Mom Life, New Baby

What a New Mom NEEDS [FOR HERSELF]

Hi Moms! This is NOT another article to tell you what to buy for your baby. I’ve got one here if you need it. No. This article is all about helping YOU. Because, let’s face it. Once you’ve had the baby, you kinda get forgotten by everyone, including yourself.

So this is all. about. you! 🙂

Comfy Shoes. You’ll need them. You’ll be pushing a stroller, shopping for groceries, and running countless errands. You need something comfy on your feet. Treat those sweet feet! And remember, you might be up a shoe size post-partum.

Bathrobe. I basically LIVED in this after I had my son. You’re breastfeeding, pumping, or just plain too tired. You want to be comfy and be able to feed your baby easily when you first come back home from the hospital. It’s all about comfort and rest right now. So get that nice fuzzy, extra large, plush, bathrobe.

Comfy Pants. Having comfortable sweatpants are crucial during the recovery stage. Getting into jeans for me right away wasn’t going to happen, especially after a C-section where my mid-section really needed to heal. This is the time for comfort and feeling better. You need sweatpants — snag yourself a pair.

Great Coffee Pot. You’re not going to sleep a lot — at least not for a few months. Your baby requires constant feedings the first few months until their stomach’s enlarge. You’ll need to listen to the cliche, “Sleep when your baby sleeps.” When that’s not enough, drink some coffee. It’ll warm you up in the mornings and make you feel more sane. When the days get hard, it’s nice to phone a fellow mom friend and chat over a cup.

Don’t forget yourselves, moms. Don’t be a martyr. Make yourself a priority every day. It will make you feel better and bring a new sense of peace and comfort to your new little home.

It’s all about you right now.

 

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Mom Life, Personal Development, Struggle

Permission to “Lose It”

This weekend was a cluster of my “finest” moments.

It included the following:

  • Getting into an argument with my husband
  • Yelling around the house
  • Complaining about what “hadn’t been done”
  • Feeling upset I didn’t get more done
  • Episodes of tears from stress
  • Forgot to pay a bill that was definitely due

Have you ever had those moments? You know, the moments where you just feel like a colossal failure? Moments where you feel like like is treating you like a clump of silly puddy? Me too.

I felt like such a screw-up this weekend. I wanted to be a better mom, a better wife, and I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing ANY of it. But that’s not true. We are all getting better day after day. And not every day or moment are we going to “get it all right.” But that’s perfectly okay.

Sometimes we all need to “lose it.” We need to come undone and have a good cry. Sometimes our steam needs to be let out and we need to recognize our own humanity. We aren’t superwoman, though we could fool many. We are mere mortals and we all have moments of arguments, tears, forgetfulness, and pain.

It’s okay to “lose it” mamas, you’re going to need to sometimes. It doesn’t make you a crappy mom or wife, it makes you so incredibly human.

Fun, Mom Life, New Motherhood

📣A “Day-Off Work” For A Mom 📣

I woke up around 5:45 a.m. and considered if I should get up right away, or enjoy the silence and my cozy bed. But I knew I had things to do, so I put my feet on the floor, grabbed the baby monitor and my phone.
 
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First things first, I brewed the coffee for the morning and read a morning devotional. I thanked God for the day and asked for help.
 
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Once I was done with my morning quiet time, I got to work. I first checked the monitor to verify Chase was not yet up… yes I still have time, I thought.
 
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I bent down to pick up socks on the floor for what seemed to be, the hundredth time. They were adult sized and not mine. After I was done picking up jeans, socks, and unloading the dishwasher, the dryer stopped spinning with Chase’s clean sheets. He was sleeping on a blanket on his mattress pad because I just hadn’t gotten to it sooner… another “mom fail”.
 
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I went to sort through a pile of bills — some to be paid, some to be paid “later”. After folding the laundry and running the dishwasher, I heard some angry noises on the monitor and went to get Chase. He sat up in bed looking at me with the biggest puppy-dog eyes. I picked him up and he snuggled to my neck. I appreciated the moment and breathed in the baby smell, and maybe some poop. We changed his diaper and gave him a bottle to play on the floor of his room. And I went back to work.
 
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I made the beds, swept the floor, and got out the vacuum… I looked under the couch and found an old bottle of Chase’s and wondered how that got there? I folded clothes and put them away. By this time, Chase was annoyed he wasn’t getting any attention and I went to him. Did I eat this morning, I thought? Did I shower? I hadn’t but I couldn’t remember. I played with Chase and put him down for a nap.
 
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While he napped I tried to: shower, eat, read an entire book I meant to finish two weeks ago, work and watch re-runs on Hulu. I accomplished hardly any of those things.
 
