Momo In The 6

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.