If the expectant mom is miles away, keep it simple by mailing them right from Amazon. She will get them in two days, and you won’t have to hit the post office. I seriously dread going to the post office.
For twenty eight hours a week, I became the leading lady at the new topless bar in town. I had no choice. The baby had to eat.
The day my daughter was born, I started a new job. For twenty eight hours a week, I became the leading lady at the new topless bar in town. I had no choice. The baby had to eat.
It is true. Some people picture maternity leave as one long vacation. But women everywhere are actually busy doing some of the most demanding and thankless jobs during this time – sustaining human life. In my case that meant nursing, but I assume the hours are similar for moms using formula. There is plenty of work to fill the hours we used to use at our real jobs.
While being the leading lady at the topless bar is not less significant than a fancy job that you need a degree for; you’re not going to get paid the same. People (*husband*) may refer to you as the “Boob Lady.” Your shifts will be mandated every three hours by a loud, tiny boss. You’ll suddenly have to become a logistical genius to go on a mommy vacation (Target) for more than an hour at a time.
I am not complaining. I am just speaking in facts. Those first couple months a baby eats around eight times a day, for thirty minutes per session (prepping, feeding, clean-up). Each week the math works out to about twenty eight hours (during the newborn stage), with no days off.
In my experience, everything got a little easier with the second child. Overall, I had a better routine down. But, it still took at least thirty minutes to execute. Every three hours I would change baby, nurse and burp baby, freeze the let down milk I had collected and clean the collection cup (read how I’ve managed to build a serious freezer stash with ZERO pumping), then rock baby back to sleep or let her play on the mat.
Now that it is my second time working at the topless bar in two years, I understand that the role is temporary. My job description will change over time. “Boob Lady” doesn’t have to be my lifelong identity. However, it is a significant part of who I am right now.
And for those that have ever wondered what a new mom does with all her free time during maternity leave, come visit her at work. On the couch, where you tip her in foot massages and quality dark chocolate. **Shirts are always optional.**
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One time I got after my parents for wasting too many wipes when they were changing the baby for me.
With my first baby there were so many unspoken rules.
Not the real rules like babies should sleep on their backs, but silly rules I created in my head.
The strangest one, that I can remember right now, is that I decided we would use just one wipe for pee diapers and two wipes for poop diapers. One time I got after my parents for wasting too many wipes when they were changing the baby for me.
Looking back it was ludicrous that I thought I needed to control the number of wipes we used each time.
It’s clear I just felt like I needed to be in control of something. My world was spinning out of control those first few months as a new mom, and I didn’t know how to deal.
Well let me tell you, there is no counting of wipes with the second baby. Not because I don’t love her as much to try to control everything in the world, but because I have more perspective.
Besides, this baby has her own agenda. The moment I start wiping her, she decides to start peeing again. If I’m lucky I can whip the diaper back up in time. But when she’s really cunning, she waits until I have just removed the old diaper, to swap in the new one, and she lets loose. Needless to say, there is a lot of wash. I thought getting peed on was supposed to be a boy thing? Shows how much I know.
It doesn’t matter how many wipes I “intended” to use, I am wiping all the lady parts down again. I burn through wipes faster than I can count. And it’s ok, because #2ndtimemom here. Who the heck cares?!
As annoying as she can be, that frozen girl was on to something. LET IT GO.
First time moms, second time moms, all the moms – what are/were you trying to control in motherhood that is plain crazy when you can think rationally about it?
For some of you, you are probably too deep in to new motherhood for you to pinpoint it now. But if your brain literally hurts all the time (like mine did), and you can barely think in full sentences, there are probably a few things on your list to start letting go of.
I don’t want to be the only crazy person up in here. Feel free to share your #crazymom moment.
You’re in a safe place. I’ve got your back mamacita;)
The hours are mundane, but the memories are everything.
My computer straight up died as I started to type the first sentence of this post. I find it humorous in this moment, because that’s kinda how I feel right now.
Like, I don’t wanna. Waaaahhh!
I kinda just want to relax for a moment.
Today is my last day as a mother of two under two. Obviously, it hasn’t been my most productive month. I’m home all day with a newborn, so you would think I could accomplish more, but I’m no longer in charge of my own schedule. I’m on the baby food clock now. And come to find out, I don’t feel super creative when I’m lacking sleep, rocking crying babies, and planning my life in two to three hour blocks.
When I think about it rationally, I know my whole world isn’t going to crumble if I opt out of my norm for a month, or two, or three…
But honestly, when I’m in it, living it, I forget.
Why is it such a struggle?
Why do we convince ourselves that slowing down is going to have these major implications?
Our career or business is going to fall apart, our relationships will unravel, our bodies will never be the same, we’ll never do x and y and z again….
Deep breathe. We gotta let that stinking thinking go.
It is true that life won’t pause for us when we slow down. But it will always be there, ready to pull us in another direction.
We won’t convince our babies to slow down for us, so maybe we should slow down for them, while we can.
The newborn stage is a strange one. Life revolves around a tiny, helpless being. The hours are mundane, but the memories are everything.
Two simple tips that have helped me store over eighty ounces in the first two weeks.
I had a pregnant friend that bought an extra freezer just for breast milk.
It turned out to be a bit presumptuous. She got no where near needing that freezer, with either baby. But in her defense, that’s what she figured was “normal” being that the breastfeeding mama she nannied for had an extra freezer full of liquid gold.
