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Viewfinder: Stay-at-home mom balances 4 children, activities

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Stay-at-home mom Liz Blalock, center, laughs with her son Tristan, 5, while daughter Adara, 7, climbs in a doorway Monday at their home on Main Street. Liz Blalock and her husband, Tim, made the decision she would stay at home full time when their first child was born.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Stay-at-home mom Liz Blalock, center, laughs with her son Tristan, 5, while daughter Adara, 7, climbs in a doorway Monday at their home on Main Street. Liz Blalock and her husband, Tim, made the decision she would stay at home full time when their first child was born.

NATCHEZ — Liz Blalock has a full-time job, but it’s not 9 to 5.

Blalock, 32, has been a stay-at-home mom for nine years since her son, Timothy, was born. Liz and her husband, Tim, now have four children, with a fifth on the way.

Before having children she was a school teacher, a skill that has served her well in teaching her own children and helping them grow academically outside of school.

On any given day, Liz may take her youngest son, Theron, 3, to a play group she organizes with other stay-at-home moms. After that, lunch has to be made, and the oldest three, Timothy, 9, Adara, 7, and Tristan, 5, have to be picked up from West Elementary School. Homework has to be done, extracurricular activities such as ballet and basketball have to be attended, and somewhere along the way dinner has to be made. Bath time precedes bedtime, and then the whole process starts over again.

Orchestrating so many schedules can be daunting, but Liz said she manages it with her “lifeline” — her smartphone.

“It’s how I keep things organized,” Liz said. “I even have it go off to remind me to take out the trash.”

But all the work is worth it so that her children know they’re cared for, said Liz.

“It’s nice to know that when you come home from school someone is there,” Liz said.

Liz and Tim made the decision when their first child was born that she would stay at home full time, but it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

“We could be making a whole lot more money than we are if we were both working, but to what end?” Tim said. “You don’t live to work, you work to live.”

Their life can be challenging at times, Liz said, but it’s all worth it.

“In the middle of the night if someone needs you, you have to be there,” Liz said. “It’s hard sometimes, because the work seems to never end, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

Her children have their own reasons, besides her cooking skills, for being happy they have a 24-hour-a-day mom.

“Mommy helps me swim in the deep end if I need help,” Tristan said.

For Liz, her children come first.

“Family is the most important thing,” Liz said. “In all honesty, kids, they’re all that matters really.”