Off the Charts – Mommy Blogger

I’m a teacher, wife and mom of a very proud soon-to-be big sister. My blogs highlight the happy and humorous moments of parenting. I love music, writing, the outdoors and mommy-ing and I enjoy sharing how kids have a magical way of making favourite past-times like these even better.

A conversation before Christmas with a fellow mom and friend got me thinking about this topic, and, ironically, I’ve been analyzing it all in my mind ever since.

In a world where, throughout our careers, we are bombarded with stats and crazy amounts of analytics, where every move we make is measured and carefully placed on stats sheets, where our billable hours are documented down to the half hour, passing through the portal from work-world to mom world can be a difficult one.

Where are the progress reports?  What did we accomplish all day?  There isn’t an app for that. The only app that might give a sliver of evidence as to how much we really do all day is the Apple Watch app that would typically show we tripled our steps goal, move goal, stand goal and are probably in the negatives in the calorie department.  But even that says nothing about the specifics of what we actually did.  It just proves it was a lot of…something, or more accurately, somethings.

The funny thing is that even if these things could be graphed in real time, they would look something like this: Kid A threw her spoon of food two less times than yesterday- a 0.03% decrease.  Or one could put a different spin on it and note that the distance of said child’s spoon flings averaged 4% further than yesterday.  Good for the up and coming baseball star.

And amidst these less-than-impressive stats, our kitchens can still be less than sparkly, our laundry can sit half done, and we can be four days into an unintentional hair detox.  None of what you can immediately see would look good on a spreadsheet.  So what on earth results from all our expended energy?

The most amazing things.  That’s what.  And the results are right under your nose…or likely on your hip…or sleeping in your bed…or wrapped around your neck.

Look at the little creature who knew zero words six months ago and can now speak in sentences.  Consider the little being who could be laid on your bed mere months ago without the fear of moving at all, who can now follow you to the next room within seconds.  Never mind the hilarious stories from the mouths of cutie pies who, a year ago, couldn’t tell you more than the fact that they wanted more milk, or the gooey fruit chews carefully wrapped in sticky Kleenex handed up to you from chubby little hands as gifts just when you need them the most. You did that Mom, your work and sweat did that. You taught them about Love and you show it to them everyday in the simple life you give to your kids.

Spread sheets and stats and analytics are great, and if what a mom did could be quantified in that way it would yield results off the charts.  But the results don’t fit on the charts in the first place.  So just know, that what you do is amazing and important and worth every bit of the energy you pour into it.

 

A Lengthy Diatribe from a Very Tired Mother- 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!

“Have kids they said, it’ll be fun!” I say to my husband as our 3 year old is throwing a full blown tantrum because he wanted to put his jammies on without a pull-up and we said no. It’s now just after 8, and his bedtime is 7. As a new year’s resolution we went cold turkey and took his nighttime bottle of water away, now he drinks from a sippy cup and it’s been really successful. But on nights like this I really want to give him that bottle back and let him use it as a coping mechanism. And of course get some well needed rest. Did I forget to mention, I am 28 weeks pregnant with baby number two?   Everyone says the “terrible twos”, but I would go back to two any day. Three has been a blessing and a curse in so many ways. As a struggle through this trying time, people say “oh ya three is the worst”, where were these people when two was the worst? What should I expect for four?

My son is such a sweet boy. He loves his mommy and daddy, his grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and especially his dog. He is like this 90% of the time. He expresses his love often and without embarrassment, sometimes too much for some people. He is polite, says thank you for everything, and you’re welcome when he is thanked. He is so smart. He has large vocabulary and uses words that no three year old would know! And he is funny. I don’t mean “he’s so cute” funny, I mean actually funny. He makes me laugh daily and always brings a smile to people’s faces! Like I said 90% of the time, this is my kid. Then the other 10% rears its ugly head and my kid turns into a GIANT asshole. I know some people are going to read this and be appalled that I call my kid an asshole, but he is, and I’m sure lots of you think that about your kids from time to time. Don’t get me wrong I love him more than anything in the world and I am sure that love with just double when I have the 2nd one. But sometimes I don’t like my kid.