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That night while my husband worked the night-shift and Chase was in bed, I cried. I was tired, burnt out and feeling so neglected. Because I was. But I’m a mom, and you are too. And we do “all the things”. Anything that needs to be done we do. There is nothing too gross or too hard that doesn’t somehow get thrown into our “job description”. We just do it. We’re tired, hungry, a bit cranky, and even lonely. But we do it.
 
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And I want to take this post not to offer a solution. Not a top 5 list to make it better. But to just LISTEN. 🌺😊
 
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So if you’re a mom, and this is your experience, like it, share it, or comment your mom moments below. ⤵️
Fun, Mom Life, New Motherhood

My Biggest Pet-Peeve: “Mom Brain”

Here it is everyone… One of my most detested phrases of all time.

“Don’t worry, Betty. You just have “mom brain.”

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Let me explain why that makes me super annoyed, and probably may annoy you too. Let’s face it, before becoming a mom, no one really understands or appreciates just how much they do. It’s not until you wake up at 3 a.m. with a screaming child that you really understand “motherhood”.

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Yet those who use the term “mom brain” are usually not mothers at all, not even close.

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For those who don’t know what moms do, let me just explain what happens in their brains, all day long. You know how the credits play at the end of a movie? Well imagine that happening in your head. all. day. long. Yup — that’s what happens for us mothers. It’s a litany of lists that never ends. Only there’s no fun music in the background.

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Odds are, that every single day, a mother is doing the following:

-working full-time outside the home
-picking up and dropping off children
-driving home with a screaming child
-wiping butts that aren’t her own
-calling the insurance company
-cooking meals
-assuring Verizon wireless that the bill was sent
-calling spectrum to reset the modem
-emailing her colleagues
-laundry…laundry…more laundry…

And … so much more.

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If any other “non-mom” human was responsible for the amount of things that moms have in their charge, they’d be given an award. No other person is required or expected to “have it all together”. But somehow moms are… because they term “mom brain” exists.

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So maybe next time you hear the term, you’ll understand why these ladies deserve something better. They do more than anyone else and outwork even the best of employees.

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Moms are superheros, rock-stars, and they deserve way more slack than is given.

Who’s with me?

#nomombrain #momsrock

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Fun, Mom Life, New Motherhood

–Bedtime Routine–

It’s been a day mamas… do you agree? Does it feel like it’s been a week already and tonight should be FRIDAY? Yup — me too.

Here’s what we just got done with, Chase’s bedtime routine:

6:30 p.m. Get home from work and unload baby, carrier, his bag, my bags, coffee mugs etc. Get in door and hunt for the keys for 20 minutes.

6:45 p.m. Put Chase in his room for some play time while starting his bath. Watch him perk up as he here’s the water running (see the bath time video from last night if you missed it — it was a hoot if I do say so myself).

7:00 p.m. Get Chase in his seat in the bath tub and let him splash me and himself for about 15 minutes, upon which he’ll try to climb around.

7:15 p.m. Put Chase in his PJs and try to keep him “contained” on the changing table — make sure he doesn’t fall off.

7:20 p.m. Read some bedtimes stories and say some goodnight prayers.

7:30 p.m. Kisses and cuddles and then it’s in the crib for Chase.

7:35 p.m. Turn off the lights, close the door and do a dance. Because it’s bedtime mom, your favorite time, and it’s all yours… all 2 1/2 – 3 hours of it.

8:30 – 9 p.m. (the timing is a little elusive) Try to read, paint your nails, catch up on life, read a book, netflix, in this time span. But will most likely end up drifting to sleep on the couch too little too early.

You rock mamas!

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Mom Life, New Motherhood, Work Freedom

THE Childcare Solution for Working Moms

📣I started with my list… every possible childcare center within a 40 mile radius of home/work. I wasn’t even looking at prices; I was just trying to find an opening, or even a possibility of getting an opening in the next 6 months for an infant.
This below… is how it went [you might want some coffee while you read, or calming music in the background ]:

 

“Soooo… if I want to get on the “list” for my 4 month old (at the time) how long would that be, sir?” I asked, hoping for the best… but realizing this was the TENTH call I’d made, I knew what would come next.

“Well our newest openings will be eight months from now for an infant, and then he’ll be a toddler, so that would be…”

I interrupted — “When he’s five? You might have openings when he’s five and in kindergarten?” I didn’t mean to be sarcastic and matter-of-fact but this really wasn’t my first rodeo with these folks.

“Haha, I don’t like to say never, butttt…we do have a pretty long wait list.”
“No I understand, there’s just not a whole lot available for infants these days. Just out of curiosity, what’s your weekly tuition rate?”

“For an infant, it’s about $250 a week, $230 a week for a toddler.”

“Hmm… that’s great, we’d get that big $20 off the weekly rate… and do you do partial weeks?”

“No we do not ma’am, unfortunately.”
“Haha, offff course you don’t. Thanks so much.”

