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The Mom Guilt of Motherhood {with baby #2}

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today you woke up and fixed a lousy breakfast for the kids. Mom guilt. 

You kept the television on for way too long this morning. More mom guilt. 

The spunky toddler who ate the chalk that you may have snapped at. More mom guilt. 

The newborn that doesn't seem to be in your arms enough. Sigh, mom guilt.

The toddler running around that begs to be in your arms more. Freaking mom guilt. 

The laundry piling up. Well, we'll let that one slide. 

Motherhood and mom guilt seem to go hand in hand for many of us. 

If there is mom guilt with just one kiddo, adding in another is enough guilt to bring on the waterworks and the feeling of never rising to the challenge in the ways that you wish you could.

As a mom, I'm quickly learning that mom guilt is something that we bring upon ourselves. It's the likely result of too much social media that shows us clips of other people's lives where we realize that maybe they are rocking motherhood (and juggling more than one kid) much better than we are. Crafts, learning projects, fancy full course breakfast plates, exploring outside, limited television and so on, makes us take a look at ourselves and evaluate how we are doing. It puts an unnecessary pressure on us to do better and be more. I for one am very guilty of this.

Perhaps the worst guilt of all, the guilt that surpasses too much television and too many toys, is the guilt that comes along with having more than one child. I've never felt so much guilt as a mother until I came home with a newborn while having a two year old. It's a real, possibly unspoken guilt that many of us face.

The chance of both babies needing you at once is high. Like, it happens multiple times a day. The chances of having both babies begging for your arms at the same time happens more than you'd think. The question of whether or not one of your sweet babies feels neglected pops up into your head daily.

Bringing a new baby home with a toddler is vastly different from bringing home your first baby. 

There aren't endless hours of cuddling on the sofa and staring at your new work of art. No, that's hard to do with another person clawing you for each and every thing. More milk pease. Read books pease. Pease outside. Hungry Mama. Mama, poopoo. Hold Mama PEASEEEEEE. It doesn't end; it's not supposed to. They need us and always will.

But it's the helpless one sitting there in the bouncy, or even hanging around in your ring sling, that you feel like doesn't get enough of you. In actuality they likely do get exactly what they need, but it's the comparison of their start at life to your first born's start at life, and you feel guilty that they are different; that they are not getting your undivided attention.

What I am starting to learn about mom guilt is that it means more than just negative, guilty feelings. Mom guilt means that I am a good mom.

A good mom worries, has fears and wants nothing more than to do the best and be her best. 

While it's still hard to embrace the mom guilt and let it go, it's something to work on. I'm trying to embrace the chaos, find the supermom balance, parent as closely in my beliefs as I can and discard the mom guilt. It's tiny steps to realizing that I can do this and so can you.

Mom guilt will likely never go away. But what is important is realizing at the end of the day that you all survived. Sure there may have been too much TV and takeout for dinner, but they were loved. Your kids were loved beyond measure and you gave it your all.

You are a good mom. 

Tomorrow is a new day.

And you will still be a good mom.

Having a Voice for Your Baby's Birth

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Having a voice is important.

Having a voice during your labor and for your child is even more important. 

I recently had a friend tell me that for her first birth she didn't realize she had a say or all of these options. She just assumed you followed the doctor's orders and things that many think of as "routine" were just that, routine. This stunned me because it made me wonder just how many other women think childbirth is just a routine where we listen to the doctor without understanding the risks, the options and the reasons.

Childbirth is different for each and every person in terms of the way it starts, the way we labor and the way we deliver. Even the minutes following the birth of a child can be vastly different among us all. Things like inductions and c sections are becoming increasingly more common and are starting to seem like the "norm" for so many. I actually find it odd when after having a baby, many people will ask, "Did you have a section?" Like, why is that such a popular question? Shouldn't we just assume that all women have vaginal births because that's what is common and natural? But we don't. We know as Americans that sections are increasingly popular so we actually feel compelled to ask a new mother how she birthed. And yes, I've been asked this question quite a few times from people that don't know me.

Below are just a few important ways that YOU DO have a VOICE. 

1. Your baby chooses their own birthday. Inductions are becoming so normal that it's actually scary. Just because your last ultrasound showed a larger baby does not really mean anything. Just because you're approaching 40 weeks means nothing. Due dates are just an estimation and you can carry up until 42 weeks with no risk. Be a voice for your baby and let them choose their birthday unless absolutely medically necessary.

2. You choose how you labor and deliver. Epidurals aren't standard, they are by choice. Women once gave birth without drugs and still can. Don't let the common choice for an epi scare you out of trying to birth naturally. Then again, you have the choice to not feel pain and get an epi. You have a choice to birth at home or in a hospital. You have the choice to labor in the tub the whole time or even just before you get an epi. You have the choice to walk around. You have the voice to deliver standing up. You are in charge! Isn't that nice to know?

3. Be knowledgeable. Read up on c sections and common reasons for them and make sure you're prepared to fight your doctor if you don't feel their request for a section is valid enough. Yet, be prepared for any emergency that is indeed a true emergency where you ignore your dream birth plan and realize things happen. Just make sure that "thing" is evidence based and a true thing.

4. Know the options. Did you know that your baby can be placed straight onto your skin immediately after being pulled out of the birth canal? Did you know how important skin to skin contact is? You can request skin to skin, immediate breastfeeding and delayed cord clamping among many other things. You have the voice to say no to visitors, no to an immediate bath and no to pretty much anything. Don't want that gunk on their eyes after birth? Guess what, you can deny that too. It's your baby...your voice. There's numerous reasons to do all of the things mentioned here and even if it's not for you, it's worth researching some to understand more about it.

