I met Amanda at a church we both attended. She always had a big smile, even when she led worship. Her and her husband Ryan helped out with the youth group and were both very popular with the teenagers. I’ve always admired Amanda’s adventurous spirit and her happy and bubbly nature.
Life With Amanda
A Little About Me
My name is Amanda Smith. I’m 36, a wife of 15 years, MOB (Mom Of (2) Boys) – aged 1.5 and three, and a Chartered Professional Accountant. I grew up in a Christian family and came to know God personally as a young girl.
My Daily Routine
My life is a dichotomy. There’s the professional life half of the week, as I work a compressed work week, and then the mom life for the other half of the week. My husband works shift work, and I have a flexible schedule, which allows me to work around my husband’s, and means our kids are only in daycare two days a week. This has been a huge blessing for making our home full of peace and contentment.
When I have my CPA hat on, I get up around 6 am to breastfeed and put Grayson back to sleep. Then I might snooze for a bit (depending on how fast he feeds) until it’s time to get dressed, make breakfast and “head to work”. I put that in quotes because most of the time I work from home, so all that really means is go back upstairs to my office. 😉
Since I have a compressed week, I don’t stop for a lunch break, but will just eat while I work. Then, on days the boys aren’t in daycare, my hubby will bring Grayson up for me to put down for a nap (because I’m still breastfeeding). I finish work and eat dinner with my family. We may or may not have something planned for the evening, then we put the kiddies to sleep and start all over. Usually sleep is interrupted by one or both kids because they want milk (Grayson) or have a bad dream (Brady).
When I have my mom-hat on, I’ve got the morning feed at 6am, then I go back to sleep until 7:30-9am when the kiddies wake up. After getting dressed and having breakfast, we usually head to a play-time at our local rec centre or to the park. We come home, have lunch, then it’s nap/quiet time. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to get a 1.5 hr nap in with the boys – these days are fantastic! We may run some errands, meet up with a friend, or just play around the house in the afternoon. Dinner is always a family affair, at the table, all together, no devices. That’s a non-negotiable to me. Then some play, clean up, milk, books & bed.
Struggles in My Day
- Having the energy to keep up with my kids – having kids when you’re older is HARD! My back hurts, and my energy level is nothing in comparison to theirs.
- Parenting for the long term. I know that it’s all in the little things. The being consistent & intentional in what I say and do. So many times I find I catch myself before I explain something, wondering if they take what I’m about to say and apply it to other situations, will it still hold up?
- Being a good girlfriend to my husband. We had a great relationship for over a decade before the kids came and I want to have a great relationship for decades after they leave. I know that means I can’t just put it on the back burner when the kids are around.
Watching that I am always treating my husband with love and respect and making time for fun and connections with him – is just as important as being a good mom.
Joys in My Life
- Watching my boys love each other. When I see them hug or hold hands, it brings me joy. When I see them laughing with each other, my heart is filled with so much joy I think it might burst.
- Watching my hubby love on my boys. He is an amazing dad. He is strong and playful, compassionate and caring. And the boys adore him.
- Watching God work. He is in control of tides and planets, and yet He also cares about little things in my life. I’ve seen Him orchestrate countless things to be just perfect, knowing full well it was no coincidence that things came together just so. He loves me like I love my kids – but even more!!
Sharing My Dreams
This section has been the hardest to write. I don’t think that it’s because I don’t have dreams, but rather than I don’t consider myself a Dreamer, with lofty and wild aspirations. I guess being a “type A” personality, I tend to think of goals rather than dreams.
Some of the things I dream about would be to own a cottage where my boys can grow up learning about nature, doing projects with dad, and spending lots of family time together. I dream about how our family will look in 5, 10 and 25 years from now, and I pray for the people that God will bring into our paths, anxiously awaiting to see how God will use us to bless them, and vice versa.
I dream about travelling more of the world with Ryan, and perhaps the kiddies as well. Experiencing all of the beauty of God’s creation that can be seen when you travel – the gorgeous nature views, the stunning feats of human achievement, only possible because of the marvellous brains God has given us. Also, the incredible different cultures, that only an amazingly creative God could come up with.
Moments with God
One of the biggest struggles I’ve gone through was 8 years of infertility. That period has drastically changed my life, personality, and my relationship with God.
After being married a few years, we started to try to conceive. Eventually, we went to our family doctor, then an OBGYN, and then started driving 8 hrs to a fertility clinic every couple of weeks. (We lived in Northern Ontario where there were no fertility clinics, so we drove to Toronto for appointments. After a couple of months, and for a number of reasons, we ended up moving just over an hour from Toronto.) We went through eighteen medicated cycles, three failed IUIs, and WAY too many tests to ever count.
We then had a stranger contact us, knowing us through a friend, and she wanted us to adopt the baby she was pregnant with. We thought for sure this was God’s plan through it all and became very excited. After a couple months of planning for the adoption and baby’s arrival, she miscarried. We were devastated.
We had no idea why God wanted us to go through so many years of infertility, seeing our younger siblings and so many friends have kids before us, so many failed attempts, so many procedures…
Then just when it seemed like God revealed His plan, it was all snatched away.
I don’t know that we will ever know all of His reasons.
After that miscarriage, we then started IVF. I did not respond well to the drugs on the first cycle, so it got downgraded to another IUI, expected by both the doctors and us to fail just as the previous ones had. God had different plans though. This cycle we actually conceived!
God had done what seemed like the impossible.
The years of infertility definitely marked my life. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way it felt to sit in church on Mother’s Day, or the dagger of having someone tell me that it’s ok for me to be selfish and not have kids (as if they know me, think I’m selfish, think that’s why I don’t have kids and somehow think that selfishness should be admired. I’ll never understand anything about that comment). God used these years to help me become much more laid back, more compassionate, and more trusting that “He will work all things together for those who love Him.” -Rom 8:28
One of my favourite verses is this:
I think the brain is the most powerful tool that God has given us. We can let our circumstances get us down, overwhelm us, and/or stress us out. BUT – We have the ability to decide that joy wins. That we will focus on the positive, and that we will be the positive light in the lives of those around us.
Just do an experiment:
Next time you have a horrible day, when you see your family for dinner, just pretend to be happy. Complement them, ask about their day in an upbeat way. Maybe even sing a song or dance to one on the radio. I bet by the end of dinner you’ll all be smiling and you won’t have to pretend to be happy anymore – you actually will be. Now compare that to the last dinner you had in a grumpy mood. I’ll bet that dinner didn’t turn out nearly as well?
It’s all about your attitude.
God has given us marvellous gifts and talents. He has orchestrated each of our lives to make us who we are, so that we can be fully equipped do the work He will set before us. We can either go through life, trusting the God who created it all, knows what He’s doing, and we get to enjoy each step along the way: or we can choose to futilely fight Him and mark our relationships with bitterness, killing our joy. I’ll choose the former.
Amanda’s story of heartache and hope during her years of trying to conceive will encourage many women who are in the same situation she experienced. Please share Amanda’s story on Facebook or Pinterest and pass along this beautiful message of HOPE.
Would you like to read about a mother who’s child had cancer, and her journey to find rest and hope in uncertain times, read here: Life With Sherie
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