Category Archives: mom & baby

7 ways modern moms balance it all

rock-balanceIt’s nothing new to say that we moms are trying to do it all these days. I know women who own businesses, volunteer in their children’s classrooms weekly, find time to host girlfriends in their homes, drive multiple children to and from activities and are still coming up with creative endeavors for their future. But even these women don’t always feel like they have achieved balance.

For years my personal mission statement has included the goal of a balanced life. I can’t say I’ve achieved it but I’ve certainly learned a lot as I aim toward it.

 

1. Write a personal mission statement.

Sometimes just clarifying what you really want out of life is the hardest part. Writing a mission statement gives you a template from which to set goals, maintain priorities and help you know when you should be saying yes and no. My mission statement is: To create a healthy, positive and balanced life for myself and my family. To be generous, never stop learning and strive for good design. And above all, to do everything for the glory of God, becoming a women of noble character and grace.

2. Give your best yes

Learn to say no. Busy moms hear this a lot but, until now, haven’t known how to do it gracefully and without guilt. Author Lysa TerKeurst shares the brilliant trick of the ‘small no’ in her book, The Best Yes: Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, available here. My interpretation of the ‘small no’ which has given me a whole new confidence in both saying no and yes is to simply state that when I take on a project I like to do it right and give it my all. By explaining that at this moment I cannot offer my best yes to said project or request makes everyone feel like I’m actually doing them a favor by saying no. And then I’m sure to add that I’m open to being asked again in the future. This way you actually find yourself available to give your best yes when the right occasion or project does arise.

3. Embrace technology

So often technology seems like a distraction or even a nemesis (like when your whole contact list is erased) but when used effectively, it can make you feel like a super hero.

 Amazon Fresh has changed the game when it comes to grocery shopping. I make my list right on the phone app as need arises throughout the week and then I grocery shop from the comfort of my sofa, often with a glass of wine in hand for the full effect. Private Facebook groups are an amazing way to quickly communicate with a group of parents. I can find out about missing homework or get a reminder about a field trip from each kid’s class page. Banking apps, texting to keep in touch, and working from home out on my sunny deck (like I am now) are just some ways technology can help create a balanced and enjoyable life.

4. Keep it simple at home

All white linens and towels make it easy to throw it all in together and bleach your way back from any mess. The less dishes you own, the less you use, and the less you have to wash. For me, laundry and dishes are the lamest part of the homemaking duties and totally distract from the fun stuff. I recently discovered the coolest product from the family owned company Puj. Their PhillUp cups are a brilliant solution to simplify parenthood, which is their mission.

5. Work hard, play hard

I find that there is a natural ebb and flow to motherhood. Some days are demanding from the moment you wake till way past when the kids are down. And other times you unexpectedly find yourself alone with a few hours to spare. I say, ride the wave. Work like mad when you need to, check off all the to-do boxes and then chill when you can. Take a break and don’t feel guilty! Let the dishes sit and the clean clothes pile up. Your sanity is more important and the dishes will be there when you’re back in go-mode.

6. Make date night a priority

I thought dating my husband was pretty important when our kids were babies but now that they stay up late and have their own opinions around the dinner table, date night has become paramount! My husband and I rarely see a movie on date night because it’s not about being entertained, it’s about connecting. My favorite story is of a high-powered, busy couple who have committed to spending one hour every evening in their own living room. They have a glass of wine and talk uninterrupted every day, if there is a secret to strong marriage this just may be it!

7. Play to your strengths, get help with the rest

It really does take a village, none of us can do it all alone. Offer your talents to your friends and accept their help as well. Gleen from other’s best practices. Most of my best mom tricks are not original, they are the brilliant solutions of a host of more experienced moms. Have your kids make their own lunches, even as young as first grade this is doable. If you can, hire a house cleaner so that you can spend free time doing the things you love with the people you love. Ask to carpool, it isn’t a new idea but I think sometimes we forget it’s an option. It’s healthy to realize we need each other. Similar to learning to saying no graciously, learning to ask for help is one of the secrets to a balanced life. It feels good to help others, give that gift to the people around you, and let’s have it all.

