Getting through “those” days

Two nights ago my daughter cried so much that I almost took her to the emergency room, she is not a cryer and I honestly was at a loss for what to do. The next morning I saw that her one tooth came through during the night, wow ! She did not struggle like that with any of her other teeth. It just proves to me again that once you think you know your baby, it turns out you don’t, and everything that uses to work goes out the window.

Its scary to know that my baby can still make me freak out even 10 months down the line, but thats motherhood I guess , I know it will always be like this, wanting your child to be happy and healthy is the main priority.

I honestly don’t know how we get through those days/nights that seem to have no end in sight, when its over you kind of think “how did I do that” ?!. Thats what tickles me about “those” people who just has all the advice in the world to give to new parents (unsolicited by the way),

I have only been a mother now for 10 months, and boy the things I have learnt ! And yet I still don’t feel like I have any real advice for first time moms , obviously I have the odd one here and there (give yourself a break, don’t stress too much etc. ) , but I know that every baby is so different and so is the mother and the situation, thats why I don’t pretend for a second that I have it all figured out ( I might get the odd afternoon where I feel like mother of the tear, but it blows over quite quickly).

Most days I just feel like I am winging everything 🙈

Thats just it, there is no “one” recipe to make things easier for you, once you find who you are as a mother, things will even out, you will know what to do and what not to do (well most days) and you will trust yourself more. Until then, I say Wing it ! 😉

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How to know when your baby is ready for daycare

I am a stay at home mom, my baby girl is now 10 months old, I know my baby, and I can see that she is not getting enough stimulation at home, I can also see that I am running out of ideas as to how to keep her busy during the day. She gets so excited when she sees other babies or kids. I must add that we live in a rural area, and she also does not see other people but us (except for the occasional visit to my parents or friends) , and then she gets overstimulated by all the excitement of people and malls, its a horrible viscous circle.

So I made the decision to take her to daycare, we live far away from a town, so I decided to take her to the town where my moms lives and only once a month for a few days, just to socialize. Boy that first day I honestly though I made a mistake (I know a lot of you are with me on this one), the crying almost made me turn around to fetch her, luckily I spoke to some moms before the time that said all babies cry the first day and I must just give it time.

The second day I was so nervous to take her , she cried again, and by the time I was out the door she stopped. When I fetched her the woman said it went so much better and my baby girl even smiled at the teacher when we left, they even did little footprint artwork at school that day and I got to take it home. I have never been so proud of ANYTHING in my whole life , that little footprint is on my fridge and I will keep if forever !

After that very long story; all I want to say is that every baby and every situation is different , not all babies benefit from daycare and not all moms can afford to stay home with their babies, follow your instincts, you know your baby best (no matter what the in-laws might say or even your husband), do what you think is best, because most of the time you are right !

I am so glad I decided to do that, and I cant wait to take het again ! 🙏🏻❤️

Don’t let anyone make you feel like less of a mother or that you are doing the wrong thing thing with your child, EVER ! I speak from experience when I say that it is a slippery slope , and soon you will be second guessing yourself around every corner, and you know what ? Life is too short for that nonsense ! If your baby is happy and smiling , who cares what anyone thinks !

How time makes you a stronger parent

When my husband and I first brought our baby girl home, I remember how sore our warms used to be for days, from holding her and breastfeeding (she only weighed 2,95 kilos), now she weighs 10 kilos and we cary her around a lot (she is in that clingy phase where she wants to get picked up ALL THE TIME) and yet our arms don’t get sore quickly anymore, in-fact, I even get a few things done around the house while carrying her.

And that is what motherhood does to you, it makes you stronger, selfless and oh so much more motivated in life. When something happens in your personal or work life that upsets you or throws you a curveball, having a baby teaches you to just get through it, you cant sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, because your baby still needs attention and sleep and food and and. There is no time to take to mope around or to wallow. You get up and you push through it.

Sleep is another example, for the first 9 months I struggled so much without a proper night’s sleep, now , I don’t really mind, I get up at night and I am okay, I am not even moody anymore, I think I have maybe just admitted defeat. Haha

Being a mother changes your life ! And it is such a blessing to be able to have a little human. And being stronger for it, Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we raise them and may we be them. 🙏🏻❤️

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

Overcoming Your Mom Insecurities

Where do we even start on this one?

