Being confident as a mother

I cant be the only mom whose heart breaks a little when her toddler runs away from her to grab onto dad or granny’s leg instead.

I have always been a bit critical of myself, but somehow becoming a mother has made me put even more pressure on myself. We are all human at the end of the day, and I strongly believe that if you had any underlying issues with yourself or with other relationships before you became a parent, motherhood is sure to magnify those issues and turn them into full blown shortcomings.

Motherhood is also a time to addressing these issues for once and all, and really work through them. Most of the time , just acknowledging an issue is enough for it to disappear , and other times it takes a bit more work, but it is ALWAYS worth it. For me the issue was not being a good mother , and not being enough for my children (Although I do know that this is a fear for most moms, it was a bit more than that for me).

So much so that I never took a moment for myself because I felt guilty for putting myself first (even though thats not true , and taking a moment is not putting yourself first really, its just human), I put these ridiculous expectations on myself as a mother that no one would ever live up to. It took me quite some time and a lot of effort on my part to let go of this, and to just be who I am, warts and all.

At the end of the day , we all feel like everyone else is silently giving out scores on our parenting, while we are our own worst critics.

Once you realize that it only matters what your child thinks (with the exception of teenage years) and nothing else. Let “them” think what they want ! You are happy right!? That is the only thing that matters ! Do it your way !

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Raising a fussy eater

The one day she eats like a champion, eats everything I give her and even lets me feed her. The next day, she hates everything on earth (even though I spent hours in the kitchen making something special for her), spits everything out and throws the rest on the floor and its all met with a very mischievous smile.

The Reality

I read so many articles about “the ideal 15 month old” and these usually include some fantasy universe that I have never heard of – “three balanced meals a day, no more milk and 2 snacks” ; what !? I have days where she eats 3 cubes of cheese and has 4 bottles 🙈 and trust me, its not from a lack of trying or for me not caring, its after I have tried to get her to have 4 different meals with pasta cooked 3 ways and every little trick you can think of. It’s exhausting to the point where once she does eat those three cheese cubes it feels like I just won the lottery haha.

I have tried everything under the sun to get her to eat, one week everything goes great, the next she spits out everything I give to her, but make no mistake, she demands a piece of whatever I am eating, just to spit it out on the carpet and step on it, some days it takes real stenght to take a deep breath and try again. But in the end I do, and we just try again, its a learning curve to be honest, and every littel thing that does not go according to plan makes you very anxious as a new mother, hopefully I will be much more relaxed with the second one.

It gets worse

So I have been ranting on about how she does not want to eat anything, but what I did not tell you is that she is also going through “nap regression”; she is tryiing to drop one nap a day, which means she is transitioning to only one nap a day (keeping a toddler busy for most of the day is an adjustment for both of us haha). The problem with this is that she still falls asleep with her bottle, so at about 10 in the morning she is tired, cranky and yawning, so she is tired right? WRONG! haha, she lies in her bed with her bottle, has it, then throws it out the cot and yells till I go fetch her (this continues for about 2 hours before she actually goes to bed in the end), after which she has had about 3 bottles already (granted, only 90 ml each, but still). This leads to her skipping lunch because she is full, and we are nowhere closer to getting her off the formula.

Success

I have however found a follow up milk for after formula, we have been on it for a day and it is going great, her appetite seems to be a bit better as it does not make her as full as her formula does and then she is more willing to try new foods and to let me feed her what she cant eat herself, its early days so fingers crossed.

One thing I have realized since becoming a parent is that the whole thing is a learning curve, you learn as you go haha, each child is so different and they all have their own ideas about how they want things to go , and as much as we would like to say that our kids do not rule our worlds, lets face it , they just do.

Unexpected fears about a second child

Having a second baby should be easy right ? You know what to expect, you know what to do, and you have now found your feet as a mom, so it should all just be a breeze. Uh ?! …. No!!

