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Six Tips to Help You Fight Postpartum Insomnia

I’m thinking I must have Pregnantsomnia because much of what I faced with postpartum insomnia I am now facing as a pregnant mama with my toddler running around. Nonetheless, these six tips to fight postpartum insomnia apply to me now too and I think they can help many a mamas, but especially those new moms.

I am by no means a professional and I am only sharing what worked for me. If you are battling insomnia then I would encourage you to seek guidance from your physician.

I remember when Bubby started to sleep longer stretches at night as a new baby. He’d sleep four, five maybe six or even seven hours of sleep. Not me. I’d roll over and look at the clock and it’s 2:00AM. I’d start thinking “I’ve got a couple more hours, maybe even one, before he’s awake again. Go back to sleep. Go back to sleep.” Nothing. No sleep at all.

Some women it hits right away. For some, it takes its time, showing its ugly face right when you start to feel “normal” again. Insomnia. Unfortunately, for most women who suffer postpartum insomnia, depression may be lurking around the corner. According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia and depression tend to go hand in hand. We already know that those who suffer with sleep disorders need to be wary of the onset of depression. So why does postpartum insomnia get so easily overlooked for moms who experience postpartum depression?

Most women are told it’s normal to run on no sleep during those early newborn months. We laugh about the 30 minute power naps we take a few times a day to get through a 24 hour period. Women are made to believe that sleepless nights are normal and will pass. You know, maybe in a year or two when the kid starts sleeping through the night. Most women need the tools now to curb their sleepless nights which may dial down postpartum depression. Here are a few strategies that you can try right right now in an effort to get a better night’s sleep.

Postpartum insomnia is tough. Here are six tips to help you fight postpartum insomnia.

Quit trying to nap when the baby naps.
Some women just don’t nap well or can’t pull off the power nap.  If anything, you lie there, agonizing over the fact that you’re not sleeping while the baby is sleeping. Instead of trying to nap every time the baby does, use those times as rest time but only pick a nap during the day when you know you just might actually fall back to sleep.

Get some exercise and get outside.
Many moms groan at this one but don’t underestimate the power of stimulating your body. Let’s define exercise real quick for the new mom. It is NOT jumping right back into your old workout routine. It is NOT pushing your body too soon physically.  Sometimes a simple walk around the block will do wonders for your morale and your body. Maybe it’s doing that annoying 10 minute total body workout video you bought from WalMart. Whatever is, give it a simple try. We think we should be able to sleep because we haven’t had very much sleep to begin with, but studies show that a short time of physical exertion helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Quit surfing Facebook before bed.
If you’re like most of us smartphone-loving moms, you check your Facebook during that middle of the night bottle feed or nursing session.  Studies upon studies tell us we need to put our electronics down at night. For this strategy to be effective, we should put them down about an hour before we turn out the lights. This definitely eliminates checking your Instagram while you’re nursing at 2:00A.M. The simplest way to explain this reasoning:
the lighting on your electronic devices makes it hard for your brain to shut down to fall asleep and to stay asleep.

Try to not look at the clock when you wake in the night.
This strategy alone helps some individuals reduce anxiety with mid-night wakings because they aren’t aware of how long they’ve been awake. Keep yourself from running in a vicious circle, agonizing over how you’ve been awake for the last hour. Turn off the stress, and you may fall back to sleep sooner than if you were aware of the time on your clock. Plus, looking at the lighting on your clock may be too stimulating for your brain.

Try turning the baby monitor down a notch.
This doesn’t mean turn it off. We already know that women are more sensitive to their baby’s noises than men are. But sometimes we hear every little move the baby makes and wake when we don’t need to. Try different volumes during the day to gage what you’re comfortable with. Maybe move the monitor in your room so it’s not so close to your bedside. Find an option you’re comfortable with so you won’t worry about it.

