Travelling with Toddlers – Mommy Blogger

Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.

Ah, vacations. The desire to see and experience new things! I have, and will always have, a bad case of the travel bug. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss the days of travelling without a child. But those days are gone, and now that we are a young family, I want to take the adventures to a new level. Even if it means changing my expectations on what a “vacation” looks like.

We’ve done two big trips with our son that have involved airplanes, taxis, hotels, metros, buses, ferries, and rental cars. Complete with museums, kid-friendly play centres, beaches, restaurants, and pools. At the end of the day, it’s all fun! But, in the same day, there is also stress and exhaustion and frustration and the same question that comes to mind– Why do we choose to do this?

Here is the summary of the stages that are involved with travelling with your young child:

Stage 1 – Excitement – This is the fun part, where you will review and book the actual trip itself, including the painstaking selection of hotels, activities and flights with decent departure times (see how this potentially goes out the window in later stages). Joy, contentment and excitement are the feelings here, and you can’t wait to share this little adventure with your little one!

Stage 2 – The Packing – Double—no, TRIPLE checking everything, packing too much, going overboard on snacks and toys and clothes. The detail here does not go unnoticed—you find marvelous ways of shoving stuffies and trucks into tight spaces within your suitcase(s).

Stage 3 – Travel Day 1 – Excitement meets motivation, as you get your butts out the door and move past the fear that you’ve forgotten something important. Extra patience and tolerance come to the forefront for dealing with your child’s behaviour, good or not so good, as the first day of holidays finally takes hold. Although day 1 is a busy day, your energy is high and positivity is flowing!

Stage 4 – Reality – Surprise! The patience you had yesterday for your child is about to dwindle quickly, as your toddler is going to act, like… well, a toddler. Ain’t much changes between home and the hotel. And unfortunately, your parent “spidey” senses are going to be off the wall for a while, as you frantically monitor your child’s every move on a busy street corner or metro station, where you yourself are trying to gather your own bearings. You explore for the day, and retreat to the comfort of your hotel where at least your child is somewhat restrained and safe and not attempting to lick the hand rail inside a bus. You wind them down with a calming bedtime routine and bath and think to yourself that you’re really looking forward to that quiet time when the kid is asleep and oh crap, he’s just licked the hotel bathtub. Gross!

And tomorrow, repeat.

Stage 5 – Acceptance and… the end! – Your motivation changes on the last day of the trip to that of “okay let’s try to get back home in one piece” and you push your way through the long day, the delayed flight (best laid plans), the toddler meltdowns, all with your suitcases that are now chaotically pieced together (the marvellously organized packing techniques from before are long forgotten).

And yet, within the expected chaos, there is the acceptance of all the good and bad that you’ve experienced within the short duration of your holiday. And this is why we repeat stages 1 through 5.

There are moments of stress while travelling with children, there’s no doubt. But there are also moments of pure awesome where the effort in bringing your child to a crowded museum or play space is rewarded, when a simple statement like “This is so cool! This is so interesting!” is uttered with a smile or a giggle. You may even get your own moment or two of relaxation in the form of a hotel pool or hot tub, or in taking advantage of meals made for you by way of continental breakfasts or restaurants. This may not be the vacation dream you once had, and sometimes it may feel like these great moments are few and far between, but by the last day of holidays, you reflect and confirm to yourself that this trip was worth your while.

Learning how to be outside of your comfort zone while fostering a sense of adventure is what travel is all about. Travel builds resiliency, a sense of exploration, and curiosity about our world. And that is a lifelong trait that is worth building within your child and yourself.

Is It Possible To Have It All? – Mommy Blogger

My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a beautiful, busy, hilarious, brilliant toddler and am expecting my second son later this year. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. I work as a marketing and communications professional, and love sharing my experiences as a mom.

 I wasn’t one of those people who always knew she wanted to be a mom. Some of my friends always planned to have a family, and were sure that was what they wanted. When I was younger it felt like something that sort of just happened to you when you were older, but as I moved through the different phases of my life, I realized that it’s something that you choose for yourself—and it isn’t always an easy decision.

