Does it get easier as they get older ?

A few months back, when my baby was about 8 months old; she started teething, I honestly thought this is it, it cant get any worse than this, she wasn’t sleeping, she had no appetite and she was extremely moody.

Fast forward to the present where she is 14 months old, and I wish it was as “difficult” as it was then haha. I think it has the same affect as the “I wish I was as fat as I thought I was in high school” bit . My baby has this thing where she will cut 4 teeth in about 3 weeks of utter hell, then she takes a few months break of no teething. Then ….. dum dum dum , cuts two molars and two lateral incisors at the same time !! Send help !

She is getting so sick, she is so sore at night and barely sleeps, wakes up crying several times and basically is just miserable all the time. It makes you feel so helpless , it feels like nothing helps, nothing eases her or makes her more comfortable (trust me, I have done everything and still do just incase it helps a little bit), it is as if the further along we get with this teething business, the worse it gets ! 🙈

Beating yourself up because your child got sick again for the 7th time in a few months seems to also be a new state of normal, we live 70km’s from the nearest town, she stays home with me , and yet, she still gets sick ! So for those moms that say their children get sick from daycare, trust me, they would still get sick if they weren’t in daycare.

No guts no glory I say, having children can be so intense and challenging but so rewarding and worth it at the same time, confusing right ? Welcome to motherhood !

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How becoming a mom has made me apprehensive

I don’t know if it is only me, but since I have become a mother I find myself in these moments where it feels like I cant catch my breath, it is like my mind is constantly racing and I cant relax. Motherhood right !? Lol

My husband seems to think that telling me to relax will do the trick, ha right? Granted, my baby did just get burnt so I am a little on the edge and worried about her like any mom would be, but I do feel like I need to learn how to shut off when the time is right.

There are countless factors that contribute to this “mom anxiety”; the one that I don’t really have anything that occupies my mind or distracts me, I don’t have any family or friends nearby, combine all of this with someone that overthinks EVERYTHING and then give that person a baby = CHAOS!

I am constantly doubting myself, whether she is getting sick, if I am giving her enough stimulation at home, exposing her to enough of the “outside world”, and well, if I am a good mother. I feel like I cant have a few drinks at night because she might wake up crying at any minute and then I am not my best self, which is what she deserves.

After thinking about this for so long and talking it over with other moms, I have finally realized that I am human, which means that I simply cannot be perfect all the time, I cant make the right decisions every single time and I cant be the best mother I can be when I am constantly in my head and overthinking everything, because in the end, that just takes away from the present and all the amazing moments with my family.

Taking a few deep breaths every time I feel overwhelmed or my heartbeat picking up, has really helped me keep things in perspective, and I strongly believe that the mind is a powerful thing, change your mindset and the rest will follow, practice makes perfect.

Constantly living in fear of failing is not living! So here’s to more deep breaths and a different outlook on life. 👌🏻💪🏻

How to keep your exploring baby stimulated

If your 11 month old is anything like mine, they have now officially lost all interest in their toys.

This is such an exciting age for us all, she is becoming more social and now shows you what she wants (it is just too cute for words), she is taking a few steps towards something and she is exploring and learning so much.

This is also a very difficult age for all of us, as she can now reach places she hasn’t before, she goes somewhere by herself, and she is very cranky as her brain is so so busy so she struggles to settle herself when its nap time, she also goes from 0-100 in about a split second with tantrums.

I can see she is struggling with the world around her as she wants to do so much, but just can’t and she doesn’t understand why (hence the tantrums when she cant have my hot cup of coffee)

Being a mom to an almost toddler is so exhausting, you want to watch them every minute so they don’t get hurt (hence my post about my baby’s accident) but you also want to give them the freedom to explore and learn new things by themselves.

For me, keeping het busy during the day was/is such a huge struggle, I let her play with my Tupperware while I cook and she loves playing with the dog food and the bird food. Then I have this random “stuff” basket in my room, with hair stuff, empty boxes and just random trinkets that she loves to play with. She will only play with her toys for a few minutes and if I sit and play with her. I have a toddler swing which she absolutely loves (we put it outside so she can play a bit).

She basically plays with anything and everything in my house that she cant swallow or injure herself with (for the most part anyway).

Other than that she also usually ends up throwing anything and everything down the toilet and my house looks chaotic at the end of the day, but guess what? We had so much fun and I got a lot done and she learned so much during the day , which is a bonus. Doing it all this way is exhausting haha, but it keeps us both busy during the day.

Each baby is so so different so please don’t take this as me telling you what to do, maybe your baby is just as busy and this gives you some advice, or your baby loves her toys and this post makes you laugh haha.

If any of you have any ideas on how you keep your toddler busy, please let me know ? And we can swap war stories ! As you can see I need new ideas 💡

How my baby has taught me to live in the PRESENT

We all live for the future, we plan our days and we focus on where we are going instead of focusing on where we are. Its normal though, we all work towards something, and look forward to getaways and holidays, that promotion at work and when our baby will reach the next milestone, we are always looking for the NEXT in life.

When you think about it, this is not true for our babies or toddlers, they don’t quite yet understand the concept of time the way we do, they understand day and night but not the concept of “next year” or sayings such as “maybe another time”, they live in the now, and they want all your love and attention now and not “later”.

