Introducing Courtney DeLay…an East Lansing Mom

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Hi! My name is Courtney DeLay and I live in East Lansing with my husband, Adam, and our two-year-old daughter, Sophia. I am thrilled to join the Lansing Mom team!

Me (Before Motherhood)

A lifelong Michigander, I am from Battle Creek, the Cereal City. (Yes, the downtown smells like cereal.) I am the middle child of three and the only daughter. When I was in second grade, my parents decided to homeschool us. It was the best decision they could have made for our family, though not the most popular choice in the mid-1990s. I still remember extended family members asking my mom in shock, “You’re going to do WHAT?” Homeschooling was ultimately the right choice for our family. My parents’ decision taught me that sometimes doing what is best for your family means listening to your heart above all else.

I am a 2010 graduate of Michigan State University. I met my future husband, Adam, on our very first day at MSU. We started dating three days later and never looked back. After college, I spent the next decade working for Dressbarn, a women’s clothing retailer. This company taught me an incredible amount about business, teamwork, leadership, and the collective power of women.

Before I became a mother, I was completely confident in who I was. I was a businesswoman driven to succeed. Naturally outgoing and energetic, I was always busy. I never doubted what my next step would be. When Adam and I decided to start a family, I was completely confident in our ability to manage parenthood and full-time jobs. We always had a plan.

And then my daughter, Sophia, was born.

Becoming a Mother

Station Blue Photography, St. Johns MI

We discovered at the 40-week ultrasound that Sophia was in a breech position. My birth plan went out the window. Sophia Rose was born the very next day via c-section: healthy, screaming, and perfect.

What surprised me most about motherhood was that I didn’t feel confident in the beginning. I was constantly nervous I would ruin my baby. I felt like I needed mothering again. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a long-term plan. I didn’t even have a week-long plan. My plan every day when I woke up was to simply survive the day. I took it one breath at a time. Some days I never took my hair out of a ponytail or got around to cleaning anything. But slowly, Sophia and I were learning each other and the trust and love exploded from there.

A Change of Heart

When Sophia was almost two months old, I began to daydream about staying home instead of returning to the job that I loved. I had always envisioned myself as a working mom. All of my friends had gone back to work after having their babies. I actually didn’t know any other stay at home moms. It wasn’t an easy decision. I wanted to see my co-workers, go out to lunch, and interact with other adults. I wasn’t sure how to create an identity beyond “Sophia’s Mom” if I didn’t return to work. But I also felt in my heart that where I was needed most was at home with Sophia. It was in this moment of doubt that I reflected on my own childhood. My parents’ example taught me that what matters most when raising your children is trusting your heart.

Adam and I sat down and worked through the numbers and realized that while it would take sacrifice, we could manage on one income. Once we made the decision, much like our relationship, we never looked back. This was our life and we were going to live it the best way we could.

Motherhood (During COVID-19)

Just as I felt like I was finding my way, COVID-19 hit. Life is very different now. Story times, play groups, and moms’ nights out are gone. Losing my in-person time with the greater Lansing mom community is hard. Parenting in a global pandemic is an unprecedented test of all parents’ patience and creativity. I try to not be too hard on myself. There is more screen time than I ever wanted, but there is also more family play time. There is less busyness than we’re used to, but more time to be in the moment with Sophia. We are finding our new normal, little by little.

When I’m not in full Mom mode, I love to read (especially Reese Witherspoon’s book picks). I belong to a book club with amazing women who constantly inspire me. I also enjoy writing, going for walks, and having coffee or wine with my girlfriends or husband. We are a big football household and can’t wait until we can tailgate for MSU again. I like to cook, and have a very appreciative family no matter the outcome (even if it ends in takeout).

Joining Lansing Mom is an exciting opportunity, and I can’t wait to share this crazy, wonderful, stressful, magical mothering journey with all of you!

 

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