Don’t Forget Your Big Baby

 

SummerEssentials

“Uhh…he’s in here somewhere,” I stammered when a motherly colleague asked to see a picture of my husband. As my finger stroked past the hundreds of pictures of my Livvy, I realized just how much I had recently neglected my “big baby.” I eventually gave up and went straight to my Instagram page where I found a striking photo of him from our dating days. As I walked away, I was truly surprised at just how drastic my attentiveness towards my husband had changed. He used to be my baby (or as I call him my “bae”) that I showed off and gushed over when viewing pictures on my phone.

I understood I was a first-time mom, and the newness of mommyhood was bound to take over in some capacity. However, I didn’t realize just how much being a mom had taken over my life. Now even though I realized my attentiveness had changed, that doesn’t  mean we were in a bad place. We just needed a tune up. I’ve found that constant tune ups and checkpoints are vital to our marriage’s success as parents. To be honest, my husband never even hinted at the fact that he was feeling neglected, but I knew I couldn’t continue to center my attention solely on my child without it eventually snowballing into an issue in our relationship. I needed to focus on my actions (or lack of) in the marriage and how it would present itself if not confronted soon. Was I really doing all I could to keep the romance alive? Nah. I could do better. LOL

Are Those Your Granny’s Panties?

Immediately after birth, you’ll start wearing huge Fruit of the Loom panties! This isn’t because you’ve lost your mojo. You pretty much have to wear them in order for your woohaw to heal. Things will be raw, tender, and….. torn. So honestly, you’re not thinking about your cutest undies from Victoria’s Secret, but you’re most definitely not excited about wearing your new “days of the week” panties either. But then, they get comfortable. After years of wearing v-strings up your lovely and  bikini undies that grip your butt, you kind of start to like them. I mean, they’re the perfect blend of cotton, and they breathe so well against your skin at night. I know. They feel great, but let me be the first to say, “Snap out of it honey!”  Do not get too comfortable wearing your Fruit of the Looms. It’s all just a trap! You’re probably a little thicker right now, and that’s ok. However, take your tail down to Victoria’s Secret  and grab the 7/35$ satin panties right now. The less time you spend in your granny panties, the easier it is to ditch them.

Flirt Alert

Vic and I used to flirt all day everyday through text messages, phone conversations, and even just around the house. However, our flirtatious spirits got a little  lost in the madness once we became parents.  I missed those days and wanted to pick up my phone and see that I’d received a flirty text just to get me through the day. It didn’t happen and I was feeling a little down. Then I had to ask myself, “When was the last time you sent him a flirty text?” Bam… I’d just checked myself and didn’t even know it. While I was sitting there and sulking over the treatment I was wanted to receive, I hadn’t done anything to provide him with that same tender loving care. Remember, it takes two to tango honey. I picked up my phone, put together a teasing text message, and hit send. It wasn’t even thirty seconds later before I heard my phone going off and I saw it was a response from “Bae.” I guess he missed our sweet nothings just as much as I did. Someone just had to get the flirtatious games going again.

Big Babies Love Surprises

My husband works more than anyone I know. It’s just who he is and how he shows his love towards our home. Due to his hectic schedule, I realized I would have to find a way to force him to slow down and relax. Otherwise, he would just keep going and work himself into the ground. My solution for this workaholic was a surprise baecation! In order to have him pack correctly, I had his sister invite us to a “family retreat” in Austin. I also explained we would be taking a road trip to visit his parents in Dallas. (We’ve driven to both Dallas and Austin in the same day before, so this was actually pretty believable.)Once we arrived in Dallas, I unpacked Livvy’s belongings and watched Vic’s face fill with confusion. His mother grabbed Livvy and I revealed that she’d agreed to watch Livvy while we enjoyed the retreat. He beamed at the idea of some alone time with his wife, but still had no idea of our final destination. We then drove on to the DFW Airport where I revealed “another lie of love.” This time I explained a guest was flying in to join us at the retreat. I could only hold onto this lie for so long before “Mr. Gotta Know It All” started asking a million  questions.LOL After watching him suffer with with curiosity, I explained we were there to catch our own flight. We rode the shuttle, bypassed check in, and walked the terminals of the airport before him noticing we were arriving at the gate for Los, Cabos Mexico! He was shocked, surprised, and more importantly grateful that I’d thought to kidnap him for the weekend. I scored major brownie points during that trip, and I’m pretty sure he considers me wife of the year!

