Before I had kids I thought I was prepared for the unexpected. I had been a full time nanny, my career was in childcare, I looked after numerous babies, my friends had kids, I read the equivalent of a small library when it came to parenting books, I had a beautiful nursery and I figured it was no news to me that kids say the darndest thing. I thought I was prepared for motherhood when I left my house a pregnant mess of contractions.
Fast forward through the sleepless nights, teething, nursing issues, growth spurts, sleep regressions and first year milestones of a baby. Gone are the rock eating, drooling, clumbsy, gibberish speaking stages of toddlers. Enter the crazy stages of a preschooler. I was not prepared nor did I anticipate the awkward scenarios in which my son would place me in, all because of his budding sense of curiosity in the world around him. I myself love his inquisitive mind but others may not see it that way when put in these situations. So here is my open apology to those who have witnessed these moments…. (more…)
I have spent many years around young children and if there is one thing I have learned about boys…. they will be boys. Full of life, full of adventure, but more than anything, full of energy. As an almost full time stay at home mom I have gladly taken on the responsibility of keeping my house tidy, paying the bills and making sure everything runs smoothly at home, but there is one thing I have always made plenty of time for. Giving my son (more…)
Recently I’ve had to ask myself some difficult questions. I love my son with my entire being, but “Do I love the lifestyle of motherhood?” I always assumed these two concepts were connected. If you loved your child than you had to love being a parent. But assuming you love parenthood just because you love your child is about as relative as assuming you love scrubbing toilets because you love a clean house. I love being a mom, yet there are so many days where I mentally indulge in the fantasy of a child free past. A week spent entirely by myself making decisions selfishly for my own satisfaction. I want to wake up when my eyes leisurely open in a quiet house, not when my retina is being threatened by tiny fingers. I want to make breakfast for myself without meticulously cutting 8 different food groups into 1/4 inch pieces to avoid doing the Heimlich before 9 am. I want to plan my day around lattes with girlfriends and serene hiking trails, not sippy cup malfunctions and parks filled with screaming toddlers. I want my evening to be filled with quiet walks and random pub nights with friends, not highchair cleanups and perfectly scheduled bedtimes. I want to layout a future of possible travelling adventures, not calculated future pregnancies and breastfeeding timelines. Is it so bad to still desire parts of my old lifestyle? But how does a mom navigate between longing for something without feeling guilty for wanting more than the gift of motherhood? And yes…..I know that I can still do all of these things as a parent, just not as often and it requires more planning. A very easy solution. However I thrive in spontaneity and whimsical plans, and sometimes feel as though my soul shrivels in a lifestyle of predictability and routine. The very same attributes that are so beneficial to raising children… how ironic.
Before becoming a parent I thought I was prepared for all the surprises and challenges of raising a baby or toddler. I knew boys were busy and seemed to get into everything, but never would I have anticipated so many odd things coming out of my mouth without even batting an eyelash. Some of these statements were said through tears of happiness, some were said through tears of frustration and some were said through tears of laughter, but none the less, they were said and sometimes are still a part of my everyday language.
1. “Poop is not for playing with!” I assumed this concept was fairly self explanatory. However only after many tears and a monumental tantrum ensued was my little man finally able to deal with the disappointment he faced when realizing that what he discovered in his diaper was and would never be approved by either Waldorf or his mom as a proper sensory toy. (more…)
I thought it was time that I opened up a little and shared something a little more personal than a recipe or diy craft. With the sunshine far above the clouds and the cold weather making it so much more tempting to curl up inside, I’m left feeling a little blah lately. Not necessarily down and not necessarily up. The normal ebbs and flows of life and motherhood I guess but none the less, I just haven’t felt my usual energetic self lately. I still work out 4 times a week and do an amazing restorative yoga practice but my energy levels feel zapped. I am getting better and better at calming my mind but I still feel blah. I think it’s a combination of holiday anticipation, cold weather, lack of sunshine, nursing hormones, being back at work, chasing after a busy lil boy and just feeling run down. But I accept it for what it is knowing that this too shall pass. Heck it better pass… it’s my birthday in 9 days!
