Stop trying to one-up the struggle…

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The comparison of struggle. Sometimes, it seems like parents are wanting to complain in a way that makes it seem like one person has it worse than the other. Like, “oh, your baby doesn’t sleep? Well, my baby is teething horribly which is so much worse.”

But I’ve said it before, where’s the empathy?

*Disclaimer: I’m addicted to ecards, which I’ll be using in abundance in this post.*

Why can’t one person’s struggle be acknowledged instead of mulled over and one-upped by another person’s struggle? babbleoneupper.png

And here’s the truth: we all have some kind of struggle going on. Whether we talk about it openly or not.

Even then, sometime I’ll just be in conversation and talking about a difficult phase we’ve been going through. Right now we’re dealing with some major toddler tantrums. Instead of saying “oh, I remember those days!” or “this too shall pass” or “it gets easier” or something uplifting, I often hear things like “he’ll be worse when he’s two!” “wait until he talks more…” blah blah blah.

When our son didn’t sleep, like at all, for 9 months, I got so much advice on things we should be doing. Like hello, I don’t enjoy being sleep deprived. If you think I hadn’t already tried those things, you are very wrong.

images.pngSo here’s what I’m getting at: it’s okay to identify and acknowledge someone else’s struggle without being upset that they aren’t facing your exact struggle. Sometimes we all just need to talk about what’s going on to get through the day.

A comparison I’ve heard recently: If you break your leg, you might scream that you’re in pain. In response, someone says to you “every bone in my body is broken!” But here’s the thing, the person with the broken leg is still in pain, whether or not it’s the same pain that you have or to the extent that you have it. It doesn’t make their issue any less of an issue.

This idea goes far beyond just parenting, but I’ve never before experienced such negativity and lack of compassion and empathy as I have since becoming a parent. 1338588890104_3927523.png

When someone takes the time to tell me their struggle these days, I try diligently to get on their level, to show that I care about their difficulties. And it’s impossible to always say the right thing, but I think that if we all try just a little harder to empathize we’ll be in much better shape. Our relationships will be stronger indefinitely.

– Katie

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Who was I before “Mom”?

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Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and think “when did this become me?” Who is this woman with bags under her eyes, split ends, yesterday’s yoga pants, who forgot to eat breakfast but always always remembers to prep her coffee the night before? WHO is this woman that can’t remember the last time she bought clothes for herself, had a haircut, or watched a movie without stopping it 6 times? Seriously, who am I?

Having a baby changes you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine. Physically, my body has endured all kinds of chaos and will certainly never be the same. Emotionally, I’ve learned that my needs happily come second to those of my son. My relationship with my husband has matured, my relationship with my friends and family has sometimes been strained or non-existent due to the demands of my work and home life. I very much live moment to moment. 3

I used to sit and drink tea with a book from the library. I went hiking, took pictures for fun. I played tennis (not very well), knew all the latest buzz on movies and TV. I did Jell-O shots with friends, had craft nights, and traveled to new cities on a whim.

I’m not sure I know that girl now, or even remember her.

Life has turned in to this chaotic, beautiful mess of jumping from one thing to the next. Waking early, going to work, making dinner, cleaning, giving Lucas a bath, getting ready for bed, sitting down to do more work on this super amazing blog or my photography business…

Planning, planning, planning. And lots of lists. And reminders to make lists (thanks, Siri).

I love being a mom more than I’ve ever loved anything. Ever. My son is my world, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I think about him every day, all day and most of what I do, I do so he can have a good life, with parents who love him and care for him in the best possible way.2

But how do I get back to the person I was? I’ve realized that it’s not entirely possible. The truth is, that girl is gone forever most certainly. I can retain bits and pieces, but my life has been poured from a mold that no longer exists.

Life with a baby means slowly regaining parts of you that you lose for a while. And I can tell you, the first year of having a new child is a blur. I cared very little about things other than showering and getting a warm meal. But now that I’ve adapted to my new life, I’m transforming into yet another version of myself that can be a mom and still retain parts of my old identity.

So who am I now? 

My life may not be centered around nights out and vacations and time alone with a book laying in my hammock, but I’m certainly having plenty of amazing adventures with my new little family, even if they’re sometimes just in my backyard or at a local park. I find time for me, even if it’s fleeting and infrequent. I incorporate my son into things that I used to love. We read together, hike together, listen to music and watch fun shows. And while it took time, I definitely finally feel like a new, better and blended version of my old self + my new mom self. 