But Did You Die?

The first time I even attempted to run a mile is when Vic and I were dating. The crisp cool air burned my lungs. My legs developed “runner’s itch,” (yeah that’s thing) and the cramps in my sides were like fire in my body. When I reached the one mile mark, I literally fell to the ground and pretty much crawled to the car. It was pathetic. However, I knew fitness was something he was very much into. Simply put, I did it because that’s what my boo likes to do, and I wanted to show interest in his hobbies. After all, he did accompany me to Painting With a Twist, and I know that was a bit of a stretch for him. I wanted to ensure I was doing my part and guarding our relationship from becoming one sided. I didn’t want to be  the only one receiving thoughtful acts of love. Remembering how much he enjoyed me as a workout partner, I suggested we hit the gym together again. We were able to get in a workout date, and I was able to work on my baby belly. It was a win-win for both of us!

 

♥Mommy Gossip♥

There’s nothing like the bond between a mother and her child, but there’s also nothing like the romance between you and your spouse. One day, the kids will be gone. They’ll start new lives, enter into college or whatever other path that may be presented their way. Don’t let your spouse be a stranger when you get to the end of your mommyhood road. Keep dating your bae, and have some fun along the way!

I’m Losing My Mind and My Hair! 

Relax It's Sunday iPhone Blog Graphic (4).png

My postpartum hair loss didn’t begin until Livvy was about 3 months. I thought I was one of the lucky ones. There were a few loose strands here and there, but nothing to be alarmed about. Oh, but when it happened it came in full force. My bathroom floor was covered with hair, and my sink wasn’t spared any strands as well. I thought, “Maybe no one will notice.” So I threw my hair into a tight bun and walked the halls of my school with confidence. Head help high. A little sashay in my walk and cute new clothes for my postpartum body. Until one of my kids shouted out, “Oooo Ms. O, they’re talking about your edges!” LOL Kids will definietly force you to tackle reality instead of becoming comfortable in a fantasy world. Now I knew my edges were a little (ok, very) thin, but now I knew the rest of the world realized they were thin as well. That’s when it really hit me. I wasn’t the same woman I was a few months ago. Everything about me had changed. The way I viewed the world, my body, and even my hair. I had to realize that the new changes needed to be embraced. Some I gladly accepted, some were temporary, and some needed my attention in order to return to a more accustomed state. However, the fact still remained. I was a new woman, and this was my new normal. Now one thing I was not willing to accept was my edges providing the comedic material for students at school. LOL That’s when I picked up the phone, called Margaret and asked,”What can we do?”

Pregnancy and Postpartum Hair Loss with Margaret Fahnbulleh

Pregnancy affects women in many different ways. Some women experience little to no hair changes while others experience tremendous hair growth. As a hair stylist behind the chair, I have had the honor of working with my clients before, during and after child birth. This experience has allowed me to ride the emotional rollercoaster of postpartum hair loss right along with my clients. According to the moms I service, there really isn’t anything that truly prepares you for the sudden changes that take place with pregnancy (or postpartum life), so the shocking loss of hair can be frightening if you are unaware of this possible (and very common) change. Just remember, this too shall pass, and you will get through it! Your body has just undergone an amazing process with one heck of a grand finale, so allow yourself time to heal. Many moms experience postpartum hair shedding, so trust me when I say you’re not alone. Breath, relax and let’s tackle this together.

Wait….why is my hair on the floor?!

Your body’s normal routine of hair growth is altered due to the change of pregnancy hormones. Instead of a continuous hair growth cycle, your hair may remain in a “resting place.” This basically means that the daily hair shedding that should have taken place may not be as frequent during pregnancy. Therefore, the dead hair rests upon your head. However, once you give birth, your fluctuating hormones attempt to return to normal, and then the extreme postpartum hair shedding begins! Remember, this is only temporary, and (more than likely) your hair will return to its normal state. It just takes time. Many of my clients call me in a panic, and I have to remind them of the importance of staying positive about their hair loss. Adding unnecessary stress only make matters worse. I do understand that’s easier said than done, but it’s been proven that higher stress levels can actually increase hair shedding. You already have your hands full with your new bundle of joy. Don’t allow a temporary situation to lead to permanent hair loss.