While childbirth is a natural event that has been taking place for centuries, it's good to read up on all of your options and it is good to be prepared. After all, it's your body and your baby that this affects and we all just want to have the best experience we can.

Have a voice for your body and baby and know that you ARE in charge. 

My Attached Baby Two Years Later

Monday, July 13, 2015

"That baby will never be able to leave you."

"You're gonna have problems when she starts school."

"That's going to be hard as she gets older."

Blah, blah, blah.

Just a few of the things that I heard before my daughter was one. My first born, my baby, who was quite attached to me was apparently an example of "what I was doing wrong."

I say that because so often I'd hear these comments about her being so attached and wondered, "Did I do things wrong?" I hate that I ever thought that and even then it didn't take long for me to not give two shits about what everyone else said, but yes, the thought of if I made a mistake attaching my child to me did cross my mind occasionally.

I never set out to "attachment parent" and still to this day don't like to label myself as that, but for the most part we did a lot of what is associated with attachment parenting. I always did what felt right to me and what I believed in. Even if it was a little different or a little more "extreme" it was what felt right. Isn't that what we all do?

Isn't that how we should all parent; by doing what feels right to us?

Yes my infant was quite attached to me; she screamed and cried at the sight of other people for months. The holidays were awful as every party was met with screaming and crying because she wasn't used to it and just wanted me. She refused to go to other people quite often and was glued to my hip in whatever baby carrier I had laying around. She was my baby and I was her security blanket, just as any mama is their baby's security.

As a parent we just have to eventually tune out the jokes and comments about our parenting style and our choices. While the comments are usually always harmless and not at all meant to upset a mother, sometimes they just do.

 It's easy to make a first time mother question everything she is doing. 

Now that I am two years in on this parenting thing and now that I am raising my second child, I can officially say, "You were wrong" to all of those who thought I made a mistake. You see, one of the things about attachment parenting is that the more secure and attached a baby is to their parents, the more independent they are as toddlers and children. And I am already starting to see these results!

Now granted, my child is only two and isn't getting on a bus daily to go to school or getting in a car to leave me each day and attend daycare. But I can say, that my child is vastly different from that crying, scared infant that I knew so long ago. She'll tell me "bye Mama" like it's nothing when I leave her, even for overnight. In fact, she'll pretty much tell me to go if she's excited enough about the adventures ahead. It's pretty much like peace out, ma.

My once stranger-danger child is now the one who waves at everyone and talks to them on her terms. She no longer acts terrified at the sight of anyone other than me. And our holiday parties this past year were a breeze. In fact my social butterfly wore me out! She's actually quite a trip with a personality out of this world.

So sure I don't know how she will actually act when it's time to attend school or when it's time to drop her off at dance class where she knows no one, but I can say that she sure seems secure and independent to me. I am optimistic that things will go smoothly in the future. And most of all, I now know that I can do everything the same with my newborn and tell the naysayers to back off. I've got this people. My kids will turn out alright...I promise.

Mamas, whatever you're doing that works for you but doesn't for others, don't let it stress you. Just remember that opinions are like butt holes...everyone has one.

You do what you believe in and what works for you! 

Your child will be okay and will thrive because you're doing the best you can. And that's all we can do.

Birth Announcements from Minted

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When it comes to birth announcements, there are so many companies with so many designs to choose from. This time around I tried out a new company (new to me) and I am very pleased! Our birth announcements (that I successfully mailed off by the time Little Fox was one month old) are from Minted and I couldn't be happier.

We chose the with love design and I couldn't be more pleased! While Minted offers stationary that may be priced a tad above some companies, their designs are chic, one of a kind and timeless. I love how modern the designs are with touches of gold foil and even some boho touches that are perfect for today's modern mama. The quality of the card is top notch as they are thick and beautiful. What I also loved about these cards, is that the envelope that is included with it is super thick. I know my announcements that I've invested in are going to safely arrive crisp and perfect to my family and friends.

Designing my card on Minted was easy peasy, as was scrolling through the many designs that they offer. There's numerous options for the back of the card and for a small amount you can choose from several different designs to place on the back of your card. For the main card (the front), there's usually 2-3 color options per design and there is a variety of cards to choose from with a variety of photo placement options. Even if you are not a computer savvy person, it is very easy to navigate and design.

Something that is unique about Minted is that once your order is placed, you received a virtual proof within 24 hours that you can then again check over to make sure it is correct. I really like this because it gives you a break from staring at it on the computer; which can help you catch small mistakes that you may have missed before. Once the proof is approved, your order will arrive very quickly (mine arrived several days before it was expected to). Another extra touch is that the packaging of your product arrives much more personalized and even a tad bit prettier than getting just a regular ole' box in. You also get a note from the designer of your actual card, which is a special touch!

With modern designs, an easy to design card and fast shipping, I am very pleased with our cards! I'd highly recommend Minted to you for your stationary and photo needs. Make sure to check them out and see all of the beautiful things they have to offer as they are more than just a stationary company.

To see more gorgeous designs from Minted, check out my original post here. I'll definitely turn to Minted for our stationary needs! I can't wait for everyone to get them (probably today) and see the beautiful cards as well as my beautiful girls!

While this is a review, all opinions are solely my own. 

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