Just get up and do what you can’t stop thinking about.
This might sound counterproductive, but if you’re laying there thinking about laundry, the grocery list or something else you want to get done, then it might serve you better to get up and do it quickly so you can quit thinking about it. Don’t make this a habit but it could be a valuable option if it will help you go back to sleep.

Seek help and counsel if you feel your sleep loss is greatly impacting your mood and attitude.
While this is the last strategy, it is certainly not the least. Many women fight a silent battle against postpartum insomnia, while they’re dealing with depression. Don’t let yourself be one of them. Talk to your provider or a friend who may be able to give you some advice on how to receive help.

What about you Only a Season Mamas? Any other tips you would add to help encourage one another?
Don’t forget you can PIN THIS article to save for later or share with another mama. And if you’re interested in getting tips like this to your inbox, check out our Mom Tribe.

Peace,
Glo

To the Weary Mama

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“Give me your heart, give me your song, sing it will all your might
Come to the Fountain and you can be satisfied.
There is a peace. There is a love you can get lost inside.
Come to the Fountain and let me hear you testify.”
                       ~NEEDTOBREATH “TESTIFY”

 

Motherhood is a gift that easily gets tainted. I know I am my own worst enemy most times. So much anxiety and thoughts race through our minds.

Am I doing this right?

Am I doing enough?

Do they know I love them?

Do they feel loved enough?

To the weary Mama, I see you. I see you trying to hold it all together on the straight and narrow path of deception. A path so wide and straight that many find their way so easily to an unfulfilled thirst for acceptance. We want to know that we’re doing enough. We want to believe that the daily decisions we make will guide our children to a better path as they grow.

I see the worry. I see the masked concern when you drop a little bit of your motherhood that you have clung on to for so long, when one of the plates fall.  It’s a constant nagging when Inadequacy drowns out all the love noise of the One who is calling you to His well.

We want to be confident in who we are, but the world constantly battles for our attention and tries to fill all those voids. The world offers us a drink and we leave still feeling thirsty. When I take that cup from the world, I leave with a false sense of knowing where I am. I leave with a parched mouth.

I know that all consuming thirst all too well. It’s that thirst that can only be filled when I drop all that I am trying to carry and come to His well where His Word fills my soul.

I want to be lost. Lost in His love that I can’t see a way out. I want to wander in the deep cave of His mystery. My feet kick the rocks on the ground in His canyon of peace.

He takes my hand and shows me His Word that’s written on my heart. I gently hand Him my heart that has it all figured it out and in exchange I receive His truth.

There are times when I trip and fall as I walk through the vast valleys of victory in Him, and it’s then I am grateful for my weakness because it’s in these moments when I know really how strong I truly am in Him.

If I am always looking back, questioning my worth as a mom, then I trip and fall. When I look side to side, I lose direction. But when I look forward, towards Him, I am lost to all that is around me. I’ll never look back again.

Wont you be lost with me?

I let go. I let go of the expectations I put on myself. I let go of comparison. I let go of my anger. I let go of myself.

I sing my song of redemption. I sing it at the top of my lungs.

Let go and sing with me.

I find His well of wild love and drink deep. I am satisfied in the lostness of knowing Him.

Peace Mamas,
Glo

Do you feel overwhelmed and exhausted? Does your faith feel empty? I know the feeling because I have been there too.

Can I Just Take a Minute and Talk about Some Awesome Mom Bloggers?

First, I personally am not a fan of the term “mom bloggers.” Mainly because when I tell people I write for my blog and they say something like “Oh, a mom blogger” with air quotes, I tend to roll my eyes at their ignorance and their shrug of shoulders. I think some folks have an opinion that a “mom blogger” is someone who dallies around on the Internet and “tries” to be some kind of writer.

Not everyone thinks like this, I know, and some people I tell get it and are interested in what it means. But for the most part, I think there is a reality that lots of folks just don’t understand about what all goes into creating, writing, and sharing content for a blog. Just like I don’t fully get everything my husband does at work, he doesn’t get everything I do on my work at home. There. Enough on that.

