When You’re Making it Up as You Go Along

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In the early stages of my motherhood journey, I was overcome with anxiety, paranoia, and insecurities. I’m not going to lie — it was an emotional time in my life and I struggled with handling it without feeling inadequate. Becoming a mom, no matter what age or stage in life is an intimidating thing. I don’t know who raises the bar to perfection, but there it is always staring you in the face, reminding you how you never quite make it.

When you give into that lie it distorts your capabilities of being a good mother. Whatever level you personally deem good parenting or mothering you should aim for it every day. Don’t compete with other parents but compete with yourself. What I mean is if you were patient with your child yesterday, just aim to be a little more patient with them the next day. Competition with others to make yourself feel on top isn’t really winning and your child loses in the end. Don’t feel the need to meet a status quo invented by others based on their personal experience with their children. That’s not what being a loving parent is all about.

Yes, you should always be inspired by the stories of the woman before us who have done the impossible for their sons and daughters. Embrace the testimonies of the woman who have cried, sobbed and fought for theirs just like you are now. You should invite strength, wisdom, and experience in your soul but don’t disregard your own strength, wisdom, and experience. It’s what you’ve gone through and overcome that’s made you the parent you are today. The most important lesson for me about motherhood is to never second-guess myself when it comes to how I treat my family. Walking in confidence isn’t easy but it helps to understand that even though you have those days when you are just making it up as you go along, each and every day will come together in the end and works out so long as you have faith that your parenting, all your hard work, and efforts will pay off.

 

LifeLesson: Live in the Moment

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As a mother, I’m always faced with the challenge to get things done off my to-do list and I always bypass the chance to just live in the moment. I’m so accustomed to wanting each and every day to be productive and successful that I don’t stop and appreciate the little things. I hate to say it but I’ve developed a bad adult behavior that emphasizes more on tasks, chores, and checklists as a priority rather than the person I do it all for; my kid.

Before I wake up in the morning, usually our daughter has made her way back into our bedroom. She climbs over me strategically making space in the middle of us. It’s gotten to the point where on cue, whether I’m half sleep or not I scooch over and tap my husband to move so she doesn’t get squished. All three of us would lay in bed snuggled uncomfortably for another hour before the rush of commands hit us for the day.  Sadly that’s one of the briefest moments my family connection before the day begins and technically it doesn’t count since some of us are still counting sheep.

It’s crazy how quickly we fall into a sort of a routine without even realizing it. My husband and I will fuss over who does what. I nag him to make all the beds and depending on who has to go to work first cook and clean. Come to think of it, with all the hustle and bustle we are pretty tired by 11 and I do mean am! I could accredit to how things were much simpler when she was a baby but no matter how old our children get it shouldn’t diminish our willingness to just take the time and have quality moments together.

Looking back on just the last couple months, it’s been filled with us walking around like mindless drones instead of real human beings. But sadly once you start the rhythm it’s hard to get out of the flow. The same pattern follows and the more I allow it, the harder it is to break away.

Case in point:

Every night I get my daughter ready for bed and like any tired parent you want them all cleaned up, in their jammies, teeth brushed and story read before 11 and I do mean pm! I must admit that by the time I kiss her goodnight for the twentieth time and take the big sigh of relief that everything’s done I never know what to do with myself. Should I stay up late watching tv? Eat more dinner or dessert? Write? Read? When I start to finally enjoy the moment of stillness I instantly start to ache for more family time with my daughter and husband. Part of me wants her to go to bed as early as I can and the other part wants to stay up to watch old 90’s TV sitcom shows.

The fact of the matter, I’ve been struggling with balance and setting my priorities in place so they no longer clash for a while. There is so much to do, so much to get done, so much to accomplish, but allowing it to overrule you diminishes the quality of life we are all blessed to have. It’s difficult to put down the clipboard and run away from routine freely. How can you have quality life moments without the quantity of life’s responsibility over-piling?

It starts with taking a death breath. Release the pent up energy, take a sip of water and realize just exactly where you are. Ask yourself do you really need to be fussing in the supermarket like this over Cheerios and chips? Should you be wasting a joyous car ride fussing over what hasn’t been done yet? What about at dinner, why act surprised at the food all over the floor? Parenting is a never-ending roller-coaster ride. But why should your emotions be?

Take a moment before you start and really list the absolutes that you are going to focus on. Don’t give any time or attention to details that take you away from that list. Close your eyes and imagine what you want to get done today and then start making a plan for getting those done. Permit yourself moments that recharge your love, kindness, and strength. For me, it’s reading my Bible, listening to music, and actually going to the bathroom alone. Whatever you need to keep your energy high for the day, do it.

