Momo In The 6

Motherhood

LINK ROUNDUP

MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

On parenting and why this next generation of kids are brats.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Box Cake... Need I say more?

10 insights of remarkable parents.

FYI that fig you're about to eat has a dead wasp inside it.

You know you're a Toronto mama when... this was a hilarious read and I can totally relate!

Teaching your kids body privacy, personal agency and consent starts when they are in diapers.

This seal jumped on a boat to avoid being eaten by orcas... can you imagine!?

ATTICUS | 6 MONTHS

MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

TODAY MY SWEET babe is half a year old. *Insert sobbing emoji face*. But seriously, the past six months have literally flown by. I didn't manage to get a "Atticus five months" post done so consider this a recap on the past two months with our littlest boy.

Atticus is smiling left, right and center. He is SO expressive and his eyes go into these little half moons when he is smiling big. He coos and tries to mimic the sounds you make (so naturally I say "mama mama mama" to him all day long ;-) )  He gets so excited when Dada walks in the door, immediately smiling big and kicking his little legs in excitement! He also LOVES watching Finny and smiles and giggles at him all day long.

We have nicknamed him Grabicus because he is so fast and will have the glasses off of your face or a fist full of hair before you have a moment to stop him. He is rolling all the time and is so close to crawling.

Much to Finny's dismay he has started to take an interest in all of the toys, not just the "baby" toys, so we are learning a lot about sharing and taking turns these days.

He has started eating solids and is such a champ. He still nurses four times a day (every four hours) and is eating a small breakfast and then a big lunch and dinner. Meal time is one of my favourite times of day since both boys are at the table and we talk for about 30 minutes while we all eat, such a special time of getting to know both my boys even better.

He travels really well in the car and we have done multiple trips to cottages and to Montreal! He even got to go on his first boat ride a few weeks ago (which he cried and then fell asleep through haha)

Atticus is a MASTER SLEEPER. He is officially sleeping 13 hours at night + two 2 hour naps during the day. We are all feeling rested and mostly back to normal, and I am so excited to move him into the boys room soon!

Atti boy, we love you so very much. I am so proud of you and I love getting to know you better and better every day!

ATTICUS' BIRTH STORY

Family, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

ON FEBRUARY 25, at 9:10 in the morning, our sweet Atticus came into the world. It was such a special moment and an experience I never want to forget.

As I mentioned in this post, Finn was ready and rawring to come out... he was born at 37 weeks and surprised me by breaking my water. Atticus however was a smaller baby and was a little cozier inside of me and wasn't as keen to come out. By the time I hit 38 weeks I was really over being pregnant. At that point I was getting up to pee so much in the night and start having issues sleeping that I figured I might as well be up with a baby if I am going to be awake. So on Tuesday, February 23, I began "Operation: Bring On Labour".

I literally did every trick in the book. I had a stretch and sweep on the Monday. Tuesday I went on a 10km walk - half of it uphill! I ate pineapple, eggplant parm, did pressure points, bounced on an exercise ball all day, everyday. I even did 100 jump squats throughout the day on Wednesday to try and make my contractions (which were happening sporadically throughout the day) more consistent. I don't know what one of the previously mentioned tricks worked, but something did.

My contractions were inconsistently 8 minutes apart all day on Wednesday, February 24th. I'd have a few hours where they would be consistent and then I'd get distracted with Finn or with tasks around the house, and it would be more like 30 minutes between contractions. It was a crummy, cold and wet winter day outside, and being as pregnant as I was, I wasn't up for venturing out with Finny to try and walk the baby out. So I did jump squats and bounced on that ball all day. Sammy got home around 6pm and we hung out for a bit and we got Finny to bed and that's when things started to progress. We were hanging out and decided to start timing my contractions while I bounced on a ball, from 6-8pm they were roughly 6 minutes apart. Then at 9pm the pace picked up dramatically and they changed to every 2-3 minutes, but I could still talk through them which is unusual at that rate of contraction. At 9:45pm we called my mom who was on standby to come watch Finny if we needed to get to the hospital. We called an uber and made it to the hospital by 10ish.

