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Yeah…Immaeatthat

Jul 10

8 months as a mom.

This post is sponsored by Luvo Foods.
 
From 5 months to 7 months I feel like we really settled into our rhythm. Andrew and I even started talking about having another child.  And then teething hit and HOLY CRAP we’re back to feeling like we have no idea what we’re doing anymore.  Well, at least I’m back to feeling that way. Andrew is way more calm and less dramatic.
 

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 have found a few podcasts that are helpful for me in remembering the significance of motherhood.  Lately I’ve really been liking At Home with Sally and Dear Daughters.

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.

4. Formula

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 :)

61 comments on “8 months as a mom.”

  1. Wow, I really love the way you worded that last part! I completely agree, there’s nothing wrong with movement and exercise, but sometimes it gets really glorified and seems like the end-all be-all, like you’re not really succeeding at life if you don’t have a workout “routine”. And that’s just not true!

    Movement is fine but it’s not the most important thing, and it doesn’t have to be everyone’s #1 priority. That really clicked for me with one of Robyn Nohling’s posts, where she talked about thinking about what aligns with YOUR values in relation to movement, and saying things like “That is for them, it is not for me, and that’s okay”. I apply that mantra to a lot of things in life, actually, and I find it so helpful! 

  2. I’m a full time mom with two boys, ages 4 and 1.5. Some days are awesome and everyone is (mostly) happy. Other days, I am counting down to bedtime within 5 minutes of the boys being up in the morning. I love my boys with my whole being and went through a lot to get them here. Even though they are my little miracles, there are days when I just want to be by myself and they drive me crazy. Just know that your daughter loves you and don’t be too hard on yourself when things get rough!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Amy!

    • Amy, I just wanted to chime in and say I feel like I could have written this EXACT same comment from the sentiments you shared all the way down to your two miracle little boys of almost identical ages to my own. <3 to both you and Kylie!!!

    • I couldn’t agree more! I have two girls- ages 3 and 7 months. I love them so much but there are days when I need some alone time! I used to feel guilty about that so I’m glad I’m not alone!

  3. Love these motherhood update posts! I have a 9 month old little girl , so I’ve really enjoyed following along with Jojo’s ups and downs. I can relate! I wanted to say first of all that your posts about introducing peanuts really helped me get over my anxiety about introducing allergenic foods to my little girl. She is now a PB lover in the making! So thank you for posting about that. Secondly, have you thought of doing a day-in-the-life baby style post? Not schedule wise, just talking about Jojo’s meals and snacks? Like I said before, I’m really anxious introducing new foods to my daughter, so I’m always curious to see what other moms do. :) hope you have a good week! 

  4. My children are older now — 13 and 6.5– and while that comes with a whole other set of interesting parenting issues (homework, activities, puberty), I can absolutely remember this stage of life and can say assuredly, that it’s not easy. At this point, I can sleep all night, don’t have to leave the house with a ton of things and don’t have a million things to do before leaving the house in the morning. Being tired is normal, complaining is normal. These are real feelings and every mom has them. Believe me when I tell you that this stage goes quickly and it will really and truly be over in the blink of an eye. :)

  5. I feel you on the schedule/chilling out over scheduling part lol. My baby is 3 months old and I’m trying to implement a nap schedule which I’ve realized is silly because she’ll sleep when she wants and I’m done stressing out about expectations that aren’t met lol I just feel like I learn something new every day in motherhood!

  6. I love these posts. Again, you make Momhood so REAL and I think REAL women and mothers need to hear it. You’re doing a fantastic job!

  7. I really like what you said in the body image part. I’m 3 months PP and reading that made me realize I’ve been doing the same thing. I’ll wonder to myself, “do they know I had a baby recently?”, even thought it really doesn’t matter. It’s helpful for me to recognize that. 

    I probably shouldn’t even type this because I’ll jinx it, but my son is sleeping better after starting daycare last week. He’s exhausted when he comes home, so I guess mom is just not as entertaining as his little friends. ;) so that’s been a good pro to him going to daycare for us!

    • Hey Josie! I didn’t think about that, but I’m sure Jojo will be crawling around with her little friends all day and be really ready for a good night of sleep!!

  8. I feel you on struggling with an identity as a part-time working mom. My mom friends that work out of the home full-time think I have it “easy”, and my SAHM friends are sometimes envious of the “break” (lol) I get at work. I originally planned to go back to work full-time after my son was born but just could not do it. I agreed on 3 days/week and it has been the best balance for everyone. Probably the best decision I can remember making in a long time. He will go to kindergarten in another year and I really cherish that we had so much time together AND I was able to stay employed. The best part is that this year I am moving up a bit in my career while still being part-time.

    The morning routine gets significantly easier once they are no longer using bottles!

