A little later than planned, but it’s live! Visit GoldandGrace.com to see all the pieces.
A little later than planned, but it’s live! Visit GoldandGrace.com to see all the pieces.
Plenty of studies indicate that mental health can be improved by spending time outdoors. Some even say as little as ten minutes can actually improve your mood on the spot. So why is it so hard sometimes to get up and get out? Our emotions are powerful, especially on days that we feel mentally sluggish or… [Continue Reading]
Baby sleep. It seems like the biggest make or break situation in the beginning. “Is my baby normal? What’s normal? Is anything normal? I’m so tired I’m not sure I’m living…” etc. When James was about five months old, he went through a terrible, horrible, possibly torturous bad-sleep phase. Comparatively speaking (and in hind-sight), he… [Continue Reading]
Ok. Perhaps that title is a bit extreme….or is it?! Sigh. I thought, long before I ever had kids, that people should just all be friends, and lighten up on the judgement. The result of being an introverted hippie at heart, I suppose. After having my son, though, this multiplied by ONE MILLION. Raising the… [Continue Reading]
I recently wrote about a few of my favorite beauty routine products, aaaand then I discovered Beautycounter. Apparently everyone is doing beauty all wrong. Lead in your lipstick?! I’ll pass. This issue is definitely worth a second look. Explore some of the worst chemicals lurking in your beauty cabinet over at Positive Health Wellness. I’ve slowly… [Continue Reading]
A little later than planned, but it’s live! Visit GoldandGrace.com to see all the pieces.
Trying to find the balance in your life can be a never-ending cycle. And for a slightly over-energetic creative (a friend, obviously), it can be even more scattered, because you want to do ALL OF THE THINGS. Painting. Jewelry. Blogging. Photography!? Writing. MAKE BABY CLOTHES! Just kidding I can’t sew. But seriously. Finding the discipline to focus on one thing can sometimes take the fun out of it for…my friend.
So I’ve always kept my jewelry goals small to allow myself to explore other loves. I’ve typically sold locally and in-person, and avoided a large online store. But as I get older, my understanding of the need for focus and growth is deeper and I want to do things a little differently.
I had also taken a fairly large break from a lot of my interests when I had James, because I loved focusing on becoming a mom in alllll of my free time.
But I’ve been back into routine for a while and am reminded of how much I loved certain projects. I’ve been working on a ton of new stuff…simple gemstone necklaces with large gold tassels, deep greens and airy blues. And of course everything is gold.
So, my 2018 goal is to open an online shop and keep my focus clear so that I can maintain the delicate work-life balance that allows me to work a full-time job, have all of the family time I need, and still feed my creative side at the end of the day.
Because I’ve realized, that if you get too caught up with “life” and distant from the parts of yourself that make you, YOU, to save time – you may not get the same enjoyment out of your other activities that you have more time for. Whew. that was a lot of YOUS.
This Ted Talk does a great job of covering the work-life balance and gave me some great insight, even though I couldn’t relate to his corporate environment.
“The small things matter. Being more balanced doesn’t mean dramatic upheaval in your life. With the smallest investment in the right places you can radically transform the quality of your relationships and your life.”
How do you keep your work-life balance in check?
Plenty of studies indicate that mental health can be improved by spending time outdoors. Some even say as little as ten minutes can actually improve your mood on the spot. So why is it so hard sometimes to get up and get out?
Our emotions are powerful, especially on days that we feel mentally sluggish or stressed. It can be hard to fight the urge to stay still, because our brains are wired to do whatever is easiest. Anything out of routine requires work for our brains to process. Think of the grocery store…do you always follow the same path? It’s not just because it seems logical. Your brain encourages this path, recognizing that it takes the least amount of effort to shop this way, because it’s familiar. A new route, even one as minor as a grocery store aisle, causes your brain to adjust and exert effort.
So how do we get out of the rut, momentary or otherwise? Practice.