This post isn’t meant to get pity, or sympathy…. because really I’m happy and doing fine… I just feel like there are so many artificial representations of people’s lives through social media that it’s nice to feel normal sometimes. (more…)
I wanted to write this post to shed some light on the crazy ups and downs right after having a baby. A combination of hormonal changes and sleep deprivation can take it’s toll on a new mom, so I thought I’d share my own personal story in hopes it might help a little….
I remember reclining in my lounge chair last summer 9 months pregnant and reading ‘What to Expect When You Are Expecting’. I confidently (more…)
Sadly I feel like society sometimes portrays a very bias and sugar coated version of motherhood. An image from media that leaves us normal moms feeling like we’re falling short. The celebrity moms photographed as they casually stroll the city streets with perfectly curled locks, flawless skin, trendy outfits, with a latte in one hand and a smiling baby cooing away in the other. Hey….I’m not saying that you can’t look good or leave your house as a new mom but let’s be honest….those days are sometimes very far and few between. The other days are spent in reality. The reality of being a new stay at home mom.
I love being a mom to a happy 7 month old boy. Heck… I’ll even risk telling you that he sleeps 12 hours a night. Now before you say “you’re just lucky” it’s not like I magically birthed out a perfect sleeper either. It took many hard nights…. hours and hours of reading, sleep training, nap training, scheduling disasters, emotional meltdowns, mental breakdowns, sleepless nights, sleep deprivation and frankly feeling like the only bottle I wanted to see at the end of the night was a bottle of vodka. I’m telling you I have an easy baby to stress that even with an easy baby I still struggle. I have no idea how I would cope with a sensitive baby, colicky baby or a baby that still woke up in the night. So if that is you…. my heart goes out to you and just know you are doing a great job. I’m just here to shine a little light on both sides of the story.
Side # 1 The Happy Days
I casually wake up at 730 and saunter down the hall to the nursery. I peer into the crib to find a smiling baby who is patiently waiting for me to wake up. After nursing, he happily plays with his toys while I shower, put my makeup on and style my hair. We both get dressed in our best outfits for the day and after a wide mouthed yawn I lie him down in his crib. He smiles at me briefly and drifts off to sleep.
While he naps I enjoy a well balanced breakfast and watch a morning talk show with a cup of tea. Then we play together, read some books and enjoy cuddles before I put him down for another nap during which I enjoy a warm lunch and prepare dinner in the slow cooker. He sleeps like a log through my food processor racket and when I finally hear his happy coos I know it’s time to wake up. He nurses efficiently and then we head out the door.
I walk aimlessly through downtown boutiques with a hot cup of coffee while he sleeps angelically in his stroller. He’s still asleep by the time I come home so I catch up on some banking and emails. I finish just as my hubby walks in the door. Dad takes our little man for a bath while I get dinner on the table. Our little man plays joyfully beside us in his bouncy seat as we enjoy a great conversation over a hot meal. Some goodnight kisses then off to the gym as my hubby puts him to bed. Ahhhhh life is good. Now is when the paparazzi would be welcome to snap a picture of my ideal life as a new mom.
But lets get real…… here is what happens on the other days.
Side # 2 The Crappy Days
I’m jolted awake by a sound that better resembles a Boeing 747 during takeoff. I jump out of bed, stub my toe on the teething ring that I threw across the room the night before and head to the nursery. Judging by the fact that I don’t need to turn on the lights I know the moon is still out. I assume it’s probably only 5:30am. Awesome. I lose hearing in my left ear as I reach down to grab my little one from his crib and as I cuddle him close I feel something dripping down my hand. Oh so that wasn’t just a fart…. thanks little man. I place my bundle of diarrhea joy on the change table and try to undress him while he flails around like a cat trying to get out of a bath. After he sticks his hand in his diaper and a foot in my boob I manage to get him changed. Screw putting the sleeper back on. It’s already stained radioactive colors anyways. Feeding time. So I head over to the rocking chair. He nurses as if he just participated in a 30 hour famine but still takes his sweet time. My arm is asleep, my hand in numb and I’m starting to resemble Kwazi Moto from leaning over to re-latch him so many times.
