Mom to an almost 2 year old boy and 7 week old girl. First birth was at a hospital, second was a homebirth. Pumped exclusively with the first and breastfeeding exclusively with my second. Here to share my experiences, regrets, and recommendations. Follow my blog to know more!
I found these night stands on the side of the road and decided to give them a makeover! I scuff sanded them down and sanded the drawers completely. I spray painted the drawer handles and painted the nightstands black and coated them with polyacrylic.
I found self adhesive wallpaper on Amazon and applied it to the inside of the drawers. Sold these for $80!
As many of you may have read one of my firsts post about my breastfeeding journey, you may have wondered why I stuck through it when I could have given up and gave my son formula. Yes it was a painful beginning to my breastfeeding journey, but as I stuck to it I figured out what works best for me. Although my son gave up taking my breast due to a heavy flow, I did not give up giving him my breast milk. From breastfeeding I went straight to pumping and feeding him from a bottle.
Yes, I was stubborn in the beginning and to start even giving him my milk in a bottle was for some reason heartbreaking. Not only heartbreaking, but I also felt like I was letting myself down or not being the mom I was “supposed” to be. Breaking the bond of skin to skin. I knew all the benefits of breastfeeding and could not drop that for the sake of my son. My goal was, and still is, is to have my son be the healthiest he can be. And the thought of dropping breast milk for the ease of myself came across as selfish to me. When I say I badly wanted to give up, I mean I really wanted to and almost did. I was crying for days contemplating what to do and trying to justify it if I was to convert to formula. My husband was being as supportive as he could, but seeing me in such a down state regarding this issue, he was also trying to justify formula so that I could have the ease of mind.
And I did, I said “tomorrow I’m dropping everything.” But then tomorrow came and I put my emotions aside as I looked down on my son and knew he deserved the best I could offer. And I did have milk. I had ALOT of milk. So for me to give up what I had, in my eyes was upsetting. Those that struggle with their milk supply, that’s another story, where definitely your child needs to eat and if they aren’t getting enough then yes supplementing with formula is an option. But to me, a woman who was producing more than enough milk, to get rid of that, was like getting rid of gold. And therefore I couldn’t.
My son is now 14 months old and although I have stopped pumping several weeks ago, I still had a frozen supply left. I am almost out but right now at 14 months my son has been getting the best I could offer him- my breast milk.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy if you have an oversupply. And pumping isn’t easy if you don’t have a portable pump. But I guess this is where we learn to sacrifice for our children, God’s creation. Whom He has entrusted us to look after and raise. I wouldn’t change my decision of breastfeeding. As I currently am a month pregnant now, breastfeeding is still my go to for our second child, and I can only hope it starts off better the second time since I am more experienced and well informed. I’ll keep you updated on my current pregnancy in future posts. 😉
Last night I had a revelation of my role as a stay at home mom. I was listening to a sermon on YouTube by David Wilkerson called “The Healing of the Home.” My son is almost a year old, and I have come to realize that somewhere along the way I forgot how much of a treasure it is to be a stay at home mom. I started to miss work, and I still slightly do, but I got caught up in that feeling and sulked upon it. I started to envy the mothers who were able to go to work for a couple hours and help their husbands bring in an income. Ever since I was 16 I was already working. I was used to providing for myself, having come from a very low income family. I used my own money to buy myself my own cell phone and was already paying my own phone bill. At 19 I bought my first car and was paying for my own car insurance and gas. From my first job working for a cleaning company, to working at a grocery store, to working as a dietary aide at a nursing home, and then as an office manager at a chiropractic office. All of this I did in a couple of years. I was used to having a job.
So, when my son was born, and up until now, I was finding tough to deal with, not having a job that provides income. And I did belittle myself. I did not feel important. Until last night. Last night during David Wilkerson’s sermon he said:
“Now hold it just a minute, what I am against with all my heart and soul is the demeaning of one of the highest callings in the world, and that is to be a housewife and a mother. That’s the highest calling on earth.”
“Don’t let ANYONE put you down for being “just a housewife.” or “just a mother.”
“In the sight of God, listen who can find a virtuous woman whose price is above rubies. She rises early feeds her household.”
Once I heard him mention that, it really hit me, the importance of all my responsibilities. Even though I may not be earning an income, it is still my job and still my role to be a housewife and a stay at home mother. And I should be doing it with a grateful heart.
I no longer want to look down upon myself. To think I need to always be physically beautiful in the eyes of my husband, for that will make him happy. Yes, do look pretty, but what will really make a man happy is a woman who enjoys and treasures her role as a housewife and stay at home mom. (Not saying you can’t work) This is towards the women who have chosen or have been placed in the role of being a stay at home mom or housewife. To the women in similarity to me.
