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!?

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