There’s no magic, and I certainly haven’t figured it out. But I do find it fascinating, and I’m attempting to remember these details when I do fight the urge to change a bad habit.
This may be especially hard for new mothers in the self-care arena. Not only were our brains wired this way before baby, but now we have a whole person who ALSO needs our brains. So we learn. And learn some more. And more. And then we have to stop, and unlearn for a moment, and realize that it is OK to revert to some self-care practices. But at that point, our brains are so RE-wired, it can be difficult to stop taking care of others, because it is the new, ingrained routine, that while exhausting, is familiar.
When my baby was 14 months old, I FINALLY got to the “un-learning” stage of remembering how to step back and change the routine of caring for a little one 100% of the time. I remember my first real self-care act vividly. I spent several hours on a Saturday to myself and for TWO HOURS I sat outside in the sun and THATS ALL I DID. I just sat outdoors. Enjoying the weather with no phone. Life changing, people.
So, I challenge you to consider your brains pathways at this incredibly biological level, and change a path. Create a new process. Get outside. Just do.
Bonus reading: This interesting study, details how our brains control more of our “willpower” than we think; remaining biased towards actions that included past rewards. And, do our brains control our habits?
Baby sleep. It seems like the biggest make or break situation in the beginning. “Is my baby normal? What’s normal? Is anything normal? I’m so tired I’m not sure I’m living…” etc.
When James was about five months old, he went through a terrible, horrible, possibly torturous bad-sleep phase. Comparatively speaking (and in hind-sight), he went through a completely normal and relatively mild poor-sleep phase. 😂
At the time, I stressed for a bit then I realized that I should just wait it out. And I did. And it stopped. And all was fine (aside from my complexion).
But I wonder…why did I stress at all in the first place? Why aren’t women more educated on what is normal? Why is baby sleep a predetermined struggle for moms? We wonder whether we’ll have a “good” baby or whether we’ll be one of the lucky ones whose baby sleeps through the night early. We’re poorly educated on the truth of baby sleep patterns aside from the obligatory jokes on impending sleeplessness during pregnancy. We’re inundated with books and products swearing to help your baby sleep better…because that’s what they’re supposed to be doing…right? Sleeping well?
Worst of all, why are babies that sleep “well” called “good babies,” when it’s actually perfectly normal for babies to wake up consistently in the newborn days AND beyond?
If we more readily understood the natural patterns of baby sleep, not only would we be more prepared and therefore less stressed by the ups and downs, but we would not feel so isolated. Mothers may not feel alone when waking for the third time by 3am. We may not waste time wondering what we are supposed to do to “fix” our baby, when they are actually just a healthy newborn with normal sleep inconsistencies.
I think part of the problem is that we don’t have our village anymore. Mothers, sisters, friends, don’t share their lives and stories the way they used to (well I wasn’t there…but you know what I mean).
The other issue is that society is obsessed perfection, but the ideal is based on nothing but desire. Why does even a single new mama stress over a sleepless baby? Because society pressures babies to sleep, and tells new mothers that night-waking is something to fix. (Of course this is assuming that your baby is getting the sleeping hours total that they need for healthy development-see resources below).
Now my almost two year old is going through another sleep phase, and he’s landed himself squarely in the middle of our king bed.
It could easily be a scenario where I’m just doing whatever I can to get by and get sleep, but it’s actually not (although there are plenty of those scenarios). After a brief adjustment period, it’s something all three of us are enjoying, because we know it is a phase, and it will help him have a strong base of safety and confidence for when it IS time for him to be independent as he grows. Really, I just think it’s perfectly natural at his age, and many cultures would agree.
Only in America, where we’ve cultivated this idea of unnecessary independence as an achievement, would it be seen as strange for an infant or toddler to have a sleep dependency.
I certainly also see the other side. There are plenty of reasons for believing that children should sleep in their own beds, but at the end of the day all that needs to be said is that co-sleeping doesn’t feel like the right fit for your family. A stressed mama is not the goal. Period.
