Loving Your Mom Bod

When you decide you’re ready to start a family, you’re ready to endure whatever it takes to make it happen. You know you’ll gain weight and wobble around for 9 months. You know childbirth will hurt. And you know that it will all be worth it. Then it happens. Pregnancy comes and goes and you survive the birth and postpartum period. Once you settle into motherhood and you finally have time to assess the damage, you realize how much has changed. What’s up with this mom bod? 

You did it. You endured childbirth and brought a beautiful baby into the world. But what's left of you when all is said and done? It's the mom bod. And it's more than just trying to squeeze your mummy tummy into a bikini. Read on for some serious truths about your mom bod after baby and what to do about it. #SaneMomma #MomBod #BabyWeight #Motherhood #MaternalMentalHealth #PositiveBodyImage #LoveYourself

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase a product or service from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

Loving Your Mom Bod

Ah, the mom bod. It’s something we all know will come, but are never really prepared for. If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, you may not be thinking about this yet. If you’ve already taken the leap into motherhood, you may just be discovering it. Either way, there are a few things you should know…

 

The Deflation

When you’re breastfeeding, your breasts are full of life juice, ready to provide your little one with everything they need. But what happens after you’re done, or if you decide not to at all? Well, they don’t quite go back to where they started. Somehow they look smaller and bigger at the same time. The top seems deflated and you can’t even figure out what bra size you are because things are so out of whack. This is mom bod feature number one. It’s a tell-tale sign that a woman has given the gift of life. 

 

Battle Scars

Once your pregnancy belly goes down, and you may have even lost some of the baby weight, you realize that no matter how thin you get, your battle scars will remain. Stretch marks and c-section scars are there to stay. They serve as a reminder of what you were willing to do to bring your little of bundle of joy into the world, and at the same time, make you consider giving up bikinis altogether. For some reason the scars your husband has from that crazy dirtbike accident when he was 15 seem “cool” yet you feel ashamed of the proof you have that you endured a pain most men couldn’t handle if they tried. 

 

The pooch

Even if you were lucky enough to dodge the stretch marks and a c-section, there’s one thing that remains. The mom pooch. Unless you have the time, energy, and genetics to get a six pack after childbirth, you likely have this glamorous new feature. Not to mention, it’s not the same pooch you got when you were younger and you ate out too often. It’s softer, and it doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks of carb detox. It’s become a part of you. 

 

Rapid aging

This may not be the case for everyone, but I didn’t have my son until I was 29, and nearly 2 years later I feel like I’m 40. I have more gray hairs, my skin isn’t what it used to be, and I swear I get hurt more easily. It’s like my body decided it wasn’t young anymore as soon as I became a mom. If you become a first-time mom when you’re 18, I’m pretty sure this isn’t a thing. But for the rest of us, welcome to true adulthood. Things are harder and recovery is longer. I honestly didn’t expect this until I was at least in my 40’s. 

 

Is this forever? 

Maybe. Maybe not. There are ways to change your body in an effort to obtain the “perfect body” you once had (which you probably didn’t think was perfect at the time). You can go to the extreme and get a lift, some liposuction, and laser scar removal. You can try out some crazy diets, homemade scar lightening remedies, and color your hair. Heck, even just buying an awesome bra can make a world of difference! 

 

But why? 

Why is it that you fear the mom bod? Do you feel embarrassed or threatened by other women who don’t have these features? Are you worried about what your spouse thinks? Or are you just silently judging yourself each time you look in the mirror? I can tell you this. I’ve lost 40 pounds since I had my son (more if you include that period of time where I still looked pregnant) and I still have the mom pooch. I stopped breastfeeding almost a year ago and my breasts aren’t getting any higher. Those stretch marks, yeah, they’re here to stay. And guess what, I’m okay with it! 

 

It’s all about perspective

Stop and think for a minute. What is a perfect body? Is it a supermodel body? Or is that too skinny? Maybe it’s the body of the fitness guru you follow on Instagram or a friend you’re extremely envious of. Who put these ideas in your head?

Society tells us we should look a certain way, but so do we. Maybe your mom was critical of your weight when you were young due to her own insecurity. Or you had a boyfriend who called you fat in high school. Whatever it was that lead you to believe that you were required to look a certain way, let it go. You are you. You are the only one with your unique body, and no one else can tell you how that mom bod of yours should look. 

