Mother’s Day is meant to celebrate the bond of love shared between children and their mothers. It’s also the perfect day to spend time with Mom or Grandma, with someone who is like a mom, or honor the memory of a beloved mother or grandmother.
Twenty-four-year-old Desloge resident Alayna Grace (Berry) Momot will spend Mother’s Day with her husband Matthew and daughter Vera Jean. Matthew plans to wake up early to make a special Mother’s Day breakfast before church that will include French toast, bacon, eggs and fruit.
“My first Mother’s Day was last year,” said Momot. “This is my second Mother’s Day with Vera Jean on this side of my tummy.”
Vera Jean was born on Aug. 27, 2021.
Since then, Momot said, being Vera Jean’s mom is “the absolute best.”
“When I brought her into this world, I quit my job and switched to taking online college classes in order to be with her every minute,” she said. “This was challenging because I loved where I was working, but I knew it was the best decision for my family within our circumstances.”
Momot said becoming a mother taught her a whole new meaning to the word “love.”
“I matured significantly and Vera Jean quickly became the best part of who I am,” she said.
Sweet Vera Jean is a very active 18-month-old who loves bath time, art projects, dancing and baby dolls. She feeds her dolls, rocks them to sleep, and tucks them in every night before she goes to bed.
“Vera Jean and I have ‘dance parties’ every evening before her bath and bedtime,” said Momot. “This is one of my favorite parts of the day. She is such an entertainer, and she makes her daddy and me light up when she shows us her new dance moves.”
The couple loves spending time with their daughter and enjoys going to the zoo, park or simply playing together at home.
“We love being able to watch her learn and grow as each day passes,” said Momot.
She faced many health challenges as a result of her pregnancy.
“A challenge I have faced is showing up for my daughter and giving her my 100% every day, even if I don’t feel up to it physically,” she said. “Sick days are not an option when you stay home with your child. However, little Vera deserves the best and that’s what I aim to give her every day, regardless of what is going on with me.”
Momot said she’s fortunate to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. She does work part-time at Farmington’s Ballet Arts Center where she teaches a few evenings each week.
“Being a stay-at-home mom is so fulfilling, but it can be challenging at times,” she said. “Working at the ballet school gives me a chance to do something I love with the people I love. I think of it more as a hobby because I love it so much.”
Momot said Matthew is the “absolute best dad” and works full-time to support their family.
“The minute he gets off work, he is enthusiastically awaiting to spend quality time with his family,” she said.
On certain nights, Momot leaves to teach jazz and tap classes at Ballet Arts Center as soon as Matthew arrives home. She doesn’t return until late evening. While she’s gone, Matthew feeds Vera, gives her a bath and rocks her to sleep.
“I never have to worry about her when I’m not there,” she said.
Momot recalled when Vera was a newborn and she woke up several times a night to feed her. Matthew also woke up with her to support her in any way he could.
“He is truly a great father and life partner,” she said. “We are both blessed to have him.”
Momot added that she’s also grateful for her parents, Alan and Marilyn, for being so involved in Vera Jean’s life.
“My mom will call me out of the blue and ask to spend the evening with Vera so I can get a break to get my nails done or catch up on housework,” she said. “I’m so grateful for them!”
Momot offered advice to expectant and new moms: “You will feel an overwhelming amount of love and joy when you become a mommy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and allow yourself to take a break to do something you enjoy.”
She added that someone once told her if she happens to have a hard day with an upset newborn or toddler, just try to imagine something.
“Try to imagine yourself 40 years from now and wish you could have one more day with your daughter as a tiny baby,” she said. “This mindset shift has been an eye opener to me and a piece of advice that has helped me get through those stressful situations as a new mom.”
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor of the Daily Journal.