So the truth? You will never be yourself again. But, you’ll be a new, better version of you. You adapt and become something so much more amazing, even if that means fewer Jell-O shots.

-Katie

Baby Safety

My son has become a running, climbing maniac in the last month. I kid you not (pun intended.) I baby-proof one thing, and he finds something else I need to remove from the room.

So, here are my most recent baby-proofing tips:

Corner-protectors. I thought I could live without them, until my son nearly gouged out an eyeball falling. So, the Caring Corners gel guards are now on all corners in my living room. They are incredibly easy to use, and remove. You can get them for $13-16 for an 8 pack on Amazon. The nice thing about these for us: our TV stand isn’t flat on all sides, but they still affixed to the gel protector and stayed on very well.

Baby-Keeps Latches. I actually ended up buying two packs of these, because I loved them so much. Easy to use, and remove. And best of all? You can open them with one hand (which is more practical since we often have a baby/child in the other arm.) These run $20 for 6, and each box comes with a free gift (which is a little snail stick on that keeps doors from closing on your child’s fingers. Great bonus.) You can also snag these on Amazon.

 Baby gates. I have several. One of which closes automatically. Sometimes, this is practical, but other times I just want it to stay the EFF open. So, my husband Polish-rigged it with a command strip and hook. Genius, and cheap.

Outlet covers. Obvious. Sometimes you don’t have them though, so use a band-aid as a quick fix until you can pick some up.

Munchkin Latch: I use these on my appliances, particularly my oven, which CAN fall over if the door isn’t properly secured.

Easy DIY Crib Rail Guards: Not only do I not want my little teething baby to destroy the rails of his convertible crib, I also would prefer that he not eat paint and wood chips. Perhaps that’s just me. Either way, you can find the DIY instructions here.

Wiremold: We had wires running along the walls in our living room. I thought it was all kosher, until my son started ripping them from the wall and trying to eat them. Yum. You can get cheap, easy to use wiremold, again, on Amazon.

TV Straps: If your TV is up high, no worries. Ours, however, is not. We quickly realized we needed to secure ours (we secured ours to the TV stand instead of to the wall.) TV Straps can be found here.

Safety 1st LED Nightlight, 2 CountNo Bulb Nightlight: For obvious reasons, you probably don’t want your LO crushing glass in their palms. This night light comes in a two pack, and there is no bulb that can be crushed by your tiny minion.

For those with cat trees: Secure those suckers to the wall. We have a three-story cat tree that my son recently tried to climb and pull to the floor. It’s heavy, and could really do some damage. We used furniture brackets, but you can use furniture straps just as easily.

An item to avoid? Foam molding. We used it, and it absolutely ruined the finish of our furniture. There are plenty of Pinterest solutions that will work better (like cutting pool noodles in half.)

Remember, all of these solutions are so temporary. You’ll likely have your home baby-proofed with gates and latches for about a year, sometimes a little more. Look for the affordable options!  Here are some other great DIY baby-proofing solutions!

-Katie

Noobie Box {Review}

There’s nothing quite like the surprise and joy a subscription box can bring. There are so many different kinds of subscription boxes and they are all equal in the surprises they bring each imagemonth. My favorite kind of boxes are for babies and kids and I am thrilled with one that I recently received, called the Noobie Box. It is geared towards pregnant and new mothers (and baby) and is packed full of amazing products, samples, discount codes and coupons!

I couldn’t wait to try out all of the products and the first thing I tried was the Healthy Mama Herbal Tea – it supports pregnancy wellness (helps calm the stomach and helps with morning sickness) because I suddenly felt like I did in my first trimester – imagenauseous and sick! I loved that it is all natural, caffeine and gluten free. It is delicious and really did calm my tummy! I loved the sample of Vita Coco Coconut Oil, I have never tried this brand (I have tried others) and I really liked it! It’s great to cook with. After popping it in the fridge, I tried the full size bottle of Bundle Organics pasturized juice (made with kale, apple, lemon, ginger with folic acid, imagecalcium, vitamin D, omega 3 and iron). HOLY COW. I could drink 12 of these bad boys a day! They’re specifically made for expecting and new moms which I love. I also love that it is made with USDA organic fruits and veggies – none of the bad stuff! My favorite product in the box would have to be the Weleda Lip Balmit is fantastic and stays on my lips for quite a while. I love it!

