I recently had a friend share a post on Facebook and the first line read “mom-ing is hard”. That’s not to say mom-ing isn’t wonderful and amazing and the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but... mom-ing IS hard. It is wonderfully, amazingly and the best kind of hard. I find myself constantly wondering and worrying if what we are doing with Jaxon is okay. From where and how he sleeps at night to his nap times during the day to purees vs. baby led weaning, I think all mom’s just want to do right by their babe. And personally, I think the wondering and the worrying makes you a pretty top notch mom and you’re doing great.
From the moment we found out we were pregnant to when we found out what we were having to my water breaking at home, I feel like there’s the “expectation” version that we all share and post about on social media and then the “reality” version. You know the pictures I’m talking about, the side by side funny pictures where the mom’s making dinner for her family with her hair and make up perfect while her kids play nicely in the background (EXPECTATION). And then there’s me over here stirring dinner on the stove, bouncing baby on my hip because he’s tired and doesn’t want to be set down and oop, he spit up all over me because I was bouncing too much. No make up, hair in the same bun I slept in the night before. (REALITY). Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my every day life, but it’s fairly accurate.
When we first decided to start trying we told ourselves that it may take time and not to get frustrated or stressed out over the process! (EXPECTATION). Two months later we were pregnant! (REALITY). Even when you’re trying to get pregnant, there’s a flood of emotions when you see those two pink lines. I suddenly worried about every thing I did & if it was okay for baby.
When we did our gender reveal, I had told myself it doesn’t matter what we have, because we have a HEALTHY baby! But I allowed myself to start imagining decorating the nursery for a little girl & found a small business that made the cutest bows! (EXPECTATION) . And when my friend lit the smoke bomb and that blue smoke billowed it and up into the sky, I cried. Like turned into Chase and cried in front of 30+ friends. I remember Chase whispering to me “Just smile, it’s ok!” And the next morning eh asked me if I was disappointed we were having a boy. (REALITY). I wasn’t disappointed, I was surprised. I had truly thought it was a girl. And you guys... I am so glad we have our sweet boy. He is without a doubt the sweetest, chillest kid. This reality is far better than any expectation I could’ve had!
Our first week home from the hospital I imagined we’d sit in our bed as a new family & snuggle, drinking coffee and watching movies while the snow fell outside. (EXPECTATION). But really we had to get a bili blanket for Jax due to high jaundice levels and have at home nurses come and visit and get his little foot pricked and blood tested. And one week postpartum, I ended up in Urgent Care and then the ER with a kidney infection. (REALITY).
I imagined sitting in our bed, or in the glider in his nursery nursing my little newborn baby boy, with a smile on my face as my body did this amazing thing and produced food for him. (EXPECTATION) . Trying to nurse Jaxon the first month or so was absolute hell. I felt defeated. I had told myself when I was pregnant that even if I couldn’t nurse and had to pump and feed or even supplement with formula, it would be okay as long as baby was healthy! But the mental toll it took on me to not have a baby who latched well was overwhelming. Every time he would latch on, I’d cry. I’d curse in my mind and sometimes out loud. It was painful & I felt defeated. I’d pump and feed, but felt like a failure because I wasn’t truly “breastfeeding”. I’d try to get him to latch for 24 hours and take 48 hours off because I was in so much pain. (REALITY). I was determined. And one day, it clicked. I wasn’t doing anything different than I’d done before, it just clicked for him & he had a good latch. And he nursed well!
I thought I’d make lots of purees for Jaxon to eat when we started introducing solids to him. Being in the kitchen blending up all sorts of concoctions for him to try. (EXPECTATION). Then I discovered BABY LED WEANING. And I’m 99% positive I’m not doing it correctly, but I’m doing a form of it that we are comfortable with! (REALITY). Essentially baby led weaning allows baby to self-feed and control consumption. There are moms giving their kids whole foods to break down, but I’m a chopper. I chop up whatever we are eating for dinner into very fine bits for him to eat. And while I’m on the subject of BLW, yes.. Jaxon eats exactly what we are eating (within reason). He’s had meat, spices, etc & has done VERY well with it all! Baby led weaning might not be for you and your family, but we are loving the results so far!
These are all just examples of our Expectations/Realities. Set your expectations high, but be prepared for the realities of life with a little one. And be okay with them! Don't get discouraged if things don't go exactly as you imagined & every day isn't "Instagram worthy"!
I’m currently working on letting people’s opinions roll off my back. Because I’m just a new mom and Chase is a new dad and we are doing our best with our little boy. I'm reminding myself that not everyone may agree with the choices that we are making, like co-sleeping or baby led weaning. And I may not agree with how another parent raises their child, but this world is already full of negativity and judgment, I'm choosing to NOT judge other mama's and hope that if you're a mama bear you feel encouraged and supported as you read through our page!