A fun twist to this story is that my friend Amanda is a labour and delivery nurse at Mount Sinai, and we had planned it out that I would text her when I was in labour and going to the hospital to see if she was around and could connect me with a nurse that I would like. So I texted her and she contacted triage so when we arrived at the hospital they knew we were coming in! I was brought into a triage room right away to monitor my contractions. I was only 3cm dilated but since my contractions were strong and frequent they admitted me and it was such a relief to know that we were going to meet our baby within the next day or so!

It was about 11:30pm at this point and I walked laps around the cafeteria for about an hour before we decided to head upstairs to our room to rest up for when it came time to push this baby out! They checked and at 12:30am I was about 4-5cm dilated and not effaced at all so we knew it was going to be a while and both decided to try sleeping. After an hour of sleeping my contractions had slowed to 6-7 minutes apart so we agreed it was a go ahead to break my waters (around 2am). The contractions came strong and quick after that, every 2-3 minutes for 45 seconds or so. I laboured like this until 4:30am, gripping the bed and trying every labour trick in the book to no avail. I started vomiting at 4:30am so they checked me again and I was only 5cm and 80% effaced. My mantra, which had been "It's hard work. It hurts a lot. You can do this." went RIGHT out the window once the vomiting started, ha! I opted for the epidural which arrived about 5am. Bless that thing... I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's like a baby angel kissing your uterus! Once the epidural kicked in around 5:30 we decided to try and get some rest so I could be in top form for pushing this babe out! I slept until about 7:30 and woke up to see that the nurses had changed over and that my friend Amanda was going to be our nurse! She was so great. I obviously made some jokes about the fact that she would know me better than most people, especially since 5 minutes after she walked in the room she had to check how dilated I was! Ha! At about 8am I was 10cm but still didn't have the urge to push. Sammy and I hung out and talked for the hour until I got that classic urge to push and we decided to give one push a try with Amanda to see how far along the baby was (and since there were four women across the hall pushing! A busy day at the hospital!). Well, one push later and he was RIGHT there! She marched out of the room, grabbed one of the doctors by the arm and brought them right back in since this baby was coming right then! 10 minutes later, at 9:10am our sweet Atticus was born. Since we had waited to find out the gender (and I was SO sure it was a girl, as were all the nurses), when Sam said "It's a BOY!" I literally laughed out loud and said "What!?! Ha! Of course he is!" and looked at him, laying on my chest and said "Of course you are, my sweet boy!". 

Once he was on my chest I just looked between him and Sam with big shiny tears in my eyes and felt so overwhelmed with how special this was, how incredible birth is, and how blessed I feel to have another son.

We took the next two days really slowly, having short visits from family and savouring our time alone with him at the hospital before we went home to begin life as a family of four.

As much as I love to write, there are just not enough words to fully describe this feeling. You can't prepare for it. You can't prepare for the love. Or the fear. You want to give them everything you can, and you just have to wake up every day striving to being the best you can for this little person to make them even better than you could ever be.

Oh Atticus, how we love you. I am so proud to be your mom!

It's blurry, but it's one of my favourite pictures!

It's blurry, but it's one of my favourite pictures!

ADVICE FOR NEW MOMS | SHELLEY

MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

DEAREST NEW MAMAS,  you are holding a miracle in your hands!  While the laundry piles up, you feel less than beautiful, and the house comes undone at the seams…you are still holding a miracle in your hands.  The time with this littlest one will go fast.  I’m sure you’ve read some beautiful sentiments about taking it easy, enjoying the moment and not rushing through this season.  I agree completely.  Can I share with you a few tips from a longer-term perspective from a Mama who’s been where you are a few times?

