How my marriage is stronger after having a baby

I don’t have to tell you guys that pregnancy and a baby puts a whole lot of pressure on a marriage. The hormones, the late nights, the lack of intimacy and the irritation don’t really make for a romantic 9 months.

Somehow, you both have this “idea” in hour head that once the baby is here, it would be better, intimacy will be easier because you will feel more comfortable and better about your body. (Ha right?!).

It actually gets harder once the baby is there, your husband tends to feel neglected because he now has to share you with this tiny little baby that always needs you, and when that baby finally goes to sleep, you are exhausted, you don’t feel like putting on sexy lingerie and being sexy.

It takes time, it takes time to get used to the little sleep, it takes time to find out who you are again once you become a mother, you change, your priorities change and your outlook on life changes, and so does the dynamic of your relationship with your partner.

The key is to be patient with one another, both of you needs to find how things are going to work, fathers also feel like they cant do what they used to do because they now have a family, just like moms feel like they have no time to themselves anymore. In my case, this “role confusion” caused a lot of friction in our marriage, we took the frustration out on one another and fought all the time; the slightest thing set us off and we ended up fighting about something that happened years ago.

The point is that any high pressure situation causes fights, and a having a child is like an endless amount of high pressure situations, you just need to find your way around it. We are much more patient with each other now, and we give each other space when we need it, and we don’t take stress out on each other anymore (well most of the time, we’re only human).

Our relationship is just stronger, having gone through the sleepless nights together (well mostly) and the insecurities as parents; have just brought us closer together, seeing your partner with your child does something to your heart, it warms it and melts it at the same time.

It honestly is an amazing journey, it breaks and rebuilds you as a person and as a couple.

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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 🙏🏻

How time makes you a stronger parent

When my husband and I first brought our baby girl home, I remember how sore our warms used to be for days, from holding her and breastfeeding (she only weighed 2,95 kilos), now she weighs 10 kilos and we cary her around a lot (she is in that clingy phase where she wants to get picked up ALL THE TIME) and yet our arms don’t get sore quickly anymore, in-fact, I even get a few things done around the house while carrying her.

And that is what motherhood does to you, it makes you stronger, selfless and oh so much more motivated in life. When something happens in your personal or work life that upsets you or throws you a curveball, having a baby teaches you to just get through it, you cant sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, because your baby still needs attention and sleep and food and and. There is no time to take to mope around or to wallow. You get up and you push through it.

Sleep is another example, for the first 9 months I struggled so much without a proper night’s sleep, now , I don’t really mind, I get up at night and I am okay, I am not even moody anymore, I think I have maybe just admitted defeat. Haha

Being a mother changes your life ! And it is such a blessing to be able to have a little human. And being stronger for it, Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we raise them and may we be them. 🙏🏻❤️

Motherhood is far from glam

I stay at home with my baby girl, and yesterday it was midday and I glanced at myself in the mirror for the first time that day… and cringed! – What!? Is that really what I look like !

I had a C-Section, and needless to say; my tummy looks and feels horrible. It does not even feel like it is attached to my body some days. In the beginning, after the surgery, I could handle it because it would get better with time, now, 7 months later, it has gotten better but I HATE my body !

It has gotten so bad that it is actually affecting my marriage, and just everything really, clothes shopping is something that I used to LOVE, now I dread it! I even get dressed in the bathroom so that my husband does not see me naked in the light. I know this might seem extreme to some, and it definitely does to my husband (who bless him, still thinks I am gorgeous), but I just don’t feel good about myself.

Isn’t it weird how we can be our own worst critics? No one is harder on someone than you with yourself, on the one hand its good because you should push yourself to be better, but sometimes (like in my case) it becomes a sort of obsession, obsession to look like that woman on TV that your husband stared at, obsession to think that people who walk pass you think “wow she is fat”. When in reality , they don’t even notice you, they are busy battling their own insecurities.

At the end of the day, you always have a decision, I can either hate my body and wallow in self pity, or I can try to do something about it, exercise a little eat a bit healthier, even if the results are not miraculous or amazing, just trying would also make me feel a bit better.

So here is to being happier, and healthier.

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!

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 🙂