Freida’s Pantry is now available in the US!

Like most new moms, I hardly had the time and energy to eat when my first daughter was born. I quite literally lived on a couple cans of Redbull a day. I got back to my pre-baby weight super fast, and even lost about 15 pounds more on top of that. I hadn’t been so small since my freshman year of high school and it happened in a really unhealthy way. When you have a newborn, finding the time and energy to eat just doesn’t happen. Instead of eating when you get free time, you choose to do the dishes, laundry, or if you’re smart, you’ll take a nap. I can’t image if I had been breastfeeding. You burn so many calories when you nurse, so you have to eat. That’s where Freida’s Pantry comes in! I recently found out this UK company is launching in the US today and I had to share their delicious nutritional bars with our readers!

Freida’s Pantry bars contain a mix of grains, nuts, and super seeds that are rich in vitamin B that help with energy production. The bars provide protein which keeps you feeling fuller, longer, and is a quick and convenient snack that’s also good for you. For breastfeeding mamas, they’re also rich in Omega 3 and “good fats” that have been shown to increase the fat content in breastmilk. The unique blend of seeds and nuts provide a variety of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. The bars are wheat, soy, and dairy-free and are suitable for vegans.

  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • Non GMO
  • All ingredients are ethically sourced

Three bars are coming to the US today, and they’re all so good!

Freida’s Pantry Feeding Food Snack Bar is perfect for postpartum and breastfeeding moms. It’s packed with superfoods and full of nutrients and good fats that help with energy levels (that we all know new moms need help with) and they keep you full longer. I love how convenient a snack bar is and the fact that it helps nursing moms fight hunger and tiredness and supports lactation makes it even more awesome! Ingredients: Oats, Almonds, Pistachios, lin seeds, Quinoa, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, fennel seed, raisins, golden syrup and sunflower oilfriedaspantry2Freida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Goji & Fennel is so delicious! It’s super dense in several super foods that keeps energy up and provides much needed nutrients. It’s made up of 9 different super seeds, nuts, grains, and fruits. It’s the perfect start to your morning, whether you’re an expectant mom, a tired parent, working on your fitness, or just a busy, active person. Ingredients: Oats, Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Almonds, Quinoa, Pistachios, Goji Berries, RaisinsbarrrrFreida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Maca & Chia is equally delicious, but I didn’t try it. My husband got to it first and devoured it! He loved it! It’s made of a unique mix of superfoods that support fertility as well as energy levels and vitality. Again, it’s perfect the perfect snack for new moms and those in the pre-pregnancy stage. Ingredients: Oats, Quinoa, Almonds, Linseeds, Brazil nuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds, Maca, Goji berries, Golden Syrup, Sunflower OilbarFreida’s Pantry bars are available in packs of 12 for $31.20, making each bar $2.60 which is comparable to other seed and nut bars on the market, but Freida’s Pantry bars pack such a big punch! The fact that they’re made for pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women makes them an even better deal at that price! Check out Freida’s Pantry website for more nutritional information, FAQs, and you can also order yourself a pack of bars and have them delivered right to your door!

Be sure to follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with all things Freida’s Pantry!

– Casey

**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 and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

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Grocery shopping is the errand that all parents dread (I do at least). It never seems to go smoothly, there are always crying children (sometimes mine), and it’s just overall stressful. It’s like there are set scenarios that always play out: the toddler falls asleep one red light from the store parking lot, a diaper explodes in aisle 9, or there is a choir performance from the older kids full of repetition of “I’m bored”, “can I get this?”, “can I go to the toy section?” or “are we almost done?” It can never be a simple, quick trip to the grocery store. Until now.

I saw a posting about Walmart and their new online grocery pickup on Facebook and had no feelings toward it either way. I didn’t see myself grocery shopping online and then have someone else load my groceries into my car for me. I don’t even let the baggers at Publix or the Commissary take my bags to my car, so why would I let someone else do my grocery shopping, bag all of my stuff and bring it out and load them in my car? It seemed like the lazy easy way out. But then it clicked. It’s not lazy, it’s convenient. I work 40 hours a week, get off at 5:30pm and have a 40 minute drive home every single day during the week. If I stop to grab groceries on my way home, I typically don’t get home until almost 7:45 – 8:00pm on a good day.

They don’t offer online pick up at the store in my town yet, but they do in the town where I work and where my mother-in-law lives. We just so happened to be heading to her house on a Sunday and I happened to need groceries, so why not give it a try?

Let me start by saving you $10 off your first order. Use promo code RCMUR0YA (that’s a zero not an “o”) at checkout on your purchase of $50 or more and you will automatically save $10! 1

It was a rather simple process. I went to Walmart Grocery online, put in my zip code, signed into my walmart.com account and viola! It allowed me to choose my store, secure a time slot to pick up and then add items to my cart. You can search through the “store” by department,

2 or search for the items you know you need by name. I quickly added items to my cart (it shows the total in the corner and there is a $30 minimum) and when you’re ready to check out, you simply put in a credit or debit card number, check out and then you receive a detailed list of your order and pick-up instructions via email.

The instructions were quite simple. In short, “Go to the grocery pickup location. We will call you 15 minutes prior. Call us back 10 minutes prior to your arrival and again when you get here.” It even showed me a cute little map of the store and where the parking locations were in the parking lot which were marked as well.15469435 It was that simple.

So I called 10 minutes before and again when I got there. Not even 5 minutes later, two sweet young ladies brought me my groceries and I never even had to get my kids out of the vehicle. I received a “Welcome” bag containing some grocery and health care full size samples such as After-Sun Aloe wipes, Sea Salt Covered Raisins, Cucumber Ranch and some other goodies. They loaded the items into my car, I signed the delivery receipt and I was quickly on my way. I hesitantly added produce and eggs to my list and surprisingly had no issues. They showed me my eggs before placing them in my car and my bananas were handled with care and not bruised.

I did figure out that if the store is out of stock with the item you want, they will offer you a substitution at no extra cost, if available. I wanted a 1lb bag of Gala Apples, but since they were out of stock, they gave me a 3lb bag of Gala Apples for no additional cost. Also, if they don’t have the item or a substitution, they immediately issue you a refund for that item.

