I'm the mom sitting on that lonely bench as my toddler plays. Oh we moved so much during my mommyhood days its been very difficult. You make a friend or two and then you move. You don't know whether or not to make new mom friends or not because you may move again. Heartbroken over the ones that are far away you sulk in your thoughts at that park. Mom friends are so crucial. They understand you like no one will because they too are raising kids. To relate to someone is the best feeling ever. Someone who understands that motherhood is hard and keeping up your relationships are even harder. Someone who is there when you are sleep deprived and just need an ear to listen and understand. Share some chocolate and wine when you had a hard day at work or just share some laughs. When you are pregnant join some mom groups because these moms will become your best friends & confidants. They will ride that rollercoaster of motherhood with you & attend much needed wine & playdate sessions!
Momee (meaning Me) time is so important. You can loose yourself without it. Do you sometimes find yourself questioning who you are and what you are here on this Earth to do? Its really important not to loose yourself while taking care of everyone else. Sometimes its hard when you are working, taking care of the family, and doing all the fun household chores. Many moms have guilt set in and often times feel selfish to have time for themselves but its a necessity. There are 7 days and 24 hours in each day. You need to set aside at least one hour to yourself a week (that's a minimum).
I set aside a couple of hours a week for ME time. Whether its going out with my girlfriends for a spa date or just relaxing by myself while I drink a delicious smoothie from the smoothie bar at my gym. It helps clear my mind. It helps me become a better mom and a better wife. These moments are so important for your mind and soul. When you are happy you will pass it on to your kids and husband.
What do you do during your Momee time? Share your ideas below!
Your first pregnancy, no matter how hard at times it can be, will be the most precious. I know you fear the unknown and for now lack the education to understand what is happening to your body. Do not be scared and trust me that I wish you would not let those fears overtake your mind. Currently, you are in graduate school, sitting for a minimum of eight hours per day. Don't we all? Whether we are working a full time job or attending school. It's time for you to get up, stretch, and WALK. Walk a lot! Did you know that you don't have to give up working out? I know how important that is for you, especially going with your friends to the gym. You can MODIFY workouts. Even if you feel nauseous and tired, just get yourself to the gym for half an hour, it's good for you. You CAN do it!
Did you know that there are support groups, prenatal yoga, ginger chews to help with morning sickness, acupuncture, and prenatal massage? I know you go to a prenatal Chiropractor weekly but some massage wouldn't hurt. Actually it would make your growing hips feel so much better!
I know you are surrounded by good friends near and far, but mostly people who don't understand you because they are at a different stage of life. Don't resent them. They don't and WON'T understand what you are going through until they will go through it themselves. One of my friend's sent me ab workouts two weeks after birth. I know they meant well, but instead of helping it made me feel worse. Ignore the comments about "well your breastfeeding and your supposed to automatically loose weight." You won't. It doesn't work for everyone. Exclusively breastfeeding will only make you even hungrier. Know that breastfeeding was such an amazing experience that you wouldn't have it any other way. When your son weans himself right when he turns one, don't be worried you two will still have a bond. Oh and those friends that all of a sudden walked away slowly. Ignore them. You will be gifted with such caring ones soon. Lucky you.
Weight loss will be your biggest challenge.
Don't listen to the Kaiser ObGyn that doesn't want to answer your list of questions; especially the one about the newly found stretch marks in your chest area. She made you feel like a passerby. She has no care in the world to provide you with great prenatal care which leads me to wonder why did she ever become a doctor and did she fail her bedside manner class?
"If you would stop eating so much and gaining weight so fast maybe you wouldn't have those there"-Kaiser Obgyn
She told me that on my fifth month of pregnancy when I was finally over my morning sickness (aka all day sickness) and could keep some food down. Say goodbye to your size 2 clothes and embrace your new closet filled with lots of yoga pants, leggings, and black tops.
And look at that man beside you. Isn't he amazing? I know you want him to understand what you are going through a little bit more but he's trying to be everything for you. He took over the position of best girlfriend. He will hold your hair during morning sickness, become a shoulder to lean on, and most of all be a supportive husband. Hormones are kind of blocking your vision of that at this point but hopefully it will soon clear.
