The importance of your child’s happiness

Seeing my child smile is the only thing in the world that can turn the worst day right around ! She is always on my mind, even when I am thinking about something else, she is still somehow in the back of my mind, always there.

Granted, I am a stay at home mom, but I honestly believe that most if not all moms feel like this, being a mother becomes you ! In the greatest sense, it becomes the most important role in your life, overnight everything changes, for the better.

Lets face it, most days (especially if you have a toddler) you don’t necessarily reap the rewards of all your hard work, with the tantrums and the teething it can become quite easy to start blaming yourself for your child’s current mood.

I for one feel like I am not doing a good job if my baby does not have a constant smile on her face, which is utterly ridiculous. Being a toddler must be so hard, you have to master this great big world in front of you, and all you want to do is explore and figure things out for yourself, but there is this big grown up around every corner trying to stop you haha, must be frustrating right? Although watching every move they make is necessary, keep in mind that they are well, “easily upset” at this age haha, and their constant bursting into tears, is not a reflection of your parenting in any way.

But every now and then, you get those rare, but worth the wait days, and your child smiles, eats and sleeps and the day is so rewarding, you even get a few giggles out of it. These are the days when you feel like you are winning at life, your child is happy ! And all the rest just fades away and you would do it all over again (careful of these moments, because it was in one of these that we decided to get pregnant again) haha.

They just are worth all the sacrifices aren’t they!?

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Pregnancy Hormones

I dont even need to give this one a clever worded title, it is what it is, and most of you will understand. If you are one of those “Pregnancy does not affect my mood” people, then I am happy for you, but move along, this post is not for you haha.

I have suffered from intense mood swings with both my pregnancies (currently about 10 weeks pregnant), and it has sucked. Not feeling like yourself emotionally or mentally is worse than not feeling yourself physically (well to me anyway).

Having no control over what you feel makes you feel like you lost all control over everything in your life, you overreact to everything and you know it, and cant stop it . Haha sounds crazy right ? Well it feels crazy !

On the other hand, I must admit that my second pregnancy so far seems to be a little bit better, I feel like I can control my moods a little bit more, whether it is that my body has been through this before, or because I am more mature, I will never know. Maybe it is also because I know what is ahead and am trying to pace myself or prepare myself for what is ahead haha.

We as women go through such an intense time becoming mothers, we loose control over our entire bodies for well more than nine months (including breastfeeding), we go through an intense transformation where we forget completely about ourselves and focus all our attention and affections on this tiny little human that is apart of us. Its overwhelming, its terrifying and it is the most important thing I have ever done with my life, and will ever do.

What we go through is something that no one else will understand until they go through it themselves, and even then; everyone feels different and handles situations differently, learning to respect each other for our differences is what is important.

So lets build women up, because we are rockstars and endure so much for out families.

👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

Moming

Being a first-time mom is INSANE! No, I am not being dramatic, it really is; I read every book you can think of, felt so prepared for this new little bundle, I was a little bit older (27) and I though I am a little more stable in my life and more mature, so therefore; I can handle this and pass with flying colours.

The reality looked like this;

Breastfeeding

What!?

Living on a farm in South Africa, I had no access to pre-natal classes and mom friends, all the farmers in the area told me that “it comes natural” just relax and don’t stress because your milk will go away (I don’t know about you, but being told not to stress because something bad will happen, in fact, makes me stress).

The day my baby girl was born was exciting and overwhelming, I was a mom, and it was the best feeling in the world, latching didn’t happen the first time, but I was told to just keep at it, and it will get easier.

It did not.

I ended up pumping every two hours; slept for an hour, and then fed her, then pumped again, I was beyond exhausted (I also had a c-section), I was adamant that I will only give my baby breast milk because I was told that this is the ONLY way to do it. I pumped for 7 weeks, while trying to get my baby girl to latch every other day. Then I watched a YouTube video on latching, and wham! She latched, and I felt like the best mom in the world, till this day, this was my proudest moment. All went well for about 3 weeks.

Chaos

Because I pumped form the start, my supply was not as much as I would have hoped for, we managed, but I could see that my supply was dwindling, I went to my doctor and she gave me a pill that makes your milk supply increase, this worked so well for us.

Then the unfortunate happened; the area we live in is prone to political unrest, and protesting in our area started, we would go to town, and could not get back home due to people burning tires in the road, this was so scary while having a 3-week-old in the car. This happened a few times, and as a new mom, hormones flying high, this stressed me out so much, I felt like I am supposed to protect my baby and give her the best life possible and I couldn’t, it felt like everything was out of my control.