Overall, if I had to give a star rating, it would be a 5 out of 5. Quick, easy, convenient and so worth it. I would definitely recommend it to busy moms if it’s available at your local Walmart!

– Kirstyn

Baby Spring Float by SwimWays {Review}

BurritoBuzzBabySpringFloatI have been prepping like a mad woman for our end- of-summer vacation! Taking BK#1 &#2 on vacation is not going to be an easy task. I have been diligently researching and trying to make sure we have all the essentials to make this an enjoyable and fun vacation! I might be wound a little tight, but my anxiety kicks in and I kinda loose it thinking about a 10 hour car ride, miles of open play areas, sleeping arrangements, making sure we don’t forget anything,  oh and safety!

Obviously, I have been looking into beach safety, but I have really been worried about the pool! We don’t have one at home, so my babies aren’t around them often. Besides that, they are 1 and 2! Rules don’t mean a whole lot to them right now! When I came across the SwimWays Baby Spring Float (Whale), I was so relieved! Most baby floats have a weight limit that my oldest child exceeds and usual pool floaties are only safe when your child is at least 30 pounds, so my toddler can’t use ones like the Puddle Jumper! SwimWays covered that 20-30 lbs gap that most floats don’t.

About the Spring Float:

  • No weight limit.. within reason. Don’t try and put your 4 year old in it.
  • Ages 9-24 months
  • It comes in  different color patterns and they are all adorable!
  • Low seat provides secure center of gravity
  • It has their patented “inner spring” for better stability in the water.
  • Flat area around them to put toys on or to splash without flipping into the water.
  • Folds flat and compact for easy storage and portability – it’s perfect for travel! I was going to wait and post this review in my Beach Babies post, but it’s too awesome not to share now.BurritoBuzzSpringFloathowto
  • Very light and comes with a mesh storage bag.
  • Some styles comes with removable and adjustable sun canopy.Burritobuzzswimways.jpg

This float is priced fabulously! Only about $18. The construction of this float is superb and I’m sure it will hold up for a long time! Even though the price point is affordable, they didn’t skimp on quality.

While doing research on it, I found some people were upset because water got on top of the float. I didn’t have this problem, but I did see some photos where people didn’t blow up the little air pockets. It is designed like a pop up kid’s play tent, but you still have to inflate it! Be sure to follow the directions when you use it.

I am very happy with the Spring Float and it is definitely a must-have for summer! Keep a look out for an update on this post. I will probably add some more pictures when we use it at the beach!

– Amanda

**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 and we never guarantee a positive review.**

{Jellycat} My Favorite Baby Shower Gift

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I adore all things baby. I mean, who doesn’t? Baby clothes and toys are just adorable 100% of the time. When we had a shower for BK#1, we received our first Jellycat and I fell in love! Above is our little Jellycat collection.

Woodland Fox      Woodland Owl    Bashful Hippo    Bashful Monkey

These are my favorite stuffed animals and the cutest ones I have ever come across. They are a cross between a beanie baby and a super plush stuffed animal. The hands and feet generally have the beanies and the rest is an amazingly plush body. I love that they are all an A-line design. Meaning that the neck is generally smaller than the rest of the body, making it really easy for a younger child to hold. They are the perfect size for a little one to carry around.

  • They are all suitable from birth!
  • Made of polyester, filled plastic pellets and all have plastic eyes
  • Spot clean only
  • They’re available in multiple sizes and styles. All of ours are 12 inches. Jelly-Cats.jpg

Besides being very lovable, Jellycat made them even better and matched them up with their own board books! Each character has its own book. They are all little sensory baby books, but BK#1 is two now and still asks me to read them on a daily basis!

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The toes are little pieces of velcro

I also have never had a stuffed animal that has held up this well! Technically, you aren’t supposed to wash them but we all know sometimes you have no other option. The monkey in the picture has been washed more times than I can count and it still looks and feels like its new! I honestly should buy a second monkey to have a backup because I don’t even want to think about what would happen if BK#1 didn’t have it to sleep with.

The price is based on the style and size but they are generally around $15-$25. The books are usually $12.50 but sometimes you can find a sale on Amazon or at your local boutique!

Visit Jellycat.com to see all of the styles and products that they carry.

If you have a baby sprinkle or shower coming up and can’t decide what to buy, a Jellycat stuffed animal and book set would be the perfect gift!

– Amanda

 

 

Gun Safety In The Home

GunSafetyInTheHomeSelf-defense is a very big part of my family’s life. My husband is in law enforcement and keeping our family safe is extremely important to us.rules-of-gun-safety.png

There is a lot of debate about gun control right now, but I am not going to get into that here. Owning a gun is your right and your choice. If your family makes that choice, it needs to be an safe and educated choice! BurritoBuzz is not taking a stance on your gun rights. This is merely an informational article.

I am personally not an expert. These safety tips are just from my family’s safety practices, years of education and experiences.

Twelve steps to safely have a gun in your home.

