This is one of the last few weeks of this feature (I'll miss it!) but we're definitely going out with a bang! I'm happy to have two more of my favorite blogging mamas this week. First up is none other than Jess of IROCKSOWHAT, who has quickly become one of my favorite online pals. Her mix of wit, honesty and humor is refreshing, and the beautiful photos she takes always make my day. The second lovely mama is a sweet friend of mine, and someone who I've always admired as a mother. Mandy writes another one of my favorite blogs, and she also recently started a vintage shop that I love to check out (aka stalk) and one of my favorite dresses has come from Opal! Love this lady. So, first up- Jess!
HIYA! I’m Jess Craig from IROCKSOWHAT and I’m married to my high school sweet heart (can you say flirting in 10th grade biology?). We’re a military family currently stationed on the coast of Virginia. My husband Josh is in his 3rd year of his Air Force enlistment and our son Wyatt is 16 months old. For us, life is very typical military. Josh deploys about every 6 months for 7-8 months at a time and I’m stuck home holding down the fort. Except now we have a little munchkin’…
“How do you handle taking care of a toddler all by yourself with no family around!?” - I get asked that all the time. Honestly, you never know what you can handle until you’re put in the situation. You just
do what you have to do. I know lots of women who do this every day with no hopes of some guy coming in and helping out in a few months, and that’s my inspiration. I try to remember them and a few of these things:
1. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS – CHANGE YOUR SURROUNDINGS. If you’re having an impossible day and you’re just not feeling it and your kid is, uh… pissing you off, just change your surroundings. I have found that Wyatt really does well with just a simple trip to Target. Something about overdosing on red advertising/signs/bullseyes really puts my kid in a better mood. It’s really important to stimulate your baby. It makes for better moods all around. They get bored doing the same old thing every day too. Try to do at least SOMETHING a few times a week. Even if it’s just going for a walk. Nature is a wonderful thing for a growing mind!
2. YOUR KID IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF HIM- We have some major power in our hands people. Children are so adaptable and super moldable! If you want your kid to be go-with-the-flow, then you need to be go-with-the-flow! Sometimes it’s okay to break up routine and have a night out with your family. It’s good for everyone. Yeah, you may have a slight grouch on your hands the next morning, but soon enough this will be your new normal. Enjoy life and bring your kid along! It won’t be that bad.
3. “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE MAN, LOVE.” - Simple as that. And kinda obvious, I know. But it needs to be said I think. A lot of us just over think this whole parenting thing but it’s really kinda simple. Yes there are challenging times, but if you just think with your heart/gut, you can’t go wrong. If it feels bad, then it probably is. I’m not saying let’s all be fluffy poofy hearts, but if your child is loved and safe, then you’re doing a good job.
Hello! I'm Mandy from Harper's Happenings. I'm married to this handsome guy, Scot (with one T) and together we made a magical little nugget named Harper. She's 2 and pretty neat - so neat that I write a blog about her and the silly things she does (don't worry, we're saving for her therapy bills).
1. Do what works for you. There are so many opinions on how to do everything for your kiddo - from feeding to sleeping to diapers, the list goes on - and it's easy to get caught up in what you "should" be doing. What you should be doing is exactly what is right for your family. Remember that certain things won't work for some babies and some things you planned on doing may not be the right fit once the little one is here. Give yourself a break (seriously, stop being so hard on yourself) and do what is comfortable for you!
2. Take lots of photos. This may sound like a given, but snap away. I love unexpectedly finding photos of Harper that I forgot I'd taken. It immediately takes me back to that time and seeing her life in pictures is so amazing. Make photo albums, create a blog for yourself, click click click. Our kids will appreciate it (I think).
3. Listen to the old ladies. It's easy to write off the little old ladies at the grocery store or Target checkout giving advice. But when they say how fast the time goes, how you need to cherish each moment, how childhood goes by in a blink of an eye - they aren't kidding. When I was pregnant I didn't understand. Now I sit here with a 2 year old wondering where all the time has gone. Hug them harder, read that extra story that they ask for, don't wish away the diapers and bottles and crib. These babies grow up fast. The old ladies? They know what they're talking about.