This is not always possible for us as adults as we have more than one thing going on in our lives and constantly struggle to balance it all, but my little girl has taught me that it is okay to take a minute here and there to just soak it all up and spend time with her, without looking at the time and thinking about all the things I need to do around the house, just undivided attention.

Psychology suggests that the formative years (the first few years of your babies life) are the most important, they lay the foundation for your child to build on as the years go by, no pressure right!? I don’t mean this to sound as if you have to be perfect otherwise your child will one day spend thousands in therapy explaining how his mother damaged him emotionally as a baby, I mean it as these are the years your baby will learn that he/she is loved, safe and wanted.

Think about it for a second, when you know that you are loved and safe you have the confidence to take on the world, knowing that whatever goes wrong there is someone out there that will help, that will have your back no matter what, sort of a “home” you can go to whenever you need it . That is what we need to instill in our children from a young age, to know that no matter what life throws at them that they can always come back home and you will be there.

So when life gets too busy, take a moment and just spend it with you baby, it will give you a whole new perspective on time, and teach you that every now and then, it is okay to stop the clock and take in all the wonder of motherhood.

Sleeping Consultant – Is it worth is ?

A baby’s sleep is the biggest struggle for most new moms, and even second time moms all over the world, to me personally, it was the biggest struggle, the breastfeeding I could handle, the crying I could handle, but the lack of sleep was just too much to bare, it was affecting every aspect of my life; my job, my marriage and my overall well being and I am a strong believer that you cannot be the best mother you can be if you are unhappy.

Asking for help often makes new mothers feel like a failure, it certainly did for me, it felt like I failed as a mother because I was reading and hearing about all these mothers whose babies sleep through the night at the age of 2-3 months old, and immediately I felt like I wasn’t a good mother, I could not even get my baby to have a solid nap once a day.

I finally realized that this is just not true, just like we as grownups are all individuals and all have our own likes and dislikes, so babies do as well, each baby is unique and we should not compare our mothering to others (which is a very difficult thing to ask of any mother as it is so easy to start feeling insecure and second guess ourselves).

That is why my husband and I decided to get a sleeping consultant, we were getting up at an average of six times per night to give our baby girl her pacifier so that she would go back to sleep , she refused to nap for longer that 30 minutes during the day (she was a champion cat napper) , and she was just a difficult baby overall , once again; because of the lack of sleep.

We tried everything you can think of, and although the internet is an amazing thing, it gives broad advice, the advice you get is not tailored to your baby or your specific situation, and that can get confusing, I know that some moms have had great success with this, but for us, this just did not do the trick , my husband and I even started fighting because we each had our own idea about what would work, each confident it their own option. This created so much friction in our marriage, so getting a third party to give advice was the best thing we could have done, not only for our baby, but for our marriage.

We were going insane! My days and nights all seemed to blend together, with no clear distinction, napping while she slept was not an option as it was only half an hour and I had work to do, which I know a lot of moms would agree with , I read the other day “Sleep while the baby sleeps, so that means; do laundry while the baby does laundry?” – The whole idea behind sleeping when the baby sleeps basically only works for the first few weeks after birth, no one expects you to do any household chores or cook or clean, but this level of sympathy quickly disappears as your baby gets a little older.

So I was in desperate need of some professional advice, hence; the sleeping consultant.

A sleeping consultant evaluates all aspects of your lives, and your baby’s, they analyse all information given to them and then they work out a sleep schedule and provide you with the needed information on how to execute this plan. Our consultant did four follow ups and I had to log all activities and sleeping during the day so that we can see if anything improves as we progress, she was very hands on and we talked every day , I was very impressed by the level of commitment on her behalf and she motivated me every step of the way, even the days I felt like giving up.

The first four days were intense, the reason for this is that we changed our baby’s routine, which every mother knows is chaos to say the least, and difficult for everyone to adjust to. Since day two she slept so well during the night and only had one bottle and then slept again, our lives changed, and we got the needed sleep.

But then daybreak came, and chaos with it!

My baby girl screamed every time I put her in her bed for a nap , no matter how tired she was, she just would have none of it, we had to resort to an “emergency nap” ( which is getting the baby to sleep no matter what it takes, there comes a time when getting your baby to sleep is more important then HOW they fall asleep) and then after a few days, this didn’t even work for us anymore, she knew when we put her in her pram it meant she must sleep , and as you can imagine, this now warranted for an even bigger screaming match  than placing her in her bed.

I honesty almost gave up, and the consultant just reassured me that consistency is key and that she would eventually realize that sleeping is not that bad. She was right, day five, everything started to change, she would sleep when she needed to and wake up much later than half an hour.

It took us about 2 weeks to establish a sleep routine and to get into the groove of things, both us and her, her crying (and mine) came to an end and we have our lives back! I would recommend getting a sleep consultant for any mother having issues with their baby’s sleep.

That being said; there were some days in these two weeks that I could see my baby was struggling and was just not having a good day, whether it be teething or her just not feeling herself, the intense routine went out the window, I honestly believe that we know our babies best, and we know when they need what, I followed the sleep plan for the most part, but I still believe that babies are individuals and also have “off days” just like we do , and we cannot expect every day to go according to plan and the way we would like it, babies are hard work , and some days are hard being a mother, and no consultant in the world is going to make your life perfect.

There is nothing like a mother’s love!

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 🙏🏻