Friday, February 27, 2015

5 Things I'd Tell My New Mom Self


Being a new mom is the most joyous feeling in the world but at the same time it will be one the hardest things you do in your life. Here are a few things we would tell our new mom selves...
  • Ask for help. Don't be afraid to ask for help and take it when it is offered! Here I was thinking, my friends probably don't want to be around a screaming baby, so I hesitated to ask for a little help. But honestly, who wouldn't want to hold a cute little baby for an hour while you shower, take a nap, or cook a meal. My friends offered to come and watch little James while I napped, offered to grocery shop for me, and made me food. They are blessings from above!! I didn't want to burden them and appear needy but you're a new mom taking on a new baby. They want to help and you need it. 
  • Get Out of the house. Obviously if there is a flu outbreak in your community and you have a newborn, getting out of the house may have to wait. But get your of the house, even it it's to get yourself a milkshake. Getting out makes you feel somewhat of a normal person. Let's face it, you're hormonal, you cry at every little thing, and your clothes don't fit right anymore. Maybe you won't feel completely normal but getting out of the house sure helps.
  • Your relationship with your spouse with change. Change it for the better. This experience is new and different. All this time you've taken care of yourself and your spouse. Taking care of a little one is challenging and new. Instead of letting it hinder your relationship, let it better your relationship. Make sure to communicate with your spouse, appreciate your spouse, and work as a team. Love is what brought your little one in the world, let love raise it too.
  • You'll have horrible, miserable days. Poop that doesn't end, baby's not eating well, no sleep, and you and your spouse are at each other's necks because of it. It's okay. Parenthood is wonderful and a blessing but some days are just rough. But fear not, tomorrow is a new day filled with new perspective and a chance to start over. You're not expected to get it right, the first time, every time. It's a new experience, embrace the challenge and you will overcome it.
  • Sweatpants and yoga pants feel like heaven, but they have to come off sometime. Being pregnant changes your body...A LOT. Personally, I think every postpartum body is beautiful in its own way. I also loved the way stretchy yoga pants and baggy sweatpants made my postpartum body feel comfy and cozy. But need to take them off, get ready, and get out of the house. It'll make you feel like a normal person again and there is something about getting ready that makes you feel more awake and ready to take on the day. Even if it's a v-neck,  (maternity) jeans, and washed hair, you will feel better. 
What would you tell your new mom self? 

Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Things I'd Tell My Pregnant Self

So the stick turned blue, huh? Whether you were planning this little miracle or you're a bit surprised, "Oh. My. Goodness." were probably some of your first words. That is, if you were even able to speak at all! I remember approaching my husband, positive pee-stick & instructions in hand, asking him to interpret for me because I'm pretty sure my brain had just turned off.

So congratulations! God has granted you one of the greatest privileges known to womankind. You're soon to be overwhelmed from helpful & not-so-helpful advice from loved ones and complete strangers. Let's hope this falls into the helpful category!

1. Do what's best for you. Do what you have to do to get through the day. My first trimester was a Netflix & saltine cracker blur. Just because someone else walked 3 miles a day while pregnant doesn't mean you have to, too. By all means please don't use the next 38+ weeks setting any couch potato records (unless you're on doctor-ordered bed rest) . Find the balance between healthy and restful that works best for you and your growing family.

2. Buy as many pregnancy/birth/newborn books you want, but read them with a grain of salt. Not everything you read will apply to your unique pregnancy and it might just scare you unnecessarily.
Let your body guide the way, not a book. Again, balance is the key. Find the middle ground between completely ignorant & over-informed and anxious. Remember, real learning will come from hands-on experience.

3. Be prepared, but flexible. Discuss your birthplan with spouse, support team, and medical staff but be ready to be flexible. Stand up for your rights as a patient as long as what you want isn't jeopardizing you or your baby. You may not get the birth experience you dreamed of (just ask us), but get over it. If your baby is healthy, that's all that matters.

4. You & your spouse may have different reactions. Are you the over-excited one & your spouse seems underwhelmed? Or maybe it's the other way around. My husband wasn't too impressed by feeling our little girl kick for the first time while I felt like I was never going to come off that high. But when she was born we both shared so much joy that seeing my husband so happy made all the "underwhelming" moments worth it.
Talk about it! You're both probably feeling lots of emotions. But maybe the only way they can truly be expressed is through conversation.