  9. Can you talk more about your decision to supplement with formula with your RD perspective?

    • I’m not a pediatric RD, so I did reach out to a few of my NICU RD friends because I knew they’d know the research better than me. I’ve decided I think breastmilk is wonderful, but so is formula for many women and their baby. Aside from the immunity factor (which I imagine at some point before a year of age maxes out), I think formula is pretty equal to breastmilk. I’m fortunate that breastfeeding (after the initial first 6 weeks, which was rough) was pretty easy for me + Jojo and we’ll keep nursing on days I’m home with her. It’s been a pretty emotional decision for me, just because I have enjoyed breastfeeding, but I’ve come to realize breastfeeding is well established and I’m not worried about my supply plummeting since I am with Jo most days.

      As an eating disorder RD my opinion would be that some moms shouldn’t breastfed at all if they aren’t able to maintain an adequate weight or if it hinders their ability to care for themselves.

  10. Wow, as a SAHM of a 13 month old with #2 on the way, I feel like everything you wrote under point 1 was taken straight out of my head! Thanks for the reminder of what a blessing this time is, even though some days are so challenging.

    Also, totally agree that a baby who sleeps well at night brings on the baby fever! :) 

  11. My son is 22 months old (and #2 is due in two weeks) and has never been a wonderful sleeper. His routine was about the same as yours when he was still taking three naps. When he started to refuse the third one I dropped him to two and set times for them and it was glorious to know exactly when I could do or not do things. Same with the switch to one nap. I will say I prefer a schedule and my son certainly seems to do best with the consistency as well. The three nap stage is hard since the naps are all over the place in terms of length and thus timing so I found it impossible to schedule them. As soon as you think you’ve got something figured out, something else changes and throws it all off so you start trying to find a new way forward and make adjustments and settle in and feel good about where you are and then the next hurdle pops up and you do it all over again. So cherish the times that feel like you’ve figured it out and know that the harder times will eventually pass. Oh and be prepared for the day care crud…she may be sick for awhile off and on and it is horrendous but also eventually gets a little better. You’re doing great!

  12. Thank you SO MUCH for your honesty in these posts! I’m due with our first baby in November, and I plan on going back and re-reading these posts when I’m in the thick of it next year. (I’ve also loved going back through your pregnancy posts as I progress through the weeks! I’ve been able to relate so much to your honest thoughts on pregnancy.)

    • Glad you’ve been able to relate, Sara! The anticipation of baby coming is like no excitement I’ve ever experienced :) I’m excited for you!

  13. I felt myself nodding along to everything you wrote! My son is 18 months old, and I definitely find myself feeling resentment the more tired or stressed I am. And I was obsessed with trying to get our son on a schedule the first few months and then would be so anxious when it didn’t work. I think having s loose routine is so much smarter. Also, day care helped a ton. They do things on a schedule, so it helped get my son into a sleeping routine during the day. Also, when he was around JoJos age, I found that putting him to sleep super early (630) helped him sleep a ton. I think I was letting him get overly tired and then he had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. So from about 7 months until 12 months he had a super early bedtime and it worked out a lot better. Once he turned one we slowly inched back to 730, where he’s been ever since, but I say all of that to say: do you! Do whatever works for you guys. And don’t feel bad about complaining in your head- we all do it :)

  14. I’m not a mother yet, so this is obviously subject to change…but at the moment working part time and staying home part times does seem like the best fit for me! Love hearing more about your thoughts on that…I love your quote “I want Jojo to know that I love serving her.” Great mindset…motherhood is all about serving and putting someone else before yourself!

  15. Our little girl Autumn is 3 months now and I can totally relate to the alarm bell going off when she cries :|
    The saying ‘days are long, weeks are quick’ couldn’t be more right when you think about a baby!
    Sounds like your little team is happy and you have a beautiful little girl xx

  16. It’s impossible to love being a mom, all the time.  It’s such an intense, 24/7 job that there is really no way to avoid feeling burnt out.  It’s completely okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes and have those thoughts.  I probably feel that way once a day lol.  It doesn’t mean you don’t love her… obviously that’s not the case at all!  But it sounds like you’re on the right track of taking breaks and thinking things through.  You’re definitely not alone though :)

    Teething is THE. WORST.  My 13mo only has 7 teeth but I swear she’s been teething since 3mo.  Sometimes there is nothing that will help, but Motrin seems to take the edge off and help her sleep when she’s having a rough time.  Her favorite thing to teeth on is a cucumber stick.  I’ve started buying those huge English cucumbers to keep up with her habit lol.  She won’t eat the peel so I keep finding shriveled cucumber peel all over the house.  It’s one of those things I know I will look back on and laugh :)

  17. You have blossomed into such a wonderful Mama!  And Jo is simply adorable!
    I regret (in some ways) not having another child, one being that I think i would have been so much better at being a mom the second time around.  So I am looking forward to your story when it happens for y’all!! :)

  18. I also struggle with complaining even though I love my son and staying at home with him! I found this blog post and video from a blogger I follow and really recommend reading/watching it if you get a minute. It helped to change my perspective.

