Lately, I find myself “lost” in the busyness of life. There is a constant struggle I face trying to find a balance between being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a role-model and a co-worker that it can oftentimes be a bit overwhelming. Last month I felt like I was in a great place with an equal balance between all of these things, but the last two weeks or so, that contentment is shattering. I realize that life will throw a curve-ball from time to time, so it’s important that I remember that. Things happen for a reason, and it’s important that I understand that HE has my best interests in mind. I need to remember that I’m trying the best I can to equally handle all aspects of my life. I’m not perfect. I have a lot to learn. If I keep believing and have a little Faith–it’ll all work out regardless of the outcome. Until that happens, I will continue searching for Peace.
As a new mother, I feel as though my life has become 100x busier. I work a normal 8am-5pm work day with a work out during lunch, then pick Brax up from daycare only to return home and do more work. Whether it’s cleaning the house, cooking, working on my books or studying, I feel like I can’t accomplish near as much as I had hoped too because I’m a full-time mom, too! Working opposite schedules from my husband has definitely thrown a thorn into this whole ‘parenting’ thing as well as creating a near impossible work-home life balance. I’m really pursuing some of my dreams and by furthering my studies, I know I will get there BUT trying to find time between work and home life for studying has proven to be a struggle. I haven’t got a clue how moms do it sometimes as it is definitely not easy being a working mom. I love the challenge associated with it, but also miss the little bit of free time I had before becoming a mom. Welcome to parenthood, Dani 🙂
Moms, any advice?!
Everyone told me so many different things about parenthood but no one could prepare me for being a “single” mom. Now let me clarify what I mean by being a “single” mom. You see, for those of you who don’t know me, my husband works second shift at his job. That means he goes into work at 3pm and doesn’t leave until 11pm. With his 40 minute drive home, he typically gets home around 11:45. At this point, Braxton and I have been asleep (hopefully) for several hours. I work a typical work day: 8am-5pm. Our different work hours means that we very much so raise our child as “single” parents. The weekends aren’t much better because my husband works most weekends, but in the rare occasion that he does get the weekend off, we are busy visiting with family and friends. Sure, I get to see him for a few hours before he goes into work but 2pm comes very quickly.
It seems like when I get home from picking Braxton up, all I do is take care of him. I don’t have much time to clean or cook and oftentimes I lose track if time. Bedtime comes quickly most nights.
I’m reading a very interesting book right now titled, ‘ I was a really Good Mom before I had kids’ and let me tell you something..those authors are dynamite. Everything they say is spot on for the most part. There is a conditions battle I believe most woman deal with and that is whether or not they stay home with their child is continue with their career. It seems if you put your child in daycare, some people view you as a failure. Older generations think it was necessary that the mother stay home with the children whereas today, my generation are working mothers. Although, I’d love to stay home with my son, it just isn’t feasible. Sure, we could afford my not working, but with the goals my husband and I have for our future, it just isn’t possible. I honestly feel this situation is a lose-lose. Either way, a parent is letting someone down.
Being a working mother is sooooo much harder than I could have imagined. First, just leaving my infant son in the morning is a struggle but when you add full work days, it can be a little much at times. Secondly, I don’t get to see my husband like I did when I was on maternity leave. One of the biggest challenges I have had is pumping at work in order to maintain ade quest milk supply. Finding the time to pump every 2-4 hours is quite impossible. I try the best I can, but in my line of work, I’ll be lucky if I can eat. I give mad props for those mothers working full time and managing to find time to pump as often as we are suppose to be pumping. It’s so difficult.
I am loving parenthood, truly. I just miss my husband tremendously, and wish someone would have warned me about opposite work schedules between spouses. I could never have imagined how difficult this was. I don’t want my son to know us as “single” parents but rather as a family.
I believe every mother should go purchase or borrow, ” I was a really Good Mom before I got pregnant”. There are some very truthful statements and ideas on several topics. I highly recommend reading it.
It’s amazing some of the things Jason and I have heard being brand new parents to a newborn baby boy. All I can think is, “We’re new parents, not morons!” Some of the “so-called advice” is more of a common sense thing and creates more of an annoyance for us then anything at all. Here are some of the things we have been told to do/try or things that have been said to us in the THREE weeks we’ve been parents.
1) Are you getting sleep?
What do you think? We have a newborn that eats 8-12 times a day and needs to be changed just as often. So the answer is NO. Please stop reminding us of the magnificent hours of sleep we are losing DAILY.
