Before the Craziness Began: Patience when I Became an Insta-Mom

Happiness – Taken in Hawaii by Carlye Pina


Before I move on with the now, I want to quickly talk about the before.

I have three big brothers, I am the youngest and might be a “Daddy’s Little Girl”.  In my early childhood it was normal to attempt things like cramming 4 people on an ATV, running around the house barefoot in a blizzard as many times as we could, and generally taking risk and running around the 2 acres of woods behind my house.

Dad was strict but also a big kid at heart who encouraged our curiosity and independence.  My mother, while she mostly had good intentions, never really knew how to know or deal with me, and for years that hurt.

My parents divorced when I was 12 years old, essentially rendering me an only child, my brothers were all 18 and over at this point and out of the house.  This also resulted in a lot of moving around for me – I went to three different high schools and lived in 11 different houses from the time they divorced until college.

The Importance of Sports in my Life

The thing that saved me throughout this time of life was sports.  Sports gave me a sense of direction and kept me surrounded with good friends as-well-as grounded.  Sports laid the groundwork for a lot in my life, from my confidence to excelling in college and my career.  The common denominator here is really personal excellence.  I believe that before all else you must practice personal excellence in order for the pieces of your life to align the way you want. Sports taught me this.

Time for some Responsibility

Photo Taken on my Trip to Hawaii in 2013

In college, I might have played ultimate frisbee or wiffle ball on the Boston Common, but otherwise swapped sports for student leadership which fitness aside, are the same in terms of life lessons and resume building.

This then lead to my job with the federal government, and concurrently my love of fitness instruction specifically running and kickboxing.  All of this further increased my sense of confidence, led me to love travel and eventually led me to my husband whom I met at work.  And so now we’re back.

That is my life nutshell, my life before it all changed in seemingly moments.  The moments when I decided to fall in love with [my now] husband and by extension his children.  To get a real sense of the me before the me you know now, check out my travel blog CarlyeCrosby.

Becoming and Instant Mom

My husband had been divorced for some time when I met him.  He had three young kids, whose mother lives in another state and spends time with them infrequently.  As a result, I quickly came to think of them as mine.  This is not to devalue their biological mother, but is a tribute to my love for them and how seriously I take this role I am blessed to have.  I won’t spend a lot of time here simply because from this point forward when I refer to my kids, I am referring to all four of them.


So, my three big kids (twin 9-year-olds and a 7-year-old) all play at least one sport a season.  I coach my oldest daughters travel soccer team.  My husband and I both work full-time.  We are incredibly close to both sides of our family as well as our chosen family – we have amazing friends!  If it’s not school or work or sports we are probably at some family gathering or ourselves hosting some sort of gathering.  In sum, our life is total madness… 100% of the time.

Despite the madness, I’ve managed to form an intentional yet forgiving approach to parenting.  And over the years a lot of people have asked me for advice on things from food, to fitness, to scheduling to chores.  I am often asked, “how do you do it all?!”  And the truth is, I don’t do it all.  I’m just really intentional about how I prioritize and how I teach my children to be functioning members of our family and society.  So, I thought why not share the how, what and when?

The Intent

What this is, this blog you stumbled upon while hiding from your children in your closet or on the train on the way to work or any other moment without your children or maybe with your children while they’re sitting there yapping your ear off and you’re pretending to listen, is your space.

This is your space to find and maybe even share ideas about organizing your family’s insane schedule.  Your space to find new ideas for menu planning and prep.  This is your space to find creative workouts and tools to help you stay fit.  Your space to remind you to stay well and do the things you love for you.  This is your space to find space.  Because by creating, balancing and championing your space you in turn become your best self for your kids.  And that is what The Complete Mama is all about.

The Complete Mama and the Nerd in me

The name is based off some research conducted by Dr. Stephan Poulter who explains the five mother types and their corresponding strengths and legacies that was shared in an article from the May 2010 issue of Phycologies entitled, The Five Mother Types.

When my husband first presented this idea to me I thought, “Fuck.  No.  That sounds pretentious- I’m not pretentious.  I shave possibly once a month, genuinely look to the movie ‘Bad Moms’ for validation.  At least once a week I yell AT my family that “I don’t even belong here”.  But in time, after a lot of late nights at our kitchen table brainstorming I started to see.  It’s not that I am the complete mama, or even think I ever will be.  It’s simply the light I follow.  I’m not just one thing; I do not live solely for my kids, but all the things that I do- makes them who they are.  And everything they do, makes me better [even if sometimes I cry in the bathroom with a beer].


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