Now that we have one little guy, and another one on the way, I have no doubt that it was the right path for my partner and me. I also see how much work it is, and totally respect the people who know it’s not the right decision for them. It’s definitely a life-changing choice, and one that each person should have the right to make.

All that to say—I love being a mom. But part of me, the part of me who was once unsure about having kids at all, worries about the balance of things. Since we welcomed our first little kiddo, I have made a concerted effort to maintain certain aspects of my life. My career. Time alone with my husband. Social time together with our couple friends. Solo time with my girlfriends. But at the end of keeping all of that afloat (to varying degrees of success), I find I’m left with very little time (or energy!) for my own pursuits.

The list of things that was always in the back of my mind or doodled down in various notebooks over the years has been nagging at me more lately, possibly because I know life is about to get even busier later this year when we bring home Baby 2. Where does being a mom, a successful professional, a friend and a wife leave me? The me that wants to write regularly, who wants to volunteer, who wants to sew more and get better at photography and discover passions I don’t even know exist yet?

Oprah once said, “You can have it all. Just not all at once.” And I gotta say, that lady seems to know what she’s talking about. Those words make sense to me on a logical level—but now I have to figure out how it applies to motherhood! I know I want my boys to make the time for the things they love, and I want to be an example of that for them. And that means spending time not only with them, but spending time growing that part of me that existed before I could even imagine how much I would love them, and love being their mom.

 

 

 

Happy With One – Mommy Blogger

My name is Erin. I’m a toddler mom and a pup mom. I had my son in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I am a stay at home writing mom. I write everyday after my son goes to bed. My partner occasionally works away from home. When he’s home, we spend as much family time together as possible, and when he’s gone, I practice my Solo Mom Life. Life isn’t always easy, but I try to be as grateful as I can. My son helps with that. You can find my blog at thewritingmomma.ca or follow me on Instagram and Facebook at thewritingmommalife

One of my very first Mommy Connection posts was about being One and Done. That was about two years ago. For a while since then, I’ve been One and Done? With a definite question mark.

After my son turned two, I started missing the baby he used to be. I love watching him learn new things, and explore life, but I missed having a baby to hold and cuddle. I knew I could be happy with two (although probably extremely stressed). My son is busy, and I always have one eye on him because I never know what he’s going to get into, or what kid he’s going to run into full force. Even with my busy and crazy kid, I started thinking that a new baby to love would be nice.

I’m not sure if I’ve discussed my age in my posts or not, but I’m 38. I’ll be 39 in September. The last pregnancy wasn’t easy on me, but I made it, and loved half of it. It could have been harder. I know I could have another baby, but I do know that the older I get, the more risks there are. Ultimately, I won’t let my age be the deciding factor, but it is a factor.

I’ve discussed it with my partner, and his concern is that he’s away from work a lot, and he already hates how much time he’s missed with our son. Once again, this wouldn’t be the deciding factor, but it is a factor.

I’ve been on and off about the decision for months. I’ve discussed it at length with my partner, but we hadn’t made a decision yet. There were many points for stopping at one, and for having more than one.

At the start of the year, I made my decision. I looked at my son with all the love I have for him, and I realised that I’m happy with my one. If I don’t have another child, I’m okay with that because I already have an amazing boy that I never really imagined my life with until he was there. Being a momma is a privilege, and I am privileged to be his.

Here’s the moment where people point out to me that all these points are selfish, and if I really wanted to be a good mom, I’d give my son a sibling.

“You don’t want him to grow up weird.”

“You don’t want him to be lonely.”

These are both things that have been said to me. Even in my own doctor’s office.

Do people have a right to comment on my decisions? As every mother knows from any parenting decision they’ve made, people one hundred percent think they do.

I don’t need to give anybody a reason for wanting to have one child, and nobody who has the nerve to say these things really cares about the answer. But here it is: my son most likely is going to be weird. But that’s not because he’s an only child. It’s because I’m raising him to not care what others think about it. He may very well be weird. I’m also pretty weird. We embrace the weird in this house.