GUESS WHAT? Those teachers that harass you because of your pregnancy will soon loose their jobs. Slowly one at a time, but it will happen and you will be there to watch. Karma does exist. That one professor that didn't let you eat in his class when you were pregnant and hungry all the time so much you had to hide it under the table. Yes, the same one that won't let you do "makeup work" when you request only a week for birth, yes he will have to under law do it for you. Just ignore him. You will laugh at that teacher that didn't let you go to the bathroom during a final because you had to throw up due to morning sickness and offered you to throw up in front of the entire class instead. You will wonder why you didn't throw up on her Louboutins. Pulling out TITLE IX (which is now enforced in school) in front of the entire President's board will make you feel empowered. Know that you made a change in that school and under law no other pregnant women will get harassed like you did. That's a huge WIN!
Invest in a pressure cooker NOW (aka instant pot). It will save you not only money but TIME (which is so precious and non-existent when you have an infant). DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT let any of your nannies cook for you, especially the crazy one who stuck meat into doggie poop bags and put them into the freezer.
Please don't stress over the nanny situation. Let go of your desire for a bilingual baby whether it's Russian, Spanish, or sign language (because you will take care of that yourself). Hire a professional with experience. That would have saved you a huge headache! NEVER doubt your mother's intuition no matter how crazy you may sound, it's for your baby's safety. Don't drown yourself in guilt when you learn that one of them was drugging your two month old. Oh and that Los Angeles agency that was recommended to you was a total scam. Don't let it drive you crazy. Good thinking when you locked yourself, your infant, and dog in your room for 24 hours (thank God had a connected bathroom) because that newly hired nanny really did want to KIDNAP your son. Where was hubby? Husband was on a as 24 hour shift as an EMT far far away. You will survive it and then after that decide to take a lighter load in school so you can take care of your son yourself. SO WORTH IT! Don't regret finishing a couple months after your starting class. You get to walk with them for graduation.
You will rush home every time you get a break between classes to feed your child. Know that was all worth it too. Let go of the anger and resentment that rushed through your whole body when you walked in on your caregiver feeding your two week old after you specifically told them "be home in three minutes to feed." Ignore those crazy Russian nannies that told you your milk didn't have enough "fat" in them, they are all just NUTS! Move on and be thankful nothing serious happened after the first hired nanny throws hot water on your three weeks old face because she thinks your visiting friend "burned him with the evil eye" (which she said right in front of her). Next time during the interview ask if they have any superstitions and tell them they aren't allowed in your house. How could I have forgotten to ask that question?
You will sit and pump in a dark room while hearing male voices and smelling microwaved food. Pumping and missing your little one. Watching him through cameras wishing you could hold him at least for a second! You will rush back to class only with the Radiology Resident complaining about how you were gone for fifteen minutes and now she's marking you absent for the whole day, not caring that you just finished breastfeeding. She doesn't have children so forgive her. Don't worry about your current situation and know that all the battles you have fought will be won, but only after you have graduated. The school will finally abide by the law and make a nice, separate breastfeeding room and put a sign on it! WIN!
It will be a constant struggle, a constant battle whether its breastfeeding, an employer, a professor, or a nanny. We all, women and mothers, will pierce through the challenges thrown at us. There will be challenges, but it is all about how you learn to handle them. It will be about how you are able to deal with these stressors.
Take time for yourself, lessen your load, slow down, learn to just breathe. Do what's best for you and your family. Choose your battles and FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS. Know most of the time you aren't being irrational and no it's not your pregnancy hormones.
Know that your future self is so proud of you and your accomplishments! Whatever happened in the past shaped the future and for that I would never change anything!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to ALL the Moms out there!
Comment below why you chose that city! We would love to know what your favorite family friendly cities are!
Moms need a break too! Comment below what are your favorite Netflix shows to unwind from a stressful day?
