It’s all going to be okay.

I keep telling myself this as my mind is flooded with thoughts of, “I should be doing ____ more often,” or, “Judson needs to learn how to ____,” or, “Have I been doing enough of ____?”

I think as mothers, we tend to be really hard on ourselves. We want the absolute best for our kiddos. We want to spend all of our waking hours devoted to keeping them entertained, clean, well-fed, educated and happy. But sometimes the day gets away with one (or more) of those areas left unmastered. And needless to say, there is the whole subject of SELF care that goes unmastered on a daily basis most of the time.

When your baby comes into the world, your own self becomes less of a priority. I think it’s a natural part of motherhood. A good mother needs to be okay with being selfless. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of yourself, it just means your priorities change for a while. A season of taking care of others. A season that doesn’t last forever. And a season where it’s all the more important for others to step into your shoes to give you a chance to do something for yourself as often as they can.

After our 9 month check-up, I left the pediatrician’s office excited but also strangely burdened. Man oh man does a LOT happen when your baby turns 9 months old. He should be crawling, starting to pull up on furniture, sleeping through the night, eating meat and dairy and picking up food and eating it. ALL of which Judson does not do yet. It was fun to hear of all his developmental changes that will be taking place very soon, but I felt the heavy wave of change hit me. He will be mobile soon, so we need to baby proof the cabinets and drawers. He should be eating most foods now, so I will have to prepare more food for him. He eats well but takes forever to do it himself, so I will have to schedule more time for meals. He needs to learn how to sleep by himself in the crib, but right now he has no idea why I’m trying to change his sleep routine, and I’m sure thinks I’m trying to torture him. Let’s face it, it’s torture for both of us.

All of these new milestones are a normal part of being a growing baby, but I’m struggling to adapt to the mothering side of it. Judson is such a great baby and I love him so much that it’s debilitating at times. But some of these new changes are taking it out of me. I just want to eat my lunch in 8 minutes and go back to cleaning or watching Netflix or planning the next meal. But I have to patiently wait while Judson attempts to eat whatever food I can put on his tray.

Ahh, looking forward to when we master some of these new things!

 

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Motherhood Is…(Vol.2)

Motherhood is:

Questioning your sanity while giving a dramatic rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Mastering the art of silence during nap time…(flush the toilet? UH NO. Not till he wakes up.)

Daydreaming about the margarita you want to have tonight starting at 10 am.

And yes, I performed Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star four times in order to write this post.

Motherhood Is… (Vol. 1)

Motherhood is…

Coming back to your half-cooked meal an hour later to finish cooking it and hoping it’s not ruined.

Having to reheat your coffee 34 times.

Being totally okay with wearing that shirt that’s only been spit up on once.

Each Friday I’m hoping to add to this list. Motherhood is such a fun adventure, but can be super challenging and discouraging at times. It’s good to lighten the mood a little!

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Being a New Mom

Real talk. Being a new mom is hard.

I have been immensely blessed with the cutest boy on the face of the planet (does every mom think this way?). I love him to the moon and back unconditionally. He is my little man. That being said, he is a difficult baby. I know that all babies are difficult at some point or another, but what matters is that being a new mom is just hard work.

I place all the activities of my day into two categories: things I CAN do with a baby, and things I CAN’T.

For instance, doing my hair and getting ready: CAN’T do with a baby. Folding laundry: CAN do with a baby. Doing the dishes: CAN’T. Drinking coffee: CAN. You see where I’m going. So when I put the baby down for a nap, I think about all the things I can’t do with him around, and try to complete those tasks. The only unfortunate part is that I end up working while the baby is napping and forgetting to relax and rest. That makes for a very long day.

On the flip side, sometimes I get bored because there’s nothing left to do around the house. I’m not a natural book-reader (I wish), so reading doesn’t bring me tons of joy (unless on the rare occasion I’m reading a book I can’t put down). If I watch too much Netflix I start to feel more and more like a lazy bum. All my energy seems to be expended on cleaning and keeping the baby happy, so that leaves little to no motivation to work out. I love to sew and I love to quilt, so I’ve thought about picking that hobby back up, but it’s a time consuming activity, takes up lots of space, makes a continuous mess, and can be loud if the baby is napping. It also takes uninterrupted concentration sometimes, which is not practical for this season of life. I might try to make a really easy quilting pattern titled: “For the busy mom.” Haha.

I think it’s extra important for new moms to be friends with other new moms. There’s just some things no one else understands. But more on that later.

The point is, being a new mom is hard. Organizing your day helps. Having a hobby that you love helps. And having a community helps.

