The “mom” flu

“Mom Flu is exactly like normal flu, except nobody cares”

This rings so true once you become a mother, you read this on memes and all-over social media and it’s hilarious, until it’s you!

Take me for example; I have had toothache for about a week now, and I just don’t get the time (or the babysitter) to go and get it fixed, and the pain is excruciating; but I still have to get up at 6 AM and feed my baby girl, she still has to have her naptime routine, and the dishes still need to get done, dinner still needs to get made – time waits for no mom !

Being a mom really is a 24/7 job, and I say job because it’s hard work, although incredibly rewarding, it still takes up most of your time, especially for the first few months, and you rarely get time for yourself, your marriage, or any other relationships in your life.

Whether you are sick, tired, cranky, emotional, or just having a rough day, you somehow always gather the strength to look after your baby and tend to them as if nothing is wrong and still give them the attention they deserve and need.

Since becoming a mother I could feel myself change, looking back on those first few weeks; I cant imagine how I used to get up every two hours to feed, while still recovering from my c-section, the hormones that came flooding in the first few days, struggling with breastfeeding, the paranoia of whether your baby is still breathing, is she comfortable, is she lying right, and lets not forget the sleepless nights googling about whether her amount of spit up is normal.

And I know that this is just the beginning, we haven’t even started teething, solids, potty training, sleep training, tantrums, and all the rest, and somehow I just know that I will cope with all of it because that is what being a mom is all about, you are not allowed to give up, and that to me , is so powerful, and it just makes you stronger every day, you just see the world differently when you become a parent.

Being a mom is like having seven balls in the air while holding your baby, and trying to catch them all , whether it be trying to juggle having a personal life of some sort, friendships, marriage, a career, and the moment you pay attention to one of these, you immediately feel some sort of “mom guilt” over not being with your child, or not spending all your time tending to them, or just simply worrying about them.

I strongly believe that having children humbles you, although I have never seen myself as a selfish person , I did put myself first in many scenarios, and since my baby girl was born , putting her first comes so natural, I don’t need to think it over, or decide whether I really need to go play with her or go to the hair appointment my hair desperately needs, it’s a no brainer.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that “you cant pour from an empty cup” and you are no good to your baby if you are stressed out and unhappy, our basic needs still need to be met and we deserve to be happy in all aspects of life in order to be a good example to your children as they grow up.

It is exactly like the safety demonstration before a flight; “place your own oxygen mask before tending to others”.

It is just that some of the things that used to give me sleepless nights before I became a mom, seems like minor issues to me now, and I feel more capable of handling outside stressors in my life, I feel mentally and emotionally stronger even.

Mom flu is not just actually being sick , it’s a constant state we find ourselves in where we put our families and relationships above our own wellbeing sometimes, and I don’t know about you , but I wouldn’t have it any other way !n The rewards of being a mom , far outweighs the sacrifices and I cannot imagine my life without my precious sweet baby girl.

To all the moms out there who are juggling life and motherhood and feel like you are dropping balls left and right, hang in there, you are not alone, and you are doing an AMAZING job!

Life happens FOR YOU and not TO YOU , and once you realize that, a whole lot of things come into perspective, you stop seeing everything as a chore, and realize what a blessing it is to be able to have children, and friends and a marriage or relationship, and although being a mom is such hard work, you stop looking for validation in other people and start finding it in the little face smiling up at you and within yourself.

And who is a better critic of whether you are doing a good job other than your baby? No one!

 

Angelique

 

 

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The guessing game

Let me start off by saying that I was convinced my baby girl was teething basically since she was 4 months old – she was not and only started teething at 8 months, and got 4 teeth in 3 weeks!? I mean? What!

At this point who knows whats going on, if its not a leap, its a growth spurt or teeth or hay fever, or a runny nose, or the blanket is the wrong way around, or well she just does not feel like doing something. You have to guess everything ! I know they call it “motherly instinct” and all but somedays I have no idea what is wrong !

I think not enough moms say this out loud to each other, all I have ever heard from other moms is “you should try this and this” and not “you know, I also had no idea what to do at first but then….”. I feel like these days some moms are so focused on being perfect because that is what social media portrays. Instead of being REAL. Having the difficult conversations with each other and venting about all the struggles motherhood has to offer, just to know that we are not alone.

