Hey you, enjoy your motherhood.

My Motherhood {enjoymamahood}

There honestly is nothing like being a mother.  The motherhood journey is forever excited, filled with a lot of smiles and laughs.  It can also be filled with tears, headaches, and a lot of self-doubt.

You often find yourself the first one up even though you were the last to go to bed.  Your mind is screaming both “5 more minutes” and “Get up, this is your only ‘me’ time.”  You do your best to quietly get out of bed and try to slowly open the door to your children’s room(s) to make sure they’re sound asleep.  A sigh of relief escapes your lips to see that not only are they still asleep but their littles chests are slowly rising in their deep sleep.  You fuel up with coffee and try to eat some breakfast only to be greeted with bright-eyed kids.

Your ears ring with toddler tantrums, baby cries, and sibling arguments.  Everyone else has full bellies with milk or snacks and clean outfits.  However, you’re often still in pajamas, your hair hasn’t been washed in a few days, and your stomach is eating itself from hunger.  When you think you are about to get a moment to yourself, you see Cheerios scattered across the floor, marker scribbles on the wall, or one of your kids is waking from a nap.

Your body aches, your head is pounding, yet there is something that just keeps pushing you to keep going.  Your children may yes the last ounce of patience you have in you but you love them.  You have this love that is so fierce.  There is a sense to try and protect them as best as you can, nurture them with all your love, and open their eyes and minds to the world around them.  You then wake up and do it all over again.

Sometimes you do so with a full-time job or a part-time job.  You try your best not to think of the precious moments you may be missing.  Often the thing that gets you through the work day is the warm little hug your children will give you.  Sometimes it’s the smile of happiness that you see when you walk in the door that keeps you going although you are so very tired.

Hey you, enjoy your motherhood.  It isn’t easy and sometimes it isn’t pretty, I know.  Those sweet kisses, tight hugs, and giggles of delight you get make it so worth it.  Your children love you through it all, unwashed hair and tired eyes, just as you love them no matter what.  A mother sees their child with so much love and a child sees their mother as their very own superhero, don’t you forget it. 

Love is

O Wonder

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

I found myself reciting this in my head while taking a walk with O and W yesterday.  O was going back and forth between a slow stroll to running as if a fire was lit under his feet.  Some days I would say to either “hurry up” or “slow down” but that day was different.  It was if it dawned on me that maybe I should be taking a page from The Book of O.

I watched as he was taking in his surroundings.  Watching him gave me this overflowing feeling of such love.  His forehead would crinkle as he examined how the wind moved through leaves on a tree, his eyes widened as he watched a rabbit leap into a bush, and just stood still and smiled up at the sun.  I myself forget to enjoy such things.  I’m either creating a plan in my head on how I’m going to approach grocery shopping with two kids, going over the route I’m going to take to support group, or worrying over how I’m going to accomplish a paper with two wide-awake boys.  Just watching him made me want to slow down, enjoy what is around me and to marvel at what I have.

That same day, O woke up from his nap, yawned, looked at me and said, “Hi Mama. Love you.” and jumped off the sofa after I took a photo.  His simple sentences resonated within me.  Yet again, O was teaching me something.  Children hold such an innocence and honesty that adults often try to diminish so quickly.  O holds such a love for myself, his dad, our close family and friends, and the world around him.  He has been patient with me as I learn to be the best mother I can for him and W.  O has been great a reciprocating a love he is still continuing to learn.

Moments like this make me appreciate motherhood.  It chips away at the darkness that PPD often holds. O reminded me that he not only needs to enjoy all that childhood has to offer but I do too.I know easier said than done, but I do want to try. Moments like this make me love my motherhood journey.

Wrap, Sling, Carrier – a review

 

Wrap, Sling, Carrier?Disclaimer: By no means is this post sponsored by any of the businesses listed below.

Between two kids, I have accumulated a variety of ways to babywear.  It was short lived with my first as he never really liked being wrapped or in a carrier.  You would think that this time around I would be ready to throw my hands up in the air but here we are at almost 5 months and little man loves it.  I’m not complaining at all because I love it too.  It took me a while to purchase any of these products (except the Baby Bjorn as that was one of the many gifts from O’s generous Godfather).