 

How do you feel? 

As hard as it may be, I urge you to stop looking in the mirror. Of course, if you need to do your makeup, or style your hair, you’ll need to. But stop standing in front of that full-length mirror after your shower examining your “flaws”. Stop telling yourself that you’ve failed because you don’t look like whatever celebrity just had a baby and looks awesome (likely after having some “work” done and getting beautifully photoshopped on that magazine cover). 

Instead, shift your focus to how you feel. Do you have energy? Do you feel weighed down? What can you do to feel as good as possible? If losing weight will help you feel better, then lose weight! But not to satisfy the mirror. Lose weight so you can chase your little one around the park without getting winded. Eat healthy so you can keep a stable mood when a tantrum ensues. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby and be the best mom ever

 

Lead by example

We all want our kids to grow up healthy and happy, right? Well, where do you think they will learn how to do this? If you think that they will do as you say and not as you do, you’ve got another thing comin’. The absolute best way to teach your children to live life a certain way is to do so yourself.

Fuel your body with healthy food because you love yourself. Take pride in your appearance because you’re proud of who you are. Have the confidence to wear your favorite bikini because you feel good in it (as you should). Show your kids what it’s like to truly love yourself and teach them to love themselves. 

 

Live to meet your great grandkids

As hard as it may be to think this far ahead (even if you don’t want to), don’t you want to be around, and able, to play with your great grandkids? Healthy eating, staying active, and taking care of yourself mentally can prevent future diseases and significantly increase your lifespan.

Why would you not take action to make that happen? I can’t even imagine the joy a mom feels to see her children’s children bring new life into the world. And to see what the world will be like then! Flying cars? Replicators? I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what life brings! 

 

Love that mom bod! 

 

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Tips for Overcoming the Stay at Home Mom Blues

You’re a stay at home mom, how could you possibly be anything other than thrilled? I mean, you get to stay home with your kids all day wearing yoga pants and you don’t have to go to work! So, life’s a piece of cake, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sure, there are days when being a stay at home mom is amazing, many of them in fact, but it’s all too easy to slip into the stay at home mom blues without even realizing you’re there. Whether you’re experiencing a burnout from the day-to-day routine, depression due to seclusion from the outside world or boredom in general, here are some tips for overcoming the stay at home mom blues. 

Being a stay at home mom isn't always sunshine and rainbows. As a SAHM, it's not uncommon to experience struggles with loneliness, lack of motivation, and the stress of being the primary caregiver. Whether you're experiencing a burnout from the day-to-day routine, depression due to seclusion from the outside world or boredom in general, here are some tips for overcoming the stay at home mom blues. #SaneMomma #SAHM #MomLife #Depression

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase a product or service from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

Tips for Overcoming the Stay at Home Mom Blues

Acknowledge the problem 

During my time as a stay at home mom, I’ve had some variation of the stay at home mom blues a few times. The problem was, I didn’t acknowledge it. I was so busy trying to keep it all together and get everything done that I didn’t take a moment to realize that I wasn’t okay. In the back of my mind, I knew something was up, but as they say, the first step is always admitting when you have a problem. 

If life seems harder than usual lately, take a moment to acknowledge where you are at. Are you feeling depressed or anxious? Are you exhausted every day? Being a mom is hard work, and of course, it will wear you out, but there is a difference between being worn out from chasing your toddler around and being completely lethargic and unmotivated. Recognize where you are and say it out loud to someone if you can. 

 

Tip: This is where journaling comes in handy. I find that when I’m writing in a journal daily, I tend to practice self-reflection more often and more honestly. I’ll often catch problems earlier on because I’ve processed them in my journal. 

 

 

 

Accept the problem 

Okay, you’ve acknowledged that you’re burnt out, unmotivated, maybe even slightly depressed, but what now? You may even feel worse just thinking about it! Now that you know where you stand, it’s time to accept it. No, I don’t mean that you’re not going to do anything about it, but you need to accept it as a reality. 

Accept that you feel the way you feel and remove the guilt. You are not a bad mom for not enjoying every moment with your children. You are not a bad wife for not enjoying every moment of homemaking. And you are not less than because you are suffering from the stay at home mom blues. Not only are these feelings perfectly normal and unbelievably common, they are also just that, YOUR feelings. Guilt is one of the hardest emotions to overcome. When you combine it with how you are currently feeling, it weighs you down and makes it significantly harder to get back on your feet. 