The moment you feel understood, the whole world shifts, you can handle more and you don’t feel like a failure all the time (just every now and then haha). I for one cant wait until my baby girl can tell me what she needs and tell me when she wants a cuddle or when she is scared of something so that I can give her what she needs. But, as with everything in life, we have to go through the difficult stages to appreciate the good ones even more.

At the end of the day we need to appreciate every stage with our little ones, even the hard times, what a blessing to be a mama, and to have such an adorable, friendly little girl at that.

Baby Fever Its Real and its Scary

My baby girl just tuned 9 months old, and I feel like I really want another one already, I mean am I crazy?! I probably am !

Today I looked through all Paige’s baby pictures and I got so broody its insane, then I thought about it; I think the reason I want another baby so badly is because it feels like I never really appreciated her being so small,in between the stress and anxiety of being a first time mom and baby blues, I somehow missed it all.

But I guess all new moms feel the same way? I am just so excited for my second pregnancy, although knowing every pregnancy is different; I am excited to go through it kind of knowing what to expect and not freaking out over the little things and just enjoying the little things with my family. I will be waiting before we try for our second one, but I can already see Paige as a big sister and it warms my heart.

The Decision

What makes you decide to have another baby? Some look at the age difference, others at their finances, the truth is that there are so many factors to consider, you want to give your second child the same life you give to your first, and you worry about the first one not getting as much attention.

The problem with these issues are that they might always be there, someone on e told me “if you are waiting until you are ready, you will wait forever”; when it comes to babies, there really is not a way to prepare you for what it to come haha.

There is a thin line between being realistic about another baby and to just do it and not to overthink it. You need to find the middle where you feel comfortable, just remember when you held your baby for the first time; the love you felt and how everything else just seemed to disappear, all the pain and the worrying, it was all worth it.

Starting a family is such a blessing, and something we all should cherish, do what you feel is best for your family, whether it be to have 10 children or 10 puppies. Just stay true to yourself and do what brings you joy.

Traveling With an Infant 101

We recently flew to Perth with out then 7 month old baby girl. I was so stressed about the flight because I did not know what to expect.

Our experience however was a little bit all over the place; we flew with South African Airways which I swore I would never do again , and it was a balls up from start to finish !

We were told to book a bassinet for our baby girl , which we did , phoned three times to confirm it as I was so stressed about the flight. They assured me that it was all good. Long story short – we got on the plane and there was no bassinet . We ended up with two empty seats between us (thank goodness) and she slept there the flight , which went okay , she woke up a few times and we tried to give her bottle for take off and landing for her ears. All in all it went okay , we were exhausted but our baby didn’t scream the whole way, which was a win for me! 🤣👌🏻

The flight back was even worse, we ended up with no bassinet as they give them to the smaller babies first (which no one even told me) she ended up having to sleep on our laps, now my baby has never been one to cuddle or sleep on me or even sleep in a sling ! It was CHAOS ! But somehow we survived the whole process and ended up living to tell the tale.

This is maybe not what every mom out there wants to hear but my advice is to wing it – it sounds silly but every baby is so different and if it is your first time flying you have no idea how your baby will react or sleep on the plane. Prepare to sleep very little and just get through it , who knows, your baby might surprise you.

Jetlag

Jetlag on the other hand is a whole new ball game. Some say that you should start getting your baby on the new time zone by slowly adjusting their routine until they are used to it, this however is crazy to me haha as that would mean I also have to be on that time zone ! But once you do that then at least you can enjoy your holiday once you arrive without having to deal with jetlag.

To us, honestly, waiting it out was the best option, she took about 4-5 days and we were all back to normal again, although a rough few days, she slowly got back onto the right time zone without having to force her to sleep or waking her up when she is not supposed to sleep.

So don’t panic, this too shall pass and it is so worth it traveling overseas with your baby . Take a deep breath and just do it, don’t overthink it. You can do it 👌🏻

Safe travels everyone ✈️

To all the mothers out there / Making 2019 YOUR year

Today I realised that January 2019 is almost over and I haven’t written a single thing!!

