6 common controversial topics every mama faces

Becoming a mom can be a very exciting and overwhelming experience. You are excited to meet your baby and so is everyone else. You have picked out the most beautiful crib, highly recommended baby bottles, the physician suggested breast-pump to name a few. Yes, you are all smiles just at the thought of bringing your little one home. But you know who else is excited? Your family and friends who may have already provided their welcoming or non-solicited advice. That’s right. Everyone and their brother has some tips and suggestions of how you should raise your child or handle certain things in general. Below are 6 common controversial topics every mama will face at some point in her journey.

  1. Co-sleeping vs. Crib/Room Share: At some point in every mama’s life, usually the first time you become a mom, the decision of where your child sleeps from the moment baby is born to toddler age and beyond will be a topic of discussion. The way you put your child to sleep tends to get a lot of people riled up. The questions you should ask yourself are, do I want my baby to sleep with me on my bed, or in her crib/bassinet or in a separate room? The moment you are discharged from the hospital and ready to take baby home, one of the few questions the hospital will ask is where your baby will sleep. This means you must, plan ahead and do what you believe is the safest and most convenient for you both.
  2. Formula vs. Breastfeeding: There are so many ways to feed your little one and you must do what works for you. Are you willing to give breastfeeding a try? Do you have enough breast milk? Are you pumping long enough and eating right to help increase your supply? Are you able to supplement with formula should your milk come in late? Are you concerned that baby is not getting enough? Is the baby having a hard time latching? Can you exclusively pump or breastfeed? These are questions only you will be able to answer so do your research about breastfeeding and formula ahead of time. Is the breast best or is just feeding your child all that really matters to you?
  3. When to start solids: You will have mom-friends and family members give their wanted or unwanted opinions about when they believe your child should start solids. But don’t forget that the only pace you are following when feeding your child is your child’s not a friend whose baby started solids at 4 months old or a family member that demands they start at a certain age. Always follow the pediatrician’s recommendations and follow your baby’s cues as every baby is different.
  4. Epidural vs. Natural/Vaginal vs. C-Section: Every mama-to-be will need to make this decision at some point and every mama will have a birth story to share. Some questions you should ask yourself regarding these subject areas are: do you have I birth plan? Do I want to be induced? Do I want a vaginal or c-section? Are there any harmful effects to baby and I if I got an epidural? Do I need to take a birthing class? What’s the recovery like should I choose to get a C-section? Thankfully, you can ask your doctor about any concerns you have but you must also plan ahead to better prepare yourself.
  5. Who do I want in my delivery room? Unfortunately this is always a sensitive area for mom-to-be. As if the whirlwind of emotions is not enough, determining who will be in the delivery room is just another thing to add to the list. Are you comfortable having specific people in the room like your siblings or in-laws? What happens if I tell my mother-in-law I don’t want her in the room? Will she be hurt and will this cause problems within the family? I personally suggest you talk to your partner ahead of time so you can both agree on who will be in the room with you. Most importantly, you don’t need extra stress added to your plate so always do what you feel is right.
  6. Immunizations: Vaccinations have been around for years and many parents still question if it is necessary or just causes problems for the child down the line. Again, do your research outside discussing and following your doctor’s recommendations. Are there side effects? Should I space the vaccinations out or follow the recommended health schedules (per country or region)? What happens if I choose not to vaccinate?

 

In the end, always do what works best for you. There is no wrong way to take care of your child if you are following your mama instincts and surrounded with a strong support system. There just isn’t.

Escaping the rut of motherhood

Motherhood is beautiful but can also be messy. It’s like you are one person before pregnancy, then another person during pregnancy and a whole new person after childbirth. The new person you become after childbirth is the one many moms claim change them completely. You begin (like you haven’t already) putting someone else’s needs before yours, which includes but is not limited to making sure they are fed, cleaned, feeling okay, entertained, loved, cared for and so on. It’s like your whole life is on pause while you cater to someone else, your precious baby. So guess what mama? You need a break. You sometimes need an escape to get your sanity back. You need to bust out of that mommy rut. Below are some helpful things that mom should do for herself every now and then.

Self-Care: Keep baby with trusted family or friend(s) for a few hours and get yourself a beautiful long massage. Get your nails and hair done and put your feet up without worrying about what’s next to accomplish on your never-ending mom-to-do-list. Remember in order to take care of baby, you need to first take good care of yourself. Baby will not die if she doesn’t see you for 3 hours. Run out of the house and pamper yourself.