 




 

Make a decision 

It’s time to decide exactly what needs to change and to make a conscious decision to change it. Here’s the key, it has to be for you. Not for your kids, not for your spouse, for YOU. I know, you’re a mom, and it feels selfish to look at it this way, but chances are, one of the reasons you have the stay at home mom blues in the first place is because you weren’t thinking about yourself enough! 

Make the decision to take care of yourself FOR yourself. If you do it for someone else, you’ll only be hitting the bare minimum of what you actually need, just enough to complete whatever task or put on whatever happy face you need to satisfy others. When you do it for yourself, you know when you’re half-assing it. You know when you’re really happy. You can hold yourself accountable. 

 

Do what you can 

Take action! Obviously, the action you take will depend on your unique situation, but here are a few things that are likely to be beneficial for just about anyone suffering from the stay at home mom blues: 

  • Get in a daily workout – Even if it’s just 15 minutes of cardio before the kids get up, do it!
  • Watch your diet – Healthy blood sugar levels help with mood and energy.
  • Get out of the house – Staying inside for days on end will make anyone a little loony.
  • Take a break – Get someone to watch the kiddos while you do something YOU want to do.
  • Get ready – Get dolled up, even without a reason to. You’ll get an instant self-esteem boost!
  • Simplify – We often overcomplicate things in life. Find ways to simplify your daily routine.
  • Do something creative – Creativity puts your mind in a different place.
  • Mix it up – Change up your day in some new way. Remember, when you’re a stay at home mom, you have the freedom to do whatever you like! There’s no boss restricting where you can go or what you can do all day. Take a mini day trip with the kids to a new place, try out that new museum across town, or explore nature with them! 

 

Ask for help if it doesn’t work 

If you still can’t seem to get rid of the stay at home mom blues, ask for help. Help can come in many forms. Maybe it’s sending the kids to grandma’s for a couple of days so you can reset. Or if you think you may need to talk to a doctor, by all means, do. At the very least, ask for the support of those closest to you. Whether that be emotional support, help with the kids, or help with your other household responsibilities, a little help goes a long way. 

Whatever you do, don’t struggle silently. You’d be surprised how supportive people will be when you confide in them. Sure, there are some people out there who can’t get past themselves enough to support others, but the majority of people want to help. They just need you to tell them how they can.

 

What do you do when you get the stay at home mom blues? What snaps you out of it?? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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5 Things Moms Need Every Day

Remember before you were a mom? Back when you used to get upset if your needs weren’t met, or your partner didn’t call when they said they would? Weird, huh. Somehow becoming a mom just completely removes that part of your brain that says, “what about me?” As a self-care blogger, it’s my job to remind you of it! Here are 5 things that moms need every day. I challenge you to make it happen, momma!

Moms have needs too! Somehow becoming a mother just completely removes that part of your brain that says, "what about me?" As a self-care blogger, it's my job to remind you of it! Here are 5 things that moms need every day. I challenge you to make it happen, momma! #SaneMomma #MomLife #SelfCare #Motherhood #Parenthood

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase a product or service from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

5 Things Moms Need Every Day 

 

1. Basic Human Needs

It seems silly that I have to state the obvious, but I do. Momma – you need your basic human needs met every.single.day. You need to eat (full meals – not the leftover mac and cheese or chicken nuggets your toddler didn’t finish at lunch). You need sleep. You need to bathe. 

No excuses here, just do it. Put your newborn in the bouncer and bring it in the bathroom so you can shower. Let your toddler fuss while you leave them in the playpen for five minutes so you can make yourself something to eat. If your little one keeps you up all night, ask a friend or family member to watch them for a bit while you catch up on some zzz’s the next day. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

We can only be good moms if we are healthy and happy. Start by putting your basic needs into your daily routine, add in some extras when you can. and rock motherhood! 

 

2. Downtime

Sometimes moms need to not be mom for a few minutes. Just because your baby is finally napping, doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire time catching up on house chores. Take some time for yourself. Sip some coffee. And for goodness sake, allow yourself to enjoy it! No feeling guilty. 