  1. Always use a safe. Your safe should be specifically made for guns and it should only hold guns, you should have a completely different safe for personal belongings. Even if the kids know there are guns in the home, they shouldn’t know where the safe is or have any type of access to it even if they are within age of teaching gun safety. There should always be parental supervision even when teaching.0075107712309_500X500.jpg
    Gunvault GV1000S Mini Vault Standard Gun Safe This is a simple hand gun safe that we have. I really like it for two reasons. One, you can bolt it anywhere you want to conceal it and two, you don’t have to fumble around for keys. (There is a key provided, but not necessary to open)
  2. Learn how to properly handle a firearm. Whether you take a CCW class or a small class at your local range, you need to learn about your personal gun to ensure proper safety and use make sure you are knowledgeable in your specific firearm.
  3. Practice. You have a gun for emergencies. It is not going to do you any good if you don’t know how to handle it properly. I’m not saying you have to go to the range every weekend, but you should go at least once or twice so you feel comfortable having it in your home and now how to properly handle it.
  4. Ease of access. The gun needs to be secured in a hidden safe but somewhere where you can get to it easily.feature_ORS.png
  5. Teach everyone in your home about firearm safety. Read up on Project child safe and get here their free firearm safety kit!
  6. Always unload and clean your gun after every use. Any firearm should also be cleaned on a regular basis even, when not in use, to keep it clean from dust and to prevent any rust.Cleaning-pistol.jpg
  7. All guns should be treated as if they were loaded. When not actually in use, remember to point it in a safe direction and be sure it is unloaded.
  8. Keep your finger off the trigger.
  9. Always keep your safety in place.
  10. Your children and “Gun play”.  It is a very real activity. Even if you don’t have any play guns in your own home, be sure to teach your children the difference between toy guns and real guns, because they may encounter “gun play” when you’re not around.nerf-revolver.jpg
  11. Talk to your children at a young age about gun safety. Teach them to do the following if they see a gun: “Stop. Don’t Touch. Find an adult to tell.” My husband carries a gun on him at times and my two year old knows not to touch it when it’s attached to daddy (or ever for that matter). Even if you aren’t going to have your gun around your children, please teach them those three steps. It is a simple lesson and it may save a life.If you see a gun. burritobuzz .png
  12. Check state and local laws for storage, transport, and securing requirements. Here is a great overview.

As parents, we are always worrying about our children. We are always worrying if we are doing the right or wrong thing for them. No matter how you do it, I can assure you that if you are taking steps to protect them, you are doing the right thing no matter how you choose to do protect them. If you choose to have a gun in your home, please do it safely! Guns are not toys or collectables. I will be sure to post more about gun safety at the end of this post. The more you educate yourself about this topic, the safer you and your family will be!

– Amanda

Goddess Garden Sunscreen {Review}

Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. source

Melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, will account for about 76,380 cases of skin cancer in 2016. source

Melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths, accounting for more than 10,000 of the more than 13,650 skin cancer deaths each year. source 

The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. source

Increasing intermittent sun exposure in childhood and during one’s lifetime is associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. source

In 2010, new research found that daily sunscreen use cut the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, in half. source

Cancer is a ridiculously scary disease. I don’t have to tell you that.  Do you really know how scary it is? My main question is this: are you doing enough to prevent it? I know I have said it and I hear it all the time, “well, everything causes cancer.” It may feel like that is true, but not everything causes cancer. There are a lot of things we can do to prevent skin cancer in particular. As parents, we should be hyper-vigilant about sunscreen!

I try my hardest to give my children the best they can possibly have. It might put a little dent in our budget, but we do a lot of organic foods and products. Not only organic, but I spend a lot of time trying to find chemical free products. I wish I could say that all of my purchases are all natural, organic, chemical free, grass fed, chopped down by Uncle Bob, but lets face it, to be that crunchy, you have to have moneyA lot of money! We just don’t have that kind of money and neither does 90% of America.

Recently, I have realized how much junk is in most sunscreens. Tons of chemicals, perfumes, and additives that are just not necessary. Our skin is our biggest organ and we should be trying to protect it as best as we can, the same way we try to protect our heart by not eating too much greasy food, our lungs by not smoking, our liver by watching our alcohol intake, etc. Shouldn’t we be watching what our skin takes in?

I don’t know all of the research that is behind the latest “all sunscreen is bad for you, unless it’s such and such brand” fad. I don’t think it’s a fad that chemicals are bad for you, but I have had an extremely hard time finding cause and effect research. What does this chemical do?  What are the long term effects? We just know that the more natural you can get, the better, right? I’m not saying you’re a bad parent for not using the high end mineral sunscreens. I’m just stating a fact that less chemicals are better! Let’s face it, my kids love Goldfish crackers! I probably shouldn’t have introduced them, but hey, they are quick and yummy. I can barely say half of the ingredients. By no means are they organic and all natural!

Cancer runs in our family and like it or not, sunscreen is a pretty big part of my family’s life. We can all agree that sunscreen is important no matter what brand you buy. 

In my search of all natural sunscreens, I found Goddess Garden and they graciously let me try their product.

Goddess Garden sunscreens are all:

  • Easy to apply, non-whitening and all-natural.
  • Zinc and titanium are used as active ingredients. I am trying to avoid Oxybenzone, Octinoxate and  Retinyl Palmitate, as they seem to be the most common chemical ingredient. You can read more here.
  • All have Aloe as the first inactive ingredient.
  • This is a certified organic product
  • Strong water resistance rated to 40 minutes.
  • Non-Nano, Reef Safe, Non-GMO, Biodegradable, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Alcohol Free, Paraben and Phthalate Free, and Free from Gluten Ingredients.

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Goddess Garden Baby SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen, Lotion, 3.4-Ounce

Their baby sunscreen is a little more whitening on the skin than the others, but it blends in quickly.

I know most people don’t like the whitening that a sunscreen lotion gives, but my children and I have very fair skin, so I like to be able to see the lotion!

It has no perfumes and practically no scent. The bottle says “may stain some fabrics,” but I used it for a week and nothing has been stained.

The only active ingredient is Zinc Oxide 19.0%

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Goddess Garden Kids SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen, Lotion, 6-Ounce

Unlike the baby lotion, there is a second active ingredient for the kid’s lotion, Titanium Dioxide. Zinc Oxide 6.0% & Titanium Dioxide 6.4%

The kid’s lotion is definitely not as whitening as the baby lotion.

No scent.

Although it blended in better, it stays wet a little longer. It didn’t seem to run or get in BK#1’s eyes though, which is a plus. Other than the feel, it isn’t a problem.

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Goddess Garden Kids SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen, Lotion, 6-Ounce

Looking into the specifics of this lotion confused me. Their “every day” lotion has the exact same ingredients as the kids lotion, but is priced higher.

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Goddess Garden Facial SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen, Lotion, 3.4-Ounce

Their facial lotion has the same active ingredients as their baby lotion.The facial lotion is not whitening like the baby lotion, it is sheer like the kid’s lotion.” The facial formula uses a polished form of zinc that rubs on more sheer, and it also has some added ingredients like immortelle essential oil that are great for reducing the appearance of wrinkles.”

