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. 🙏🏻❤️

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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!

Being a Woman is Intense ! 🙈🤪

I mean , where do I even start on this one ?!

We still go trough hormone changes , periods , headaches , flu , tiredness, irritations and all the normal turmoils of everyday life , all while still raising children .

I just don’t think that men understand this , my husband is so helpful with her and tries his very best to be supportive , but I still get the occasional “you make it worse than it actually is” and the “you are overreacting” .

Now look , I am not the most patient person , and my anger goes from 1 – 100 I’m seconds since becoming a mom ,

It is like a switch went off when Paige was born , and I feel this fire inside of me to fight for my family and loved ones and to not be a pushover anymore !

I honestly believe that being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me ❤️

Angelique

When Even Your Insides Are Tired || Mom Tired

Have you ever felt like your tired like in your bones ? I don’t know how else to explain it , who am I kidding , off course you have ! This happens to all of us , but I honestly believe “mom tired” is a thing !

This is me today , after this week with Paige , I just feel drained , emotionally, physically , mentally , and wait , is there another one ? I forget 🤫😳

Today we had friends over , and as much as I would love to kick back and have a few drinks , have some snacks , chat to my friends or just relax a little bit , but I cant , I have a 5 month old that is still busy sleep training !

But then I put my baby girl in my lap and just hold her , and everything just disappears, every single day I look at her and think “I cant love you anymore than I do right now” , and every day that love grows ! 🧡

So yes, today I am extremely exhausted to the point where I want to ugly cry , but I wouldn’t have it any other way, looking after my baby girl is the biggest blessing in the world !

Angelique

Overcoming Your Mom Insecurities

Where do we even start on this one?

All moms, whether you are a new mom or not, have insecurities, we all feel, at one point or another that we are lacking in some departments. My insecurities as a mother stretch far and wide , so much so that I sometimes feel like a basket case.

The Struggle

For me personally, I am petrified of not having a good relationship with my daughter when she is older, which is a lot of pressure to put on a 6 month old (ha ha), I am constantly doubting myself, whether I am making the right choices for her, or buying the best product for her, I place so much pressure on myself to do things right, that I forget to have patience with myself and give myself the room to still make mistakes, even though I am trying to be a good mother, I am still human at the end of the day.

But saying it does not make it so (as many of you know), I am so sensitive of the subject, that if someone just jokingly points something out, I get offense immediately, instead of just taking it in stride and brushing it off. I will think about it for weeks on end after it has been said, and it would even keep me up at night. It sounds ridiculous, but this used to be my life, and it was so difficult to focus on other things during the day, there just is not enough space in a brain to harbor all thoughts and incidents throughout life, at the end of the day, we need to throw out the bad and keep the good, not just for ourselves, but also for the relationships in our lives.

Thoughts are very powerful, and it can take the joy out of everything, once you harbor a negative thought for too long, it grows, and because we keep it inside, it seems to become such a big issue the longer we keep it inside for no real reason, being caught in this loop is no joke, and can be difficult to get out of.

The Change of Perspective

At the end of the day, what does it matter what people think of the way you raise your child? Life is funny like that; no matter what you do, or where you do it, someone will always have an opinion about it, someone will always disagree with what you are doing, even if you are 100% sure of your decision. Accepting this is liberating, in the way that you no longer mind when someone gives an opinion, you nod and move on with your life without giving it another thought.

This mind set however does not happen overnight, it takes practice. Every time something or someone upsets you by forcing an opinion down your throat, instead of thinking on it for weeks on end, you make a conscious decision to put it aside and not think about it again, every time it pops up (because lets face it, you are only human) you do the same, this is like teaching your brain to think differently. This type of “re-wiring” takes time and effort, but trust me, the results are worth it.

This is not a fool proof plan, it just makes you stress less over things that should not be taking up time in your thoughts. Raise your baby the way you want to, and what you feel is best for your child and your family. Do not let things like mom shaming and old traditional opinions cloud the joy of being a first time mom.

You Got This !

 

What NOT To Do With Your Baby

So, although I cannot give you advice on exactly what to do, because I am still figuring things out myself, I can however tell you what NOT to do!

Your Home Life

Nothing in this world can prepare you for being a parent, I don’t care what anyone says, helping a sibling or a family member with their baby will maybe make you used to the idea of a baby and give you some helpful tips even, but in no way will it give you a taste of what it feels like when that little bundle is yours.

No book in the world will explain to you how YOUR baby is feeling and why, yes, it has been put together by experts, but it is the general rule, and not always specific to your baby, I have read so many things and then I think “what? Why is my baby not doing this?” – This is the biggest downfall for new parents, books tell you when what milestone should be reached and how much your baby should be eating, and most of the times this is right, but sometimes it just is not, and this immediately sends us into a state of panic.
Listening to how other people raise their children is also a “no no” , how people raise their children reflects their personalities, their home life and their values, therefore, doing what you see from other people will most probably not work for you, because, well, you are different, you are an individual and your personality and values might not be the same.

And Finally, the most important one; do not, I repeat, do not compare yourself to other moms, this will most certainly drive you insane, and it most certainly has for me, the problem when looking at other moms is you see what they call the “highlight real”, you come over for dinner, and the whole family is on their best behavior, because let’s face it, that’s what we all do. What you don’t see, is that they also fight over who must do the dishes, the mom also locks herself in a closet to cry (a bit extreme but it happens) and the dad is not always the perfect husband you see at dinner.

Some people are just more open about their struggles, to me, these are the best kind of people, they make you feel like you are not alone, like you are not as crazy as you though, and not always overreacting as per your husband’s opinion.
Find these people and stick to them like glue, they are the mom friends that you want by your side on days that you feel you cannot cope, or you just had enough.

Google is the Enemy

Wow, where do we even start on this one?

If you haven’t yet googled “How to get my baby to sleep” stop reading because this post is not for you; the results on this is so confusing and contradicting that it would leave even the most confident mom second guessing herself.

Sleep deprivation is torture, it affects every aspect of your life, it’s just intense!
Google is helpful in the sense that you can find information online at any time of the day or night, there are thousands of “how to” videos, and I myself have watched a few videos on swaddling and latching that were quite helpful.

But overall, you see information and tips that just do not work for your baby, and then you are left overwhelmed once again, with no way out.

Motherly instinct is the best go to you can get, become confident mom! And trust your gut, 9 out of 10 times it is right, the other time your baby was most likely just not feeling well or just having an off day – which happens, if you think about it, your baby is also an individual, and just like we have off days, they do too, they just can tell you how they are feeling.

Most days you end up just winging it!

Fed is Best

This is such a sensitive topic, and I am almost scared to write about it, but here goes!
I personally tried to breastfeed, and did for 7 weeks, unfortunately due to circumstances, my supply dried up after trying everything under the sun, there could be a million reasons for why what when and where, but that’s just what happened, and I ended up giving my little girl formula.

This was so intense for me, as it felt like I failed her and that I am not doing what is best for my baby, but at the end of the day, do what is best for you, there are so many moms out there that will tell you that you are a bad mother for choosing to formula feed.
Don’t you dare listen to them, we place enough pressure on ourselves to be perfect mothers, we do not need added stress to any situation, it is your life, and you do what is best and what suits you guys better. You are still a good mother!

We need to stop mom shaming each other, what I don’t understand is that these women are also moms, they were even once first-time moms, and know how hard is to adjust and to get into a routine that suits your family and your lifestyle, adding to this is not only mean, but unnecessary.

To the moms out there that are struggling with all these things, hang in there, keep doing what you are doing, and it will all get easier soon.

This too shall pass.

Angelique