There we were at the park, just the four of us. She happened to think it was a great time to take her daughter to the park and so did I. There was no one else around, so our daughters thought it would be a great idea to play together. At some point she told her toddler to introduce herself to mine. I assumed she would at least smile my way (although I was hopeful she’d say hi), but she didn’t acknowledge me even though we were only 5 feet apart.
I stood there in silence for what seemed like forever, feeling awkward, wondering if she was just the introvert type. So I went for it. I said hi. We shook hands and learned each other’s names, but then she looked away. Her toddler took her hand and she was gone. There was no “nice to meet you” or “maybe i’ll see you around sometime” to transition her goodbye. She simply left.
This wasn’t the first time this has happened. I’m finding that this is very common in the mom world and I’m thankful I didn’t need her approval to feel accepted.
Honestly, I’m fortunate to have many friends that love me for who I am, flaws and all. I’m fortunate that I have a group of moms that I can go to for support, advice & prayer. I’m fortunate to be married to a man that loves, respects, honors, and supports me. I’m fortunate to have help from friends, family, and even a cleaning lady. I’m thankful I’ve had the privileged of facing this motherhood thing head on. There’s not a day that goes by that I take for granted all the resources, friends, and help I get. I know not all mama’s get this privilege.
That’s when it hit me. Most moms out there would’ve felt complete and utter rejection had they been in my shoes, because even with all that I’m thankful for I still felt the sting. Feelings of frustration & deep concern flooded my thoughts for all the mom’s out there who are desperate for an act of kindness. A simple hello could possibly give her hope instead of hardening her heart. In response to that frustration I posted this status on my personal Facebook account:
“That awkward moment at the park when another mom tells her toddler to introduce herself to mine, but pretends I don’t exist even though I’m only 5 feet away…”
The response was interesting. This is coming from the group of my mom friends that I deeply respect, love, and admire.
It made me think, a lot. Maybe too much. My brain started spinning out of control. Honestly, I couldn’t even sleep. One of my friends even private messaged me because I originally made the assumption that this was unkind behavior. I apologize for my assumptions. I really do. Who am I to say this is unkind? But the truth is, I can’t stop thinking about it. Because…
I’m a social introvert. I’m not the extrovert most women think I am. Honestly, I would much rather avoid other moms at the park too because it stings when they don’t respond. But I’m called to be different. I’m called to bring hope. It’s not easy for me either. But I refuse to accept this as normal. Even if no one else is doing it, I know I’m doing my part. And I think we should ask ourselves, “Does kindness start with hello?” A simple gesture isn’t going to make her your bff, but it might make her day. It might make her realize she’s not alone. It might even give her the hope she needs to get her through her day. It might even save her life. You just never know.
*By the way, this little girl in the picture is not from this story. Just in case you’re wondering.
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
We all have our share of bad days. Yesterday I had mine and today was supposed to be different. Today I woke up early, rested, & ready to conquer the world. Today I assumed, everything was supposed to go right.
After getting my makeup on at 5:15 in the morning I started breakfast like I’ve done a million times before. There was no reason to expect a problem. But there it was anyway. I had attempted to peel 3 eggs that looked as though a group of rats had gnawed them open instead. I tried to hold it back. I tried to tell myself I’d eventually get it right but they sat there mocking me, shoving the word failure down my throat.
My husband was finally up so I called him over for help. As he sat there patiently watching me peel my 4th egg, I broke down. Somehow I made the egg explode into a million pieces all over the kitchen sink out of sheer frustration. I was about to start crying but instead started laughing at the expression of shock on his face.
I’m embarrassed to tell you I cried. Yeah, I could blame my hormones. I could blame the pregnancy. But I knew that wasn’t the case. So I let it out. I told my husband that I didn’t want to have another bad day and that starting my day failing at peeling eggs wasn’t helping.
He said ” Yeah, this does suck. But just because you’re having a bad moment doesn’t man you’re a failure.” Then he suggested I update my Snapchat about my breakdown. I laughed at the idea of it and said ” What the hell is wrong with you? People are going to laugh because its not a real problem “. Obviously, this put the situation in perspective but I realized that even though it’s not a serious problem, it was still very frustrating. I was minimizing it. This problem almost made me want to give up on hard boiled eggs for the rest of my life.
But what if I had just started my health journey?
I could’ve said, “Screw this. Let’s go get donuts instead” had that been my go-to emotional comfort zone. I could’ve said ” This is what happens when I try to eat healthy! Clearly, I suck. I’m never going to try again.” Honestly, these thoughts are still there. I just don’t follow through.
As a mom, I find that our own expectations of perfection can be our worst enemies towards self-defeat. So I’m going to end with this…
The next time I’m able to peel a hard boiled egg I will definitely admire the beauty of it’s perfection, celebrate the victory, & remember the lessons it’s taught me today.
“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?