Read books while you nurse! I want to encourage you to unplug from social media and read books that are refreshing to your heart and mind. Read inspirational stories, read things you’ve wanted to get to for years, read about what thrills you! Spend your daytime nursing time, investing in your personal growth. Pour yourself some herbal tea, grab a book and enjoy your time nursing! Especially with your first born (but I would hide away even as I had more kids while I nursed!!). Double bonus, is that children who grow up watching mom and dad with books in their hands learn that reading is valuable. These kids inevitably catch the vibe about the printed word!
Let your kids get messy! Kids need to touch things, to squeeze goop, to play play dough for HOURS, to dig in the garden, to make mud pies, to paint, to glue, to use SPARKLES! We all have unique tolerance levels for mess and chaos. My goals have been to develop creativity, while teaching respect for materials and our home. Our family is allowed to experiment with all sorts of materials, but the kids are also excellent at cleaning up, and playing at working at a station (ie. The kitchen table) The key to this however, is to invest in a good washer!!!!! TIP: Winter can be really hard not getting out as much – so we would have shallow plastic containers with things like corn or rice or beans for digging and pouring. These sorts of tactile activities, when practiced over time have helped our family develop beautiful attention spans. When you help children focus on an activity and get truly engrossed in it – it will pay wonderful benefits to them when they are older. They also learned now to sweep up any parts that escaped from the box, another great skill for them to master! (yes, we did this even with wee babies around – supervision is key, or I would pull it out when the baby was sleeping, or when the baby was in their high chair)

Eat real meals, together.  If I were to write a book for moms, it would have a chapter titled “What We Learn Around the Table!”  It is remarkable how many things are naturally learned around the dinner table.  Things like proper manners, serving each other, listening (or in the case of a large family, talking louder!), sharing, laughter and wonderful family jokes, great food choices, appreciation, proper cutlery skills and so much more.  People stop us frequently in restaurants to compliment our kids on their excellent table manners when we are out.  The kids all try new things, and are adventurous in their tastes.  Increase your expectations for what meal times can be.  Aim to be consistent and sit down together.  Eat real food.  Talk.  

Live Naturally.  With my first baby, I was on antibiotics during labour, and later with mastitis a few times.  I had no idea about the strain that was on my body.  I never knew about the importance of probiotics and taking care of my gut following antibiotics.  This contributed to my postpartum depression.  We have since adopted a much more natural lifestyle which cares more carefully for all of our bodies.  We clean naturally with essential oils and household items (vinegar & baking soda!!!), we use a natural shampoo and other body care products.  And we use essential oils to support our health.  I’m so excited to teach the kids the value of plants and their uses in our lives!  It’s been a beautiful journey, and we are far healthier and happier for it.  I love the legacy I’m leaving for my family.  I currently work teaching other Moms about the value of natural health care and natural homes.  If you’re interested in more info you can find me here and I can share with you some fabulous resources for natural homes!  I wish I had learned about this earlier, let me share my journey!  


Teach your children as you go about life.  YOU ARE already doing this, so pat yourself on the back!  Mothering takes time, it takes conversations and listening.  It takes creativity.  Be one step ahead of your kids and spark their learning and interests.  Listen to your heart’s leading.  YOU know your kids the best!  Does the baby light up at your Mommy & Me baby class when the drums come out?  Then pull out the pots and pans and spoons and make a joyful noise while you cook dinner!  Does your child like to pretend to cook? Why not fill the sink with soapy bubbles and let them mix and pour in the kitchen with you!  Is your toddler into throwing things…why not go to the beach and throw stones into the water!  Think about the development stage they are in, and creatively problem-solve ways to nurture that interest in them.  You’ve got what it takes mama!  


Choose confidence.  As our family grew, I found my confidence grew.  That first baby though – yikes!  It can really do something for the insecure!  I remember looking everywhere thinking I was making a disaster of this new baby!  Then along came baby number two, and I realized I could grow a baby to a toddler of almost 2 years reasonably well…and, so grew my confidence.  With each child, I’ve seen a relaxing in my heart and mind.  These days, I am choosing to rejoice in the culture that is unique to our home.   Instead of comparing, I desire to pursue more of the habits, memories and special things that make our family a wonderful place to grow up in.  You can also!  Your family is a wonderful place – so own it!  Create a culture that you love to live in!   An added benefit to owning your confidence is that you will teach your kids to be confident in who they are.  I really think small children are like bears…they smell fear!  And, if you’re not feeling very confident, remember YOU are holding a miracle in your hands.  You were a part of that miracle (in whatever form this child has come to you!).  So please Mama, hold your head high.  You are the best Mama for this child, and this child needs you to know that – so they too, can grow up and be confident.