“Have a nice day ma’am.”

“You too.”
Click… rinse, repeat.

After doing a lot of calls, consuming innumerable cups of coffee, and wanting to jump off my balcony a couple times, I regrouped. I had an epiphany, if you will. The childcare solution for a working mom may not be childcare. Here me out. The solution may not be an actual daycare.

Who knows of a retiree who loves kids and needs some extra income? Who has a grandma, and aunt or an uncle who could watch your cutie a couple days a week? I’m sure you do. In your community there are so many baby boomers who would love to watch a little person a few days a week for little or even no pay, just for fun.

Let’s face it. The traditional, brick and mortar childcare centers are super expensive. You don’t know what goes on there, you read the reviews, you hope it’s great – especially since MOST of your paycheck goes there. Maybe the government will come up with a new idea for childcare… ehh most likely not.

My solution to the childcare dilemma, the getting on the lists, the crazy mornings is this: find a trusted baby boomer and let them watch your children.  They are in your church, your community, your family; they may be your friends. But they are out there and definitely could use a new found purpose and some extra cash to fill a need that you desperately have.

This is what I did. I have two boomers watching my son during the week. They divide up the task and do a great job. Not only do you avoid the “lists” the mayhem, and get personal care for your babies, but you also get some knowledge. Odds are your boomer has been a parent before, they know stuff. They know about eating solids, the blowout diapers, putting cereal in bottles, etc. And their knowledge and sharing parenthood with you can be so helpful and rewarding.

It really does take a village, and that’s okay. So moms, avoid the lists and find your boomers.

 

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Mom Life, New Motherhood

The Morning of a Working Mom

📣 A peek into the morning of a working mom:
 
5:45 a.m. Wake up and start the coffee, have some quiet time, and pack my breakfast and lunch.
 
6:30 a.m. Get in the shower, see if Chase is awake yet–he’s not. Proceed to shower and determine if I’m going to use dry shampoo or blow dry my hair… dry shampoo it is!
 
7 a.m. Chase is now awake. Make him a fresh bottle, change his diaper and allow him to play while I finish getting ready.
 
7:15 a.m. Chase protests that he wants to be with me while I get ready. That can’t happen as I’m in the bathroom and he loves the tub. Plan B, put him in the jumper to watch his favorite show, Elmo’s World.
 
7:30 a.m. It’s go time. Load up Chase’s bag, my bag, my lunch, my coffee, Chase’s bottle and yes, don’t forget Chase. 🙊
 
7:45 a.m. That took too long, but we are off.
 
8:15 a.m. Arrive at Chase’s sitter’s and get him out of car seat. Upon getting him unbuckled, realize he smells like butt and had a blow-out diaper in the car… must have been the prunes he had the night before. Help sitter get him stripped for the bath. Leave in a hurry and continue to work.
 
8:45 a.m. Arrive at work after battling traffic. Walk in with coffee like none of that happened but keep laughing about how crazy it was.
 
 
** This was only three hours in my day. Mom’s of multiples, moms of singles, you’re all rock-stars! **
 
‼️Feel free to comment your craziest mom morning mayhem. ‼️
Life Balance, Mom Life

How To Make-Over Your Mornings

Any working mom knows that it can be a real struggle to get out the door in the morning. Just thinking about it is enough sometimes to make us cringe. It is nothing like the days before children where you grab your lunch, purse, coffee and keys. Suddenly there’s bags, formula, diapers, etc. that all need to go with you, wherever you go. Oh yes, and don’t forget the kids!

But here’s the problem. As I stepped on the treadmill that is many times motherhood, trying to keep all things together for everyone, I soon found myself becoming a bit of a morning monster. Don’t get me wrong, I love mornings, I am a morning person. The problem was that I felt so overloaded, so overwhelmed, that I was becoming irritable, crass, and just unloving.

What did I do to make my mornings less hectic? Here are my top 5 tips for overcoming morning mayhem:

  1. Plan the night before.

I know it. It’s painful to hear but it’s so necessary. The reason why the mornings many times become crazier is because I didn’t properly plan earlier. The way things may have worked before kids they may now not work. For instance, I used to take showers in the morning. Now, I really don’t have time to add one more thing in the morning, so I take them at night. I pack my lunch, the night before, I load up anything in the car, the night before. And this is hard for me. Because sometimes I don’t get home until around 7 at night — I’d rather watch Castle re-runs or read a book. However, it’s so critical that you use the night before, to get all things ready that can be ready.

  1.    Wake up earlier.

It really is true that the early bird catches the worm. I know it’s hard when you’re a new mom to start your day even earlier. You’re trying to get some much needed rest now that you have little ones. But this one is critical. Because getting up early can give you some much needed quiet, coffee and devotional time, that you would not normally get when you’re rushed. Get to bed a little earlier so you can get up earlier, and enjoy some calm in your morning.

