Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mama Said, V.1

Welcome to a new feature series here on Sometimes Sweet that will run through the next few months on Wednesdays, in addition to my regular posts for the day.  "Mama Said" is something very special to me, and when I thought about creating a special feature just for Moms, I went back and forth through a couple of ideas. Eventually I decided to follow through with the first idea that came to me- good, old-fashioned words of wisdom! Since becoming a new parent, I realize that although I had read all the books, and done all the research, it didn't help me as much as the advice I received from my fellow mama-friends that I knew and respected. And now, I find myself loving to hear about other parents' experiences and taking ideas and inspiration from everything I hear. We do things our own way, but it is always so nice to hear from other Moms on what works for them, and what doesn't. So, what better way to honor the Mothers in our community than by taking part in an exchange of experiences, ideas, and thoughts! Throughout the following weeks many Moms from our blogging world will be sharing bits and pieces of their own "Mommy wisdom" with all of us. Whether you are a Mom yourself or not, I hope you enjoy reading a bit more about what these women have learned in their time as parents! I'm so excited to finally share this little project with all of you, and I look forward to bringing you a diverse group of women over the next couple of months. We'll be hearing all sorts of words of wisdom, from the simple to the complex, the serious to the I hope you enjoy!

The very first featured mama is one of my favorite ladies- Jen, of Jenloveskev

Hi Everyone! It's Jen from Jenloveskev. I was honored when Danielle asked me to be a part of this special blog feature. I am new to this Mommy club.  My husband Kev and I welcomed our first baby into the world (9 days late) on September 12th 2010. Our daughter Rowan Winter is the most perfect and amazing little addition to our family. She instantly captured our hearts. I was a high school art teacher until the end of last school year. Now, I am a full time fashion and lifestyle blogger and stay at home mom. I love being creative on a daily basis with fashion, cooking, art or photography.

I can't help but sing the song "Mama said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this my mama said..." I love that song. I thought a lot about what advice or wisdom I wanted to give to everyone and really it all came down to was this for me...

1. Stop taking people's advice. One of my close friends told me this when I was pregnant and I didn't quite understand when she told me but you will learn. Being pregnant and becoming a parent has got to be one of the most political things out there. Everyone will have an opinion about everything. It is very hard to not doubt everything you think is right. So listen to what everyone has to say but take it with a grain of salt. You will figure out what will be best for your family. This leads to me to number two...

2. TRUST YOURSELF! I think I really started to enjoy being a mom when I closed all the books and I stopped letting everyone's advice bother me and I just started living life with Rowan and Kev. I started to trust my instincts. I knew my family and I knew my daughter and ultimately I would make the best decision for them. No, I don't know all the answers and yes, I still ask questions but I feel good about coming to my own conclusions. If they are wrong then I learn from them and move on.  As a mom you are a lot stronger than you will give yourself credit for. Moms are superheros!!

3. Don't feel guilty for having bad days, for being tired or for having thoughts about how things are hard. I feel like our country has conditioned us to hide our feelings when we become parents. That we have to express that everything is sunshine and rainbows all the time. I love my daughter more than anything in life but that doesn't mean that it is easy. I think it is super important to find a friend who has gone through it all and who will be honest about the struggles and will lend an ear to you. It helps to feel like you are not alone. Being a parent the most challenging and rewarding thing in life and its nice to have a shoulder to cry on or someone to laugh with you over a similar situation.

Our second featured mama is the lovely, lovely Brandy from Baby Blackbird.

Our small, happy, little family of four is from Toronto, Canada. We do everything together, literally, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been sans kids {but I wouldn’t change it for anything}. By default {my husband and kids really have no choice} we love style and clothes, I write a fashion blog for kids where I share my knowledge and love for kiddos and style. I love my little family more then words could ever describe, and am so very thankful everyday, to have found my wonderful husband, Chris and that I get to be a Mom to two amazing, and sweet littles. Our son Kingston is 2 years old and baby girl Harlow is 7 Months Old (8 months in 3 weeks).

1: Plan but don’t Expect: I know, it sounds so pointless and defeating. But without a daily plan {I usually either plan things out in my head or on my blackberry the night before}, I would have a hard time getting anything done. With kids the day sort of just fly’s by, if your not paying attention.
But along with every daily plan, I fully expect that it will fall through {the full day plan or just parts of it}, this way there is no disappointment, frustration, or feeling like we didn’t get anything accomplished. You just never know with kids, when someone; might get sick, starting teething, throw a giant tantrum, decide to skip their nap or have a mandatory bath poop!