I know many of us have experienced “mommy brain” where we forget things or do silly things thanks to our little distractions. I’ve found that when I have sufficient downtime, I don’t have as big of an issue with this. There’s something about taking some time for my brain to reset, even 15 minutes, that seems to get me back on track. 

For me, one of the most important parts about downtime is the quiet. I just want everything to be quiet, even for a moment, so my mind can calm the heck down. Maybe that’s anxiety related, but it definitely makes a difference for me. After a few minutes of silence, I feel refreshed and ready to mom again. 

 

3. Connection

If you’re a working mom, I’m sure you have this one covered, but for stay at home moms, it can be really tough! Believe it or not, hanging out with your kids all day does not count as being social. In fact, hanging out with your spouse in the evenings isn’t even enough. Sometimes, moms need to get the heck out of the house and be around people. Even a trip to the grocery store can be helpful if you make conversation with the cashier. 

Make it a point to get out often. Grab lunch with an old friend, visit family regularly. At the very least, call your friends or family to catch up and share your daily struggles with someone. 

For most of my life I considered myself to be an extrovert but, as I get older, and especially after having my son, I’ve found that I am becoming more of an introvert. I love my alone time and, after being a stay at home mom for nearly 2 years, it’s hard to step out into the real world sometimes. But I’m always glad I did. It doesn’t take much social interaction to remember who I really am, motherhood aside.

 

4. Love & Appreciation

If there’s one thing moms need, it’s love and appreciation. Every day. There’s this unexplained motherhood phenomenon where moms feel the need to serve their family and expect nothing in return. What nonsense is this?! If you make dinner, you deserve a thank you. After a long day, you deserve to sit down on the couch and snuggle with your little ones. And when you need a break, your loving family should be understanding of that. 

Here’s the thing, the reason many of us feel underappreciated is often our own fault. It’s all about our own mentality. We feel like we need to do it all, with no help, and no thank-you’s necessary. Forget that! Let them help, and ask them to help! Teach your kids to say thank you when you do something for them and expect your spouse to set a good example. When you need that break, don’t feel guilty and don’t apologize! The way you act determines how others will treat you. Act as though you deserve love and appreciation because you do! 

 

5. Personal growth

Just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean the personal growth is over. You won’t be stuck watching Word Party and Paw Patrol forever. Keep moving forward. If you haven’t found your passion in life yet, keep looking. Try out new things. Do something that scares you, often. (as long as it’s safe!) Keep exploring ways to develop yourself. I know, it feels like you should be spending more time on your kids’ development, but taking some time for your own growth will show them that personal development is important. What a valuable life lesson to learn. 

If you’re fortunate enough to know what your passion is, don’t let motherhood stop you from pursuing it! Sure, you may not be able to dedicate as much time as you could pre-baby and your family needs to be the top priority, but don’t give up your passion. Find a way to make time, even if it’s only an hour a day. So many people struggle to find out what their passion is, throwing it away when you know it exists is painful to even think about! 

Do you make these 5 needs a priority in your life as a mom? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

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10 Ways to be the Best Mom Ever

I know, the headline of this post is a little much. Am I really going to give you the secret sauce to becoming the best mom ever? Am I even the best mom ever? Nope. But I’m working toward it every day and I want to share with you the ways that I believe we, as moms, can be the best possible versions of ourselves for our children. 

10 Ways to be the Best Mom Ever - I know, the headline of this post is a little much. Am I really going to give you the secret sauce to becoming the best mom ever? Am I even the best mom ever? Nope. But I'm working toward it every day and I want to share with you the ways that I believe we, as moms, can be the best possible versions of ourselves for our children. #SaneMomma #MotherhoodTips #MomLife #MomTips #ParentingAdvice #MotherhoodInspiration

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase a product or service from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

 

How to be the Best Mom Ever

I remember thinking about how freeing it was when I was pregnant to let go of the societal standards of beauty. For once, I focused on eating healthy for the sake of health, rather than weight loss to fit some mold enforced upon me by magazines. The funny thing is, as soon as we have kids, we then feel the need to fit a different societal standard – the best mom ever. 

Often the best mom ever is portrayed as one who manages to keep her house immaculate (and beautifully designed), her kids clean and happy, and her spouse pleased. Of course, she also looks fantastic, wears makeup every day, doesn’t have stains on her clothes, and is ready for guests at any given moment. 

