Moms Make it Work: Lori from Missouri

My internet friend Lori is posting for us today for the Moms Make it Work series. She writes for her blog at Mama Needs Sushi and posts on Instagram as loricrockett. I love her brutal honesty she shares with us in this post about being a SAHM with a husband that works 50-70+ hours per week. Lori is another mom that has shared in my sleep deprivation woes and we are both pregnant again, getting all geared up for the craziness to start over with newborn baby boys. I enjoyed her perspective on how she makes this motherhood thing work for her, and hope you do, too!


-What is your background story? What was your career/schooling before you became a mom? And now where are you?

I’m originally from a small town in Missouri (actually only about an hour away from where Julia grew up, but we met on the interwebs, and not in real life).  My degree is in Marketing, and before I became a mom I worked a few different places, some of which I enjoyed, some of which I did not.  My husband, Blake, and I we met my senior year of college, and got married in the fall after I graduated- in September of 2007.  One year later we moved to Tulsa, OK, where Blake attended pharmacy school for 4 years. In 2009 I started a photography and design business in addition to my full time job. Summer of 2012 was incredibly busy for us- we welcomed our daughter Emersyn in May, Blake graduated in June, started working in our new town (which meant a combination of staying with his brother and sister-in-law and commuting back and forth to Tulsa, took licensing exams that summer, I officially quit my job to be a SAHM, and we sold our house in Tulsa and moved to our current location in September.  Ugh, just reading that I wonder how we made it through, haha, but we did! 

As for where we live now, we compromised.  He grew up on a farm and would live in the middle of nowhere if he could, so we moved to the smallest town we could that still had my two requirements- a Target and good sushi.  Mmmm, sushi.

This will be a big year for us as well.  Emersyn will be 2 years old in May, and we’re set to welcome our second child, a boy, in May as well.  Life will change again, and we’re excited, for sure, but also pretty nervous.  I think the blinders are off a bit this time around haha.  Should be interesting!


-What are the best parts of your situation? What are the biggest challenges?  

The best part of our situation is that we’re getting to live out what we worked towards for our first several years of marriage.  We waited to have kids until we were in a position for me to be able to stay at home with them, and Blake worked extremely hard (and went through a lot of schooling) to do what he does now.  For the most part, he enjoys his job, but it definitely has its challenges, and the same could be said for me as a stay at home mom. 

His biggest challenge is that his job requires a LOT of hours.  He works every other weekend, and he never, ever puts in just 40 hours a week.  Sometimes its 50, sometimes it’s 70+. 

And therein lies my biggest challenge-  if he’s at work, he’s not at home (duh) and all the parenting, house stuff, etc falls to me.  Plus, since he does work so much, even when he’s off it’s hard to balance what we need from him at home and what he needs to recharge (sleep, hobbies, etc).  Of course, that also means there’s not a lot of time “off” for me either, and it can be a struggle to even schedule a haircut! 

I was actually pretty nervous to write this post, because as I told my husband, the reaction I get from most people when they find out I’m a SAHM is “oh that must be so nice, you’re so lucky, etc”.  And I am.  I wanted to stay home with my kids from the time I was a kid myself, and I’m thankful that I fell in love with a guy that supports that 100%.  However, the truth is, it’s not all roses.  Honestly it’s a lot like my other jobs- there are things I love about it and things I don’t.  I love my kid, I love my husband, and I love our house, but I do not love being the parent 100% responsible when my kid wakes up 5 times a night because my husband has a job he has to go to in the morning, and I “just” stay home.  I don’t love the fact that my house gets trashed more frequently through the day because we’re home, and I’m the one that gets to pick it up for the thousandth time.  Being a SAHM can be mind numbingly repetitive, tiring, and lonely (how’s that for honest), but I still choose it, every day.  I’m thankful I have the choice, and it’s the right one for us.


Is this what we expected pre kids?  Yes and no, haha. I knew having kids wouldn’t always be a walk in the park, but knowing it and actually experiencing it are two different things.  We were blessed to get pregnant quickly with all of our babies, but we had an early miscarriage with our first pregnancy, which was incredibly hard, and definitely put a cloud of fear over each of our subsequent pregnancies.  I also suffered from severe morning noon and night sickness with both E and this pregnancy, and was placed on medication to be able to function.  Emersyn didn’t sleep through the night until she was nearly 10 months old, and for the past several months hasn’t been napping well (if at all), so that’s been… interesting. 

BUT, for all of the surprises about how hard parenting can be come the surprises about how awesome it is too.  It’s cliché, but the love I have for my kiddos and for Blake, seeing him as a dad, is completely all encompassing.  I’m incredibly thankful for the life we have.


-Is this your ideal situation? If not, what is?  

I love being a full time stay a home mom, but when I started my photography business in Tulsa we hoped that I would be able to do that part time when our kids were small. 

However, after a lot of discussion, we knew Blake’s hours and our desire to expand our family wouldn’t be conducive to basically starting over with my photography business in our new town.  If we’d stayed in Tulsa, where I had established clients, I think we could have made it work, and I have the utmost respect for moms that balance it all, but it’s not the right thing for us, right now.  Someday.

-Do you see yourself making a career change (whatever that means) in the next 5-10 years, or is this current set up staying put for the long haul?

The only career change I would make would be to relaunch my photography and design business, and I definitely see that happening as our kiddos get older/ start school.

