Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mama Said, V.4


Mama Said number four already? Wow! I love this feature so much, and I have so many more amazing women to share with all of you in the upcoming months. Awesome.

This week two wonderful women will be sharing some advice with all of us, and first up is the darling Drea, who is another fabulous single mommy with tons of amazing advice. Be sure to check out her blog and say hello! And then second we have a blogging pal of mine, Kristi! She is super sweet and her family is just lovely, so be sure to hop over and say hi to her as well! Thanks for participating in this feature ladies!

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After reading one of the latest *Mama Said* editions, featuring single mama Marcella, I immediately wrote in to Danielle wanting to add my own input on being a single mama, accepting help, and the possibilities of future love. &I’m so happy she said Yes! So, hello everyone! I’m Drea. I’m a (vegan) food snob, a crafter, an artist, a blogger (over at ohdeardrea), a life-lover, and most importantly: I am a very happy single mama to a beautiful little girl, Miss. Marlowe Paloma. Here’s a few (hopefully helpful) words I’d like to share with you...

IT IS HARD! VERY HARD. GET HELP! 
Whether you are in a loving and wonderful relationship or completely alone: it is hard. As a very strong-willed and stubborn women I have always found it incredibly hard to ask for help. I now figure, once you’ve given birth and have had all your lady parts hanging out for people to see during labor... it is probably time to suck it up and put all pride aside. Take help where you can get it -- Seriously -- it’s okay! I promise. Look at it this way -- by putting your pride aside and taking in the help that is offered you are not only giving yourself some much needed help, but you are also providing for your child. We all need a little break or a little charity sometimes and a happy and healthy mama is the best kind of mama a baby can have! This brings me to...

LETTING THE LOVE IN.
As hard and as difficult as it is being a single mom (or any mom)  it can also be the most amazing and loving experience one can have. Embrace the love that pregnancy and motherhood bring in. It’s easy to become bitter and angry when you find yourself struggling or alone, but just like needing help -- one also needs friends, family, and sometimes a lover who will support and love you unconditionally... through the spit up, the poop, and the tears (from both you and your baby).

WAIT, WHAT? A new romance after having a baby? Yes, it is possible. I’m living proof that love can come when you least expect it. Now -- I’m not saying all you single pregnant ladies or single new mamas should just go around picking up men... but, what I am saying is: when you are pregnant or have a child: your priorities change, your friendships change, and well, EVERYTHING changes, and you will have the opportunity to see who is really important in you and your child’s life. I started dating my boyfriend (Eric), when I was pregnant. I pushed him away for quite a while out of fear he would leave just like Marlowe’s father did. I didn’t want to deal with a broken heart along with a baby. (Also, who dates someone while being pregnant? Er... no one? But sometimes things happen and it works). I wanted to be alone and wanted to do everything on my own (this goes with letting the love in...), but finally after weeks of pushing him away, I let my guard down a bit and realized there are caring men out there who will stick with you through the thick and thin -- these are real men. This can happen when you least expect it or want it the least. This can happen freakishly and overwhelming fast (like in my case) or it can happen years down the road. Be cautious, but not excessively cautious where you let it slip by. Whether the biological father is in your life or not, your child will have a family. There are all types of families: big, small, mish-mashed, whatever, but the most important person in your child’s life is you and no one else. Some men are meant to be fathers and some men aren’t, so if your child’s father is not in the picture, then maybe that is for the better. Eventually motherhood becomes easier, romance will come, a family will grow, and happiness will be an almost constant feeling in your life. Just remember, life does go on and the most important thing you can do is be the strongest and most amazing mother and woman possible.

Side note: “Mama said there’ll be days like this” was my secret Facebook status notifying a few selected friends that I was going into labor <3

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Hi there, My name is Kristi.  I am a 26 year old, Married, stay at home Mama to a super handsome little nugget, Milo.  He will be 2 in April!  My Husband, Mercer works in the SF Bay area & we unfortunately live about 2 hours away from there.  He commutes daily which leaves Milo & I lots of time to hang out, have fun, & grow our Mama-Son bond even stronger!  Thanks for letting me hang out around here today, Danielle!

So here are three things that I've learned so far.  Believe me, there is a LOT of trial & error in raising a kiddo.  That's OK.

