WHITNEY JOHNSON | STAY-AT-HOME MOM

It’s no secret, especially to those of us who follow her blog Eat Sleep Cuddle, that Whitney Johnson is over the moon about her mini sidekick Wyatt…and who wouldn’t be with cheeks like that?!  With her soft spoken voice, sweet demeanor and grateful outlook on life, Whitney was truly born to be a mother.  Which comes as no surprise after learning she grew up with a pretty special mother/role-model who played the piano and baked fresh bread, just to name a few.  Needless to say we left her home feeling more than inspired; not only to simplify our space but more importantly appreciate the gift of motherhood.  And with Mother’s Day around the corner we can’t think of a more deserving mum to highlight.

TELL US ABOUT WYATT?

Wyatt is my absolute pride & joy. He is sweet and loving, curious and clever, good-natured, cheerful, and playful. He is always aware of what’s going on around him, and somewhat of an old soul. If I had to describe him in one word it would be bright—his bright, smiling face lights up my world and lifts my spirit over and over again. He is truly the best thing in my life.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU TWO?

Our days are pretty slow and relaxed, which I love.  I’m not the type that always has to be super busy or on-the-gosometimes we FaceTime with family, walk to the park or just lounge around on the bed, singing songs or watching for airplanes or doing whatever, which is always my favorite.

EVERY HOME NEEDS?

…a piano! We got ours as a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, and I can’t imagine our home without it.

My mom is an excellent pianist (amongst many other things), and while I’m not nearly as good as she is, I have very fond memories of music being an important part of my childhood. I’m grateful to have learned enough piano so that I can play from our favorite songbooks, and Wyatt especially loves when we sit at the piano and make music together. My husband plays the guitar and I’m trying to teach Wyatt how to play the harmonica (he’s still learning). We’ll have a little family band before not too long, I’m sure. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS?

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

ANY TIPS OR TRICKS TO STAY HEALTHY OR BALANCED?

I’m a big advocate of regular exercise and I love keeping journals as a way to clear my mind and keep me centered. Also making the time to meditate can do wonders. My meditation practice currently is not as consistent as it has been in the past, but a couple times a week (usually after I put Wyatt down for his nap) I’ll spend 5-10 minutes relaxing my mind and body with deep breathing or guided imagery.

THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE AESTHETIC OF YOUR HOME?

simple, bright, playful

I do my best to keep our home very simple. My mom always did an excellent job of keeping things clean and uncluttered in our home growing up, which is something I’ve really subscribed to myself now that I have my own family and “nest” to take care of.  Our space is small so we don’t keep a lot of the nonessentials around.  Plus when things are in their proper place, my mind feels clearer and I feel more calm and at peace. I also try to keep things feeling bright and open with low-profile furniture and as much white as possible. 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?

I wish I had this more figured out, but I would say my personal style is similar to my approach towards everything else in life—simple, mostly practical and nothing too fussy or over the top.

DAILY UNIFORM THESE DAYS?

Most days you’ll see me in high-waisted skinny jeans with a white or gray t-shirt and my trusty Helen Ficalora alphabet charm necklace.

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED SINCE BECOMING A MOM?

My husband & I struggled with infertility for several years, so my life before becoming a mom was full of dark days—feelings of hopelessness and wondering if having our own children would ever be in the cards for us. I have only ever wanted to be a mom, so it was a really hard time. I will say, though, as difficult as that time was, deep down I always had a very innate sense that things would somehow eventually work out for the best, even if it would be not what I was expecting. This faith reassured me countless times of God’s love for us and that He was very aware of what we were going through. Having faith and prayer were definitely my lifesavers during those years.  Since getting pregnant and having Wyatt, the change that occurred in our life has been like night and day. Every single day just seems like a very, very, very good dream, and I am very aware of the fact that being a mother is my greatest privilege and blessing. Life has different challenges now of course, but the joy and happiness that Wyatt brings us trumps it all. Babies are magic.

HOW ARE YOU SIMILAR TO YOUR OWN MOTHER?

My mother is such an amazing woman, and I truly admire her. If I ever do a good job at this “mothering” thing, it is because of her wonderful & beautiful example. She was 100% dedicated to our family and her role as a mother and she always took a lot of pride in her work as a homemaker which is so important. I’m trying to follow in her footsteps in that regard, although I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to bake a loaf of homemade French bread quite like she can.

WHO DO YOU TURN TO FOR ADVICE?

My husband! He has such a gift for seeing both sides of any situation and never lets his emotions or opinions determine how he reacts to something, so he always gives really sound advice and wise counsel.  Just one of the many, many reasons I am so grateful to have him.

MOTHERHOOD HAS TAUGHT ME?

The importance of self-compassion and self-love. As mothers we can be so hard on ourselves—not ever feel good enough, compare ourselves to others, or always feel like there is more we could do or should be doing. I fall into that trap sometimes, but I’ve found I am a better mother when I show kindness to myself, give myself a pat on the back, celebrate my strengths, and take time for myself, doing things that restore and inspire me.

ANY ADVICE TO NEW MOMS?

Everything is temporary! The hard times (sleepless nights, weaning, teething, fevers and illnesses, tantrum after tantrum, etc.) are usually just phases and they always come to an end. I used to have to remind myself of this fairly often, especially when Wyatt was much younger. He would sleep terribly one night or refuse to take a nap one afternoon, and I would think I was doomed, that he would be a terrible sleeper for the rest of his life. Fortunately that wasn’t the case at all. Reminding myself that whatever challenge I was currently faced with was only temporary always did wonders for helping me stay positive and upbeat. Also, the beautiful, intimate moments we share with our children are even more fleeting, so soak them up and enjoy every second!

Reading Whitney’s blog Eat Sleep Cuddle. and IG feed @whitneyjohnson is always refreshing…it’s lighthearted, practical, honest and full of the highs and lows of motherhood, so be sure to follow along!