Secondly, I have had so many mixed emotions on my journey as a writer who has a blog, that if I started taking shots every time I changed my mind about something, or started something on my blog and let it go, I’d be a walking drunken mess.

When you get into this “blogging” world, you are inundated with so much advice and tips and “do this” or “do that,” that you are kind of prone to take up drinking. OK, maybe not drinking alcohol, but I bet the caffeine intake goes up a notch or two for most of us.

With that being said, there are some amazing women I have crossed paths with along the way. What I love about these ladies is that I have a different relationship with each of them but we all have so many similarities that we can gather around each other  (virtually that is!) and encourage one another all the same. I would not categorize these women as the air quoted “mom bloggers.” These ladies can write and are well worth the read.

I have had an interesting week working on my blog and collaborating with other writers and free lancing on the side side side side (insert eye roll) and have sought each of these ladies in one way or another for advice or encouragement. Sometimes I just head over to their site to see what they’ve been up to and find good-for-my-soul encouragement that is exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment.

Friends, that is something special to have in the online world of writers. While not a one of us have met each other in person, I feel as though I could catch up with them easily at a cozy coffee shop. We have grown in our friendships over the last year and I think we have some more years ahead of us in store.

I would encourage you to not just find your mom tribe, but cultivate it too.

 

I have learned too many times that friendships must be cultivated and lifted up in order keep them.

When I say that I am inspired by these women, I don’t just mean they give me warm fuzzy feelings. I’m not just trying to make someone feel better here. I mean these women make me think about the different facets of my life and in the end, make me a better a person. That’s the kind of friendship I want to keep alive.


Meet Abbie. She writes over at www.grumblinggrace.com and has one of the funnest Instagram feeds and genuine hearts. I love her sense of humor yet sensitivity that she brings to motherhood with her faith. She has the ability to make me laugh and cry all in one sitting. If you ever need that extra mom umph in your life, you need to have her in your social feed. Abbie is a woman of integrity who takes what she does seriously, but is sure not to take herself too seriously.


Say hello to Aimee. She is a writer with so much depth and grit and fierceness that sometimes I think her words were literally meant just for me. Aimee has an amazing ability to connect with her readers no matter where they are at in motherhood. She is incredibly honest in her words and strives to lift you up. She is someone you always want on your side. Be sure to check out her writing over at www.mamacentric.com.


And then there’s the fabulous Emily. She writes at www.emilyfisk.com. Emily has such a sweet spirit and I find that when she writes about her journey as a mom, she has a way of softly prodding my conscience to stay focused on my own path as a mom and be sure to cheer on and wave at the other moms across the way. Emily’s ability to remind me to forget about the others and do my own best me is one of the things I love about her.


Harmony is one of the strongest, most confident women I have met online. She has an amazing faith and unwavering belief that I am always drawn to her writing. Even though Harmony is a straight shooter, she has never made me feel less than in my beliefs. She has a way with her writing that doesn’t tear me down, but provokes me to be more. She writes over at www.mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com.


There’s something about Christina that makes you feel empowered as a mom. I don’t know if it’s because she gives me recipes like macaroni and cheese and makes me feel healthy about it or if it’s her never ending encouragement she gives to all her readers, but she is a writer to follow. She is so patient with others and only wants to cheer you on as you walk your path in motherhood (and she might serve you up a smoothie while she’s at it!). Definitely peruse her writing over at www.thewholecook.com.


Marisa is a writer who is so humble and so rawly honest, that you can’t help but read what God presses on her heart. She has an elegant flow to her words and a quiet boldness about her that I am always left with my heart feeling full. Sometimes she makes me feel full of wonder or full of rightly pointed questions, but either way, she is a writer to keep your eye on. She writes at www.brokencookiessite.wordpress.com.