Price point is about the same as the baby lotion. Again, just preference, but I wouldn’t buy two bottles if I wanted to get a baby lotion and a facial lotion.

All of the lotions held up great, neither of my babies got a sunburn while using it! I definitely have a new favorite on my list of sunscreens.

My only complaint is the price. In general, all organic products are priced significantly higher than non-organic. Doing some math, I found that Goddess Garden only charges on average $3 more. It’s not great, but it really isn’t bad at all! In my opinion, it’s a good price for a higher end product.

Have a safe and happy Summer!

~Amanda Burritobuzz Sunscreen tips.png**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 and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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

Let’s get this out in the open…

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I’ve struggled with writing this post for more than half a year now. Wondering what words are right, fearing the emotions that would come with it, and being utterly ashamed of the way I felt, even if only briefly.

I struggled to get pregnant. TTC (trying to conceive, for anyone unfamiliar with the infertility world,) for 1.5 years. I had a hard pregnancy, where my OB thought my son might come early (too early.) My labor was straight from a dramatic scene you would see in Grey’s Anatomy, where my son’s heart rate was dropping low because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. And post partum? Sheesh. My son had bad reflux– the kind where they choke on their own spit up and you’re terrified that they could do it in the middle of the night and you can’t get to them quickly enough.

My first week home was fine. No major problems. Typical insomnia, but OH so much love for that tiny human of mine. I cried happy tears, because the outcome of my labor could have been vastly different. I came home with a happy, healthy little baby. I was beyond thankful.

After a week or so I noticed my hormones tanking. I was upset all the time. I was sleep deprived to the point of psychosis. I didn’t eat. I didn’t do anything. I was paralyzed with the crippling fear of keeping my son happy and healthy. He ate all the time, slept on a crazy schedule. He spit up more than he ate. I had lost interest in everything other than taking care of my guy.

I lost my identity completely.

I went from being this strong, independent woman… to being afraid to leave the house for fear of strangers with germs, car accidents, my child throwing a fit in the store, etc etc etc. There was so much unknown.

And while I can say that I never had thoughts of harming my child, I did sit rocking him with tears flowing (often on him,) wondering what I was doing wrong. Googling all hours of the night ways to help him sleep, and feel content and not be so refluxy. Untitled.png

I didn’t want company. I didn’t want to talk, hang, let other people hold him. I didn’t want their germs, their advice, their opinions. I didn’t want it.

My mom helped often, and I went to check-ups with my OB to make sure my hormones were getting balanced out. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I would have made it through.

Dealing with the baby blues and postpartum depression absolutely does not correlate with whether or not you love your child. Anyone that knows me can tell you that my world revolves around my little boy. I love him more than I could ever put into words. I would do anything for him. I need him all the time, and I miss him when I’m away from him for even a few minutes.

But PPD takes over your mind completely. Thoughts become irrational and finite, and looking past the temporary situation is near impossible. There is an immense struggle to adapt, because it all happens so quickly.

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Post partum depression is still a taboo topic. If you have a happy, healthy baby… then you should just be happy. But the brain doesn’t understand that. It just doesn’t. And while PPD usually subsides within a few months when hormones level out, sometimes it requires medication and lasts a much longer span of time (a really amazing crusader that has spoken out about her long battle with PPD is Hayden Panettiere. Also, Brooke Shields wrote a great book on her PPD.) Not saying that it takes a celebrity to realize that this is a problem, but I’m glad that a few celebrities are using their fame to open up about their struggles.)

Realizing that there is a problem is important. Letting people know that you need a support system is the best way through it. Go to your doctor and get a check-up. Talk to other women that have had PPD and the baby blues. Get out. Seriously… don’t worry about strangers at Target when you’re waltzing through in your yoga pants, mom bun, and your child is screaming. And baby wear— baby wearing helped me SO much. I felt like I gained some independence back when I started wearing my son around everywhere. It’s great bonding, and allows you to move around freely.

If you have a spouse/significant other, make sure you explain to them how you are feeling so that they know when and where they can help. Take all the help you can get. Make parenting a bonding experience, and try to avoid frustration in times of chaos. This is a learning experience for him as much as it is for you. My husband was a wonderful support. And while he wasn’t always as quick to run to our crying baby, he helped and he really stepped up when I asked for extra support with taking care of our newborn. I am forever thankful to him for being such a wonderful dad.

And lastly… don’t be ashamed. As moms we are entirely too hard on ourselves. We created and gave life, and we’re putting another human’s needs above our own. Most of us have insane hormonal imbalances after having our little ones, so we need to give ourselves some credit. Take care of yourself! You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

I’d also like to reach out to adoptive parents here, because it’s totally possible to have PPD as an adoptive parent! There are a ton of articles out there on this, but here is one that I liked.

If you have a severe form of PPD that leads to unusual anger/rage, I encourage you to get help as soon as possible. There are all kinds of agencies that specialize in getting women with PPD the help that they need.

PPD/Baby Blues lasted roughly 3 months for me. After which point, I noticed my hormones leveling back out. I was able to resume normal life activities, and being a mother finally felt natural. I have a happy one year old son who is my everything. “This too shall pass” was my happy motto, and I’m so glad that I was right. Life has never been better.

-Katie

Bio Oil {Review for the Mommas!}

I got through 38 weeks of pregnancy without a single stretch mark. Oh man was I proud of it. Like hey, look… no stretch marks! My skin is so awesome and hydrated. I thought my skin just had supernatural powers. Until, one morning I woke up with an entire little colony of stretch marks. Just BAM. Went to bed without them, and overnight those little jerks just colonized my lower stomach and sides. 

I had a meltdown.

Full on, tantrum style.

Then I remembered: I’M MAKING A PERSON! I decided to give myself 24 hours to mope about it, and then I was going to shut up and deal with it. There were bigger things happening in the universe.

