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Meet the SuperMOM who named her daughter after the state of Georgia- Elena Ridley

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When I started the initiative of talking to new moms around the world, I thought it would be great…I would connect with so many moms over the internet and we shall have fun. But, over a period of time, I realised that many mommies started judging me by the number of followers. Somehow I was a poor blogger and an individual if my numbers were low and a very good one if they were high. But I was still fortunate to meet some angels who judged me as a person and not as a number.

Also,  There was a day when my ‘Mothers Day‘ programme was almost about to crash and this is when I met Elena and she said…..”Yes…..Why not?….I would love to.” So she is my ‘Angel’ mommy and holds a very special place in my heart. Read on to know more about her and I surely hope to meet her once I visit the USA.

Elena and her cute Daughter
Elena and her cute Daughter

SuperMOM Asks: So Mommy tell us in detail about your Instagram and the blog and the concept behind the same? 

Elena says…..I started my blog back in 2012 to document my journey to get pregnant.  A year later I was blogging about having trouble getting pregnant and my infertility journey.  I felt like I needed to really be an advocate for awareness & education about infertility & be a resource to others who were going through something similar.  I connected with a few other infertility bloggers and it was amazing to find other women who could share in our struggle & understand what we were going through.  I started my Instagram around the same time and used it as an outlet to promote my blog and share photos mostly related to our infertility journey. 

ElenaSuperMOM Asks: So are you born and brought up in Tonica? Also, tell us something about your life while you grew up? Family? Siblings? 

Elena says…..I was born and raised near Tonica, in a small rural/farm community about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, I grew up in a quiet subdivision surrounded by woods & cornfields.  My parents divorced when I was 2 & I spent time with both parents pretty equally.  I have a half-brother who is 5 years younger than me.  Both of my parents are happily remarried & after some tough years in my late teens and early twenties, we now all get along very well and it is wonderful.

Elena 1SuperMOM Asks: Tell us something about your life as a Mommy in the USA

Elena says…..Being a mom in the US is tough because our society has a lot of unrealistic expectations of how our children should be raised these days, yet I feel as though there are so many children that lack good parenting.  Social media and technology have really seemed to hinder what parents do raising their kids.  You can teach them all the morals in the world but they see things on the internet and on social media and all of that parenting seems to go out the window.  There is so much judgment on mothers today and the choices they make about how they want their kids raised.  Raising a child in today’s society in the US is very scary, especially raising a daughter.  As a mother of a daughter I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I have no doubt my husband and I will raise a strong, independent woman.

Elena 2SuperMOM Asks: How do you feel about being a mom to a baby girl?

Elena says…..Being a girl-mom is amazing!  Lots of pink, lots of bows, lots of clothes in her closet, that is all so fun and wonderful,  I love dressing her up and picking out her outfits. I also love being a girl-mom because I just cannot wait to see her do amazing things with her life.  She comes from a big extended family of some pretty amazing women & I know she will follow in the same footsteps.

 

 

Elena 3SuperMOM Asks: How do u balance the day with the kids and plus Instagram, personal work and the blog and the dog and the cat?

Elena says…..Some days I just muddle through and do the best I can, and some days “the best I can” is ordering a pizza and skipping out on bath time.  Other days things run like a well-oiled machine and I feel like a true Supermom!  I’d never been able to do it if it wasn’t for my amazing tribe— I am lucky to have a flexible boss and a flexible job with nice hours, parents & daycare who are very helpful and also flexible that give me peace of mind during the day when I am away from my daughter that she is in safe and capable hands, and an awesome and understanding community of fellow bloggers and Instagrammers who can relate to having a full plate & don’t have too high of expectations.  I also have a husband who is willing to help with Georgia when he gets home which allows for me to make dinner, fold a load of laundry, and enjoy an occasional glass of wine.  Having an amazing support system is the key to being able to balance it all.  You have to rely on other sometimes and you have to accept help if you want to successfully balance a marriage, kids, and a job.

Elena 4SuperMOM Asks: Tell us something about your pregnancy?

Elena says…..How was it? My pregnancy was amazing.  I had zero complications, I felt really amazing the entire time, and really did not want it to end.  However, pregnancy took me 5 years to achieve because of my infertility struggle so I cherished my pregnancy so much.

SuperMOM Asks: Can you tell us something about your infertility journey? 