We don’t “just do laundry.” We help provide clean clothes that our husbands and children can put on every day and be comfortable in. We don’t “just do the dishes.” We provide clean plates and utensils that our family can have their meals on. We don’t “just make dinner.” We provide fresh, hot food, that the family can eat to grow stronger, be healthier, and not starve. We do not “just clean the house.” We vacuum, sweep, mop, dust, organize, and keep a welcoming environment that our family can feel safe and secure in. Comfy, cozy, and loved in. Our responsibilities are wrapped in love. We are not any less than our husbands or the wives who have gone back to work. Our role is just as important and just as meaningful.
So to the housewife or stay at home mom that is reading this. Your role is important. You are important for your role. Yes there will be many days where we will feel unappreciated, beaten up, exhausted, worn out, but do not let that forget who you really are. Once you start appreciating your role, your perspective starts to change and automatically from there your whole day starts to change for the better as well.
Today I had a complete mom day. By that I mean everything that I had planned was totally destroyed. I had planned to meet with my friend and her daughter who is the same age as my son for a little picnic in the park. No I’m not quarantining or social distancing. Judge all you want, I don’t care. Any who, we planned to meet at 1:30, my son’s nap time. But I was thinking I’d put him to sleep in the stroller and we’ll be fine.
I decided to leave an hour early to stop by the grocery store thinking the lines won’t be there since it was about midday. Boy was I wrong. Thanks Coronavirus. So I decided not to go in and thought I’d arrive at the park a little earlier. As soon as I get there, my friend texts me asking if we could meet later since she just got home from waiting in line forever at Costco and her daughter just fell asleep…
Now picture this, I’m at the park with a cranky baby no longer meeting my friend and have to drive 20 minutes back home and put him to sleep. My picnic bag was all ready by the way. And once I got home I now had to put an overtired toddler to sleep which is harder than normal tired. And then my friend has to cancel completely because her mom was over.
From one plan going awry, I couldn’t go grocery shopping and didn’t have our play date. Total bust of a day.
Any body else have total mom days where EVERYTHING goes wrong??
When I first started my journey with breast feeding, as in my other post, it did not turn out how I had planned and from starting off with exclusively breast feeding I started exclusively pumping.
In the beginning of my pumping days I started with a Spectra pump provided by the hospital I gave birth in. I must say I really did like it, other than the fact that pumping in general made me feel like a milk making machine or some sort of cow being milked. The Spectra was really easy to use and had minimal buttons to press, and included a little light so that you can see what you are doing in the dark, if you pump during the night.
If you know that you are pumping, definitely do some investing in a durable, rechargeable, portable pump. Pumping gets easier if you know you can travel with it and not worry about finding an outlet.
Two great options for that would be an Elvie pump and a Willow pump. Both are expensive but with the time you will be spending pumping, it makes it worth it. They fit snuggling right into your maternity bra and suction onto your breasts when turned on. If I had known about these pumps earlier, I could have saved on so much headaches, stress, and anxiety from the pressure of being home or finding a place to pump. Both come at around the same price, one pump for around $280 or double pumps for $500. The willow I believe only sells as a double.
I personally have the older version of the Willow Pump, the Willow 1.0 but right now they have a 2.0 that is out. With the 2.0 you can either pump straight into the bags that you can purchase from them, making it easier to pump and store during travel, or you can pump straight into the container and dump into a storage bag of your choice or bottle. The Willow 1.0 can only pump into their spill proof storage bags. From the research that I have done, a lot of people say that it is silent but from owning one I will say that you can hear it but it is definitely quieter than a normal pump.
Both the Willow and Elvie pumps connect to an app that keeps track of all your pumping sessions as well as the ounces pumped, whether the right breast or from the left breast and also stops pumping automatically once the bags or containers are filled. Both pumps are very easy to put together and also simple to clean.
My sister-in-law has the double Elvie pumps and she loves it as well. Being a new mom and knowing that she would be pumping, she got two right away to double pump and save on time. This also allows her to be able to pump while she is making dinner for her husband or is out on the road visiting friends or family, or if she is running late to an appointment, she can pump on the road, which I have also personally done. To be able to pump in the car is amazing and relieving.
They try to advertise them as being silent and unnoticeable but from my experience, they are not as silent as some say and you can notice them because they make your breasts look like they doubled in size. So, I would not be out at a restaurant with them in my bra but if that works for you then go right ahead! I just found it easy to go places as I could easily pump in the car every few hours or in any bathroom en route.
I got my portable Willow pumps too late, when my son was 7 months because I was so tired of dealing with pumping only at home or carrying around the big pump and trying to find an outlet wherever I went.