And if you have a busy toddler like myself, then don’t stress do those things together. Incorporate your kids to clean when you clean. Get your child to find all the mismatch shoes while you fold the towels. Have them sing for you while you clean the bathroom. Every task, every chore, involve them in it. Invite them into your routine and it will definitely bring the family connection you’ve been missing.

I learned that saying, “sit” over and over again will exhaust me and leave me unsatisfied. Plus, it will never get her to sit. So, throw the rule book out the window every now and then. If you are paying bills, then have them sitting right next to you and maybe they will pay a bill or two. If you are praying, don’t lock them out but bring them in and take your time. Every moment of the day should not only be spent succeeding but also loving the ones you do it all for.

The Adventures of Elizabeth: I Have SuperParents

Hi!

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My mom and dad are super!

What exactly makes them super?

Well…

Her kisses make the booboo’s go away.

She always gives me the pretty band-aids.

Daddy keeps us safe.

His back rubs help me to go to sleep.

Mommy always picks the best outfits and pretties my hair.

Sometimes daddy does my hair too (but not as nice as mom)

They both have a magical way of keeping a smile on my face.

She can cook and serves me yummy treats.

Dad can eat.

He can tickle me until I snort.

Daddy’s tickling fingers make me laugh like a hyena.

She teaches me cool songs to sing.

And daddy gives me crazy dance moves.

She can see from the back of her head.

No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away with nothing.

And pictures…

Mommy loves taking pictures with me.

I laugh, play, eat, and sleep all because of my super parents.

They love me so much.

I’m their Lily.

And their my mommy & daddy.

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of Elizabeth: The WayZoo Coloring Book

Hi!

What do I love to do more than anything?

COLOR!

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I like coloring so much I can’t seem to keep my drawings on the page.

I color on the couch,

the dining room table,

the walls,

the floors,

the ceiling if I could reach it!

But today, my mommy found me this amazing coloring book.

And it was totally free!

I got to color The WayZoo Coloring Book!

A free coloring book featuring cute animals!

It was so fun coloring with my mommy today.

Here are two of my drawings:

 

Nothing makes me happy than when I’m coloring.

Especially when I’m coloring with mommy.

Try it for yourself, you’ll love it.

Bye!

 

#MomLife: Family Fun For Everyone

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Hello, moms and dads!

It’s only a matter of time before we are free of the Winter weather. As anxious as you and your little ones are about running outside to play we’re bound to wind up with at least a few more frigid days. As of mother of a toddler with a surplus of energy, I know how difficult it can be to keep your kids entertained all day long in the house. As easy as it can be to just turn the TV on for them, sometimes it’s not enough to keep them occupied.  If you are struggling to keep up with a supply of fun activities for the family then look no further.

I’m here to tell you that there’s still room for a few more indoor activities to do with the kids before the season is over. That’s why Wayfair created The WayZoo Coloring Book, a free 10-page printable coloring book featuring cute animals in the home for kids to color and make their own. And to celebrate the launch, Wayfair is pairing it with an art supply prize pack giveaway including an easel, chalk, markers and paint. All you have to do to enter is send in a scan or a picture of your artist’s creation to wayzoosweepstakes@wayfair.com!

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for your child to win cool prizes and have their art featured in The WayZoo Gallery. Take a moment, find some crayons and let the creativity begin.

 

Have Fun and Good Luck!!

Life Lesson: Trust Your Instincts

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When I was younger I always believed when I became a mother I would do all the right things for my baby. I would love him/her, cuddle, play, and make sure he/she is a healthy, strong baby. Like most little girls I had tons of practice with adorable, almost life-like baby dolls. I prided myself on how none of my baby dolls had a missing arm or leg. My  beliefs about motherhood were very black and white. If you didn’t dress your baby well then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t give your baby medicine when they got sick then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t feed your baby right then you were a bad mother. If your baby wasn’t happy or smiled a lot then you was a bad mother.

Since then, my views on motherhood have drastically changed. Now that I’m grown and a mother myself, I realize that there are many ways to provide for your child. For one, I didn’t always buy my baby designer clothes like I thought. After the first couple weeks of onesies soaked with throw up, milk stains, and messy diapers I decided to shop frugally. I set out budgets where my baby could have affordable outfits that lasted longer than a month without breaking the bank. I learned that giving baby medicine can actually harm the baby rather than help. As painful as it is, it’s sometimes better to have your child endure that cold or fever so their body can get stronger and fight off more infections. My child-like beliefs were filled with hope but no sense of reality. I remember when our daughter caught her first high-temperature fever all I wanted to do was make her pain go away. But, with regular feeding times, an outfit change and patience, I saw how quickly her body was fighting off the virus all on its own.