Good guidelines for co-sleeping or bed-sharing:
Anthropological evidence of cosleeping societies
New Guidelines Acknowledge The Reality: Babies Do Sleep In Mom’s Bed
A Conversation With Co-Sleeping Expert James McKenna
The Latest Research on Safe Co-Sleeping
Bed-Sharing, Infant Sleep, and SIDS
Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone
Ok. Perhaps that title is a bit extreme….or is it?! Sigh.
I thought, long before I ever had kids, that people should just all be friends, and lighten up on the judgement. The result of being an introverted hippie at heart, I suppose. After having my son, though, this multiplied by ONE MILLION. Raising the littles these days is hard, y’all. Lose the judgement. Support is crucial and I cannot imagine going through the challenges that motherhood brings with someone judging me along the way. Well, someone besides my son. 😆
Everyone is just trying to LIVE and be their best selves in an imperfect world. Pitchforks: not required. Yet every day, I see examples of judgement in my news feed, in social media comments, and IN PERSON. Usually mothers. Why?!
These days mothers just cannot win. It makes me incredibly sad to see these constant stories of mothers being judged and SHAMED, often for things that are quite reasonable upon second glance.
But in a world where we will form an opinion from a single headline, where stories go viral, then the EXPLANATION of the stories go viral, where we judge even from hundreds of miles away…we aren’t exactly a banner society for understanding and second glances.
I think it is in large part due to a loss of community. In the pursuit of the American Dream, we have found ourselves more isolated than ever.
Everything from large political parties to just one tired new mama doubting herself as she experiences undiagnosed postpartum depression, we are divided, we are isolated. We lack a sense of communal support and common experience. Division is in our homes and across the nation.
In a desperate attempt to re-group…we create mommy mentors and La Leche League groups and Facebook communities and literally ANYTHING that will provide basic human interaction time (especially for stay/work at home moms). I happen to adore all of these things (especially LLL) but it’s a clear, constant attempt to bring people together, because we are ALREADY SO FAR APART.
I even read a comment feed recently that a work at home mom went to the grocery store at a consistent time so she could visit with the same staff each week. MIND BLOWN. Not that there is anything wrong with that. And I certainly do not mean to assume that that is her only interaction. But even still, I immediately wanted to track this woman down (in a non-creepy way) and become ACTUAL FRIENDS.
Was there not a time when someone would not have to go to such…random lengths to find a friendly face? If we can all joke and agree that it takes a village to raise children. Where is the village?
We have removed the value from “our village” and placed it in single, large houses, the farther apart the better. The more independent we are and less we need you and your village, the more superior we think we are.
This isolation breeds the general (and understandable) lack of open-mindedness. Someone does something differently than you and suddenly the judgement comes out. And again, if it is a MOTHER in this scenario, well ham and pineapples. She’s screwed.
There is no community. There is no safety. There is little trust. An exhausted mother rests her arms and lets her baby stretch and the INTERNET ROASTS HER. You have to be kidding me. This is where we are at? Where were the neighbors? The friends. The helpers. We are all these things. We are all her neighbors. Can we not put down our phones and give an understanding smile? Or…gasp – strike up a conversation and HELP?
Obviously, this topic could go many different directions. So, let me bring this down to a single point.
How can I be someone who helps.
How can I instigate a feeling of community.
How can I make ONE mother feel less isolated.
We are social creatures. We need each other. We need community. And quite frankly, I don’t have time to clean a big house anyway.
I recently wrote about a few of my favorite beauty routine products, aaaand then I discovered Beautycounter. Apparently everyone is doing beauty all wrong. Lead in your lipstick?! I’ll pass. This issue is definitely worth a second look. Explore some of the worst chemicals lurking in your beauty cabinet over at Positive Health Wellness. I’ve slowly experimented with some clean beauty brands and I’m already hooked.