He needs to do everything on his own. I actually love this about him. He is so independent and love learning new things. I am so proud of him. But one thing he is not willing to learn is how to use the potty. Potty training has been a long, hard battle. I have tried everything I can think of, except keeping him home for the 3 day method, because who has time for that? (Although once I’m on mat leave this may be my only choice) He is really good at peeing on the potty but terrified to poop. He now is into hiding himself from us so that we don’t know he’s pooping. I am at my wits end and ready to give up. “Don’t worry it will happen, how many kids go to school without knowing how to use a potty?” this is what people say to me when I talk about this. Honestly I’m sure there are some. I hope this stage ends soon as I really don’t want 2 kids in diapers.

The tantrums are exhausting. It’s mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. It’s always over something super silly too, like if I zip his jacket up. Or put his shoes on the right feet. I forget that he doesn’t understand how trivial these things are and find myself losing patience. Bed time is the worst. It’s a constant battle of burst of energy right when we get to his room, to creative stalling techniques, to full blown tantrums because he wants to wear his dirty socks to bed and I took them off. The next thing I know it’s an hour later and we are just crawling into bed to read a story. Then its “I need someone here”. We have been in a great routine of staying for a few minutes to snuggle, saying goodnight and closing the door. We get a few calls, and pop in to check his diaper from time to time but mostly our evenings have little to no interruptions. That is until the New Year. He still would take a bottle to bed. It was his security blanket. No pacifier, no sucking thumb, no specific stuffy or blankie needed. So I didn’t push it too much. But my husband and I decided with the new baby coming and the fact that he’s 3 we should probably take it away. So Starting around Christmas, and for the next week we would tell him no more bottle after New Year’s. He was fine with it, and when January 1st rolled around he took it like a champ. But now bedtime has reverted and he is staying awake so much longer than he used to. By the time we get to actually leave his room, which is now more like 20-30 minutes of “I want mommy”, and then another 20 minutes of “I want daddy”, he still plays and sings till way past 9:30. We have to leave the house by 7:30 each morning, so he’s up at 7, and barely human. He still naps 1-2 hours every day, and I’m starting to think he doesn’t need to anymore, that maybe without a nap he’ll actually fall asleep. But I guess I’ll see how that progresses as we move on through this process.

What was the point of this lengthy diatribe you ask? Basically no matter what anyone tells you, 2, 3, 4 or 17, parenting is hard.  And we should be honest and open about our struggles, share our stories with others. This way when a mom is embarrassed that her 3 year old is not potty trained, or when a mom still lets her 4 year old have a pacifier, or when that mom in the grocery store is standing there with a screaming toddler, we don’t judge them. We stand united, support each other, offer an “I feel your pain” smile and show kindness instead of judgement, maybe we will make this whole parenting thing a heck of a lot easier.  My kid, soon to be kids, are the best thing to happen to me, but I’m sure in 3 years I’ll be looking at my husband at 8pm saying, “have another one they said, it’ll be fun.”

“As Mothers (Parents) we are in it together-raising the future. We are a tribe of future makers, so let’s support each other.”- Martha Hermer

Wishes for New Family of Four – 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”.

I have a very special bond with my son. A bond I never thought possible. I’ve read that a mother-son relationship differs, especially at the pre-school age, but I never realized how special it would or could be.

Now that our family of three is just five weeks away from becoming a family of four, I wonder my relationship with my son will change. Will he still tell everyone he meets that “Mommy is his favourite?”

When I was younger, I always wanted multiple children. As an only child, I longed for nothing more than siblings. Marrying into my husband’s family confirmed that for me when I heard the stories from my husband’s childhood and see the close bond they share now as adults. But it took some time to truly make the decision to expand our family. We were very happy as a three.

I know this change will be a big one for our family dynamic and be an adjustment for each of us. It won’t be easy. I just want to be sure that each of my children knows that they are special and our bond will continue, despite whatever time I need to spend with the other.

I’m hoping together, as four, we can continue to seek out life adventures, be there for one another and continue to have fun daily. Our baseball trips around North America become for four, family movie night adds another spot, morning cuddling and watching cartoons just adds another bowl of cereal, and we continue to embrace and foster each other’s differences and special qualities.

