Category: Motherhood

An Open Letter to my Son

Dear Baby Bear,

I love you so much more than words can explain. You taught me how to love in more ways that I ever expected to. You’re growing so fast. It amazes me how well you are learning things. Just a year ago, you were this tiny little thing and now you’re calling my name and telling me you love me.

I can’t wait to watch you grow into a handsome young man. I don’t ever want you to lose this innocence you have, even though you can be quite the demon at times. I love you even when you pull my hair or rip my glasses off my face. I love you even more when you give me hugs and what you think are kisses – but really dude, close your mouth when you try giving kisses. You’re the smallest cuddle bear ever and such a mama’s boy. I hope it stays that way.

I might be biased, but you’re the cutest boy ever. You’re going to be a huge heartbreaker when you grow up. I hope you are respectful towards women and I will make sure to raise you to do so. If you’re going to be anything like your dad, you will be a great man someday. Remember not to tell someone you love them unless you mean it and never rush into anything.

Don’t let people take advantage of you. I want you to know your worth and use that. Don’t let anyone push you around, but stay respectful and friendly to everyone. Please remember that not everyone is your friend. I will be proud of you for everything you do.

I believe that one day you can be anything you’ll want to be. I am trying my best to give you the best life possible. I am going back to school, buddy. I hope to be a counselor by the time you reach elementary school. One day, your mom and dad are going to be able to support you more than we ever thought possible.

I want you to stay humble. No matter what you have, appreciate it. You are loved and you have the best family to support you. I hope that you grow to understand that. I know a lot of kids and teenagers resent their parents and families because that’s just what they do. I expect it, but I want you to know, I understand.

No matter how big you grow, you will always be my baby bear.  You will never be too big to be my baby. I will forever be your number one supporter. From your very first smile to your first steps, I was here and I plan to continue the whole way through your life. I love you more than life itself. I am sorry if I am not the best role model for you, but I honestly try.

 

– Mama

Going Back to School as a Stay at Home Mom

I recently registered for classes through SNHU online to start my college experience. I will be going for my Bachelors in Psychology with a concentration in mental health. I never thought I would be going to college, but I feel like I finally found my calling.

Going back to school as a stay at home mom is not something I was planning. I didn’t think that college was a thing I would even be able to commit to. Now here I am. I am going into school as a freshman, a mom of a one year old, and a newlywed. I am definitely committed to pursuing my degree. At this point, I am absolutely ready to get to where I need to go.

A big part of me does wish I would have started school back in 2016 after I graduated. Maybe I would have had my Bachelors already and I would have been on the road to my Masters by now. I wouldn’t change anything about my choices though. Every choice I have ever made has brought me to where I am at today. If I would have started college back in 2016, I don’t think I would have had my son.

Being a mother has always been my biggest dream and now that I am a mom, I think its time for me to start my next journey. I decided to go back to school to support my family. Neither of my parents graduated college. My mother didn’t even graduate high school. I want to create a new path for my family.

Now I am going to be taking online classes at home while I am raising my son and my husband works. I almost can’t believe it.

Why did I chose my degree?

I chose the psychology degree because psychology really interests me. I think I am going to take this degree and further it to become something related to helping others with their problems. I would love to one day be a mental health counselor.

My concentration is in mental health. I struggle with bipolar disorder and anxiety, so I feel that pursuing a degree I am most passionate about and the most related to me would be an amazing start to figuring out where I would like to go in life. 

I have always been fascinated by mental health and psychology. I am setting goals for myself now because I have never seen my future self being successful before this moment. As long as I am pushing myself towards completing school, I am successful. 

Why SNHU?

I had a few options when choosing the right school for me. Purdue Global and SNHU were my first two choices out of the few schools I was looking into. The reason I chose SNHU over Purdue Global was ultimately the cost. Little things like the interaction with other students and the consistency of the schools were other things that did weigh is, but didn’t matter as much as the cost.  

I don’t start for a little over two weeks and this school has already been amazing to me. I have joined Facebook groups for online students at SNHU. I have made a few friends through SNHUconnect. My advisor has been extremely helpful and I am just 100% ready to start my classes already.

Thinking about going back to school as a stay at home mom?

Here are a few things to think about:

Do you have the time?

I know as well as the next mom, being a stay at home mom is a full time job with overtime and not enough pay. Although it is definitely priceless. Before going back to school, think if you’d have the time to do school. I don’t think I could have started school when my son was a month old, but now that he is 13 months, I am feeling a lot more comfortable with our schedule. 

Do you have the resources?

These resources I am talking about range from financial resources to physical requirements to start. For myself, I will be receiving financial aid. I am receiving the Pell Grant and some subsidized loans. I need to have a laptop or tablet to get my schoolwork done. I am currently using my HP Pavilion and I plan to use it for school as well. I have my Galaxy Tab as a back up too.