Here is my honest review of all of the ones I have tested, and some I can’t wait to try (once I win the lottery, since completely changing up your beauty routine costs basically $4,936). Just kidding. Onward.
I did not partner with any of these companies for this post, I just wanted to share how they worked for me after purchasing on my own.
BeautyCounter Cleansing Balm I find it hard to spend money on hair and beauty. It’s not something I enjoy as much as other purchases, and it’s typically not cheap! But this – $80 for the jar – threw me for a loop. I would barely spend $12 on a lotion! But this – it is WORTH IT. I love it. If you want to grab lunch and pretty much talk about this the whole time, I’m down. It’s good stuff. It removes every bit of makeup (I massage in and wipe with a wet muslin cloth) and leaves your skin downright velvety. It can even be used as a hydrating mask.
Aztec Healing Clay Mask
Secondary only to my Cleansing Balm. A beautifully simple and effective product.
BeautyCounter Charcoal Bar
A more reasonably priced option from BC. This bar lasts for. ev. er. Detoxifies and absorbs impurities. It can be slightly drying, but not much, and leaves skin clean and fresh, but not tight. I love the simplicity of this bar and the ingredient list. It is a perfect staple item for your routine and is gentle enough when your skin is acting out.
BeautyCounter Nourishing Day Cream
Another decent staple for me. It doesn’t break me out, and it’s not heavy or greasy. Just light, clean, unscented and moisturizing. An easy favorite.
BeautyCounter Tint Skin
Love it! This is a light-medium coverage foundation with a dewy finish. I use it when my skin is happy and clear. If I’m breaking out, I need more coverage. It goes on well with a Beauty Blender. I use the Linen shade. I know this sounds strong…but I actually despise the BC foundation brush. Skip it.
Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser
I keep this in rotation with my charcoal bar. Simple, gentle and leaves skin soft and clean.
Honest Beauty Lip Crayon
Blends well, great colors, and you can get a discount if you add it to a bundle. Love.
Acure Brightening Scrub
I have very sensitive skin so I avoided physical exfoliators for a long time. But I think I just was trying the wrong scrubs. I love this one! As long as I massage gently, it is not too abrasive, and very effective.
Honest Beauty Everything Primer
It won an Allure award and I like it a lot – but I’m not sure I love it? It is not silicone based like many primers (Smashbox, Benefit, etc) so it feels more like a strange moisturizer. But it does create a nice base. I use it, but could go without it.
Honest Beauty Younger Face Deep Hydration Cream
Love it. It is very hydrating…slightly heavy. Adorable packaging. I would not use this for daytime though. Too thick.
Honest Beauty Daily Shampoo+Conditioner
Love it! It has a light scent and my hair felt softer than usual after using.
Acure Pore Refining Mask
This feels great and leave skin soft and not tight or dry. Very strange smell, but doesn’t affect the super soft results!
Honest Beauty Acne+Wrinkle Free
I tried the sample pack which includes the moisturizer, night serum and face wash. I loved it! But when I used it everyday, my skin started to flake a bit. You would have to mix this in just a few times a week maybe.
EH. NOT FOR ME
Honest Beauty Hydrating Shampoo+Conditioner
This duo stinks so bad. So. Bad.
Acure Face Wipes
These are ok. Not bad, but pretty thin and just not enough oomph to be a necessity in my routine. I feel like they don’t remove anything…just refresh already clean skin, which isn’t really what I need.
Beautiful scent, but very watery and not nearly hydrating enough for anything but very thin, already-healthy hair.
BeautyCounter Nourishing Night Cream
The counterpart to the Day Cream, a fave. The night cream is just a tad too heavy for me. If you have oily skin, I would skip this one.
BeautyCounter Dew Skin
Awesome product that a lot of people swear by, but too dewy for my oily skin. I want a more matte finish.