Not everything for child rearing is universal.  Just because something works for your friends daughter doesn't mean it's going to go the same way for your son, & vice-versa.  I learned that you have to be confident in your decisions as a parent.  Confidence is key, I think.  Being a parent is an entirely new ball game.  Never in my wildest dreams would I expect to be judged for having a necessary c-section, or sleep training my son.  But, it has happened, numerous times, & it doesn't bother me because I'm confident in the decisions we've made as parents, & we know that these decisions we've made over the past two years have really worked well for our family.  Your family is what's important.  Just remember that!  Confidence has been KEY for me in some awkward situations.  Older family members that have a few kids under their belt have tried to give advice to the "new parents".  Once I give my opinion about something, & they see that I'm super confident in what I'm saying...they back off! Nothing is more annoying than unwarranted advice giving!

Ketchup.  I've learned that Ketchup has been an important tool that was no where to be found on a baby registry, & that no one ever told me about.  Who knew that I could get my picky, almost two year old to eat any vegetable if we put a little Ketchup on it.  Seriously.  Sometimes you just have to find what works, and RUN with it. 

Enjoy it.  Sometimes parenting can be stressful to say the least.  But, that first year? SAVOR it.  You'll never get it back.  Nothing compares to it.  Nothing.   We're coming up on a second birthday over here & I find myself reminiscing about the first few months of Milo's life often.  I regret not being more present & appreciative of what was happening.  There were days when I just got everything "done" to make sure he was properly cared for but, was too tired to actually soak in his little newborn self. Nothing like snuggling close to a milk-drunk newborn. Before you know it, you'll blink your eyes & he will be bringing his cup to you asking for more milk. =(  I had a strong feeling of I had to do everything, I wouldn't let anyone help with anything. I wish I let people help me more.  If I let my friends do my laundry when they asked, or come cook me dinner, or watch Milo while I took a nap,  I might of had more time awake & feeling rested so I was more present as a Mama.  So, don't be afraid to accept a little help here & there.  It doesn't make you a bad parent.  I'll be taking my own advice on that one next time around.  -- This is kind of a tangent.  I'm trying to stick to three things but, this kinda falls into the asking for help category.  If you are raising your child with a partner or husband communication is very important.  I think as Mamas it's natural for us to take the reins & then get upset with our partner when they aren't reading our minds, or sleeping through a 3am feeding.  Sometimes we just need to speak up & tell them exactly what we need from them.  You'd be surprised how much that can help.  Guys are guys, sometimes they are just oblivious, they don't mean to upset us & they really do want to help! (most of them at least) They just might need a little nudge in the right direction.

15 comments:

  1. Love this feature, I have and ten year old and an eight year old, will you be featuring any Mama's of older babes?

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  2. These "mama said" post are great, im also a mama asnd i love hearing all the tips and advice and knowing every one goes through the same up and downs.
    Cant wait to see all the others.

    Zoe

    http://blessedbeeapothecary.blogspot.com/

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  3. aww these ladies are so sweet! Great advice! (and totally agree about the ketchup! same goes for ranch dressing in our household!)

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  5. I just love all the tips and advice. Thanks ladies! It's nice knowing you're not alone on this crazy journy of motherhood!

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  6. Great tips! I love Kristi's advice that parenting is an individual thing. Just because something works for me, doesn't mean it will work for you. I think it's so important to find what works for you! And if you have more than one child, things may be different for each one. What worked for the first child may not work for the second. I love this feature!

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  7. The ketchup really does work!!! Lola can't get enough of it!

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  8. Such a true statement re: needing to tell men exactly what you want from them.

    I’ve been reading this fabulous book, which every woman should pick up, called “The Male Brain.” It talks a lot about how women give off subtle cues that men simply cannot understand. Other woman get them, but the male brain cannot process them. Thus, the case for blatantly stating what you need from your man is made. :p

    Xo
    Carly

    All this is grace and charm
    http://allthisgraceandcharm.blogspot.com

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  9. Haha, the ketchup thing still works for me when I'm sick of eating the same thing over and over. Just drench it in ketchup (or hot sauce).

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  10. Drea is amazing! I've never read Kristi's blog before, I'll have to head on over and check hers out!! :)

    The Sweetest Life

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  11. Thanks for having me Danielle!

    Loved Drea's view on single parenting!

    &, I'm glad that people DO use the ketchup trick & it's not just me overloading my toddler with it! =)

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  12. Eeep. Thanks for having me.

    If Marlowe eats like her father did she'll be fine... if she's anything like how I was I'm going to have to buy industrial sized ketch-up bottles.

    Ps. to Kristi. I have a friend with a Milo & I was think about how cute it would be to have a Marlowe and a Milo. :)

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  13. ha ha, so cute!! ketchup....so true by the way!
    xoxo

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  14. Thank you so much for starting to post this column. As a girl 24 weeks pregnant with our first Little, living far from friends and family, reading the advice and encouragement of Moms feels like sitting and having coffee with a good friend.

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