More posts with creative ideas for this time of year. Welcome to Summer A Father’s Day Gift Guide

 


it’s a giveaway

10411887_729468313778674_3646812354830982011_nEvery mom loves a good deal and we all love free stuff so here’s a chance at both! I’m excited to, once again, be a part of the very popular Jack & Jill Consignment sale coming up on September 26–28 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. I got very lucky at the last sale, so I can’t wait to see what I find this time!

 

This top rated consignment sale is an opportunity to find deals on tens of thousands of gently used and even new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, baby gear and much, much more! Check out the Jack & Jill website for more details at www.thejackandjillsale.com.

Moms who are selling the clothes make 65-80% of their sales and at the end of the sale left over items will be donated to local families in need, so really everyone wins! But first we want you to win!

At gift bliss our mission is to support moms with amazing gifts, so here are the rules:



PRIZE: 

2 passes to the exclusive pre-sale shopping event on Thursday, September 25 @ 7pm

HOW TO ENTER:  

Read and comment on one of our blog posts, and viola you’re entered to win

WINNER:

We’ll draw and notify the winner on Tuesday, September 23rd

 


Even if you don’t win we hope you’ll attend the sale

& tell your friends!

Jack & Jill

GOOD LUCK & HAPPY SHOPPING!

 

 


healthy mom, healthy baby

This summer almost every discussion I’ve had with a group of moms has led to the topic of health and ‘what we’re putting in (or on) our kid’s bodies’. It’s not a new subject but with chemicals invading most products these days, our kids overall health is one of the heavy responsibilities of parenthood and it’s hard to feel confident that we’re always doing right by them. As soon as a woman finds out she’s pregnant she becomes hyper aware that her actions and habits affect her child. And I think every pregnancy is a chance to recommit to health.

So when a mama comes upon clever tips, brands or products that she feels good about, she has to spread the word. A local mom recently told me about a product line called Healthy Home and actually gave me a few products to sample.

IMG_3922These products have a list of ingredients that are NOT included that’s almost as long as what IS. My kid’s love the FOAMING BABY WASH. Bath time is one of the great joys of young childhood and the foaming wash helps little hands learn to wash themselves, plus it’s just fun.

The CHEWABLE MULTI-VITAMIN for children has a kid approved good taste and includes several premium ingredients you will not find in the drugstore brands. And one of the coolest things about Healthy Home products is that you can look up all the ingredients, manufacturing methods or any other question for each product on their website www.mommysclub.com/jaynipeters.

One of my personal favorites is the HOME AND HAND SANITIZER. I avoid alcohol-based sanitizer so I like that this one uses chlorine dioxide (stabilized oxygen). The one ounce size is perfect to throw in the purse and I’ve used it all summer on my kid’s hands after using questionable toilets at parks and sports arenas.

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Healthy Home offers an annual membership for $14.95 a year which gives you wholesale prices! If you’re not ready to make a membership commitment you can order through a local representative, mostly moms in your area.

If you’re searching for a convenient way to keep your home truly clean and healthy take a look at Healthy Home.

 

 


throw back thursday | grandma Lois

Remember when everyone on Facebook was making those lists of ’25 Things I Know”? Well, in the spirit of Throw-Back-Thursdays and Flash-Back-Fridays and because my blogging mind would rather be on summer vacation with my kids I’m re-posting an entry I made in a personal blog about five years ago. It reminds me of the importance of family, tradition and motherhood. I hope you enjoy!

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Originally posted February, 2009:

I surprised myself today at my grandmother’s memorial service by being the first to stand up and speak about her. I was worried I might cry and not get anything out, and it was a little embarrassing but I’m glad I did it… for her! Besides what I shared that day,

the bold act alone was a sign of my love and loyalty to an amazing woman and grandmother who I miss very much.

