Embracing | motherhood | parenting

Motherhood: Stop the Comparisons

By on August 21, 2017

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I am a huge fan of books on “tape”. I recently downloaded the Audible app (Get Two Free Audiobooks) and downloaded Rachel Cruze’s Love Your Life Not Theirs. In it she talks about comparisons and how it can steal our joy. It made me realize how true that is in motherhood. We see the perfect moments on instagram or Facebook and think “Why isn’t my house that perfect?” “Why don’t my children play nicely like that?” It can be hard to sit back and remember this is just a moment in time. Their life is probably not always this put together and perfect. I know for myself people would come up to me when the girls were babies and Ace was a toddler and say things like “Wow, you make it look so easy, how do you do it?” But in reality Everly was constantly crying from colic and I was trying to make sure my other two children were getting enough attention. It was overwhelming most of the time. My life just appeared calm and collected because I only posted pictures where everyone was happy. Well, almost always, you can see a not so happy picture of the girls here. It’s pretty classic of what our life was like majority of the time. Those closest to me knew that it wasn’t as easy as it may have looked.

Comparison will play tricks on you as a new mom. I think the older our children get and even the more children we have the less we compare and become more confident in ourselves. We know it’s not always peaches and cream. We realize there are amazing moments and tough ones. New moms are just trying to get through those first few weeks of learning to breastfeed, never sleeping and getting to know your baby. It can be a total mind f*ck. It really felt like that when I first had Ace. Thankfully I had seasoned mothers who helped me through it but when you are in it it can be rough.

So how do we stop the comparison game when it comes to motherhood?

Remind yourself that more often than not others are going to emphasize the good and not show the bad. No one wants to post pictures of their house in disarray or their children being complete disasters even if that is your typical day. So when you see that perfectly put together family know that that is just a blip in time. It probably took 10 shots to get that one perfect one. Heck, I still can’t get a perfect shot of my 3 kids after a bunch of pictures so don’t feel bad if you can’t either. Look at our 4th of July picture, I probably took 15 pictures and this was the best I could get. Thanks for closing your eyes, Everly!

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover no matter how beautiful it is. It may look like a million bucks but inside it’s a Mom that is going full force to get her house and children looking perfect for that one shot on instagram. I know bloggers who will even pull pieces from other rooms to stage a picture for an instagram picture. When your job is displaying products (kids clothing, room decor, food, etc.) on social media it is going to look better than just your random shot of your kids in their play clothes. Trust me!

Stop comparing yourself to seasoned moms, blogging moms, or other new moms. We are all a hot mess in at least one area in our lives, some are just better at hiding it than others. Instead be honest about the hard times. This may create a safe place for another Mom to open up about her trials as a mother. I know that is how I learned about other Moms struggling. I was honest about my children being colicky or having trouble nursing. Maybe my baby wasn’t sleeping and I was just plain exhausted. If I told a friend there was always someone there to say “Girl, I’ve been there!”

Motherhood isn’t always easy. It can be one of the hardest things because we love these little people so much, with such passion that our fear of screwing them up causes us to stress ourselves out. Remember they will more than likely remember things in a much more positive light so try not to stress it too much. Try to slow down, appreciate what you have and not what others are portraying on the internet or out in public.

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Ace | Best of | Embracing | life

Flash Back Post: Embracing the Newborn Stage

By on September 18, 2014
For Throw Back Thursday I am reposting this post I did almost exactly 2 years ago about Embracing the Newborn Stage. I feel like we are finally out of the cloud of craziness since having Everly and looking back at being a first time Mom is really humbling. I dedicate this post to my sister who just had her first baby, Valentina! Love you girls! 

Originally posted: 9/20/12
Is it me or does time fly faster the older your baby gets?

I remember those first weeks of late night feedings, nursing marathons and pumping constantly(notice a theme?) and the time was seriously going at a snails pace. My son cried all.the.time and I felt like a 24 hour buffet. I saw pictures of friends babies all cuddly and content in the early weeks and thought my son was never going to stop crying, can we say jealous? It was rough to say the least. I was full of post pregnancy hormones and lacking sleep. I was a hot mess.

Apparently there’s a party at my place at 3 a.m. that I am invited to. Awesome.

I thought I was just going to have a sensitive baby that cried just because and that was who he was. I loved my little guy no matter what but felt overwhelmed. I began to accept that this would be our life, crying together and not sleeping. I sometimes look back on those early weeks when it was just us snuggling and think I miss it all, then I look at this picture
and snap back into reality.
Then I see this picture and miss those sweet milk coma moments. You’d think with all the nursing we would have had more of those.

I will say he was cute even when he was screaming though. We tried for this baby for over a year so I was willing to sacrifice my beauty sleep for this angel and would do it all over again. I just can’t say I would miss it anymore then I do now.
What were your baby’s first few weeks of life like? Tell me I am not alone in this!

Need a little humor? Go read about all the annoying things my babies do HERE!

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Ace | Embracing | life | parenting | Toddlerhood

Parenting a Toddler: Struggling with Boundaries & Discipline

By on December 11, 2012

As parents I think we all struggle with different things our child is going through and how to go about handling them.

Some of my struggles having been Ace’s hitting, which I have talked about before and now I am struggling with setting limits.

