motherhood is remembering what is important, that we are to nurture, love and teach these babes that we have been entrusted with.
Describe the stage of motherhood you are currently in.
I am officially out of child bearing (which was a hard transition) and in full force with child rearing! This stage had definitely been difficult trying to balance the different stages. I have a 10 year old who is full of hormones to a 2 year old who just learned to go potty and all the ages in between.
What do enjoy most about this stage?
I enjoy that I get to embark into this new territory with my older ones, while still encompassing the confidence I have with my littles. I absolutely love the baby stages and have been pretty confident with that stage since I’ve done it a couple times and worked with babies through school. Although I love the stage with the babies, I also have enjoyed having more in-depth convos with my older ones. I get to have great convos with my older ones and also have those sweet and hilarious convos with my littles. It’s like the best of both worlds!
What is most challenging about this stage?
You know what they say, your strength is also your weakness. That is how I feel about this stage. Although there are many enjoyable things about this stage I’m in, those things also can make this stage really challenging. The most challenging thing is trying to find a healthy balance between [my kids]. I find it hard to give the same attention I give to my older ones to my little ones. Which is impossible. If I’m honest, this is my biggest struggle right now, trying to love each one specifically the way they need in their unique stage and personality.
What does self-care look like for you right now?
I like how you asked this question right after what’s the most challenging part of this stage! Self-care is something I have put on the back burner far too often. I think as mothers we are told, or at least we believe, that we don’t need self-care. Self-care is something I have to continually remind myself that is vital and I need to be intentional about it everyday. What I try to do each day is wake up early to read my Bible and pray to prepare myself for the day. I also really enjoy working out to clear my head and have some space alone. I try to move my body some kind of way each day. I don’t get it in everyday, but when I do the day is noticeably better!
What has had the greatest influence on you as a parent or your parenting style?
My husband and I have pulled from different people. We have watched others and learned from what has worked and also learned from their mistakes. We have definitely learned from both our parents, but I think the most influential people are our friends/mentors, Anika and CJ. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I watched them interact with their kids, love them uniquely the way they needed, discipline them, take advantage of many teaching moments, practice humility by admitting wrong, show forgiveness, and how to be goofy with their children and each other among many other things!
Tell me the most important thing(s) you hope to pass on to your children.
The most important thing I hope to pass to my children is the importance of a relationship with Jesus. I want them to know that they were made by an amazing God for a purpose to glorify Him in all we do.
Where do you find support as a mom?
My biggest supporter is my husband. He has been so supportive, encouraging me to step out with getting my personal training certification 8 years ago and pushing me to get out there to get my business going. He has also helped me accept help (and accept the idea that I need it!) and provided concessions to help me, like getting groceries delivered and the house cleaned. I also have found support from different moms in my church who are are in different stages and also the same stage. It’s always encouraging to know you aren’t alone and you’re not the only one experiencing the same feelings as a mom.
Can you tell me a little more about your personal training business? What motivated you to pursue personal training? How has it impacted you and your family?
I have always loved to move my body and challenge myself physically. After having my first baby I gained 50 lbs even with working out and I wanted to learn how to properly take care of my body while also caring for a little one. I got a personal trainer after my first [baby] and learned so much and started to read all I could on kinesiology. After my second baby, my husband challenged me to get certified in personal training. My husband is all about making moves and doing what you need to do to get things done. So, without asking me he just purchased the material and over the next few months I studied for the test. I am so glad he pushed me to do something for me! Personal training gives me so much life, helping others learn how to move their body and to live healthier lives.
(Check our Kaley’s Instagram page to learn more about her as a personal trainer)
What’s one thing you have learned as a mom that you would tell your pre-kid self?
That’s a great question! Honestly, I get lost in this sometimes thinking, “man if only I would have done this or that.” The main thing that I would tell my pre-kid self is to enjoy every moment and don’t get caught up in the momentary stresses of day to day things. I can relate my way of thinking to Martha in the Bible. She was always doing what was expected of her, completing the list of things to do for the day. But her sister, Mary, chose to sit at the feet of Jesus. Martha was perturbed that her sister wasn’t helping her and Jesus told her, “Martha you are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has CHOSEN the good portion which will not be taken from her.” When I read that story it reminds me that I have the choice to CHOOSE the good portion everyday. Yes, there are times when food needs to be purchased and cooked, but there are always opportunities throughout the day to choose to be present with my kids. Being present and enjoying them is the one thing that is always necessary!
What’s one piece of advice you want to share with other moms?
My advice would be to learn from what I would tell my pre-kids self! When opportunities [arise] to sit and be present with your kids choose that over dishes any day! Our kids will remember and cherish those moments above all else.