Second: lonely? No. He has friends, he has his parents, he has his dog. He loves people. Being an only child isn’t going to change that. At times, I love having breaks from people. If he wants that, it won’t be because he’s lonely. He won’t have that ‘friend for life’ people keep talking about when they speak about siblings. He’ll have friends though, and he’ll be okay. I have had a few parents tell me that their kids did not grow up close even though that was their hope. That being said, my sister is one of my best friends. My son is lucky to have a few friends that he’s known almost since birth. He won’t be lonely. (Well, everybody is lonely someday, but he won’t be lonely because of my very selfish decision to not have a second child.)

This is probably what I wrote in the very first one, but I guess my reasons for being done at one are different now. In the past year of second guessing my decision to have one, I don’t feel like I need a reason. I know in my heart that I am happy and content with my life and my decision to just have one kid. I will miss the baby cuddles, and watching a new one learn new things like crawling and walking, but I get to continue watching my son learn new things everyday. I can watch his amazement as he sees the world.

I’m at peace with my decision.

Adventures with Dragons – Mommy Blogger

I am Amanda Grace. I am a full time working mama of 2 beautiful sassy girlies and 1 handsome husband. I started blogging a few years ago and have recently published a blog the Blue Bird Journals. My goal for blogging is to inspire and support other parents. I want others to know that they are not alone in tough times and that they have someone to celebrate the good times with too! I truly believe the corny saying ‘sharing is caring’. ❤️

​I invite you to browse my site at www.bluebirdjournals.com or catch me on instagram (@bluebirdjournals) or facebook (@bluebirdjournalsblog).

This past weekend I had to explain to my daughter that dragons aren’t real.

My little 4 year old wanted to go for a walk in the forest to find a dragon and bring the dragon home. After a couple of weeks talking about this very special forest dragon search adventure, we are still talking about it. We walked to the park and looked for dragons, we took the dog for a walk and looked for dragons, we played outside in the backyard and looked for dragons. I thought this was just a game and we could use our imagination to go to the “forest”. Nope.

So enter the heart breaking conversation of “real” versus “not real”. She was completely heart broken. I had shook her world. How could dragons not be real?

I gave her a hug, and we talked for a bit. Then my little girly turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, “It’s okay mom, I will take a talking squirrel then.”

WELL F*** Enter heart breaking conversation part 2.“I’m sorry hunny but talking squirrels aren’t real either.”

I felt like the WORST MOM EVER! I just about lied and told her we could go find a talking squirrel, but I didn’t want to have to take her to Disneyland this week (it’s a really busy week, maybe another week).

So I sat with her while she cried. And my heart felt happy. I was happy not because I’m a bit evil.. but because of her adorable innocence and beautiful imagination.  Plus, I was getting some good snuggles!

It makes me happy that right now at four years old my daughter believes ANYTHING is possible. I hope that I can show her that there might be some slight restrictions in life, such as no dragons, but that she can be and do anything she wants. I want her to know there is a world of possibility.

But after all of this, she doesn’t care! She has chosen to completely ignore me. Because really, the take away from our “heart breaking conversations”… is that it’s not about the dragons or about her believing me… it is about me believing in her.

So…. we are going for a walk in the forest looking for a dragon this weekend.  Wish me luck in my search for a nearby forest with some dragons. I hope the weather is nice, AND if you know of any forests with dragons or a talking squirrel, I would pay top dollar!

Believe in the impossible and enjoy the incredible imaginations of our little ones.

Breastfeeding After a Breast Reduction – Mommy Blogger

Hey everyone! My name is Kelsey, and I’m a first time mama to a healthy and handsome boy, Atlas. Atlas is almost four months old, and this has been the best journey I’ve been on! When I’m not living it up mat leave style, I’m a social worker for Child & Family Programs, working in Child Protection. My fiancé (soon to be husband in 4 months-whoop whoop!) works away during the week as an Electrician. Although my weeks can be long not having Mike here, my support system is incredible and our family time on the weekends is amazing! I love to spend time at the lake with family, go for walks by the river, craft/scrapbook and enjoy all of the “firsts” for Atlas. I’m looking forward to more journaling/blogging throughout the new year!

