In 2017, SmartMom launched the Real Life SmartMom series featuring your favorite Mommy Bloggers, experts and influencers. We go to these women for advice, recipes, support and whenever Google comes up with an answer we don’t like. Let’s get to know these amazing mommas a bit better – why? Because they are SmartMoms; and smart moms talk to SmartMoms.
Welcoming toddler mom Kris Buckhout to the SmartMom Community! Kris is the lifestyle blogger of Home with Harper from California and mom to a 1 year old girl (here’s where Harper comes in!). Be sure to check her gorgeous blog and Instagram feed where she gives moms tips on how to enjoy motherhood and accidentally gives us all baby fever with the cutest photos of little Harper! Let’s get to know Kris and find out what it’s really like being “Home with Harper.”
Tell us about your kids: names, ages, and fun facts.
I have one baby girl named Harper Lee, she is indeed named after the author! She just turned ONE on May 28th and I can barely believe it!
What are some of your favorite things about Harper?
She’s so determined! At the end of the day, when she is overly tired, she falls down a bunch but doesn’t give up until she is able to take a few steps! (she just started walking) She’s going to be such a strong woman when she grows up and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Who do you look up to for parenting advice?
Honestly, I know this probably sounds SO lame…but myself! I’m super type A and honestly could only do things exactly my way and no one else’s. I loved how my parents raised me but there are a lot of things I would probably do differently. If I had to applaud two people though it would be the family I used to nanny for. I’ve watched their little boy grow since he was 1.5 and I have to say he is the MOST well rounded human I’ve ever met.
How would you describe what you do for your blog?
Anything relating to motherhood really! Product reviews, advice, stuff that worked for us/things that didn’t, real talk (PPD and PPA) but in the near future I hope to dive more into lifestyle.
How do you balance work and family?
This is the toughest part of #momlife right now…I really don’t. Unfortunately/fortunately I am a WAHM so I get work done whenever and wherever I can. That includes at the dinner table sometimes (even though I try my hardest not to), on the couch when I should be hanging with my husband, and sometimes even in bed! It’s such a hard balance and everyday I get a little better at it but I’m sort of a workaholic so it’s definitely hard for me to turn it off.
What does an ideal day look like for you?
Harper usually rises around 7am, we have our breakfast together then usually spend a mellow morning at home before her first nap. After that, we usually ALWAYS do something with other moms/babies (park, pool time, activities in our area). I’m very involved in my local stroller strides and have met so many amazing friends and kiddos through it. When my husband comes home we have dinner as a family and then bath time! Harper goes to sleep on the dot at 7PM (6:30 if she missed a nap). Then I catch up on work and usually squeeze in some wine time and shows with my hubby.
What were some of the biggest questions you had or challenges you faced as a first time mom?
Ugh, breastfeeding. I was determined to make it work but it definitely wasn’t easy. She had a very aggressive latch and caused serious infection issues for me the first month of her life. When she decided to stop latching randomly, I had to pump exclusively which was seriously a full time job. Eventually my milk supply dwindled and we had to supplement, but at the end of the day I was able to BF (with help) for almost 9 months, which was a blessing.
How did becoming a mom change who you are?
I’d like to think I am somewhat the same person and didn’t lose my identity too much but let’s be honest, my world revolves around her! Every decision I make comes back to Harper and my family. I have definitely learned to be more patient though. I still lose it at times, but what parent doesn’t?
What are you favorite baby products you’ve discovered since becoming a parent?
Oh man, so many good products out there. But the one thing I have to say we have used consistently is our DockATot! We practiced bed-sharing with Harper until she was 6 months old so this item came in clutch. Then, when she grew out of it we bought the bigger lounger for her to take her bottle in/hang out/rest and she’s obsessed.
What was the most surprising or unexpected thing about becoming a mom?
Honestly…how much sleep I actually get. I know, I know, shake your head at me. But honestly, right when Harper was of age to sleep train we started and it worked like a charm. I taught Harper to become a great sleeper and I am very proud of that. It obviously hasn’t always been easy (newborn days were a nightmare) but I usually roll my eyes at any mom who tells me to kiss my sleep goodbye! I feel like it is almost setting parents up to fail by assuming that babies/kids CAN’T sleep.