Then I lie him down in the doorway for what should be playtime only to have him projectile vomit so that his playmat would be better suited as a slip-n-slide. Lovely. Back to the change table. Fifteen minutes later I’ve cleaned up all the puke and managed to get him into an outfit. Awwww cute. His clean attire should last all of 5 minutes. Then I prop him in his bouncy chair so I can pee….. but his cry would make you think that his foamy cushioned chair was replaces with thumb tacks. Guess I’ll hold it. At this point he is definitely ready for a nap… and so am I. I draw the blinds, read a story that he ever so politely throws across the room so I take the hint and lie him down. I get two feet away and out flies his pacifier. So I walk back and place it in again as he blinks heavy. Until I make it to the door and out comes the pacifier again….. so I walk back and place the pacifier back in…. Repeat 36 more times.
At this point I’m considering using his diapers instead of trying to get to the bathroom. Finally I start the shower and you’d think the shower head was dripping bowling balls instead of water because he wakes up. So much for him sleeping or mommy showering. It’s time for his second meal of the day and I haven’t even had breakfast. So I grab my cheese string breakfast and to the rocking chair I go. This time he takes a new approach to eating…. instead of nursing he decides to latch on and off like he’s bobbing for apples at a county fair. An hour later he decides he’s full. It’s already 12 o clock. So much for having dinner on…. heck I don’t even have a bra on yet. You would think I was handing him hot coal every time I passed him a toy because it comes hurdling back at me. He starts to yawn so I start his nap routine and things go smoothly.
Until the pacifier game…. Repeat 24 more times. He finally falls asleep…. but he has recently decided to trade in his 2 hour naps for a 39 minute blink, so I know time is precious. And of course today he decides to be a light sleeper. Neat. I’m convinced that if one of my several THOUSAND stray hairs that I’m loosing fell onto the floor the wrong way that he would hear it. But my pump and bottles need to be cleaned so I handle them like newborn butterflies in fear that I may drop one and wake him up. After 25 minutes of kitchen acrobatics I managed to clean a single bottle.
Since my time is dwindling before he wakes up I know I must multitask, so I grab my PB and J sandwich to take with me into the shower…. hey a soggy sandwich is better than no sandwich. You would think I opened a chain mail curtain in the bathroom because the second I get in and close the curtain he wakes up. Priorities…..priorities. Wash my hair or shave?! I’d rather wash my hair because you can’t seem my furry legs in sweat pants anyways. If speed showering was part of the Olympics I’d be taking home Gold. I quickly dry off and get dressed in the same outfit I had on before. Lets be honest…. it’s 4 o clock and frankly I got nowhere to be and no one to impress.
With my hair in a towel I sit down to feed the baby. This time he starts sight-seeing like a tourist as if I completely redecorated his nursery during his nap. I burp him and I finally decide to change into real people clothes….aka non-pajama clothes. Maybe I’ll even manage to put some mascara on before my hubby gets home. (Here’s to dreaming). I pick up my little one to place him in the jolly jumper and as if in protest of my new clothes he empties the contents of his stomach down the front of my shirt….. and to think I bothered putting on a bra. I throw my clothes into the laundry pile that could possibly rival altitude of Mount Kilimanjaro and put my milk stained tank top back on. I look at the clock. 5 o clock. Daddy should be home any minute. As if in excitement my little one scrunches up his face….. until I dreadfully realize that it isn’t a look of excitement. It sounds like a water bomber just emptied into his diaper so it’s back to the change table for waste management. He looks like he just got back from a spa mud treatment so into the bath for him. Finally he is in a clean sleeper just as dad walks in the door. He looks at me still in my pajama’s, little H still in his pj’s, my hair standing on end from air drying, no makeup on and asks “Hi sweetie… you look like you’ve had a relaxing day?! Let’s catch up over dinner”
DINNER?! Heck I didn’t even get to finish my peanut butter sandwich. Not to mention that our baby is overtired and needs to go to bed. Dad puts him to sleep while I finally brush my teeth. It’s officially 7:45 and we are starving! So I MacGyver dinner out of wilted celery and a can of soup. At 9 pm ‘dinner’ is served and then I finally sit down on the couch. I know I should go to the gym but the only exercise I’m interested in is lifting off the throw pillows and heaving myself into bed.
