Name: Kristen Seidel Rushin
Children: Pierce, 7; Gemma, 2
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Occupation: Medical technologist
Favorite mommy moment: When they are both bathed and ready for bed, and we are reading books in our bed.
Most challenging moment: When the children are arguing and I'm yelling at them to stop yelling. We are all trying to learn about speaking more lovingly.
Go-to dinner: Breakfast -- pancakes and hash browns
Favorite song: I love music and have so many favorites. Songs can trigger so many memories, so I'm choosing Ronan Keating's "When You Say Nothing at All," which was our wedding song. Rusted Root's "Send Me on my Way" is a great dancing song from my college days, and Smokey Robinson's "You're Just Too Good to Be True" makes me think of my husband and kids.
Who inspires you? My mom. I always knew she loved my siblings and me. However, I didn't realize how effortless she always made everything until I became a parent and truly understood what multitasking and unconditional love really were. Only then did I begin to appreciate all she has done and continues to do. That being said, she also had my dad supporting her and our family. I have the same support from my husband.
Best household tip: Ask for help. It's never too early to ask your children to help with things around the house. Gemma loves to feed our dog. She also likes to help dust or clean handprints from the walls. Pierce can bring down his laundry basket and help with recycling.
What would you do if you were completely alone for an entire day? Go browse at the outlets, go to a movie, read a book on the beach and take a nap.
I can't leave the house without: Snacks and water. You never know how long an appointment will run or if something will come up. We also leave a stocked diaper bag in the car, just in case.
Biggest stressor: Finding enough family quality time. Adam and I work opposite shifts, so one of us is always home with the kids. There isn't a lot of time left in the day to spend the time I would like all four of us to have together. However, even if it's a quick walk or kicking the ball outside, we are all together, and I hope my kids remember that.
Advice for other moms: Do what you think is right. If listening to your baby "cry it out" isn't working for you, don't do it. If you are feeling pressured to enroll your child in a sport or school activity and really don't want to, don't. This time is fleeting, and if you are feeling pressure from others, you won't enjoy it. So leave the dishes and play hide-and-seek. Call a friend and ask what she did during a particularly trying baby stage. And know that it's just a season, and this too shall pass.
Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.