Do you have the support?

Starting school is a big step for not only you, but those around you as well. There may be some days you will need to ask others for help with the kids. Some days you may need someone to vent to, especially if you are going for your degree online like I am. I have done online school in high school and it became awfully lonely. Have a support system through your journey.

Are you ready for the commitment?

Like having a baby, college is a big commitment. It’s not easy for everyone, nor is it cheap. You must commit to it and push yourself to getting it done. Online college will take a lot of self motivation. You’re going to have a little more leniency than what you remember from high school, so it might be a little easier for you to slack off and get lazy about it.

Good Luck!

12 Month Old’s Daily Schedule

Before my son turned one, I didn’t really care about bedtimes or naps. He’ll sleep when he’s tired, right? Every night was a struggle. He’d never want to sleep. Most nights he wouldn’t get to bed until midnight. I finally said enough. I set a bedtime. I make sure he doesn’t take a nap within three hours of that bedtime and now we are both getting a lot more sleep.

After doing some studying, I found out that 12 month olds should be getting between 13-15 hours of sleep every day. split between bedtime and naps. I also found out that they should nap about 3 – 3.5 hours after wake up and naps. 

Now this is just a rough estimate of times that we do everything. I would give or take a half hour for each time depending on when he wakes up or gets to sleep the night before. Most of it is repetitive, like meals and playtime.

My 12 Month Old's Daily Schedule

8:00 am - Wake Up

Just around this time, he wakes up for the day. Sometimes it’s as early as 7:30 am or as late as 8:30 am, but it’s normally closer to 8 am. After he wakes up, the first thing I always do is change his diaper. Then depending on what we have to do for the day, I will get him a new change of clothes, but sometimes I will just wait until after breakfast for that. 

Speaking of breakfast, that is the next thing we do. Normally I’ll give the little dude some yogurt, eggs, or cereal for breakfast. He really loves to eat. After breakfast I clean up our mess, then it’s time to play. Normally we will play until his next nap time (and by play, I actually mean chase him around the house trying to catch him so that he won’t get into everything).

11:00 am - First Nap

His first nap of the day is normally 3 hours after he wakes up and lasts about an hour and a half long. I am actually writing this blog post during this nap. When he wakes up from his nap, it means it is lunch time.He just eats whatever I eat for lunch that day. I usually start cooking lunch while he’s still napping so that I can eat a little before he gets up. I feel like I can never eat when he’s awake. He steals all my food. Then like earlier, we play until his next nap. 

Sometimes during the play time before his second nap, I give him a snack like fruits, biscuits, or some cereal. You can’t go wrong with some Cheerios and bananas.

3:30 pm - Second nap

He usually takes this nap about three hours after the first one ends and normally lasts between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. This I feel like is the most important nap of the day because if he takes this nap too late in the day, he won’t sleep until later. I try not to let him start a nap later than 4 pm for this reason.

After this nap we get a snack if we didn’t have one before the nap then we play until Dad gets home from work. I try to have dinner ready by 7 pm because that is around the time my husband gets home. We eat around that time and then play some more before it is time to start our night routine and get ready for bed. On the weekends, it is still the same for dinner time. We try to stay a little consistent with our schedules, even when we don’t mean to do it.

8:00 pm - Preparing for Bed

At this time, we try to start getting settled for bed. He gets a bath. We brush our teeth. I get him a new diaper and into pajamas. Then we play a little bit before he finally is down for the night. Sometimes I get him into bed sooner than bedtime if he gets worn out from playing or didn’t get good naps earlier in the day.

9:00 pm - Bedtime

I decided 9 pm to be the bedtime and he had a hard time with it the first few days, but he got used to it before the end of the first week of enforcing it. If he isn’t lying in bed by this time, I lay him down with his lovey and binky. Sometimes he still makes a fuss, but it isn’t too long before he finally passes out for the night. 

Then once he’s asleep, it’s time for Mama to relax. 

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To My Pregnant Best Friend

To my beautiful friend,

Pregnancy suits you so well. You’re absolutely beautiful. I can’t believe that you’re going to have a baby soon. It’s going to be the best thing to ever happen to you. You are going to be an amazing mom. Trust me, I know. You are probably super worried about what type of mom you’re going to be and that you’re not sure you’ll be a good mom.

You’ve got this, mama!

I’m so excited for you. Soon you’re going to be smothering yourself in baby snuggles and kisses! You’re going to be amazed by what your body managed to pull off. Admire your postpartum body. All your stretch marks. Your squishy tummy. You made a freaking human for goodness sake!