 

MINIMALISM AND KIDS

Home Life, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment
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WAY BACK IN January I wrote about minimalism and how we have embraced minimalism in our home and with our possessions. One of the biggest questions I have heard about embracing minimalism is how to be a minimalist and have kids... Kids seem to come with a list a mile long of things they "absolutely need" and they also accumulate so much stuff over time. I am no expert on this but I do try my best to keep our kids stuff to a minimum and keep our home from feeling like baby land.

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Figure out what you really need to own and what things you could borrow from a friend. When I was pregnant with Finny we were living in a small space already so we tried to choose fewer things that were really good quality that would last through a few kids. When we moved into our home in Leslieville, my goal was to arrange our home so that the kids had lots of room to play and move but at the end of the day it can still feel like an adults space.

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USE MULTI-PURPOSE FURNITURE TO STORE AND CONCEAL TOYS.  In our home the kitchen is where all the main action is, I spend so much time in there that I knew we needed to use the space well to make it a functional space for our family. We have an eat in kitchen and decided to create a play area for the boys where most people would put a dining table. We have this great, sleek shelving unit that has four cupboards - two of which hold kid things and the other two are used for extra kitchen storage and for things like our camera and my breast pump. In the living room one of the cupboards below the TV is used for books since we most often read books on the couch. There is also a small cupboard for toys in Finny's room and book shelves on his wall for books that are bedtime books or books that are more fragile. The general rule in our home is, if it doesn't fit in the cupboards, it doesn't stay. (more on larger items below)

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Under the stairs we have a shelving unit with two boxes in it. These boxes are used for toys that aren't currently in use right now. Which leads me to my next point...

PURGE.  I regularly (at least once a month) filter through the toys and books in the cupboards and put the ones that Finny has outgrown or isn't currently that interested away in the shelving unit under the stairs for when Atticus will use them. Then I toss the ones that are broken, have major pieces missing or donate the ones that he never really took an interest in anyways. This allows the house to feel less cluttered and it also helps that when Finny gets bored of his current toys I don't have to go buy new ones, I can simply swap out some of the toys for old "new" toys that he is really excited to see again.

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EASY TO CLEAN UP.  Following my "purging" rule helps to make clean up once the kids are in bed a breeze. My general rule is that if it takes me longer than three minutes to tidy up the toys, books, etc. that he has too many toys out and that means it is time to purge again.

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CHOOSE TOYS THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL. Some toys are just too big to fit into the little cupboards. I get that. We only have a few toys that are too big to go in the cupboard we make sure they are toys that are aesthetically pleasing. We bought Finny a great little play kitchen that we all love and since it is so cute we don't mind that it can't be put away. We also have this incredible cart which is beautiful and has so many uses and we love seeing it around the house. Side note: It is arguably the best toy we have bought him - it has grown with him over the last year and he still loves it and plays with it almost more than anything else, I highly recommend it! We also have a rocking horse and a tent that can't fit in any cupboards but we love them and they are both beautiful and have strong sentimental value to us - friends of ours made the tent for Finn's birthday and the rocking horse was mine when I was a child.

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These are just a few of the ways we practice minimalism with our kids. In a few months, when he is ready, I hope to include Finny in the purging process, teaching him to hold loosely to his possessions and also about giving things away to people who need them, something I myself am constantly working towards.

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FINNY SAYS

Family, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

ONE OF THE main reasons I have this blog is to document all the little moments and memories from this special stage of life. I know that these young years with babies goes by so quickly (how is Finny almost two!?) and I want to remember as much of it as I can. Finny has been chatting up a storm lately and he is really quite funny and very bright, here are some of the things he says lately:

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1. Every morning the first thing he says when you open his bedroom door is "oats!", the boy loves his oats and he loves to eat.