Actually I’ve missed her for several years now. Sometimes it’s hard to remember my grandma Lois. Alzheimer’s has taken her away from us slowly over the last several years. First it was odd stories no one could confirm and then it became clear that she was no longer really her true self anymore.

Her true self was so fun! My best memories with her are all the fun shopping trips. I was lucky enough to be the eldest of her two granddaughters (& the only one for quite some time) and I benefited in many ways. Every Fall she would take me school clothes shopping and boy did we have shopping stamina in those days. We would shop for hours, take a break for lunch (and a serious strategizing session on what our best buys might be) and then it was back to it. She was always on a budget so I couldn’t get everything I wanted but it always seemed to turn out that she’d have some left over traveler’s checks from a summer trip and ‘those didn’t really count’ so inevitable, every time, I got that one extra item the budget wouldn’t allow. Those travelers checks were pure magic!

I guess, as it turns out, I’m one of the people who knew her and loved her best. Here are 25 Things I Know about my Grandma:

Lois was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado.

She was witty, self-deprecating and a total class act.

Her great-grandkids always put a smile on her face, even in the last days.

She hated getting her photo taken.

She was a Home Economics major in college and took the job of mom and home-maker very seriously.

She put herself together beautifully with bright jewel tones and silver jewelry to compliment her silver hair.

As a power shopper, she would have loved the deals we now get at Target and Nordstrom Rack.

She always served dessert. Ice cream cones were a pantry staple.

She would warm up my bed sheets with a hot water bottle when I spent the night.

She loved to hear that her fresh haircut made her look 10 year younger and that all the ladies walking the mall were sure to be envious.

Grandma always worried that she’d go bald but the truth of the matter was that she passed away with more hair than most of you reading this.

She worried more than most moms. In fact, she worried so much that no one else in the family felt the need to worry at all.

If you were close enough to her she showed you her sassy, smart-ass side.

Lois did a cart-wheel on her birthday every year until she turned 40.

Grandma collected music boxes.

Lois lived through the great depression and it influenced her for the rest of her life.

She traveled the world extensively but always got homesick about half way through a trip.

She built her dream house and lived there until just one year before she passed away.

The first time my grandpa asked her out on a date she said no cause she was washing her hair, and she really was. It was back in the day when you only washed it once a week so it was a legitimate excuse.  She said yes the second time he asked and the rest is history.

My grandmother had five kids, including a set of twins. She didn’t know she was expecting two babies until the last month of pregnancy.

She loved marching band and banjo music.

She created beautiful Christmas traditions.

My grandma enjoyed my home and always asked if I was going to have more kids (I often think how much she would have adored my daughter).

She loved her husband more than anything and they walked hand in hand till the end.

She passed away five months after grandpa.

My grandma once told me that I’m in the best years of my life right now with my little kids and when she said it I believed her.

 

 


Jack & Jill Consignment Sale | GIVEAWAY

Gift Bliss is thrilled to be involved with the upcoming Jack & Jill Children’s Consignment event May 30 thru June 1 and we’re announcing our first ever online GIVEAWAY!

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This top rated consignment sale is an amazing opportunity to find deals on tens of thousands of gently used and even new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, baby gear and much, much more! Check out the Jack & Jill website for more details at www.thejackandjillsale.com.

Moms who are selling the clothes make 65-80% of their sales and at the end of the sale left over items are donated to local families in need, so really everyone wins! But first we want you to win!

As you know, we love to giving gifts to moms so here’s the drill:



PRIZES: 

2 passes to the exclusive pre-sale shopping event on Thursday, May 29 @ 7pm

HOW TO ENTER:  

Read and comment on one of our blog posts, and viola you’re entered to win

WINNERS:

We’ll draw and notify 2 winners on Tuesday, May 27th

 


Even if you don’t win we hope you’ll attend the sale

& tell your friends!

bird_q0cfGOOD LUCK & HAPPY SHOPPING!

 


mother’s day gift guide

Mother’s Day is just a week away. If you haven’t figured out your plans you better get started and gift bliss is here to help! We’ve put together a list of sure-fire gifts to please the mom (or moms) on your list. And as always, we make it easy to gift. If possible we have provided a link to the shopping source (just click on the photo)!