When your baby comes, I will be here. If you need any advice, ask me. It might not be useful, but you don’t have to take it. Message me during all of those late night nursing sessions. Spam me with pictures of all the funny poop faces he makes. I am here for you through it all. If I can help you with anything, I will. Everyone has their own parenting style. I find myself asking questions and getting so many different responses. When you ask a question, take the answer you feel is the right way for you.

If motherhood had taught me anything, it is that nothing else matters more than your child. That first ride home is going to be the scariest ride of your life. The first night he keeps you up all night will make you more tired than you’ve ever been before. At the end of the day though, it’s going to be all worth it. Your baby is going to be so lucky and so loved. Enjoy every moment. I’ll be cheering you on from afar.

Before your pregnancy is over, take it all in. Show off that bump with every chance you get. Soak in every ounce of sleep. If you can get any.  I couldn’t sleep at all in my last month of pregnancy, but seriously nothing compares to the sleep you lose when he’s here. The kicks are what I miss the most. I hated being jabbed in the ribs, but the weirdest feeling was being able to push his feet down out from underneath them. I hope you are admiring every second of your pregnancy through every part of the kicks, morning sickness, and acid reflux.

I know you’re ready to meet your little one. I am, too.

I still cannot believe that we are moms. Like how is that possible?? I’m looking forward to seeing you blossom as a mother. You’re going to be bringing a tiny human into this world soon and I have never been happier for you. I have a million things I have wanted to tell you about motherhood, but it’s definitely not the same thing as experiencing it firsthand. You deserve this. I am so proud of you.

 

xo, your best mom friend

The Best Advice for New Moms

Being a mother is something I always knew I wanted. I honestly believe it’s the only thing I was certain about when it came to my future.

When I became pregnant at 19, I was overloaded with emotions. It felt like everything (the fear, the love, the happiness…) was all rolled into a ball and stuffed inside my chest. All of a sudden everything I did was not for just myself. I had a little human to think about.

The emotions definitely won’t end there. You’re going to feel so vulnerable once your baby finally enters the world. You’re going to feel love and helplessness like you’ve never felt before. It will all be worth it, mama. Here are a few things that I have learned as a first time mother that might just help you out.

When people say, “It takes a village.” It’s no joke. Accept the help.

It’s okay ask for help when you need a break. When you haven’t showered and your hair is getting knotted from being in a bun for the past three days, but your newborn only wants to be held and your husband is at work, call someone up. Call your mom. Call your sister. Ask for help. Moms need the opportunity to take a break and care for themselves in order to care for their little one. The easiest way to get that is to ask for a helping hand.

Motherhood can get very lonely at times.

You know those posts you see on Facebook that say something along the lines of Want to know who your real friends are? Get pregnant.? Well that’s because a lot of the time you start to notice you will spend what used to be your “free time” with your new family. You’ll find you won’t be seeing your friends as much as you used to see them. You’re all living your own lives and all of a sudden it’s become super hard to just make plans in the heat of the moment. Arrange a kid friendly lunch with some friends. Plan a game night for after the baby is in bed. Get a babysitter for the night. Don’t let being a parent stop you from getting out and spending some time with your friends.

Join a local mom group!

I joined a mom group called MOPS when my son was 8 months old. I wish I would have known about the group sooner. I would have joined when I was pregnant had I known back then. I personally don’t get out much, so I love having that group to look forward to every couple weeks. MOPS is worldwide and if you’re interested in finding a group near you, click here.

Create a birth plan, but expect it to not go to plan.

The whole point of making one is to let the doctors and nurses know how you hope your labor goes. When I went to the hospital in labor, I didn’t think I was in labor. I came so unprepared and my birth plan was left at home in one of the bags I didn’t bring to the hospital. As I was in labor, I realized creating a birth plan was so much more than just putting together your wishes. It’s about education. You learn a lot about childbirth that you may have never heard of before.

Almost nothing about parenthood is textbook.

Your pregnancy. Your labor. Your baby. Your parenting style. There are so many ways that things can go there is no right way or wrong way. You could go your whole pregnancy without morning sickness, whereas your friend has been sick for nine months straight. Your baby might be measuring a little small for his age, but he’s following his own curve. You just have to remember that we are all on the same ball field, but looking at it from different perspectives.

Everything is going to be okay and you’re doing a great job.

Every mom needs a little reassurance sometimes, even that mom who posted that picture of her three kiddos hugging on Instagram with #grateful and #blessed in the caption. She definitely looks like she’s got her ducks in line, but what she doesn’t put on there is right after she took that picture Bobby pulled Brittany’s hair and Brittany slapped Joey thinking he did it. None of us are perfect and that’s okay.

Relax. Breathe. Sleep.

That basket of laundry isn’t going anywhere. Take a break while the baby is sleeping or preoccupied. Don’t worry about the toys scattered all over the living room floor. Nothing will be able to replace the time you have with your baby. Don’t waste it worrying about silly things