One thing I learned from being a wife and mother is to trust my instincts. When I was pregnant those nine months I tried my best to plan, prepare, and equip myself for motherhood. I gained knowledge, facts, and techniques so when my child arrives I will be prepared. I downloaded apps, watched videos, and podcasts to familiarize myself with being a good parent. I wanted to be the type of mother that nurtured every aspect of my child’s life so they can pretty much be perfect. I quickly learned that all the parenting books, pamphlets, and articles can only do so much.

With motherhood comes many struggles. You have to decide what cleaning products to use, what baby formula, and the type of doctor you want your child to have. Being a mom requires a lot of big decision-making. I remember after those hours in labor when they finally handed her to me I was overwhelmed with so much peace. It didn’t really occur to me what being her mother would require. It wasn’t until she got hungry that I realized I had to make a decision.

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With all my preparation, I still hesitated. All that prepping went out the hospital window. I was suddenly a blank canvas holding a blank canvas. I felt like an artist with colors of all shades and hues with no clue to do. I honestly thought about feeding my daughter formula from birth to better suit my needs. I didn’t want to be inconvenienced with pumps and engorged breasts but holding her in her fragile state made me realize how I so badly wanted to give her the best.

The nurse smiled and proceeded to help our daughter latch. It was awkward at first, but a couple of tries later she was eating like she was starving. I was amazed that my breast even had milk. It’s a miracle what the body can do. I felt like a mother bird feeding her little birds. I felt so accomplishment and complete. It wasn’t until it was time for me to come home that the feeling of pride slowly washed away.

My biggest struggle with breastfeeding was as she continued to grow so did her appetite and my breast didn’t always accommodate her feeding needs. The first couple of weeks were nice and breezy. She would eat almost 6 to 8 times a day. Her feeding times started off short and sweet. I would usually pump milk in the morning and at night just in case if I had to go somewhere or I was really tired. I would always pump after I feed her too so my milk production could increase. For nearly six months all I did was pump and let her suck.

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It didn’t take long before she would drink from both breasts at a time. Her appetite increased and I had to make the hard decision that breastfeeding until she was 10 months wasn’t the life for me. I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I started to stop feeding her from the breast, just pump and put baby cereal in the bottle. It gave her satisfaction until she hit the another growth curve. I eventually decided to start her on baby formula indefinitely. I slowly started to wean her off of breast milk. I would breastfeed at night, pump out the  extra milk and give her formula with cereal during the day. I would cry sometimes with frustration when my breasts didn’t give her enough milk. But, I saw how satisfied she was with baby formula and got over my personal feelings.

Breastfeeding can sometimes be tricky. There are thousands of different reasons why your child doesn’t respond positively to your breasts. But be reassured that there are a thousand different solutions. Whether you breastfeed your child or provide them with formula alternatives don’t ever second-guess your instincts. There were so days where I struggled with her latching and other days I couldn’t get her off. But have peace of mind whenever you see your baby happy and laughing that you are doing a great job.

So hesitate to deviate from the plan especially if it could help you and your baby better. Always be willing to ask your doctor for help in any area for your child and take the time to reach out to other mothers for support.

Learn about the breastfeeding and formula options from The Honest Company.

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What I Love About Our Daughter

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Being a wife and mother has given me so many joyous moments and some grievous ones too. Through the good and bad days, I never stop enjoying being her mom. Especially when the bad days seemingly last longer than the good. Watching her grow up has been sensational. I still can’t believe I carried her for nine months! When bad days come and tantrums never end, I remind myself why I love being her mom.

All children are precious but none can compare to mine. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t believe that I would have a baby. Those nine months were filled with expectation and anxiety. We had absolute no idea what kind of child we were getting. When it was time for our child to arrive, I was calm even in the midst of the pain. Out of all the babies in the world, I got to keep this one. When the doctors gave her to me, everything was complete. From the start, she belonged to us and it makes being her mother so sweet.

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Every day she shines with energy and kindness just like her father and me. She is loud, funny, silly, sweet, loving, caring, protective and friendly. Inside of her is all the qualities that showed me why I can’t resist her even on a bad day. I’m never ashamed of being her mother because she is worth it. The more time I spend with her, the more I realize a young woman is developing right in front of us. Whenever she makes me laugh, it gives me strength to stand taller, smile bigger, and love harder. Our daughter always reminds me to keep the fire alive in my life. She knows how to get my attention and isn’t afraid to give me wet sloppy kisses and warm hugs.elizabeth we love you.pngI sometimes can’t believe how blessed I am that I get to mother, love, nurture and care for this ball of cuteness. Though all children are special and precious, it’s an added scoop of sprinkles because she came from my husband and me. She is the product of God’s love. It makes me smile knowing that God thought that our lives could get so much better so he gave us her. I thank God that he gives me enough strength, patience, wisdom, and love to guide this little girl. I can’t imagine mothering any other child but her.