2. While we are eating breakfast I like to ask him how his sleep was and if he had any dreams. He says "Dream! Doggy! Bunny!" (his favourite is his bunny!) and then there is usually an activity like "Walk! Car! Swing!" that he did with them in his dreams.
3. When I am making coffee in the morning in our Chemex Coffeemaker, he always comes over and says "Up! Blooooooming!" and makes his arm do the wave to show how the grinds bloom, it is so funny!
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4. Daily he will grab a protein powder scoop and a little plastic measuring cup and hands one to me and says "Tea! Drink!" and we sit and drink our tea together.

5. One of my favourite things he does and arguably the sweetest, is when we are praying with him before bed and thanking God he volunteers people and things that he is thankful for. "Cher! Water! Sandals!" (for his new saltwater sandals we got him ;) ) was the newest one from last week after we went to the wading pool with Aunt Cher. He also likes to pray during meals and sporadically throughout the day. He has such a sensitive spirit and remembers people that we often pray for, like the other day at lunch when he said "Pray!" and I asked him what he wanted to pray for or about and he said "Baby Jubi!" (Our cousins sweet baby who is in the NICU, you can read more about her here).

6. Now that he is able to run, he loves to race, and we spend many hours at home racing from the couch to the kitchen and back again and he loves to shout "Race!! Race!!"

7. The other day we were sitting having lunch together and the subject of cars came up. Our neighbour has a blue car and Finny decided he would like to drive one day... "Car! Blue! Raz! (neighbour) Finny! Green! Car!" Me: "Finny wants a green car?" Finny: "Yeah! Drive! Myself!" Me: Finny is going to drive the green car by himself!? Finny: "Yeah!" Me: One day! Finny: "Cooool. Awesome."

8. Finny has great timing and is quite funny, so when he does something he know was funny (Like when he sits on you and then goes "Tootah!!!!") he then goes "Finny! Funny!" and it makes it just that much more hilarious.

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9. Lately he is loving spending quality time with each of us and if I'm in the kitchen and he's on the couch in the living room I will hear this little voice say "Mama! Come please!"... How could I refuse that?!

10. We were at a friends cottage for the Canada day long weekend and Finny got to watch a water plane land on the bay right in front of their cottage. Our friends dad named Tom, but Finny calls him "TomRocks" is the one who showed him it landing and Finny still recollects the story to us! "Airplane! Land! Water! TomRocks! Coooool." 

I am loving this stage, getting to have conversations with my little man and learn more about him and teaching him lots of new things. He is such a joy to be around.

ATTICUS | FOUR MONTHS

Family, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment
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TWO WEEKS AGO our sweet Atticus turned four months. (I know, a little late, but with two kiddos under 21 months and a husband who works 90+ hours a week I only have so many hours in a day ha!).  I can't believe how quickly these past four months have gone. He is such a joy to our family, with his big smiles, half moon eyes that are always wide open taking in everything around him. He has been so much more alert lately, with lots of smiles, coos and giggles! Baby giggles are the best, he is much more ticklish than Finny and as soon as you tickle the bottoms of his feet or his belly he smiles his huge grin and starts chuckling. It just makes my mama heart want to burst!  

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He loves his big brother so much and spends all his awake time tracking Finny around the room. Finny has really taken to him and will fetch toys that he thinks Acey will like and gives him kisses and hugs and tries to comfort him when he's upset. It really is the sweetest thing. 

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He is so strong, he was always breaking free of his swaddles so we have officially unswaddled him (and use these sleep sacks) instead!) and he rolled over for the first time this past weekend and is grabbing his toes as well! He also has slept through the night from 7-7 for two nights in a row... here's hoping that is here to stay!
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He is really vocal, if he's happy you know it... If he's unhappy you also know it.  He can be a little dramatic, I wonder where he gets that from, ahem ;). 

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We just began introducing solids to him this month and I am so excited about it. I love introducing food to my kids and try to instill a love and passion for flavour in them at any chance I get! I gave him peaches a few days ago and he loved them! Lots of lip smacking and lip licking!

