Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mama Said, V.8

I can't believe this is the 8th week of Mama Said posts! It feels like I just started doing these. I have another month of advice to share with all of you, and then it's on to something new! But this week is really something special. Two of my favorite blogging ladies are here to share bits of wisdom from their everyday life. The first fabulous mama is one of the very first blogging friends I made, Jamie! Jamie is beautiful, has a heart of gold, and always leaves me feeling happy and inspired. Definitely hop over to her blog and say hello when you get a moment. The second is one of my dear friends, Erin. Erin is someone really special to me and she's been there for me through a lot, including my emergency c-section, a procedure that we both ended up having after planning for a natural birth. She'll talk more about that below. Erin is a beautiful free-spirit, a dream-follower, and one of the kindest souls you could meet in this big, old internet world. I feel lucky to call her my friend.

So, have a great Wednesday, and enjoy this 8th installment of Mama Said!

Hi, Sometimes Sweet Readers! I'm Jamie and I blog over at Inspired Mess ( I'm honored to visit Sometimes Sweet and give my "wisdom" to other mamas out there. I've been married to my husband Brian for 8 years (we met online) and when we met, we each had a son that was 2 years old. Now we have a "his", "hers" and "ours".  Zachary is my stepson and he's 11 (almost 12). Brennon is my son from a previous relationship and he will be 11 next month. (They're 9 months apart.) Then we had Grayson together and he just turned 6 years old. Needless to say, when they're all home, our house is all sorts of crazy. Life with all boys has turned out to be quite an adventure but I wouldn't have it any other way!

I was thinking of what three things I would tell my close friend about becoming a mother and after thinking about it, my only question was "only 3???". There's so much I could share but I narrowed it down to my top three things I would tell her (and you!)...

1. It will change your life forever. I know people say that all the time. So much, that it's become somewhat a flippant remark but it's so true. The quote about "Having a child is forever having your heart walking outside your body." is fact. Your heart experiences this different kind of love that is so enormous you feel that your heart will explode. It never goes away - it only grows. You will always worry about everything from whether the baby is growing properly to what kind of juice, if any, you should give your child to whether or not you're making the right life choices. Do not go in to having a child thinking everything will stay the same and you'll just this extra little person with you. You must take your child into consideration with every decision you make from that point forward. But it will all be totally worth it.

2. You can never love too much. Never too many hugs, kisses, "I love you's". Do not get so caught up in your life that you forget to cherish the little moments. I don't say this lightly: Even though I am sure you'll hear it a bazillion times... Time flies by so fast. These moments will be gone before you know it. Take the read bedtime stories, to play games, to go for a walk and look at the birds and trees, to teach, to have fun and laugh. I'm telling you this with all my heart. Cherish these moments. It is these little acts that will shape and mold your child and his or her character. This is what they will remember. Make sure your children know they can do anything and be anything they set their mind to. Help them learn to dream big and then teach them how to do it.

I have a sign hanging in our living room that I made that says, "Pardon the mess. Our boys are busy making memories." Sometimes you just have to let it go. Leave the laundry, dishes and mess and focus on your children. It's always worth it.

3. Now I want to talk to my friends who are dating/engaged to somebody who already has children. Becoming a stepmother...When you have a child and your husband has a child (or one or the other), remember that you each have your way of parenting and that has already been established with the child. Talk! Communication is so important before any problems start. Discuss how you will discipline and raise your children. Don't assume that you both agree. I know, it seems obvious that you would talk about something like that but it doesn't always happen. I will tell you this, mom to will be difficult. You may even cry at times. You will feel like you don't know what to do. You're not alone. Be patient and always try your best. It will get easier....and it will be worth it.

Since I've used up my 3, I need to add a *bonus*. As somebody who has lived with the a**hole known as depression, be aware of your body and your feelings after you have your baby. I lived with undiagnosed postpartum that progressed for nearly 3 years without treatment. My marriage was almost destroyed. I almost lost everything that was important to me. Know the signs and don't be ashamed to ask for help. Did you read that? Do not be ashamed to ask for help. You're not alone and it is nothing to be ashamed about. There's a long list of symptoms but if you have difficulty bonding with your baby, caring for your baby or thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please, please, please tell somebody.

I'm sure there's many more things I would share but those are the top ones that came to mind. It's the most rewarding and important thing I have ever done. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.

 Hi there, my name is Erin of Happy Owl! I am a 32 year old first grade teacher and lifetime CA girl. But almost 4 years ago my husband Mike and I decided to live our dreams in Juneau, Alaska! We have a wonderful life that we celebrate daily with our two sons Noah, 5 and Logan 2. Being a working, wild, busy mom I was so excited to give some advice and read about tons more!!!

I found this tip to be really helpful, especially with having a blog and friends in the blog world. When you have a bad day, feel overwhelmed, exhausted, etc. Share your day with a close friend, blog friend,  or family member who is also a parent. They will for sure have a worse day, funny story or something that will make you feel like you are not alone in the world.

Yes, your laundry is never done, legos or barbies shoes or baby rattles HAVE taken over every square inch of your home, and every once in awhile you count down the minutes until it's bedtime. But nevertheless, cherish every moment you have with your wee ones. In the chaos of the day you forget how really blessed you are to be a parent. Especially when others around you are not so lucky.

And last...don't feel bad if your plan for perfect baby didn't go into fruition. we wanted cloth diapers, we wanted to stop breast feeding earlier, we were unsure about co-sleeping, we wanted to make all my own baby food, not let my kids watch t.v.,  I wanted a more natural birth and I had an emergency c-section, etc. Life happens and sometimes EVEN if it works perfectly for someone else and they make it sound so easy, it simply might not be right for you. And the bottom line is that's ok! The most important thing is you have a beautiful child (or children) to raise and love and cherish!

Now go play with your kiddos :)

xo- erin


  1. Love this! I think this is the best one yet.

  2. Just beautiful, such lovely ladies!

  3. i love Jamie's advice about the housework can wait. dull women have immaculate homes ;)

  4. Great advice. I love Jamie and Erin so much! 2 of my favorite mommy bloggers!

  5. Thanks for having me a part of this great feature!! Danielle you are so amazing and a great source for so many mama's out there! And Jamie I loved all of your advice. Even as a teacher family is the most important, sometimes homework can wait :)

  6. Love this advice..I seem to get lost and caught up in the crazy messy house that I forget how blessed I am with 4 crazy little ones. Thanks for reminding me!!

  7. I feel like I'm learning so much from these posts! I definitely am seeing a "be prepared for everything" theme from everyone :)

  8. Love the mama said section. Very nice to read for a first time mum (Phoebe, 10 weeks).
    By the way Erin, my friends two sons are called Logan, 4, and Noah, 2! Crazyness.
    Melissa, Wilberforce, Australia.

  9. Thanks so much for having me, Danielle! Thanks for all the wonderful comments! You have such great readers! I just love Erin and am so glad we got paired up!!!! :) Much love!