So what can you do to help with hair shedding?

If you start to notice hair loss at any stage, I suggest you consult a hair care professional to get your tresses on a healthy hair regimen as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to sneak away, there are still some things you can do from home yourself. A solid at home routine includes a good deep conditioner as well as a protein moisturizer that should be alternated every two weeks. In order to save on the splurge of multiple products, I recommend Biosilk Hydrating Therapy shampoo and conditioner. These products contain both the conditioner and protein you’ll need with each wash, so there’s no need to alternate. Also, be mindful of your diet during this phase. It may be easy to dig into any junk food that’s easily accessible but take it easy. Everything you feed your body will have some type of effect. It’s up to you to decide the outcome you want to achieve. Choose wisely. I also suggest you continue your prenatal vitamins which can assist in restoring hair health. If prenatal vitamins are no longer an option, Nature’s Made Hair Skin and Nails Gummies are my favorite source of nutrition aimed at hair growth. I highly recommend these to any of my clients who are experiencing any type of hair loss. As always, please check with your physician before taking any supplements of any kind, especially when breastfeeding is involved. Last but not least, try to stay away for the comfy ponytail with hair ties and bands as much as possible. Instead, opt for a clip or even bobby pins to hold your hair in place. When your hair is pulled into a ponytail with a band, the meeting point of the hair and where the band meets can result in even more breakage.

Mommy Gossip

As women, we can sometimes allow the societal pressures from celebrities, men, and sometimes our own inner circles to drive us into an obsession over our outer appearance. We can easily forget that the added external features aren’t the only ways we are made beautiful. Your “snap back,” hair, and even your mind will all return to you at some point. ♥ For now, just remember that you and you alone are enough. You’ve done something no one else on this earth has done. You have given birth to your little one. You were chosen to be his/her personal guardian angel, and that alone makes you beautiful.

Meet Margaret Fahnbulleh

Hair stylist and colorist Margaret Fahnbulleh has been in the cosmetology field for more than 15 years. She is a hair educator for Farouk Hair System and continues to train at various world renowned hair companies for her own continued education. Her latest accomplishments include graduating from the Loreal Institute in New York City and becoming a 2014 winner for the 40 Under 40 Beauty Professionals to watch.  In addition to running her own successful hair studio, FAB Salon in Houston, TX, she has also created a traveling hair service which caters to bridal parties. Margaret is not only extremely talented, but she is also passionate about her craft. Check her out at http://www.fabthesalon.com to add a fresh look to your style today!

FAB Salon
1112 W 11th St.
Houston, Texas 77008

Making the Most of your Mommyhood Time

 Relax It's Sunday iPhone Blog Graphic (1)

Say Sayonara to the housework! I’m not suggesting you forgo your household chores every day, but I am suggesting you pick your mental battles. That pile of clothes will be waiting for you with arms wide open tomorrow. I promise. Some days the best thing you can do for you and your family is just slow down and enjoy an evening of laughter and fun!

Everything has a place.  If you’re anything like me, mommy brain has taken over, and there are times when you don’t know your left foot from your right. Try ensuring that you keep your essential items such as your keys, purse, phone, etc. in a designated spot. Mommy brain might be able to erase what I did five minutes ago, but it can’t defeat my routines! It’s like my body is wired to check a certain drawer when I need certain items. The few times I’ve chosen to go against my normal regimen, my keys have ended up in the most awkward areas of my home such as… umm the fridge. I know. I know. I can definitely be queen of the Hot Mess Association, but my conscience effort of maintaining routines has helped tremendously.