Here’s the thing… that’s utter nonsense. It’s impossible. Accept it. Just like having the proportions of a Barbie doll is impossible, so is this hilarious standard for motherhood. While many of us realize how silly it is to model our lives after the moms we see on TV or Instagram, we often still find ourselves striving for it in our journey through motherhood. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can set our own standards. 

 

My 10 goals for being the best mom ever

I can’t speak for you all when it comes to what it means to be the best mom ever, but I’m sure you will agree with at least some of these goals I have set for myself. Every day, I try to remind myself of these things. Sure, I will make mistakes along the way, and just when I’ve perfected my mom skills in one area, I’ll likely be lacking in another. It doesn’t matter. Our kids see us for who we are. If we are always striving to be the best mom ever, they will know it. They will feel it. 

On to goal 1… 

 

Simplify

One of the greatest things you can do as a mom is to stop making more work for yourself. Taking this step will make the rest of the goals so much easier to attain. Take some time to simplify your life. For some, that may mean de-cluttering and getting rid of unnecessary items. For others, it may mean eliminating unnecessary tasks from your schedule. Whatever it may be, figure out what’s over-complicating your life and kick it to the curb. 

I used to over think the household chores. I thought I needed to do a load of laundry every day. In reality, a couple of times a week works just fine and takes less time overall. I finally realized that mopping the floors every day was a silly expectation and just started using the Swiffer daily and mopping weekly. I simplified my days and life got easier. Now, whenever life gets overwhelming, I look for ways to simplify. 

 

Make time for the things that matter

As you’re thinking about simplifying your life and what can be cut out or reduced, think about what you want more of. Is it more snuggle time with your little one in the morning? How about more one-on-one play time in the afternoon? Look for ways to make these things a priority. Find a way to move things around, or change the way you do things so that when it comes to doing the things that really matter, you can actually be present for them. 

No more rushing through your trip to the park to get back to your housework. No more skipping out on that bedtime story so you can finish the dishes. Acknowledge that it is okay to make these precious moments a priority. For whatever reason, so many of us feel that if given the choice between the thing we want to do and the thing we should do, it’s wrong to choose the one we want! That’s just silly. Take 10 extra minutes to focus on the moments that really matter and let those dishes sit in the sink a little longer. 

 

Be healthy 

In a world full of Big Macs and antibiotic-filled foods, giving our kids the gift of health is a beautiful thing. From a very young age, show your kids what it means to truly be healthy. Don’t show them how to yo-yo diet and chug Diet Coke. Don’t teach them that the only way to be healthy is to starve yourself and do 100 hours of cardio a week. Show them that healthy food is real food. Make sure they get out and play so they get plenty of exercise naturally. Teach them that there are certain things you don’t want to put in your body either ever, or at least not too often. 

Don’t panic. I’m not saying you need to cook elaborate dinners from scratch every night. I don’t do that, and I wouldn’t expect you to. With a toddler, the food choices are already limited, but I try to give him the best options I can. Instead of french fries, I buy him all-natural veggie tots. When we find something healthy and new to try, we introduce it to him (if he will take it!) It’s all about doing your best to show them that it’s important. 

 

Take care of yourself 

I don’t know about you, but that whole “do as I say, not as I do” thing didn’t really work on me. Sure, when I was a kid it did because I didn’t want to get in trouble! But as an adult, I find myself doing as my parents did, not as they said. This is why I am a firm believer in taking care of yourself the way that you want your kids to take care of themselves. This is something moms often struggle with, but we need to truly love ourselves. 

Love your body enough to give it healthy fuel. Love your mind enough to give it downtime. And love yourself enough to make sure you feel good inside and out. When you do this, your kids will grow up knowing that it is important (and normal) to make yourself a priority. Believe it or not, it is far from selfish to tell your kids you can’t play right now because you need to take a break. It shows them that you value yourself and that they should do the same. 

 

Manage your emotions

It’s funny how often we expect kids to control their emotions better than we control our own. We get angry and lash out or throw or hit something, but if our little ones do that, they get a time-out. All we are teaching them is that they can’t repeat this behavior until they are adults. How silly is that?? 