In 2015, I had a breast reduction and was told that one of the risks involved was potential struggles with breastfeeding. I weighed out all of the pros/cons and this reduction was something that was necessary for me.

Prior to the birth of my son, I fully accepted the fact that I may not be able to breastfeed, and I was okay with that. I prepared myself. I stocked up on formula & bottles as well as nursing gear in case I  was able to breastfeed.

After my boy was born, I was surprised that I was producing enough milk to feed him. I was elated, and felt very hopeful for my breastfeeding journey. Over the next few weeks, I spent hours a day meeting with lactation consultants, trying to increase my milk supply, syringe feeding with breast, you name it. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and I remember feeling so defeated when I had to start supplementing with formula.

After meeting with my doctor, we determined that my milk ducts were too damaged from the surgery, and my son wasn’t getting enough milk. I started supplementing with formula, and before long it became too hard to produce any milk. He was becoming sick from my milk, as he was used to having more formula than breast milk.

Looking back now, I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself. I can’t help but feel like I missed some precious moments with my son in the beginning because I was so focused on breast feeding him. As long as he’s fed, who cares how?! That saying is easier said than done. It’s an emotional roller coaster.

As moms, whatever we choose we need to stand by it. Whatever is best for you & your family is what you should do. Stand by it and be confident in your choice.

 

The Best and the Worst Parts of Becoming a Parent – Mommy Blogger

Hi, I’m Becca. I’m a mom to a beautiful and wonderfully silly toddler named Bridget who is 2. I stay at home with her, but I’m also growing a business and have recently started my own blog. When I’m not busy figuring out how to balance mom life and taking on the world, I love to bake, watch Netflix till 1am, have game nights and read. I survive on caffeine and sarcasm and try to live a life full of gratitude. You can follow my exploits on Instagram @brighteyeshappyheart or visit my blog brighteyeshappyheartcom.wordpress.com

I’ve heard it said that one of the hardest things about being a parent is trying to discipline the “you” out of your child.  I am definitely not here to disagree with that! When I call my own mom and complain to her that Bridget won’t nap or that she is so willful and keeps giving me that “you’re not the boss of me” toddler look, my mom just looks at me and says “Becca, that’s exactly what you were like at her age.”

Great!

I’ll be talking to my mother in law and mention how Bridget is in full on toddler tantrum mode and how she just likes to throw herself around, and she will say “Alan did that exact same thing.”

Fantastic!

I just know that the sarcastic eye rolling comes from both sides. So we have created a willful, sleepless, sarcastic toddler who is prone to tantrums and we really have no one to blame but ourselves.  And even though we get frustrated and angry with her sometimes for doing all of these things (and more!) we just know that this behaviour isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  It’s ingrained in her on a cellular level it turns out.

Fun!

On the flip side though, one of the best things about being a parent is seeing all of the good qualities of yourself and your partner that you have passed on to your child. I love the way that she has Alan’s curiosity and intelligence.  (I’ll claim a little of that myself, but I know a lot of it comes from him.)  She has my focus and determination and when she really wants something, nothing will get in her way. That can be good or bad for us as parents depending on what she has her mind set on, but it will undoubtedly serve her well in the future.  She gets her sense of humour from both of us and she can be a huge goof, which I just love and wouldn’t change for the world.

Sometimes when I am having a bad day or I’m really hard on myself, I just look at Bridget and she reminds me that I’ve passed on the best of who I am to her which means it has to be in me to start with.  If she can achieve whatever she puts her mind to, then so can I.

Becoming a parent has changed many things for me.  How I spend my “free time”, my priorities, what I feel is truly important in the long run, and so much more.  But one of the biggest things that has happened since I had Bridget is the fact that I have learned to love both the good and the bad parts of myself that I see in me and in her.  All of those qualities from myself and Alan have mixed and been integrated into what is all uniquely Bridget to create this amazing little girl.  So are those “bad” qualities really so bad?  No. They just make things a little more difficult at times.  And sure, wouldn’t life be great if parenting was always easy and your kids always listened to you and napped when you told them to or didn’t throw tantrums because they want to eat out of a different coloured cereal bowl? Yes, it would be, but that isn’t reality. Those difficult qualities are still there and always will be. What we can do though is teach our children to love all the aspects of who they are and to deal with those difficult parts of themselves as best they can, and maybe we learn to love ourselves and our difficult qualities along the way.

