Another Wednesday, another Mama Said feature! This week I'm excited to share words of wisdom from two of my favorite blogging mamas! First up is a new friend of mine, Jessica. I adore this woman. It's an awesome thing when you meet a like-minded gal via the blog world who you just know you'd love to hang out with in real life. I'm sure many of you can relate to that awesome-ness- don't you just love it when that happens? Jessica is a great mama to her little darling, and I'm super excited to feature her here!
Hello readers! Jessica here- married to Derek and mama to our almost 4 month old Rowan. By day Derek’s a hard workin man and I’m a stay-at-home mama, by night we’re musicians, and currently we’re livin life in Hawaii and rockin our way through becoming new parents. You can read all about our adventures over at our blog, TART.
It was really lovely of Danielle to have us participate in this feature and though I’m no expert, I’m happy to share some of my tips and tricks with you guys.
For those of you that like to enjoy a little cocktail now and then:
I know that most doctors will tell you that one glass of wine is totally safe for breastfeeding mamas to enjoy. But I also know that there are a lot of us that may not be 100% comfortable with that rule of thumb (and also might want to have a martini every once in a while instead). My #1 tip is to buy alcohol test strips like Milkscreen. There were a few times that I had a cocktail rather than wine but didn’t know if it was really necessary to “pump n dump” (what a waste!) so I tested a few drops of my breast milk on these strips and could rest assured that baby Rowan wasn’t enjoying a little happy hour herself.
When Lanolin Doesn’t Cut It
Many of you breastfeeding mamas know what it’s like to have a babe on the bewb all day long and maybe even the discomfort that can come with it. The thing I found most helpful during those times was to alternate bare-bewbin it and using a nipple shield. I’m no lactation expert so of course, consult with yours or your pediatrician before trying one out, especially if you’re still working on effortless breastfeeding with your little one! But once we had it down, our lactation consultant suggested alternating using a nipple shield every two feedings. We only used it during Rowan’s extra needy/hungry days and now we don’t use it at all. But during her cluster feeding phase I can’t tell you how much more comfortable it made our experience.
Give Yourself Credit
This one may seem really obvious but I don’t think Mama’s do it enough! In the beginning you’re so tired, overwhelmed, and maybe at times worried that you may not be doing something “right” or “enough.” When I was having a particularly rough day my cousin (a mama of 4 kiddos) reminded me that “as long as your baby has a dry bottom, food in her belly, catches some Z’s and gets lots of love you know you’re on the right track” and it really put things in perspective for me. Of course there are a lot more details to raising a child, and we all want to be informed, responsible, super parents. But, as with many things in life, it usually all comes down to a pretty simple formula. So don’t take the little things that you do for granted. In fact, give yourself an extra ridiculously insane amount of credit. You changed a poopy diap without getting any on your hands? AMAZING! So you got a little on your hands but you used a baby wipe to quickly swipe it off while you finished putting on the new diaper and all before your baby decided to pee all over the changing pad cover again? HIGH FIVE!
It may seem trivial but if you weren’t there to do it, who would be? Learning to acknowledge your small accomplishments makes you feel extra special for your big ones. It’s all about perspective. You’re doing amazing things even in the smallest of tasks and if you have a partner in all of this, make sure to let them know how amazing their help is too. It makes them feel just as good to know that the things they contribute are appreciated. ;o)
So there ya have it folks! A few tips and tricks I’ve picked up since becoming a new mom. I hope some of you found this helpful and I can’t wait to read all of the other mamas’ tips as well!
Next up is a long-time blog pal of mine, the beautiful Marcella. I've been reading her blog since she was pregnant with little Pella, and it's been amazing to watch her pregnancy, and then see the first year of Ms. P.'s life unfold. Marce is a fabulous Mom, and now that I'm a mama as well, I only appreciate her single-Mom fabulous-ness that much more. Talk about inspiring. And to top it off, she's a business owner too. Seriously amazing.
Hello! My name is Marcella, I am YES, a single working mama. To some, I'd be your "typical" tattooed white trash single mom who got knocked up by the milkman, but that is far FROM who I really am. I have a newly 1 year old daughter Pella James, who is my mini me! I was born and raised in Ventura County California, ventured off to Downtown Los Angeles for a year, and now am back in Ventura County.
I own a modern baby boutique, called DROOL, have a couple blogs I try and keep up with, and holding down a fort with 2 french bulldogs and a baby!
Anyways, heres my mama says!
Single Parenting HAPPENS! ...and when I say that I mean that! We all as women, track down the "ONE" the man we are determined to spend the rest of our lives with, grow old with, and YUP, reproduce with!
But for some of us, the pretty picture we paint in our heads with this "family" doesn't always end up working out as we imagined it too! You can spend years with someone (like I did, 6.5 to be exact) and things CAN change.
I see women everyday staying with these guys who do not benefit them at all because of the fear of being a "single parent". Well guess what, Single parenting happens! People everyday make the best of it, co-parenting, or NOT co-parenting and STILL raise happy, healthy and beautiful children! Its DOABLE! Women are strong, and powerful beings! I wish every woman who has doubts or is having a hard time accepting being a single parent could know that it happens and YES we may envy all these cute little families we see all over, but we still are capable of being AMAZING Mama's!
Roll with the Punches. Single parenting can be EXTREMELY CHALLENGING, probably one of the HARDEST things ever, its you and baby and or kid ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. When us single parents need a break, its not often we are able to get that break we need! It can be exhausting, and sometimes feel like a black cloud is hovering over us...I the same could go for every and any mama, things happen, our babies get sick, baby has a poop blow out in the car and we "forgot the diaper bag!", baby vomits all in our hair, baby falls down and gets a boo-boo,we the mama god forbid GETS SICK!, bad things happen all the time, you just gotta roll with the punches!
LAUGH! Laughing is so very important to us mamas! We have to find humor in some of things that we could never bare to "laugh at". Laughing makes us feel good, and feel happy. Being happy is a key component to being raising a happy baby!
I went through hell the first 4 months of my daughters life, I had anger, resentment, stress, sleep deprivation, and postpartum depression. There were moments I should have laughed at or found humor, and excitement in that I just couldnt! We all go through tough times, we all have moments when all we want to scream in a pillow or break down and cry! If we could just get a good LAUGH!