We should always try to model the behavior we want our kids to have. I know, it’s easier said than done, but it is by far the most effective teaching method. Your kids adore you. They want to be just like you. Seriously, how happy does it make them when they get your approval on something? So show them exactly the type of person you want them to be by being it yourself! 

This is where taking care of yourself comes in even more. If you are healthy, this step will be so much easier. Insulin spikes from a poor diet can cause emotional rollercoasters and increase anxiety. Being overweight can lead to depression or mood changes. Being healthy can result in a more balanced mood, make it easier to control your mood in challenging situations, and provide you with an abundance of energy to keep up with your kids. 

 

Do things that make you uncomfortable

As you go on your journey as a mother, you will likely encounter a few situations (or a million) where you have to choose between doing the awkward thing that your kid wants to do or finding a way to get out of it to protect yourself from discomfort. Here’s my advice: Do the awkward thing! 

Go on that playdate with the mom you don’t know. Take your little one to the playgroup where you’ll have to sing silly songs with a bunch of random strangers. Try something new that you would never have thought of when your kid asks you to. Just go with it. 

This is not something that comes naturally to me, but I made a decision from the very beginning that I didn’t want my son to live in fear and I would find a way to show him that through my own actions. While I still struggle (it took me months to try out a playgroup), I’ve come a long way. I continue to strive for this as new opportunities arise. 

 

Stick to your guns

Consistency is key in parenting, at least when it comes to the things that matter. As the stay at home parent, I am extremely consistent on many things and have a really hard time with others. For example, I’ve got my son’s schedule down pat. But when it comes to discipline, I struggle to maintain consistency. 

Since I work from home, I’m often just doing what I can to keep my little guy happy. Sometimes that means letting him get into shenanigans that won’t cause him any harm, but that I would prefer he not do (AKA taking out ALL of our DVDs and spreading them around the living room). Pick your battles and ensure that you are consistent with the things that are most important. 

 

Let it go

On the flip side, while you are sticking to your guns about the most important things, let the other stuff go. Let go of the fact that your toddler won’t eat his veggies today. Try again tomorrow. Let go of the fact that you didn’t get around to vacuuming tonight. Your home will survive. Most importantly, let go of the tough days. 

Recently, my son has been incredibly defiant with me. When my husband asks him to pick up his toys, he does it like a champ. When I ask him to, he either completely ignores me or runs in his room and closes the door before I can get in there. Ah, what a fun game at the end of my long day. 

So, we’ve had some rough days lately. But I know this is a phase. I know it will pass so I do my best to let it go. If I carry the frustration with me from day-to-day, my son will feel it and it will only make things worse. kids often mirror your emotions, even when don’t know that you are showing them. 

 

Admit your faults

How many of you heard the classic “because I said so!” phrase growing up? How frustrating was it?? All we wanted was a simple explanation as to why we couldn’t do something, or why we were being asked to do something we didn’t want to. 

Of course, now as parents, we understand why our own parents said this phrase. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out of my mouth one day too. What I am trying to avoid, more than anything, is the mentality that adults are exempt from the rules of childhood. While in some ways this is 100% true and acceptable (drinking, staying up late, etc.), there are times when I think it is important to show our kids that we are also responsible for our actions. 

If you do something wrong or act inappropriately, admit it. Tell your kids you messed up. Show them you are human and, if appropriate, apologize. My parents always did this when I was growing up and, not only did it give me a great deal of respect for them, it taught me to do the same in my adult life. 

 

Don’t shelter them from the truth

On one hand, none of us want to expose our children to the harsh realities of the real world. We want to shelter them from the violence and pain that exists out there. We don’t want them to have to worry about things like safety or the suffering going on in other parts of the world. But it’s important for them to begin to learn that life exists beyond them. 

Find meaningful ways to share the world with them, both good and bad. Teach them that there are kids in other places who need their old toys more than they do and watch them beam with pride as they donate some of their most prized possessions in an effort to improve the lives of other children. When the opportunity arises to share an example of how others have behaved inappropriately, even if it is you, use that opportunity as a teaching moment. 

Find the balance between overwhelming your kids with the harsh realities of life and preparing them for the fact that no one, no place, no-thing is perfect and that all that matters is the action they choose to or choose not to take. 

