Learning how to have fun with motherhood

When I think back on the first few months after my baby girl was born , I think what a waste ! What a waste all that stressing was for and the anxiety, instead of just enjoying every minute of it. It took me so long to adjust to being a mother that I missed out on half the journey. I think it is all part of being a first time mom, I don’t think there is a woman on earth that did not feel overwhelmed the first time she brought her little one home.

As the months went by, I slowly learned to not be so hard on myself (and my poor husband) and to just breathe through the difficult times. And most importantly; I learned how to have fun whilst doing it.

I always felt so overwhelmed that I thought there was no time in the day to do something that I enjoy, I soon realized that this was just an excuse. The moment I made an effort, things started to change for me, I now write while I sit on the floor and play with her (master multitasker right!?), its not easy, and a post takes me twice as long, but I am doing it.

We need to realize the importance of doing something different, something other than being a wife/partner and a mother, we need to do something that makes us feel like an individual again, it just gives you the little break that you need to carry on with what the day holds.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we too often feel like asking for help means that you are not coping with being a mother and that you have failed, that is just not true, and don’t let anyone make you feel like that. Older people always tend to tell me “I had no help whatsoever and raised four kids”- well, well done , but that simply does not mean anything to me, I promise you that their recollection of something that happened 30 years ago is a bit embellished, and that does not mean that you now have to do the same or compare.

Take that break, have fun, have fun with your baby, each little giggle is worth all the dishes in the world, it can wait, all of it can, because at the end of the day, life is too short, so don’t live your life trying to live up to an ideal that is probably fabricated in the first place.

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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

 

 

Starting to enjoy motherhood

The first few months after we brought our baby home was insane, you stress, you are unsure and you are overwhelmed in every possible way. After that, you seem to kind of find your feet as a mother, but you are still unsure of yourself and your instincts.

Now, Paige is 10 months old, and I just feel more at ease, more confident about being a mother and with following my “gut”.

I also don’t seem to care so much what people think, and lets face it, most moms are not afraid to tell you their opinion of something they are doing! Usually it would upset me that someone would tell me that they would do it differently, now, I just say “oh okay” with a smile and move on. It’s liberating.

I feel like I am starting to come into my own, I get to enjoy every little giggle now without worrying about a milestone that hasn’t been reached yet, or the amount of wet nappies she has had for the day, I am just enjoying her and the time I get to spend with her.

If my baby does not want to sleep or stands in her cot forever without any hope of sleep, I get up, knowing that it is just a phase and she will get over it. Honestly I wish I had this mentality when she was a newborn, I would have enjoyed her more and not stress over everything, but as with everything in life, it was also a phase I needed to go through as a mother, to appreciate the moments I have now, and seeing her grow into a beautiful, smart little girl.

So blessed 🙏🏻

Being a Woman is Intense ! 🙈🤪

I mean , where do I even start on this one ?!

We still go trough hormone changes , periods , headaches , flu , tiredness, irritations and all the normal turmoils of everyday life , all while still raising children .

I just don’t think that men understand this , my husband is so helpful with her and tries his very best to be supportive , but I still get the occasional “you make it worse than it actually is” and the “you are overreacting” .

Now look , I am not the most patient person , and my anger goes from 1 – 100 I’m seconds since becoming a mom ,

It is like a switch went off when Paige was born , and I feel this fire inside of me to fight for my family and loved ones and to not be a pushover anymore !

I honestly believe that being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me ❤️

Angelique

When Even Your Insides Are Tired || Mom Tired

Have you ever felt like your tired like in your bones ? I don’t know how else to explain it , who am I kidding , off course you have ! This happens to all of us , but I honestly believe “mom tired” is a thing !

This is me today , after this week with Paige , I just feel drained , emotionally, physically , mentally , and wait , is there another one ? I forget 🤫😳

Today we had friends over , and as much as I would love to kick back and have a few drinks , have some snacks , chat to my friends or just relax a little bit , but I cant , I have a 5 month old that is still busy sleep training !

But then I put my baby girl in my lap and just hold her , and everything just disappears, every single day I look at her and think “I cant love you anymore than I do right now” , and every day that love grows ! 🧡

So yes, today I am extremely exhausted to the point where I want to ugly cry , but I wouldn’t have it any other way, looking after my baby girl is the biggest blessing in the world !

Angelique

New mom tips for starting solids

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait to start solids. It is such an exciting time for both mom and baby, experimenting together, and finding out what your baby likes and dislikes, its messy and its awesome!

What I did not know is that babies actually don’t like food the first time you give it to them (ha ha), its new to them, so it’s up to you to now teach your baby to eat food (how weird is that, we don’t think of it like that, I mean we love eating, and need it to survive), for babies, they only need their milk, so learning to eat these new things is a very big change to them (and their tummies, but we wont talk about solid food diapers on here).

My baby girl had butternut as her first meal; she full on gagged. I laughed so much at her, now, two weeks later, butternut is her favorite meal of the day.

This is our plan, and how we started solids.