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long distance mom

If you’re going to go with a classic bouquet of flowers the trick is to make it personal and public. Every women loves to receive flowers at work, it’s a public display of love and affection. Flowers are a good choice if mom lives far away and you won’t be able to spend the day together.

The best way to deliver a personal bouquet is to skip the FTD route and seek out an independent florist in her area. Also, skip the roses, they are over-priced and too generic. Call the florist yourself and ask what’s in season, what they have on hand that’s beautiful and will last. They are the experts and they’ll be happy to give advice. Be sure the filler flowers are something modern like eucalyptus rather than baby’s breath and you know you have a good florist.

Make the note personal, add an inside joke or tell her something you don’t say often enough.

If you put a little extra thought into it, an ordinary bouquet of flowers can become the visual symbol of love it’s meant to be. Mom will be blown away by your thoughtfulness!

 

breakfast in bed

Another classic is made intimate by dad and the kids. Every hard-working mom should get breakfast served in bed on occasion. Let mom sleep in a bit while you cook and prepare a lovely tray. Remember a small vase of flowers and the kid-made cards! After the loving delivery and once mom has read cards and doled out kisses

leave her alone to sip coffee and savor your culinary creations in peace.

The best thing about this gift is that you don’t need much of a budget to give mom a taste of luxury! (click on the beautiful photo below and discover a clever recipe for egg in the hole toast served up by a cup of mai)

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daughter to mom

My latest gift discovery has a much longer shelf life than cut flowers. Birch Box is an online beauty store with the brilliant idea of a monthly samples subscription, customizable to each woman’s wants and needs.

Mother’s Day will last all year as she receives her little box of goodies in the mail each month.

It’s an amazing bargain at just $10 a month and at that price you may be tempted to buy one for yourself too! Don’t be deterred if you end up on the waiting list. Click on the women’s subscription and if they say you have to wait, no worries, it’s just like giving any subscription. Include a picture of a birch box inside the card to mom, explaining what she can expect to receive, and give her a bottle of nail polish or other favorite beauty product with the card as the symbol of the upcoming gift. Then when Birch Box contacts you that your subscription is ready sign her up!

daddy to mommy

Ok daddies, listen up! You can’t go wrong with thoughtful jewelery for your baby-mama as long as you pay attention to her style. Buy what she actually wears, don’t waste money on a bracelet if she never wears them. Also, take note if she wears silver or gold tones (some women mix and match which will make your job easier). Here are my favorites for mother’s day whether she’s given you a nest full of babies or just that first little heir. Baby’s initials in tiny letters or the number of kids she is raising are especially popular with young moms.

Check out Etsy.com for the best customized, hand-made jewelry on the web.

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foodie mom

Mom’s job usually requires a lot of time in the kitchen and for those who have made a passion out of this daily task here’s the perfect gift. There is a huge selection of customizable cutting boards on Etsy.com. The beautiful wood can be etched with a meaningful quote or cut into the shape of her favorite state or city. Mom will keep & use this quality gift for years to come.

 

 

day off

You know your wife is in the ‘trenches’ of motherhood if she wakes up with kids during the night, is potty training or changes more than 10 diapers a day. The gift of actual free time alone is the very best gift you can give this exhausted mommy, give her the day off! She may resist the idea at first but that’s just mom guilt kicking in about not spending mother’s day with her offspring. If you insist that you’ve got things covered on the home front and give her the freedom to pamper herself a bit she will thank you in the end.

You can even go the extra mile by scheduling a few services at a local spa.

Days like this are few and far between and she will remember your generosity for a long time.

 

Spa and Wellness

get active

Sometimes an experience is more valuable than any other gift you can give. A day together outside bike riding, hiking, or playing at a park makes for a memorable experience on mother’s day. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and snap a few pictures with mom with her kiddos to secure the memory.

