Talking Motherhood with Inna Petz

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I discovered Inna's blog, Oh La Femme, and Instagram account when I was pregnant last year and in search of other moms and moms-to-be to chat with and learn from. Inna had her first daughter, Evalyn, just a few months before I had Luke, and I've loved following along on her journey - especially the delicious recipes she shares!. As a fellow Canadian (though she currently lives in Southern California) and a new momma, I'm excited to chat with Inna today about all things motherhood. 

Name, location, and occupation: Hi! My name is Inna Petz (I actually don't have a middle name), and I currently live in sunny So Cal, L.A. with my sweet husband, Sebastian and baby girl, Evalyn Mae. I am a proud stay-at-home mama who loves anything to do with homemaking!

Tell us about yourself and your family!
This year I'm turning 25 on the 25th of August. I can't believe I'll be 5 years from 30 soon! But I feel so happy with what I've accomplished in my life so far, especially with the fulfilling role of motherhood. As you'll learn from my blog, I love to bake, cook, dress-up and share my insight on motherhood and my faith. I am a firm believer in Christ and I can't imagine getting through life - or any day for that matter - without His strength and faithfulness in my life. My husband and I moved to L.A. a couple years ago so he could achieve his Masters in Theology. He is now finishing up his second year with another year remaining. It's been such an exciting experience and a big move, especially coming from a smaller town in Canada. 

What inspired you to be a stay-at-home mom? Was it something you knew you always wanted for yourself and your family, or did you make the choice once your daughter was born?
For as long as I can remember I couldn't wait to have a family of my own one day. I always envisioned my life being married to a loving husband and having a few kids. I'm so happy to be living my dream, and I say that humbly. As expected, motherhood has been tougher than I could have ever imagined, but much more fulfilling and rewarding, which continually makes my heart so full. I truly feel motherhood is a great privilege. 

I think any work arrangement, whether you’re a full-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom, or anything in between comes with its own set of positives and challenges. As a stay-at-home mom, what is the most rewarding and, alternatively, the most difficult aspect of your arrangement? 
I totally agree. As anything thing in life, there are always challenges to every situation, even in something as beautiful as motherhood. But as a stay-at-home mom, I feel there is always something that needs to be done. The ironing piles up, the baseboards have to be cleaned, or that drawer needs to be organized... you get it! I try not to let it bring me down if I can't get to certain tasks when I want to. Instead, I like to make weekly to-do's that help me get through all the things I want to accomplish, around the house, for example. 'Cause let's be honest, sometimes the ironing can wait, especially if that means more quality time with my husband. As long as my basics are met each day, like a tidy house, empty sink, happy baby and husband, my heart is at ease.

The most rewarding aspect is really the enjoyment of getting to spend all day with my baby! I love seeing her sweet face from the moment I wake up and get to invest in her development, not feeling like I'm missing out on anything. Also, I've always been a busybody, so being at home has definitely slowed down my life a lot. I now feel I have more of a disciplined and structured life. I am able to spend more time reading, invest in cultivating friendships and making my own schedule. 

What does a "typical" day look like in your household?
As most moms can relate, my days start early and end late. As soon as my baby wakes up it's time to start the day! I try to squeeze in as many morning cuddles as I can get but that doesn't happen too often these days! We start off the morning with breakfast, and as I fix my coffee, I like to listen to a podcast playing in the background (currently it's Risen Motherhood). As much as I love being a homebody, I like spreading out my errands and coffee dates throughout my week so we can get out and enjoy sunny So Cal as much as possible.

I try to spend as much time as I can interacting with my baby throughout the day, especially in these first-year months that are heavy on development. We are currently reading a lot of books, learning how to stand, and hopefully walking soon! Evalyn usually takes two naps a day, which is very predictable at this point. I make dinner 99% of the time, so I always have that ready for my hubs when he gets home. After dinner, we always go through a bedtime routine with Ev together, and then she's usually in bed by 7-7:30. In these hours before we go to sleep, my husband and I spend time talking about our day, sharing our thoughts, and enjoying each others company. We've made a point to do this every day, even if it's only for a short period of time. In whatever time I have left before bed, I like to make sure the house is tidy, dishes are washed and getting in some blog work while my husband catches up on his school work too. Then it's sleep time for all of us since my baby is finally sleeping through the night, yay!

What inspired you to start your blog, Oh La Femme? More specifically, what is your favourite topic to write about? 
I've always loved sharing my interests with many friends and family growing up in hopes to encourage and inspire those with similar interests, but I never really had a fitting platform until I considered starting a blog. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started and had to learn a lot along the way but it's become such a fun way to channel my thoughts and an active hobby as it's developed into what it is today. I truly enjoy sharing my insight and snippets of my life, encompassing everything that makes me, me. 

You're a Canadian living in California. Are there any significant differences you've noticed about parenting in the United States versus Canada? 
Now that my baby, Evalyn, is almost one, I have been trying to find new places in the community to venture into and discover together. Honestly, I do feel there is a different feeling of comfort being in Los Angeles as opposed to where I originally came from in Canada, which is a much smaller town. Being here has given me more things to be aware of and consider. I know bad things can happen anywhere, but I do feel I have a higher guard up now than I ever did before because of the uneasiness I feel in certain places of L.A. It just made me become less ignorant of my surroundings and forces me to choose wisely where I feel comfortable spending time. There doesn't seem to be too many kid-friendly areas either so I have to be selective in areas that are fitting for baby and me to venture into on a weekly basis. I don't want to paint L.A. in a total bad light because of course there are some great places too, and we live in a very safe neighbourhood, but overall there has been some adjusting coming from a smaller town, to a big, metropolitan area. 

What is one thing you’re struggling with as a mother right now (if you're comfortable sharing)?
I think this may be a common one among moms, but it's time. Now that I have much more of it since my baby takes longer naps and sleeps through the night, I feel like I want to prioritize my time to make better use of it. I also want to start implementing healthy habits again with the time I have. It's so easy to just shut off in those moments and spend that time on my phone. I really want to invest my time doing things that will benefit me in the long run, like reading through my Bible, or getting in that workout, because bettering myself means I can be a better wife and a better mom. 

How do you recharge when you have a moment to yourself?
I like to do things that make me feel better about myself. I know it may sound a little selfish, but that's not the case. I love to take 1-2 showers a day, put on a face mask, or even paint my nails when I get the chance. And during the quiet moments, I like to spend my time reading my Bible, and/or books that give me daily encouragement to help me through whatever challenges I have going on in my life at the time. When I have time to do these things, I feel so confident to take on each day! Not only do I feel put together outwardly, but inwardly I feel renewed. 

What inspires you right now, be it anything you’ve read lately, someone you’ve met, a hobby you’ve taken up, or anything else?
Well, a big part of who I am is sharing my faith openly, so I am constantly sharing this recent mommy podcast I have been listening to on a daily basis with other moms, in hopes that it will encourage them too. They talk a lot about the encouraging truth of the Bible, but it's so relatable to this stage in my life now, having a little one. The podcast also provides a lot of practical tips, laughter, and hope in the many seasons of motherhood. It really gives me a feeling of being united, that I'm not the only one going through it alone. I love starting off my day with an episode while I feed my baby with one hand and drink my coffee in the other. With that truth, I feel ready to start my day! The podcast is called, Risen Motherhood, I highly encourage any mom to give it a listen.

Thank you so much, Inna!