Wow right ? This is something I enjoy and use as a sort of “dear diary”, and yet I forgot about it completely and it doesn’t end there; I haven’t read one page of the books I love, I haven’t seen the friends I adore in ages and the list goes on and on.

Why you may ask ? Well I had a baby. The problem with this statement is that although this is true, it is not the only thing that keeps me from doing what I love and what brings me joy. Its the guilt that follows from not being “productive” while my baby is finally sleeping (I know I am not alone on this).

I seem to feel like I have to so everything myself , which is not true , my husband helps and everything does not have to be done in one day – hence the exhaustion.

The washing can wait a day (well sometimes anyway) the dishes can wait till tonight, sometimes you just have to take a minute during the day to do something that brings YOU joy. Selfish right ? NO ! The happier you are , the happier your kids will be , it overflows into so many areas of our lives and we don’t even realize it. Being more relaxed and happier tends to also be good for your marriage or relationship; you are less irritable and even feel a little bit more rested and positive.

I for one don’t believe in new years resolutions, I believe that you can make changes and better yourself any day of the year , and the best time is NOW ! Make time for yourself, do more of what you enjoy, even if you literally have to schedule it to make it happen. If there is a will there is a way.

Heres to more writing and reading in 2019 !

Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.

 

 

 

How to decide on which products to buy for your baby

Oh my word there is just so much out there these days, that I have no idea what to use and what not to use, the worst part of it all is; is that there are so many good products and devices out these days, that it really comes down to which one you like more, or is cuter. This must really be a big challenge to companies out there to make their product more attractive than the next one (so glad that is not my job).

I have three slings, we actually just bought another one today, more expensive than all the rest – ridiculous right? the reason for the other three are because people told me to buy them because they work, well, that is just it, it does work – for them. It is so difficult these days to decide which would work better for your baby, previously, you would just buy the one with the best reviews and one that is “pricey” and you know you made the right decision, but now there are just too many products out there with good reviews.

I myself have tried a few, and have now found what works best for me and my baby, i will share a few with you guys;

The 4 Stage Car Seat

We bought a travel system, you know, those that come with a pram and a car seat. This worked so well for us when she was a newborn, you could leave her in her car seat if she was sleeping and just transfer her to her pram, hassle free.

The problem with this system, is that this car seat basically only works for the first 6 months (for us anyway) she got too tall for the car seat and it became increasingly difficult to put her in and take her out when going places (as she now refused to sleep in it when in the pram). We ended up buying a car seat that has 4 stages – from birth till 36 kilograms. It faces backwards until about 9 kilograms and then it can face forward, its more comfortable and so much easier to put her into.

The reason I am suggesting this is that, although the normal car seat works well when your baby is a newborn, this stage of life is so fleeting and before you know it, you have to spend double the amount to buy a bigger car seat anyway. So for us, we will use this one for our next baby from the start.

Stokke My Carrier

We currently have 4 baby carriers (yes I know don’t judge), i so badly wanted to be a “babywearer” that i was adamant it was just the wrong sling. Now, 7 months later, we found the “stokke my carrier” and I was right ! (well maybe, could also be because she is now older, who knows), but it works, she loves it, and we are now planning on using it for our trip to Australia this week.

This carrier is a three in one (front facing, outward facing, and a back carrier) it grows with your baby, and you can use it up until 15 kilograms/ 3 years old. It is truly amazing and so comfortable to wear and easy to use, I don’t need my husband’s help to put her in or take her out.

All and all, we are very happy with this product, although it is a bit more expensive, it is worth every penny, and we see it as an investment.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what works for you, your lifestyle, are you out and about more with your baby, or traveling more, all these aspects play a role in which products you use for your baby, these two products are just a few examples of what to consider, and the possibilities are endless, so take a breath, read through all the reviews and try a few before making your decision.

As new moms, we always have this “idea” of how it will be having a baby, and what we would like to do with them, this however, is rarely reality (ask me i know), so wait a while, get to know your baby and yourself as a mother before making expensive purchases.

Happy shopping moms 🙂