  1.    Ask for help.

You can’t do everything yourself and it does take a village to raise a child. Recruit some help! Maybe your spouse can cook dinner while you get the kids to bed at night so you can do some next morning prep. Or perhaps you can have your babysitter meet you in the morning to help you unload the car before work. Whatever it is, find a way to share the morning burden with others who are willing.

  1.    Limit my expectations.

I have to face it. I may not finish all my laundry folding in the morning, it might have to sit. I may not get the dishwasher loaded perfectly or get a crock pot meal prepared. Sometimes, we just need to limit our expectations of “perfect motherhood” because it’s not realistic. Life has changed and now we need to adapt, as does our expectations.

  1.    Cut back on social obligations.

Time is precious and it’s limited. So if there are some social gatherings, extra family functions that can be cut, do it. You need time for you and your family needs you. But they don’t want you to turn into “angry mom” or become a Frankenstein. So it’s super important to keep a checks and balances of your time. Do you need to go to your second aunt’s birthday party that’s five hours away? Check your priorities and make sure you are one of them.

Family, Mom Life

Learning to Let Go

I swore I’d never be “one of those moms”. You know, one of the ones that gets upset when their kids go away or aren’t with her. The one who will have perfect balance instead. I thought I was immune to missing my child. But truth is, none of us are.

So today I pack my baby’s bag for a week to spend with Grandma. It’s great that family wants to help, it’s great that we have some family still around. But yet, it doesn’t feel like a vacation, it doesn’t feel like a “break”. It feels, at least initially, like my heart is ripping out. Because for all the blow-out diapers, for all the food spilled and the sleep lost, I wouldn’t trade in my little guy for anything. His giggles, his farts, the way he snores like an old man when he sleeps, I’ll miss it… for the next week, I’ll miss it. And mamas, that’s okay.

Our day in and day out routines are filled with many things, but it all really revolves around raising these little people. We are responsible for these little humans all the time. It’s a hard switch to turn it off, for me at least, probably you too. It’s a paradox; I want a break, but I want my baby too. But sometimes letting go and getting some time to ourselves, once we cry a bit, is a good thing.

So here’s what I do to make it easier:

  1. We meet during the day so it’s not super heart-wrenching.

I found it really hard to wake my baby in the night to go into a family member’s car and drive away. It felt like someone was taking our baby. I know it wasn’t the case, but it felt that way. So if you have to be away from your little people for work, or so they can see family and you can’t come along, do it during the daylight hours so it feels less gut-churning.

2. We meet in a place that’s not a home, a restaurant or a store.

When we met at our home, it felt like someone was taking him from us, yet again. Meeting somewhere felt like we were going to an outing and would “see him later”.

3. We make plans for the next week so we distract ourselves with being, primarily, a couple again.

Sometimes looking forward to the non-baby activities you can now do, is a great way to distract yourself. We found planning a dinner date, going to the movies or doing something else, really helped us to reconnect and feel less upset.

4. If you’re not ready, it’s okay.

And most importantly, if you’re not ready, you’re just not ready. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your kids around. Or perhaps, they have a shorter trip to visit family. Sometimes, that’s a good way to ease into it. I know there was a time where I really wasn’t ready, but I didn’t want to disappoint family members. But mamas, that’s not okay. It’s you and your baby and your spouse FIRST. The family has to work around you guys. Sometimes that involves using a confrontational word. No. But it’s your new family, your new schedules, your feelings. Ya’ll come first. Listen to your instincts.

Mom Life, Personal Development

If We’re Being Honest…

If we’re being real, we all lie to people in our lives more than we realize.

  • We say that we can go to a meeting, when we really don’t want to.
  • We offer services and help to friends when we know we really can’t.
  • Sometimes we say we think our friend or family member has a great idea, when we think it’s horrible.

As women, as moms, we do a lot of “white lying”, trying to please other people.

Well you say, wait, that’s not really lying… I’m just protecting someone’s feelings.

Whatever the reason may be, if we aren’t being honest with others, we aren’t really being honest with ourselves.

Let me explain.

We want to make everyone happy. We want to avoid confrontation, and we desperately want to be liked and accepted. So that desire to feel comfort and conflict-free makes us sign up for obligations that we have no business or time to do/fulfill. It may just be something you don’t want to do. Later on, we become resentful at those with whom we’ve set up said obligation with. Because all we wanted was to say, “no” but because we didn’t do that we are now rotting inside and feel horrible.

Instead of committing to things we can’t commit to, or telling others what we know will make them feel good, we have to start being more proactive. We have to protect ourselves and say no.

There’s nice ways to do it, but to fear others responses to our boundaries, just isn’t an acceptable excuse anymore.

Because if we are being honest, we haven’t been being honest with ourselves. And that’s just about the worst feeling of all.