Stay present. Speaking of keys in the fridge, you’ll lose even more valuable time if your mind is elsewhere, and you’re never focused. I’ve made countless errors since I’ve been #addictedtomommyhood because I was focused on the next moment and not the present moment. I get it. The baby’s crying, the phone is ringing, and you’re rushing to send a deadline email. Yes, life happens, and it can all happen at once. Stop. Take a deep breath and stay present. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself running in circles and not remembering anything about your day. You’re right. Sometimes everything needs to be addressed (it seems) at that very moment, but your little one is also growing right before your eyes. If you’re not careful, you’ll lose out on precious moments due to making huge mistakes. This leads to more wasted time, added frustration, and a burned out mommy.

Slow cooker meals are a mom’s best friend. Where would I be without my crockpot? This has to be the best invention ever! You simply dump the ingredients and go. I tend to start my meals in the evening and let them cook overnight. There’s really no other reason than I just love to smell the meal cooking while I sleep! I’m not superwoman (yet), and I can’t do it all. There’s work, the gym, swim class, cleaning, and a million other tasks on my to do lists. Something has to go! The time that’s needed to “stir occasionally” with some recipes just isn’t there for me….at all. Instead, I pull out my crockpot, pour in the ingredients, and then move on to something else. Below I’ve provided a few of my favorite crockpot websites to help get you started. Enjoy!

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/253/everyday-cooking/slow-cooker/

https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/preparation/slow-cooker-recipes

http://momswithcrockpots.com/

 Order online. Recently, many retailers have provided customers with home delivery and/or curbside pick up service. These have been huge life savers for my weekly routine. Instead of dragging my ten-month old into the store ( which is an entirely different blog entry), I simply place my order online at http://www.walmart.com, check in when I park, and wait for my order to arrive at my car. The ease and convenience of it all are like a dream. In fact, my life hasn’t been the same since I’ve discovered this online gem. It saves so much time, and my grocery list is even stored for my next shopping trip! The only downfall for me is that some chains require you to place your order twenty-four hours in advance. This means I have to remain somewhat organized for the week, but I’m up for the challenge!LOL Check out the links to a few other stores that provide curbside/home delivery services as well. Every mommy should give it a try at least once. I promise you’ll be hooked!

https://grocery.walmart.com/

http://www.amazon.com

https://www.instacart.com/h-e-b

https://www.grubhub.com

Get a great planner (if you don’t have one by now)There are tons of planners out there that can help you stay on track, but I’ve included a few options to help you get started. These planners have been used to tame my own chaotic life or have been highly recommended by other busy mom friends. You’ll find that each one has a unique quality that sets it apart from the others, allowing you to choose a planner based on the specific needs of both you and your family.

  • At-a-glanceSince I’m pretty old fashioned, this one is my favorite! I still love actually writing my plans down on a monthly calendar because it’s easier for me to see everything all at once. This helps me avoid any surprises in both the week and the month. One of my mom friends actually carries different colored pens to color code reoccurring events in her family’s lives. Umm yeah, I don’t have that kind of time, but to each it’s own. If color coding helps you adjust to the madness of mommyhood life, then color away!)
  • Google calendarGoogle calendar is the tech savvy direction I’m trying to move towards. My husband and I have extremely difficult work schedules, and Google calendar (from what I’ve been told) would allow us both to add important events for family members to view. The only requirement is that all parties have a Gmail address in order to access a free Google account! One of my close mom friends even allows grandparents to view the Google calendar. This helps them stay updated with dance recitals, birthday parties, and even the days they are needed to get the kids from school. Grandma has been informed that all of her need to know information is in blue which makes it even more user-friendly. My mom friend says Google calendar has helped to alleviate a lot of miscommunication and lightened her load of texting/calling everyone to update schedules.  I’m currently being pressured to step out of the dark ages and join the rest of the tech savvy world. To be honest, I’m thinking of giving it a try (in a month or two), but for now, my pen and paper will do just fine. It’s just what works best for me!
  • Smartphone calendarThis calendar might be the most convenient because we all have one, and it’s easy to access! Smartphone calendars aren’t my favorite because I can’t see everything for the month when I open it. Having to click on the actual date of the event has wreaked havoc in my life once before, and I think I may still be traumatized. I found myself opening the calendar the night (or day) of the event and saying “Oh shoots! That’s tomorrow!” Nope. That just doesn’t work well with my anxiety at all, but once again, what works for one may not work for another. You may find the convenience of a smart phone calendar is just what you need to find balance in your mommyhood life.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what works best for you. You’re the mom. You’re the glue. It doesn’t matter which calendar method you choose, just choose one! If you’re anything like me, life is a juggling act and something almost always slips through the cracks if it’s not written down. Stop stressing yourself and organize today!