And I could not, will not, ever forget about Lisa Leshaw. If there was ever a genuine lover of people, it’s Lisa Leshaw. I don’t think I have ever met someone online who cheers on other writers as much as she does. She is an ambassador of hope for writers. Lisa would not ever call herself a prolific encourager, but that makes her all the more genuine. I met her as a fellow writer at Her View From Home and it wasn’t long before she sent me a friend request on Facebook. What’s funny about Lisa, is that she is friends with so many of us writers and she genuinely is always interested in how you are doing and that yesterday was your sister’s birthday party. She’d love to hear all about it. There’s no way I could list all the places she’s probably been published but I know one of her places she likes to call home is Her View From Home. Check out some of her writing here.


Like any other mama, we’re all flawed and have our strengths and weaknesses.

What’s beautiful about the relationships we form with one other is our ability to grow someone in their strengths and help them along the way when they are weak with our own strengths, making our bond that much stronger.

I hope you’ll take a minute to say hello to these ladies by visiting their sites and their writing.
Peace to you mamas,
Glo

The Truth about Motherhood for Me This Week #fiveonfriday

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My alarm radio sounds in my ear, demanding I shake off my warm covers and take on the day. My brain is blaring to get going on my to-do list, but my heart is overloaded. This has been one heck of a week. Between recovering from the election and realizing that Thanksgiving is one week away, I found myself fighting the anxiety bug.

As I went into this week, I didn’t know that I would make some changes and start something new. I didn’t realize that in the midst of the crazy that is motherhood, I would come out on the other side feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are a few things I did along my motherhood journey this week.

I changed up my wardrobe.
Hello #capsulewardrobe. I had never heard of a capsule wardrobe before and when I came across this site on Pinterest talking about a winter capsule wardrobe, I immediately fell in love with the idea. When you’re expecting baby #2 in March and you have a 17 month old running around, well, you know how it is ladies. For many of us, our fashion and style priorities fall to the side.

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I decided I would take on the principles of a capsule wardrobe to accommodate the unique fashion sense that comes with being preggers. I removed several and I mean several items that I don’t “love.” Items that I was unsure about, I turned the hangers the other way and if they get worn in the next two to three weeks I’ll keep them, otherwise, I plan to say farewell to clothes whose hanger didn’t get used.

I rearranged my closet, prioritized my shoes based on the principles mentioned on her site and felt like I was all ready to tackle my fashion dilemma these days while carrying around this extra weight. 😉 Plus, I signed up at Corina’s site for her first seven outfit arrangements to help jump start my wardrobe creativity to reuse and rewear what I already have!

Speaking of fashion, have I told you that I feel SUPER PREGNANT these days?
My body. OH me oh my. I remember with Bubby I had this weird sense of confidence with my body. I think it was all the excitement that came with the first pregnancy and I was definitely in better shape before I got pregnant the first time than I was this time. But this time around, I just feel big. I feel like I may never get my body back (which I know isn’t true, but you know, #hormones.) Basically as soon as I was done breastfeeding Bubby I became pregnant again, so there went that short window of freedom and all the wine.

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I think that was part of my drive to change up my wardrobe and take charge of my maternity fashion sense. Doing this gave me a confidence boost I think I needed.

I also know that I thrive with exercise. It’s my go-to for postpartum depression too. I have been making it a point to walk almost every day and that has helped me tremendously too.

Ankle Boots
Oh, and I know I’m way behind the fashion train, but I took the plunge and got me a pair of ankle boots to use as a base shoe in my wardrobe and I LOVE them! I got a neutral color to wear with several outfits which is a plus. The downside to ankle boots? I gotta keep my ankles shaved! Ha! Bye bye #noshavenovember 😉

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Being Present in the Day-to-Day and Not Wearing my Watch
You read that right. I went a whole day without wearing my watch. This may sound trivial to some of you moms out there but this was a big deal for me. I like to plan. I like to organize. Shoot, I would love to have a planner for my planner. After a weekend away for some much needed time to evaluate and look at my faith, I came home with the urgency to just BE and forget time.

I was amazed at how much more present I felt in the moments with my son. Playtime and story time and outside time all seemed like this big, fun adventure. Seriously, give it a try. It may be just what you need to refocus.