 

Applying these steps

Essentially this post is my way of sharing my personal parenting goals with all of you. In no way have I mastered the items on this list, and I may never reach these goals to the extent I hope to. All I can do, and all you can do, is strive for the best. By focusing on the things that matter, taking care of ourselves, leading by example and being honest with our kids, we can truly be the best moms ever. 

 

What’s your ultimate parenting goal? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

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9 Unexpected Ways That Motherhood Changes You

Everyone told me that becoming a mother would change my life. “you’ll never sleep again but it’s totally worth it”, they said. Obviously, I anticipated that it would change me in some way, but I never saw myself as a very maternal person. I was convinced that I would not be like other moms simply because that wasn’t really my personality type.

My little guy is just over a year old now and I can’t believe how much of a mom I am. Sure, I lost a lot of sleep and the love I feel for my son is like nothing I’ve ever felt before, but there were also some surprises. For those of you expecting your first baby, here are 9 unexpected ways that motherhood changes you.

Aint no hood like motherhood! During pregnancy, I had no idea how motherhood would change me. I didn't know about the struggles and the moments of pure joy that would soon come. If you're an expecting mom, a new mom, or even a seasoned pro, read more about these 9 unexpected ways that motherhood changes you for some encouragement and inspiration! #SaneMomma #Motherhood #MomLife #Pregnancy

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9 Unexpected Ways That Motherhood Changes You

You realize how selfish you used to be

Before I had my son, I was spoiled. Because we had a dual income, I pretty much bought everything I wanted when I wanted it, within reason of course. My husband and I would order out dinner without a second thought and we were quick to get frustrated when we had obligations from work or family.

Suddenly the things that really matter are whether we have diapers or how quickly and easily we can whip up dinner and get our little guy to bed on time. Obligations to the family have gone from being a frustration to a necessity to make sure that our son gets to spend time with them. I used to care so much about my career and financial success. The focus now has shifted to making sure that our son has our love and attention as often as possible while still bringing in the minimum income needed to sustain our family.

 

You don’t have enough room for other’s problems

When we brought my son home from the hospital, breastfeeding was a huge challenge. We had frequent weigh-ins at the pediatrician’s office and the term “failure to thrive” was haunting us. When friends or family brought up some of their current struggles, I just didn’t have any room left to show them any sort of empathy or concern.

After discovering that my son had a tongue tie and correcting it, things quickly improved, but I still have yet to go completely back to the way I was before becoming a mom. I still care about my friends and family greatly, but I simply can’t afford to invest as much Mental energy in their problems as I once did. Honestly, I think this is somewhat of a blessing. Other people’s problems used to have far too big of an impact on my life.

 

You don’t care what people think

Not only do other’s problems become less impactful, but their opinions do as well. I’ll admit, during pregnancy and early motherhood, others’ opinions got to me a bit. But as I grew as a mother, I quickly realized that I knew my son better than they did, and while their advice may be helpful, I needed to decide what was best.

When someone disagreed with the decisions I made, I found myself unaffected. Pre-motherhood, I was very much so a people pleaser. While I still enjoy making those I care about happy, the first priority now is always to take care of my son to the best of my abilities. I see no reason to feel guilty for doing so. 

 

You don’t care if you miss out

As an only child who has always struggled to maintain friendships, I have spent most of my life worried that I was missing out, or feeling left out. Being a mom has distracted me from this anxiety. If an activity is happening and it’s not reasonable for us to attend, it doesn’t bother me. Besides, what could be more wonderful than spending time with my son? I’m not “missing” anything by staying in for the night.

Another positive change is the realization that the consequences of what we used to consider a night of fun (drinking until 4am), just aren’t worth it. Even if we have a babysitter for that night, we’ll still have to go back to being parents when we pick up our son smack dab in the middle of our hangover. Gone are the days of sleeping it off. This may sound depressing if you’re not a parent yet, but I found it sort of freeing. I now have a reason to call it a night early, which results in a better day the next day. 

 

You become a morning person

This was a big change for me. I have never been a morning person. I felt most productive at night and absolutely hated waking up. Whenever given the chance, I would sleep in as late as I could. When you’re a mom, the morning suddenly becomes your favorite time of day. If you can manage to get up earlier than everyone in your household, you actually get some time to yourself! I had no idea how precious this alone time would be. It’s always nice to have some calm before the storm.

