From Baby to Toddler

From Baby to Toddler

Nothing speeds up time faster then having children. One moment, we are sitting in our childhood bedrooms, anticipating tomorrow’s test, the next we are handed a little creature and thrusted into the life of parenthood. Our anxieties were once surviving high school and avoiding the mean girls, and now they are wrestling through diaper changes and our child’s health. It is strange what time does to us.

The first time I held my daughter after she was born, she was incredibly light, fragile and so tiny. I remember thinking how amazing it was that the little creature I had in my arms fit so perfectly in my belly. The fact that she started out as this small little spec, and suddenly she was on the outside, so beautiful and so very real. I remember being so afraid of dropping her. I got nervous when other people handled her. Even when my husband held her, I felt anxious. Spoiler: no one dropped her. 

For me, the newborn stage was hard, but I still tried to soak her in as much as I could. I snuggled her close to my face, and I absorbed her baby smells. Her noises echoed in my ears. Her adorable Newborn clothes were big on her. She swam in them, and I was blown away by it. She loved being close to Mommy, the only time she would tolerate being put down was in her rock and play. She loved to eat. She ate a lot, and she grew fast. Before I knew it, she was wearing 0-3, then 3-6. She skipped 6-9 and went straight to 12 months. And she kept growing.

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Continue reading “From Baby to Toddler”

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Taking Self-Care Seriously

Self-care has been the ongoing topic around social media in the last few days. Articles and posts expressing the importance of making time for ourselves, to rejuvenate, to cleanse, and to take time away from the every day chaos. Proclamations of, do something you love, give your skin a little extra attention, get back to that favorite hobby you’ve placed on the back burner, or maybe indulge in a temptation or two. Self-care seems to come in all forms and can range from improving yourself or allowing yourself to do something that is on the naughty list.

I came across a blog that had a different perspective on self-care. A little controversial, but also eye opening. The main idea of the article was that self-care is not the glamorous “me time” we see on social media. The article suggests that self-care is how we tend to our mental wellness. The truth, however, is, that self-care is different for everyone. Aren’t we all struggling with something? Self-care isn’t just rewarded to those of us struggling with a mental illness. Stress comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important that all of us tend to that stress in whatever way we need. Whether it’s how we manage depression or a glamorous blow out we display on Instagram. Hey, you do you! At least that’s my opinion.

For me, self-care was an important tool to help me manage my anxiety. After becoming a parent, however, it became baby first – me last. I struggled to find time to do mundane things like comb my hair and shower, let alone treat myself to any form of extreme self-maintenance. Any hobbies that I enjoyed before I was pregnant fell by the waist side. Mental breaks were a thing of the past. Finding time to do anything other than be a mom took extra energy and time that I just didn’t have.

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The reality is, the time we make for ourselves is extremely important. In my opinion, we lose ourselves when we put our own needs and wants aside. We believe that our self is not as important as what we consider to be priorities. Our kids, our job, family members, etc. We may even think it’s selfish to need a break. Yes, our schedules are jam packed, our kids syphon the energy out of us, and our job pays the pills. What we don’t understand, however, is that we can’t focus on these things when we are burned out or stretched thin. Our priorities are important, but so is our health and our mental wellness.

Self-care is self-explanatory. It’s how you care for yourself and it is important. You play a very important role in your family, in your job, in your life. We all experience stress and complications that can weigh us down, immobilize us, deter us from being the best us. Taking time to rejuvenate yourself is not selfish. There is no one definition of self-care. We all have different outlets we utilize to eliminate the tension. How you choose to take time for yourself is all about you, hence the word self.

This week, I focused on “me time.” I stopped counting showers as a self-indulgence and I did other things. I woke up early to get some writing done, I took a nap and didn’t feel guilty that my husband was with the baby, I put on makeup and got dressed up for church and I went for a walk with the dog. This is only the beginning. I am going to spend more time making myself a priority. It’s important for me as a parent, especially a parent with anxiety. Using self-care to manage my disorder allows me to focus more on being a mom and less on my emotions. Giving myself time for me gives me a break from the day to day mom duties and it allows me to rediscover a different side of me. In the end, I am a happier and healthier mom and wife.

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When was the last time you did something you really enjoyed? How long have you been trapped in the same routine day in and day out? Do you feel like you need a break? It’s time for some self-care. Run a bubble bath, head to the gym, paint your nails, grab a drink with friends, pour some coffee and settle in with that book you’ve been waiting to read. Go ahead and find yourself again, recharge your battery, and slip away to your favorite haven. Go ahead and be a little selfish and make it about you. Honestly, when was the last time you did that?
Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself physically at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Mom and Dad, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama”
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Sunday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

If you missed it, check out last weeks Postpartum Recovery Challenge, Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

Growing up, I had a piece of paper taped to the inside of my bedroom door. It read, “The choices you make in life, make you.” I had hung the quote up to be a constant reminder that I controlled the direction of my life and that started with each choice I made. Fast forward to today, that was probably the best advice I had ever received. I built my life from a series of choices that I made each day. I made a few mistakes along the way, but for the most part, I did my best to pick the better choices. These same choices, however, apply to how I treat and care for myself. A simple choice, such as making positive decisions for my health and wellness, can make all the difference. Choosing to want to take care of myself, both physically and mentally, starts with a small, consistent change. That change begins with what I choose to put into my body. Something as small as drinking water can lead to more positive choices like eating healthier, having more energy to exercise, and setting better examples for the little people that are watching us. As a parent, we model the type of behavior we want our kids to follow.

