Monday, May 9, 2016

Sarah from Seeing All Sides {The Mommylogues Series}

I am so excited to introduce this week's guest blogger, Sarah from Seeing All Sides. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah last year (and co hosting the Foodie For A Year link up with her) and she is awesome! I feel like we just clicked, you know? Enjoy her words of wisdom, I know I needed to be reminded of a few of these gems!

Hi, friends!  I am so happy to be guest blogging today for Whitney's Mommylogues series!  What a great series that so many of us can relate and speak to!  First of all, I'm Sarah and I blog at Seeing All Sides.  I am a math geek high school math teacher by day and a mama to two boys, Brantley (almost 4) and Holden (2), the rest of the time.  I'm a born and raised Iowa girl (go Hawks!) who kinda always knew I'd go elsewhere after college.  Upon graduating (ten years ago!), I headed south to Kansas City, which is where I met my husband and have been ever since.  We now reside on the outskirts of KC and love to spend our time eating barbecue, cheering on the Royals, and living the KC life with this sweet, little family of ours!


When Whitney announced the series and I volunteered to guest post, I knew exactly what I would write.  Advice.  But not the stereotypical advice people roll their eyes at.  You know, what I'm talking about.  Breast vs. formula.  Working mom vs. stay-at-home.  Co-sleeping, natural labor, vaccinating, cry it out, yada yada yada.  Though I have my own opinion on said topics, I feel a mother {and father} should make those decisions on their own and I'm not one to ever push my parenting styles on others.  

Instead, I'd like to offer some advice for new mamas and mamas-to-be on how to cope with this new role of motherhood.  Heck, this advice could even be applied to those seasoned veterans of moms, because quite honestly, this job is difficult and sometimes, a little reminder goes a long way in the mom-world!

Here it goes!  My top eight pieces of advice to someone about to enter this crazy adventure that is motherhood. 

1 | First and foremost, and perhaps more important than anything else, don't lose your pre-mommy identity.  Specifically, don't give up what you enjoy doing!!  I vividly remember when I was pregnant with my first, a certain co-worker would always point out "Well you better enjoy it now because you're not going to have time for that once your baby is born!"  One of those things--my weekly guilty pleasure that is The Bachelor!  (I know, I know...)  She told me that I wouldn't have time for a two-hour show once per week.  Two hours.  Once a week.  And you know what?  She couldn't have been more wrong!  My husband and I both believe that part of being happy in your role as a mother/father (and even a spouse) is to make time for the things you enjoy...and allow your spouse that time.  For me, that is The Bachelor/girl time.  For my husband, it's being active (he runs, works out, and plays basketball once a week).  We both understand the importance of this and we allow the other person time to do those things he or she likes.  Similarly, my husband encourages me to go to happy hours, get out with my friends, and take some time to myself.  Doing something for yourself, especially something you did pre-baby, helps you feel more "normal" at a time when your world is rocked more than it ever has been before.

2 | Share responsibilities with your spouse.  I was lucky enough to marry a man who is not only a hands-on dad, but an amazing one at that.  He's never shied away from caring for our boys.  In fact, he changed Brantley's diaper in the hospital before I did!  My point is, it's not 1950.  Talk to your spouse about sharing the responsibilities so that there's no resentment and no animosity towards one another.  For instance, we take turns sleeping in on the weekends (and by "sleeping in", I mean 8am).  One of us gets up with the kids on Saturday, the other one on Sunday.  We also alternate bedtime routines.  One kid is much easier at bedtime, while the other is more of a challenge (though those roles have switched in recent months).  We take turns so to not burn out quite so easily in a monotonous daily routine.

3 | Got daycare?  Use it!!  It took me forever and a day to be comfortable with this, but if you have the option, send your kids to daycare on your days off!  And most importantly--don't feel guilty about it!  Our daycare provider, of all people, is the one to convince me of this.  We are paying {a heck of a lot of money} for it, so you better believe I'm going to take advantage.  Use the time to do whatever your little heart desires.  Run errands, blog, lay on the couch and watch t.v., go to lunch with a friend, clean, take a nap!!  Enjoying a day without kids doesn't make you a horrible mother.  In fact, the time to yourself will probably make you a better mother in the end.

4 | Don't compare your kid to others.  Every kid is different.  The rate at which they grow, they learn, and they mature...as long as its of no concern to your doctor, it should be of no concern to you.  Brantley crawled super early (5 months), but didn't walk until 14 months.  Holden was nearly two years old before he started talking.  It's hard not to compare in this day and age (especially in the world of social media), but try your darnedest not to do it.  It doesn't accomplish anything and takes away the focus on all the positives instead.