So that’s what I did. I pouted for a full 24 hours, and then stopped. After the birth of my tiny human I couldn’t possibly care less about my stretch marks (because let’s be honest here ladies, there are vastly worse things happening post-partum…)

I decided I would do some research and at least try to reclaim the territory that was once my flat-stomach. After entirely too many hours of Google searching and reading through forums, I ordered Bio Oil. I ordered the 2 ounce bottle for right around $9. 2 ounces doesn’t sound like much, but I applied it pretty graciously for 3 months before it ran out.

bio-oil-2oz

Bio oil is dense. The smell isn’t very fragrant, but that isn’t really the purpose. It sticks to your skin, and that’s the important point. Buying an oil to eradicate stretch marks is only helpful if the oil stays on your skin.

I applied twice a day. The first few weeks I didn’t notice a huge change, but over the course of a few months the changes to my skin were almost unbelievable. I felt like some kind of unrealistic TV commercial where they show off results that have actually been photoshopped and aren’t true to life.

My stretch marks largely disappeared. The ones on my sides vanished more than the ones on my stomach. You can tell that they’re still there if you look closely, but really… this stuff impressed me more than I ever expected. (As a side note, I had tried most other oils and lotions that you can easily purchase in the store, and none of them did much of anything for me.)

In reality, I know that my stretch marks will always be there to some extent. While they may not be nearly as visible as they once were, I wear them as a badge of honor. I’m so blessed to have been able to carry a child. It’s not something I take for granted. This exterior was the home for my child for 9 months. It nurtured him and kept him warm. For that reason alone, I can’t hate my body.

-Katie

I FEEL ALIVE

37285-Take-Care-Of-YourselfI feel alive! Says no new mom ever after having a baby.

I was so used to a standard of living, that revolved around ME. Coffee was optional, eyeliner mandatory, and anything short of a 15 minute shower was a sin especially if it didn’t include some great smelling exfoliate and my Clarisonic.)

Once that tiny human entered into the world? Game. Over. I seriously looked like I’d lived on the streets of Chicago for the past 5 years. No sleep. No time. Endless worrying. And the visitors. Ohhhhh the visitors.

I found myself scrambling to get my house clean and look presentable before people came over (and honestly, this hasn’t changed. Sure, my 9 month old is more independent now, but not so much that I really have “me” time. Showers are still 5 minutes long, and getting ready includes some quick makeup and taking a curling iron to my usually still-wet hair (don’t yell at me hair stylist friends! I know, this is bad.)

So, I figured I’d compile a list of items that made me feel ready for the day as a new mom.

  1. Dry Shampoo: I’m the type of person that showers daily. I just have naturally oily skin and need to shower to feel clean all the time. But, I swear by dry shampoo (again, as a person with oily skin.) My favorite? Dove.
  2. 300Yoga Pants: Not just any yoga pants, the good kind that sucks in the post-baby pouch.
  3. Facial Wipes: I paired Burt’s Bee’s with some Garnier moisture rescue. k2-_c5c724b7-2a9d-4f21-b5d1-8993f714444f.v2
  4. Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Just have it. A lot of it. Always. 
  5. A few cute, comfortable shirts that are larger than what you’d normally wear. I paired a ton of baggy shirts with yoga pants until I felt comfortable in my jeans again. And if you’ve had a c-section, you’ll really be thanking yourself for buying some comfy clothing.
  6. 14414958Elf Eyeliner, and Estee Lauder lipstick. Not everyone loves makeup, but I do. I worked for Dior for a while, and my family is basically composed of various makeup-artist types. So, I needed a few things that would last through the day. Elf cream eyeliner, and an Estee Lauder lipstick always survived the chaos.
  7. As always, take care of yourself. Vitamins, healthy eating, small workouts, and napping if you get the chance. All of this is easier said than done, but it makes a difference. (And to anyone dealing with some post-partum baby blues or depression, exercise and keeping yourself healthy will only aid you in getting back to your normal mentality.)

-Katie

My Picky Toddler

Just when I thought breastfeeding was one of the most challenging things I would do as a parent, I was wrong again. Ever since our little girl was around 18 months old, she has become one of those picky toddlers I never in a million years thought she would be. As an infant, I nursed and bottle fed her breast milk until she was around 15 months old. I started solid foods with her around 5 months and she was always so great at everything! I never had trouble with transitioning her from breast to bottle. She loved oatmeal cereal, veggies, fruits, combinations – you name it, she ate it. I used to love making baby food for her because she would try everything. She made it fun. I didn’t care if she made a mess because she seemed to enjoy it! I remember telling other parents how awesome of an eater she was and being so proud. I thought I was doing everything right.

And then it was as if a switch had been flipped. It’s hard to even pinpoint exactly when it happened because we just kept saying, “It’s a phase.” Or, “maybe she will eat better the next time.” That “phase” lasted a few days, then a few weeks and months, and now here we are, a year later. She is still that picky toddler and I have no idea why. Now, we’re left feeling like one of the worst sets of parents in the world. It’s so frustrating.

Are we really doing it all wrong?

She has never been a child that tells us when she is hungry. She doesn’t snack or eat junk food and only drinks milk and water. That’s okay, right? We try to make sure she eats a variety of foods, covers all of her food groups, but some days after an hour in the high chair for a meal, it just has to be enough. I feel like she has just two types of food most days – fruits and noodles. The only vegetables she eats consistently are pickles and olives. Does that count? She doesn’t fight with us when it comes time to eat. She sits in her high chair as content as can be and just doesn’t eat much. Instead, she will do just about anything else except eat.

After we finally settled with the fact that the “phase” we were in with our picky toddler wasn’t going to end anytime soon, it was time to just deal and accept it. We had to embrace it. We are always offering her different foods, but also trying not to overwhelm her with options.  We try to compromise with her sometimes. We’ll say, “If you eat three greens beans, Mommy will give you some popcorn.” Some days she buys it. We have just learned to go with it and not to stress about it. I have full faith that she will eat if she is hungry. I also believe that if we make a big ordeal of her not eating, she will probably eat even less.