The Time I Was Almost “That” Judgy Mom- Mommy Blogger

I’m Liv from Saskatoon, I am Momma to 2 kiddos- Holden, my very energetic 5 year old and Lexi my spunky 1.5 year old. I am also Stepmomma to a beautiful 12 year old, Breanna. I am married to truck driver Brandon, who spends a lot of days away from home. When I’m not momming (is that ever?) I am a Recreation Director at a seniors home in Saskatoon. I am passionate about health and wellness and coffee. Coffee is my jam. I’m new to the whole blogging thing but I find putting my thoughts to paper is a wonderous form of self care

Recently I had an experience which took me aback and I rather shocked myself. I tend to think of myself as quite a positive person. I try and look on the good side of things and rarely do I find myself thinking negatively towards another person (that being unless they’ve done something horrible, but let’s not get into that…). I also, am quite averse to being judgmental of others’ parenting.

I was pulling into the parking lot of the grocery store; I saw an open spot reserved for pregnant women or parents with small kids. Seeing as I had my 2 small children with me and a sore back I decided to capitalize on that. A truck in the lane closest to the spot had the same idea, and promptly took the space. I did however on the opposite side find the exact same spot.

I found myself fuming…looking in the truck I saw a younger man and a dog in the front seat. Here I was thinking “What…the…heck! He just took a spot for himself and his dog?!” I stared at him, my kids chirping in the back wondering why we weren’t exiting the vehicle. I had in it in my mind I was going to let him have it. MOMS NEED this spot, who does he think he is?! Sure, I had found the exact spot luckily- but what if another someone came along?

By some force of nature, I hesitated exiting the vehicle as he did his, and suddenly the man went to his back seat and carried out a child aged in between my 2 children- who was kicking, screaming, and crying.

I suddenly felt…awful. Mind you, not as awful as I would have felt had I said something. I got my kids out of the car and the man and I and our children walked into the store at the same time. My kids by some grace of God were acting relatively decent at this moment, and as our 2 families loaded up and readied our carts the man, whose child was still throwing a tantrum, quietly and sweetly told the child “look how nicely those 2 kids are acting”. I gave them both a smile, and said “Trust me, this is unusual” and I gave him a sympathetic look. No sooner that we entered the store my oldest began to act up because we didn’t head straight for the candy and my youngest was suddenly averse to her rubber boots and promptly removed them and threw them across the aisle.

I still felt awful, I felt judgmental- how could I have been so quick to react like this? It was a good reminder that we are all dealing with some kind of stuff in our daily lives. Some days are great, easy; and some days are downright awful and we can barely trudge from hour to hour. We all have our battles, and as parents the battles are all the same- no matter who you are.

An Ode to Women in Leadership – Mommy Blogger

Nicole Betker is a mother, wife, rabid Toronto Blue Jays fan and a pop culture junkie. Always having an opinion or something to say, it’s time this journalism grad found a place to share her musings on the acts of “adulting”.

Women are awesome. Women are amazing. All women. All shapes, all sizes, all colours, creeds, religions, sexual orientations and ages.

I’ve spent my entire adult career working in an industry that would be considered male dominated. I started as a sports reporter, followed by a career in athletics communications and marketing, and it wasn’t until recently did I truly notice the disparity. Maybe I was naive. Maybe there is more attention to the subject. Or maybe I just surrounded myself with powerful, strong women that made me see what women could accomplish in the industry.

Throughout my career I have encountered women in leadership positions who have helped guide me and played an important part in my career. Although International Women’s Day was earlier this month, I choose to celebrate these people every day because if it wasn’t for them, I might not feel as positive as I do about women in sport and leadership or feel as comfortable talking outwardly about how important my career is to me.