For now, I will enjoy the last few weeks as three and look forward to the adventure that awaits us as four.

 

Christmas Party Door Prize Winners

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Christmas Party on Friday, and thank you for those that donated to the Saskatoon Friendship Inn.

And a big thank you to the amazing local businesses who donated items. THANK YOU!

Our winners are:

Item #1
Sleepy Lashes – Saskatoon Chic

Winner: Blayre Grabowski


Item #2
T-shirt – TinySpark Boutique 

Winner: Kristina Marki


Item #3
Sign – Handmade by Sarah

Winner: Eva Minarikova


Item #4
Apex Bag with Passes

Winner: Stephanie McCabe


Please email jennie@mommyconnections.ca to claim. All items must be claimed by Tuesday December 17th at 7 pm. All items must be picked up by Friday December 20th at noon.

How Not to Stress at Christmas – 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

    This title is my work in progress. This is not going to be a post telling you how not to stress because I’m still working on it. I’m good at stressing – holiday season or not. 

Every year, I go into the holidays thinking I won’t get stressed. I make plans. I make crafts and goodies because Christmas can get expensive, and I like to give out homemade things. I want to bring my son to every holiday activity there is so he can enjoy everything about Christmas. I also want to do special toddler Christmas crafts with him. I’m collecting donations of gifts for local shelters. I still have gifts to buy. I send out too many Christmas Cards every year. I put a lot on my plate. More than I sometimes need to.

I always promise I’ll do things quickly and efficiently, and not overwhelm myself. Some years this works. Other years, like this year, I am not doing as well as I’d like. I know how important self care is, and I know how important it is to keep myself healthy and happy, especially as a mom. It makes my son’s experience better if I’m better. However, even though I know I need to not stress – I still do. 

I had a very busy November, and didn’t have time to start on anything Christmas related. December 1st, I jumped in. I’m trying to get it all done in enough time to actually relax.

I’ve got the decorations up, a few Christmas presents wrapped, and my baking done. Christmas cards are probably a quarter of the way through. 

Now it seems like I’ve only got time for the holiday stuff. The housework is taking a little more time than usual. (And to be honest, I’ve never had a tidy home.)

I am constantly impressed with those Instagram mothers that show all the things they have done for their kids and for themselves. I love seeing all the posts of their perfect Christmas trees and all their Christmas excursions. I love finding ideas, and getting inspiration from them. At the same time, I’m jealous. (This isn’t normal for me because I know that you never see everything that happens before or after the posts.) I’m a stay at home mom, and I still can’t find the time or money to do it all. I want to, but I can’t. I enjoy seeing the posts, but I also like seeing the ones where people are honest about things their imperfect life. My stories are full of toddler tantrums, exhaustion, and a side of Christmas fun because even though I’m stressed, I still love all of the holiday fun. When I’m done with this post, I’ll be sharing a photo of a baking fail on my stories.

How am I not going to be stressed this Christmas? I will admit that I can’t do it all. I need to cut some things out. I won’t be hard on myself for not getting it all perfect because the truth is, I’ve never been perfect. Perfectly imperfect has been a wonderful theme in my life, and it will continue. 

I want my son to remember everything about the holidays, but I don’t need to take him to every single event, and I will never get him every single present he asks for. This year, and all the other years, we are working on him learning about the giving part of Christmas. Another thing on our list is going through his toys to see what he wants to donate. It’s going to have to happen soon because I want him to know how important it is.

As always, I am also taking time for myself. Baths, reading, and writing are just as much a priority as making sure all the gifts are perfectly wrapped. (They will never be perfectly wrapped.) Self care is hard to make time for, but I do it anyway. The cards can wait. 

In the end, I know that we will be happy if things aren’t all done. No matter how things turn out, I will be grateful for what I have, and my family will be happy.

How do you stay calm this season? 

 

BioGaia® ProTectis®  – Review

This review was written by Tara B, a mother of  a 6 month old

Everyone knows the importance of a healthy gut flora. Mostly baby’s gut health comes from mommy and breastmilk in first year. I was only able to breastfeed successfully for 4 months and after that I had to supplement with formula. Unfortunately, various formulas caused a lot of discomfort to my little one.