They broke me out. Can’t blame it on them though – I’ve never had a sunscreen that didn’t cause breakouts on my sensitive skin. Back on the hunt…
I’d really like to find a natural foundation that has more coverage. Gressa looks awesome, but is pricey! I also really need a decent body wash. My sensitive skin certainly doesn’t stop at my face, and right now I am using baby soap, but I’d love an upgrade. Next on my list would also be a face oil. It’s so funny how I’ve always avoided oils, and now I have them in everything! Laura’s Natural Life blog has a great list of favorites to check out also!
I have so many issues with regular deodorants. They’re full of toxic ingredients and chemicals, not to mention skin irritants and hormone disruptors. Trust me.
Or, learn more about this here.
But my chief complaint is actually none of these (even though these should be my priority, hah). I have seriously sensitive skin, and I have a really hard time finding products that don’t irritate it. My latest body wash is actually…my baby’s Aveeno sensitive wash. Hah! So, needless to say, traditional antiperspirant/deodorants do a number on my underarms. Even unscented ones (which at least rule out a perfume irritant) don’t provide any relief because you’ve still got a ton of other irritating ingredients.
However, I’ve always been a bit adverse to the natural ones after trying one years ago for about two minutes. I think it may have been Tom’s brand. Even though I knew my current deodorant was not ideal, I wasn’t in a rush to do the research/testing I needed to do to try a new kind. I was obviously super committed.
But then I saw a Buzzfeed post about Native. I love Buzzfeed…they are right about everything! Right…? So, out of nowhere and with almost no research – I ordered. I am really not the impulse purchase kind of person, but I loved the Native site, the scent options and it wasn’t a risky purchase at about $12 <steps out of comfort zone>.
I was shocked that there was no transition period. I expected that my body would need to adjust to the new product, but I smelled great from day one. And most importantly, my skin healed and softened within less than two weeks. I couldn’t believe it since my expectations were low on such a random impulse purchase.
The texture was different at first, but it still glides on nicely. It will leave more on your skin, but unlike regular deodorants, it’s not residue, so I don’t mind that there’s a thicker layer (Native recommends that you simply massage extra product into your skin). It feels great and easily rinses clean. My old deodorant definitely did not rinse clean, especially with my extra gentle Aveeno baby soap. It was so annoying.
The Coconut & Vanilla is hands-down the best scent. Thanks to a free duo from Native, I’ve also tried the Eucalyptus & Mint, which has a masculine feel, and the Lavender & Rose, which is a close second to Coconut & Vanilla for me.
UPDATE! Native sent me a few seasonal scents to try and yet again, I’m in love! this stuff is seriously amazing.
Grapefruit & Bergamot has a gentle scent that is feminine but not at all overwhelming. An absolute favorite.
I hope they bring it back every year! Cucumber & Mint is clean and light. And Citrus & Herbal Musk is HANDS down amazing for my husband. He was so hesitant to ditch his Old Spice because we both liked the scent – but it’s so full of toxins! This scent is even better and we love it!
I was not affiliated with Native in any way, but wanted to share this amazing product with a deal for you! So I reached out to Native and they were happy to offer a special discount code – use code “caitlin15” for 15% off of your Native deodorant.
Native offers a subscribe and save program that will save your %17 regularly. I am on the Coconut & Vanilla subscribe and save, obviously. I love it!
They also offer a sharing perk. Each account is provided a unique sharing link that will earn you free travel size deodorants with other purchases using your sharing link. I’ve used mine here, and may get some travel deodorants if you purchase.
Ahhh leggings. I think they were permanently glued to me for…like a year, if I’m honest. And yes, they were pants. Just stop it. Everyone knew they were the best.
Until they weren’t.
I lost some baby weight and wanted a change in wardrobe. Also, leggings don’t pair well with the Charleston humidity.
But I had standards. Like a drawstring waist, obvs.
I decided this style of super light and flowy soft pants were the way to go. But I’d rather spend my money on Charleston food and baby books than silk pants that are going to be covered in toddler yogurt finger prints as soon as I try them on.
