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 !! 💪🏻

Advertisements

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 ❤️

How important it is to be in tune with your emotions

Like most moms (although there are a lucky few), pregnancy effects my mood 100% most of the day. With Paige , I seemed to have been very emotional and sensitive. This time around however, I am more impatient and quick to anger.

Lately my toddler has been insanely difficult, needy, clingy and also quick to anger, it took me a while, but I finally realized that its me! She feeds off of my emotions, and obviously picks up that my patience is less than before and that in turn, makes her feel unsure and confused as it all affects her environment (granted, she is growing up and some moods wings are inevitable).

Since then I have tried to get to know myself better, not to stop the emotions, but to recognize them. To realize that I am feeling overwhelmed because I am tired , or irritated because I am nauseous etc. knowing what I feel and why I feel it, makes it easier to take a deep breath and let it go. Instead of wallowing in it and letting it affect my relationships and the overall “vibe” in the house.

Easier said then done right ? We all know those pregnancy hormones take over and is impossible to control (true for the most part), but you can control how you react to them. Practice makes perfect , it may take a while, and it does not mean that it will work every time, after all, we are all only human. But I strongly believe that once you can control how you react to all your emotions and understand why you are feeling what you are feeling; you will be stronger for it, and at the same time. Set a good example for your children and other members of the family.

On the other hand, knowing why you are feeling what you are feeling, also makes it easier to get help or to fix it quicker. It sounds so straight forward right ? Wrong ! Many people don’t even realize when they are stressed. So knowing what you feel might even take some practice to begin with.

Either way , it is a skill worth mastering and will make life much easier for both you and your partner (and children) in the long run, and will most definitely help with your blood pressure and those sleepless nights.

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.

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.