The Wrap Part 1 – K’Tan Original
I purchased this wrap from Amazon after reading the reviews.  O was still too small to be placed in the Baby Bjorn.   It comes in two pieces – a loop and a wrap portion.  The loop is like a base and where the baby is placed in and the wrap portion adds security.  There are different sizes, from XS to XL.  I found this to be a con as my husband and I are not the same size so we weren’t able to share this wrap.  The material was not breathable and caused O to sweat a lot.  I’m beginning to think this was why he disliked being in a wrap so much.  O in the wrap was shortlived as additionally the material didn’t seem to stretch.

Unfortunately I don’t have a personal product photo as I only have one of the two pieces.

The Wrap Part 2 – Sollybaby
Solly Baby wrapI have to admit that an added plus was that I saw that the founder/owner Elle was, at the time, living in my hometown of San Diego, California.  I’m a firm believer of supporting local businesses and mompreneurs too.  The wrap material is so soft and you can tell that it’s light and breathable unlike the K’Tan.  Think of it as if your baby was wearing a lightweight cardigan.  The wrap is one long piece of fabric that comes in a variety of different colors.  Sollybaby also tends to do collaborations.

I’m not sure exactly how I stumbled upon Sollybaby on Instagram.  I purchased a wrap several months prior to the arrival of W.  This was only after going through the majority of Sollybaby’s Instagram account, the website, and the videos.  The videos were especially helpful.  I’m a visual learner so sometimes step-by-step photo directions are not enough. I also was intrigued that there was a pocket (where Sophie the Giraffe is tucked into in the above photo) to hold items like your phone, a pacifier, etc.  Not only did it come in cute packaging but the box they mailed it in also had the Sollybaby text on it.

Sollybaby wrap pt 2

It should be noted that this is not to be used as means to carry your baby front-facing or on your back.  This is indicated on the information page of the website as well.  It also mentions that this ideally the wrap is best used for children 9 to 12 months of age or up to 25 pounds.  There is an ability to put newborns in the wrap as well but I never felt comfortable to do this.  I also have yet to try and nurse in my wrap.

Additionally, unlike the K’Tan, due to it being one piece of fabric, it can be used by any any of your family members.  Minus your children of course BUT they do sell Solly Dolly wraps for your little to mimic you!  I do have to stress the importance of laying the fabric straight on your shoulders and across your back. I’ve been in a rush at times and have been sloppy with the wrapping to wear it doesn’t feel comfortable for me and W doesn’t feel as secure.

W is as happy as can be in it.  He almost always falls asleep instantly when in the wrap. I love it so much that I considered buying another one as a back-up.  W is actually in our Sollybaby wrap as I type this sound asleep!

The Ring SlingWildbird “Keep your little bird close”

WildbirdWildbird is another Instagram find.  I ultimately decided to purchase this ring sling as I was looking for something that didn’t require the wrapping part of the Sollybaby wrap.  I also was looking for something else to use if I had to wash my Sollybaby.  I went with the double layer anticipating the weight gain of W.  The double layer, is well a double layer of fabric as opposed to the single layer.  There is also a “break in” period to get it nice and comfy for your babe.  I haven’t got to this point as I don’t use it too much.  I’ve been having difficulty perfecting a “good seat” for W and feel that he isn’t too secure.

It was disappointing that at the time of my purchase the site did not have tutorials.  However, taking a look at the site now, there are now tutorials.  I’m planning on viewing them and utilizing my sling more especially now that W is more “solid.”  The website recommends using the sling with a baby up to 35 pounds max.

Another reason why I decided to purchase a Wildbird sling as opposed to the popular Sakura Bloom ones was my love for supporting small businesses and mompreneuers.  The about portion of the website, as I’ve said before, Taylor’s explanation was straightforward, honest, and just relatable.  Additionally, the Wildbird slings were about half the price of a Sakura Bloom ring sling.

Wildbird pt 2

This sling does not have a pocket for extra storage or to fold itself into.  It’s fairly easy to fold up and stick in a bag.  I’ve been able to roll it up, stick it in my diaper bag, and have enough room for everything else I drag around with me.

