My Mamas

I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” #true.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the chance to fully explain who my village is or, as I call them, My Mamas. Yes, I have people I can count on in real life, but I’ve had these ladies since the beginning.

Let me roll back a little bit. I was on a wedding website when Anthony and I were engaged because I had no clue what I was doing and I was the first one of my friends to get married. Flash forward to September 2015 when Anthony and I decided we wanted to have a baby. I logged back into this website because they had a section in their forum that was for TTC (Trying to Conceive), Babies, Parenting, etc. I figured, I can check this out since once again I’m doing something that I have no clue how to do or what to expect.

Well one of the boards was a due date month group. Once you tested positive, you’d join the month board that you were due and this was your group. I figured this would be really good for me since I didn’t have anybody in my life at the time I could talk to because 1. I hadn’t told a soul we were trying let alone pregnant 2. None of my closest girlfriends were pregnant or had a baby (there were a couple of girls I knew but I wasn’t ready to share with them at this time).

I joined the September 2016 mama group, I wasn’t sure how many of us there would end up being but our finally tally as of today was 37 women total. A Facebook group was created so we could all talk all lot more efficiently than on a website board back and forth.

I had NO idea how close I would get to these ladies! We’re literally, from all over the world. London, Sweden, Chile, Australia, Canada and the United States. We talk literally all day long. It was the most comforting thing as a first time mom and being pregnant that if I was panicking about something I could open my Facebook app and ask a question to my ladies and see what they recommended or thoughts on what was going on.

There were conversations on what car seats we were all buying, plans to breastfeed or not, thoughts on co-sleeping, suggestions for how to sleep better at night while pregnant, I could go on but we talked about everything, nothing has been off limits. Being pregnant was so exciting because I got to be pregnant with so many ladies at one time. We started weekly themed threads, which I will say postpartum have been amazing. Weekly bump pictures, ultrasound photos, etc.

Once our babies started to arrive it was even more amazing. We shared updates from the hospital rooms. #babywatch was like the best thing ever when you’d wake up to pee in the middle of the night and someone announced “MY WATER BROKE” and it followed with a bunch of responses that ranged from: WOOHOO, OMG, *eye emojis* SO MANY EYE EMOJIS. When Kennedy was born I was like, I need to post a picture to my mamas now! I don’t think anybody understood what I meant.

Flash to postpartum, when our babies were here. When we were up for hours upon hours at a time. Babies didn’t want to sleep at night time, babies feeding around the clock, not sleeping, not sure if you’re breastfeeding your baby properly, worried if you’re doing this right…they were right there. It didn’t matter what time it was, someone was more than likely awake, and they were your comfort when you needed it.

These ladies, my mamas, have filled a hole that I have had because I didn’t have any pregnant girlfriends in real life. I didn’t have any close friends that had just had babies or that I felt like I could pour my life story out to without them thinking I’m insane. They know EVERYTHING about me, and yet here we are…it’s May 2017, our oldest babies are going to be 10 months old this month, sweet Blake & Vanessa and our youngest baby just turned 7 months, Roscoe.

I’ve laughed so hard with these ladies when we shared funny photos and stories about things that happened in our lives. My heart has broken with these ladies and I’ve cried for them even though we’re thousands of miles away. I LOVE these ladies and these babies so much, but I love their friendship and what they’ve helped me become by just being there so much more.

I don’t know what I did, or how I got so lucky to fall into this group. They are the most loving, caring, hilarious, and beautiful ladies I’ve ever known.

I’m feeling far more emotional about this today and now because I got to meet one of them today in person and introduce our little ones to each other and it felt so normal. I wasn’t nervous to meet Stephanie because I knew she already knew who I was. Dylan and Kennedy are all set to go to prom in 17 years too.

I can’t explain how many times I thank God for these women. I don’t know where I would be without them. I feel like I’m better equipped to handle motherhood and on days where I feel like I’ve just sucked, they always build me back up.