2) Take a nap when he naps.
This is much easier said than done. I’ve never been a nap person, so that alone is a problem. Jason and I are busy-bodies, so the thought of taking a nap only takes away from the time we are able to get things done during the day while having a newborn at home. This advice is silly for us, but may work for other new parents.
3) Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
I know that people say this to be nice and it’s a very thoughtful gesture, but if I were to be like, “Yes, you can go grocery shopping for me” the likelihood of that actually happening is slim to none. Thanks for the gesture, but really…I can multitask.
4) Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?
Hahahahahahahaha. Enough said.
5) Maybe you should try holding him like this when nursing.
Trust me when I say that I have tried every position possible when feeding him, and as his mother I know what position works and which position doesn’t..so thanks for the advice, but I’ll do it my way.
6) Maybe you should burp him longer.
I also (believe it or not) know how to burp my son. I’m a new mom, but I’m certainly not a moron.
7) When are you going to come visit with the baby?
Stop. Just stop. YOU come to us. It’s much easier for you to travel then myself with a needy newborn. Just saying.
8) You know your baby is probably hungry or has a dirty diaper..(while out in pubic, a stranger just randomly knows it all)
Yes, thank you. I’m well aware that he probably has a dirty diaper and/or is hungry. Again, I may be new to this whole parenting thing, but I’m not oblivious!
9) When are you going to give Braxton a brother or sister?
Well…considering I just had a baby THREE weeks ago, I haven’t put much thought into when to try for another. Granted, I want Braxton to have a sibling, I also want to enjoy this moment with our ONE child for a little while.
10) Was having Braxton worth the nausea, back aches, weight gain, etc?
The answer is simply: Absolutely.
These are only a few things that Jason and I have been asked or the advice we have received. Don’t be that person that “knows it all” or has some ridiculous advice that is more of a common-sense thing than it is actual advice. Like I said, we are new to the whole parenting thing, but we weren’t born yesterday. We did prepare for parenthood. 🙂 If you are an individual that has said something along these lines, I’m certainly not slamming you or making fun of you. I sincerely appreciate the feedback, but also understand that Jason and I are doing the best we can. We will learn from making mistakes and by practicing trial and error. Thank you all for the good and the “bad” advice. 🙂
When is it the right time to get back into the gym post pregnancy? Many women ask themselves this after having children. Here are my thoughts on the subject:
I’m very fortunate to have recovered relatively quickly after delivering my first son. I am down 20 lbs already (I gained 35 lbs), and I am already back to working out a few days a week. My advice to new mothers out there..don’t let the weight gain get you down. If you have been working out and eating healthy throughout your pregnancy, the weight will melt off. If you incorporate breast feeding into your daily routine, you have the potential to burn up to an additional 500 calories. One thing I will also suggest is to listen to your body. I have received some criticism for working out already. People are telling me to take it easy and not push myself too soon. My doctor told me (a week after having Braxton) that I could resume my normal workout routine. Obviously she said to work my way back into running and lifting heavy weights, but because I had been working out up until I had him, my body would be fine. I ended up giving my body another week to recover and then started back at the gym this week. I wouldn’t be working out if I wasn’t ready. I know people are trying to look out for me, but I’m good. Ladies, your body knows its limitations. Listen to your body–it’ll tell you what you can and cannot do. No one knows your body like you do, so there is no need to listen to others trying to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing post-pregnancy. 🙂 Enjoy your time off from working out, but don’t be scared to jump back into it either!
Baby Jones is here! Braxton Leland made his debut on March 11th @ 11:36pm. He was a healthy 8lbs for being over 2 weeks early. He was 20 1/4 inches long. He is everything Jason and I dreamed of and more! He has blessed our lives with so much joy in the 3 weeks that he has been here, and we are looking forward to many many many more years of his goofiness. He is already developing a personality and is always cracking us up! Everyone who has seen him fall in love with him. 🙂 He has had a few doctor’s apts so far. His first one was on the 17th (St. Patrick’s Day!). He weighed in a bit light at 7lbs, 7 oz. He had to come back that Wednesday for a weight check. He was then back up to 7lbs, 11oz. His jaundice is also getting much better. His doctor’s apt last week was also good! He now weighs 8lbs, 1 oz and is now 21 inches long! I think we are going to have a tall little boy! 🙂 So in love with him already. Looking forward to a few more weeks off work with this little cutie!