We had to accept that it’s not our fault and we aren’t doing anything wrong. We had to stop beating ourselves up about it. Kids are kids. Some kids are great eaters and some kids aren’t. Just because she eats like a bird now, doesn’t mean she won’t grow up to be a lover of all types of food later in life. She’s a kid. They are unpredictable little beings. She might start to enjoy food tomorrow, maybe not, but we will know that we did the best we could and she will still be a happy, healthy little girl either way!

Below is an awesome picture from NewBornBabyZone.com that has some helpful food ideas for our kiddos at each age group.

 Healthy Foods That Babies Like Most (Infographic)

-Megan

Lansinoh Breast Therapy Product Review

When Lansinoh provided us with product to review for them we enlisted some moms to help us with the process. We were so happy to get some very honest and thorough surveys about these therapy packs, along with our own opinions.

This product is a mommy favorite by a landslide! The therapy packs help you overcome engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis. You can form the packs all the way around your breast for relief all over, not just in one spot. There are two in a box, and can be used hot or cold! Cold – to help with swelling. Hot for relief from plugged ducts or mastitis, OR as a pump aid to help with let down and pump time.

Pros: Very easy to use! One of our mommy- testers said “I usually don’t respond to the pump very well and have a hard time getting much milk from pumping, but these warm packs really increase the amount of milk I am able to express. ITherapearl_Pack_and_Product (2)‘m very impressed!” These packs stay warm up to an hour, so way longer than you would ever need them to pump!

These also help you fully empty, while pumping, to get the most out of your pumping session.

Freezing the packs works just as nice, staying cold for about 45 min for relief!

Cons: The only cons that some moms had, was that they get hot spots after being in the microwave. This problem is easily aided by squishing them around a little before applying them.

Also depending on size of breast, they slide around a little while pumping, so you have to get them sitting pretty good before you begin, or you will have a mess.

This product is great, everything that Lansinoh claims that it is and more. All of our moms gave it a 5 star rating and said that they would recommend their friends to purchase this product!

~Amanda

**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.**

Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker Product Review

untitled (6)Pros: BK#1 LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this swing! I mean it was the only way I could get her to sleep in the first few months of life. Between colic and being a new mom this thing was a God send! (BK#2 Likes it, but doesn’t seem to fall asleep as easily in it.) It has 6 swing speeds, which is really nice because when they get up there in weight you need a swing with a little more umph.(This swing has a 30lb weight limit!) Multiple songs on the music setting, and multiple noises on the soothe setting (birds, heartbeat, water, and white noise). images (2)The seat itself can adjust to 3 different incline positions, and you can also turn the direction that the seat swings! Which was fabulous for our little apartment we were in at first with BK#1. My favorite part of this swing, that most swings don’t have, is the plug-in option! I hate buying batteries! Can’t stand it, and charging batteries is just as annoying. My second favorite part is that it is not only a swing, but also a bouncer. This was extremely convenient when the baby is sleeping and you want to take them with you into another room! Just lift and go, it was fabulous!

untitled (7)Cons: Did you see that there….was fabulous. Last night as I went to place my sleeping infant in the swing, and I found that the swing wasn’t working! The power light turned on, and the music worked, but the swing wouldn’t move. The motor had burned up. I called the company this morning and because I don’t have the paperwork etc. from purchase, and it is barely over the one year warranty mark, there is nothing they can do! Even though they admitted that it was a product defect. It was a shower gift, so of course I don’t have the paperwork a year later! (I registered at Babiesrus and it was purchased there) That is beside the point, a swing should last over year. If this swing hadn’t died on me I would be telling everyone to go buy a dozen of them! We seriously loved it! Sad, sad day! The swing is fairly large, so some people might not like it, but it worked well for us. Also, the vibration on the seat was pretty noisy and might wake a sleeping baby, or prevent sleep.

Overall, I was a little let down. Being a huge Graco fan, I expected the usual high quality product. This did not meet my expectations. Hopefully the company fixes the defect for future products!

~Amanda

If you see me out…

Congratulations. You’ve had a baby. The hospital has sent you home VERY quickly with your new, needy, adorable infant. You’re lucky if you’ve had a shower by this point, and your hair is probably already up in the “mom bun” that will become its new home for the next 6 months or more (you know what I’m talking about, ladies.) You take your car ride home, and once you get there… you think “what now?!”

article-2221909-1589FD09000005DC-659_634x728Parents are exhausted for a long time after having a baby. When I say a long time… I mean, I don’t even know when the end is in sight yet (my LO is just now 8 months, and I’m still pulling some pretty intense all-nighters.) Do I ever get to sleep in again? Will I ever have time to do cat-eye liner again? Take a shower longer than 5 minutes? Read a book for a WHOLE entire chapter?

So let me just tell you– those 8 weeks of maternity leave I looked liked I’d just survived a few weeks of zombie apocalypse. Yoga pants. Dry shampoo. No makeup. And yeah, I totally forgot to brush my teeth and eat a meal more than once. Infants require 24/7 attention, and if I looked crazy, it’s because my postpartum hormones and lack of sleep had totally taken over. Don’t get me wrong, I put everything I had into nurturing my tiny, amazing human, but WOW did I look rough.

So my first trip leaving the house: I went to Target (the mecca of all for meccas for moms.) While standing in the card aisle I witnessed another new mom with her toddler and also new-ish baby waltz by. But let me tell you– she was not me. This woman looked like a celebrity. Skinny. Hair done. Makeup done. Babies calm. I had a total meltdown, right there in the card aisle of Target. I justified her glamour by saying she must be their aunt, or have a night nanny, or have her mother living with her. Or maybe it was a total mirage and I was hallucinating from the lack of sleep.

Who knows.

Now I wonder sometimes if I’m that mom, because when I go out these days I feel like I really have it together. I can shower, do makeup, curl my hair, make some coffee easily in 20 minutes. I take my LO out of his drool-covered onesie and throw some cute clothes on him. He’s almost always content on trips, and spends most of his time flirting with the ladies. I’ve built up some serious arm muscle and can handle carrying both my LO, and an infinite amount of groceries (seriously, I’d rather dislocate both of my arms than take more than one trip out to the car to unload.)