 

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A gift is a visual symbol of love, so however you choose to honor the mom(s) in your life this Mother’s Day be sure to let her know how much you love and appriciate all the things she is and all the things she does for everyone else.


10 year momiversary

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There’s nothing like becoming a mom for the first time! It’s magical and demanding and surprising and exhausting all at once. I’ve been a mom for almost a decade now, (hard to believe) and as I reflect back on that long journey from the birth of my first baby to my current toddler in training I realize just how much I’ve changed and how much I’ve learned. Inspired by a local group of moms and in honor of mother’s day …

 

30 things I’ve learned since becoming a mom

 

 

 

  1. I can recite by heart several children’s books
  2. I’ve learned how to talk a fearful child off a ledge, out of a car or into a pool.
  3. I have bionic hearing
  4. But I can also focus like a laser & block out the sound of crying, fighting or screaming
  5. I’ve learned to laugh at myself and not take life too seriously
  6. That being a kid is fun
  7. That being a kid is hard
  8. I’ve learned to clean up a living room from trashed to tidy in 5 minutes flat
  9. I can sleep sitting up
  10. I’ve learned that dad’s aren’t moms and that’s a good thing
  11. That reheated coffee tastes just fine
  12. How to deal with & teach to different learning styles
  13. I can do almost anything with one hand
  14. I’ve learned that 8 yr old boys can be very annoying but still lovable
  15. It doesn’t take much to be a hero for a day in your child’s eyes
  16. I have lightning fast reflexes
  17. I’ve learned that date night is of paramount importance
  18. To embrace chaos
  19. That every cliché rings true when you’re a mom
  20. That teaching a baby to climb the stairs is very boring but also very important
  21. I’ve learned how to make the perfect crepes
  22. And that you can’t take too many pictures of a three-year old
  23. I’ve rediscovered the value of time spent alone to recharge
  24. To get what I get and not throw a fit
  25. I’ve learned that I can function like a pro on minimal sleep
  26. That variety is the spice of life
  27. That you need a team to raise a child
  28. I’ve learned how to nurture and serve others and enjoy it
  29. How to be proud and humble at the same time
  30. And finally, to have grace for other moms, especially my own!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!


my inner archivist presents the ultimate baby book

baby-bookI like to think that all mom’s have specialties, maybe you have a passion for cooking and you pass on your love and knowledge of food to your lucky offspring. Or maybe you’re a talented teacher, taking every opportunity to expand your children’s minds.  I have friends who impart their love of the great outdoors and gardening to their kids.

 

If I had to think of my own specialty it’s probably the archiving of my kid’s childhood. I take a lot of pictures but I also try to do it in a strategic way that enhances the fun times and doesn’t take away from being in the moment with them. I take annual pictures, conduct birthday interviews, have long-term projects in the works to give them upon highschool graduation and we cherish many, many other traditions. I believe I’m building their memory of childhood. I want them to look back and never ever doubt that their mom, dad and family loved and valued them!

 

As I said in my book, one’s inner archivist often emerges when you are expecting your first child (or at least it did for me). One of the things I’m most proud of is my children’s baby books. Like all kids, my boys love looking at a book that is all about them.  You can see the delight in their eyes as we cuddle and re-live their entrance into the world and the many details of their first year of life.

 

So many times parents take a million photos of baby #1, a few less of the next child and when additional siblings come along parents are too busy or exhausted to keep up with it. I had a friend tell me that her mom actually tried to pass off a photo of her older sister as her. So my aim when I created my first son’s book was making something that I would be able to repeat several times, no matter how many kids I was blessed with.  I didn’t make it perfect and I didn’t include every photo I had but, I was thorough. I didn’t want my last child to feel like he or she got the shaft because I got over-eager with my first child.

 

I also love to help other mom’s be the hero and archive their children’s lives. I once typed out a complete list of ‘how to make a baby book’ for a friend who was admiring my kid’s books. So I thought I’d share that list with you too. If you kept a pregnancy journal you can store it with/in the baby book. I did this but also copied short excerpts onto certain pages as it was appropriate.