Nearly 13 years ago, I wrote an opinion column for the small daily newspaper I worked for titled: “It’s Just Different For Us.” It discussed why, being a female journalist covering predominantly male athletes and sports, was well, just different. The piece was encouraged by my first managing editor, my first boss in my adult career, after a run in with a headstrong “old boys” club belief. She supported me, encouraged me, and made sure I chose every word correctly to describe how I felt. It inspired me to believe I could work in this industry.

An attentive, loving mother, who has a taste for Diet Coke in the morning and wine at night, taught me that hard work, determination and passion can take you where you want to go. And while on the way you’ll earn respect from your peers, far greater than you could ever imagine.

Youth doesn’t mean you can’t have success and when you are confident, inspiring, believe in others and continue to make an impact on others, good things come together. A special coach taught me that lesson.

Powerful women in leadership need to make tough decisions and are put under the microscope. Poise, strength and belief in the tough decision can only make you stronger – lessons I gathered from being at the table with some of the youngest female sports administration managers and directors in Canada.

All of these women have also shown me the power of family and how important it is to have a balance of both. Without support, love and family at home, nothing would be possible.

But when I’ve learned the most from these women, is in the dark times. In the times it wasn’t easy – those bang ups and hang ups Dr. Seuss spoke of. I’ve watched each of them have rough moments in their careers, yet have continued to find their paths and come out stronger.

They’ve become the best leaders and some of the most respected in their industry – and not just among women leaders – all leaders. I’ve turned to them when I needed it, and they have been there.

So thank you.

I only hope that someday, what I have done in the industry inspires someone else to push and rise.

 

It Takes a Village – Mommy Blogger

My name is Christina Hnatiuk. I am a mom of one little boy, Marshall. I am married to a wonderful man, we will have been together for 6 years, married for 3. I work full time in Human Resources and part time as a Ukrainian dance instructor. I love to try new things, especially new restaurants and food. In my free time, which is hardly ever, I love to bake, specializing in cheesecakes. I am looking forward to sharing my adventures in life with everyone!

I have only been a mother for 2.5 years but one of the most important lessons I have learned is that a support system is so important. I am so lucky to have people in my life that not only support me as a mother but in every aspect of my life. I have an amazing husband, the best parents, in-laws, siblings and friends a girl could ask for. I often take these people for granted but I am realizing now how big of a role they play in the development of my son. They say it takes a village and I am lucky enough to have the best village.

My husband is pretty amazing. I know everyone thinks that, and rightfully so, you promised to spend eternity with them, so they should be pretty good.  But mine is the best. He is so supportive sometimes it’s annoying. He encourages me to do whatever makes me happy, and is always there to pick up the pieces when everything falls apart. He has been with me through mental health issues, regular health issues, ups, downs, and he even puts up with me when I get hangry!  When we found out I was pregnant, we had just gotten married, and I had just finished university. We discussed many options for how this all would work. I obviously wanted to stay home with our son, but I also really wanted to get working and start getting some experience. My amazing husband encouraged me to go back to work, explaining I shouldn’t feel guilty, and was the best stay at home dad for our little boy.  It was the support I needed to make a really important decision and I don’t regret it.

Both my husband’s and my parents are amazing. Daycare is expensive and when my husband was going back to work we struggled with how we would afford to pay for it, and not only that but we had a 10 month old who no one would take in a daycare.  Our parents stepped up and offered to watch our baby boy. Granted my husband’s parents are retired and so is my mom, so we are lucky that way, but it was still so generous.  Both sets of grand parents are amazing. They take better care of him then we could have ever imagined. He is so loved, and we never have concerns about him through the day because, well they raised us and we turned out ok. Not only do they watch him through the week, but also they will take him for evenings if needed, or more recently for a weekend so we can get away. They send us home with supper when we pick him up, or can tell when we have had a hard day and just invite us to stay. They are always there with open arms, love, support and honesty, when we need it. I never thought I would need my parents, or in-laws, as much as I do, and I am so grateful to have them in our lives!