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A Weekend Away
I had some time last weekend to go on a “retreat” that my church hosted just for the ladies. I say “retreat” because it wasn’t what you might think a traditional retreat is when you hear that word. This was a weekend about restoring. Restoring your heart and your faith in your walk with the Lord. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in my life or felt as raw and real.

It was incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating and I will definitely need to write separately about it sometime soon. Having gone to that retreat soon after all the emotional and social out lash that came from the Presidential election was just what my soul needed.

I came home and was welcomed by this cute fluff butt whose vivacious curiousity keeps me moving forward. What about you? Any new revelations on your motherhood journey as of late?

beingpresent

 

 

20 + Tips from Real Moms on What to Do when You have a Newborn and a Toddler

We are having our second child in March and will be bringing home our new little addition to the family while having a 20 month old running around. I am excited, nervous, and a little scared. Scared of the unknown of a life with two under two. Nervous about the demands of a toddler while having a new baby. Excited to hear what tips other moms might have for me.

Thankfully, I am not the first woman who will experience the life of a mom with a newborn and a toddler. If you’re like me and scouring the Internet for tips, hacks and advice on how to survive as a new mom for the SECOND time, then look no further.

While I have mixed feelings about being what some might call a “Modern Mom” or a “millennial parent,” I without a doubt and grateful for the over 11,000 moms whose support I have in an awesome online mom group. I’ve seen these women post day in and day out with questions and concerns about how to survive with a newborn and not pull your hair out with a toddler.

So when I started worry about what this chapter of my life was going to be like, I knew I needed to hear the realness of this adventure straight from the horse’s mouth. Mamas, I give you to you REAL advice from REAL moms about how to navigate the life of having a newborn and a toddler. Here are there top tips for us new moms!

 

Read more for tips on brining home baby while having a toddler. Quick tips and reminders for mom with two under two.

Erin said: “My youngest two are 16 months apart. Best advice- GRACE. give yourself lots of grace. It gets better, but it will be super rough at times. Don’t stress about little stuff, just take it a day at a time (sometimes an hour at a time.”

Sarah said: “Grace. Lots of grace for yourself and for both kids. Mine are 17 months apart and here are a couple things that helped me.
-a “nursing basket” with special toys for the toddler while you nurse
-have your toddler do room time during one of the feedings
-get out of the house and don’t feel guilty about it!
-go to bed when baby does until night time sleep gets better because you can’t really rest much.
-ask for help with the toddler (wish I did more of this)
-when they’re both crying, determine the highest need and go wth that one first 😉
-let baby sleep in the swing or in the carrier the first 6 weeks!
-start “sleep training” week 6-12.
Grace. Everyone needs it. And if you cry, that’s ok!”

Kerry said: “If you’re a perfectionist like I am, lower your expectations for yourself a little. I expected to nail it, and was disappointed in myself over and over. Now I don’t pretend to have it all together, and it’s so much more freeing. And when things go bad, I’m like, whatever, that’s life. And when things go good I’m like yaaaaa!”

Claire said: “Let your older one say that he does not like his brother/sister or even horrible stuff. Do not yell at him for that. Just explain him/her that you love them both, that you are listening to his/her frustration and you will protect and love each of them the same way. Do not say that the older one will help you. He/she is not the parent.”


Kiah said: “Schedule a pedicure/massage/hair app whatever makes you happy before baby is born, have a plan and stick with it. It’s crucial to take care of yourself. Also schedule realistic date nights even if youngest baby tags along.
-Meal plan/freezer meals if possible, see if someone knows of a college girl or maid service that’s inexpensive.
-Purge the house of stuff you don’t want now and organize the rest. There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to organize on a budget.
-I used lots of positive affirmation with my boys preparing for baby #2 and #3
You’re going to be such a good big brother!
Are you going to hug and kiss baby when he’s born?
Baby loves you sooo much! Look how he smiles at you!
Anytime there was a misguided comment about how jealous they would get etc I would politely turn it around.