All moms, whether you are a new mom or not, have insecurities, we all feel, at one point or another that we are lacking in some departments. My insecurities as a mother stretch far and wide , so much so that I sometimes feel like a basket case.

The Struggle

For me personally, I am petrified of not having a good relationship with my daughter when she is older, which is a lot of pressure to put on a 6 month old (ha ha), I am constantly doubting myself, whether I am making the right choices for her, or buying the best product for her, I place so much pressure on myself to do things right, that I forget to have patience with myself and give myself the room to still make mistakes, even though I am trying to be a good mother, I am still human at the end of the day.

But saying it does not make it so (as many of you know), I am so sensitive of the subject, that if someone just jokingly points something out, I get offense immediately, instead of just taking it in stride and brushing it off. I will think about it for weeks on end after it has been said, and it would even keep me up at night. It sounds ridiculous, but this used to be my life, and it was so difficult to focus on other things during the day, there just is not enough space in a brain to harbor all thoughts and incidents throughout life, at the end of the day, we need to throw out the bad and keep the good, not just for ourselves, but also for the relationships in our lives.

Thoughts are very powerful, and it can take the joy out of everything, once you harbor a negative thought for too long, it grows, and because we keep it inside, it seems to become such a big issue the longer we keep it inside for no real reason, being caught in this loop is no joke, and can be difficult to get out of.

The Change of Perspective

At the end of the day, what does it matter what people think of the way you raise your child? Life is funny like that; no matter what you do, or where you do it, someone will always have an opinion about it, someone will always disagree with what you are doing, even if you are 100% sure of your decision. Accepting this is liberating, in the way that you no longer mind when someone gives an opinion, you nod and move on with your life without giving it another thought.

This mind set however does not happen overnight, it takes practice. Every time something or someone upsets you by forcing an opinion down your throat, instead of thinking on it for weeks on end, you make a conscious decision to put it aside and not think about it again, every time it pops up (because lets face it, you are only human) you do the same, this is like teaching your brain to think differently. This type of “re-wiring” takes time and effort, but trust me, the results are worth it.

This is not a fool proof plan, it just makes you stress less over things that should not be taking up time in your thoughts. Raise your baby the way you want to, and what you feel is best for your child and your family. Do not let things like mom shaming and old traditional opinions cloud the joy of being a first time mom.

You Got This !

 

The little things you do for your children matter!

That little kiss on the forehead before bed, those little cuddles on the couch; it might seem like little things, but they make all the difference to your baby.

We hear it a lot – You can make mistakes with them now because thank goodness they don’t remember their infant days, although this might be true regarding mistakes you have made, they most certainly do remember how they were treated by their parents and people around them.

Love & Attention

They may not be able to recall a specific incident, but their first days on earth lay the foundation for the future, how they will react to certain situations, how they will treat other people, their relationships, confidence etc. When you bring a new baby home, you don’t focus on these things, all you focus on is getting through the next day, and the next milestone, but we forget the in-between is just as important for the big picture.

Taking a few moments each day just to appreciate your baby and to spend time with him/her makes the biggest difference; giving little neck kisses or little tickles and hearing your baby giggle; is the most rewarding thing about being a mother, it brings you so much joy!

Childhood

I for one did not have the best childhood, I know my parents did their best with what life threw at them, and I am grateful, but being a mother now I look at things a little differently, I realize little issues I have and why (true I have a psychology background so I can pinpoint these easier than most, but every person can look back on their childhood and realize where what went wrong).

I am adamant that we go through all these experiences to make it right, or at the very least gain some perspective as to what our parents went through, and have more sympathy towards the issues they had to face when we were children, at the time, we did not realize how big these situations were, but now as parents, we can relate to them more, and sympathize more. I might get some blow back on this one, but to me; being a parent entails protecting your child (for as long as possible) from the ugliness of the world, the sad the bad and the traumatic (as best we can).

Feelings Come Second

When you are pregnant, you are excited, you think of the little toes and fingers and you can’t wait to meet your new little human, and all will be right in the world. The fact of the matter is, although this is very true, you will need to make countless sacrifices for your child (or ought to make for them), whatever you are going through in life, these emotions and feelings need to be buried deep inside so that your children are not affected by this; this is extremely hard in some cases, locking your feelings away for later takes so much strength and I don’t think we get enough credit for doing this, people just expect it of a mothers, it’s a given, therefore you are not allowed to say that it is hard to put yourself second sometimes.