My sister is pretty amazing as well. She’s a mom of 3, ran a day home for other peoples kids, and runs a successful photography business.  Even with her crazy busy schedule, she always finds time to answer my stupid parenting questions. Even if it’s just listening to me vent about the latest toddler tantrum, she always had comforting words that let me know I’m doing alright. She is my best friend and I know I would be lost without her. She reminds me that I’m a good mom and her and by brother in law, are amazing role models for me to look up to. I am so lucky that I have them to help me through this crazy journey of motherhood. And I can always count on my brother in law for a kick butt dad joke and a secret stash of candy!

I also have a brother and sister in law. My brother is the person I look to when I need to get away from the parenting stuff. He and I share many loves, Disney parks being one. I can always count on him to be just as enthusiastic as me when it comes to the newest ride, or rumour, at a Disney park. Plus he is always good for a dose of sarcasm and dash of wit, which I think is a necessity in life! I am so thankful he is there to chat with and laugh with; I don’t think he even knows how much I need him some days!

His fiancé is also unbelievably amazing. She is a doctor, and has answered every stupid medical question I have, with no judgement. She is so smart and kind, and I am forever grateful to her for being there when I need reassurance. She too can have me on the floor rolling with laughter; they do say laughter is the best medicine.

Life is short, and filled with bumps and bruises along the way. Having these amazing people in my life to help me with parenting, when I need a laugh, or inevitably a good cry, is more than any girl could ask for.  My support system is more than I could have ever asked for, and for that I am forever thankful.

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” –Mother Teresa

Trials and Tribulations of a First Time Mom – Mommy Blogger

My name is Chantelle and I am a first time mom to a sweet little six and a half month old boy named Lucien. When I am not busy being a mom I love to cook, shop and read. Being part of the mommy connections blogger is something new and exciting for me and allows me to have an outlet for some of my thoughts. I can’t wait to share more of my life with you!

I have always been an anxious person and tend to overreact, but becoming a mom has definitely made that worse. Ever since I became pregnant my life turned into a state of constant worry. Is the baby ok? Why isn’t the baby kicking? What if the baby isn’t healthy? How much pain is childbirth going to cause me? What if we don’t have everything the baby needs before he comes? What if I’m not a good mom? These were just some of the things going through my head throughout my entire pregnancy. I could never just relax and stop worrying. I did not know how to just go with the flow. My partner continued to assure me EVERY SINGLE DAY that it was going to be ok.

My pregnancy and the birth of my baby boy did not go as planned. I ended up having high blood pressure and was on bed rest in the hospital until the doctors decided to induce me three and a half weeks early. To my surprise my labour was not progressing and I ended up having an emergency c section. That was the scariest day of my life thus far, but ended up in the most beautiful little baby boy I have ever laid eyes on. Now that the baby was finally here the anxiety and worry continued of course. Now I actually was a mom, I’ve never been a mom before. What do I do with this tiny human? How do I keep it alive? Nothing that I researched or read prepared me for how to actually be a mom. It was basically trial and error. What works for other moms and babies does not work for every mom and baby. So I had to figure this mom thing out, thank god I was not alone.

Lucien slept in our room in a pack and play for the first three months. The first two months were the hardest. Trying to recover from a C section all while taking care of a baby/ myself was proving to be almost impossible. Most of my days/ nights were spent on the couch or in bed. Between getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby and checking if he was breathing 800 times a night I was exhausted. The newborn phase was over fast and I was starting to feel a bit better. I was actually starting to get the hang of this mom thing, heck, it even felt kind of natural to me. Maybe it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

Fast forward, Lucien is now six and a half months old and the time has flown by. Now that I have the hang of this mom thing there is still always something for me to worry about it seems. I wonder if Lucien is meeting all his milestones, if he is gaining enough weight (he is tiny), if I am feeding him enough solids and when he is going to finally break that first tooth through. My partner and others still continue to reassure me that Lucien is perfectly fine and I am doing a great job as a mom, even though I don’t always feel that way.

Even though my anxiety will always get the best of me I am starting to realize that everything I worry about will not matter that much in the long run. He will get still get teeth, still walk, and still grow up. I am slowly learning to stop worrying about things I cannot control. Motherhood is a crazy, difficult journey, but it is definitely worth every single minute.

 

  • Chantelle