Monday Moms in Green Bay

Meet today’s Monday Mom, Ellen Smithback.

Q: What town/city do you live in?
A: Green Bay.

Q: How many kids do you have?
A: One.

Q: What are their ages?
A: 18 months.

Q: Do you work outside the home? If so, where/what do you do?
A: I do! I work at Spring Lake Church in Student Ministry part-time, connecting with, supporting and caring for teenagers and their parents, and also have a Trades of Hope business when I’m at home. (You can check out her link here if interested in learning more:

Q: What is your favorite at-home activity to do with your kids?
A: We love to build forts and read in them! Our favorite is Dinosaur Sounds from Usborne (for the record, Dinosaur names are the HARDEST to pronounce. Good thing he can’t read yet to know I’m making stuff up…). We also love to watch any trucks doing work on our street: garbage trucks, plows, tree removal, construction: you name it, and we love it!

Q: Where is your favorite place around Green Bay to take your kids?
A: The Titletown District + Titletown Park. It’s just a magical place to be, especially in the winter months. We love to go there and just walk around, run on the football field, and when the park is open, go down the “bumpy slide”.

Q: What is one parenting tip you would like to share with others?
A: Start a bedtime routine the day you get home with your baby, and stick with it! We did that, and bedtime is a BREEZE! Our routine is jammies + diaper change, get puppy + nuk, sing 2 songs (Jesus Loves Me and On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand), pray, and then a few moments with Dad before laying down for sleep! We rarely ever need to go back in.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you have time for yourself?
A: I know this isn’t a fun hobby, but I love to just get my ongoing task list done. During nap, I love to pay bills, do dishes, fold laundry, clean the house, balance the checkbook, meal plan, go through emails, etc. I also really love working on my Trades of Hope, which gives me so, so much meaning and fulfillment knowing I’m doing work for families around the world. When my task list is done, I’m much more present, and I feel accomplished, light, and ready for play time!

Q: Are you a night owl or an early bird (despite what you have to be as a mom)?
A: Is neither an option? Ha! I’m TERRIBLE at mornings, but desire to be a morning person. In a perfect world, I’d get up a couple hours before my little to start my day. Often though, I only have about an hour. Anyone have any tips?! 😀

Q: What is your “story” that you would like to share with other moms to motivate/encourage/inspire or help them? 
A: I’m a first born, type A person with high woo, positivity, and achiever. I’m task driven, enjoy solving problems, always have a plan, enjoy connecting with people, and can always see the bright side of a situation. However, when my son was born, I began to experience fear, doubt + anxiety like I had never experienced before, and I was shocked that it was happening! I thought, before he was born, that I would be a go-with-the-flow-not-afraid-of-the-germy-world kind of mom. Nope. Not operating healthily out of what is normally my personality, it really was difficult for me to get everyday things done, because I was SO afraid of something happening to my child. I had significant doubt in my ability as a mom + wife and in my faith. Postpartum shocked me and shook me to my core. However, with a really phenomenal care team around me (my husband, mom, friends, counselor(s), church), I slowly but surely have started to heal from postpartum with a lot of processing, helpful tools, and prayer.

It was by far the hardest season of my life so far, and I KNOW that so many women experience it, but no one talks about MOM after a baby is born. Of course, our focus as moms is the health and every.single.need of our child, which is why we research and know everything about our babies…but then we aren’t aware of postpartum effects or symptoms, and don’t take good care of ourselves! Then our babies are born, and we feel unwell and selfish if we focus anywhere except on our child. It’s so real, and it’s such a difficult tension that SO many face…if you’re experiencing any anxiety or depression, know that you’re absolutely not alone, and I’m so sorry.

Know that it does get better (with help + the Lord) and keep sight on healing! Keep working on your internal dialogue, recognizing symptoms towards healing (or getting worse), and keep talking to someone. Processing fear or doubt out loud is the most healing thing for me, to this day.

You’re doing great work, momma. It’s the hardest, most important work, and you’re doing it! Continue to fight for your own mental health despite the loss of sleep and chaos that children bring. It WILL get better. You’re loved and valued and doing great things. Know I’m praying for you, and I’d love to talk more if you need a listening ear.

Thanks for sharing with us, Ellen!

Monday Moms is BACK! We’re always looking for more Monday Mom submissions. Help us keep featuring new area moms by filling out the Monday Mom survey on the let’s go mommy website. You can find the link here. Or, if you would like to be featured, you can also email me at

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