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 !

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The “mom itch”

Ever notice how once you start doing something with your baby , and you have no free hands, you start itching somewhere ? The mom itch!

As if motherhood is not hard enough already right? Now you find yourself trying to hold a bottle with your chin while trying to scratch your nose with your way too short arm! In reality it is called “phantom itching” but I truly think its the mom itch, it always happens when I am busy with my baby girl, and ALWAYS when I cant scratch !

The moment I stop with what I am doing, the itch goes away! It is so frustrating, and no way to stop it from happening again. This is one of those phenomenas that makes no sense, just like motherly instinct and how you can function on 2 hours of sleep. Yet, all of the above is very real.

This made me think of all the things we as moms go through that no one sees; the emotional turmoil when your baby is crying, hurting or just unhappy, the hurt when your partner goes straight to bed instead of spending some time alone with you, the tiredness that comes with it all. It can be so difficult some days that it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, yet, the next day; we do it all over again.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep quiet because I feel like my husband and friends don’t really understand how I feel or what I am going through, and sometimes I just do not know how to put my feelings into words, keeping my feelings to myself just less effort in the long run.

Its like an itch you cant scratch, knowing that if you talk about it; it will only turn into a fight and you will still feel alone at the end of it. Being a mother comes with so many internal struggles that we often don’t talk about to others.

Sometimes , just sometimes, it is okay to put yourself first, to take a moment and give your baby to someone for a few hours and just let it all out, have a good cry, go for a walk , get some retail therapy, read a few pages of that book you haven’t touched, just take a moment.

I am horrible at this, when I leave my baby with someone, I always feel like I have to hurry back, like that person is doing me a favor and therefore I must not push it because maybe they wont do it again then.

In reality though, most people that offer to babysit; understand that moms need a break, and wont even mind if you take that extra half an hour to go for a pedicure instead of rushing back home. For me; this is an ongoing process, I am learning everyday that it is okay to take a minute, some days I feel more anxious than others , but I am getting there.

Take a break, it is so rewarding and just so necessary for a healthier, happier you!

What NOT To Do With Your Baby

So, although I cannot give you advice on exactly what to do, because I am still figuring things out myself, I can however tell you what NOT to do!

Your Home Life

Nothing in this world can prepare you for being a parent, I don’t care what anyone says, helping a sibling or a family member with their baby will maybe make you used to the idea of a baby and give you some helpful tips even, but in no way will it give you a taste of what it feels like when that little bundle is yours.

No book in the world will explain to you how YOUR baby is feeling and why, yes, it has been put together by experts, but it is the general rule, and not always specific to your baby, I have read so many things and then I think “what? Why is my baby not doing this?” – This is the biggest downfall for new parents, books tell you when what milestone should be reached and how much your baby should be eating, and most of the times this is right, but sometimes it just is not, and this immediately sends us into a state of panic.
Listening to how other people raise their children is also a “no no” , how people raise their children reflects their personalities, their home life and their values, therefore, doing what you see from other people will most probably not work for you, because, well, you are different, you are an individual and your personality and values might not be the same.

And Finally, the most important one; do not, I repeat, do not compare yourself to other moms, this will most certainly drive you insane, and it most certainly has for me, the problem when looking at other moms is you see what they call the “highlight real”, you come over for dinner, and the whole family is on their best behavior, because let’s face it, that’s what we all do. What you don’t see, is that they also fight over who must do the dishes, the mom also locks herself in a closet to cry (a bit extreme but it happens) and the dad is not always the perfect husband you see at dinner.

Some people are just more open about their struggles, to me, these are the best kind of people, they make you feel like you are not alone, like you are not as crazy as you though, and not always overreacting as per your husband’s opinion.
Find these people and stick to them like glue, they are the mom friends that you want by your side on days that you feel you cannot cope, or you just had enough.

Google is the Enemy

Wow, where do we even start on this one?

If you haven’t yet googled “How to get my baby to sleep” stop reading because this post is not for you; the results on this is so confusing and contradicting that it would leave even the most confident mom second guessing herself.

Sleep deprivation is torture, it affects every aspect of your life, it’s just intense!
Google is helpful in the sense that you can find information online at any time of the day or night, there are thousands of “how to” videos, and I myself have watched a few videos on swaddling and latching that were quite helpful.

But overall, you see information and tips that just do not work for your baby, and then you are left overwhelmed once again, with no way out.

Motherly instinct is the best go to you can get, become confident mom! And trust your gut, 9 out of 10 times it is right, the other time your baby was most likely just not feeling well or just having an off day – which happens, if you think about it, your baby is also an individual, and just like we have off days, they do too, they just can tell you how they are feeling.

Most days you end up just winging it!

Fed is Best

This is such a sensitive topic, and I am almost scared to write about it, but here goes!
I personally tried to breastfeed, and did for 7 weeks, unfortunately due to circumstances, my supply dried up after trying everything under the sun, there could be a million reasons for why what when and where, but that’s just what happened, and I ended up giving my little girl formula.

This was so intense for me, as it felt like I failed her and that I am not doing what is best for my baby, but at the end of the day, do what is best for you, there are so many moms out there that will tell you that you are a bad mother for choosing to formula feed.
Don’t you dare listen to them, we place enough pressure on ourselves to be perfect mothers, we do not need added stress to any situation, it is your life, and you do what is best and what suits you guys better. You are still a good mother!