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ADVICE FOR NEW MOMS | ERICA

Family, Motherhood, MarriageMomo in the 6Comment

I’ve so enjoyed reading through Morgan’s blog series for new mamas. I honestly still find myself soaking in other’s experiences and ways that they thrive as moms.  We all know about the advice, and the MANY opinions that are EVERYWHERE on how to parent, but the truth is- there is no one right way, and no one really knows what they are doing. Something could work one day, and the next day that perfect piece of advice could cause a serious toddler meltdown. For me, I feel like I never have it figured out, and that’s why I love hearing other’s journeys… Its so important to be REAL in this world of mommy hood. So I’m honoured to share a little bit of my heart here.

I don’t have it together.

I’m not always a joyful parent.

I’m tired most days.

But I’m not alone.

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I became a mom 6 years ago. March, 2010 I took that pregnancy test after being married for just 2 months. I took a second one, because i thought that’s what everyone did.. still pregnant. Annnnd the third one was the same.
The next 6 months of my life were filled with a blur of never ending “Morning” sickness, Dr’s and constant fatigue, all while dreaming about how my life would change. Nothing could prepare me for what was ahead. I never knew how hard it would be, how selfless it would require me to be, and how amazingly rewarding it would be.
November came, and after hitting that “so done with pregnancy” I felt blessed to be induced 3 weeks prior to my due date.
7 or so hours later, my 6 lb baby boy was in my arms.

I remember vividly, being taken to my hospital room, my husband left for the night, and there we were, my Eli and me-his mom. It was weird being called “mommy” ..it sort of hit me all at once. This 21-year-old girl, a mother. It was all on me. The diapers, feedings, 24 hours a day. …all me. How Overwhelmed I felt. I think that definitely describes motherhood. “overwhelmed.”   

It’s hard to believe that he is now almost 6, and the older brother of 2 sisters. I still have so much ahead, and so much to learn, but I’m at this surreal point now, where I can look back some and see how far I’ve come. I don’t have the answers on how to get your baby to sleep through the night by 6 weeks, because my 18mth and 3 year old still wake me up. Or how to get them to breastfeed the right way, because all three of mine were bottled, I don’t have answers on how to get them to eat their dinner, because mine done. I don’t have answers on a lot of things, but I know the things that I’ve learnt so far, what I’ve been taught from being a mom.

So lets see how much I can communicate while one watches Toopy-Binnoo, and the other naps. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, because we all know how little time you new mama’s have.  (Keeping in mind I haven’t slept in over 3 years, so this all could make very little sense...) ;)

1// This too Shall pass
I hated this advice. Hated it. Maybe its because I struggle with patience. I want the teeth to pop through today! I want her to sleep tonight! I want him to follow my direction the first time! ..But I think the more years I parent, I realize the reason I hated this advice is because its so t r u e.  I’m typing and my wee baby boy is in Kindergarten. The little boy who screamed for 2 months with colic, the one who finally started on formula because I couldn’t take any more breastfeeding pain, the one who cut naps right when he baby sister was born, those tired days and blurred nights have all ended. And he’s already talking about his own house one day. One where he can play Mario kart 24 hours a day, and chew gum whenever he desires.
This advice I find myself repeating over and over.  Time is moving so quickly. I’ve packed up my newborn gear. I’ve given away a crib. I’m down to one size of diapers. Soak this in. Soak this in. Hug them. Read them their stories. Kiss them. Where is time going? There is SO MUCH FUN ahead, but saying goodbye to what was, is hard. Especially when you blink, and it’s gone. Soak it in.


2// Take pictures.
Maybe its because I’m a photographer, or because we grew up with thousands of photos everywhere. Take pictures and print your pictures, and then hang your pictures. You may not believe me, but you will forget those tiny fingers and toes. I love that we live in a day where photos are everywhere. Pull out the iPhone and take tons of photos. (And PLEASE back up your photos! Drop box is my best friend!) And most importantly Mama’s-be IN those photos. Your kids with thank you one day.

