So, I knew that after my husband and I had been dating awhile that people would ask when we would get married. And I had been warned by friends who got married before me that as soon as you say “I do” people will be asking when you’re having a baby. But nothing prepared me for the number of people asking me when we would be having ANOTHER CHILD after our first one. Literally, the day I got back from maternity leave (3 months after our son was born) people were asking if I was ready for another one. REALLY?! Do you realize that I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep in months? And that it literally takes every ounce of energy to get a load of laundry done or put dinner on the table? Do you know that I can’t even remember if I put deodorant on this morning?
It’s a bit mind-blowing to me how so many people have opinions about other people’s lives.
“Cherish every moment” was the advice I received most often as a new mom. And cherish I did. I soaked up every second of a newborn snuggling softly on my chest and breathed in deeply that smell of soft baby skin. I enjoyed breastfeeding as much as I could, mostly the feeding right before bedtime when he dozed peacefully off to sleep. I smiled at his first giggles, tears welling in my eyes at the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I loved all of these special, memorable moments.
But to tell you the honest truth, I did not love being a mom. Not for a good long while.
Although I found happiness, bliss and a deeper love than I could have ever imagined, I also found anxiety, impatience, frustration and an exhaustion I never could have fathomed. I always worried if we were doing things right. Did he nurse long enough? Should we wake him up to make him eat? Was there something else we could do to make him sleep longer at night? Will he ever get used to tummy time? Are we doing enough to help get rid of that flat spot on his head that the pediatrican noticed? And the list goes on…
Looking back on the first year of our son’s life, it’s fair to say that I spent far more time worrying than I did cherishing.
have a bad experience (because of him, not the restaurant), it’s even longer before we even think about trying it again. To our shocking surprise, we recently had an amazingly smooth dinner out so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks that helped make it an enjoyable (though still not relaxing, let’s be honest here) experience for us.
In a recent conversation with a newly expecting mom, I found myself giving some valuable (and solicited) advice about labor and delivery. I’m not usually the type to offer up my two cents and complete birth story, since I hated it when people did that to me, but since she was asking me quite a bit about what to expect and what I recommend, I opened right up! So I thought I’d share my top 5 pieces of advice when it comes to labor and delivery for first-time moms:
1. Try out prenatal yoga – Personally, I was never much of one for yoga. And as far as giving birth went, I just assumed I’d get the epidural as soon as I was able to. I had heard about prenatal yoga and figured I would give it a try – hoping to learn some helpful poses and breathing techniques for when the big day came. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I learned and how much confidence I gained in my ability to possibly undergo an all natural birth. Breathing, visual focus, relaxation, movements and poses were all super helpful leading up to the birth and also very much so during my labor. I actually spent most of my labor on a yoga ball and my yoga mat. And although I eventually begged for the epidural (after all, 22 hours of labor takes quite a toll), I was still really happy that I did prenatal yoga because it gave me a great deal of confidence in my ability to manage labor pains. Continue reading
By our 4 month check up, our little guy was showing signs that he was ready to start solids. He had an incessant interest in anything we were eating and was sitting up with some support. We were fortunate enough to receive some great guidance from our pediatrician on which foods should be introduced when. This made things pretty simple but I’m learning that many other mommies aren’t so lucky to have this guidance and are left wondering:
* What are good first foods for baby?
* What kind of baby cereal should we use?
* Will my baby develop a preference for sweet foods if we start with fruit?
* When can my baby eat meat?
Here’s the deal, at least from our experience…
Maybe it’s because I’m technically a millennial but I’ve always had a need for positive reinforcement. As a kid, I wanted to know that my parents were proud of me. In college, I wanted good grades from my professors. In my first few jobs out of college and, still today, I’ve hoped that my supervisors would give me positive reassurance and guidance on how to continue to improve and grow.
This has all worked out pretty well for me. I’ve grown to be ambitious, hard-working, caring, and dedicated. I aim to please, achieve goals and set my sights on bigger… Continue reading
“They don’t just give those kids to anyone,” my husband said as I lamented our less than perfect 8-day cross-country trip to visit my sister. I was telling him that I felt embarrassed by the way I had lost my temper with our toddler time after time on our vacation. I felt like a terribly impatient mother who could not contain her frustration. And, to a sibling and her husband who never wanted children to begin with, I was certain I appeared completely in over my head.
I came to a lot of realizations on our trip, mostly the hard… Continue reading
I know it’s bad. I know there’s no real educational value. I know it’s lazy parenting. I know that if I admitted it to our pediatrician, I would get a judging look and lecture about how there are so many better alternatives and how this habit can be detrimental to development.
I was one of those people who said I would never use television as a tool to entertain my young children. I would be an involved parent and encourage creative play and hands-on activities instead. I would make my kids play outside and do active things. And then I… Continue reading
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