As luck would have it (even on those pills) 3 days later my milk supply dried up, just like that, over night.

The guilt that followed was unexpected, I felt like I failed my baby and as a mother, this is the most important thing for a mother; being able to feed her baby, so not being able to do that, brought on so many issues and regrets, the reason for my supply drying up is debatable; whether it was the stress, the pumping, or just a combination of all the above, I will never know.

We ended up giving formula, and I was amazed at how much more relaxed I was, and how content my baby girl was.

 

Hormones

I want to write this part with so much respect, because postpartum depression is so serious and so hard, every mom should take this seriously and seek help in any shape or form you see fit, but talk, don’t be ashamed of it, because I can promise you it happens more often than you think, all women just don’t feel confident enough to speak out about their experiences.

Although I never had postpartum depression; I definitely had a case of the baby blues – it took me roughly 2 months to feel like a person again. I did not feel like myself, I was emotional, irrational, paranoid, sad, lonely and misunderstood. The worst part about it is; I live around people that don’t think this is a thing, that don’t really believe in psychology and what it has to offer.

The good thing is, there are people to help, talk to a psychologist and work through this, for you and for your family, don’t suffer in silence with the hope that it will pass.

Sleeping

Okay so by now sleep deprivation is a term you are well familiar with, and you have even googled it a few times, but that is not the sleep I am talking about; I am talking about your baby’s sleep.

The first few weeks are not that bad (sleep wise) newborns tend so sleep when they should (well some babies anyway), but as the weeks go by; your baby now has difficulty falling asleep. For me, this was the biggest challenge, my baby girl only napped for 30 minutes at a time, and woke frequently at night, we even got a sleeping consultant to help.

The problem with sleeping is that your baby can’t do without it, they need it to grow, to recharge and to be able to interact with the world out there, the moment they don’t get this much needed sleep, they become overtired and overstimulated and this is something every single mom out there knows well – hell.

I have tried everything under the sun, baby wearing, rocking, singing, pacifier, swaddling, co-sleeping, own room, sleep training, block out curtains, white noise, no toys in the cot, sleep routine, routine in general, played with awake times, you get the picture, we tried everything you can think of. Some days we though we won, and then at night everything would just start all over again.

The moment you think you got the handle on this, then they are going through a growth spurt of a leap or teething or well, just a bad day.

Now

Figuring everything out and getting to know your baby takes time, and this is not something you want to hear because you need your life to get easier and to go back to normal or just to feel normal as soon as possible. The reality is, it does take time. My baby girl is 6 months old this week, and I am honestly only getting the hang of this now, I am apart of countless mom-groups, have family that help me, am constantly researching, and it still takes time.

But I can honestly say that it does get easier, I feel more like myself now, our baby girl is easier, and I even think that it might be because I am more relaxed, my hands don’t start sweating the moment I hear her cry, I don’t start panicking if she does something new, I don’t freak out over spit up anymore, and I don’t stress as much to take her somewhere.

In short, I think my hormones have finally balanced out.

Don’t laugh – its real! hormones after giving birth is crazy, I cried so much for no real reason, overreacted about everything (my poor husband), and I was just so stressed out everyday all day. This has since improved a lot, I can now take a breath because I know my baby is okay.

This phase in our lives makes me look forward to the next one, because I know what to expect, I know the ugly side of a lot of things now, and know that everyday is not always amazing and sunshine and roses all over the place like a lot of moms would have you think, but in the end, it is more than worth it; the rewards of being a mom are amazing, it takes over every little part of you and gives back so much more.

To all the newbie moms out there – you hang in there! Don’t let people “mom shame” you for doing anything, and it does get easier!

 

Hard Days Are For Growth

Today I am just so emotional and emotionally drained .

My baby girl refused to nap today , she only had 3 20 minute naps in her pram , the WHOLE DAY ! And she is not even 5 months yet , when I put her in her bed she screamed uncontrollably!

Its heartbreaking to say the least , it touches my soul , there is just no other way to explain it , my hands have been sweating the whole day , I’ve cried 3 times already , and then my husband tells me I am uptight today (men right)

But seriously , how intense is this love ? I have always heard that when your child hurts , you hurt , but have never experienced it myself yet , until today that is , everything is just out of wack , I don’t feel like myself , I want to cry all the time !

But I know tomorrow will be better !

Thank goodness I have a blog so that I can offload on all you great listeners 🧡

Angelique