Elena says…..How much time do you have?  Just kidding.  I could write a book about our infertility journey, but I’ll give you an abridged version: it was long, it was hard, and it was something I’ll never forget we went through.  It took us 5 years, 4 doctors, 2 intrauterine inseminations, 3 fresh IVF cycles, 3 frozen IVF cycles, and finally an egg donor who lives in the state of Georgia and offered her eggs to us as a gift because she wanted so badly to help us grow our family, in order to get pregnant.  Although it was such an exhausting journey, I wouldn’t change a second of it because it gave us Georgia June.

Elena 5SuperMOM Asks: Special message to other moms like yourself?

Elena says…..As a mom, in the 11 short weeks, I’ve been a mom, I’ve learned you just have to do what YOU think is best for YOUR baby and if someone judges you or disagrees with your decisions you just have to brush it off.  We are all just trying to do the best we can without messing our kids up too badly. There will always be a mom who is doing it better than you are and that is OK, none of us is perfect and none of us has it all together all the time!

 

 

Elena 6SuperMOM Asks: How has social media changed mommyhood? 

Elena says…..I think social media has made it nice for moms to be able to connect much easier these days.  I know from an infertility standpoint, we have a very large community on both Instagram and on Facebook through different groups.  It’s nice to be part of a community where we can all relate.  I am in some pretty amazing mommy facebook groups too, one for nursing, in particular, I really love and it’s nice to be able to have resources that are other moms who have gone through what you are.  I think before the days of the internet it was harder for moms to find other moms who were having similar issues and it caused a lot of people to have to struggle in silence.  Now if you have PPD, it’s easy to find other moms who had it as well & connect with them.  If you’re nursing you can find other moms who are nursing, if you’re into baby-wearing you can find groups for that, if you used an egg/sperm donor or adopted embryos, there is a group for that.  Social media has really helped to create some strong communities and tribes of women and it is a beautiful thing.

Elena 7SuperMOM Asks: Tell us your views on the maternity leave policy in the USA?

Elena says…..I always knew that my maternity leave wasn’t the greatest, but once I found some friends in Canada and found out their maternity leave is a full year, I realized ours was a complete joke.  I was very lucky to have paid maternity leave.  I got to take 8 weeks of paid (90% of my pay) leave due to having a C-section  A vaginal delivery would’ve resulted in only 6 short weeks!  It’s unbelievable how little time we get.  Lots of women in the US get no maternity leave at all. 

 

 

Elena 8SuperMOM Asks: Tell us something about the dog and baby bonding, many moms think that dogs and kids mean a lot of work. Plz, elaborate.

Elena says…..My dog is a total mama’s boy so I was definitely concerned that he would be jealous or sad when I brought home a baby.  He is a pug and they are very loyal dogs that are great with kids and he really is a sweet boy with her.  His behaviour did not change at all and he is still the same old Frank that he was before Georgia came.  We made sure we brought in Georgia’s blanket from the hospital for him to smell before we introduced them.  He wasn’t interested in it at all, he was just happy his mama was home.  He loved having me home all day for my 9 weeks of leaving too.  We had no issues whatsoever between dog and baby!

SuperMOM Asks Any books that you have read in recent times and would recommend for parents.

Elena says…..The first 2 most important books I read during my pregnancy were Ina May Gaskins Guide to Childbirth and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Le Leche League.  If you want to nurse, that is the only book you need, it’s the nursing bible!  As far as parenting books, I  really enjoy the Baby Book by Dr. Sears and Moms on Call by Jennifer Walker & Laura Hunter.  Books all really depend on what type of parenting you want to research, everyone’s parenting style differs and there are books out there for everyone!

SuperMOM Asks: Special message and anything that u wanna add on to the mothers in India?

Elena says…..I don’t know much about India, but I do know that even though we come from different countries and cultures, we do have one thing in common, we are mothers, and to me, that means that we support and have each other’s backs in a time and a society where raising children is something we get judged and criticised regularly. 

Elena 9SuperMOM Asks: Any special message for the Instagram mommies? Any selfie tricks? or tricks to click your kid’s photos, because we love them! 

Elena says…..To my Insta-tribe, I just want to say THANK YOU for all of your love and support to Joe and me on our journey & for continuing to follow along with us as we now get to be parents to our amazing daughter after so many years of infertility.  I am so thankful for our community.  As far as tricks go—I find it best to get photos first thing in the morning because that is when Georgia tends to be the happiest with the most smiles.  As far as selfies go, I have no advice because I am not very good at them myself!

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