Something as simple as drinking more water can lead to greater changes along my road to recover. For starters, I have made it a goal to drink from 48 to 64 oz of water per day. A simple decision that has led me to be full longer, eat smaller meals, and snack less. Since I have been staying hydrated, I have had no urges to pick up a sugary or carbonated drink and I have lost almost 5 pounds without exercise; a huge milestone for me considering that I had been sitting at my post baby weight for the last six months.img_5184

Yes, it’s just water, but something as simple as taking a small step in the right direction for my health will hopefully put into place a trend of future examples I hope to set for my daughter. A message that what we put into our bodies is important and good choices, regardless of how small, can lead to big changes. Today, it’s the small choice of drinking water and maybe tomorrow it will be conscious decisions to eat better and be healthier. Being good to my body can improve my mental wellness as well.

As small as it seems, however, drinking more water can induce big changes. Here is a list of benefits from drinking more water:

Hydrated Skin
Your skin can change dramatically after having a baby. From pregnancy hormones to not being able to find time to properly care for your skin. A cheap and easy way to improve your skin is with hydration. Drinking more water helps improve the elasticity in your skin, helping your skin look younger and healthier. Water also pushed toxins through your skin and reduces oil making it look clearer and less blemished. Hydrated skin can also reduce the appearance of acne scars.

Reduces swelling
During and after pregnancy, many moms deal with the dreaded swelling of hands, legs, and feet. Oddly enough, swelling or water retention, is a sign of dehydration and drinking more water can reduce swelling in the hands and feet. Water can also flush salt from your system which is another cause for water retention.

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Reduces fatigue
Parents are all too familiar with the feeling of pure exhaustion. If you are surviving off multiple cups of coffee, try drinking more water. Water will boost your energy levels through your cells and reduces fatigue. Your energy will increase, and you won’t have the crash feeling like you would with caffeine or sugar.

Weight Loss
Are you stuck with the dreaded baby weight? Can’t find time to exercise with the kids? Drinking more water can help you lose weight. When you are hydrated, your metabolism increases allowing your food to be digested faster.

Joint Health
After pregnancy, moms may experience joint pain. For both parents, carrying around a baby can do a number on your joints. Staying hydrated can keep muscle and joints hydrated easing the pain and tension.

Improve mood and sleep
As parents, we can get tired and cranky real fast. Drinking more water and staying hydrated regenerates serotonin and melatonin in the brain, this helps to improve your mood and your sleep.

For more benefits on drinking water, please visit Simpley Health – 20 Benefits of Drinking Water.

What small changes have you made to improve your health and wellness? What are healthy examples you wish to set for your children?

Check out these postpartum stories from last week:
Postpartum Recovery Challenge – A Fresh Start
Postpartum Me Recovery

Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself physically at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Mom and Dad, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Sunday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

I’m also taking part in the Wellbeing Wonders linky with Becca from Beccas Blogs It Out and Emma from Sunshine and Rain.

Contrary to Popular Belief, I Really Do Cherish Every Moment

Every parent has heard it before, the infamous “Cherish every moment.” It’s enough to drive someone mad. Do I need to cherish the all-nighters, the screaming wails, the attention-grabbing tantrums in the middle of the grocery store, and the teenage eye rolls? Is it necessary for me as a mother to embrace the late nights, the sore boobs, and the exhaustion? Do we really want to remember the most difficult moments of parenthood? The moments when we’re hanging on to our last bit of patience, right before we lose it. I can not even begin to tell you how many times I have broken down and cried as a new, overwhelmed mother. Should I have to cherish those moments as well. I hate to say it, but yes. In the moments of chaos, we just want them to pass. We want the phase to end and we want our kids to hurry and fall asleep. Once those moments are gone, however, we can never get them back.

Understanding the annoyance of the phrase, and knowing that it is the last thing we need to hear when our child is screaming in our ear, I will never say it to another parent. When we are about to lose it, we desperately want the moment to end. I have been there, so I get it. But to be honest, I really am trying to cherish every moment. Yes, even the messy ones because it’s all a part of a much bigger picture. The wonderful moments come together with the chaotic ones and it all fits so perfectly. Then in a second, it’s gone.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

Cherish every moment.

As much as I hate this phrase, it has helped me keep my sanity. I cling to it desperately when my little one is fighting sleep at three in the morning and I am trying to stay awake. It swings like a pendulum in front of me, reminding me that even in these tough moments, the clock keeps ticking. As time continues, her endless wails will turn into sassy arguments and door slams, and then eventually a packed-up car as she heads out to her own life. Before I know it, my baby won’t be a baby anymore. She will be grown, and I will be reminiscing about these moments. Trying to remember the sound of her sweet giggles and the image of her little toes. Her shrieks of pleasure, and even her cries. All of it will only be echoes in my memory.

So, I am cherishing every moment because I know all too well how fast a moment can fly by.

My little one is sitting up on her own, she’s holding her own bottle, and she plays peacefully on her own for longer periods of time now. I watch helplessly as she discovers her independence and I ache for the moments when she was swaddled in her wrap against my chest. I long for her curious newborn eyes as they stared at me for the very first time, and the way her tiny little body felt so fragile and light in my arms. I find myself scrolling through videos and pictures and I can feel tears swell up as I look at my growing baby.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

I’ll hold her a little longer after she falls asleep in my arms, and I’ll sooth her each time she fusses.

On the days when I feel like I can not handle another moment, I’ll remember that time doesn’t stop; not even on the most difficult days.

I will never have these moments again; on the days when I want to hear it the least, I’ll “cherish every moment,” the most.

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Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com