These days, I get up an hour or more before my son. I’ll usually grab my laptop and a cup of coffee and head back to my bed. I then have an hour to myself (after my husband leaves for work) to write – in bed. Yes, writing is what I do for “work” but I love every minute of it. It relaxes me and I start off the day having already accomplished something. Not to mention, I get to drink an entire cup of coffee without having to reheat it 6 times! (Yeah, that’s a mom thing too.)

If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if I would ever get up early to work before my kid got up, I would have laughed. In fact, I believe I even told people that when I had kids I would be teaching them to sleep in as late as possible so I could too. Oh, how things have changed. 

 

You become more decisive

I have never been a very decisive person. I always needed other’s opinions or approval before I made a decision, even for small ones. My husband and I had the classic “what do you want for dinner” argument on an almost daily basis.

With a baby in the house, decisions need to be made more quickly. If he’s finally down for a nap, we better decide quickly if we want to watch that show we’ve been saving. When he’s sick, I don’t have time to call a family member for advice, I just need to get my baby’s fever down stat.

The other great thing about being a mom is that you’re too busy to deal with regret, at least for the small decisions. It is what it is. Now back to chasing your toddler around before he gets ahold of the remote again.

 

You gain strength in places you didn’t know existed

When I say strength, I don’t just mean physical strength. Of course, you do gain some unexpected mom muscles. My husband frequently compliments me on my ability to hold my son for an almost unlimited amount of time while simultaneously doing just about anything. But physical strength aside, you will also gain mental strength.

You will be able to power through the toughest situations for your child. We have had our fair share of struggles in marriage and finances over the last year. Even on the hardest days, I still need to be there for my son. We still need to play and he still needs his mom to be loving and attentive. It’s amazing to me that I can set aside our troubles to make sure that my son is happy without thinking twice about it.

This new strength, for me, has been a lesson in what is really important. If my husband and I are arguing, and I can completely disregard our fight for an hour to play with my son, then I can probably let the fight go altogether. It’s clearly not the end of the world, or I would have a much harder time putting on a happy face while playing with Legos and watching Word Party. It’s just another way that motherhood introduces you to a whole new perspective. 

 

You change as a spouse or significant other

Like I said, we’ve had plenty of struggles with our marriage over the last year. It’s to be expected. After you have a baby, everything changes. From intimacy to emotional support, most couples find themselves struggling to find the balance between caring for a little one and caring for their marriage. Ultimately, this challenge has made our marriage stronger, but things are definitely different. 

Gone are the days of jealousy or any form of concern about a move-out, break-up or anything along those lines. Not that we didn’t already know this, but having a baby further solidified that we were in this for the long haul. Part of this may be that we aren’t participating in activities that promote jealousy, like drinking at a bar or going out all night with friends. But I think the other part is that we both know that not only would we never want to do anything to hurt each other, but we would never do anything to jeopardize our family. 

Emotional Needs

There have also been some changes in how we react to each other’s emotional needs. My tolerance for unnecessary complaining seemed to go down and I started calling my husband out on more things (which was a challenging transition). Honestly, I think it all came down to the fact that dealing with a crying baby for hours led me to have less empathy when it came to minor daily irritants.

On the other hand, I also started demanding that more of my emotional needs be met. I don’t mean that I literally ordered my husband to be more supportive because that would be hilariously ineffective. I simply needed it. Between pregnancy, postpartum anxiety, and the ups and downs of being a new mom, I had my fair share of breakdowns. My husband recognized that I needed more support and stepped up. 

 

You will never again not be a mom

This is something I’m still coming to terms with. It still feels so strange to me sometimes. Never again, will I not be worried about my son. Even when he is 30 and (hopefully) on his own entirely, maybe even supporting his own family, I will still worry. I will still feel the need to be there at a moment’s notice if he needs me. The days of thinking only about myself are so far gone at this point and my son isn’t even 2 years old yet. 

Obviously, the younger years are more demanding, and there will come a time when I can worry far less. But it’s still so odd to me that the act of having a baby literally made me a different person, forever. The great thing is, it made me a better person. I am stronger. My priorities are in check. I am more efficient and productive than ever. Never in my life have I been more clear on what I want and need and who I really am. 

So, yes. Motherhood changes you in many unexpected ways. But I’m willing to bet, if you ask any mom, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Welcome to the greatest adventure of your life, momma! 

 

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