Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The "Mom Guilt"

No one tells you, that when you become a mom, you will forever feel guilty doing anything and everything. Including anything for yourself. Like peeing with the door closed. Napping while your kid does. Going to the gym. Having lunch with a friend. Shopping for yourself. Leaving dishes in the sink. Cleaning. Or God forbid, taking a full day to do whatever you want, without your child.

Doesn't matter what the task is, you're going to feel guilty.

It's been 14 months since my daughter was born, and I can honestly say that the guilt is still alive and well. But at what point do you give in to the guilt, and do something for yourself? Like weekly? Or monthly? Or quarterly?

I've spent the last year surrounded by some amazing first time (and second time) moms who have really helped me to find the balance and the courage to embrace the guilt, and be sure I take time for myself. As a mother, there are expectations put on us whether we realize it or not. We're expected to be caring for our child 24/7. Always thinking of them, and putting them first. Making sure their lunch is packed for daycare. Their clothes are clean. There's no snots dripping down their face. Their poop fumes don't take over the room aromas. They're learning. They're talking. It just never ends.

But at what point and when do you take a day, hour, or any time for yourself?

How do you balance time for yourself so that you can be a better parent?

I don't know the answer to these questions. I wish I did. But I do know that it's important to surround yourself with like minded moms. It's important to find yourself a few moms near by that you can call at 7am and ask for advice on sending your kid to daycare that day, runny nose and all. The mom you call when you're kid is still sleeping after 8am and they'll applaud you, instead of scorn you. The mom who shows up with wine in her purse for your weekly bitchfest. The mom who's been through it, and will let you know all will be okay. The mom who always has something baking in the oven, and doesn't make you feel bad for your bag of Goldfish, again.

We're moms, but we don't need to feel bad for taking a few hours a week to hang out with other moms. We don't need to feel bad about going to the gym when our kid is in bed. We don't need to feel guilty for buying new pants (because mom bodies are totally different than pre-mom bodies). There's always going to be guilt, but don't let it rule your life. Take a night a week to do something YOU want to do. Get a work out in. Buy yourself a new pair of jeans. Go to yoga, clear your head.

After all, a sane parent is a happy parent. So slap that guilt face and tell it to fuck off. Ain't nobody got time for that shit.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Yearly Recap?

"The days are long but the years are fast." I used to laugh at that statement, but now it's been a year. Holy shit, it's been a year! Where did all those long days go?!

Hi, it's me. Celia. I'm back. Or hope to be. Life with a little one is crazy. Busy. Long days. Not a lot of sleep. And very little free time. Like right now, isn't really free time. I should be working on a proposal for work. Oh yes, I'm working again. Just part time, and I can honestly say it feels good. But let's rewind a little bit.....

Lena turns the big 1 next week. I still hyperventilate just thinking about it. I've seen this little human grow and change and explore so much over the last year, that it's hard to believe that she was just entering the world this time 1 year ago. It's amazing how you can adapt to each stage of their growth, and look back and wonder how you ever got through the last stage. 

I have to say though, Lena is an ideal baby. She breastfed like a champ from the get go. Unfortunately at 5 months, she developed a really bad cold, and had a hard time latching. We ended up giving her bottles of pumped milk for awhile, and she got used to the immediate flow, but she wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding after that. So I exclusively pumped for 3 weeks. Kudos to all you exclusively pumping mamas! YOU ARE AMAZING! I couldn't do it. I realize now I could have spoken to an LC and probably gotten her back to BF, but I secretly needed the break. It was a welcome change. So at 5 months, we switched to formula. And that shit ain't cheap. Especially when your little one has a dairy and soy intolerance. Yup, she's definitely my kid. She drinks Nutramigen and thankfully all went down well.

We stopped cloth diapering. Lena is a heavy wetter. Was then and is now. That girl can leak through almost anything. (Yes, we've even gone up sizes to help combat that. Didn't really help.) The cloth just wasn't cutting it for us. (PS- I'm selling our full stock of cloth diapers if anyone is interested.) We used Seveneth Generation diapers for awhile, but she leaked through those nonstop. So we are now on Huggies and their night time diapers. So far so good. 

We eat solid foods now. That girl loves veggies and fruits. We started her with oatmeal cereal and veggies around 4-5 months, and she took to food really well. She now eats 3 meals a day, has 3 bottles and 1 snack. She loves white fish. Amazing.

We sleep through the night. This has been happening for awhile. Hence the ideal baby comment. She was sleeping 12 hours a night for awhile, but we've recently reduced to 10 hours. She goes to be about 7-7:30 and wakes around 5-5:30, a time I never thought I'd see or survive. But there is really nothing better than hearing your little human singing away in the morning. And then the smile that creeps on to their face when you open the door. So amazing.

We walk. Yup, she's mobile. She started crawling around 7 months, and around 9 months she started walking around with a push walker. 2 weeks ago after her first time at daycare, she saw a kid in her class walk, and that was it. The next day she was up and moving. 

We're in daycare 2 days a week. I started back part time to my old job about 4 months ago. I felt like I was ready and could finally handle jugging being a mom, wife and working. My mother in law graciously offered to watch Lena for us while I did 10 hours in the office a week, and another 10 from home when needed. As my work load increased, and Lena started really developing, we made the decision to start her in day care. For us, it was a good choice. I know it doesn't fit everyone, but it does for us. Lena is adjusting well and is really enjoying being around kids her age. She is still doing one day a week with my mother in law. Such a huge help to us! 

Being a mom is a hard. There's no question about that. Everyone handles it differently, and things really affect everyone at different times. When Lena was born, I was in a state of bliss. I was euphoric. I didn't have any signs of postpartum, I was the complete opposite. Trust me, I had my days and moments of complete overwhelm. But they were just that: moments. About a month or two ago is when things really started to set in and I had a small bout of it. Once I started working more, and enjoyed it, I had severe guilt. That's a story for another day though.

For now, I will close with: I'm back. Look out. Babies be crazy. And here's my pumpkin.