In my own experience, I could barely even breast feed my first daughter for the first three months of her life.
Her latch was bad. I was in pain every time I fed her. My supply could barely keep up.
They made me feed her on each side with a shield (since I was cracked and bleeding), then pump to get the rest out and give it to her via bottle , then supplement with formula for any missing ounces. I’m exhausted just remembering that time period: Feed/Cry – Clean Pump Parts/Cry – Repeat.
I was miserable. I wanted to quit. I cried a lot. I yelled a lot. It was an ugly time. I didn’t like me, my husband probably didn’t like me…
For most new mamas, breast feeding is a tough go. If you’re lucky, the pain only lasts days. But for others it can be weeks or months.
For perspective’s sake: think of something that hurts to the point your whole body recoils. You want to cry, yell, and throw things at the same time. Now repeat that every two to three hours for weeks, with little sleep, while a little baby screams at you. That is the early days of breastfeeding.
Because of our latch issue, that was my life for almost three months.
***Yes, I did consider tongue tie surgery, hired a breast feeding coach, went to breast feeding support groups, etc. – eventually baby and I just grew out of our challenges.***
But of course, I was envious of any women with an early freezer stash.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I gave birth to Baby Two. This baby knew how to latch from day one. She’s a damn baby genius, if you ask me.
I still had to overcome that painful stage of early breast feeding (I liken it to a baby alligator aggressively chomping at my nips every three hours), but within two weeks, we were over the worst of it.
The funny thing about breast feeding is that there is nothing “natural” about it, until there is. If you’ve done it – you probably get it. It can be miserable until that magical day when you notice you’ve made it over the hump. It becomes almost easy (dare I say, natural) as your body and baby get on the same page.
I still wanted that early freezer stash (and peace of mind) that I never got with my first baby, so I decided to try something new this time around. I didn’t want to jump straight to the pump. I still really hate that thing after pumping for over a year while working full-time with my first.
And the new plan has worked! Just two weeks post partum and I’m on my way to having my own envy worthy freezer stash – WITHOUT pumping.
Obviously the fact that my baby knows how to latch has helped my supply. But there are two other things that have worked amazingly. Here is how I was able to store over eighty ounces in the first two weeks.
A milk collector for let down. Last time around I let all that extra milk go to waste, collecting in the pads in my shirt. This time around I invested in a cheap and easy solution, similar to the Haakaa. It suctions on to the side that baby isn’t latched to and collects the let down. I like to feed the baby on both sides, so I switch it half way through. Easy to use, easy to clean, and it builds my freezer stash with no annoying pumping. I use it during about three feedings a day and I collect about 2-3 oz. each time. I had no idea I was letting that much milk go to waste last time!
Hopefully these simple tips will help another mama reach “envy worthy” freezer stash status.
Please share with other breastfeeding mamas in your life.
I wanted to create a place for parents to say “I’m struggling every day. Anyone with me?” But I also want to remember –
I am a parent. I love my child. She cracks me up. She brings me joy every day.
My husband and I attended a parenting conference this weekend. He absolutely loves when I sign him up for this kind of thing.
But I know we both gained some valuable insight. One of the analogies that has stuck with me this week is the idea of bringing home a jar full of marbles (936 to be exact) with your newborn.
Every week, sometimes it feels like every hour, we run in to parenting situations that make us feel like we are literally losing our marbles.
When will they sleep? When will they grow out of this stage? Where did they learn that? When will they grow up? Where did that attitude come from?
But we are literally losing our marbles. Each marble represents a week that we get with our child before they leave home at eighteen (give or take a few marbles). With each week we lose one more opportunity to influence, to love, and to mold our children.
The analogy reminds me that the time with my child is not infinite. Though, the hours can certainly feel that way. It is human and honest to admit my child is driving me crazy. I just don’t want to let myself forget to value the chaos and memories we have together now.
Oddly enough, we are all pregnant again, and will soon be losing this freedom we worked so hard to reach.
My little human turned 22 months yesterday. I’m kind of in love with this stage.
I don’t even recall when it happened. But I can now leave the room and not have anxiety about what she is doing, and how many seconds I have before she notices I am gone and starts crying.
She self entertains while I make dinner. Not every night, but it still feels magical when it works.
She can watch Elmo on the iPad for fifteen minutes at a time, without even noticing me.
When we have dinner with friends and their kids, there is an actual kid table. This one blows my mind. But it has happened twice now, so I think it’s an actual thing. On NYE three toddlers sat at our mini princess table, while the adults sat in big chairs around a grown-up table and conversed about things other than kids, mostly. Oddly enough, we are all pregnant again, and will soon be losing this freedom we worked so hard to reach.
This is the first time I have actually sat down to write while my daughter is awake, EVER. Mind you, I’ve had to stop three times now to read her a book, wipe her snotty nose, and stop her from shoving a half eaten Lara bar in to my notebook. But, it is happening.
Coincidently, this also happened yesterday.
We set up the bassinet in our bedroom because this month is the birth month of baby number two. It’s almost funny that the same month we enter a land of freedom with our first child, it’s also the birth month of our second child. What were we thinking?
I’m about to enter the newborn stage again any day now, and I’m forced to remember how poorly I dealt with that stage the first time.
I hate not being able to be productive, make decisions for myself, and not have someone hanging on me 24/7.
The silver lining of round two is that I know it is a finite moment in time. I’m ready to try to enjoy it better the second time around. Not perfectly, I’m sure, but better.