Our May box curator’s path to motherhood isn’t traditional – but these days, whose is, really? Wife, mom, stepmom, Lauren Bowyer shares her sweet story of how motherhood had different plans for her and the power of unconditional love.
Tell us a little about you and your family.
My family and I have a special little story. My husband, Tyler, and I met when we were 13 years old in a tiny church building in New Jersey. After 13 years of friendship, a few dates with one another along the way and lots of life lessons, we finally ended up together! We have a six-year-old little boy named Brooks and a 1-year-old baby girl named Nell. Despite their age difference they are the best of friends! We love traveling to faraway places, enjoying good food, watching movies, taking family bike rides and Disneyland.
Tell us about each of your children and your path to motherhood with each.
My path to motherhood is unique and different than most. I became a mother on my wedding day. Not because that was the day I gave birth but because I had the privilege of marrying a wonderful man who was already a father. On my wedding day I took on the role of wife to Tyler, and stepmother to Brooks.
Growing up, I never dreamt about becoming a stepmom. A mom, yes. A stepmom, no. But as life tends to do, some of the best parts of our journey are things we never put on our to do lists. Some things happen unexpectedly and fit into your existence like they were meant to be there from the start. I mean it when I say that being a stepmom is one of the very best parts of my life and will always be one of my crowning achievements.
Almost two years ago, I gave birth to my baby, Avanelle. We did not find out the gender until she was born and having Tyler announce that we had a beautiful baby girl will always be one of my happiest and most exciting memories! Having a daughter is an absolute dream come true.
I love being a mom. I say it to Tyler all of the time. For me, being a mom also includes being a stepmom. My role is important no matter the title and whether it is or is not recognized by others. I have a love with Brooks that was gradual. And I have a love with Nell that was instant. They are different but one is not greater and one is not less. And at the end of the day, blood and DNA isn't what a family is made of; love is.
To you, motherhood is....
A privilege. A quote that crosses my mind daily is this one:
"When you are exasperated by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the value of your life. Only people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other persons' needs. The interruptions which we chafe at are the credentials of our indispensability. The greatest condemnation that anybody could incur - and it is a danger to guard against - is to be so independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us, and we are left comfortably alone."
-Anonymous from The Anglican Digest
I cherish hearing the words "momma" and "mommy" hundreds of times a day when my children need me or need something.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is definitely eclectic. I love color, I love personality and I love things that have a story behind them. My house doesn't necessarily have a theme...it's a collection of everything I love. Same with what I choose to wear. I always want people to feel comfortable and happy while they're around me! I hope to help my children embrace their personal style as they grow up.
You live in a historical home in the Phoenix area. Why did you pick that area for your family and what do you love about it?
We moved into a historic bungalow almost a year ago. I am from the east coast and grew up living in older homes with a lot of character. They're not easy to find in our state, but if you look hard enough you can find one! Our house was built in 1920 and still has original windows and floors. You can hear all the creaks in the floors when you walk and the glass is wavy when you look outside. I love knowing it has its own unique story to tell! We have a big backyard and a tree lined street. My kids play outside every chance they get. I want them to experience childhood in a way that my husband and I were able to. We bought this house to make that dream a reality.
What are some of your favorite things to do in the Phoenix area?
My husband and I love music and go to a lot of different concerts. We love to try new restaurants and I love sharing our finds with friends. We enjoy going on family bike rides to find pretty homes and streets. My kids love water; we swim a lot! We really just enjoy our weekends and evenings when we all get to spend time together!
Any special plans for this Mother's Day?
One of the things I look forward to most on Mother's Day is my husband making crepes. He made a crepe cake for me last year and I am hoping it makes a reappearance this year :) I love that we live close to my mom and my mother-in-law and get to celebrate with them as well.