We are finally in the home stretch of this pregnancy. 36 weeks 5 days with only 26 days (or less) until we meet our little man. As I reflect on the last 8-9 months, all I know for sure is that I still feel so blessed to be going through this journey regardless of how uncomfortable it may be at times. I have the most supportive husband who is equally (if not more) excited to meet our son and loving friends and family who are there when they are needed most. Jason has been an absolute blessing throughout this pregnancy, and his willingness to step in when needed and take some of the every day stresses off my shoulders has been phenomenal. He puts me (and our son) before himself and is always asking how he can help with things. I cannot emphasize enough how fortunate I got when I met and subsequently married Jason. I’m so lucky to have him. Even though my body is constantly hurting, I have to thank my sister, Christy, who has practiced yoga or massage therapy with me once a week for the past few weeks. It helps my body relax, and meanwhile I can pick her brain about childbirth and motherhood. I’m still walking and lifting weights (in safe moderation), and still working full-time, so at the end of the day I’m ready to sleep. But, I understand that when little man comes, I won’t be able to help out as much around the house or prepare dinners for Jason every night, so right now I’m trying to do as much as possible. Jason deserves that. Until I get the hang of things (as a mother), I won’t be as helpful around the house. Fortunately, I know Jason will be understanding and helpful. As I stare at our packed bags (for the hospital) and look at the nursery (which is nearly finished) and miscellaneous items set up throughout the house for the baby, I am just amazed by this entire journey. Overwhelmed and so in love with our little boy already. I can honestly say that I have always deeply loved my husband, but my love for him has grown exponentially more each and every day. I am so blessed to have him as my husband and the father of our son. Now we are just waiting to meet our little boy. Cannot wait to love on him!!
Yesterday when I was looking through old photos on my iPad, I found some pictures of me from the summer. I had an interesting perspective when I was looking through some of them and it occurred to me: “Why was I so critical of the way I looked before getting pregnant?” The two photos that I will share, I appear very tiny, but I’m sure back then when the photo was originally taken I criticized myself for not being “fit” or “skinny” enough. Well, let me tell you something…I was beyond ridiculous. Now that I’m pregnant and clearly putting on weight, it has occurred to me that I really need to chill out when it comes to my obsession and need to be skinny and fit. I am always so hard on myself, and I’m literally ashamed of how mean I was to myself up until I got pregnant. I looked fit, and I was in the best shape of my life. Interesting how pregnancy puts certain things into perspective. My advice to those women who also struggle with body image: be easy on yourself. Just the fact that you’re watching what you eat and working out is enough to give yourself a pat on the back. Be proud of your body, and just live a little. I can tell you that when I was really into working out and watching what I was eating, it was an unhealthy obsession. I’m wasn’t taking care of my body like I should have, and I was miserable most of the time. The urge to be fit can be fun, yet challenging. Be nice to yourself. When this pregnancy is done, my goal it to look like I did in those photos from the summer. What better goal is that than to want to look the way I did last summer? I think that’s a pretty fair goal. Challenge accepted.
There is a long list of things people, specifically from Michigan, post about on Facebook during the winter. Some of them are kind of unique and cool while others are simply annoying and repetitive. For instance, here are some of the things posted that are annoying, and ALL of us are guilty of doing at least one of these if not all of them at some point. This includes myself!
1. Car Temperature Gage or Screen Shots of the Temperature Displayed on their Phone: When it’s really cold out, Michiganders will post pictures of how cold it is in case no one else had access to a phone or the news that would otherwise inform them of the current temperature. Whether this picture comes from their handy dandy iPhone temperature ap or whether the picture was taken from within their car, it happens all the time. It never fails that on cold mornings (such as today where the temperature is -8) that someone or several individuals will post a picture on Facebook.
2. Pictures of how DEEP the Snow is: Again, to help state the obvious, some Michiganders will post pictures of how deep the snow is at their house. Apparently, the news coverage on daily or weekly snow fall totals is not adequate enough to effectively prove just how much snow we have received.
3. Pictures of Tropical Places: Yes, Michiganders are guilty of doing this. Michiganders quickly become sick of this cold weather and will start posting pictures of tropical places like it’s going to help ease the winter weather pain. I really don’t see how this is effective in their coping with the cold. It just pisses me off.
4. Winter Selfies: It never fails! Whether a Michigander is out shoveling or just wanting to show someone how cold it is by showing others just how many layers of clothes they have on JUST to stay warm, these pictures circulate around Facebook daily.