-Tips on how you make this work for you? 

For me, the hardest part of being a SAHM is the lack of interaction with other adults, and the fact that there aren’t a lot of breaks that come with the job.  To combat this, I’m part of a mom’s group at a local church, we do Kindermusik, and I have a great network of girlfriends with kiddos that I get together with on a regular basis.  We also have my husband’s family close too- we live in the same town as my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and his parents and grandparents live about 35 min away.  I could not do life without these people, whether it’s babysitting for a date night, or taking care of E (or me) when I’m sick (Blake can rarely take time off work even if HE’S sick, let alone if I am).  I’m also fortunate that I’m really close to my other sister-in-laws, who are both SAHM, and even though they live further away, I can text or call them with questions and get great advice. 

-How do you handle mommy guilt that comes with each role?  

I vividly remember when Emersyn was around 5 months old, waking 5+ times a night, and taking horrible naps during the day.  We had just moved to our new town, so I hadn’t built up a support network yet, and I was so.very.tired and lonely.  I was also convinced that my child’s lack of sleep meant she was going to turn into a serial killer someday, as all the books I read first emphasized how VERY important sleep was for children and I just could not get anything to work.  Like I said, I was REALLY tired.  I tearfully told my best friend I was a horrible mom and E would be better off not being at home with me, as I clearly couldn’t figure out what she needed.  Mom guilt at its finest.  She talked me down, encouraged me, and I survived that phase of life. 


As we’re about to embark on the newborn days for baby #2, my absolute best advice for other moms, SAHM or working, is to give yourself grace.  The same grace you would give your best friend without a second thought, but seems so hard to give yourself.  We’re our own toughest critics, and each stage of our kid’s lives (good and bad) is a season that will pass.  The next stage will bring all new failures and successes.  Love your kids, do your best, and survive. 

Specifically as a SAHM I feel the pressure to keep the house perfect, do various educational activities with my kiddo each day, etc- generally conform to the “ideal” I had in my head before embarking on this journey.  Umm, yeah, I’m definitely not Susie Homemaker, and my kid watches her fair share of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  It’s life.  Again, I do my best, love my kiddo, and make sure I invite people over often, as that’s the best way for me to get a lot done in a short amount of time.  I’m a panic cleaner, what can I say?

-Advice for new moms struggling with returning to work outside of the home? Or struggling to decide if staying home is the right choice?  

I wish I had some great advice on this one, but it’s honestly such a personal decision.  I have no advice on MAKING that choice, but I do believe that there is no “right” answer, only what is right for your family and circumstances. But, once you make your decision, try to avoid the “it must be nice” game.  I have to remind myself to not play this game with my spouse.  It’s easy to feel like the grass is greener on the other side but the fact of the matter is each choice has benefits and drawbacks. 


Thanks for having me, Julia!


  1. Great post, Lori! Loved that last part about not playing the "it must be nice" tempting, especially on the long days. Loved reading this!

  2. Good luck with baby #2! I had baby #2 when my first was 21 months old! Having two young ones was tough sometimes but I'm really glad they are so close in age. And thanks for being so honest. I have to work and sometimes I get down that I can't be a SAHM. I think it's a good reminder that everyone's situation is hard in some ways.

  3. We live a very similar life! I actually didn't really get into my husband's hours much on my MMIW post, but a typical day for my husband is to leave by 630am so he can get some time at the gym, then get home around 6:30pm. He'd probably get home later, but he makes an effort to be back in time to put A to bed, the only time he gets to see her. After that, he walks the dogs, usually does the dishes (since I cook) and then he's right back on the laptop working, albiet a bit distracted by tv, until bed. He doesn't go in on weekends, but usually logs a few hours, leaving me to continue my usual weekday routine on the weekends. I totally get it! (I'm also the one who does night wake up duty - both with the baby and toddler, though he'll get up for the toddler if I'm nursing the baby)

    I wouldn't trade it for the world either, but I wouldn't mind having a chance to clock out here and there or have a mindless commute to and from work to unwind. Even my car trips are occupied by singing the Wheels on the Bus or pointing out trucks and stop signs. :)

    You'll do a great job with two! It's really amazing and the transition (at least for us) really went so smoothly. I bet Emersyn is a great big sis!

  4. Another awesome post. I am just loving this series. Great advice about not playing the 'it must be nice' game. There are benefits and drawbacks to every single situation, and we all make our own choices and need to live with them!

    You have a beautiful family - congrats on the baby boy on the way! :)

  5. Great post! My husband also grew up and a farm, and would like to move out in the country. Right now we live right in the city, and I love it. We'll be moving soon(ish) and where exactly to go is under serious discussion.

    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

  6. Oh, I understand *so* much of this, especially the husband who works a ton and needing to manage what gets done and what doesn't during the rare downtime, as well as how hard it can be to schedule ANYTHING. That is totally my life!

    Great insight about the "it must be nice" game!

  7. Oh my goodness! I can so relate to so many of these - but this one hit home. The husband working an extreme amount of hours, the non-sleeper, the sushi! I hope you keep these up here and there Julia. Maybe even new questions for the moms - how they make meals work, how they make their house not fall down around them... Love it as always!

  8. Yep, I get it too. The odd hours of police officer husband (read about it next week!) leave me with a lot of the kid/house duties while working, too. And the non sleeper! Just hitting our stride 11 months in. You're doing great though! And best to you with the new baby, too!


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