3// You Matter.
Whether it’s a bath, a night out alone, or a date night; take care of yourself. It’s so easy to burn out, and your kids need you. Remember yourself, because you matter too. One way my husband and I try to set aside time is to have late night dinners. We feed the kids, put them to bed and he runs out to grab some of our favourite foods. Probably not the healthiest of ideas, but eating a meal together in quiet can go a long way. Find ways that work for you, but make sure you take a break. It’s always been really important to us to have routine for our kids. 6:30pm is bath. 7pm is bed for the girls, and 7:30 for our son. That way we have a few hours to sit and talk, watch our fave shows, and just breathe together.

4// Pick Your Battles and teach them to Grow.
This was some advice I received from a dear friend that impacted me deeply. We are not meant to policemoms. Your 1 year old stole a toy, and now their baby friend is crying? Your toddler is melting down about you flushing, because she wanted to? Your kids are arguing with their play date? Sometimes, its ok to walk away, and to just let them figure it out.  My favourite words are “Work it out guys.” Sometimes, letting them have their meltdown, walking away until they’re done, and moving on with your day is the only option you’ve got. Obviously there are times to step in, and take over- but it’s so easy to “over mom” and be TOO “on our kids.” You’ll just exhaust yourself. Life will require them to know how to work things out, teaching your kids independence is important for them, and for your sanity.

5//Ask for help.
I’ve been so blessed to have a family that is always by my side. Sometimes I’m sick, and they come to my rescue. Sometimes I just need a break, and they come watch the kids. It’s so important to find someone who you trust with your kids, and that you feel comfortable leaving your kids with. It honestly takes a village, don’t feel like a bad mother if you need to send your kids to their grandparents for a night or two.

6//Pray & Seek God.
God has entrusted you with the huge task of raising these sweet babes. How amazing is that? One of my most cherished memories of motherhood thus far, was putting my then 4 year old son to bed one night. After praying and saying goodnight, we started talking about God and Eli curiously asked me lots of questions about praying and about loving God. God worked in his little heart that night, and God allowed for me in that moment to help Eli understand His love for my son, and I prayed with Eli who wanted to accept Christ into his life.
I am so unequipped as a parent. I don’t always get it right. I don’t always set the best example for my kids. But this task we’ve been given is huge. It matters more than formula vs. breast, it matters more than co-sleep vs. crib. Raising these little humans is holy work, so take what God offers you. In the end, His strength is what we need as parents. Look to Him, and ultimately they will too.

{I wanted to include of few of my practical tips to end.  Because these have been lifesavers to me, and I always want to share with my friends for their same moments of desperation }

For the kiddos: Nothing is worse than a sick baby. This Cough and Cold Nighttime Syrup is my fave! It’s anatural product and is honestly amazing! It makes such a difference when those babes are stuffy, we always keep this in our cupboard. Another go-to is this Johnson and Johnson's Vapor Bath. Seriously try it! For the Mom: Something that I love about social media, is all the ways it can be used to edify. I don’t find much time in my day to sit and soak in God’s word. One way that I try to focus on my walk with God is by following some instagrammers who glorify God in their feeds. Some I would recommend following are @gracelaced @lifelivedbeautifully & @thrivemoms If you find time in your week to read, I would suggest Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sally Clarkson & Sara Mae and Surprised By Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker.

Probably the best to end with is our favourite coffee, because without coffee where would we be? Buy these beans Kicking Horse Coffee , and brew.

I feel like there is so much more I could write, but every Journey is so different, and every child is so different. Parenting one way probably won’t work the same way on another child. You were created for this and you’ve got this. Follow your heart, and smile often. One day at a time Mama, and soak it in.

 

 

FIGHTING MOTHERHOOD

Family, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

I FOUGHT MOTHERHOOD. I fought it for the first 17 months of being a mom. I didn't like (and still don't) love the stigmas of being a stay at home mom. Until I had Atticus I was all like "Hey, I'm Morgan and I am x, y and z, and oh yeah... I do all that and have a kid as well." Now that Ace has joined our family my responsibilities have doubled and who am I kidding, I am no longer able to balance everything I used to. After having Finn, I found that when you have a child and decide that you will stay at home to raise them and not go back to work people assume you left your goals, interests and ambitions in the delivery room. I live in Toronto, which is a white collar city that is very career drive and it is highly unusual to stay home with your children post maternity leave. There is a lot of pressure from the media and other women that makes you feel like your choice to not go back to work is anti-feminist and that you should prove to the world that you can do both. I have often felt the need to justify my reasons for staying home based on circumstance - be it my husband's busy hours (he works 90 hour work weeks and often works 26 hour shifts), or the closeness in age of our two boys, or the fact that I am a musician and that my returning to work wouldn't even come close to covering the insane cost of daycare in the city.