Create a bedtime routine and stick to it. Olivia is in bed every night no later than 8 (ok 8:30) pm. This gives me time to catch my breath and recharge for the the next day. There’s just no way we can be any good for our families if we don’t invest time into ourselves. After Livvy is put down, that time belongs to me. Sometimes I use it to catch up on work, spend some uninterrupted time with my hubby, or just pamper myself. Often times, we feel that if we’re not focused on everyone else, we’re not doing a great job and that just isn’t true. We do our best when we are our best! We’re better for ourselves and our families. It’s not selfish. It’s needed. Creating (and sticking) to a bedtime routine with Livvy wasn’t the easiest thing to do. However, it was necessary. Livvy used to stay up all night and then join me in my bed. This meant that I had absolutely zero time to myself. I was tired, cranky, and unable to focus on the next day’s duties and goals. Now don’t get me wrong. If you want your little ones in your bed, then let them! That just didn’t work for me and my household. Mommyhood is all about finding your balance and making it work for you!

 As mommies, we’re expected to come up an extra two to three hours to get stuff done. We’re moms. We can do that, right? Well as much as we all wish a time extension during the day were possible, we know that that type wishful thinking just won’t work! These ideas were given to help you feel that you’ve gained a few more hours when really you’re just working smarter, not harder. Let’s make a deal mommies. This week, try to use at least one of one the suggestions from this week’s post to make more time for cuddles or to just catch your breath! Don’t feel you have to walk this mommyhood journey alone. Remember, we’re in this together!

 

4th Trimester and how to survive

IMG_5828

I remember going into my maternity leave thinking it would be a three-month long vacation. I planned on reading books, working on my “snap back” and hanging out with friends. I would be the cute little mom who was a part of the ladies who lunch society, and we would all dote over my new little bundle of joy. I couldn’t wait! A new baby and unlimited free time sounded like a dream come true!

Now that I have my sanity back, I can’t help but chuckle at my fourth-trimester naiveness. I wasn’t even aware a fourth trimester existed! I thought the most challenging part of this journey ended with the physical pains of the third trimester. So what exactly is the fourth trimester you ask? Well, it’s basically the point when mommyhood gets real! LOL Your pregnancy is over, you’re home with baby, and you’re adjusting to the beginning stages of parenting.

During my hospital stay, Livvy hardly ever cried. She slept by herself, breastfed like a pro, and just went with the flow of our routine. As a matter of fact, my husband and I actually pitied the parents in the room next to us whose baby cried all night. Poor them. We were the lucky ones. Then we got home, and it was our turn. Livvy went from staying put when placed down, to a roaring little person when placed in her bassinet. What was going on? This wasn’t the plan? It was like trying to hop onto a moving train, and I couldn’t quite keep up.

How does this thing work? I don’t care how many baby books you’ve read, or how many times you’ve babysat, nothing truly prepares you for the reality of your own baby. Every odd noise Livvy made and every strange move that came from her drove me into a state of panic. My husband eventually said, “You need to chill, and we’re not going to the emergency room…..again.” I thought he was cold and heartless, but he was actually right. Livvy was just fine, and there was absolutely no need to worry. However, as a new mom, I just didn’t know. It’s also important to know that your little one is unique and requires different needs. This is the time for you to learn him and begin to develop your own bond. Remember, this can take time. Also, don’t beat yourself up because yesterday’s routine isn’t working for today. There was one point when I just knew I had everything figured out. Round the clock feedings were tough, but I thought I’d adjusted (as well as one can with limited sleep).Then one night Livvy began to cluster feed! Cluster feedings are when the baby eats more frequently than the normal feeding times. This means that instead of feeding every 2-3 hours, she wanted to eat every hour! It caught me completely off guard and added to the intenseness of my sleep deprivation.