5. You may not enjoy it all, but try to appreciate it. Open any pregnancy book to chapter one and you're bound to get a laundry list of pregnancy symptoms that aren't very fun: morning sickness, round ligament pain, & heartburn (just to name a few). Try to appreciate even these moments of discomfort. Some women never get the chance to feel the way you do. And while you're complaining to your friend for the umpteenth time about how uncomfortable you are, remember that she might be praying to be on the morning sickness boat.

What do you wish you could have told your pregnant self? We want to know!

God Bless,

Friday, February 13, 2015

5 Things I'd Tell My Pre-Child Self

Deciding it is time to have little ones running around is such an exciting time in life! Whether you are waiting for the right time or in the middle of trying to conceive, the process does take an emotional toll on you. Here are 5 things we would tell ourselves as we went through this season in life.

  • Pray about it. Trying or not trying, pray about it. Sometimes it is hard with all the external factors to find peace about your situation. Getting tired of people constantly asking you when you're going to have a baby? Pray for grace to handle the situation well and understanding. Trying and it hasn't happened quite yet? Pray for God's timing and guidance on what to do to be revealed to you. Overall, pray for God's peace for your situation and never hesitate to ask for prayer too! This is something my husband and I do with everything so that we can be confident in our decisions we make as a family.

  • Be prepared. Have a pre-conception meeting with your doctor, track your monthly cycle and ovulation, and start saving money. Little steps like these are great for helping you feel a little bit of peace in taking this big step in your life. Biology aside, the journey to having a child is a roller coaster and prepping yourself to the best of your ability (and letting the good Lord take care of the rest) always helps a little.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page, create goals together, get specific, don't leave any detail un-turned. You want to be on the same wave length as your partner. My husband and I talked about every little concern, our worries, and how we felt going into trying and getting pregnant. Holding things in and letting it explode later is never the way to go. Lastly, keep the conversation going. When I was ready and my husband wasn't ready to have a baby, we still talked about it and voiced our opinions. It's okay to have differing opinions so make sure you discuss and reconnect with each other so you can get on the same page, make new goals together, and move toward those goals.
  • Ignore everyone else. Friends might think you're too young to have kids, family make you think you need to get going on making some grandchildren, or everyone else is having babies so you feel like you need to get on that train before it leaves the station. Do what is best for your family. By all means take advice from those whose opinions you value most, but at the end of the day you and your spouse need to make this decision without external pressure and opinions. 
  • You'll never be 100% ready. When taking a big step in life, there may always be a little sense of doubt or worry. Don't let that stop you especially when you've been confident in your decision to have a child. Just pray.
Are you in this season of life right now? Let us know and we will be praying for you :)


Friday, February 6, 2015

5 Things I'd Tell My Newlywed Self

This month we're kicking off a "5 Things I'd Tell My _____ Self" series. We're compiling a list of some of the sage advice we wish we could have given ourselves at different stages of life. Whether you're in these stages, haven't come to them yet, or have long since passed them, we hope you enjoy it! So to start things off here are 5 things we wish we could have told our newlywed selves:

  • It's OK when the honeymoon is over (literally and figuratively). Being in the real world together can be so much more romantic. My honeymoon was amazing. Loved every second of it. But we were so excited to get back to reality and experience true married life.
  • Your arguments/discussions will change. You could argue over how to properly slice a tomato...*cough*....Jillianne. :) Or maybe you dig deeper into financial differences or thoughts on a future family. But don't for a second quit communicating. Talking through it is the only way to get through it. 
  • There's always more to learn about your spouse. It doesn't matter how long you dated or if you've known them since you were a kid. You have a lifetime ahead of you to truly know your partner. The wedding was not the finish line! 
  • Never stop dating your spouse. Always strive for a better relationship. This could mean doing something as simple as going for a walk after dinner. Or maybe it's a night out on the town with dinner and a movie. We definitely understand busy schedules, so if your date night means running to the grocery store with your spouse, soak it up! Enjoy it! Don't let these moments pass you by!
  • And most importantly, make God the foundation of your marriage. Marriage is a vow between 3 people. To make this work you have to love God more than your spouse. Telling you to love someone more than your spouse may seem odd advice for a newlywed, but putting Christ in the center of your relationship will be the glue that holds it together. 
Did this advice help? We're still constantly learning how to be married. Honestly, I hope we never feel like we have all the answers. Learning about and how to be with my husband is such an amazing experience. 

What advice would you give yourself when you were a newlywed?

Happy Friday! God Bless,