If you’ve ever dealt with a fussy gassy baby you become desperate to try anything to help. I did my research and read a lot about the importance and benefits of using probiotics for babies. I read how it can help with a gassy colicky baby and how in early life, a healthy gut plays a key role in shaping a babies immune development and helps prevent future diseases from occurring.

I wanted to make sure I was using a good quality probiotic, so I did my research and read lots of reviews and came across Biogaia probiotics. In a a few days to a week I started to notice a change –  my little one had a significantly less amount of gas and had noticeably less discomfort.

I would definitely recommend this product to any mom looking for a high quality probiotic. A tip that I found after using it, remember to shake the bottle before use it, as it helps it come out of the bottler easier!  I’m very happy with quality and am so thankful for the opportunity given to me to tryout and review this product!


BioGaia® ProTectis® is an evidence-based probiotic that’s been proven to soothe these common tummy issues in newborns and older children:

  • Infantile colic
  • Regurgitation
  • Occasional constipation
  • Infectious diarrhea

For colic and digestive health:

  • BioGaia ProTectis Drops help prevent & reduce crying episodes from colic
  • Diminishes the frequency of regurgitation
  • Eases occasional constipation
  • Helps prevent episodes of infectious diarrhea
  • Reduces the duration of infectious diarrhea
  • Improves and maintains digestive health

 

 

 

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Sport for Life – An Organization Supporting Sport – Guest Blogger

https://sportforlife.ca

As an parent, educator, kinesiologist, coach and training, I have been working with children of all ages for the past 20 years I have researched and learned much about children and sport. For 15 years we have worked hard to develop a program at Prairie Fire Cheerleading that serves children, parents. We are very fortunate that organized sports in Canada are lead by talented, committed coaches and volunteers and Sport Canada has developed many resources to support athletes, parents and coaches. With the need to inform sport from a broader capacity the Sport for Life Society evolved in 2014 from 10 years of work supporting the expansive Canadian Sport for Life “movement.” The purpose of Canadian Sport for Life was to create cross-sectoral partnerships between sport, education, recreation, and health, while aligning community, provincial, and national sport and physical activity programming. Sport for Life has many resources that can be used by parents when making decisions about activities for children.

Fun vs Winning

Sport should be fun. Sport should be a place where children develop physical literacies and develop social skills like teamwork and self-dependence. Too many coaches and parents focus on the result, rather than performance: Winning should be the last priority.  A winning only attitude/organization leads to long-term failure as coaches forgo the development of skills to focus on specific game tactics that serve the game, not the athlete.

Fundamentals vs Specializing

Training fundamental movements that will serve today and in the future, will lead to the most success and excitement for sport. Too often, adult training programs are imposed on children and boys’ programs used for girls. Children are not small adults and girls develop differently than boys. As an example, younger athletes (6 to 8/9 years) need to spend more time developing basic movement skills and then (8/9 to 11/12 years) sport specific skills. As athletes get older, the focus should gradually shift towards fitness and tactics.

Many sports vs One sport

Athletes should not specialize in one sport too soon. After years of sport, teenagers will enjoy specialized competition but they will also crave the ability to be proficient in many movements, activities and sports. Parents need to support the efforts of athletes and encourage fair play, effort, skill development and individual improvements.

Failure vs Success

On the other side, overly protective parents, caregivers, rehabilitation facility staff, teachers, and coaches shield them from the bumps and bruises of childhood play. Sport is a safe place to make mistakes, take risks and learn from the wealth of experiences that come with sport. An ideal activity will balance enough challenge to encourage growth but enough success to motivate children to try again. Remember that most of a child’s learning comes within the struggle. It is a parent’s job to, without critique or judgement, be your child’s biggest fan, supporting them through the good and the bad.