Old Navy has not necessarily been one of my go-to brands in the past, but I saw these in the hunt for a substitute and gave them a try. They are life. Loose but still flattering. Airy. So comfortable and still stylish.
Also, can we please get more real life style options on blogs? It amazes me how many ultra-high price tags I see. Is anyone covering the regular options for us regular ol’ moms?! I love to buy smart and small (read: quality and expensive), but sometimes you have to fill in the wardrobe gaps with some toddler + budget friendly options. Thanks, Old Navy.
I live in the black, but just ordered the navy pair as well. They can be dressed up or down, look great with flats or heels, and any tops – slightly tucked in or loose and casual.
Favorite discovery – order the tall!
Even if you aren’t tall, these are ever-so slightly cropped, and the extra length is awesome for me (almost 5’7). I wash on gentle cycle and line dry.
I do not care much for fancy makeup products – but I never ever go to bed without washing my face. It’s the curse of senstive skin. No wait – not being able to use nearly all products is the curse of sensitive skin. Actually, there are several issues I have with my skin…Anyway, while I am very casual about makeup and rarely wear more than foundation and mascara, I do care about skincare. At the least I manage to maintain a cleansing routine, even with the busy baby around, because if I don’t my skin will have a heart attack!
So over the years of testing 35,862 skin and beauty products (probably accurate) I’ve learned more about my skin, how it changes with age, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and what products work.
Here are a few of my favorites…
aztec healing mask
This is one of those completely un-fancy products that actually works! It is very simple – it’s just powdered clay and you mix with apple cider vinegar and water and leave on for 15 minutes and it draws impurities to the surface. I try to use it once a week. My skin always feels smooth and clean afterwards, but a tad dry, so I usually use my facial mist or moisturizer after. I’m probably supposed to use a serum but ain’t nobody got time for that.
mario badescu keratoplast cream soap
Probably working on 4 years with this stuff. It cleans without drying at all. A toner is recommend after, but my skin can’t handle the toner. It takes some getting used to if you typically use a foaming cleanser that makes you feel squeaky clean because your face will just feel…bare but not stripped.
aloe & rosewater facial mist
I’ve used this for several years and I love it. It always seemed like a superfluous product in the past, but most moisturizers make my skin breakout. So, when I’m a little over-sensitive, I will use this in place of a moisturizer and it feels so good to have some fry skin relief without risking more irritation. Other times I will just use it after a shower (on neck and chest too) or under/over makeup for an extra boost.
neutrogena sensitive skin oil-free moisturizer
Moisturizers are so tough for me. Nothing works. I’ve tried everything that doesn’t cost more than my grocery bill. This one is the least irritating, but I do stay on the hunt for something that doesn’t break me out at ALL.
beauty counter charcoal face bar
This is new for me but I really like it so far. It cleans thoroughly but isn’t overly drying. I tend to alternate it with my gentler MB wash.
ponds makeup remover
Because I use such a gentle face wash, I HAVE to remove my foundation before I cleanse if I want to actually be clean. This is a classic. It provides additional moisture (again, thankfully without irritation) and it definitely removes everything without issue. I use it when I get home in the afternoons and tissue off, and leave any remaining on until I wash in the evenings, so it has some time to provide the moisture boost. I tried micellar water in its place and my skin freaked out big time.
This stuff saved me! Traditional deodorants typically have some unsafe ingredients, and definitely irritating ones for those with sensitive skin. Yet, most natural deodorant options just don’t work. I tried this on a whim and LOVE IT. Coconut & Vanilla scent all the way. Read my full review of it here.
Hands down my favorite, but I only buy it when I feel like splurging.