 

Journaling about your pregnancy & birth experiences will give your book a personal tone and add to the archive quality. Plus your impending lack of sleep will soon make these amazing experiences a distant, faded memory.

 

Include any or all of the following information & items in your child’s baby book:

  • Baby’s full name with origin & meaning
  • Birth date, time, doctor’s name & birth location
  • Baby’s weight & length
  • A sample of the Birth Announcement
  • First photographs of baby & photographs taken during labor & birth

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  • Records of birth from the hospital (you can request these from the hospital)
  • Hospital bracelets & umbilical cord clamp (or photos of them if you’re making a digital book)
  • Contraction timing notes
  • JOURNAL: About who was in the labor room & what it felt like to see baby for the first time
  • Photos and cards from hospital visitors
  • List of gifts & flowers received in the first few days
  • Copy of your personal birth plan

 

When you look back 10 years later it will blow your mind how much life has changed since baby arrived so including who was there at the beginning & keeping scraps from that time of life will become extra special.

 

  • JOURNAL: The story of your birth experience. How did your child enter the world?
  • Birth certificate (or a photocopy)
  • Social Security card (or a photocopy)
  • Photos of nursery & baby’s first house. In one of my child’s books our house is covered in snow and it really sets the tone of when he entered our world. JOURNAL: About setting up the nursery, inspirations, special touches, who helped
  • Photos of family and friends holding baby for the first time 
  • JOURNAL: About what family and friends did to welcome baby, meals, gifts, time off work, watching other kids etc
  • Several pregnant photos of mom’s growing belly. The first time you’re pregnant you’ll probably have a huge collection of side-view photos of your evolving figure.
  • JOURNAL: About what it felt like to be pregnant, physically, emotionally, and how you felt as a couple expecting a child

 

Each pregnancy is as unique as the child it produces and should be recorded for posterity

 

  • Ultrasounds photos JOURNAL: About the day of the ultrasound and what you felt if you found out the sex
  • Baby shower invitations, photos, cards and lists of gifts  JOURNAL: Who was there and the general experience
  • The world around baby (include top news stories, trends in popular culture, cut outs from fashion magazines of the day, gas prices etc.)

 

Trends in popular culture are a particularly entertaining thing to look back on when your child is  15, 20 or 30.

 

  • Journal entries, dates and photos (if possible) of baby’s ‘BIG FIRSTS’ (bath, solid food, rolling over, walking, words etc.)
  • First holidays (including photos & cards)
  • Baptism or dedication photos, cards & certificates
  • Family Tree
  • Growing baby photos of baby each month of the first year (there are so many creative and pinteresting ways to do this, here’s what one clever mama did)
  • Well-baby check up dates, including weight, height and head measurements and percentages (some pre-made albums have a page available to record these items).
  • Immunization record/blood type
  • First Birthday, including party invitation, photos & cards
  • JOURNAL: A summary of the first year with baby and your feelings at the first birthday

 

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Now this is my version of the Ultimate Baby Book list and obviously very thorough. Including everything can be daunting so pick what is important to you and record the precious details that will soon be forgotten in the busy realities of parenthood. And keep in mind that you want the book itself to be durable so that little hands can enjoy it for years to come.

 

One of my favorite tools for recording the first year of life is a calendar. Use your regular wall calendar or purchase a pretty, printable version like the Fractions of Baby’s First Calendar.   Keep it handy and jot down those darling firsts as they happen. The best thing about the printable version is that you can three-hole punch it or tuck it into a clear sleeve and add it right into the baby book! I’ve given this printable calendar to several moms as their paper bliss gift and it’s always a huge hit!

 

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I will be honest and admit that I too am guilty of procrastination when it comes to this task. My youngest’s book is still in mid-assembly and she’s just turned 3 years old.  But sharing this list with you has motivated me to get it done and I can’t wait to share it with her!