The carrierBaby Bjorn Carrier Original
This was gifted by one of O’s godfathers.  This was a wishlist item for my husband after he saw another Dad wearing his son in the front facing position.  There is no infant insert needed for this carrier.  I can’t recall when exactly we used this carrier but I know that we waited until O was at least 10 pounds (he was born almost 4 weeks early and was on the small side).  I would have him in this carrier around the house while trying to get things done or while we were out and about.

This is made up of two parts.  I loved that when O fell asleep we were able to just click the front portion off easily without disturbing him.  It is also adjustable so that any family member (minus kids!) are able to use it.  There is a head adjustable strap and a sizing adjustment on the front portion.  We never had difficulty with adjustments.  Of course my husband was happy to be able to carry O front-facing.  This position is recommended for babies that are at least 4 months old and have good head control.

Although we were happy that O was able to fall asleep almost instantly and it was easy to use, I disliked how O’s legs looked like they dangled there.  It also doesn’t have any pockets for extra storage as some other carriers do.  We also registered for an all black one as I’m all about getting gear that is black, grey, etc.  Bad move as spit ups are very noticeable.  It’s fairly easy to clean but I also notice that the color fades fairly easily.

Unfortunately I don’t have a personal product photo of this item as well.  I actually think it may be at one of the grandparents’ homes.

The carrier part 2Ergobaby Original
Ergobaby Original
My husband and I went back and forth about whether to purchase the original, 360, and the 360 cool air. With W, as soon as he was mobile, he didn’t care to be in the carrier and we didn’t utilize the front-facing portion too much.  This is ultimately why we went with the original.  We felt that the tummy-to-tummy, hip position, and backwearing position were sufficient enough for our family.  The 360 and cool air also have a velcro portion around the waist area.  Although I see the benefits of this, I also didn’t want to wake W up if he was asleep in the carrier and I needed to take him out.  My husband is guessing that once W is a lot more mobile, he will more than likely want to be running around with his older brother and the front-facing position won’t even be needed.

This carrier is made up of one piece with clips on the side of the waist and across the back.  I do have difficulty with attaching and detaching the back strap.  You have the ability to move the back strap portion up or down for a better reach but I still find myself struggling.  Due to that I tend to wake W up if he falls asleep.  Unlike in the Baby Bjorn, W looks like his hips are fully supported.  On the Ergobaby website, they indicate that their product is “hip friendly.”   The site also recommends the weight range of 7 to 45 pounds when using the Ergobaby Original. We just recently purchased this item so an infant insert was not needed.  The insert is recommended for babies 0 to 4 months of age.

Aesthetically, the design is really nice looking.  We went with the black twill.  I do like the pockets, this was another reason why we purchased the original.  The padding on the shoulders are great, there is enough without it feeling too bulky or that you have shoulder pads on.  I also like the adjustable hood that you can tuck in a pocket when it’s not being used.  This has been especially useful when I went on a walk with the boys when it was sunny outside.  W appreciates it to as he isn’t blinded by the sun.  It’s also fairly easy to clean with a wipe if food happens to stain it.  Yes, I’ve already dropped food on it while eating with W in it.

Right now it’s hard to say which type is my favorite.  Each has provided a benefit on this babywearing journey of mine.  I mean, who doesn’t like forever hugs from your little one?

Enjoymamahood Journey: School – time

One of the things I struggle with the most while working on this current degree is the time it takes away from my babies.  It was a little easier to balance the time when it was just one kid.  I would study during his naps or wait until he went to sleep for the night to work on papers.  My first born may be rambunctious but he does love his naps and goes to bed fairly early so I can get things done.

Add another child?  Well, what is time?  W is still a puzzle I’m trying to figure out.  Unlike his older brother, he likes to sleep in, naps currently can’t be done without him unless I’m wearing him, and he likes to stay up later at night than his brother.  I’ve decided that temporarily, at least I’m hoping, I have to be a night owl.  Oh how I love my sleep, it’s also especially imperative due to my PPD, but graduation is so close I can feel it at my fingertips.  So for now, I will be a night owl.

It’s a little hard to see it now, with the massive bags under my eyes, how bloodshot my eyes look, and just how darn sleepy I feel.  I really don’t want to take away too much time I can be spending with my babies.  I guess I just needed to remind myself, that this will be worth it.  I really want this and I decided to go back to school for another degree not only for myself but my family as well.  I can’t see it completely right now, due to the lack of coffee quite possibly, but it will be worth it.