Thoughts On One Year Of Motherhood

This is part one of two in a series of personal posts I’m sharing in honor of my daughter’s first birthday next week.

 

With the beginning of July just around the corner, that means that it’s nearly my daughter’s first birthday and that it’s been one year since she made me a mom! I don’t want to brush over the challenges of this past year, but overall, the role of mom (“mama”) has been one of my very favorite roles that I’ve ever had. My heart is brimming with love for my little girl and I still sometimes can’t believe that God made me her mom – it just seems too good to be true.

Today, to help mark the one year milestone, I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learned in one year of motherhood. I’m not sharing these because I think everyone should agree with them – I’m sharing them because they’re my own personal experiences and I’m a big fan of looking back and learning. Here they are:

 

  • As wonderful as the newborn stage looks, the lack of sleep makes it one of the hardest. I love looking back at photos of when my daughter was first born, but I’m glad I can’t actually go back in time. Going multiple months in a row without a full night’s sleep is really, really difficult. Ask any new mom.
  • Keep every baby gadget and gear you’re given while pregnant. It might feel like just a lot of extra stuff, but you’ll use it all, even if it’s just for a short time.
  • I can take hundreds (thousands?) of photos of my baby and not post them on social media. Mind blowing. Privacy, please.
  • When your baby starts sleeping through the night, everything changes. Motherhood? No big deal, I can do this.
  • There’s nothing that can prepare you for when your baby says “mama” and reaches for you for the first time. My favorite sound in the whole wide world.
  • Contrary to what Rachel Hollis says, you actually can’t have it all. No, you really can’t have a thriving career and spend enough time with your little one(s). I firmly believe that one or the other, or some of both, has to give. My desire for this past year was to work part time, and I ended up working less than part time, which meant placing my career on hold so I could spend lots of time with my daughter. She thrived, my career withered. Right now, I am okay with that balance.
  • You can really REALLY love your baby and still gag when you change their diaper. Or ask your loving husband to take one for the team. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • You can also really REALLY love your baby and need a break from her from time to time. Take the break, enjoy it, and know that you’ll probably talk about her the whole time you’re away.
  • Being a mom of a baby don’t mean you know more than anybody else about the next stages. I couldn’t tell you one thing about preschool choices, or potty training, or booster seats, and so on and so on. And I’m okay with that for now.
  • Motherhood is isolating. A friend told me this early on, and unfortunately I found it to be true. So reach out to that young mom you know, and even if it’s hard for her to make it work with nap times, know that she’s lonely and needs a friend.
  • Motherhood is also all about self-sacrifice. Little ones are demanding, and, at times, the only way you can meet their needs is to neglect your own. And it’s always worth it.
  • Getting out the door is so much harder with a baby. You would think it would be twice as hard, but no, it’s much harder than that. It takes forever to get everything and everyone ready. So give yourself extra time!
  • Get used to getting stopped everywhere you go to people can comment on your baby. Seriously, I get ignored when I’m out by myself, but if I take my baby with me, it’s a different story.
  • Also get used to being told “It goes by so fast” ten times a day. And know that you’ll soon find this to be very true.
  • You can’t do it all by yourself. My husband is an excellent father and has been nothing short of wonderful in parenting alongside me this past year.
  • You’ll smile more than you ever have before in your life. I sure have this past year.
  • There is nothing like the love of a mother. I can’t describe it, just know that it’s extremely powerful. I love my sweet little girl more than anything else and nothing will ever change that.

Platform Sandals: Welcome To America

Have you ever heard the theory that Europe is ahead of the US when it comes to fashion? Well, it’s not just a theory – it’s true! When I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago, I saw platform sandals all.over.the.place. Seriously – it seemed like every other woman that I passed on the street was wearing them. Now, fast forward two years, and they’ve finally made it to the US (now I just need to go back to Europe to see what’s coming next!).