And all of those things are true, but more than that I want to be home with my boys. There, I said it. I have fought saying that, and offered every excuse listed above and more when asked whether I will go back to work. But, I want to be here. I want to be at home. I love being at home and making our home beautiful, making delicious food and organizing. They make me tick and I am passionate about them. I want to be my kids primary moral influence and I want to be there for all of their little milestones. Sure, there are a lot of days where I long to not change diapers or be covered in spit up, or more importantly for adult interaction (amiright!?) but that day will come and it will come sooner than I would like. How often I hear from the generations above me to "enjoy this season, because it goes by so fast"! And it does. Finn is already a year and a half old. He will be in school in the blink of an eye and I want to be there to experience all the little moments leading up to that and to prepare him emotionally, mentally and spiritually for all that school and teachers and other kids etc will bring. I feel so blessed to be in a position where I can stay home with my kids, I know that that is not everyone's situation and I don't take it for granted.

I have a huge respect for women who can juggle both career and family, it is no small task! Heck, had I not gotten pregnant with Ace when Finn was 8 months old I probably would have gone back to work somewhere part-time. It is crucial to have strong women in the workplace who rock their jobs and love their husband and kids. Many of the women in my life are career women and are some of my biggest role models and I admire them. I watched my own mom balance raising three kids while running her own design company and she has inspired me in so many ways. However, I have found that having Ace, having a second child has made me succumb to the inevitability that yes, I am a mother and now that I have two kids my hands are so full of my mothering responsibilities that I need to and will embrace them happily and wholeheartedly.

I think I worried for a long time that if I gave myself over to motherhood that I might prove myself to be a sub-par mom. I want to do this mothering thing well. I want to be a good mom who cares for her family and takes care of herself. I write because I need a creative outlet. I cook because it's inspiring for me and I love creating delicious and healthy food for my family. I do endless amounts of laundry and wash dishes to make our house feel like a home for our family. I workout to feel good and to model what a strong woman is to my boys. I read because sometimes I just need to remove myself from the chaos and dive into a reality other than my own. I talk to my kids about Jesus because I want them to know that their value is found in something and Someone so much greater than what the world has to offer them.

I am a mom, and a million other things. But motherhood is what I am called to do right now and I am embracing it and will give it everything I have, because it is worth it.

 

 

ATTICUS | THREE MONTHS

Family, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

OUR SWEET LITTLE Atticus is three months today. I can't believe how fast this time has gone. He is such a wonderful little boy and I cannot imagine our family without him. He is weighing in at about 14 pounds, much longer and leaner than his brother was. He has the kindest eyes that light up when he smiles. He sleeps a lot (thank you, sweet boy!) napping about 6 hours a day and two weeks ago he started sleeping through the night! Needless to say, I am feeling like a new woman!

He is looking more and more like his daddy everyday! He is great at tummy time, loves spending time in his "office" swatting at his goose, he loves to watch his brother and spends his time tracking everything Finny does. He recognizes mummy and daddy's voices and looks to see where we are. He likes to sing along when I sing to him. He cries when he has to go into the bath tub but then loves bath time with dada and cries when he has to come out.

He loves reading his Andy Warhol's Colors book and Art for Baby (we leave them open for him and he stares at them. He loves to go for walks with us outside and is great in the car!

He holds his head really well and is getting better everyday at sitting! He even rolled from his tummy to his back once! He has quite the voice and has no issues expressing both when he is happy and when he is not. He loves to eat and he loves to chat with his mama while he eats, pulling off to smile and coo at me while I nurse him.

What an incredible and special boy you are Atticus. You are such a gift. You are so loved.