The one thing that does seem to be easier is the waiting, I am so busy with my toddler that I don’t really think about the new baby and what it will be like all the time, its almost as if I have not really come to terms with it all haha, every now and then it hits me and this wave of excitement hits me.

But that is about the only thing that is easier so far; somehow I can’t imagine my life with two kids, I am already so so busy with her that I can’t even imagine how busy I would be with her and a newborn. I think it is the whole thing that you can’t imagine the change, how different your life will look, all you know is that it will look different. I think we are all creatures of habit, which means that we want to know what to expect, what is coming next.

But thats just it isn’t it? Life is unexpected, you can’t plan for every little thing because that would just make life way too easy haha. learning to let go and let God, has been life changing, realizing that we are all fragile and we cannot control every aspect of life or of motherhood is somehow freeing . Freeing to allow you to life your life without worrying about every “what if” that comes along.

Motherhood is magical, it pushes your limits and breaks down all your fears and expectations, and instead, replaces it with an unexplainable amount of irrational love. And lets face it, none of us would change a damn thing 👌🏻

It makes you a different kind of strong, so I say bring it on !

To the single parent

My daughter has been sick for the last few days, for what feels like the hundredth time in her short life (which makes me feel like I am failing as a mother, but thats a story for another blog haha). In the meantime she has also been cutting not one, but TWO molars.

In between all of this, my husband was here, and he helped so so much since I also started to get sick and cant take anything because I am pregnant. I find it so difficult to be a good mother when I am not in a good place myself, I manage to push it aside and try to just be there for her, but she still feels that I am not myself, and it is at that moment where I thank God that I have a husband who helps and can take over while I rest.

That being said, I know not all parents have a partner that helps, or have have lost a partner or have broken up with a partner. I have no idea how you do it, I know if you are a parent you have no choice to keep going and you just somehow find that strength somewhere to be the best parent you can possibly be. But that still does not make it easy or any less lonely.

Although I don’t know how it feels, I was raised by a single parent and saw the toll it took, you have so much less time for yourself, or well, basically anything! A sick or teething baby takes up ALL your time, whether you are a stay at home parent, or not, the time you have with them is difficult and exhausting. There is no time to unwind after a tough day at work, or to have a glass of wine with supper because you have to tend to a crying baby and get to bed as soon as possible because you have to get up early again the next day, and do it all over again.

I have so much respect for these parents , ones that still give their children the best they can, in-spite of their need for a personal life, well done !! 💪🏻

The importance of playing with your toddler

I get so much joy out of spending time with my daughter these days, I just absolutely love this age , having a little toddler running around is so daunting some days, and just so so overwhelmingly cute the rest of the time.

She demands so much attention from me , that I rarely get to anything else in the house haha, she only plays with her toys if I sit down with her, she wants to sit on my lap or have me pick her up all the time. Even thinking about my days make me tired haha.

Some days I honestly get frustrated and short tempered with her, until I sit down and think of everything from her point of view; she has mastered so many skills lately and learned so many new ways to show me what she wants, yet no one really understands her, she wants to say so much and do so much but she just cant yet, and I can see the frustration on her face sometimes (hence the new tantrums we have been experiencing).

Every little thing that does not go her way upsets her so much that it takes about half an hour for her to calm down, then she finally has fun, chases our dog and then BAM !!! She tuns into the piano , and the tears start all over again. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win and I think she feels exactly the same way.

Thats why it is so important to pick her up when she comes running to me for the millionth time a day, she needs me to tell her that it is all okay, that she can be however she needs to be and I will still love her at the end of the day, no matter what. We as parents are their safe place, coming from a background where it feels like I do not have that, it is very important for me that my children know they can always come “home” that I will always accept them 100% and will always put them first.

On a lighter note; on these days when I don’t feel like playing and she is being extremely difficult, playing with her on the floor is actually the one thing that takes my mind off of everything and make us both relax. There is just something about stacking blocks that puts the whole world into perspective.