 

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What do you use to archive your children’s lives? And what are your favorite paper gifts to give and receive?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


early birds

19063823_xxlI wish I was a morning person. I’m not. I like to stay up late and I’m not in my right mind until I’ve had my morning coffee.

A few days ago, my two youngest both woke me, consecutively, in the night. How is it that siblings know when you’re just starting to fall back asleep from helping the other? I was pretty annoyed. I was particularly tired that night and they are both well past that night waking stage. It made me think about all the times I’ve woken with my babies through the years. Somehow, that isn’t annoying to me, it’s just part of the package deal of having an infant and I did it willingly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exhausting but somehow I have grace for that season and I know it will pass. 

I was looking through a long list of notes I keep and I came upon something I scribbled down when my youngest child was about six months old. And I thought I’d share…

I woke one morning, early, maybe 4am to feed my baby girl. She is a great sleeper (knock on wood). I could hear birds chirping when I got back in bed. In fact, it was quite a ruckus, hard to fall back to sleep it was so loud. I thought to myself that those early birds were feeding their darling little babies just like I was. What an amazing bond to nature and fertility I feel when I have a baby. 

 


the day after delivery

5619784_xxlI’ll admit it, I’m no better than my princess obsessed 2-year-old daughter. I was glued to the coverage of the royal baby this week. I could not get enough of all the articles, the TV coverage and Twitter has been highly entertaining.

I celebrated the birth of the royal baby and then watched William and Kate graciously make an appearance the next day. Kate looked great but she also didn’t attempt to hide her post baby tummy and rode away in the backseat, next to the baby, like most first time moms do. It made me think back to the first few days after the birth of my own little heir, 9 years ago.

If I had a royal beauty team, my hair might have had the potential to look camera-ready the day after delivery but nothing else about my body or emotions would have. Enter the indignities of giving birth.

I won’t go into the colorful details of my labor (although if you know me at all you know love to hear labor stories) but I remember the first night in the hospital I could not sleep for fear that the perfect little baby sleeping in the salad bin next to me would succumb to SIDS during his first few hours of life. But I was equally upset with the idea of the nurses watching him for me. What kind of mom am I if I actually want my child taken away just after meeting him? What if the nurses don’t watch him well enough?

I had a rough delivery and of course all these thoughts were just the irrational emotions of a woman who had just gone through 14 hours of labor, was exhausted and who’s own body was working hard to heal. But I didn’t realize all that at the time. Possibly because of my own recovery, my milk took 5 days to come in and our little guy had colic, which means a lot of inconsolable crying (by both of us). Suffice it to say my first experience of motherhood felt like trial by fire.

As new parents, I remember driving somewhere with my husband and we just looked at each other and said why doesn’t anyone tell you about this stuff? Well, I have a few guesses.

1 | Baby memories fade quickly. All the sleepless nights make a parent’s memory a little fuzzy, selective memory sets in and viola; all the hard parts are forgotten.

2 | My second thought is that some first nights with an infant are beautiful. And some babies are actually blissful infants who are easily comforted and make their parents feel like instant pros. I know first hand because I have a few friends who had these easy babies and my second son and I had an ideal first night in the hospital. He slept in my arms and would periodically wake to quietly stare into my eyes. We fell in love that first night.

3 | Another possibility why I didn’t hear more of the real details of post birth and infant life is that we mother’s have a little guilt about our first emotions as mothers and we don’t want to admit that we were overwhelmed and didn’t have a clue what we were doing at the start.

My wish for the Duchess of Cambridge, and every new mom, is that they have the blissful baby experience first. But for those who are surprised by the harsh reality of post-pregnancy let me assure you that it is not a reflection on you as a mother. You just got your challenging child first, everyone gets one eventually. These children will bring just as much joy and life to your home as the easy ones.

The best advice I got in the early days of motherhood was from my husband. He likened motherhood to a new job. He reminded me that it always takes several months to learn the ropes and adjust to a new routine. It’s the same with motherhood.

Whether you’re royal or just a commoner like the rest of us, it takes some time to feel confident and comfortable with the enormous new role of motherhood.