    By the way, I am not this “blogger I follow,” I swear! Lol. :)

    https://mrsgoresdiary.com/2016/06/06/you-are-worth-it-a-letter-to-my-family/

  19. I’m a first time mom with a 4 month old, who was born 8 weeks early. I just got back to work and totally understand the conflicting emotions of being a stay at home mom and/or a working mom and/or a little bit of both! I don’t think I have any answers – I feel differently every day! I feel relief when I read about other moms feeling conflicted like me :( Thank you for sharing!

  20. When I switch from breastfeeding to formula, my baby girl didn’t want to drink the formula. I had to pump to mix the two milk. I started with 6 oz of breadtmilk mixed with 0.5 oz of formula for her to adjust to the taste. I progressively decreased the amount of breastmilk to increase the amount of formula and it worked very well!

    • I’ve been doing 50:50, but that hasn’t been working great. So I will be trying something like you mentioned here! Thanks, Marie-Eden:)

  21. You are a wonderful mom! All these feelings are so real and honest and so many moms don’t talk about them or hide them. Thank you for being so open and honest and real!

  22. Thank you thank you thank you for posting about formula. My son is almost 10 months old, and we recently started supplementing with formula. I felt a mixture of emotions before giving him that first bottle, mostly upset that he wouldn’t be “exclusively” breastfed. (Yes, I have it in quotations because judgement from others definitely played into how I was feeling.) Once that was over, I felt this huge sense of relief that my days would no longer be so focused on pumping and stressing over pumping (I work full time). Now I am happy with my decision and wish I never stressed so much about it. Do what’s best for you and your baby. Also, I definitely feel the same about my post- baby body (it’s okay if baby is with me but not okay if he isn’t). Trying to work through that too. 

  23. LOVE these updates! I have a 5.5 month old little girl so your posts give me a little bit of what to look forward to/ expect! I agree with the person who asked for a day in the life baby edition. We’re going to start BLW soon and I am so terrible at eating the same things over and over because I don’t know what else to make (for myself and my husband)- I want to make sure I don’t do that with her. Ideas would be so appreciated!
    Hang in there- you’re doing AWESOME!

  24. Love this. So many things you mention are literally the same thoughts I have with my nine month old! The days can be so long, but I love the mantra’s you have. I’m definitely going to keep those on repeat in my mind on difficult days. 

  25. Yep all of this. I agree to a T with all of it. My daughter is almost 4 months and like you I sometimes wish I fit into a category but do love the hybrid of being a SAHM and PT working mom. For me working gives me something objective to see accomplished (I’m an RN) and that doesn’t make me better than but it personally invigorates me in all areas of my life. If work ever impedes on family than it’ll be time to say goodbye to that but I firmly believe the Lord is calling me to continue working PT for now. 

    Thanks for keeping it real and motherhood in perspective! 

  26. Gah. I just wish we lived closer. Because yes to all of it. My 3rd (and probably last) is 8 mo. old. Yesterday I cried rocking her to sleep because I never want her to grow up. Today I cried because I haven’t had a break from breastfeeding every three-ish hours in something like a month. (Which yes, has more to do with my ability to ask for breaks than it does her needs, but that’s a conversation for another time.) These little people somehow elicit big emotions in us big people, don’t they?

  27. Jo is a very cute baby!! She always looks so happy :) I love your photos

  28. When complaining, give it to God and ask for strength. Continuously. And your “preschool “ sounds like daycare. Your baby is too young for preschool. One on one care is better for a baby. Trust your gut- it’s telling you not to be comfortable with “preschool” for a a baby.  My opinion, of course. Acquired wisdom. Learned the hard way.:)

    • I had a paragraph in a draft of this post about how what they call a “preschool” is actually just daycare until Jo is older, but decided to delete it bc. Jo loves other kids so I think she’s going to enjoy it. I may have an extrovert on my hands lol. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t think my gut is saying not to be comfortable with preschool. I think I’m a normal mom who has mixed feelings about having to change childcare for her child when I feel like I just got comfortable leaving her with a nanny. I don’t think one on one care is better for all babies.

  29. Read Being There by Erica Komisar. 

  30. How did you get Jojo to take naps? My daughter, Juju, :) must be held until she’s definitely asleep and then only naps for 30ish minutes. She will be 5 months July 22.

    • We sleep trained at 4 1/2 months using Ferber Method and then progressing to cry it out when doing the checks made Jojo more upset. After doing that she got better with putting herself down for naps in her crib by herself. Sometimes it’s still a struggle to get her to sleep and we’ll go in help her out (especially when she is teething..or we think she may be teething but really have no idea why she’s fussy lol). If you decided sleep training is right for your family, I found this facebook group really helpful–> https://www.facebook.com/groups/respectfulsleeplearning/

      I remember those days of having to sway Jojo to sleep for every single nap…it’s a really overwhelming and exhausting time because you never get a break. So tough! I feel for you!

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