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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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.

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 🙏🏻

You ARE mom enough

Wow the past few days have been tough !!!! I felt like a failure as a mother, a wife, and just in general. My baby is going through well, something haha, I am never 100% sure what.

Everything I seem to do with her upsets her; getting dressed, wiping her face, feeding her, putting her down, carrying her, and looking at her. I do know its a phase, but wow its getting me under these past few days. It’s exhausting, and its something you cant understand until you go through it yourself.

She is at that age where she wants to do way more than she is capable, and she does not understand why she cant reach the dog bowl from her walker, which results in relentless crying and stomping until I take her out and let her have it. I know I know I am spoiling her, but at this point I just cant be bothered as long as the crying stops.

Its very easy to go to that dark place and think ;”boy I am really not good at this”, you look at other moms and you think they got it all figured out and they are so put together. When you have days where showering feels like you conquered the world. The truth is, they also have struggles and that I can promise you ! If you get up every morning and do your best, put your child’s needs before your own and teach your child to be a good and kind person by being one, then you are mom enough !

That is all you need to do, my sister once told me “up until 2 years old all you have to do is keep them alive” haha , that still makes me feel better when I have days where it feels like that is all I did.

Give yourself a break, learn to look for the humor in tough situations and tell yourself that you are awesome more than once a day! Because by being a mom, you automatically are !

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. 🙏🏻❤️

When routine gets the better of you

I for one am someone who needs excitement and adventure in life, some spontaneity so to speak, I get bored with one single thing so quickly and need new things to stimulate me. Having a 9 month old however, makes this very difficult if not impossible.

For those of you who are new here, I live in a rural area about an hour from the Botswana border, we own a few businesses in the small town Ganyesa, and I am a stay at home mom. We live 70 kilometers from the nearest town, and its a horrible town haha. So I do start to feel a bit isolated most days.

Looking after my baby girl is a blessing don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I am not doing anything some days, when in reality; I run after her crawling little body all day, feed her, play with her, cook,clean and try to get some time for myself, she wakes about 3 times a night, and we all know weekends are not what they used to be before we had children! Haha.

Its easy for stay at home moms to feel like they are not adding to anything, they don’t have a job and don’t feel like they are accomplishing anything really. When in reality, you have the most important job of all; raising a child that will be kind and compassionate to others, so that they can go out into the world knowing that they can be all they want to be, with you cheering them on with every step they take. Its A VERY IMPORTANT JOB !

Its so tiring to do this every day all day, and then I think of the moms who work, come home after a long day and still have to get up at night for their babies, the point is we all have struggles and hard days with our children, or, with just being a mother in general. Its important to remind ourselves that life is full of phases, the sleepless night, the fighting with your husband, the snotty noses; they all end, and we get to see them grow up. Is that not amazing ?

I hope there is someone out there that needs to hear this; take everything in stride, have your bad days, be down, and the next day get up and pit a smile on your face and do it all over again- because one day you will miss it !

The guessing game

Let me start off by saying that I was convinced my baby girl was teething basically since she was 4 months old – she was not and only started teething at 8 months, and got 4 teeth in 3 weeks!? I mean? What!

At this point who knows whats going on, if its not a leap, its a growth spurt or teeth or hay fever, or a runny nose, or the blanket is the wrong way around, or well she just does not feel like doing something. You have to guess everything ! I know they call it “motherly instinct” and all but somedays I have no idea what is wrong !

I think not enough moms say this out loud to each other, all I have ever heard from other moms is “you should try this and this” and not “you know, I also had no idea what to do at first but then….”. I feel like these days some moms are so focused on being perfect because that is what social media portrays. Instead of being REAL. Having the difficult conversations with each other and venting about all the struggles motherhood has to offer, just to know that we are not alone.

The moment you feel understood, the whole world shifts, you can handle more and you don’t feel like a failure all the time (just every now and then haha). I for one cant wait until my baby girl can tell me what she needs and tell me when she wants a cuddle or when she is scared of something so that I can give her what she needs. But, as with everything in life, we have to go through the difficult stages to appreciate the good ones even more.

At the end of the day we need to appreciate every stage with our little ones, even the hard times, what a blessing to be a mama, and to have such an adorable, friendly little girl at that.