We need to stop mom shaming each other, what I don’t understand is that these women are also moms, they were even once first-time moms, and know how hard is to adjust and to get into a routine that suits your family and your lifestyle, adding to this is not only mean, but unnecessary.

To the moms out there that are struggling with all these things, hang in there, keep doing what you are doing, and it will all get easier soon.

This too shall pass.

Angelique

Why it is So Easy to Forget About Your Marriage with a New Baby

Being a mother takes up so much of you , and I didn’t say time , because its more than that , it takes so much emotion and worrying and constant doubting yourself its emotionally draining and so rewarding at the same time ! Its the most beautiful thing in the world ! 🌸

What I tend to forget is that my husband needs to fit in there somewhere, I am so lucky to have a husband that adores me and that craves my attention and actually wants to spend time with me, yet it seems so difficult some days to make time for him as well.

At the end of the day I am so exhausted and drained , especially when she has been difficult, so the moment she goes to bed it feels like I can breathe and take some time for myself and gather my thoughts and recharge for the next day , but the reality is that this is the time I am supposed to spend on my marriage !

Starting a family is life changing , mostly in good ways and little feet bring so much joy into a home, but we tend to overlook how difficult it is for men , I see it in my husband , he does not get the attention he used to , it used to be the two of us against the world ! He loves our daughter dearly , but we always talk about how difficult it is for moms to adapt and forget about the dads.

This has been such a learning curve , for both of us , and I just realized that spending time on your marriage even if you feel dead on your feet is vital, in the end your children leave home and you only have each other , don’t drift apart, all relationships are hard but as long as you stick together through the tough times, the good times are even sweeter !

Angelique

Does Being a Mom Ever Get Easier

Being a first time mom is intense , and I don’t have to tell anyone that ! We all know it !

Now that my baby girl is 5 and a half months old I feel like things are getting easier every day , I think it is mostly because I feel more confident as a mother and I know my baby girl and what she needs when .

But she is also more content and “easier” these days , she is sleeping so much better now after the sleep consultant , she started solids and we are both loving it , she is more active and is enjoying her toys and she is so easy to entertain !

She is definitely teething , and difficult at times but still I feel like I can handle it so much better than that first week at home !

I know that the future will hold so many more unexpected twists and turns and you cannot prepare for all of it , but I feel more comfortable in my own skin and within the relationship between me and my daughter . I already feel like we have such a strong bond and I am enjoying every minute with her.

I see moms with grownup children , and then the answer is clear , you will always worry about your children , being a mom is not a switch that you can turn off once your children go out into the world on their own , you always worry about whether they are okay safe and happy !

And I can already feel all of that just looking at my baby smoo ❤️

Being a mother is the best thing in the world !

Angelique

Starting Solids |Butternut For The Win

So I started my baby girl on solids yesterday !

It feels like I have been waiting for this FOREVER ! I was just so excited to start that I couldn’t wait a minute longer ! She is now 5 and a half months old , and showing interest in food and almost sitting by herself.

I just decided to ignore all the controversy on when to start and just following my “mom gut instinct” . 🤪

This is so exciting for me as a new mom , trying new things and learning with my baby about what works best for both me and her !

She was not too impressed yesterday , but today she actually swallowed some of her food , so I see that as a win 🤣

It is all just so amazing to see her grow up and go through all these stages in her life , I am so blessed to be her mother and cant wait to teach her so many things ! She is just such a joy !

Am I the only mom that gets excited about these little moments and documents everything she does ?!

Treasure every moment with your little ones , because as we all know , time gets away from us and we get caught up in the day to day things and forget to take a moment and just appreciate the people that we love .

Angelique

The Great Unknown ….

The past few days I found myself at a loss for words , writers block if you will .

Life just does that sometimes doesn’t it !?

It throws you curveballs that you never saw coming , and it just takes its toll , the past few days I was just tired , no specific reason , just overall exhausted with my life , and I am sure that happens to almost everyone !

We are planning on moving (as some of you know) and our business is in the market , but we don’t know where we will move to and what jobs we will get and maybe even a change of career paths , we don’t know when this will be , its nerve wrecking to say the least , I love change as much as the next person , but its the not knowing that makes me stress so much !

If you know where you are headed , you can prepare yourself mentally and start picturing this new life , because you have all these images to fill in the blanks , with us , its just black (with a very big light at the end of the tunnel off course) and that is so scary , for anyone !

Especially with a family , when I was single , this would be sooo exciting for me , 20 year old me would LOVE this uncertainty, the 27 year old mom me , not so much ! 🤪

If you have a family , you have this need to protect and provide , whether you are the father , the mother , or both to your baby , uncertainty about the future and having an infant just does not go well together , at all !

Motherhood has sure made me into a “worry wart” , but in a good way , I am more responsible , less impulsive , more patient and most of all , I feel like I have calmed down , I am not as rushed and frantic as I used to be ….

All phases in life offers so many lessons to be learnt, if we are open to them ; so I am excited to see what this new journey teaches me about life !

Stay tuned …..

Angelique