Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ode to the Stay at Home Mom

I couldn't wait until the day that my daughter was born. I was so excited to be a stay at home mom and to quit my job. I never realized how difficult it would be. I always had the fairy tale vision of going to the park, keeping the house spotless, having dinner on the table every night, and finally having time for myself. A couple days after my daughter was born I found that the reality is the complete opposite. It's too hot to go to the park during the summer. Everytime I try to clean something, Haley wants to be held or wakes up from her nap. Dinner time=fussy time. There is little time I have for myself because there is always something that needs to be done.

The hardest part for me about being a stay at home mom is feeling lonely. After working at the same company for 8 years and constantly being around people, I didn't really know how to be alone. Sometimes the T.V. is my constant companion. I talk a lot to Haley (and our puppy), but it isn't the same as adult interaction.

On the flip side of all this, being a stay at home mom is very rewarding. I am there to witness almost all of my daughter's new milestones. With all the time we spend together, Haley and I have developed a very strong bond. I am free during the day to do different activities. The best feeling in the world is when Haley smiles at me or laughs with me and the ability to know what to do when she is upset is something that no one will ever be able to do as well as I can.

Here are some of the things that I have found helpful in adjusting to motherhood:
  • Meet new moms. Try a website like to find a group of moms in your area. The group that I am a member of holds daily activities. It is a great way to get out of the house and to connect with others in the same situation.
  • Take time for youself everyday. Don't feel guilty taking a nap, a bath, or even reading a book during your child's naptime. Your child will reap the benefits later!
  • Find events around the community to attend during the day. Many public libraries have baby storytime aimed at babies from newborns to 2.
  • Make a schedule for your baby, but be flexible. Don't be afraid to go out of the house every once in a while during your baby's normal naptime.
  • Find someone responsible to watch your baby so that you can go to a movie or even get a pedicure every once in a while.

Whether you are a stay at home mom or you are returning to work, the transition can be very hard. Check out these resources from one of my favorite websites:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Diapers, Diapers, Diapers (and poop)

My daughter, Haley, was born on March 16th, 2009. To my surprise she arrived 3 weeks early! I am usually a very prepared person, but due to her early arrival I had not had a chance to pack my bags for the hospital or to put the finishing touches on the house.

After Haley was born, my husband and I discovered that there are newborn diapers. All this time I had assumed that diapers started at size 1 (which of course I had plenty of at the house). So once we got home my husband went to the store and much to my surprise came back with the right brand/size of diapers. I knew that she would use a lot of diapers, but I don't think I really grasped just how many. I also didn't realize how expensive diapers are and how many brands would not work for her.

I remember a couple of days after Haley was husband and I were eating breakfast and Haley was asleep in our room on the other side of the house. Suddenly we heard a loud noise. We looked at each other and said "no, it couldn't be". Well it was. Our little bundle of joy had just pooped and we had heard it across the house. Who knew a little one had so much force. We soon found out that she could "blow out" of almost any diaper. After the last 5 months these are the tips that I have for new moms:
  1. Register for a couple packages of newborn and size 1 diapers. It will be nice to have them on hand and will give you a chance to try a couple of brands. You can always return a package if you are one of the lucky few to have a baby too big for newborn diapers.
  2. Try different brands. What works for your friend's baby may not work for your baby.
  3. Look for any way to save money on diapers (see below for some tips)
  4. Always pack additional outfits for unexpected blowouts and line your infant carrier with a burp cloth if you have a "blowout" baby like mine (trust me this is much better than washing the infant seat cover).
  5. If you have a poop stain that just won't come out of your baby's clothes, put the outfit in the sun for a few hours. I don't know how it works, but the stains come right out.
  6. Have your husband change as many diapers as possible for the first couple of weeks. My husband changed almost all of the diapers for the first 2 weeks and it was a surprisingly great way for him to bond with Haley (plus it gives you a nice break).

Money savings ideas:

1. Visit manufacturer's website and sign up for their email/mail coupons. Here are a couple of the sites:

2. Buy diapers at a wholesale club such as Cosco or Sam's Club. Make sure if you buy a large box that you buy it when you baby is first using a size. They can grow out of them quickly! Also, look in the mail for the coupons that these clubs often send. I was able to get $9 off when I purchased a box of diapers and wipes.

3. Use This site will give you $5-$10 off your first order and best of all they are delivered right to your door. They will also email you their specials.

These are just a few of my tips. Please feel free to leave comments with any other words of advice or money saving tips!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Being Mommy

As a new mom I never imagined how much my life would change. Growing up I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. In fact I guess you could say that this was one of my main goals in life. On March 16, 2008 I married the man of my dreams and we began our "fairy tale" life. Then in June we found out the we were expecting our first child.

I should have known that things would not turn out the way that I envisioned the day that I found out that I was pregnant. After taking about 5 pregnancy tests that all came out negative I had almost convinced myself that I wasn't pregnant, but there was this nagging thought in my mind that said "just take one more test". I had always thought that I would tell my husband in some creative romantic way when I found out that I was pregnant, but of course that it not the way it happened. So I went to the friendly neighborhood Walgreens and purchase a digital pregnancy test. After I peed on the stick I set in on the back of the toilet seat. I left it there and decided to take the trash out and complete some other tasks. Then I heard the garage door open. I had almost forgotten about the test so I jogged inside and grabbed the test. To my shock the test was not like all of the others. This one clearly read PREGNANT. I walked out of the bathroom dazed and test in hand. As my husband walked in the door I handed him the test. He looked at me and then at the test and then said "wow". So maybe this moment wasn't quite what I had expected, but it was the beginning of one of the most magical experiences of my life.

So I am writing this blog to share with other moms, moms to be, and women of all ages the adventure of being mommy and all of the things that I never knew. I hope to make this a place to share things that have worked for me as well as things that haven't. Mostly I hope to just share how amazing motherhood can be in even in the most trying times.