Exercise: I personally enjoy doing yoga because it keeps me calm and stress-free. Whatever it is  you like to do to stay fit should be practiced consistently to help with those endorphins and sex drive. If you are unable to hit the gym, simply take baby on a walk in her stroller and brisk-walk, jog or stroll away.

Smart Eating: Let’s face it, as a mom, there is not enough time to cook let alone sit down to eat so if you are going to eat, eat smart. Eating smart means eating healthy. Eat whole foods and snacks that are filled with energy. Example of high energy snacks are protein-rich foods like almonds, bananas, protein-balls. Don’t be tempted to give into unhealthy snacks or foods because they are easy to grab or prepare. Intentionally picking protein-packed foods will give you long-lasting energy and won’t make you toss and turn when it’s time to turn in.

Sleep: They say sleep when baby is sleeping. This can be difficult during the early days as a first time mom. However, as baby gets older and begins sleeping longer, you can also get in some minutes or hours of extra sleep. Don’t stay up late to finish the last episode of your favorite show but instead take advantage of the extra amount of sleep you can get before you are on  mom duty again.

Mom time: Carve some time out of your long busy days and set aside a day that is for you only. Catch up with some of your girls and get away or read one of the books in your library queue. Gift yourself that alone time and watch it transform your life.

Don’t get lost being a mom because you are more than just being a mom. You are beautiful, strong and worth it. Love your babies as much as you love yourself and save your sanity.

New parents and marriage after baby

It’s very normal and usual to notice some changes in your marriage after the first baby. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly. I mean you have just undergone a major transformation in your lives and it is only expected for your temperaments to follow suit. Whomever says everything is the same after baby isn’t being  honest with you.

Below are five of many things that may seem different in your marriage after baby arrives.

  1. Stress due to lack of SLEEP. Do I hear an AMEN? New parents never realize how much sleep they needed until baby arrived. Like, it gets to point where you begin to wonder who needs more sleep? Mom says, well, if I am the one waking up every 2 hours to feed baby, I should be sleeping more. Dad is like, well, I have to wake up for work at 7am so technically, I need to get as many hours of sleep so I don’t get to work late and tired. The truth is you both need the sleep and can take shifts at different times so you both get enough rest. Even if you have to plan the next day’s sleep schedule in advance, do it to save your sanity.
  2. Work Life Balance. Mom starts to get upset when dad is constantly working after “working hours” or vice-versa. All of a sudden both of you start paying more attention to how much time either one is spending away from the family. This obviously stems from being overwhelmed with a lot to do at home with baby. Neither mom nor dad is completely wrong here because mom could use an extra hand in helping change baby’s diaper or run baby’s bath water. However, what I have noticed as a parent that can be helpful in these situations is planning ahead. If you or your spouse knows you will need to work after hours just be upfront and explain how long you will be away from the family. This way you can separate work time from having quality time with the family.
  3. What way is the RIGHT way? As a new mom or dad, you have almost subconsciously set-up some rules on how things should be handled with baby. Also, it is natural for the parent who’s around baby the most to feel in charge of how things should go. If this is the case politely explain to your partner how to handle certain things regarding baby. For example, explain that snack time is only at a certain time of the day not every twenty minutes or that there is a specific sippy cup used for juice. In the end, you both want the best for your child so you will come to an agreement on how things are handled in general. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  4. Feeling Unappreciated. It is easy to feel like you are doing so much for your family and it all goes unappreciated. There is nothing wrong in speaking up and letting your partner know how you feel. Even if you have to give them a hint. Do it. It can be as simple having them acknowledge the little things you do such as preparing baby’s meals or scheduling her doctor’s appointments. As human beings, we know there is no special award given to parents for doing a great job, but, words of affirmation go a long way. Tell your partner what you need to hear to feel loved and valued during the new-parent phase.
  5. Less SEXY TIME. He wants more sexy time but you are tired. You are both right here. Yes, I said it. Between changing diapers, returning back to work, cooking, cleaning, feeding baby to mention a few, there tends to be less and less sexy time between you two. You have been up for hours with little sleep for three nights in a row, so sexy time is not a priority. The truth is you just have to create the time. To avoid creating unnecessary distance between you setup sexy time and add it to your mental or physical calendar. It may not be as spontaneous but it’s a great way to keep your sex life alive until you guys are back in the swing of things. You can also have a trusted friend or family member babysit one night for a few hours while you both catch up on some alone time.

Always remember you and your partner are on the same team and this transition period is temporary. It only gets better with time so embrace the journey and remember the love you and your partner shared before baby.