For my next pregnancy I will be investing in the Willow 2.0 to not have to deal with what I dealt with during the beginning few months of my pumping journey. I am choosing the Willow 2.0 because it can pump straight into the storage bags or the container made for it, giving me more options. If straight into their storage bags then there is less to clean as well. Although you need to keep buying their specific storage bags.
So, all you mothers, invest in your happiness! Because these pumps definitely make a difference. They have in mine and they will in yours too! And no I am not sponsored by them, just writing this from experience and hoping I can save some of you from doing the mistake that I did and got them too late.
Final Pros and Cons of Willow Pump
Easy to store
Can pump into storage bags
Can pump into container
Easy to clean
Better suction than Elvie
Can pump anywhere anytime
Not completely silent
Can only use their specific storage bags to pump into
Suction is less than Spectra or Medela
Final Pros and Cons of Elvie Pump
Easy to store
Pumps into container
Easy to clean
Quieter than the Willow
Can pump anywhere anytime
Can slightly hear it
Has a light on when in use that you can see through your shirt
If you were to ask me, “Were you ready to have a baby?” my answer would definitely be “No.” You will never be “ready” to have your first child. But, I definitely did want my baby boy and I sure was excited to meet him.
From the first day I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic! We had not been really trying, but we weren’t preventing either and were willing to go with the flow, whether I got pregnant or not. So, when I took the pregnancy test for the first time, I was excited but also still in disbelief and took the test three more times. Yes, THREE more times! And still it was hard to believe that I, ME, was having a baby. That a tiny little human with fingers and toes was starting its’ life inside of me.
So back to the first question, was I ready to become a mom? No. But did I want to become a mom? YES. So at the same time the excitement kicked in, so did the fear. I knew I would have to take work off, but in my case I was going to become a stay at home mom. I knew my life was going to change completely and I started to worry about what it would become. Would I miss work? Would I still be able to see my friends? Would I enjoy being a mother? How will my body change? And the scariest of all, What will it be like giving birth?
A thousands questions started to pop into my head. Was I ready to sacrifice my time? And will I still have a life? All these questions I will answer as you join my journey of being a stay at home mom. Follow my blog and I hope you enjoy the read and that any mothers out there can relate to me and not feel alone. Because yes, I did go through a tough time of feeling sad and then guilty for being sad about my new life with my son and being a mother, but I am taking it one day at a time and am willing to share my life and journey with you. Stay strong all you mamas and women! We got this!
When you hear the words “stay at home mom,” what comes to mind? With the majority, I feel as if those words have a stigma attached to them. Many may think that stay at home moms do not work as hard as the moms that go back to work, they’re lazy, etc. Being a stay at home mom now, I would have to completely disagree with that statement and say we work just as hard.
I never knew being a stay at home mom could be so tough. Between the cooking and cleaning, watching my son, going grocery shopping, putting him down for naps, doing the laundry, and trying to keep my sanity, I have had many days where I would just break down. I could not do it all. And having to accept the fact that I couldn’t always do it all was also difficult. I started to get sad and lonely. I loved my baby, and still do but finding time for myself was very difficult. Between my son’s nap times, I had to choose between finishing my cup of coffee, which was already cold by then, or doing the dishes or picking up his toys or catching up on laundry, or finally showering.
Sounds gross, I know! But as a stay at home mom with a child under one, taking a shower is no longer those prolonged moments where the warm water trickles down your skin as you soak in the steam. Showering is a one second thing while keeping an ear out if your baby starts to cry. I used to love long showers, as they were my moments of solitude, but now have become more of a chore for me, as I turn the water off every couple minutes to hear if my son is crying, while my husband is out working. Either that or I need to take one at night when I am already tired and exhausted from running around nonstop all day. I crave a bath.
As a stay at home mom, I have had many times where I felt isolated from the world, finding it hard to go out because of my newborn’s schedule. You start to feel social isolation from only talking baby talk and start to crave a mature conversation. Recently now, I have started to miss my job where I worked as an office manager at a chiropractor’s office. But, I know my importance being a stay at home mom, and how some working mothers wish they could spend more time with their children. I need to treasure this opportunity. Or somehow find a balance between the two.
I have started to miss my life of luxury where I could go wherever, whenever, for however long I wanted to. I wouldn’t change having my son, but it’s hard to keep from longing some “freedom.”
I have had times where I would resent my husband for being able to go to work as I imagined him laughing it up with his coworkers while installing floors. Little did I know that he had his own worries, providing for our family.
I will never regret being a stay at home mom due to the relationship and bond I am able to create with my son, but to the world out there that thinks we’re having a time of our lives soaking up the sun with our children, think again.
Nonetheless, I miss having no limitations. Now I just need to find other ways to find some time for myself and prioritize my own sanity over the dishes or the couple of toys scattered on the living room floor. The first few months are the hardest, as I also ran into some complications while breast feeding, which I have shared in another post.