I also received awesome discount codes from several awesome companies like Sigikid – a company from Germany that makes and sells the cutest (and organic!) snugglies, rattles and musical toys and Mine4Sure – an awesome company that creates custom imagename tags for all of your baby essentials (clothes, lovies, bottles, diaper bag, ect.). Also included was a coupon and discount code from Buddle Organics (so I can get more yummy juices!) A discount code for Icon Undies was include as well and I cannot wait to order a pair! They’re pee proof underwear that keep you dry and odor-free from little leaks – how awesome is that?! Perfect for after baby when your bladder does what it wants!

Now for the baby items.. I won’t be able to use these items until baby comes (in just two weeks!) but I am eager to try them out imagewhen she’s here and I will let you all know how they stack up! I received a 4oz Avent bottle that I have previously read about (reviews were awesome!) so I can’t wait to give it a try and see how it compares to my favorite Tommee Tippee bottles. More Weleda products were included, which based on my love for their lip balm I bet I will love the samples of their White Mallow imagediaper rash cream and their Calendula diaper rash cream. Another product Included that I love and think is genius is Milk Baby’s formula storage bags, they’re so convenient and space saving in the diaper bag. So smart! And I can’t wait to use my City Grips stroller handlebar grip covers! They’re so stylish and comfortable.

Not only did this box blow my mind with all of it’s useful and amazing products but I love that informational brochures were also included, about Cord Blood Banking, how to get a Medela breast pump for free from your insurance, information about breastfeeding and much more plus a copy of The Bump magazine and a parenting guide! This box would make an awesome gift for an expecting or new mommy, I give it 5 stars! It is one of the best boxes out there in my opinion.

– Casey

Nenu {Product Review} for Teething Little Ones!

My 11 month old son has been teething forever. I quite literally mean, since almost the moment he escaped the womb. He started teething on everything around 2 months old, and popped his first tooth at 9 months. Since then it’s been a constant gnawing, chewing on everything (including his crib rails and my living room end tables,) drooling, chaos-filled marathon of trying to grow some teeth. Really though, growing little bone fragments from your face must be as painful as it sounds. I digress… As parents we just want to do what we can that is SAFE for our little tooth-growing-monsters.

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Teether Bug
In our household we use teethers, cold washcloths, amber necklaces, and the occasional night-time Tylenol. I prefer to use medication as a last-resort. I probably own about 20 teethers in total, but so far the Nenu Family teethers are my favorite.

Why?

-Two fun shapes that are EASY for little ones to hold on to. (They offer two shapes, the teether bud and teether bug.)

 

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Teether Bud
-Safety tested, and certified. Medical grade material.

-Free of the junk (junk=phthalate, latex, vinyl, and BPA.)

-100% made in the USA (manufactured in Seattle)

-The teethers don’t collect hair. (If you have teethers, you know what I’m talking about. I wash mine daily because they seem to pick up every kind of lint in the house. EW.) These ones aren’t sticky.

-The teethers are made to reach all teeth, so that they can be used for years (even for those molars!)

-The textures are GREAT. Ridges and indents are ideal to help ease those hurting gums.

-The spoon and fork, separate from the teethers, are great for learning. They have prongs that hold the gross parts off the table.

-The teethers are $10 a piece from the website, or slightly more if you look on Amazon. Most teethers range from $7-$10, so overall very parallel to the rest of the market.

Great job on a product that my LO loves, Nenu! Hope to see you expanding into major markets soon; we need more products like this!

-Katie

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a postive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Things that Change when you Become a Parent

  1. You’ll have to eventually learn to enjoy food again. The first three months of your newborn’s life will be spent in survival mode, meaning that you will infrequently get a meal (or a shower.) Once you finally remember to eat again, you’ll eat either quickly, or your food will be cold. You forget what it’s like to just sit and enjoy a warm meal. So at some point, you have to stop eating like a savage and return to normal life… even though this really might not happen until your child(ren) are several years old.
  2. You’ll resort to things like drinking coffee in the shower. Because showers are now quick instead of the relaxing 30 minute shower you used to take… you’ll multi-task as much as possible. If you’re looking for a cup that does great in the shower, check out this Contigo cup. It’s the most bad-ass coffee chalice out there.