My mamas, I love you all SO much, I can’t even explain it. You have made me a better woman and helped prepare me and continue to teach me how to be a better mom. I hope you know how much you are appreciated by me! It only seems right with Mother’s Day coming up that I express my gratitude to you all for being my rock and safe place to vent. Thank you for being the greatest ladies I could of ever imagined to do this mom life with. ❤

Becoming a Mom at 25

It’s funny, at 25 (since having Kennedy I have turned 26) I think that I’m a young mother. I’m sure there’s a lot of you nodding in agreement while reading this and on the flip side I have friends my age that have children that are in elementary school already, so I fit somewhere in the young spectrum no matter how you look at it.

I’ve heard all of the following remarks: “Why now?” “Don’t you know what that will do to your life?” “You aren’t done growing up, why have babies?” “Don’t do it!” “Kids change everything.”

I don’t disagree with one of these remarks…kids do change everything. I know most women my age couldn’t even dream of doing the things I’m doing now. Waking up at weird and all hours of the night to a crying little one. While it wears on you, comforting that cute little one that belongs to you is so rewarding, whether it’s 12 PM or 2 AM.

There have been plenty of times I’ve just wanted to “run to the store really quick” and those days are over. Instead I’ve got a sidekick to take with me on all of my shopping excursions. My sidekick comes with a lot of extra cargo too which makes it that much more challenging, but you know I’ve taken multi-tasking to a whole new level. I can comfort a crying baby while putting on a baby carrier and grocery shop while we work on nap time.

I think the hardest thing for me since I’ve become a mother is feeling like I can’t relate to the people I once had everything in common with. Over the last several years I’ve done a lot of things that make me less of a conventional millennial. I finished college at 21. I got married at 22. We bought at house at 24. I got pregnant and had a baby at 25.

Those first few weeks postpartum I felt very isolated. I wanted so badly to call my best girlfriends and cry but stopped myself because, who was I going to call? None of them have babies! Instead I would call my mom (seriously, moms are the best) and cry while she assured me I wasn’t the first mom to feel this way. It was still so hard.

I was upset because I felt like nobody wanted to come visit me and being on maternity leave alone, was just that, lonely. I was trying to adjust to being a mother and how all encompassing it was to take care of a newborn and all I wanted was some normalcy but I didn’t feel like I could find that from my friends or peers my age.

After I had my pity party for a few weeks of feeling isolated, I decided enough was enough. I couldn’t keep being upset with people that had no idea I was upset with them. It sounds super crazy as I type it out, but it’s true, I was mad at people and they had no clue that I was. I didn’t want to be that person. I decided I needed to have a reality check with myself.

I reminded myself that this, motherhood at 25, was what I wanted, deeply and truly, what I wanted. Just because that’s what I wanted at my age, doesn’t mean that everyone around me wanted or wants the same thing. That realization alone helped me more than anything because I reminded myself that it’s important for me to embrace all the different people and personalities I have in my life, which I think I’ve done a good job of ever since.

I also decided those feelings I had of being upset with people around me that weren’t constantly “checking” on me, needed to go. Expectations are never a good thing, especially when it comes to friendship and I felt horrible even admitting that I had any expectations!

Lastly, I took all the feelings that I had and told myself to remember them. There was going to come a time that my friends would be ready to have families and become mommies and that in that time in their life I want to be an open book. I want to be someone they can talk to if they need an ear to listen. If they ask for advice, I want to be able to give it but also remember that overloading them with advice is not my place, especially if it isn’t asked.

I’m taking this place that I’m in, of becoming a mom at 25 and absolutely loving it. I’m learning so much about myself and even more from this little girl that’s absolutely changed my life in the almost 6 months that she’s been born. Somedays are so easy and fun and others are a challenge but they’re forming me and shaping me in more ways that I could of dreamed. Instead of feeling confined and like I’m trapped, I can feel myself blossoming. Coming up with ideas and daydreams of what the future holds and how I will contribute to our family in several different ways. Being a young mom is fun and having a young family is incredible.

