I’ve been doing a lot of heavy thinking and writing over the last few weeks of quarantine, so I’m ready to lighten things up a little bit and talk about something that makes me feel good: organization. This probably started with my sneaky type-A tendencies disguised in a chill person’s body, but ever since I became pregnant I felt the need to color-code, categorize and sort my life. I will say I am by no means an expert, nor do I abide by this 100% of the time. This was also something I needed to do for myself to help cope with the prenatal anxiety I was feeling. Somehow, if I had all. the. things. (and appropriate places to organize them all), my mental perspective surrounding becoming a mom would be better. Ha! Well, turns out that’s not the Golden Ticket to happiness, but it sure helped me a little bit. Here’s some of my best practices...
Between when I started and ended these words, our world has changed drastically. In the last day, the last week and the last month.
I started off this post by complaining about my anxiety, and how my “new” was adjusting to working life at home, all of us. The brushing of shoulders and sharing of duties. The silent stares of “are you going to get that, or am I?”. The constant push and pull of working parents juggling all of the things. This is still my new. But I have a new “new” now: sole family earner.
The Everymom is one of my favorite Instagram accounts and blog to follow for various things, but most often I find myself in awe of how beautiful their style pairings are. I have a very simple style, and many times how I'm dressed is the last thing on my mind. But I am constantly striving to perfect the #momuniform in all the best ways. Here are some of my favorite styles from the amazing women at The Everymom that I've modeled some of my day-to-day outfits after.
I recently attended a function with my husband and we brought along the little dude. He likes to look at people, but he is a tough nut to crack. It doesn’t stop people from trying. He’s a bit of a conversation starter in this regard. So for semi-socially awkward people like me, a baby is an immediate common ground for conversation with some. This particular night, a woman walked up to me and started chatting about the baby. Mid-way through the conversation, she asked me “so, what did you do before you were a mommy?”
When my husband and I were engaged, we read Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages. At the conclusion, my husband said to me "Your love language is gifts." I couldn't believe it, and I still refuse to admit that. That seemed to "materialistic" to be my reality. I did not want to be associated with that. Receiving gifts has never been something I enjoy, and not to mention I get super awkward having to open gifts in front of others (read: bridal and baby showers). We do not do much gifting to each other anymore after several years of being together, as we are more in the phase where we enjoy experiences rather than objects. I do not expect gifts from him. How could my husband-to-be think that my love language is gifts?
I'm excited to have some of my writing featured on the Milk Bliss blog! I've been a fan of Milk Bliss lactation cookies ever since I went back to work and found them stocked in our Mother's Room. They were the perfect little snack to get me through the day. The cookies contain galactagogues such as brewer's yeast. While more studies are needed to assess effects, the lack of downsides to trying these types of interventions is good enough for me. Insufficient milk supply is cited as a primary reason for early termination of breastfeeding, and I support any efforts that try to help moms in this arena!
Our journey to conceiving a little one was shorter than most. We decided we would try, and then boom - it happened. I realize that this is not everyone’s story, and I also realize that we are lucky. I am currently working on some process writing for how I navigated that guilt as I concurrently dealt with my prenatal anxiety and depression. But perhaps another contributing factor to this was my gender disappointment. I’ve heard a few other brave women talk about this, so I figured I’d share my story as well. This is not a popular topic. And there are many critics who would say “you should just be grateful that you could get pregnant”. But I would not be being true and honest if I did not share this journey of mine as well.
I’ve considered myself and my husband to be reasonably healthy people. Sure, our diets and exercise levels certainly could use some improvement, but I typically only see my primary care physician annually. My husband never even went to the doctor until we were together. It’s safe to say that nothing could have prepared us for the onslaught of sickness we experienced this year. My mom friends and coworkers warned me, but I equate this with pregnancy and labor: nothing anyone ever tells you can prepare you for the actual experience.
I'm not sure what parents did before they had the internet at their fingertips. Arguably, perhaps the world was a bit easier to cope with when there wasn't as much information overload. Perhaps my anxiety would not be so bad, and perhaps I'd be coping better as a new parent. Or maybe not! But all I know is that throughout pregnancy, maternity leave and still to this day, I am heavily reliant on good ol' Google to deliver me all of the information I need to get through the day.
A childbirth class was a must for us. I was certainly not interested in the Lamaze of our mothers’ time, and also not interested in the standard, basic course provided by our insurance. We’ve had a few friends tell us about HypnoBirthing® so after doing some reading (surprise surprise) it sounded like something we wanted to try. It sounds scary, right? Another crunchy pregnancy thing that Dave was less than thrilled about. But at least this didn’t involve paid strangers seeing me naked.
Hi! I'm Laura, a 30-something first-time mom raising her little dude in southern California. It's been quite a first year, and this is my way to try to make sense of it all. This is a safe space for all moms to get some laughs, recommendations and feel like they are not alone.