Well it is, but at the same time, it is a privilege to be able to protect your child from all the hardships in life while they are little, making sacrifices for your child is what makes them into amazing adults, it ensure that your child stays a child while they should and do not get burdened with “adult problems” before they have to, life is short, their time will come way too soon to be an adult and they will have plenty of their own dilemmas to deal with. Don’t make this start earlier than it needs to for them.

Life Changes

Making a decision to move somewhere for a better school district or a bigger house, a safer neighborhood, we all do it for our children, it is a huge change, change is scary and uncertain, yet we do it for our children because you want them to have the best possible chance to do anything they want with their lives.

These decisions are not made lightly and cause so many disagreements between husband and wife, the reality of it is that we make daily decisions to ensure that our children are happy and safe and some of them are despite of ourselves and our goals in life but will make all the difference to your child in the future.

The Future

Although your children will not always know about the sacrifices you made as parents for them, they will most certainly reap the rewards, time spent with them, and as a family will forever be apart of who they are, and how they will treat their own families, sacrifices made for a better future for them will show in how they take on life, and what they choose to do with challenges and how they handle change. Setting an example for your children in all these areas may seem like little things, but they are the things that will make them into amazing adults you can be proud of.

Well done for putting your child first, for creating a better future for them and giving them your best selves.

It is hard someday, but you are rocking it!

Here’s to raising amazing little humans.

3 Tips for traveling with your baby

Traveling with a baby is no small task, it takes careful planning, timing, and a whole lot of patience.

We live quite far from most places, my family, and any major city for that matter, we are about 500 km’s from Johannesburg, which is the closes city to us. Which means, that we must travel quite far and often to see my family and to do some much-needed baby shopping.

My baby girl is used to far trips by now (she is 6 months old), the day we brought her home from the hospital was a three-and-a-half-hour trip, and she has been to see her grandparents and godparents on numerous occasions, and yet, she still struggles with the distance sometimes.

There is no set way to make traveling easier on your baby, every baby is so different, some are just naturally good travelers, while others (no matter how often they travel) just struggle no matter what.

From my experience so far, I came up with some tips that works for us, and maybe for other moms out there that have tried everything else to date;

Timing

Timing, as with everything in life, is everything! Wait too long and your baby is overtired, leave too early and your baby is too excited and gets over stimulated and again – overtired.

For us, leaving when she needs to have her nap has worked wonders for us, she is already drowsy, and we put her in the car, and once we move, within minutes, she sleeps. The constant rhythm of the driving then also makes her sleep longer and she is happy when she wakes up, and we don’t struggle to get her to have her next nap later.

However, life happens, and this type of punctuality is just not always possible, and Murphy’s law will most certainly also ensure that this is not always possible no matter how prepared you think you may be.

The only thing you can do, is give yourself and your baby about half an hour to play around with, this way, he/she is not overtired yet and you don’t have to rush to get on the road.

Bathroom Breaks

For your sanity, don’t rush to your destination, leave early enough so that you have some time to stop along the way, your baby’s body gets sore from being in the same position for long and they get irritated if they cant get up and move around a little bit, which will make your trip feel so much longer (we have tried to just stick it out and get there, but oh boy it just does not work).

Giving yourself and your baby, a break is essential, take him/her out the car and just walk around for a few minutes, do a diaper change and some food if needed, and then continue.

Stay Overnight

Staying over night gives you and your baby a break before heading back again, and a well deserved rest!

Although, finances and well, life, does not always make this possible, so if you need to head back the same day – may the gods be with you.

There is no set way to do this, traveling with a baby is daunting, and quite stressful (even though we do it quite often, it still stresses me out because you never know in what mood your baby is going to be, are they going to eat well, and take naps and be happy once you arrive). It really is a gamble, and every baby is different! Try different things until you find a way that suits you and your baby the best, but don’t let traveling be too scary that you end up staying at home, getting away a little bit, whether it be to see family or friends, or on a holiday; does everyone the world of good.

Babies get stimulated by a new environment, and usually benefits from the general mood of a holiday as everyone is more relaxed.

Safe Travels

Angelique & Paige