One thing I keep reminding myself is every person’s walk is different, and mine is going to be different than the person next to me and my journey is no different but I shouldn’t spend my time comparing my story to those around me. Instead, I’ll take my story and experience and use it to help others.

 

Next time I write I plan to talk a little bit more about my career and my struggles with being a working mama. Thanks for reading!

 

Your way is the right way

 

Moms. There’s literally a million different kinds of them, but we all want the same thing for our little humans, the best possible everything that life has to offer. You realize it more once you’re staring at your own little one in the face and watching their eyes explore your face that there is literally nothing more in the entire universe that you want, other than to give them everything that you can.

What is giving them the best possible life they could imagine? That answer is different for everybody. I think that’s something that a lot of us could use regular reminding of. No two parents or households are going to operate the same. What works for Kennedy and I won’t work for my best friend and her newborn. Can we talk about what works for us and what doesn’t? Of course! What we shouldn’t do is mommy-shame or bash based on their decisions and choices. There is a small exception to this rule of course like many other things in life but in general, I like to follow the rule of thumb that you just don’t tell someone else how to Mommy.

I say this after I experienced someone telling me that I was harming my daughter by baby wearing her. I did what I often do, packed myself and Kennedy up in the car to head to the grocery store to get food to eat for the week. Saw the same clerks/workers that I often do and some of them recognize me because I go the same day every week and they’re usually working. I’ve always had positive remarks when I’ve worn her in a baby carrier or just some weird looks because, hey, I get it, baby wearing isn’t for everyone. I was at the checkout and bagging my groceries when the woman across from me said something along the lines of, “Look at her, you’re squishing her and she’s all bunched up in there, aww, poor baby.” Cue the steam coming out of my ears and my heart and blood pumping a MILLION miles per hour, yet I could barely let more than a few words escape my mouth. I’m pretty sure I said something along the lines of, “Oh, she’s fine, notice that she’s sleeping peacefully and this is nice and soft.” I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was embarrassed. ME. I couldn’t believe someone would make sure a comment.

After being incredibly pissed off the entire drive home and then once I arrived in my kitchen to tell my husband what I happened, I had some time to think to myself about her comments. Was I irritated? Yes. But, I had to step away from the situation and ask myself, why would she make that comment? Maybe she doesn’t know anything or much about baby wearing, maybe she isn’t comfortable doing it because she never was taught how to do it, who knows? But I was allowing her viewpoint on parenting and how to do things get to me. There are millions of women that have to deal with people negatively projecting their opinions on their parenting style and it’s not fair.

I know I’m not perfect and there’s been several times where I’ve seen someone do something with their child that I didn’t agree with or that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing with Kennedy, but who am I to tell them I think what they’re doing is wrong when it’s just a different way to do it? After dealing with my interaction in the grocery store I decided it isn’t my place to pass judgement on another mom.

I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again, being a mom is freakin’ hard. But it’s also unbelievable and quite frankly the best job I’ve ever had in the entire world. It should be a joy for all the mommies, not something that they have to second guess because someone might greet them with criticism for their way of getting it done. My hope, as more and more of my girlfriends and their partners start having babies, is that we can empower one another and learn from each other. I have been loving talking pregnancy, babies, and motherhood so much and I’ve found that to be greatly in part to my fellow September Mamas that I’ve been friends with for about a year now (thank God for the internet). 36 different women, all of us with different ways of doing things, but we’ve NEVER bashed each other for how we parent our babies. I couldn’t be more grateful! I’ve learned so much from them and now as more and more of my friends that I see in person regularly become moms, I hope I can take what I’ve learned through these ladies, and share it with more of my friends.

We must stick together mamas! With that being said, I hope to post a fun post next about Kennedy and her newest happenings. Give me a couple weeks and I’ll do a big 6 month update (excuse me while I go cry, how is she 6 months already?)

Love to all! xoxo