Ashley said: “Mine are 13 months apart with no family nearby😳😂
I really tried to make the toddler a part of the newborns care- not only did I keep my daughter busy, but I really believe that they are pretty close now because of it, it also taught her how to be kind and caring towards a baby. While I would nurse the newborn, the toddler and I would have special conversations or songs that we would only sing while I was nursing.
-And when I was caring for baby, I was constantly talking to both of them about what I was doing. ” Ok, mama’s gotta change brothers clothes…again”😜
-I pretty much lived down on the ground with them reading and playing. I would put his jungle gym down on the floor and lay some books out for her, and a lot of the time I could cook and clean with no issues! They both really enjoyed music too!
-I praised my 13 month old so much for being nice to her brother. To this day she gives him so many kisses, hugs, and brings him all of his favorite toys. Now, they are to the point where he is mobile and they chase each other and play all day – it’s great! they are 22, and 9 months- looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any other way!”

Elisha said: “Be kind to yourself. Take one day at a time and don’t try and do everything ask for help!”

Dara said: “Don’t be afraid to live completely in survival mode for the first 6 to 12 weeks or as long as you have to. And also, on the other hand, don’t be afraid to go out of the house whenever you need to keep things normal.
-The best advice I have received so far, is to use the toddler as your flex point. By this I mean if you need both kids to nap at the same time with the toddler down for their nap earlier or later based on whatever the baby schedule might be. The same thing goes for bedtime. If all hell is breaking loose and you need to tend to the baby you can put the Toddler down a little bit later and they will be just fine.”

Sarah said: “Crying has never killed anyone. If baby has to cry while you care for your toddler, they will be fine. If you have a toddler screaming at your feet while you feed baby don’t let that stress you. If you have to leave BOTH kids wailing to take care of your own needs, do it. This only lasts for such a short time. They do get the hang of sharing you! You are super woman, but you’re not God. You don’t have endless untapped energy and you can’t be everywhere at once.”

MORE POPULAR TIPS FROM THESE MOMS:
*Hire someone inexpensive to help clean or cook and if they can, be with the toddler for a little bit.
*Don’t freak out about everyone crying. Prioritize who needs attending first. Oh, and don’t be afraid to cry yourself!
*Get outside and exercise when you can! This may mean investing in a double stroller.
*Freezer meals AND snacks you know your toddler will eat without much complaint.
*Don’t be afraid to ask someone to set up a “Take Them a Meal” system.
*Have second baby’s room set up as much as you can before second baby arrives.
*Get those busy bags ready and only pull them out for the toddler during specific times. Thank God for Pinterest. Also, check out my 45 Daily Activities to do with a PreToddler for quick, free, and easy tips.
*Make sure and take care of yourself!!!
*Try to keep a date night to connect with your spouse!
*Let others help you!

WHAT ABOUT YOU MAMAS? What else would you like to add? Let us know in the comments below!
As always, cheers!,
Glo

 

Words I Can Live Without: Feminine Vulgarity

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Twelve years old, I was riding my bike down our neighborhood hill as fast as I could. I remember beating my neighbor friend at the bottom of the hill and enjoying the thrill of winning against him. He was one of the “wild” kids in our little tribe and my girlfriends and I never really went over to his house to play. Unless he asked us to jump on the trampoline. That was pretty awesome. But he hated to lose and had let me know in some vulgar words what he thought about me winning. So to restore his manliness, I guess?, he wanted to race down a hill not too far from our neighborhood, but far enough on a busy enough road that I remember not being comfortable competing against him anymore. That’s when I heard this word for the first time. Pussy. I’m not gonna lie, I cringe as I write it now. I don’t remember a lot of first time-preteen worldly exposures, but I remember this one. And I remember the feeling it gave me back then. I felt like I got punched in the gut. I felt bad for being a girl. I don’t want to go into some big lecture about feminism but I can tell you this much:

I HATE all vulgarity that relates to women’s genitalia that turns around and gets used as negative and degrading. And really, I’m not a big fan of masculine genitalia that gets turned around and used vulgarly either.

