Raising a strong willed daughter

I am a very strong willed person , I hate it when someone tells me what to do and I honestly struggle to take advice from people and always want to do it my own way, I am also very stubborn (can you tell? Lol).

I am much better now that I am more mature haha, I have learned to let people in and to be more flexible and well, less selfish. As luck would have it, it seems like my little baby girl is just like her mama.

on the one hand I sympathize with her because I know what it feels like to want to do things yourself, but on the other hand, well she is 1 haha. So she is going to have to learn to accept my help in some cases, but my parenting style has changed somewhat, she hates when you try to force her or help her to do anything. The moment you put her bottle down so she can take it herself, she calms down.

It is basically like this with everything she does, we are just going through a phase where she wants to do everything herself but she just cant yet and this frustrates the hell out of her. She is also still in bandages from her accident and that frustrates her even more. 🙈

This parenting thing throws me for a loop everyday, the one minute you are on top of the world and your baby is happy, sleeping and eating, and the next minute she hates everything and everyone and she is a different baby.

It really must be hard to be this small , no one can understand you, you have all these ideas and cant do anything by yourself, and everyone wants to make you sleep all the time. Patience is key when raising a toddler, taking into account all the emotions and frustrations they are having tends to make them quite temperamental and trying to get them to do something at that moment just results in chaos.

I have honestly learned to be more patient, with her, with myself and with my husband. Once you start a family things don’t seem to happen as quickly and as easily as they did before, before; I just grabbed my handbag and out the door I went. Now however, it takes a whole day of planning before we can go anywhere lol.

I am not going to lie, all of this takes some getting used to, and a few deep breaths daily, but its all worth it, and she will grow up and we will grow old, and we will all miss the days where she refused to eat and cried until you pick her up. Cherish these memories because they are fleeting.

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How my baby has taught me to live in the PRESENT

We all live for the future, we plan our days and we focus on where we are going instead of focusing on where we are. Its normal though, we all work towards something, and look forward to getaways and holidays, that promotion at work and when our baby will reach the next milestone, we are always looking for the NEXT in life.

When you think about it, this is not true for our babies or toddlers, they don’t quite yet understand the concept of time the way we do, they understand day and night but not the concept of “next year” or sayings such as “maybe another time”, they live in the now, and they want all your love and attention now and not “later”.

This is not always possible for us as adults as we have more than one thing going on in our lives and constantly struggle to balance it all, but my little girl has taught me that it is okay to take a minute here and there to just soak it all up and spend time with her, without looking at the time and thinking about all the things I need to do around the house, just undivided attention.

Psychology suggests that the formative years (the first few years of your babies life) are the most important, they lay the foundation for your child to build on as the years go by, no pressure right!? I don’t mean this to sound as if you have to be perfect otherwise your child will one day spend thousands in therapy explaining how his mother damaged him emotionally as a baby, I mean it as these are the years your baby will learn that he/she is loved, safe and wanted.

Think about it for a second, when you know that you are loved and safe you have the confidence to take on the world, knowing that whatever goes wrong there is someone out there that will help, that will have your back no matter what, sort of a “home” you can go to whenever you need it . That is what we need to instill in our children from a young age, to know that no matter what life throws at them that they can always come back home and you will be there.

So when life gets too busy, take a moment and just spend it with you baby, it will give you a whole new perspective on time, and teach you that every now and then, it is okay to stop the clock and take in all the wonder of motherhood.

How we underestimate small talk

Who has the time right !? We are all so busy and overwhelmed with our own lives and motherhood in general, that it sometimes feels like no one understands what we are going through, we tend to isolate ourselves in our own self made unhappiness.

Well I do anyway, it cant be said for everyone because some people are better at addressing their own issues than others, but I tend to feel like my husband does not get how hard it is to be a full time mom, to live in the middle of nowhere (#farmvibes) and to have no family or friends nearby to vent to when things get too much (because lets face it; they do).

Today I did some self reflection and it came to me; the reality of the situation is that, well, he doesn’t completely understand, nor can anyone. No one can truly know what another person is going through unless they have been through it themselves, and even then; people handle situations differently. So instead of focusing and fighting about something that simply cant be changed, I just sat and had a casual conversation with him. Simple right?