So to all you new moms out there that don’t have hair stylists, live in nannies, personal trainers, makeup artists or house cleaners….. not only are you not alone…. but you are doing a great job. This is real life…. this is what being a stay at home looks like some days. As a new mom you now know what it feels like to have a crappy day…. literally and figuratively.
Being a mother is hard and it wasn’t a subject I ever studied. ~ Ruby Wax
I purposely did not have a birth plan during my pregnancy after seeing so many new moms distraught for weeks following their child’s birth. The miracle of a new life seemed overshadowed by their disappointment because it wasn’t what they had ‘planned’. But life doesn’t always go according to plan.
I had a great midwife and supportive husband so I was confident that ultimately I would follow whatever birth plan was best for the baby. After 32 hours of horrendous back labor, we had to make the safest decision and an emergency cesarean was the outcome. I’m not disappointed or upset because in the end I had a healthy and happy little boy. But in case a c-section is in your cards… here’s what I wish I knew in advance.
Myth #1. The epidural doesn’t hurt.
Actually they were somewhat accurate… the epidural needle itself may not hurt… but going through a contraction while a stranger is strategically trying to place a harpoon in your spine isn’t exactly enjoyable. And while your contractions are causing your body to involuntarily distort into a multitude of unknown yoga poses… they pleasantly remind you not to move so the needle doesn’t
paralyze poke you.
Myth #2 The operating room is a little chilly.
Hey everyone! This past week I have been busy enjoying
almost every minute of being a new mom! It’s definitely had it’s ups and downs though. I’m not going to be one of those women that lies through her unbrushed teeth to claim that being a new mom is all rainbows, sprinkles and giggles. Because in all honesty, it’s more comparable to poops, pukes and sleepless nights. But even after a looooonnnngg day when everything seems to be going wrong, all it takes is one quirky smile from my lil man and it’s all worth it.
So for all of my new moms out there that NEED a laugh or for those of you that can relate from raising your own children, I wanted to share this hilarious article that I came across on the internet. You may have seen it on other blogs but the original author is Colin Falconer from the book “The Beginner’s Guide to Fatherhhood” and he deserves every bit of credit! So far I can only relate to the first few tests but I’m sure I will experience all of them in good time. Enjoy! (more…)
As a pregnant lady you are perpetually bombarded with women sharing their awful labor stories. Whether you want to hear their stories or not doesn’t seem to sway them. By the time you go into labor yourself, you have a seemingly never-ending supply of terrifying thoughts and worries running through your mind. Not so helpful and encouraging…..
So if you don’t want to add any more scary thoughts to your pregnancy mind… read no further. (more…)
I’m officially in the homestretch of my pregnancy. With only 11 days to go until my due date, the idea that he one could arrive at any moment has me feeling somewhere between anxious and extremely excited!! After carrying this squirmy lil baby for over nine months I am more than ready to meet him and finally hold him.
I am officially 33 1/2 weeks today and the next month and a half I’m sure will be gone before I know it. I spent most of July adjusting to not working and finding out how to fill my days without feeling like I did nothing or did too much. I have a really hard time just sitting around relaxing without feeling lazy. So most days I gotta admit…. I do way too much. Most of you reading this are probably thinking….. “Oooohhh poor you. You have all summer off and don’t have to work…..boo hoo” I’m not complaining….. it’s just that (more…)