“Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.” —Barbara Walters
If you ask me to define myself in one word these days, it would probably be “mom.” But I struggle with this title because I’ve learned motherhood is so much more than I can convey in three letters. This word carries a ton of significance: love, pain, joy, worry, anxiety, laughter, tears, strength, courage, and more. As a mom, I feel like I carry the world on my shoulders and always struggle to believe I’m enough. I thought I knew myself before I became a mom, but I am constantly amazed at how I continue to grow. My current mantra is to be present and enjoy the moment; nothing defines this better than stowing away a quick kiss from my husband in between chasing around our joyful, wild little girl.
My 13 month-old daughter Amaya is vocal, fierce and full of joy. From the day she was born, she had huge Precious Moment-like tears and was very strong-willed. As an empathetic people-pleaser, I am constantly aware of the effect she has on me. I love to wrap her up in my arms and will do anything to send her into a fit of deep-belly laughs. She loves chasing her dogs (Terri and Olivia), bobbing her head to Red Hot Chili Peppers, catching bubbles, and laughing at her daddy.
Our Love Story
I married my high school sweetheart Andy after 12 years, and to say he is an incredible partner is an injustice. He’s my rock, my tough-love coach, a mirror to my truth, an amazing cook, and a sweet, fun, pony-tail tying dad. He co-founded a tech startup when we found out we were pregnant, and I’m in awe at his ability to balance the demands of work while prioritizing our family. The anchor to our relationship has always been open, raw, and authentic communication. To this day he still sweeps me off my feet.
Being a working mom has been one of the toughest challenges of motherhood (right up there with breastfeeding and sleep training). Like most moms I talk to, I constantly struggle with the guilt of being away from Amaya most of the week. The joy of seeing her growing independence and development from daycare (big props here for Sun Moon and Stars<3) reminds me of all the good too. It’s taken a lot of soul-searching, tears, and support from my incredible tribe, but I have found my joy and fulfillment at work again.
As the result of very full weekdays, we live for the weekends when we can max out on family time. With a one-year-old, our weekends consist of going to the park, shopping trips to Target, random play dates, and playing outside with the dogs. We still make an effort to spend time with friends over meals (you never have to wait in line at 5pm) or after Amaya goes to bed (we love to host game nights).
I quickly came to realize that although there never seem to be enough hours in the day, filling my own cup is paramount to my capacity as a wife and mom. Here are a few ways I’m re-discovering my personal joy as a new mom: west coast swing lessons, my yoga practice (I stopped teaching when I became pregnant), reading and audiobooks (book club nerd here), grabbing coffee with friends, catching waves at NLand surf park, and writing. You can delve into my head and heart at my blog here: sherrienguyen.com
7 fun facts about me:
- I invented my own Eat, Pray, Love journey by backpacking through Italy, practicing yoga in India, and taking my last solo trip (as a single woman) to Bali
- The ocean feels like home to me, and I quickly became addicted to surfing after a trip to Puerto Rico in 2008. I’ve taken surf trips almost every year since!
- I used to be a ballroom TA at UT and still love partner dancing to this day.
- I have 3 best friends who were all matrons of honor at my wedding
- I’ve officiated 7 weddings
- I studied abroad in Barcelona and dreamt in Spanish
- My favorite place in Austin is Barton Springs; I swam throughout my pregnancy and would love to try a water birth with my next one