Spending quality time with your toddler is not only important for them, but also for us ❤️

Remembering that you were a person before you had kids

So as you all know I am pregnant with my second baby, and I cant even explain all the ways that I underestimated being in my first trimester with a toddler.

My husband is gone this week and the amount of endurance it takes to not throw up while you are dressing your baby for bed – is next level and I kind of feel like a rockstar after that session haha ! Not feeling well while having to still be the best mother you can be, takes effort , and let me tell you something; if you are one of those moms that are going through a tough time and still manage to play with your kids and put a smile on their face , you are one AMAZING mom , and don’t you forget that !

BUT ! Being a good mother sometimes means that you need to know when to put yourself first, never when your child needs you , and not saying that you take your interests above that of your child’s , but in the sense that you know when you need a break, and know that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Recharging for half a day or even a few days with friends does not make you a bad parent, sometimes a few moments for yourself is what resets the clock on your parenting, and gives you renewed, more positive energy for your toddler or your newborn.

Then you get me; I am a stay at home mom and I go into town to do my nails and the usual errands, I don’t have to rush home because my husband and mother in law are looking after Paige. But somehow in town, I feel guilty for not being there, I feel like I need to hurry up because she is my responsibility and not theirs and they have things to do. After which I usually rush everything and head home, only to find that everyone is fine and having fun haha. No one died , no one got hurt.

Although these are all normal “mom” feelings, sometimes it is okay to let go, to let yourself take a few deep breaths and let yourself enjoy something that does not involve being a mother or a wife, just a person, an individual, with interests, dreams and a person who can have grown up intellectual conversations haha.

Practice makes perfect, and that is what it will take to learn to have a balance with this whole motherhood thing, letting yourself have some time without feeling (too) guilty, and to still feel like you are not failing as a mother in doing so.

Being a mother is hard enough as it is, we do not need to drive ourselves crazy (er) by forgetting that we also matter. Take that break ! You deserve it ❤️

Giving your toddler what he/she needs

Learning when to say yes and when to say no to your toddler is a very thin line, one I tread very carefully everyday, my motivation is what makes it more difficult; am I saying yes to avoid a tantrum, or am I saying yes because the activity will allow her to learn, grow and have fun.

Some days I honestly wish I could send her to daycare just so that someone else can think of what to do to keep her busy and entertained, and then I look over at her and just realize I would give her the world if she asked.

I know all toddlers are busy and difficult, but they are still individuals, and as much as we would like to compare with friends and family members, but it is just not that simple. They all need different things , all the time, and the perks of having a toddler is that these needs may very well change every day.

Toddlerhood is like a rollercoaster ride that you cant stop, just when you think its over, you head for another 90 degree drop. Living on the edge I say haha, things can change at any given moment, I’ve learnt to be prepared for anything, nothing she does can surprise me anymore, its like I have a boy on my hands, she climbs on everything, she tests all boundaries and she has absolutely no fear ! While her mom on the other hand has ALL THE FEAR !

Being a mother to a newborn has taught me resilience, how to get by on very little sleep, and what true love is. Having a toddler on the other hand has pushed all my limits even further, and still are. I have never in my life been this busy, and I mean physically haha, she needs constant stimulation or else she gets frustrated, she gets bored with one thing so easily and all she wants to do is be outside , to play in water, sand, both or just plain climbing on everything she sees. Its nerve wrecking !!

Toddlerhood has taught me patience; she cant even speak yet and she is already giving me sass and talking back to me when I yell at her, on the one hand it is adorable and on the other hand I realize I am going to have my hands full for the next few years or so ! Lol

Some days are hard, some are just so worth it that I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and then some days I want to run away haha, raising a strong willed little person takes its toll, and learning to know what to say yes to is a fine line that I am not quite sure of just yet, haha, but once I figure it out I will let you guys know 😘