Round the clock. Before Livvy was born, I can’t really say I ever thought about the amount of feedings babies needed. It just never crossed my mind. It was a major shock to learn that I (and only I) would be feeding Livvy every 2 hours. While at the hospital, it wasn’t so bad. I was still on cloud nine, and there were times when the nurses had to take her for testing. This allowed me to get a little extra rest between feedings. However, when we arrived home it was all on me. Once you’ve gone a few days of having your sleep broken every two hours, it can become very taxing on the body (and mind). I now understand why sleep deprivation is sometimes used as a torturing technique. In order to help with this, I started pumping and allowing family members to help out with feedings. Some people frown upon bottle feedings at such a young age, but I had to do what was best for me and my family. Plus, it allowed others to bond with Livvy. With a few extra minutes of sleep, I felt a little more refreshed, I could think a little clearer, and I felt a little stronger to take on the day.

Help Wanted. This one was easier said than done for me. Like any new mom, I was extremely attached to my baby and wanted to do everything for her by myself. I grew up fantasizing about my daughter, and she was finally here. There was no way I was just going to hand her over to anyone because she was mine. All mine! Well, this approach almost drove me crazy. I’m now convinced that this part of mommyhood isn’t meant to be traveled alone. Both my mother and my mother in love were heaven sent angels. They did things like made sure I ate, took over 3 a.m feedings, and tidied up the house when needed. Every superwoman has powers to combat challenges. Mine just came in the form of eager grannies! Remember, it takes a village, and you’re not proving anything by doing it all on your own.

Isolation. Now, about those lunch dates and exercise plans, I intended to partake in with friends. LOL None of that happened. For one, I was highly attached to my baby and didn’t want to leave her with anyone. She was much too young for me to just drop her off. Also, the majority of her feedings came from me breastfeeding, so she needed to be with me at all times. Then I realized that everyone else was at work! LOL What was I thinking? In the beginning, it was ok. However, as time went on, it became extremely lonely. It was just me and a little person all day and all night. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was head over heels excited about being a new mommy, but the feeling of isolation from my former life was tough. I’d just spent nine months watching everyone around me travel, have fun, and engage in activities I couldn’t participate in due to pregnancy. I was under the impression life would be back to “normal,” immediately after giving birth. This was far from the truth and a challenging adjustment. Especially since I was tackling the emotional and physical challenges of being a new mom. I’ve had friends who handled mommy isolation by joining postpartum breastfeeding classes or other mommy and me groups. They were able to make new mom friends and discuss the common challenges they were all experiencing. It’s never ok to allow yourself to feel alone. Pick up the phone, call over some friends and get some girl time in for yourself. It helps a lot!

Talk it out. Let your spouse know what you need from him both physically and emotionally. Livvy was our first child, and the newness of parenting was a learning process for both of us. My needs as his wife changed drastically, and I couldn’t expect him to automatically understand how to help me (but I did). I didn’t truly understand how to help myself, but I did know that I needed him in a different way.  Sometimes it was to vent, sometimes it was to cry on his shoulder, and other times I just wanted to be reminded that I was awesome. I was a little more emotionally needy around this time, and I needed that to be ok too. My husband (who is amazing by the way) was all ears once I explained these struggles to him. We’re all different, and your needs during your fourth trimester may be different from mine. Just be sure to express this with your spouse, and it may even be a good idea to discuss the fourth trimester prior to having your little one.

It all seemed impossible until it was done.- nelson Mandela

During my fourth trimester, I was terrified that the challenges I was facing would last forever. I thought I would experience an eternal tiredness and that I would never have a social life again. Livvy’s now 9 months, and I’m proud to say life is better! It’s true that I’m never truly fully rested, but it’s nothing like the beginning stages. My Livvy’s fun now! She’s sleeping through the night (for the most part), and I’m even able to join my friends for happy hour every now and then. My new normal isn’t anything like my life prior to mommyhood, but it has given me access to a part of life I didn’t know I would enjoy so much!