 

Todd Knihnitski – Prairie Fire Cheerleading

Holiday Sleep Tips For The Busy Family – Guest Blogger

Another holiday season is approaching and it gets so exciting with little ones in the home! I remember growing up just loving the holidays and taking in all of the festivities, but it really is magical to watch your children around the holidays. Colorful light displays, decorations in stores, smells in the home… all of these bring happiness and joy and it can be so contagious. With all of this excitement, try and ensure your baby gets the rest she needs to be happy, healthy and alert during this time to make it more enjoyable for everyone.

TIP 1. Don’t overschedule

One of the biggest mistakes I make around the holidays is trying to pack in as much fun and adventure as I did in my before kids days. This doesn’t usually spell fun at the end of the day anymore! Going ice skating, playdate for lunch, shopping in the afternoon and family visits in the evening can just be too much for littles.

Slow your pace down and learn to say no when you start to notice that nap times are being moved too often or bedtimes are becoming late. I call it being balanced… and it’s not easy during the holidays, especially if you are away from home. Plan your activities around your nap times (if they are predictable…), and you will be rewarded with a baby who is less fussy and easily consolable.

TIP 2. If you are not a co-sleeping family, now is not the time to start

If you will be travelling, borrow a play pen, rent a crib, ask family and friends, bring a bassinet along… You will find yourself with a big problem when you get home and put her back in the crib. Even a few nights of co-sleeping can create a habit, so if this is not something that you want to continue with, I would avoid doing this.

If you are a co-sleeping family, enjoy those early bedtimes together! You can even use it as an excuse if you have friends and family that want to keep you up late drinking holiday cheer and catching up. There is nothing better than a mom who gets extra sleep!

TIP 3. Bring your teddy, blanket, stuffie, lovey…

If your baby treasures something while sleeping, don’t forget it! Pack it along with some cotton, breathable pajamas to have that scent of home close by. If you will be planning a late night but not staying overnight, just put you baby to bed as usual where you are, and at an age appropriate time, then transfer her to her crib when you get home. You will not want to keep her up late but this is also a great time to have actual, non-interrupted conversations with friends (which can be so hard to come by these days!).

TIP 4. Preserve naps and bedtime

My children are the definition of meltdown if they go two days in a row with messed up naps and bedtime. So I don’t do it!

If you plan to travel, try to reserve the next day as catchup and focus on those crib naps and use an early bedtime to eliminate some crankiness. The occasional nap in the carseat or a later bedtime won’t do you too much harm, but several days in a row will start to wear your baby thin. Not only can your baby’s mood change drastically, he might start crying and forcefully refusing sleep, causing stress for everyone. There can be a lot of pressure with family around, so the consistency is worth the effort.

Tip 5. Relax. Enjoy. Make memories.

The holidays are about friends, family, love, laughter, kindness. If sleep is elusive in your home, don’t try and make changes while you travel. When the New Year hits, you will be in a much better place to start shaping your baby’s sleep. Watch my Facebook page for some great sleep tips and promotions in January to support your family!

Happy holidays from my family to yours!

Trista Cave

Sleep Coach, Educator and Child Nutritionist

www.cavebabies.ca

 

Depression and Parenting – 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).

When I was pregnant with both of my girls, my depression and anxiety were at its best. I was pleasantly surprised that even though I had to stop taking my medication, my body adjusted on its own and I felt good mentally. I had extreme morning sickness the whole time with both of them, so it definitely wasn’t all cupcakes and rainbows, haha. But I felt good about my mental state.

After my first, I had a few regular downs (times when my depression and/or anxiety was interfering with my everyday life) but nothing too bad.

After my second, all bets were off. I went through a heavy postpartum period and since then have dealt with some extreme lows. Even though I had my second two and half years ago, I know my body is still in recovery. Still trying to figure out my hormone balance every month and as a result, has left me trying to figure out what I can do to make sure I am at my best.

Our whole body, physical and mental, goes through so much during pregnancy and post. Hormones change with pregnancy, postpartum and with age. It can be difficult for some women. I happen to be one of those women.

Parenting is a tough gig and I find parenting when you are depressed is a whole different challenge. Don’t get my wrong, I know parenting already has its challenges and I’m not trying to take away from that. This is just my view on the last 5 and a half years of my parenting journey.