Although there are discrepancies about what eating healthy means, there’s a universal consensus that we should eat more vegetables. These 7 questions may help you identify any possible culprits to your non-veggie eater. Because if we take our kids health seriously, there’s nothing more exhausting than trying to force our kids to do so. At Fatigue Fighting Mama, I strongly believe there are ways to keep your sanity and get your whole family to truly enjoy veggies.
Luckily for me, I had a mentor mom who stressed the importance of teaching my baby to eat only at meal times. She said that if I chose to do snacks that they should be small, at a specific time, and never given as an incentive to get Emma do stop crying or throwing a fit. So that’s what we’ve done. When she sits at the table to eat, she’s truly hungry. Starving and crying? No. Just the good type of hunger that you get when it’s time to eat.
SUGGESTION: Make sure you have a normal eating schedule. Stay within 30 min of these times. Limit snacking to one small snack per day. It’s ok if they’re hungry come meal time. Veggies become a whole lot more appetizing when they’re truly hungry.
Instead of you telling them what they should eat, is it possible they’re telling you what they want instead? When they see the veggies they immediately demand something different. Something like Nutella, chocolate milk, sugary cereal, waffles, or bread perhaps? Of course our kids want this stuff! Given the option, I’d choose that too. But is it healthy for me in the long run? Probably not. At the rate their little bodies are growing, they definitely need more than just carbs. Their little growing muscles need protein & their brain needs healthy fats. And of course we can’t forget all the vitamins & minerals they miss out if they’re not eating fruits and vegetables. However, it is very likely you may be stuck in this cycle until they figure out you’re the parent though.
SUGGESTION: When you make a meal, let them know that’s the only thing on the menu. They’ll have to wait till the next meal if they refuse to eat. Depending on how strong this ritual has been happening, they may even put up a fight or throw a fit. Take a breath. Your kid is learning that you’re the boss. Once they know you mean business, they’ll eat. Will it be hard? Maybe. But in the long run it will be worth it.
If you’re not eating your vegetables and enjoying them too, there’s no reason they should be either. So as difficult as this may be, you may need to learn to enjoy them too. If veggies are healthy for your kids, they are for you too.
SUGGESTION: Allow them into the kitchen to prepare the veggies with you. Tell them whats going on. What does broccoli look like? Give them a little taste. Eat some too and say yum!
Imagine you’re typing away at Starbucks drinking your favorite latte when all of the sudden the barista creeps up gently beside you. She hands you a sample drink you’ve never had before. But she doesn’t leave. No. She stands around you all awkward and tells you to drink it while watching your every move. She stares at you oddly, almost expecting you to hate it. And when you drink a little, she freaks out and makes a big deal about it. Is this the way you feed veggies to your kids? Because if you do, you might be making it awkward for them. They may even associate your weirdness with the next vegetable.
SUGGESTION: Sit down to eat with them. Serve up some veggies like it’s nothing special. Eat vegetables with them like you’re eating pizza. No big deal.
Here’s my little secret. I offer the veggie at the beginning of meal time or while I’m prepping them. 98% of the time she goes for it and eats some, if not all of it.
SUGGESTION: Limit the choice. Offer the veggie first. Then the protein, carb, and finally the fat. You’ll be amazed at how many veggies your kid will eat. Did you know: Costco limits your choices for this reason too? The sooner you pick it up the most likely you’ll check out with it. That’s why you walk away with half their store. Cha-ching.
You may not be an expert in the kitchen, but making vegetables taste good is a basic art. Once you learn what you all like, both you and your family will start looking forward to them. Maybe not the first time, but perhaps the second time in a different way. Try them diced, julienne style, grated, diped in some type of sauce, pickled, fried, baked, coated in melted butter, or with a bit of cheese. The possibilities are never ending. My personal preference is to keep them light and delicious.
SUGGESTION: Make it fun to prepare veggies in completely new ways. Involve the kids. Get their curiosity going. Try new recipes as a game. Right now I’m into how the French prepare their veggies in The French Market Cookbook. If I could experiment like this all day, I would. I find it fascinating and fun.
It’s very possible that if your baby isn’t getting enough sleep that he or she wont have much of an appetite. The only time I’ve seen Emma refuse food is when she is sick, recovering from being off-schedule, or when she’s teething. All 3 reasons have the same common denominator: restless or interrupted naps or night sleep. It doesn’t matter what kind of sleeping arrangement you choose, there’s a consensus all over the internet that growing babies and kids need way more sleep than adults.
SUGGESTION: Try out some type of schedule. It doesn’t have to be strict. At the first sign of tiredness, do what you have to do to get your kid to nap or get a good amount of sleep at night. Try to have consistent routines. There’s a reason childcare workers of all kinds put kids on a schedule. It makes it easier for us and them when they are well rested. And perhaps they wont be too tired or cranky to try something new.