Hi Tracy! Thanks so much for talking to us on Mom Win Wednesday. Tell us a little bit about this beautiful family pic!
Hi there! My name is Tracy Brusewitz, and the picture below was one of our most successful selfie attempts as a family! We took it after coming home from church two weeks ago to celebrate my birthday. My husband, Andy, had picked out a beautiful (and very tasty) cake for us to enjoy and the kids were very excited to start enjoying it after we took a picture!
So THAT’S how I can get my kids to smile in pictures!! Haha, timing is everything! Tell us a little more about you, Tracy. Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
In addition to being a wife and mom, I work full time as an engineer supporting our fabric care business at P&G by leading the supply chain portion of delivering new products to the market within the Tide, Gain, and Downy brands. It is a fast paced business that continually challenges me to learn and develop, and I work with an incredible team!
Wow, that’s awesome, Tracy! (P.S. I ? Downy, so you are my hero. And when we get to Heaven someday, I think it will smell like Downy.)?
Tell us about your kiddos!
Andy and I have been blessed by two incredible children! Natalie is 4.5 years old and she has a love of learning, a full imagination, and a heart of gold! She loves to both run and play hard on the playground and spend quiet time being artistic or doing a puzzle. Alex is 20 months old and he has a smile that melts me! He loves playing ball and has a pretty good arm already so we have to watch out for any ball throwing in the house! He loves to dance and he will join in singing many songs – including Old MacDonald and Let it Go! Natalie and Alex get along pretty well for the most part, and my favorite moments are when they get each other to laugh in their own special ways – sometimes without any words!
That’s the best! Your kids are adorable!!
So Tracy, this week as you know we’ve been talking about morning and bedtime routines. You shared something with me that I just thought was brilliant. Can you tell everyone your experience?
Yes! I had begun to dread our morning routines because it felt like it was made up of constant mini battles that would ultimately drain my patience to the point where I would get frustrated and end up yelling at Natalie. We had some rough mornings over the course of a couple months, and I would ultimately feel awful (and guilty) over having lost my patience with her and then leaving on that note as we parted for work and school. I started trying different ideas and ultimately I found a few tricks that I am happy to share with anyone finding themselves with a similar challenge.
YES! We can’t wait to hear them!!!
The best thing I learned was that the mornings go better if I take a few extra moments to snuggle with my kids to wake them up. I will crawl in Natalie’s bed many mornings and snuggle up to her and gently wake her up. Sometimes, I will play some music on my phone that I know she loves (Moanna and Trolls are popular choices these days). I have yet to have this not work! I also turned off all cartoons in the morning, and we usually keep it quiet or just use some music to pick up the pace and that helps everyone focus. I will remind Natalie of just the next 2 things that she needs to do to keep us on schedule (mostly). “Once you eat breakfast, you will need to brush your teeth.” And we keep all the tasks in the same order.
I told you (readers), this is good stuff, right? I tried this right after Tracy told me, and I am not kidding you, it WORKED.
One of the things that really bothers me is when I have to repeat myself over and over to do something, like go brush your hair. Does that ever still happen to you?
Yes. So when I get caught in the 10th reminder to put shoes on, I do my best to take a deep breath and approach in love. I can’t say that these tricks have solved every morning challenge, but I have experienced a great improvement and much more joy to start the day! Because who doesn’t want to start the day with sweet cuddles or a dance party?
Next question, Tracy. What is a mom win that you would text your best friend?
Alex has been a bit hesitant to try new solid foods over the past several months, and we believe it has been something to do with not loving certain textures. For much of the past 8 months, his diet consisted of almost all crackers (with peanut butter or cheese) or breakfast bars, with an occasional chicken nugget or French fry. It was hard to feel like mom of the year sending food to his school each day, knowing that likely any fruit, veg, or meat would likely be ignored or thrown on the floor. But ultimately, we have continued to offer him what he will eat and expose him to other food in small amounts to see what he might try – even letting him play a bit with food on our plates. Now he is more consistently eating chicken nuggets and pizza (hey, at least it’s something!), but we had a great win this weekend with grilled cheese and he was putting green beans in his mouth! Progress!
Absolutely! Progress not perfection, right?
What are you learning as a mom right now?
I am doing a study right now called Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg, and it is really helping me recognize ways to bring more joy into my life, and my family’s lives! There is one tip that I have been trying to work into each day which is looking for a way to put an “exclamation mark” on the day. I’ve been using this as a reminder to be in the moment, especially on week nights when the time is so short between coming home and bedtime routines, and take the time to play a game, read the long stories, do pretend play, build the towers, make banana bread together, have the dance party, etc. It doesn’t have to be huge things, but something that makes the time together special and valued.
The other key learning for me is the value of rest, and taking the time to re-fuel my tank. It’s hard for me to step away from the “to-do” list and just take a nap, or spend some quiet time reading a book, but I’m realizing that feeling exhausted or at max capacity also doesn’t help me be a great mom or wife (or employee). So I’m trying to be intentional about planning in times of rest, and being OK to say no to things (including myself wanting to “do” things whether fun or errands).
I am loving this study too, Tracy. It has been so good on so many levels. I love what you said about being OK to say no to things. This is something I’m working on too!
Thank you for join us and sharing your mom wins with us!
If you would like to be featured as a Gold Medal Mom or you know someone who would, please contact us here!