 

 

7 Real Pregnancy Truths

7 WEird facts Pregnancy facts (2)

Why is my neck getting darker? During my pregnancy, my neck and chest were covered with dark gritty spots. It felt like a thin layer of sand was just sitting on my skin.  I later learned this was called chloasma. It was totally harmless but looked (and felt) really strange. I remember scrubbing away at my neck because I originally thought my neck was covered with dirt. I was afraid it would linger on after I gave birth, but it went away almost immediately after my Livvy arrived.

 Metal mouth. Soon after I found out I was pregnant, I developed a strange metallic taste in my mouth called dysgeusia. It changed the taste of everything I ate and stayed with me at all times. Just imagine sucking on a copper flavored lollipop. Ugh! As a lover of food, this was a no-go for me, but there was nothing I could do about it. Luckily, it faded away after my first trimester, but my taste buds continued to turn against me when I ate my favorite foods. Nothing tasted the same, and I could detect ingredients in foods I’d never noticed prior to getting pregnant. This is also one of the ways I developed horrible eating habits while pregnant. I was just trying to find something that didn’t taste like copper!

Tiger stripes all over. Honey, I thought I was doing something with my cocoa butter lotion and my cocoa butter oil. I mean I was doubling up, so I was sure to prevent myself from gaining any type of stretch marks. Well to this day, my belly is stretch mark free. My inner thighs, however, now look like they’ve been mauled by a tiger. No one told me to grease up down there! I couldn’t even see down there! How was I to know my skin was stretching like an old rubber band? They’re not even the little cute kitten paw stretch marks. These are straight up wild vicious tiger stripes. Needless to say mommies, grease up all over. Some people think stretch marks are hereditary. They feel either you get them or you don’t. Next time, I’m bathing in cocoa butter just to be on the safe side!

 I was told there would be glowing! My adult acne was horrible while I was pregnant. It was my understanding that my skin would have a natural glow, and I would prance around fresh-faced while a cool breeze brushed against my face. Welp, I quickly learned that was a lie. My face usually breaks out with painful pimples around “that time of the month,” and that’s exactly what happened during my entire pregnancy. I gained new pimples at least 3-4 times a week.  By the I gave birth to Livvy, my face was covered in acne scars. Needless to say, the only glow I was getting was from the heavy makeup application I applied every day.

 Hemorrhoids. Umm yeah, I’ll just leave that one right there.

She’s a handsome woman. This was a crazy one. I had hair growing in places I never would have imagined. I’ve always been a fan of laser hair removal, but most medical spas strongly advise against the procedure while you’re pregnant. Thank God for razors because my manly hairs had to go!

Morning and night sickness. So I’d heard about the dreaded morning sickness, but mine lasted all day. I had it all planned out. Since it was morning sickness, I’d just do all of my upchucking before I left the house. Then the rest of the day would be just fine. This would be simple, right? WRONG! I was sick from sun up to sun down.  It was like a permanent hangover, and I couldn’t even drink! Once I hit my fourth month, I started feeling a little better, and my sickness changed from nausea to physical challenges. (We’ll get to that in a later post. LOL) The only thing that brought me even just minimal relief was to rest up in bed at every chance I could get.

It's all worth it

Now, I know this all sounds rather umm interesting, and it is. When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes a LOT of changes. You’re creating the most precious part of yourself you’ve never met. The stretch marks, pimples, and everything else will be a faint memory and worthy sacrifice once you lay eyes on your bundle of joy. For me, the most difficult part of pregnancy was my fear of the unknown. It can be scary, but you’re not alone mommy. I’m right here with you.

Perfect Patty (1)

 

Perfect Patty Isn’t Perfect!

Every mom is doing it her own way, and every mom is constantly trying to find her way. As moms, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to one another as we scroll through social media. We see the Kodak smiles, the priceless moments and the gourmet meals all made possible by everyone else. Then there’s you (and me lol). You haven’t straightened your hair in days (ok, weeks), you’re satisfied with wearing anything that isn’t stained, and your little one knows just the right time to poop as you walk out the door.

