A New Flight Path

Sherra Armstrong and her husband, Eddie, were used to a life of spontaneous trips, social engagements and busy work schedules, all of which slowed with the arrival of their 10-month-old son and first born, Edison.

By Amy Gordy

 

“I heard a lot of pregnancy horror stories, and I was expecting to be sick and uncomfortable, but I got lucky and didn’t have any of that. I stayed active and still went out to events. I can’t say enough about how much fun being pregnant was for me,” Sherra Armstrong said.

She works in marketing and advertising for a few local organizations. A lot of Armstrong’s work can be done from home, which makes it easier to care for Edison, but on days when she needs to be on set for a commercial shoot, you’ll find Edison right there with her—getting out of the house now just takes a little more planning.

“I shot a commercial for Shorter College and Edison was there with me in the studio in his stroller when he decided it was time to use the bathroom—all up his back. We had to say ‘cut,’ and let me take care of that. Sometimes I have to make arrangements for him, but usually if I’m there, he’s with me. I just have to have a place for naps, and now I have to do a lot more thinking and planning before I leave the house.”

Armstrong is finding the biggest challenge to parenting is adjusting to the newness of it all, and the changes that come with becoming first-time parents. “So far the biggest challenge is just the newness of it all. We were a single couple with no kids for three years, and now everything is all about how to move best for the family as a whole with Edison involved. I can’t rush out of the house anymore, I have to have a backpack and a plan at all times. We used to be the kind of people when on a Thursday we might decide to just grab a bag and drive to Dallas for the weekend—now we have a son who does not like to be in a car seat for more than 30 minutes,” she said.

The Armstrongs both work part of the time in Chicago, which puts them flying back and forth quite a bit. “We’ve taken Edison probably five times or more, and he’s good on a plane, but we have a ridiculous amount of things to bring!”

Being a mom has brought about quite a few changes personally for Armstrong. She’s learned to become more flexible, to live off very little sleep and to roll with the punches. “I used to be the kind of person that said there was a lot of stuff I wouldn’t do. I wasn’t real big on cleaning up all the time. I would live on plastic ware to avoid dishes. I would opt for dry cleaning instead of doing laundry. There were just things I wouldn’t do—waking up early was also one of those things. All of that is out the window now. My son tells me when to wake up. I clean and sanitize his bottles constantly. That old me is gone, and it’s amazing how fast it happens!”

The couple has also shifted their path for the future from plans of extensive traveling to thoughts of budgeting and tuition costs, and being there to shape Edison’s future. “For me, the next five years will really be about building a place where we become a family. I read that you are who you are by the age of 6, so I want to make sure the next five years are about building a kid who has integrity, knows to do the right thing and gives back to his community. I want those first five years to be structured properly, and for him to have a good spiritual basis. That’s more important to me than anything else.”

photo by matthew martin

photo by matthew martin

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH SHERRA

IF YOU HAD A DAY FREE FROM ALL OBLIGATIONS, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Go to Barnes & Noble and get a good book to read (I still like hard copies).

WHICH QUALITY DO YOU MOST HOPE TO INSTILL IN YOUR CHILD? Integrity. I want him to do the right thing even when no one is looking.

WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT MOST? How our social, political and environmental footprint will impact future generations.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY BALANCED? I pray and meditate. I also do Zumba.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL TO PREPARE THAT MAKES EVERYONE HAPPY? Pan-seared salmon and asparagus.

WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL GIRLS NIGHT? Watch a good play in a great city, eat at a fabulous restaurant and spend the night in a hotel suite (old-school sleepover style).

WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL DATE NIGHT? A quiet night at home with Eddie cooking me dinner.

WHAT'S THE HARDEST THING ABOUT PARENTING? Hardest part of parenting to me is when my baby is sick or uncomfortable and I can't fix it.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER HAD THAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR KIDS? The opportunity to learn the importance of community outreach at a younger age.

WHICH OF YOUR OWN QUALITIES DO YOU SEE IN YOUR CHILD? The quality that I see of mine in my son is his uninterrupted cool nature.

WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH MOST AT THIS STAGE IN YOUR CHILD'S LIFE? We are most focused on making sure that he is clearing milestones, and that we don't spoil him too much.

WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD OF YOUR CHILD? He is so close to perfect in our eyes—I couldn't begin to share it all—I mean he sleeps all night, he eats well, he is such a sweet and funny baby and he is so stinking cute!