So, I feel like I’ve got it together.

The point? I want new moms to know that the zombie-apocalypse phase doesn’t necessarily go away, but you get good at it. I’m talking Michonne from the Walking Dead good. Those first few weeks home with a newborn you are in total survival mode: feed the baby, change the baby, Google all the things you don’t know how to do with the baby, cry in the bathroom, maybe remember deodorant. But soon after, those parenting-instincts kick in and you acclimate to the situation. You develop routines, learn how to best take advantage of naps and play times, memorize the peak Target rush hours so you can avoid crowds, and continue to take pointers from other moms who have recently survived the battlefield. So if you see me out, I wasn’t always able to feel “put together” for the day. And if you need more time in your yoga pants, I won’t judge you.comparison-is-the-thief-of-

Here are some of the tips that helped me:

  1. Start establishing a routine as soon as possible. It may take weeks to work, but eventually it will.
  2. Take care of yourself. Sometimes this means taking help from others. Get a shower, and make a cup of tea for yourself. You can’t be healthy to take care of your baby if you aren’t taking care of your mental and physical needs for yourself.
  3. If you have a partner helping you with the baby, be straight-forward. Letting him/her know your needs will help both of you to avoid frustration when those 2AM crying wake-up calls come.
  4. Don’t stay up late. I know we all just want some time to ourselves after our LO falls asleep, but if your LO is a poor sleeper, try to go to bed around the time that they do. (I was never a person that could sleep when the baby did during the day, but when I put my LO down at 8:00 every night, I promptly hopped into bed.)
  5. Find ways to simplify your routines. Set clothes out the night before, set your coffee to brew, find simple hairstyles and makeup tips to make yourself feel human.
  6. Stick to the routine. I can’t say it enough– when we started sleep-training our LO, everyone invited us to come over to their houses for late parties. As much as you might want to keep your LO up so that you can go have fun, don’t. Routines are hard to establish, and easy to break. If you want to go out, hire a babysitter that is comfortable with putting your LO to bed.
  7. Take a shower without the baby monitor (or the baby,) in the room. When my LO was super tiny and wouldn’t sleep, he sat in his rock n’ play while I showered. But, nothing is as relaxing as a shower alone while someone else watches the baby for a few minutes.
  8. Have as many things shipped to you as possible. SAMS club ships baby items free, and my Amazon Prime membership has been thoroughly used. Quick trips to the store are no longer quick… and sometimes it’s just easier to order what you need online, and then push all of the boxes quickly in through your front door before your neighbor sees them when they’re delivered.
  9. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You won’t be able to do everything you could before. Want to watch an entire season of Parks and Recreation in one sitting? HA. Forget about it. Stick to a half an hour episode, and count yourself lucky if you only have to pause it twice.
  10. Don’t compare. Every mom handles having a baby differently. Every mom has struggles (whether they’re external or not.)

Just remember that each phase of infancy is just that, a phase. Soon your tiny baby will be a grown adult that doesn’t need your constant care;treasure the moments while they’re still little.

-Katie

The Salmon Made Me Do It!

burnt-salmon

Salmon was for dinner. Baby K#2 was sleeping and BabyK#1 was playing with daddy.  I should have been able to make dinner peacefully and calmly. Except for the fact that BabyK#1 wanted nothing to do with daddy; she wanted mommy, and all of mommy. So, I attempted to cook dinner and play on the kitchen floor with some shape blocks at the same time. Bad idea. I didn’t have time to cook fish and play. The fish started falling apart, and so started the rage fit for the hour. My blood was boiling and I felt like I could punch a wall. I felt like I could punch a wall over some stupid fish falling apart. Right about this time BabyK#1 stepped on a block and was completely losing it! So, I scooped her up and took her in the living room and convinced her to play with daddy. The salmon! The salmon was burnt to a crisp. At this point I literally threw the pan into the sink and screamed “forget it no one is eating today”.  There began the tears for the evening. I wept…. I’m not talking a little bit of crying. I’m talking soaked your shirt, cant breath, and you probably should crawl to the bathroom in case you puke kind of tears.  My DH  just held me and let me cry, but he shouldn’t have had to do that. THAT woman was NOT the person he married. THAT woman was far from the person that I am. I was unrecognizable even to myself.

I am not the mother who lays on the couch for hours at a time.

I am not the mother who is scared she might throw the book that her toddler threw back at the toddler.

I am not the mother who holds her newborn and weeps…and weeps…and weeps, because why? Who knows?

I am not the mother who hears both babies crying and rolls over in bed.

I am not the mother who is furious that her one month old wants held, and won’t sleep for more than two hours at night.

I am not the wife who questions every move her husband makes.

I am not the wife who doesn’t trust her husband. With anything.

I am not the wife who avoids physical contact.

I am not the friend who dodges phone calls and texts.

I am not the friend who doesn’t show up to hang out.

I am not her.

I feel physically ill when I think about how I acted and what could have happened. It was the most terrifying feeling I had ever experienced. I decided that evening to talk to my midwife and do something about how I was feeling. Deciding to push past the stigma, fear, and pride; suck it up, and do what the doctor said would help me two weeks ago when I went in, because I knew something was off and it was worrying me. The evening of the salmon (yeah that’s what it is being called) was not worrisome. It was terrifying.

I always thought that being depressed meant that you were sad all the time and didn’t wash your hair or leave your house. I’m sure that’s probably a good description of depression for some people, but it’s also a pretty good description of being a mom, minus the sad part. But I found in reading articles and talking to a few friends that irritability and anger are also symptoms of depression. Uh, two humungous check marks right there!

So, what is PPD, and what is the difference between PPD and your good ol’ baby blues???

***You should always consult with a physician about any symptoms. These are just my findings***

Baby Blues “begin in the first few days following delivery and are typically gone by about two weeks postpartum. Symptoms tend to be mild.” The usual weepiness/crying for no apparent reason, impatience, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, sadness, mood changes, and poor concentration are all symptoms of baby blues.