 

In case you’re not familiar with them, platform sandals are like a heeled sandal, except the heel goes across the entire sole of the shoe. So your toes have now been brought up to your heel level. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re comfortable, casual (although you can dress them up if needed!), and better for your feet to wear than traditional heels. Sadly, as I am already tall, you probably won’t see me wearing them… but still, here are a few of my favorites!

 

 

Five Homemade Face Masks To Try

I sure do love a good face mask. It’s relaxing and it’s good for my skin – pretty much the definition of self care! I use this one 2-3 times a week to help clear my skin and reduce pore size and I love it, but I’ve also been looking to try a few recipes to make my own. Here are a few to try!

 

  1. Honey + Coconut Oil (for glowing skin)

Mix 2 T of honey with 2 T of coconut oil (melted). Apply to face – it will be messy! – and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse mask off and pat skin dry for a dewy, glowy boost.

 

 

2. Baking Soda + Coconut Oil (to cleanse and exfoliate skin)

Mix one half cup baking soda with one half cup coconut oil. Mix together until a paste is formed, then apply to skin for five minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

 

3. Greek Yogurt + Honey (to cleanse and moisturize)

Mix a few tablespoons of organic, full-fat greek yogurt (I get this at Costco!) with 1-2 teaspoons of honey. You can also add in a squeeze of lemon juice to help brighten skin. Apply mask to face for up to twenty minutes, then wash off with warm water.

 

4. Plain Yogurt + Berries (for antioxidant and anti-aging properties) (P.S. this is also known as a parfait, ha!)

Place 1/4 organic mixed berries in a blender with 2 tablespoons of plain organic yogurt. Blend until smooth. Apply to face for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

 

5. Coffee + Milk + Honey + Lemon Juice (to exfoliate skin and reduce redness and inflammation)

Mix together one cup organic whole milk, one half cup ground coffee, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Gently apply to face by rubbing in a circular motion to scrub off dead skin. Leave on for twenty minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

 

 

 

Summer 2019 Bucket List

All right, before I can even share my bucket list for this summer I have to share a confession: I almost didn’t even write this out because I thought, “What’s the point? I’ll probably not even get a chance to do most of this before summer ends.” You see, right now we’re home A LOT because we’re renovating our kitchen, and that’s going to stretch through all of June, severely limiting our time for fun activities outside the house. Also I have an almost one-year-old who naps (which is normal and good, I’m glad she does!) and that further limits my free time to go out and galavant about the city. With those two hefty excuses, I thought about writing this summer off and not even making a bucket list. Fewer expectations, fewer disappointments, right?

 

And then I realized that, like so many things in life, there’s always going to be an excuse. For example, last summer I had a baby. The previous summer I was working full time and in school and we moved. The summer before that I was also working full time and in school. Literally I could go on and on all the way back to the summer we got married five years ago, but something tells me you’re not really here to read all that!

 

Instead, what I realized is that I should, absolutely, one hundred percent, go ahead and make the bucket list for this summer. And that I should, absolutely, one hundred percent, not be too terribly disappointed when/if I don’t check everything off of it. Because that’s simply life, and I happen to love my life right now, and wouldn’t want it any other way. So here are my goals! What are yours?

 

 

  1. Go to a baseball game – like our minor league team, the Columbus Clippers.

 

2. Visit Rockmill Breweryย – less than an hour away from the city and in such a beautiful area it makes for a perfect day trip!

 

3. Visit three new metro parks – there are so many in Columbus, and while I’ve loved every one I’ve been to so far, I want to branch out! (no pun intended)

 

4. Visit Hocking Hills State Park – we go here for my birthday each year and it’s my favorite.

 

5. Do some sort of water activity – planning on checking stand up paddle boarding off this list next week!

 

6. Go to a rooftop bar or patio – like Vaso, which is right down the road.

 

7. Go to a concertliterally any concert. It could even just be free music in the park. Just get to one!

 

8. Take advantage of as many other summer opportunities that I can – like festivals, walking to get ice cream, splash pads, all the above!

 

 

Did I forget anything? Probably! But I can always add on ๐Ÿ™‚