2: Expect the Worst: Negative thinking? Not at all! I found/find that if you listen to other parents horror stories {and there is a lot out there!}. When you get to whatever the stage, wither it be giving birth itself, teething, the terrible twos, or the giant lack of sleep we Mom’s get. It’s usually {not always the case} not as bad as you expected {or heard}. Basically if you expect the worst, you’re usually over prepared, which can give you loads of confidence, and just have you feeling great.

3: Keep Calm: Kids can wind us up and spit us out if we let them. They have endless amounts of energy, especially when it comes to tantrums or grumpy times. Try your hardest {I have a hard time with this everyday} to stay calm. I find the more upset, stressed or frustrated I get, so does my toddler.  Which makes any situation SO much worse. During the most frustrating and crazy times, take a deep breath, and picture a shiny happy kid, falling asleep, and a nice glass of wine waiting for you after they are sawing logs. Even the crazy times are special with kids, even though in the moment you’re just wishing for it to be over!

And just a tiny, little extra piece of wisdom:

4: Keep Everything: Baby stuff is expensive. Don’t get rid of it! Pack up the clothes, and the plethora of plastic gear. Trust me you never know when a second, third or even fourth little joy might arrive! And you will kick yourself if you have to spend more money on gear you will only use for a short period of time.

Thank you SO much ladies for being part of the very first Mama Said feature! Until next week...


  1. I was bummed to find out all the spots you needed were filled but I am still so excited for this feature! Especially since I wasn't quite sure what it was, just that it was Mom-related.

    What a great first post! My favorite bit of advice is "plan but don't expect" - I need to start implementing this!

    Great, great, great all around - I look forward to next Wednesday. Thanks to all the Mamas who are contributing!


  2. This is awesome. I'm a mommy to a 20-month old and still trying to get the swing of things! This advice validates things I've come across...thank you!

  3. I'm getting ready to welcome my first son in the next few weeks, so I'm very happy to have found this post!

  4. Thank you for starting this series Danielle! Im 21 weeks along now and starting to really think about how I'm going to handle everything. Like Jen & you I'm a teacher so it's going to be a definite change of pace (albeit a welcome one).

    I'm excited to be sponsoring you the same month this series starts!


  6. I'm loving this idea! How exciting!

    Kat's Last Post -

  7. Dani, I LOVE this feature. I will be a regular well of knowledge by the time Chris and I start TTC next winter.

    I agree that it seems infinitely more helpful to hear the opinions of real live people, vs. books.

    Great stuff!


    all this is grace and charm

  8. oohhhhh! if you ever need more spots, i would love to be in this feature!

  9. Oh my goodness. I'm already loving this series!

  10. I have to agree with Brandy's expect the worst advice. I actually live this way too and I don't think it's a negative thing at all. It's a way to plan for the worst and like Brandy said, so far things as a mom haven't been as bad as what people have told me. I'll take that any day! :)

  11. What a wonderful feature! I am looking forward to "meeting" some of your Mama-friends and hearing what they have to say. These are real women with real(ly) good pieces of advice. Great job, Danielle! <3

  12. I am glad my sister kept everything because someday she'll be able to give it to me :) This family is adorable, and I like the idea of this post.

  13. This is such a good idea! Great advice! It's so funny because you can read all the books in the world but until you have your baby you'll never know what it's like and whether or not you will want to or be able to stick to all the things you said you would or wouldn't do!

  14. this is such a great idea.. I don't have kids yet, but I sure hope to one day, and reading advice from people (around my age) who are going through it now somehow makes me both excited and a little calmer about the whole process. yay!


  15. This is so wonderful, I'm a single mom of an 18 month old girl Asia, and I could really use all the advice I can get! I'm excited for this feature, I'll be looking forward to it!

  16. I loved this feature! I'm not a mom yet, and motherhood is likely still a good handful of years away, but I find moms' stories, advice, opinions, etc. to be so infinitely fascinating.

    Can't wait to read next week's!

  17. I can't wait to read more! I agree, it's difficult to read and hear a million different contradictory ways about how you should or shouldn't address certain parenting situations. At the end of the day, it's true, TRUST you know what's best for your little one. I always like to say, "as long as it's done with love."

  18. i thought you might be interested in some other mama/lifestyle blogs. i have updated some of my faves on my last post on my blog. please check it out!