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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As my baby takes her first steps

My baby turns one in exactly one week !! And I find myself so emotional and nostalgic about the past year, having your first baby is so so intense on both parents. It changes every single aspect of your life – for the better !!

The first year is full of uncertainty and doubt around every corner, especially if it is your first like with us. The sleepless nights (well that is still there), the constant worrying (okay this is also still ongoing), the doubting (ha okay I will stop now), although I experience all these still on a daily basis, what has improved is my baby blues, my stress is a little less, and most importantly, I have had the privilege to see this little baby turn into a little girl, and that in itself, is reward enough for this roller coaster of a first year of parenting.

My sister once told me that for the first two years you just have to keep them alive, and well, entering toddlerhood, I wish she would have told me that it is not all that easy, they fall, they stumble and they just seem to have a death wish with the things that they attempt to do!

Thinking back, when we first brought her home I couldn’t sleep, mostly because I googled everything before I gave birth, and that made me so so paranoid knowing everything that could go wrong (wow was that exhausting).

It all just made me realize how fleeting motherhood is, I mean, a while year has gone by and sometimes it feels like I haven’t done anything this past year, but then I look at that face and I know I have done sooo much and I am so proud of myself!

So have that party, yes your baby wont remember her first birthday, but its important, for the whole family; to celebrate that first year, because lets face it, we survived !

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

 

 

To the stay at home mom

I am the first to admit that quitting my job and staying home full time with my baby sounded awesome, how lucky am I to be in that position to spend all my time with her ? Although that part is true, I was underestimating the whole thing !

I am 11 months in and I have never , NEVER, been this tired ! Granted, she is entering toddler stage as I write this (please keep me in your prayers haha), but it is such hard work, those peaceful ALONE bathroom breaks I used to take at work is enough to make me want to go back to work.

It never ends, and that is what people don’t get. There is this “idea” out there that if you stay at home with your kids you must have so much time on your hands – “what do you do with all your time”; is enough to make a mom want to slap you in the face (sorry for the aggression lol , but we all know it).

I always hate when in the movies the stay at home moms go to pilates and coffee dates with their prams all day – uh hallo ? Does your baby just casually sleep the whole day ?! I mean what ?. It is such a cliche and that is why people think it is such a laidback lifestyle. Where in reality – if you get to put your make up on in the day it means that you had a little “me time”.

So to all the stay at home moms out there – salute ! You are as strong as they come and don’t let anyone tell you different!

How to get your baby through those “fussy stages”

Have you noticed that all these baby apps always shows you at what age the leaps and growth spurts take place, are always basically on top of each other? They should just say birth – 18 years old with their little thundercloud next to it !

Then

I am the first to admit that we got a sleeping consultant when our baby girl was about 5 months old, its was chaos ! We used to get up at night about 11 times, and had to function on very little sleep and a very cranky baby. The main issue for us was her pacifier, as she only used it when she needed to sleep, and constantly lost it during the night, hence the getting up all night. The results were amazing and it changed everything for us.

Now

Then our baby turned 8 months, and she was standing in her cot throughout the night, refusing to lay back down, and screamed until we picked her up. I honestly thought here we go again.

Luckily I was wrong, we just did nothing haha, and before we knew it, about 2 weeks later, she decided that she might just lay down for a little bit, and that was it. Yes those two weeks were intense, and yes she still has moments where she refuses to sleep (just to keep us on our toes) but I can honestly say that it was just a phase and they all are.

Cue Overreacting

I am a first time mom, so for me, every change or phase or leap made me go into stress mode, and I used to google and ask for advice all over. Now, almost a year into it, I have learned to well, let my baby go through what she needs to go through.

Do yourself a favor, before you go and change your routine and blame yourself for the sleepless nights, just asl around. Our baby is drinking two bottles a night still, and I thought because the “books” say she should be sleeping through, that I am doing something wrong. I asked other moms, and guess what? I am not the only one who’s baby still doesn’t sleep through the night. What a relief, now I don’t feel like I need to revisit everything I have done so far, AND I don’t feel like I have failed somehow (because we love to go there don’t we).

I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously need to learn how to take a breath, I can get so worked up over the littlest things with my baby, that it has somehow turned me into a different person. Luckily my husband reminds me that I need to relax, not that it always works, the verdict is still out on how to take a breather, but the moment I figure it out I will let you guys know 😝

Breathe

The only way to get through it all is to not stress over every single moment, your baby can sense it and we all know how bad stress is for your health. Join a playgroup or get more mom friends, find a way that gets you through these tough phases, and you will be able to handle each one like a pro.

Good luck Moms

Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.

 

 

 

How to decide on which products to buy for your baby

Oh my word there is just so much out there these days, that I have no idea what to use and what not to use, the worst part of it all is; is that there are so many good products and devices out these days, that it really comes down to which one you like more, or is cuter. This must really be a big challenge to companies out there to make their product more attractive than the next one (so glad that is not my job).

I have three slings, we actually just bought another one today, more expensive than all the rest – ridiculous right? the reason for the other three are because people told me to buy them because they work, well, that is just it, it does work – for them. It is so difficult these days to decide which would work better for your baby, previously, you would just buy the one with the best reviews and one that is “pricey” and you know you made the right decision, but now there are just too many products out there with good reviews.

I myself have tried a few, and have now found what works best for me and my baby, i will share a few with you guys;

The 4 Stage Car Seat

We bought a travel system, you know, those that come with a pram and a car seat. This worked so well for us when she was a newborn, you could leave her in her car seat if she was sleeping and just transfer her to her pram, hassle free.

The problem with this system, is that this car seat basically only works for the first 6 months (for us anyway) she got too tall for the car seat and it became increasingly difficult to put her in and take her out when going places (as she now refused to sleep in it when in the pram). We ended up buying a car seat that has 4 stages – from birth till 36 kilograms. It faces backwards until about 9 kilograms and then it can face forward, its more comfortable and so much easier to put her into.

The reason I am suggesting this is that, although the normal car seat works well when your baby is a newborn, this stage of life is so fleeting and before you know it, you have to spend double the amount to buy a bigger car seat anyway. So for us, we will use this one for our next baby from the start.

Stokke My Carrier

We currently have 4 baby carriers (yes I know don’t judge), i so badly wanted to be a “babywearer” that i was adamant it was just the wrong sling. Now, 7 months later, we found the “stokke my carrier” and I was right ! (well maybe, could also be because she is now older, who knows), but it works, she loves it, and we are now planning on using it for our trip to Australia this week.

This carrier is a three in one (front facing, outward facing, and a back carrier) it grows with your baby, and you can use it up until 15 kilograms/ 3 years old. It is truly amazing and so comfortable to wear and easy to use, I don’t need my husband’s help to put her in or take her out.

All and all, we are very happy with this product, although it is a bit more expensive, it is worth every penny, and we see it as an investment.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what works for you, your lifestyle, are you out and about more with your baby, or traveling more, all these aspects play a role in which products you use for your baby, these two products are just a few examples of what to consider, and the possibilities are endless, so take a breath, read through all the reviews and try a few before making your decision.

As new moms, we always have this “idea” of how it will be having a baby, and what we would like to do with them, this however, is rarely reality (ask me i know), so wait a while, get to know your baby and yourself as a mother before making expensive purchases.

Happy shopping moms 🙂