When Whitney Rose tearfully tendered her resignation as a Spanish teacher in exchange for life as a stay-at-home, first-time mom to now 4-month-old Kennedy, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Midnight feedings and messy diapers were a given, but fun? She says she had no idea how much fun was in store. We met up with 29-year-old Whitney in her East Dallas home to chat about adventures in parenthood with her photographer husband Carter and life as a brand-new family of three.
Did you and Carter both know you wanted kids early on?
I wanted kids right out of the gate and Carter was like, “Let’s wait a couple years.” So we waited seven years. We got a dog four years in to stave off the baby.
Did it help?
It did help! They’re not comparable at all, but it’s still a sense of responsibility.
How’s Kennedy doing?
She’s good! She’s a happy girl. She likes to laugh with Carter the most. She’s pretty easy. Fingers crossed it stays that way. We’re having a good time. As much as it is exhausting, it’s great. It’s really fun.
Was it hard to leave teaching?
It was such a hard choice for me to stay home, but I love being home with her. I didn’t anticipate that I would so love it. It’s the best ever.
Will she be raised to be bilingual?
That’s definitely the goal. I’m looking forward to passing that along.
How was your pregnancy?
My first trimester was brutal. I was so exhausted. I didn't anticipate being completely useless. Literally, I would come home from school and lie down on the couch and go to sleep until Carter would give me something to eat and then I’d go to bed. Once I got through that, I was fine.
Did you find out the sex ahead of time?
We did. There’s always so much mystery and excitement and stress that it’s like … I need to know. So we found out she was going to be a girl. I wanted a girl but kind of thought it would be a boy. Carter wanted a boy but kind of thought it was going to be a girl. We just love her so much it’s stupid. It’s the only thing we think about. When we go to bed at night, we look at her pictures on our phone, and when that’s not enough, we go in her room and just stare at her. Your brain just turns to baby goo. It’s awesome.
How does the reality of day-to-day compare to any expectations you may have had about life with a baby?
I had no idea how unproductive I would be. Your whole world becomes about taking care of them. You have to really recalibrate your expectations for what you’re going to “accomplish” and be satisfied in saying, “OK. I took care of my daughter today and that’s enough.” You’re not on your own schedule anymore. And it’s weird for this tiny little human to call the shots.
How do you think you’ve changed since becoming a mom?
You’re not yourself anymore. You’re there for them. It’s like that switch happens instantaneously. Some of that is maternal instinct, but there’s some maternal instinct I did not get. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean that you immediately get this huge wealth of knowledge. You need to call on others and that’s a good thing.
How has married life changed?
It’s different. You really have to take time to say, “OK what are you interested in? What’s happening in your life?” And it’s hard to do. I don’t know that we’re successful at it every single day, but I think also seeing Carter love her so well and be such a great dad solidifies our marriage. It’s just a love fest. But that’s how it should be.
Have you made it out for date night?
Yeah. I remember the first time we had babysitters come over. We got in the car and were like, “Maybe we should just pull into the driveway and sleep in the car … because we’re so tired.”
What are you looking forward to experiencing with Kennedy as she grows?
We can’t wait to hear her talk and teach her another language … those are the things that I really look forward to … her singing with Carter and playing guitar … I’m hoping she enjoys the things we do.