5. Former Michiganders will post Temperature Pictures of Warmer Places: Former Michigan residents who now reside in warmer places, such as Florida or California, will post temperature pictures or selfies of them on the beach or in flip flops JUST to rub it in to all of us dealing with the bitter weather in Michigan. They’ll post little sayings along with the pictures like, “Feeling so bad for those up in Michigan” or “Wishing you were here to enjoy this weather”. You guys know who you are..assholes.
6. Snow-Angel Pictures: Some crazy Michiganders will post pictures of them doing snow angels in the piles amongst piles of snow we have received. You’re crazy to think I’m doing a snow-angel simply because you posted a picture of yourself doing it. Challenge NOT accepted, crazy ass.
7. Accident Scenes/News on the Weather: I’m not even sure why people do this. Why post news articles or accident photos on the weather on Facebook? What is your main goal for doing this? Is this a subtle threat to warn us to slow down or is it a reminder that “Oh hey every winter Michigan drivers forget how to drive all over again?” Either way, it’s ineffective. There will still be accidents and news on the CRAZY Michigan weather we’re experiencing.
8. Posts urging others to stop driving like Assholes: Again, this piggy-backs off of the last one. No one is going to listen to you rant on about how stupid or crazy Michigan drivers are when driving in Michigan Weather. Like I already mentioned, ALL Michigan drivers have forgotten how to drive since last winter. Crazy right?
9. Sympathy post for a spouse/loved one traveling in the Michigan Weather: Everyone is guilty of this. Those who have the luxury of working from home or having “adult” snow-days will often write on their Facebook about how his/her spouse should also be home safe and sound. Not everyone gets an “adult” snow-day..deal with it.
10. Snow-Days: Whether you are a student or teacher either bragging or complaining about snow-days, just stop. I’ve been seeing students actually upset that they have snow-days. Listen here kids, when I was in school…we NEVER had snow days. I don’t feel sorry for you. If you’re a teacher complaining about having too many snow days, again I don’t feel sorry for you. You get paid to stay at home. You may have to make up a few days in the summer, but at least it’s in the summer. When you’re at home on those snow days in your sweatpants and sweatshirt enjoying your soap operas and hot cocoa, I’m venturing out in the frigid cold headed to work.
Here is my Michigan Winter Selfie!
I find it kind of funny when people ask my husband and I if we’re “ready” to be parents. I don’t understand why they look so appalled when we answer, “No.” Any expectant parent will tell you that there is no way to adequately prepare yourself to be a parent. Even when we were registering, we were overwhelmed by all of the items we had to register for. We were thinking the necessities such as diapers, clothing, bottles, nursery furniture, car seats, high chairs and other similar items. Then we received a check list from the place where we were registering and realized how many things we had simply not thought of. Such items included baby powder, bath items, health and safety, and other similar items. Does this make us bad expectant parents? Not at all. It makes us new. We’re unfamiliar with this entire process and we’re learning as we go. I was so thankful for the mother who helped walk me through which bottles to register for. She recommended a starter bottle kit that had everything already in the box. She told me it really helped her learn the differences between bottles and bottle nipples. She realized I I was new to motherhood, yet she was compassionate and never made me feel small. I thanked her profusely for her guidance. There is nothing more frustrating to expectant parents than when we’re asking questions and someone speaks to us in a “know-it-all” voice or even in a manner that makes us feel dumb. Their arrogance is astounding especially those treating us poorly who are already parents. I guarantee that EVERY expectant parent were in our shoes at some point. Even if they had some guidance from parent friends or maybe family members, that advice never really prepares someone or makes them 100% confident in being a parent. Any expectant parent who claims that they are fully prepared for parenthood are liars. It’s unfortunate, because the more they try to convince themselves that they’re ready, the more likely they will be of receiving a rude awakening when their bundle of joy arrives. My husband and I are taking this all in in stride. We’re both constantly learning things and we will continue to learn things well into parenthood, and we are totally content with that. Parenthood is a continuous process. It’s comparable to the constant growth in technology or medical advances in the sense that there are constantly new items coming out on the market and similarly there are always new things coming out on parenting. It’s truly an on-going process, and the sooner expectant parents realize that, the better off they’ll be. All we ask as expectant parents is a little bit of patience and respect. We’re never going to be fully prepared to be parents, but we’re prepared to learn for the rest of our lives how to be the absolute best parents we are capable of being for our son.
And here is some humor for expectant parents. Haha!