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX:
1. I had more time to be present and focus
2. I had more energy, less headaches
3. More time to read books. When was the last time you read a good novel? In this crazy mommy life I barely have a chance to eat dinner at a normal time, so reading is sometimes out of the question. Instead of grabbing my phone, I would grab a book instead.
4. More time for projects
5. Healthier. I was able to loose weight from being off of social media. I used that time to workout and not look at pictures of food that filled my newsfeed.
6. Happier. Its true that social media can be more depressing. Everyone posts happy pictures all the time which can lead to a misconception of everyone leading a happy life.
DO: Get out and be ACTIVE, cook HEALTHY dishes, don't look at social media before sleep (GRAB A BOOK instead), find YOUR OWN HAPPINESS (instead of looking at everyone else's), and let go of YOUR PHONE (it won't go anywhere, but life will).
DON'T: Fill your newsfeed with FOOD, sit on your social media instead of EXERCISING, be ALWAYS on your phone
As I came to pick up my son from one of his classes, the teacher's face looked like it was filled with fear and worry.
"Is everything okay?" I asked.
"Well I just wanted to let you know that your son kissed a girl on the lips today" she said with a strict, harsh voice.
"Phew." I thought. In my head I already thought something horrible happened by the look on her face. I held back my laughter and said that I would have a talk with him. For goodness sake he's three years old. We show affection at home by kissing and hugging each other. That's how I grew up and that's how we're raising our son. I definitely agree that it's not okay to kiss strangers or friends on the lips, but the teacher blew it out of proportion. I mean her face looked like World War III was about to happen.
When we got home we discussed what happened. He told me he tried to kiss her nose because she told him her nose had a "boo boo" and that was his rationale. That's what we do at home. We kiss "boo boos." Obviously I told him he's not allowed to do that to others, only close family members, but it made me realize in what a crazy world we live in. We constantly have to live in fear of expressing ourselves. In my culture we are very affectionate. We even hug our friends and kiss them on the cheek when greeting them or saying bye. There is nothing sexual about it. It's just a way to show you care about someone.
My concern is for the future. What will happen if he randomly kisses a girl on a cheek at school, or tries to hold a girl's hand? A 6 year old was suspended for sexual harassment from school for kissing a girl's hand in 2013 (click here to read the story). Now this is worrisome. The poor kid didn't know what sex even means. How can you accuse him of such a big offense for something so innocent? It's a six year old!
What does punishing a child for kissing mean? Does that teach them that they are not allowed to show their emotions or affection? Does that mean it's not okay to hug or kiss? Do you think that society's perception needs to change? Does there need to be a change in school rules? Or do you think little kids should be punished and accused of sexual harassment?
I have realized that not only your body and your family life change when you become a mother, so do your friends. I had friends that did not understand what becoming a mother meant. It meant no time for parties, no time to hang out, and no time to chat on the phone for hours or even minutes. I lost a lot of friends when I became a mom, and a lot of friends became just acquaintances, or Facebook only friends. Life happens. When it first happened, I was upset but then I realized I gained so much more. I gained other friendships. I'm probably what you call an introvert. I grew up being shy and I just don't meet people randomly, so new friendships were hard to build. I believe that having mommy friends is crucial to surviving motherhood. I've even seen moms post on Facebook groups desperate for mommy friends because without that support you can literally go crazy. There are so many groups and outlets where you can find these friends. I prefer to have a few but ones I trust. Here are my reasons why these friends are a must!
TOP 10 REASONS TO HAVE A MOMMY FRIEND:
1. They understand when you can't pick up the phone or if you can only talk after you put the kids to bed. Talking with a toddler is impossible. You know it. I've tried it. Such a fail.
2. Wine & chocolate nights & Spa days!
3. You can talk to them about poop and they can relate
4. You can literally ask them for advice about anything, kid or mommy related
5. Sharing birth stories
6. Random late night target runs are the best! You don't have to buy anything but just walking and talking for hours is so much fun!
7. Kids play. Moms talk. Double win!
8. Working out together!
9. You can have them over at anytime and they will understand the toys all over the floor part.
10. Always supportive & always encouraging.