Another item I have used for years. It doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. It feel silky soft but won’t “ball” up and smudge like some primers – it just glides. A little bit goes a long way. I prefer the color adjusting variety, but they are all great.
sara happ lip scrub
Umm. who has time for lip scrub? But when I do, I love this kind. It smells amazing and feels luxurious.
c.o. bigelow rose bud salve
Simple. Classic. Feels like silk. I use it at night before bed when James hasn’t stolen it from my nightstand and lost it somewhere in the house. Because the couch cushions need lip gloss too.
tocca collete fragrance
This is my favorite all around fragrance. Not really a beauty item – but if you haven’t smelled it you have to try! Such a crowd pleaser. Top notes of bergamot, mandarin, lemon, juniper berry and pink peppercorn.
Some say motherhood is not for the faint of heart. I think it doesnt matter, because whatever you are out of…whatever you need, becoming a mom will help you realize what you are actually capable of. Impatient? Perfectionist? Need a little strength? Perhaps a reminder of the important things? Feeling a little…faint hearted? Don’t worry. Motherhood will teach you are strong and growing and that YOU GOT THIS.
And I’m only a year in! Oh, the lessons and battles to come…
But for this year, these lessons have served me well (mostly post sleep deprivation days, lol).
This is a hard one for perfectionists. But if you’re a lazy perfectionist like me, bonus! It works out. Getting things perfect just isn’t worth it. You’ll need the flexibility of the waves themselves. The messy house, the weird nap times, the out of nowhere late bedtime on an inconvenient Tuesday. Just roll with it. I guess I just have a new, very strange list of what gets under my skin and what doesn’t. Also known as, pick your battles, or remembering that this is just one phase of life.
Caring less about the small things? Check.
Just some. Once you have a general understanding of say, baby sleep patterns and needs, take a step back. And then just see what good sleep habits work for your family. James was a decent sleeper until he went through a horrible sleep regression from about 4.5-6 months. I spent precious time planning how I could “fix” what was happening. Then I realized that he might not need fixing (see: just roll with it, above). He was happy during the day and I was providing decent bedtime habits. He was likely going to go through this phase regardless, and he would stop when it was over, as quickly as it started. I remained sleep deprived for that time, but more peacefully so. I freed valuable brain space for enjoying more time with him and allowed myself to accept the night routine, even appreciate it at times (like, once). And out of nowhere, he slept again.
Whether it’s food, sleep, milestones or whatever, being an expert won’t guarantee you can solve issues or disruptions that arise. You just need to be mama, and less pressure on yourself will make you a happier one.
You’re doing it right. You just are. Maybe not according to someone else’s standards, or by every book available, but love your baby and keep them generally healthy (lol) and boom. That’s you doing it right. Allow yourself a fleeting moment to feel proud. It can be hard to both avoid judging and being judged. But make it a priority to support yourself, and love yourself for the mama you are.
Baby. Will. Be. Fine. But how are you? They seem so vulnerable, and our hormones make us so acutely aware of their needs, and so we stress. Over their sleep or formula or breastfeeding and weight gain and childcare and clothes and appropriate toys. Is everything good enough? And so we put our needs off because who can handle ALL of it?! Well, we can. But I’d rather not, and they’re actually preeeetty resilient.
I don’t like self-care tips that recommend activities, though. Yes I know I can go get a manicure…then ruin it with baby poop. For me it starts with mindset. I care for myself by first forgiving any mom guilt or unneccesary self-judgement.
In addition to the regular stressors, an average of 15% of women struggle with postpartum depression in the US alone. I wish that our society put more emphasis on a healing and attentive fourth trimester (at the very least) for new mothers. The baby will be fine. But the mama might need a hug!
Some may call it attachment parenting. I just call it easy. Ok, so technically I am not attachment parenting…but there are some parts of that parenting style that came naturally and just made things easier! With a newborn, breastfeeding on demand, baby wearing and not attempting to sleep train, just took the guesswork out of everything for me! I let him lead the way as best I could with a loose structure. Even these days he leads his schedule pretty well, and I typically don’t fight changes.
And just like that, he was a year.
Oh, and let’s keep it real in case this is all a liiiittle optimistic some days:
Video credit: What the Flicka
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