I think of so many of these words and how they affect the perception of women when used. Calling someone a “pussy” instantly denotes a feminine and WEAK counter part. As if you’ve been called a girl and that’s somehow incredibly insulting. Not just a girl, but a girl’s vagina which, I don’t know about you, but our vaginas are pretty flippin amazing. I mean, my son came out of there. And for some reason, a teenage kid thought calling me a pussy was a good insult. Hmmm. Wonder where he got that idea.

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I think of these things a lot these days now that I have a son. Not too long ago my husband made a comment about “crying like a girl.” And since we’re being honest, I know I have said that before. I don’t really remember my parents running around spouting off gender degrading comments. I’m guessing most of my gender stereotypes really came from TV and friends, growing up. When my husband made that comment around my son, not saying it to him but I knew my husband said it, and I knew we weren’t going to be talking like that in this house. Not anymore.

In our house, we don’t need to tear down each other by degrading their gender and using stereotypes. Shoot, I’m pretty sure we can do that with good, old fashion curse words that don’t involve anyone’s genitalia. And if my son gets beat by a girl in a bike competition, I hope he’ll tell her congrats and not“take it like a man” but authentically respond like a child should. Tell her she cheated.

What about you? Have any memories like this? How will you approach this with your children?

Some of us blogging buddies are committed to writing more weekly on our blogs! We have a variety of topics we’ll be writing about! To check out these lovely ladies and where their writing is taking them, click on their blog links below! And as always, tip your waters.
Aimme at mamacentric.com
Abbie at grumblinggrace.com
Emily at emilyfisk.com
Harmony at mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com

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A First Time Mom’s Guide to Surviving Baby Battles (or just eat the damn puffs!)

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I’m a first time mom (FTM) and just like any parent, veteran or not, we have the good days and the bad. The days you feel like you are the elite parent whose child slept for nine hours last night, and then the next day you’re knocked off your high horse when your child starts clinging to you and screaming for no apparent reason. No, wait. There might be a Wonder Week for that. If you haven’t heard about Wonder Weeks yet, they are the answer for every “What the heck is wrong with my baby?” Google it. You’ll feel a little more sane on those days. You’re welcome.

Whether it’s a Wonder Week or maybe just a typical day in the life of trying to figure out what the heck you’re doing, every FTM needs to have some defense moves on the days their baby declares an all-out war.

Battle Ground: Eating Foods

Baby’s main defense: Karate chopping. Mom approaches mouth with food on spoon, just like any other day. Baby ain’t having it. Mom tries to force past the karate chop. Baby begins arching back and screams. In a momentary lapse, Mom loosens grip on spoon. Baby senses weakness and knocks spoon out of mom’s hand. Better yet, Baby laughs at flying food and wants to blow mommy some smeared broccoli kisses.

FTM’s defense: Trying not to freak out because your child isn’t eating his vegetables like you dreamed, you decide to check your trendy baby-led weaning book. Screaming baby ensues because he wants some food. You drop the book and head to the fridge. Cheese. Best FTM defensive food out there. Go ahead and enjoy some too. Maybe a little glass of wine too? It’s almost lunch time, right?

Battle Ground: Diaper Changing

Baby’s main defense: Back arching and becoming stiff as a board. Putting a diaper on a baby who has stiffened their body and squeezed their legs shut in protest is like trying to move a 700lb rock on your own. It ain’t happening.

FTM’s defense: Kisses and giggles to distract baby. Reminder to FTM – this trick works for .0000007 of a second. Giggles become rip mommy’s face off since she is so close to my hands and I’m ticked about this diaper change. FTM looks around for anything that will distract baby from stiffening his legs. Your phone dings a new message and with it, a battle-saving reminder. Just give it to him. You know you will let your baby play with your phone eventually anyways.