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    My coffee cup in my shower. I have no shame.
  3. You’ll talk about poop, at least 10 times a day. “Did the baby poop?” “How much?” “Consistency?” “How many times?” And when you finally realize how much you talk about poop, you’ll realize that life has certainly changed…
  4. 7:00 AM is sleeping in. You’re lucky if you get a few hours of consecutive sleep when your baby is little, but even after that point… sleep regressions attack when you least expect them. And when 6AM rolls around, your little exhausting human is ready for another day.
  5. You’ll constantly wonder where people’s hands have been. Most of us thought about this a lot before, but when you have a baby, you’ll constantly be asking people to wash/sanitize their hands. Let’s be honest: we don’t want gross germs getting our babies sick. Babies and toddlers are difficult enough without being sick, and sickness turns life into an almost unbearable mess. You’ll likely have 4-5 dispensers of hand sanitizer littered throughout your house, and a few more in your cars.
  6. You’ll worry about things like war, apocalypses (zombie apocalypses included), tornadoes, floods, 10x more than you ever used to. You might even have an emergency bag ready and have scenarios planned out in your head. MREs can be purchased here, apocalypse preppers.
  7. You’ll have weird numbers programmed in to your phone. Emergency babysitters, hospitals, doctors, poison control. And your phone will have a long search history on Google of things like “carseat safety” “is this amount of spit up normal?” and “how long until my baby’s crossed eyes go away?”
  8. Going somewhere must be a planned activity. Leaving the house as a family now means at least 30 minutes of prep. Diaper change, feeding, packing, making sure you have a stroller… and taking at least 5 minutes to put on those tiny, tight shoes of theirs. Impromptu Chipotle run with friends? #YeahRight
  9. 51Scb4MAcOL
    One of our favorites.

    You’ll probably cry, even if you’re not a crier. I quite literally cannot finish the books “Love you Forever” and “Wish” without getting choked up. You might cry when your child hits milestones, or when certain things are no longer happening anymore (breastfeeding, bottle feeding, crawling, babbling, snuggling, etc.) You’ll be sentimental about toys, clothes, a random piece of paper that your child played with for 5 minutes… Even if you’re a total minimalist, getting rid of baby things is heartbreaking sometimes.

  10. You’ll finally understand what you’re parents have been telling you all those years, that “someday we’ll understand.” We get it now. I’m sorry for rolling my eyes at you, scoffing, and/or stomping away and slamming my door. Your love for your child compares to no other kind of love, and as parents, we just want our little ones to be safe, happy, healthy, and loved.

-Katie

 

Becoming Mother: Book Review

As I sit here with my 10 month old son, who is currently whining non-stop due to a sinus infection, I think back to my days before being a mother. Did they exist? I barely remember them now. Though, that wasn’t always the case. While pregnant I just went through the motions. Once my tiny human arrived into the world I was in a total state of shock by how suddenly and immensely my life had changed. I thought about my days before being a mother frequently, and sometimes lustfully. Longing for days of quiet, missing the boredom that I used to complain of.

The parenting books that I had skimmed merely told me the motions that I was already going through. What to plan for in pregnancy and labor and delivery, how to care for my new baby, various milestones and expectations. Some of these books I could barely relate to, and quite frankly seemed like they were written by men who have obviously never been pregnant or dealt with labor and delivery or post-partum hormones.

51+8Ctf3yjL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI was thrilled when Sharon sent me her book, Becoming Mother. The title alone gave me comfort– and reassured me that being a mother is actually a process for most. I identified closely with Sharon’s journey into motherhood, including the discomforts of pregnancy and trying to stay active, to the disappointments of care in labor and delivery, and, as she puts it “Just the plain, messy truth of what it’s like for one to become two.”

Becoming Mother isn’t candy-coated. It’s the simple truth of her story of bringing her child into the world. In its rawest form, motherhood is full of decisions that can be questioned by both yourself and others. Sharon talks about various choices that she made, including natural childbirth and the empowerment that comes from it, to the necessity of formula-feeding and the judgement that she initially put upon herself (I myself formula fed, and identified so well with feeling like you have to justify your decision to others. The truth is, you don’t, and it’s not anyone else’s business.) What’s best for one mother, or baby, may not be best for another.

I admire her reflections in this book because she portrays her experience with all of the blemishes, mishaps, and frustrations that come with becoming a mother. We live in a generation where a perfect life can be contrived on Facebook through simple statuses and photos; we can eliminate the bad and only portray the good. When, in fact, motherhood is full of ups and downs. While I personally was SO in love with my new tiny human, I was exhausted, frustrated at my labor experience, and definitely suffering from some post baby blues and hormone imbalances. I was in a foreign land, from a life previously filled with only my own needs. It was hard to adjust at first, but here, nearly a year later with my son, we have found our new normal. He brings so much love an joy into our lives. It’s important for new moms to know that it gets easier.

Thank you to Sharon for an accurate portrayal of what it’s really like to become a mother. Your candid writing gave me comfort in knowing that there are others with stories just like mine. I highly recommend this read to any new mother or soon to be mother.

-Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**