August 1, 2018

Being A Mom in 2018

I was fortunate enough to grow up around many mothers. All of whom were amazing and loving towards their children in their own ways. I learned early on that no one parents the same, and with good reason. Every child's needs and personalities are different. What I learned from these mothers, especially my own mother and my sisters, was that as long as you love your children with all that you've got, you're doing it right. 

Being a parent in 2018 is much different than it was when my mother had my oldest sister, or even when my sister had her son 6 years ago. Things have changed tremendously! The biggest change is the affect of social media has on our lives. How often do mothers in 2018 feel pressured to buy certain products or to dress a certain way? If your baby doesn't have what her baby has, you should just give up! I have really had to change my frame of mind and focus on what is best for Nova and our family to avoid allowing social media to make me feel that way.

The basics of parenting haven't changed much but the pressures and standards have. I don't want to convey that I am an expert or that my ways are the best ways. But rather share what helps me to thrive as a mother with the world and society bombarding us with the highest standards. 

f i n d
s u p p o r t  t h r o u g h
s o c i a l  m e d i a

Once I was able to look to social media for support instead of comparison, it became a safe haven. While struggling with low milk supply, I found several women experiencing the same thing and became part of three Facebook support groups. I cannot tell you the countless tears of gratitude I shed when receiving guidance, advice and encouragement from other women going through the same challenges. 

I really believe once you are able to look outside of yourself and support other women and mothers, you can learn so much from them. The loneliness that oftentimes comes with being a mother, seems to fade just a little when you use social media for good. It's also important to remember what you see in your feed should be light to you. If you follow individuals who don't inspire or uplift you, unfollow them. 

t a k e  a d v a n t a g e
o f  p r o d u c t s

There are so many products on the market now that help us monitor our babies and find peace of mind that mothers before didn't have the luxury of accessing! One of which that we have yet to try for ourselves, but fully intend to for whenever we have another baby, is the Owlet Sock Monitor. It allows you to monitor your baby's oxygen levels and heart rate without needing to disturb their sleep!  We really wish we would have invested in this product after bringing our baby home. While in the hospital, she stopped breathing twice so you can imagine the sleepless nights we experienced from the fear of losing her.

Take advantage of the products that make mom life easier! The investment is well worth your sanity, trust me. There are so many baby products that help take some weight off of our shoulders but I will save that list for another post ;)

p r a c t i c e  
s e l f - c a r e  

If you follow me on Instagram (if not you totally should ;), you know that I am a huge advocate for self-care! I learned the hard way how important it is to put yourself first when you can. There is a balance to be found between putting yourself first and sacrificing for your family. It is possible! You just need to find what works for you.

For me, I practice daily self-care when Nova is sleeping by showering, writing in my journal, watching youtube or doing a facial. Every month, I try to leave Nova with someone so I can go grocery shopping by myself or get my nails done. This has made a night and day difference for my mental health. I love this article from Get Mom Balanced, 15 Minute Self-Care: 15 Quick and Effective Strategies. She gives wonderful ideas for practicing self-care if you are struggling knowing where to start.

b e  h u m b l e  & a s k  
  f o r  h e l p  
w h e n  y o u  n e e d  i t

I think like most people, I struggle asking for help. Why is that?! Why do we think we can do it all? Haven't we heard that it takes a village to raise a child? It took having a child for me to realize that I really do need help. Once, when Nova was only a few days old, I called my mom bawling because I couldn't sooth Nova. She ended up staying until 7am the next day so Ryan and I could get some sleep. It surprised me how quick she was to come over and how willing she was to stay. She wanted to help me and realizing that made it easier to ask for help in the future.

Our society teaches us that we can only rely on ourselves. "Don't trust anyone" is a common phrase in movies and tv shows. That's teaching us that we are supposed to constantly stretch ourselves thin and that is exactly what leads to depression and anxiety. It's important to be self-reliant and independent but it's just as equally important to be humble and know your limits. If you are struggling, ask someone for help! I can garuntee they would be more than willing.

t r u s t 
y o u r s e l f  &  G o d ' s
p l a n  f o r  y o u

This doesn't need much elaboration. Trust your mom-gut, love your babies and remember that God has a plan for you. Even on the toughest days, He is there. He knows you. He loves you and He is always ready to listen. 

You got this, mama.

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