Afterwards, I felt so much lighter, it was the first time in so long that I wasn’t focused on how stressed or overwhelmed I was, I just shifted my focus for a minute and it gave me a whole new perspective on things. Don’t get me wrong, there will be days that I still wallow in it, because I am only human. But I just realized what a difference it makes to not focus all of my attention on the hardships in life, to basically give myself a break from it all, by simply not talking about it.

Value those conversations, and make an effort to talk less and listen more because it makes all the difference.

To the mom who craves control

This post is very personal to me,and something about myself that I never knew.

The Control Freak

I somehow, NEED control , in every situation in my life, in any way that I can. Without realizing it, it has taken all the fun out of everything, I somehow think that if I can anticipate everything and be prepared for it, that I would be able to handle it better, even as I am typing this, I realize how silly that sounds, but still very real.

I feel that I cant go on “unplanned” excursions because my baby is in a routine (and so am I for that matter) and it was not on my to do list, so I cant go. Before Paige was born I was quite spontaneous, loved the unexpected and thrived under pressure. Motherhood has somehow changed all of this, I have turned into someone who cant go out at night because I don’t want to risk a screaming session in a restaurant – for the fear of someone thinking I am not a good mother.

Red Flags

Now, with my psychology background I can tell you that everythingI just wrote raises sooo many red flags.

  • Firstly, isolating yourself from social events and friends is so unhealthy, and it sets an example for your children as they grow up. My baby girl is so happy when we are out and about, she takes so much in and just enjoys looking around and staring and smiling at the people.
  • Secondly; setting this “paranoid” vibe for my baby just creates so many issues later on in life for her, I basically will be teaching her to be careful, with everything, to not be bold, brave and adventurous – like I used to be.

Learning to “Breathe”

At the end of the day, you simply can not control every situation life throws at you, sometimes you just have to let go a little bit and trust that everything will work out the way it was supposed to.

Babies are much more resilient than we give them credit for; the moment I stopped and started living a little again, she adapted so nicely, no screaming, and even though she struggles a little bit if she is out of routine, she so enjoys doing something different every now and then. ( I still believe in routine don’t get me wrong, and my baby girl is a bit older now).

We need to realize that our babies will cry, they will eventually throw that supermarket tantrum we have been fearing all our lives, they will get sick, people will judge your parenting, your baby will be unhappy sometimes and that does not mean that you failed, it simply means that life does not always go our way, and thats okay. (Yes that rhymed)

The moment we learn to breathe and take things in stride, life automatically becomes easier, we look at life differently and see opportunities we never would have. It just opens up a whole new world, one I am excited to explore !

Just keep at it, changing the way you live life takes time, constant reminding and a whole lot of patience with yourself.

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!

He who must not be named!?

I want to talk about baby blues.

People have ten thousand things to say to you and warn you about when you are pregnant , but yet , no one once mentioned baby blues , or the surge of crazy hormones that you will experience after birth !?

i had a c section ( will share my experience in another post) and on day 3 at home i was sitting with Paige and my mother in law walked in , and i just started crying uncontrollably 🙈 for no reason !

This continued for about 2 months , i felt anxious, moody , emotional and just not happy ! I was confused , because this was supposed to be the happiest time in my life , i mean we couldn’t wait to meet her , and here she is , and yet i could get myself to just relax and enjoy the moment !

I have my honours degree in psychology , so i knew something was up , i contacted my doctor and got anti anxiety meds and things got a whole lot better from there .

The issue i have with this is that in my circle people tend to be very against these types of feelings and meds , they don’t acknowledge these feelings as something real or something to take seriously.

My husband was very against me getting these pills , and thought that it would just pass even though i told him im not coping .

His reaction towards needing help and wanting help , made me feel ashamed for having this problem , but is tuck by it and got help and did muuuch better ! My husband also came around eventually and saw that the pills are working .

Im sharing this experience with you guys , because i feel that in our society baby blues are not mentioned , and not seen as real .

So for those moms out there feeling like they are not coping and need some help , go get it !! Don’t let anyone tell you that what you are feeling is not real ❤️

Hang in there

Angelique