8 months as a mom.
1. Resentment that comes up in motherhood.
I feel the resentment that comes up in motherhood is confusing. When it comes up (usually from a place of exhaustion or overwhelm) I have to remind myself that most of the time there is nothing else I would rather be doing than caring for Jojo. What could be more wonderful than taking care of this tiny, sweet human? When I start feeling that stay-at-home mom life isn’t significant, I remind myself that this is an honor and a calling to get to nurture my little Jo.
A good mantra for me lately has been, “Jo needs me to be a mother, not a child.” And also, “Don’t push away the responsibility of motherhood.” I want Jojo to know that I love serving her. That I’m happy being her mom. That I’m content spending my time with her because she is worth it. I don’t want to having a complaining attitude while caring for her, but man…some days are so tough and I feel like all I do is complain. Maybe not out loud…but there is a constant stream of complaining in my head. Having the awareness that, that is not the kind of mom I want to be is helpful.
I’m still working on taking breaks before I break, and have been doing better at it!
2. Luvo Foods for easy lunches
I’m still seeing clients 2 1/2 days a week and days I see clients are my most stressful mornings at home. I just made a list of everything that has to get done before I leave in the mornings (in an effort to have Andrew look at it and see where I can be more efficient and/or he can help me) and there are 15 items on the list.
On days I work there never seems like I have a lot of time to think about lunch. I don’t love going out to eat most days I work because typically my schedule is back to back and I don’t want to have to rush out-scarf down lunch-rush back to the office. I’m still eating a lot of Luvo Foods meals because they’re just easy, tasty and there’s a ton of flavor variety so I don’t get bored of them. My favorites are the Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde and the Orange Mango Chicken. I was grateful they were up for sponsoring this post because they have been a really helpful part of my postpartum life. Some days the Luvo meal is enough to satisfy my hunger and other days I add something else to my lunch. It just depends on what my body needs that day. I do have a lot of mom friends who talk about how they are so busy that they don’t even have time to eat meals…and that just isn’t an option for me. There is no reason I should ever miss a meal and frozen meals are really helpful for making sure I have easy meals on hand.
Occasionally I wish I could label what I am – either a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. But I have to remind myself I’m fortunate I get to do both. I will say it is nice working because it allows me to feel competent at something. Many days of motherhood leave me feeling incompetent and just frazzled/like my brain is fried. Working some has been really nice for me and I really enjoy my time with my clients.
3. Update on Jojo’s sleeping
We sleep trained Jojo around 4 1/2 months (I talked about that here) and it was such a good decision for us. Within 3 days she was sleeping almost thru the night with 1-2 wake-ups. Then Jo’s first tooth poked through about a month ago and sleep has continued to get disrupted by more and more teeth poking through…the latest teeth count is 5! For a while she was back in the bed with us pretty frequently and other times Andrew would rock her to sleep. Whenever her teeth aren’t coming in she still does pretty good falling asleep in her crib on her own (I believe thanks to sleep training). Of course, there are times where the stars just aren’t aligning and she has no interest in sleeping and just screams instead of sleeps and that make me feel INSANE…like an alarm clock is going off inside me. A week of that had us pumping the brakes on thinking about having another baby soon. But, whatever happens happens. Andrew and I would like more kids so we’re down for whenever the next baby comes.
A huge help for us has been having Jojo take a nap really close to bedtime. I was always worried about letting her nap near bedtime because it would ruin nighttime sleep, but one time we accidentally ended up putting her down for a 45-minute nap from 4:45-5:30ish and she was SO much happier in the evening until her bedtime at 7pm. So we’ve just kept the late afternoon nap and she goes down just fine at bedtime (for the most part).
She’s still taking 3 naps a day. I have no idea when we’ll switch her to just 2 naps/day. The only consistency we have with her sleep right now is:
- bedtime at 7pm-ish
- go down for morning nap at 9am-ish
We don’t get up consistently at the same time and her other naps throughout the day flow based on how long her naps are.
I hate schedules and am not an organized person, so the idea of having any more structure than we have doesn’t appeal to me. I just felt like in the beginning of Jo’s life I was trying to get her on a schedule and she’d never stick to her schedule and then that stressed me out more when I was already overwhelmed. So I just threw the part of the schedule I was trying to force out the window and that’s been nice.
We got some formula to have on hand for when I can’t pump enough before I leave Jo on days I work. She doesn’t love the taste of it and sometimes will refuse the formula bottle, but I know she’ll adjust. It’s been nice to not have to stress about getting breastmilk to Jojo in middle of my work day or thinking Jo is going to be hungry. We also are doing a bunch of different solid foods now too.
5. Our nanny got into grad school
…so she is leaving us at the end of July and Jo is starting at a local preschool. I have mixed feelings about Jo starting at preschool, but overall I think it’ll be good for Jo and our family. It’s a bit daunting because I imagine she’ll have a couple fussy weeks before she gets used to her new caregivers….so that makes me sad to think about. But I know she’ll adjust. And she loves watching other babies (I imagine this is true for most babies?), so I think she’ll really enjoy it eventually.
6. Body image issues that arise when going out without baby
This is just something I’ve noticed come up inside of me occasionally. This inner enemy pops up in my thoughts saying my body is okay if I have Jojo with me, but not okay if I don’t. I know there is nothing wrong with my body…but sometimes the thoughts are still there and I have to remind myself that taking care of myself doesn’t guarantee a particular body size. It’s so easy to go to blaming your body size for any life stressor and I really try to not use body bashing as a coping mechanism. Or I at least try to be intentional about trying out a new coping mechanism if I find my thoughts start attacking my body.
I started following the hashtag “sahmlife” (sahm = Stay At Home Mom) on Instagram and was super unimpressed with it. There are so many moms just talking about what their workout was that day. I don’t think movement is wrong, I just don’t want things in my life elevating exercise to something more important than it is. So I unfollowed it.
So those are some updates! Any thoughts? I know a few of you have little ones around Jojo’s age :)