When I was pregnant with Emma one of my best friends kept telling me she’d help me get on a schedule. I had never been on a schedule myself. In fact, the thought of committing to this terrified me. I was the kind of person that would spontaneously climb a mountain one day and go to the beach the next. Did I mention that I loved being busy and always on the go? Saying yes to everything was my favorite, even if that meant that I’d have to break my back. Why the heck would I limit myself to the confines of a schedule? Heck no.
But she invited me over to witness firsthand the beauty of how she managed her day with not one, but three kids! Read that story here.
We started this particular schedule July 1st, but recently dropped the 5 am feeding in the last couple of days. I knew it was time because even though Esben would intitally cry for that feeding he wouldn’t eat anything because he was so sleepy.
Anyways, I’m finally getting to sleep from 11pm-1:30 and then again from 2am-8am. I also get a power nap in from 2:15-3:00 pm. Seriously, I’m beyond thrilled for more sleep. I find that sleep is essential for my energy, sanity, marriage, and the day-to-day grind of being a good mom who aspires to build a business.
Now this isn’t for everyone. I believe it requires a ton of work (initially!), lots of patience, a willingness to be diligent regardless of the critics, and also being a keen student to your babies behaviors, cries, and patterns. This is especially hard for first time moms.
In my humble opinion, it is completely worth it.
My goal is to have several affordable options available for mom’s who need help getting started or tweaking their existing schedule. I’m hopeful that I can have these options available by the end of July. Crossing my fingers.
Oh and before I forget this is the * hands on activity stuff we currently do.
* some type of craft, play-doh, building blocks, puzzles, look & find books, cooking, & preschool stuff.
First of all congratulations on giving birth!
Regardless of how you had your baby, she or he is finally in your arms. As you delight in this little miracle that’s yours to keep I’m guessing you’re also becoming well aware of the pain, confusion, frustration, exhaustion, and shock the postpartum world can bring. Giving birth in any form deserves an applause. You’re a champion whether your pushed that baby with or without drugs. I’ve had both a c-section and a vaginal birth; trust me when I say both have their pros and cons.
A woman’s body is truly an incredible thing. It knows exactly what it needs to do to grow and birth a baby, heal your wounds, and make transition as a new mom easier. It’s pretty amazing how the uterus knows how to shrink back to normal on its own or how the love hormone gets the milk flowing on top of giving us the extra energy for those late night feedings. I know it may not look or feel that way, but it’s important to acknowledge that you didn’t have to tell or prepare your body to do anything. It knew and still knows exactly what to do.
Unfortunately, women don’t talk about these postpartum changes. She doesn’t talk about her birth story, strange body, horrific pain, or mixed emotions. It’s all about the baby now & there are expectations she feels pressured to meet.
She’s not supposed to talk about her fear of going to the restroom for the first time after giving birth. She’s not supposed to complain about the way she looks. In fact, if she says anything about feeling ugly, hopeless, disconnected or depressed she’s told to go see a doctor as if she’s contracted a disease. She’s told to just enjoy being a mom & to worry about her new body later. Meanwhile, she’s terrified at the idea of having sex because her postpartum body is now the primary source of her insecurity. However, she’s told that it all gets easier with time. As if somehow this time factor was supposed to magically give her a sense of relief.
Basically, I believe most postpartum moms are brushed aside & their true feelings, concerns, & frustrations aren’t actually heard or validated.
So, why don’t we talk about our postpartum recovery?
While not every mom can relate to every single thing on this list, sharing my personal struggles has revealed that I’m not alone. When you decide not to talk about your postpartum recovery you risk suffering in silence and isolation. You might even worry yourself with thoughts that cause anxiety, depression, self-hate, jealousy, and fear. Too many women suffer in silence because I believe we’ve done a horrible job talking about our own postpartum struggles and celebrations in complete transparency. Isn’t it time we change that? I am determined to make it more known starting with myself.
While I don’t have a magical solution to your personal postpartum struggles, I do have one suggestion:
Why? Because the most reassuring words that have helped me in my postpartum journey have been “Yeah, that’s normal. Me too.” Relief & healing happen much quicker when you realize you’re not the only one going through this and that these changes are not permanent. Most of the time all you need is just someone to listen & validate your words during your postpartum recovery. They say it takes a village to raise a child. While that’s true, I say it starts with just a small amount of courage to share your struggles & celebrations with one trusted mom friend who can be there for you.
A 6 Weeks Postpartum Survivor
“She’s making us look bad” the mom said (speaking for herself and her friend) to her 3 year old girl when she and her little friend asked what I was doing. On the same swing set I had put Emma in and started doing some split squats with a 10 lb dumb bell in each hand. Had I done this before? No, it was actually my first time trying something new.
I usually do weights in the privacy of my home but today was such a beautiful day I decided to throw them in the stroller and get my butt/leg workout outside. Any mom, including myself, knows what our mom culture is like based on social media comments. It’s not new to me that other mom’s like to judge each other & say mean things. It’s was just shocking to hear her say it out loud to her kid.
I stayed quiet and calm and continued to do my thing. However, if I had the opportunity to talk to her right now, I’d say:
“Dear Judgmental Mama,
I didn’t plan on going out of my way to show off in front of you or your daughter. I wasn’t secretly plotting up ways to embarrass you in front of your kid. I’m sorry if you experienced emotions you didn’t know how to process. I was just doing my thing. I was out there enjoying my day with my daughter and getting my exercise in. Normally, I try to avoid being a target of your judgement by staying at home but today was different. I wanted to be out in the sunshine too.