All of this was pretty manageable for me with BabyK#1. I cried some, I got annoyed some but that was it, and it only lasted about a week.

PPD is a “serious mental health problem characterized by the prolonged period of emotional disturbance occurring at the time of major life change and increased responsibilities in the care of a newborn infant. PPD can have significant consequences for both the new mother and family.”

There are so many symptoms but the ones that I have read about are : Loss of appetite, insomnia, intense irritability and anger, overwhelming fatigue, loss of interest in sex, lack of joy in life, feelings of shame guilt or inadequacy, severe mood swings, withdrawal from family friends, difficulty bonding with your baby, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

About two weeks after BabyK#2 was born the symptoms just kept on coming and kept getting worse. I talked to my husband, and my mom trying to convince myself that I wasn’t completely losing it. I kept putting on a happy face and shoving all the feelings/lack of feelings down. I felt like a horrible mother and a horrible wife. I doubted if I was supposed to be a mother and a wife. Mostly, I doubted my decision to become a mother. Not just a good mother, but a mother in general. Me! The person who has wanted children since I was a little girl! Me! The person who only ever wanted to be a mother. My “dream job” growing up was to be mom. I was living it and I didn’t know if I still wanted it. I doubted whether I should have ever had kids. I knew that I COULD do it, but I wondered why on earth I had WANTED to do it. When I had a bad day I just wanted to run away. I knew I would come back, I just wanted to stand up grab my keys and walk out the door and have an hour to just relax and not feel needed. And that feeling was so strange. It was almost like my body was willing itself to do this. It was an internal power struggle. Half of me was trying to get up and walk out, while the other half, the more rational side was preventing this from happening. So very strange. None of that was me. In any shape or form.

After living like this for about 7 weeks a friend came over to visit. She has 4 children and they are all very close in age like mine. I asked her if she had gone through any of this, if she took the medication prescribed, and if she went to therapy, or how she made out on the other side. She began telling me her story of how she was completely numb, couldn’t connect to her kids, she wouldn’t eat and how it lasted for years without her saying a word. WOW! Years? I feel like I’m going crazy after a few weeks. I couldn’t imagine not having anyone to talk to, and not having a resolution for this for years! Needless to say hearing from her and the night of the salmon gave me the guts do what needed done. No matter how cruddy I felt.

Being a mom means doing hard things. And sometimes the hardest thing is asking for the help you need. And the rage is still there. It’s the most difficult part to manage and from my experience, the least-talked about symptom of depression. I’m typing this now in tears, because it’s all so fresh and real, and still so present. I have only felt “normal” for about a week now. And by “normal” I mean not about to fly off the handle. I am in no way completely healed. Yes, I’m still fighting the depression, sadness, and rage. But now, finally … finally I feel like I’m winning.

That’s why I’m writing this post. I want all you moms out there to know that if you deal with PPD, depression, and especially the rage that can accompany it, you are not alone. You are not a bad mom. It can and will get better—if you get help. But now I understand that depression happens to regular people. These scary feelings do not make me a bad mother. And with medication, therapy, lots of prayer, and healthier life choices, I feel more like me again.

~Amanda

Sources :

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/basics/definition/con-20029130

The decision to go part time…

Priorities. Priorities rule my life; the priority of my child over money, of time with my child over work. My world revolves around how I prioritize each day. I grew up with a very career-oriented drive. I knew I wanted to go to college. I knew I wanted, a minimum, of a bachelor’s degree. I wanted to take care of myself. I did all of that– moved out young, worked hard, graduated with honors, and got hired in full-time at a new company. I quickly worked through three positions into a spot that I felt comfortable in. While I often hated the work, I loved my coworkers (or most of them.) I loathed the nearly hour commute to and from every day on a major highway, but learned to accept it. I worked there for just over 3.5 years.

I had convinced myself that I would put Lucas in a good, reputable child care and stay full-time at my job. How could I not? Student loans are crippling, especially with a mortgage and all of the other day-to-day bills.

As my pregnancy progressed, I continually became more and more apprehensive. Being gone 50 hours a week M-F, plus owning a photography business? Would my child even know us? I thought I had a choice to make, but the choice had already been made (I’m kidding myself if I act like it was even a question.) My gut knew that I’d be going part-time and that we’d make it work. By NO means am I discrediting child care… most of the workers are fantastic, I’m sure. My mom picked up child care for the 3 days a week I’d be working. I would work 25 hours and still run my business, giving me 3-4 days with Lucas. We cut out budget. Lowered our payments on our student loans and mortgage. We did what we had to do to be able to make the decision work. (I know that for some families, the budget couldn’t be cut anymore than it already is. To you parents that don’t have the option: I’m sorry that our system doesn’t work more in favor of new parents. It’s a sad reality, and hopefully something that will change in the future.)

Going part time I still grappled with feeling like I gave up my career. Right before taking my part-time position, I was offered a full time DREAM job as a media specialist. I took a few days to decide, but knew in my heart that it wasn’t what I wanted.

But here’s my point: Our country has such double standards for parents. If women step down to go part time they are treated pretty harshly. I left my job two weeks after my maternity leave. I didn’t plan it out that way, it’s just how it happened. (If we’re being honest here, I started looking for a new job about 2 weeks after starting there. I just hadn’t accepted anything.) And even though I felt like I was a great worker, and constantly was commended on my work there, my boss couldn’t even say “bye, good luck” when I left. I just had a baby. I’m leaving the only thing I’ve known for the last 3.5 years for a whole new world. You can’t even say bye? We won’t even start on the fact that men get no paternity leave half of the time. Come on America… let’s get it together. By the time my maternity leave was over my postpartum hormones hadn’t even settled down yet (like, crying in the aisles of Target, not sure how I’d live with out my own mom postpartum hormones.)

So how about: let’s accept women (and men) for the choices they make. Staying home full time? Great. Working full time? Good for you. A mix of both? Sounds good. Sad that you can’t have the choice? I empathize.

Being a parent is hard. Being a first time parent is REALLY hard. Let’s not add the extra stress.