5 | On a related note, remember that every mother struggles with something.  I had major difficulties with breastfeeding, but I had two very easy deliveries + recoveries and two very good babies (who slept through the night by five weeks old).  I have friends who were just the opposite.  Breastfeeding may have been a breeze, but labor and delivery knocked their socks off.  Just remember, you will likely struggle with some aspect of motherhood, but be grateful for what does come easy because there are lots of mothers out there wishing for that same ease.  And above everything else, you are a mother in a world where so many women are hoping and praying for that privilege every day.

6 | Don't be afraid to take your kids on vacations.  Growing up, my parents always took my sister and I on a summer vacation.  Some were very low-key, but we also did a few big trips.  I've always wanted to follow a similar philosophy, so when Brantley was 12 months old, we packed up our car and drove 16 hours to Destin, Florida.  It's been one of my favorite mommy memories and I can't wait to go back (hopefully sooner than later) with both kids! 

7 | This is more for when your kids are toddlers, but make things into games.  When one of my kids refuses to do something (pick up toys, get dressed, etc.), I say "Let's see if you can do it before I count to 20!"  And for whatever reason, boom, in 20 seconds it's done! 

8 | And finally, remember that life will return to normal.  This is especially hard to remember with a newborn, or even an infant who naps twice a day and eats around the clock, but it will.  It may be a new normal, but you will eventually feel human again.  Your babies will grow, they won't be bound by a strict schedule, and leaving the house will feel nothing like the three-ring circus it used to.  And about that time, you may just decide you're ready for another. ;)

Thanks again to Whitney for allowing me to share today!  Feel free to follow me at my blog Seeing All Sides, on Instagram, or on Facebook!
***

Archives:


19 comments:

  1. Such great advice! I was nodding my heard for all of them. My favorite is not loosing your prepregnancy self. I will admit that sometimes I struggle with that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always my #1 piece of advice to new moms! I still roll my eyes about that co-worked who implied I wouldn't ever do anything for myself again!

      Delete
  2. This is such great advice. It took me a while to buy into the send them to daycare on a day off thing, but it really is needed sometimes. Hello from another Iowa girl :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just added your blog to my Bloglovin feed yesterday! I hadn't realized you were from Iowa!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for having me today, sweet friend!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. great advice! We do the same thing with the games, we make EVERYTHING a game and things seem to get done a lot quicker! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our latest--let's see who can get their pajamas on faster!

      Delete
  5. Love this!! I agree with everything, particularly sharing responsibility with your spouse and taking the kids on vacation! Great post, Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sara! This was one post that just flowed freely! I may have only become a mom less than 4 years ago, but I think I offer some solid {uncontroversial} advice!

      Delete
  6. Loved this! Such great advice for all moms. I can totally relate to the 3 ring circus thing when leaving the house. Going out to eat is not as enjoyable right now, but I know it will get better! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes going out to eat is a challenge for us, too! We just make sure to go somewhere loud where no one knows if kids are screaming or whining. 😉

      Delete
  7. Such great advice. Don't compare your child to other children... YES YES YES!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't compare your second child to your first! There are even a million differences there!

      Delete
  8. I don't know Sarah, except from tidbits I have seen on Facebook! Hi Sarah!!! What a great post with some solid advice. I think it took me about 5 years to really find myself after becoming a mom. So not loosing yourself is super important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! I'm glad you enjoyed my post! Generally, I don't think I'm a great advice giver, but I can sure give advice on parenting!!

      Delete
  9. SARAH! I LOVE this! I agree with all 8 of the things that you mentioned! I knew we were friends for a reason :) Now I only wish we lived closer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, duh! CA is just too far from KS! ;) And thanks!

      Delete
  10. Sarah - awesome post!!!!
    Your intro about college and moving to KC sounds so, so similar (except insert ISU ;) ).
    Vacations. YES! We took Marcus to Hawaii when he was just two, and though I know he won't remember it, *I* will. And those memories for me are incredibly priceless! This year we're taking both kids to Cabo and I can't wait!
    Making things into game! HA! I do this all the time! Marcus: I don't want to walk the dog to the corner? Me: Ok,that's fine. But, I bet I'll be you there! ... Magically we walk the dog. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Okay – so now I know who to come to when Mason has math homework that Nate and I can’t figure out! Ha! I kid (kind of). Sarah, I love that sweet picture of your family. These are all such good tips!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. You make my day and put a smile on my face :) I respond to every comment so let's start a conversation, shall we?!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...