Everyone’s situation is different and everyone’s support system is different.  No two moms are the same, so why are we comparing ourselves?! Some spouses travel for work, some moms travel for work, and then you have the stretched thin moms who are just trying to make it. So again, I’m asking, “Why are we comparing ourselves to one another? We put everyone else before ourselves, and we still lay our heads down at night concerned that we haven’t done enough. Yet, we’re the ones who have cooked dinner, given baths, tamed the kids, washed loads of laundry, and anything else that requires lifting a finger. We kiss the scraped knees, tend to the broken hearts, and provide the gentleness within our households that only we can provide. Trust me, you’re doing more than enough.

You may envy your yoga wearing, PTA president neighbor because she appears to have it all together. But honey let me tell you, everything that glitters isn’t gold. I’m pretty sure if we did a pop-up visit to Perfect Patty’s house right now, we wouldn’t find anything even remotely close to perfection. Patty only reveals what she wants you to see. Constant comparison only kills your joy and robs you (and your little ones) of precious moments that are reserved for you and your family.  You’ll never become Perfect Patty. Patty’s not even Perfect Patty. She might have figured out what works best for her, but that doesn’t make her mommyhood any better than yours. She’s just found her way.  Now it’s time for you to find yours, but you’ll never find it if you’re busy highlighting her showcased successes while dwelling on your failures. You’ll never be a perfect her. You’ll only be the perfect you.

Stop beating up on yourself. Know that you are already doing an amazing job. Look at just how powerful you already are at this point. You’re the glue that keeps it all together in your home. Without you, exactly how long do you think your household would last? Of course, there’s more than can be done. There will always more that can be done, but take a look around and know that you’ve already done enough!

Step by step. Let’s face it. We’re not going to change our entire lives overnight, but we can focus on one thing at a time. I’m very aware that I need to tackle the mountain of clothes that need to be folded, I also need to focus on my tardiness. Then there’s my frozen meal routine that my husband always thinks is made from scratch. Oh, and then there’s the fact that I don’t feel I spend enough time with my Livvy. Child, the list could go on, but I know I’m not going to turn all this around overnight. This week, I’ll start by focusing on my fashionably late trend by planning to leave by trying to prep Livvy’s bag at night.

Mommy Motivation  If you’re not using another mommy’s strong points as motivation, you need to change your mindset. If someone is making mommyhood work for her, let that be enough reason to say, “Hey, I can do this too!” It’s probably even a good idea to ask how she’s getting it done. Don’t hurt yourself by envying from the sideline. Get out there, talk to other mommies, and get stuff done!

Prioritize> Balance>Perfection. You’d be surprised at just how many moms are feeling overwhelmed with life. Prior to Livvy, I thought everyone was running households, careers, and marriages flawlessly. This was until I sat in on a conversation with a diverse group of women from my church. Our backgrounds ranged from single mothers to seasoned grandmothers. That’s when I was hit with the truth bomb. NO ONE had the answer to achieving a perfect life and having it all. This so-called “balanced thing” came with fine print, and the idea of perfection was a straight up LIE! On this day, the word prioritize became my best friend. By the end of the conversation, I’d realized there are different seasons in life, and different seasons require different attention. Life will always throw something new our way. It’s up to us to decide how to prioritize these curveballs on our list of life’s demands.

 

My New Normal

FullSizeRender-2

Picture this….you take a pregnancy test (you know, just in case), so you can enjoy a glass of wine. The box says it will take two minutes, but before you can blink it reads, “POSITIVE!” Your heart starts racing, and your mind is filled with confusion. How did this happen?! I mean, I know how this happened, but how did this happen?! Ohhhh….that’s how it happened. You suddenly remember that night. In a nutshell, that’s pretty much how I was introduced to mommyhood. Fast forward to sixteen months later, and everything is back to normal. My house is in order, my career is thriving, and my body is better than ever! Talk about bringing sexy back! Did I sound convincing? Chiiiile please…..my house is a mess, my boobs are leaking, and making it to work on time only happens in my dreams.

Addicted to Mommyhood wants moms to stop aiming for perfection and start aiming for balance. We’ve all had our moments of frustration and allowed guilt to beat us down. But guess what? It okay to be #addictedtomommyhood and still want more for your career, relationship, and even enjoy a night out with the girls! It’s also okay to admit that you have no idea what you’re doing, and barely making it day by day.  We’re all walking this journey. So why not walk it together?

This is my new normal, and I’m just trying to find my way!