There are days that I want to lay in bed and hide in the dark. I want to ignore the world and not move at all. But I have two little girls who need me and no matter how I feel I need to show up for them. This has been one of the toughest parts of having depression and being a mom. It has also been one of the greatest things. The days that I struggle I know I have two very important reasons to get up. To move forward.

So if you are also one of those women, hold onto that. You are a mom, it’s a word that holds a lot of power. It is a reason to get up, a reason to hold onto hope for better days. A reason to get the help you need to be the best mom you can be. It also means you are not alone. Motherhood is an amazing community and there are other moms going through ups and downs just like you. Reach out!

So, mom, no matter what you are going through, hold on! It’s okay to not be okay but no matter what, you have to do what you have to do to get better for them!

Amanda

Mom

Insights on Having a Newborn – Mommy Blogger

My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a busy, hilarious, brilliant toddler and an awesome, beautiful, snuggly baby. 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 when I’m not at home on maternity leave, and I love sharing my experiences as a mom.

  We recently welcomed a baby boy to our family, and suddenly (OK, not suddenly, but it still feels a bit shocking, even after 40 weeks of warning), we found ourselves back in the newborn stage. With this being our second son, we weren’t strangers to this phase, and yet I found myself remembering things I had forgotten from the first time around.

We have all heard the regular wisdom people love to share with moms-to-be: sleep when the baby sleeps, you’ll miss these days when they’re gone, etc. This is my own list of random observations and/or advice that you might not have heard before. I’m definitely no expert—this is based solely on my own experience and personality. Also I’m the sleep-deprived mama of a newborn and a busy toddler, so honestly at this point I’m just happy I can string some sentences together.

Make your bed.

It might sound strange, but with as much in and out of bed as you’ll be doing during the first few months, this was something I found comforting. Each morning I try to at least somewhat make the bed so that when it’s time to crawl back into bed at night it feels a bit more refreshed, and gets whatever sleep you are getting off on the right foot.

You might not feel like yourself.

If you’re anything like me, your self-confidence will be all over the place and your world will suddenly seem quite small—not unimportant, just very focused on this new little person. The things you would normally spend your time on get the short end of the stick for the first little while. Taking the opportunity to actually get ready and leave the house when I can goes a long way to helping me feel more like myself—not only a mom, but also a woman with friends, and a social life.

It’s tough not to keep score.

As the mom, it’s hard to not feel like you’re doing more of the work that comes with a newborn. Even if your partner is super helpful (and mine is), there just seems to be more responsibility that falls to mama (especially if you’re breastfeeding, obviously). Just know that your partner is likely trying to help you, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. Talk to them about it if it’s a problem, and try to keep the scorekeeping to a minimum.

 Find your hot shower.

You probably already know that your time won’t be your own when your little one makes his or her arrival. There will be days when you literally will not have a minute to yourself. To keep your sanity, find something that you can do easily, probably at home, and in a short amount of time. For me, a hot shower is something that always leaves me feeling refreshed, less stressed and more like myself. Whatever that is for you, make time for it whenever possible. It won’t always be as often as you would like, but every little bit can help.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Having a baby is so overwhelming. It’s happy, exciting, exhausting, confusing, stressful and everything else all at once. Add on hormones, sleep deprivation and the sudden aloneness that comes with maternity leave and staying home with a new baby, and it all adds up to a pretty crazy situation. If you feel like you could use some extra help, reach out to people you know or to a professional. I saw a counsellor and a psychologist a few times after my first baby, and talking things through with an objective person really helped me gain some perspective.

There is no right answer.

Everyone is an expert on babies. You’ll get all kinds of unsolicited opinions on literally every baby-related topic, and if you go looking you’ll find even more. The truth is, there is no one right way to be a mom, or to care for your newborn, or to raise a child. So stop looking for the right answers and do what works best for you and your family.

It will go slowly, but also fast.

This is my last point, and it’s probably a variation of something you’ve heard before. Days will sometimes feel long, but all of sudden you feel like you blinked and your baby isn’t quite as much of a baby anymore. He’ll start to smile, and then he’ll be rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking. So take deep breath, soak it all in, revel in the madness. You’ve got this mama.