Battle Ground: Grocery Shopping

Baby’s main defense: This one is tried and true. Screaming as loud as he can.

FTM’s defense: Letting baby play with anything crackly off the shelf. This gives you about two toMAYBE three minutes to get to the next aisle to grab some baby puffs.  The puffs you swore you’d never try. The ones you were committed to try and make homemade. And yes, you should just open it in the store and let that baby stuff his face.

Battle Ground: Errands in the Car

Baby’s defense: This can vary. However, screaming tends to be the most effective. Mom’s main goal? Keeping your hands on the steering wheel as much as possible and try not to let your head explode with all the screaming.

FTM’s defense: There are a few tactics mom can try here. Roll down baby’s window to get a 20 second reprieve. Turn up music and sing with baby for a 20 maybe 30 second reprieve. Take said puffs just throw the jar to the baby, and don’t think about what the back seat will look like by the time you arrive home after the 15 minute car ride across town. This may be the most successful tactic in making it home without swerving off the road.

Battle Ground: Nap Time

Baby’s main defense: Cuddles. The more cuddles he tries to give you, the more likely you are to fall for the rock-me-to-sleep baby tactic.

FTM’s main defense: Don’t rock baby to sleep. You want the baby to put himself to sleep. Right – that thought lasts for about two seconds.

FTM’s new defense: Rock the baby to sleep in as big of a recliner you can find in your house so you can try and sleep too. Oh yah, and keep those damn puffs near by.

This post originally appeared on thehomelovingwife.com

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Mommy’s Little Hero

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I’m huffing and puffing, walking up the stairs, trying to carry this squirmy little dude on my hip while balancing a basket of laundry on the other. Asher is laughing and giggling while trying to see how hard he can kick his legs around before mommy drops the basket. Socks are toppling over the edge of heaping clothes, oozing out the sides of my basket. Oozing because Mike’s socks stink people. If you want to see a fun balancing act, watch a mom carrying her kid and a huge basket through a baby gate at the top of the stars, all the while a 70 lb freight train we call our dog, charging up the stairs. I sort of feel like this is my life lately. I am constantly going up and down. Overloading myself. Trying to get everything done.

I’ve come to realize that if I don’t watch myself, I can pretty much feel like this Every. Stinking. Day. The frazzled feelings. The not enough shaming. The mom judging. The days that get foggy.

Asher is all sorts of pre-toddler these days and I can see the challenges arising.

I worry that I won’t be enough.

Days can be hard as a mom. 

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As I’m sitting there trying to fold our laundry, Asher cruises on over to see what this is all about. Laundry has become his favorite new entertainment. Take the clothes out. Put them back in. Laugh about it. Take the clothes out. Shake them all about. Giggle. Hand mommy her clothes. Yank them back out of mommy’s hand. Laugh about it.

No joke. I had been sitting there working myself into what could have been a good o’l pity party, that would have ended with some comfort eating I’m sure, because that’s what I do sometimes, BUT as many times before, this little guy brings me back.

He brings me back to focus.

What can seem so mundane becomes an adventure.

 

We laugh together.

I remember how lucky I am.

I’m sure the worry will come back. The nag never seems to go away.

But it’s moments like these I need to keep her at bay.

I hear parents say a lot about how they can’t believe they are parents. The unbelief in the privilege they have of raising a family. I can’t say that comment always resonates with me until I start to worry about not being enough for my family. Then it all starts to make sense.

I choose happiness. I choose gratitude. I trust I am enough. I trust that God will continue to guide my heart as I hold my son’s hand. Really, he is leading me. Leading me deeper into my relationship with God. Growing my heart in ways I never knew.

I trust that he will know someday when he looks back that his mama loved him and in the midst of doing laundry, my heart was overflowing with gratitude for the joy he has brought to my life.

This mama is learning to be intentional with her gratitude. Read on for more encouragement to see the good in the mundane as a stay at home mom.