The reason I say I struggle is because I want him to explore in order to learn. I want him to make mistakes and learn from them. I want him to understand it’s ok to have fun and enjoy what the world has to offer. So where does the struggling come in? Well, I think part of me thinks maybe I need to set some limits when it comes to doing certain things but then a bigger part of me says a 16 month old isn’t going to understand some of those limits. Certain ones, yes, he does understand and we set them and work on them but others I go back and forth on if I should start setting them now or allow him to explore and figure things out. I don’t just let him go off on his own but I do watch him and see what he is going to do. I do not believe in being a helicopter parent and stressing about every little thing your child touches or helping them every step of the way. Ace is very smart and I love watching him learn and figure things out. He has always been the type of person to examine things and try to see how it works. It is part of his personality and I don’t want to stomp on that or somehow punish that part of him.

If he wants to go over and play in dirt to feel the texture and see what it is all about than I am all for it. If he wants to paint and make a mess (outside is best for this) than who am I do tell him to not rub paint on his belly or get it in his hair? Granted I don’t want him painting on things he should but I feel like he has years to be told not to get dirty and to color inside the lines so why not let him get a little messy?

I do try to set some boundaries of course. I get very upset (by upset I mean I feel bad that he has hurt his friend but do not get upset with him) when he smacks a friend in the face and we show him how to be gentle or tell him to be nice. We are working on not throwing our sippy and our next big thing is not throwing food by giving him real life consquences like taking the food away until he can stop throwing it but I am not just going to go around tell him no or don’t do that because honestly, he likes to get a reaction but doesn’t like his food being taken away.

It is a learning process but it is one that I think we are doing pretty well at. We are fortunate to have a child who rarely ever whines, who loves to play, learn, explore and be friendly to people. These are qualities I just love about him. He is so outgoing and independent as well as charismatic. He is by no means a spoiled child and I love that as well. He does test us at times and has his moments like any child but I think overall we are truly lucky. Knowing this helps me when I start to think maybe I should do this instead of that or maybe I am doing this wrong or should I be more stern? Should I be doing this or that? In the end I hope he will be a polite, happy, sweet, loving person and I think we are on the right track but man, who knew parenting could be so tough sometimes.

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Embrace the Camera

By on October 2, 2012

This past weekend my son and I went to my friend’s daughter’s first birthday party. He had a great time jumping on the toddler bounce house and pushing around a pink stroller. He also fell in love with the huge Froggy character they had come see the birthday girl. He literally would not let the thing go! 
After the party we went home and played and took some silly pictures. Ace is obsessed with cameras. He will bring me the camera and say “cheese”. So cute!
Since I am linking up with the anderson crew for Embrace the Camera I decided to put up some of our silly pictures together.

My favorite! Fishy Face and Crazy Face!

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Ace | Embracing | parenting

Learning to Embrace Toddlerhood

By on October 1, 2012

As a mother of a very independent, outgoing and loud toddler I have learned a thing or two in the short time I have been a mother to this toddling little disaster. 
First of all no matter how well behaved your toddler is they will always throw a fit at the least convenient time. This is when you want to crawl under a rock and hide till they stop because in that moment you feel like your child is going to explode from being so pissed off. What have I learned from this? Well, first of all, when your toddler is throwing a tantrum, the last thing that is going to make your toddler calm down is yelling at or spanking them. I mean, if you are pissed off at someone, is them reacting to you in anger going to make you cool down? No. 

The start of crocodile tears!

The tears stopped the second he realized I was going to take a picture. He is already a ham!

Now I am not saying I am perfect and always handle these situations with the perfect amount of grace and control but I do try. Distractions are also my friend in these situations. Usually Ace will get upset and if we move him along to something more interesting he stops whining. If that doesn’t work sometimes just letting the tantrum run its course is all that needs to be done. That isn’t always the easiest thing to handle if you are stressed and in a hurry but I am telling you, these kids can smell fear, and will act on it! 

Playing with his friend before he later bit her 🙁

Biting, hitting, pinching, pushing and pulling hair seems to also be one of the many “joys” of toddlerhood. Ace has done some of these to some of his little friends and I can tell you every time I felt like the worlds worse mother. I know Ace isn’t a “bad” or mean child. He is quite the opposite. He is easy going and friendly but he is still trying to figure out how to get what he wants, what is and isn’t going to hurt his friend and sometimes does things because he wants to see what will happen. He has had these things done to him as well and of course I understand that this isn’t some defective toddler harming my child and the parents aren’t going around teaching them its ok to act like this. It is a fact of life, some or most toddlers are going to have a time in their life when they do something to hurt their friend and to put it simply, it sucks.

He wouldn’t let go of this Frog!

What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine! This is something I watch on a daily basis with Ace and his little friends. They all want the same toy at the same time. If someone else has it, too bad, someone is taking it from the other one. Toddlers think they own everything. Heck, I was at the doctors and I was giving Ace some yogurt melts and a little girl came up to me and tried to grab them from me. She probably has them at her house and just assumed they belong to her. Her father apologized but seriously? My kid would have done the same thing, I am sure of it.

Care free and happy!

I am not saying all of Toddlerhood is scary. In fact I love this age. My son is hysterical, lovable and still thinks I am pretty awesome. He even has his own signature booty dance. To be honest he is free entertainment when we go to parties. He loves to make others laugh. Its just a skill he already has leaving us to believe we are in big trouble when he starts school. Class clown, anyone? He loves his friends, is carefree and has a true zest for life. No matter how many times I want to pull my hair out or scream there are 100 more times I want to just hang out with my little guy because to me, he really is the most amazing person on this planet.
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