What I Learned From Whole 30

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I love the Whole 30 challenge. I am a huge believer. Within 2 days I already felt lighter, more energetic, and clear-headed. I could seriously eat an egg, avocado and sweet potato for every meal. It’s my go-to breakfast. Occasionally my husband would also make bacon to go with it…YUM. It seriously felt like I was cheating. But it was all Whole 30-approved!

Before I started the challenge, I was worried about my milk supply and how the  diet challenge would affect it. Well I’m here to tell you it increased! It makes sense. More nutritious food led to more milk. I will say that as a nursing momma, I did have to eat more like 3.5 meals a day. Hunger is real when you’re breastfeeding. I would usually eat a mid-afternoon snack of almonds and a piece of fruit and that would last me until dinner. But there were days where I ate 4 full meals!

Full disclosure here: I did not make it the whole 30 days (I know, I know). Even though I didn’t make it the whole 30 days, I’m still a huge fan of the Whole 30 challenge! I made it 12 full days without cheating, and then the other 18 days I completed a “modified” whole 30.

Here’s why I didn’t make it:

  1. Nursing: Breastfeeding makes you hungry ALL the time! I constantly found myself rummaging through the fridge or pantry looking for something whole 30 approved. It was discouraging and made me want to give up.
  2. Cost: Whole 30 means eating whole foods, and organic when possible. That’s rough on a wallet! I spent approximately 25-30% more on groceries, and since I’m on unpaid leave from work right now, it felt pretty discouraging and stressful to overstretch the grocery budget.
  3. Time: Whole 30 also means tons of meal-prep and cooking. I have a newborn, so my hands are full already. Finding time to get in the kitchen and make batches of veggies and cooking meats was SO hard. There were several times that I had to stop cooking half way through a meal and then come back to it an hour later…they don’t teach that cooking technique in culinary school!

Here’s how I modified it to make it work:

  1. No stress: if I was having a hard time getting a meal together, I would put Whole 30 on the back burner. But I did promise myself I would still aim to eat clean meals. Even with this modification, I still ate at least 2 whole 30 meals per day!
  2. Whole-grain bread/pasta: I would let myself have one slice or one serving per day. Never both. This just made life easier for me, and made at least one meal of the day easier!
  3. Salad dressing: I let myself have unapproved salad dressing if it meant I could easily eat a salad. That was my lunch most days and let’s be honest…I’m eating a salad! That’s good enough.
  4. Glass of wine: I let myself have one glass every other day if I really needed it!

Other than that, I stuck to the challenge rules. I was much more successful this way. I lost 10 pounds and learned to eat vegetables again! I eat sweet potatoes or butternut squash almost every day. I eat avocados at every meal. I crave salad now. I’m always looking for new veggies to add to a meal I make all the time. I am so encouraged by these new additions to my diet. I remember to read labels and avoid sugar. I try to avoid gluten. Doing this challenge reminded me how to eat healthy and make it taste good!

I plan to keep eating this way. And now that the challenge is officially over, I can have occasional cheat meals 🙂

 

 

Whole 30 Challenge

I’ve decided to commit to the Whole 30 challenge for the month of July. After having a baby, I expected to hate my body and be upset about the wear and tear that pregnancy can have on a woman. But surprisingly, by God’s grace, I really don’t hate my body. In fact, I’m more motivated to be healthy now than I ever have been, not because I hate my body but because I’m excited about health. I want to model health for my son and commit to living a healthy lifestyle for our family. I just want to grab those mamas who hate the way their bodies look and give them a great big bear hug and tell them they’re beautiful and not to worry about how they look. Just try to be healthy. As long as you’re trying, that’s good enough.

I want to do Whole 30 because I tried it last year (before pregnancy) and made it a “whole 8.” I really enjoyed those 8 days, but I was under the impression that I was about to move back to India and decided I’d rather enjoy all the Tex-Mex and Margaritas possible before doing so. But alas, plans changed and now I’m here, ready to do the Whole 30 challenge again, but this time actually make it the whole 30 days. I am super motivated! I’m hoping that I don’t lose momentum along the way. I ran for the first time in almost a year the other day, and I made it half a mile before having to walk. I’m not a natural runner, so that was a huge success for me! I want to continue running as I do the Whole 30 and increase my endurance.

Another thing I’m curious about is my milk supply. Since I’m nursing, I look for any and all ways to increase my supply and to be honest I pretty much obsess over it. I’m thinking that an increase in nutritious veggies and lean proteins can do a nursing mama a lot of good. But we’ll see!

I just went to the grocery store and loaded up in preparation to start in 4 days. I’m really looking forward to it!