PS. In no way am I saying that this is the best meal plan, and that it would work for any baby, all babies are different, and moms have different goals, this is just a guideline for new moms that want to start somewhere, try this and “tweak” it to suit your household and your baby.

Introducing Solids

Little fact that I did not know going in to this – Your baby might not like what you give them the first time, they simply are not used to it and must learn to eat it first (like red wine, olives and whiskey). Keep giving one food for a few days just to make sure and to ensure that your baby is not allergic to the specific veg or fruit you are giving him/her.

I have a blender/steamer at home so I make my own veggies (the only reason for this is that we live 70 km’s from the nearest town, so making my own is just easier), it was such a great day and so exciting, she did not think so though and hated every bite, but it was a start and I felt so proud that we had reached this point.

Here are some tips to remember;

  • Start with only one meal a day
  • Usually two hours after a bottle and when they are in a good mood to try something new
  • Don’t add any sugar or butter to your food if you make your own (babies’ tummies are sensitive)
  • Introduce a new veggie/food every 3-4 days
  • In the beginning; these veggies/foods need to be pureed, no chunks or pieces (these can be introduced a month or so later)
  • You can also start with baby cereal, many moms believe that this is easier, as the rice cereal is mixed with the baby’s milk, and this is a familiar taste for them, so they enjoy it more.
  • Try to stick to basics, don’t add too many ingredients to your baby’s food as they start out, one veggie at a time in the beginning is more than enough for them.
  • Enjoy it, don’t let it stress you out and don’t force feed your baby, this will only result in vomiting afterwards, and your baby not enjoying feeding time in the future.
  • Start giving your baby sips of water after a meal, some babies don’t like water, but just a sip or two will get them used to the idea (in summer, keep a bottle of water in the fridge so it is cold, this also helps soothe irritated gums when teething)
  • There is no need for snacks in the beginning, but teething biscuits are a great start (its messy, but try and let your baby have fun with it, you can always change their clothes afterwards- this teaches your baby to hold food and place it in their mouths themselves)
  • Fruit, Dairy and meat are only introduced a month or two after starting solids, the reason for this is that your baby’s tummy needs to develop enough to digest these foods (once again, all babies are different, and if you feel that your baby is ready for fruit a little bit earlier, feel free to try it)
  • After a week or two (depending on your baby) you can introduce a second and third meal a day, and before you know it, your baby will have a routine and will even get excited once they see their food being prepared.

Have fun with this, it is such an exciting time and remember that every baby is different, some babies will like baby cereal more than others do – after all; they are also individuals.

How my marriage and baby has made me less selfish

Before I met my husband, I lived alone for 7 years. 7 years of doing what I wanted when I wanted, I made the food only I like, I watched the shows only I like, I went to bed whenever I like, and I came home whenever I wanted too.

Marriage

After I met my husband, we moved in together quite quickly as we were doing the long-distance thing and we just missed each other way too much; so after only 6 months of dating we moved in together, a month later we got engaged, 8 months after that we got married and a short 3 months after that we were expecting our precious baby girl. To say we moved fast is an understatement, we just both knew the moment we met each other, that this was it, we were soulmates and why wait.

This short amount of time together did not give either of us much time to adapt to one phase before moving on to the next, so you can imagine that a lot of fighting went on through all these big changes in our lives. For me, the biggest challenge was not being alone anymore, or well, at all!

It might sound silly, but I literally had to learn to now take my husband into consideration when I did things, and it just was not as easy as it sounds. At first, I really struggled to put myself second, my dad always calls it the “I Problem” – which is exactly what it was, I just did not know how to put my own needs second and depend on someone else to meet them.

This was a huge challenge for my husband and I; we had to both learn to be with someone else, and to take each other into consideration, I had to “let” someone be there for me, and share the decision making (which was not easy). This was such a learning curve for me, and we really had to work hard at it; to change little habits and to basically change the way we have both been living before we met.

Then came the biggest change of all. . .

The Arrival of our Precious Baby Girl

I though marriage was a big change, boy was I wrong, having a baby is so intense and places so much pressure on any relationship, and yourself. Being less selfish for my child however, was not hard at all, in fact it came naturally.

The first six months after she was born I didn’t really have any clothes or shoes that fit me properly (you know that awkward phase where your maternity clothes are too big, and your pre-pregnancy clothes are too small) and it didn’t bother me one bit. I had a messy mom bun (let’s not kid ourselves, I still rock it most days), no makeup and slippers where the only item in my closet that actually fit my still very swollen feet.

It is not like I decided that I will be less selfish when I have a baby, it just well, happened the moment she was born. Becoming a mother changed me, don’t get me wrong, my personality is still in tact (thank goodness) and I still like the things I used to like before I got pregnant, its just, its hard to put into words; it is like you are looking at this tiny perfect human, that grew inside of you, and was apart of you for the better part of a year, yet you never got to meet until now, you loved him/her before you even met, and that little bundle is still apart of you, depends on you for everything. It is the most intense feeling in the world, the most intense love I have ever felt in my life.

This is the definition of true love. This love fills your heart and leaves no room for a shred of selfishness.

“For you are wonderfully and fearfully made” – Psalm 139:14