I sincerely hope that one day you can learn to embrace and respect that other moms are different than you but that it doesn’t make you less of an awesome mom. I also pray that you can learn to love who you are already instead of believing to have to fit a certain mold to be viewed as a “good” mom. Because the reality is that we desperately need to change the dividing judgmental mom culture we live in if we want our daughters to grow up feeling confident and empowered. This starts with us even if you don’t think so. Your daughter is listening and learning at the playground and at home. And like me, she might one day feel the need to hide in a corner because she’s afraid of other people’s judgment based on the way you judge others. So please, think about what you say before you say it. Not for my sake, because the truth is your sting didn’t hurt, stop, or embarrass me. But for the sake of your daughter and my daughter’s generation.”
Much love, DeeDee
My Workout today: I walked/jogged ONE mile pushing the stroller up a steady UPHILL with several breaks in between to catch my breath. Then a I walked ONE mile downhill to the park. Emma, plus the stroller, and the dumbbells equals about 70 lbs. Then when I got to the park I did:
This is my daughter and I at 22 weeks pregnant with baby #2. It wasn’t easy, especially given the situation but it was fun being outside in the sunny cool California weather with my 2 year old girl. Go out there and get it too <3
Initially, I wrote this for myself. But then I thought, hmmm…why not share these intimate details with soon to be first time moms or even those considering to get pregnant again. Maybe just maybe, someone will read something here and learn from my mistakes. Or at least be encouraged to know that the next pregnancy can be better.
EMMA (Pregnancy #1)
BABY BOY (Pregnancy #2)
Living in Southern California has its perks. Although I’m biased, I’ve noticed the sun is much brighter here; which I believe makes us happier. It’s one of the reasons my daughter and I love being outdoors. So naturally, we try to get out as often as we can. However, if I’m not careful sometimes too much sun can drain us instead of replenishing our Vitamin D. When that happens, I end up with a really tired, cranky, toddler who won’t eat lunch before nap time. And because of that, we run the risk of no nap at all. I have a secret-way of avoiding that with these after sun toddler popsicles using the Zoku.
If you can, bring pre-made popsicles in one of those frozen lunch bags and give one to your toddler BEFORE you head home. Obviously, you should eat one too! That way both your energy levels are replenished before you arrive home. When I get this order right, my daughter takes a long refreshing nap instead of a short survival nap where she wakes up hungry, crabby and groggy.
At Fatigue Fighting Mama, we believe small tweaks in our day can keep our energy levels intact and keep our kids happy. Hope you enjoyed this one! And if you think this is too much try Pedialyte pops instead. Personally, I’m not a fan and they’re more difficult for my toddler to eat, but it will also do the trick!
Please let me know if you end up making these in the comments below or use #fatiguefightingrecipes on IG or FB! Enjoy!
It makes absolutely no sense, but having a family schedule has been one of the best things that ever happened since I’ve become a mom. Initially, I thought a schedule would be constricting, but instead it’s kept me sane and has given me the energy to focus on what’s important.
Before I was a mom, I used to to whatever I felt like doing. If I wanted to clean my whole house in one day, all my million to-do’s would be crossed off before midnight. If I wanted to summit a mountain, I’d go find one. Basically, my life went with the eb and flow of my emotions. On days I felt like I could conquer the world, I usually did, but it was usually followed with several recovery days which is huge luxury for anyone these days.
My dearest friend suggested I start working on a schedule so that things would flow better once the baby came. I’ve never been that type, so I was hesitant. It seemed like too much work and I didn’t want to commit to anything. But she was a seasoned mom of three kids ( ages 6,3, and 1) so I wanted to take her advice seriously . In the years of knowing each other there had only been talk about a schedule, but I had never actually seen it in action. Knowing that I learn better by immersion, she invited me over with every intention of teaching me her ways. Honestly, I expected some chaos because come on…. three kids right? But instead, I was blown away. The way she and her husband handled each kid and situation was like scenes from a movie. They spoke with both authority and love. The kids obviously respected the parents and the schedule made dinner and bedtime a total piece of cake. There was no crying. There were no tantrums. They all went to sleep peacefully after their bath, several songs, books, and a personal prayer over each one. Not even a peep came from the rooms afterwards.
I was in disbelief because at this point I had only heard and witnessed the horrors that bed time brings. Not to mention the warnings of sleepless nights that left me discouraged and not looking forward to this part of parenthood. I was overcome with all sorts of emotions. So naturally, I started crying. I cried because it was beautiful. I cried because every child deserves that peaceful and loving environment. I cried because I was thankful to know someone who could help me do the same. I wanted that for my daughter, who was currently on the way. She said it wasn’t going to be easy, but she said it would be worth it. And it gave me hope and encouragement. Since then, everything she’s said has been true. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been so worth it. The following is a small list of the awesome benefits of having a schedule.
My friend told me that by 18+ months most kids transition to one nap. I organize my day around the nap since Emma is now 20 months old. There are many books and blogs about how toddlers need structure or some sort of schedule so that they can thrive. Your doctor will tell you the same. But only you know as a parent whether it works for you and how to make it work. I’ve personally read Bringing up Bebe, Babywise, and Healthy Sleep Habits to guide me. There is so much controversy around sleep training these days. But honestly, what isn’t controversial? The fact that you’re a parent by default puts you in a vulnerable position to nearby know-it-alls. So my best advice is to have an open mind. Do your research. Decide as a family to commit or just go with the flow. There are pros and cons to each decision. At the end of the day what really matters is how your family works. So if this is helpful for you, great. If it’s irrelevant and overwhelming to you, then just do your thing. This just happens to works for us.
No. Life happens. But my husband and I try our best to respect the schedule each day. If we have an off-day, we can always refer back & try again. So there you have it! Hope this helps you get a better idea of how we do life with a schedule and most importantly how I preserve my energy. Keep in mind this is my current schedule for just Mondays. Not all my days are this busy.
Do you have a schedule? If not, what works for you?