This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Michelle

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m 28 years old. I work a full time job in content marketing, alongside blogging & freelance writing, plus taking care of my son. My husband is a teacher for at-risk youth. We live in beautiful western Oregon and enjoy movies, hiking, and reading.

♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?

I have one son, Forrest, who is 15 months old. I also have a furbaby, a chocolate lab named Remus, who is 3 😉

♥ How do you find your “me time”?

Oof, this one was a struggle for the first 10 months of my son’s life. He was not a sleeper… or really a napper. He is very independent now, but until we made the decision to sleep train, he was touching me 24/7–to sleep, to eat, to play… he had to be touching me! That first night where he slept in his room… I felt like I had all the time in the world! Now, I get pretty much everything home-related done once he goes to bed at 6pm. During the day, I work, write, and blog from the kitchen table while he plays in the living room. In the evenings, I make sure to reserve 1 or 2 hours just for myself–no writing, no blogging, no cleaning, nothing. I sit in the bath tub; I lie in bed and read; I watch the ID Channel. It’s just about “me” and I make that expectation very clear with my husband!

♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?

I’ve sat and thought about this one for a long time! I’m an avid reader (I read at least a book a week), but I honestly can’t think of a typical “baby-related” book to write about here! One of the best books about motherhood that I’ve ever read is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

Our Homedics white noise machine! I ordered it off Amazon Prime one night and I have it on auto order in case it stops working… it’s that important!! My son cannot sleep without it.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?

“It’s ok to stop pumping right now. Don’t torture yourself.”

♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?

I’m very Type A! I need a plan. My husband and I had everything planned out for the baby–my maternity leave, the insurance situation, everything. It all absolutely fell apart, however. A week before my maternity leave was due to start (two weeks before my due date), I went into the hospital for preeclampsia; I was induced 4 days later as it rapidly became severe. My son was born on the exact DAY that our insurance deductibles reset–good bye savings! Good bye plans! We were in the hospital for a week due to my son’s low birthweight and hyper jaundice. I was exclusively pumping round the clock and sobbing hysterically the whole time. Nothing–and I mean nothing–about my pregnancy, delivery & newborn days went according to plan! All the planning did not prepare me for the reality of what was about to happen to me!

♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?

1) Your life will absolutely change. I know you know (I did too) but I also… really didn’t know. And it’s totally ok to miss how things used to be. You’re life will be different–better in some ways, worse in others (the sleep… really, the sleep), and it’s okay to be wistful about pizza nights with your partner pre-baby! 2) Nothing goes according to plan. Really, nothing. I had everything laid out in my head of what I would do and how I would be. I threw it away a few days in! 3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. But remember: you’re the mom. No one can tell you how to be the mom to your baby.

♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

The moment they flopped that tiny little newborn baby on my chest, I looked down and saw what I had been waiting for my entire life: it was him. It had always been him. Truly, love at first sight.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
I was emergency induced due to preeclampsia. When I arrived at the hospital, it was 9 am and they didn’t get my induction IV and medication started until 2pm–and they took that moment to tell me that, unfortunately, you’re not allowed to eat once induction has started, especially with preeclampsia! I was starving to death by 6pm; I wasn’t in labor yet so thankfully, my doctor gave the OK for me to eat. That’s the funniest memory I have: I was just really, really hungry! My water broke at 2am and I had my son at 9:37am. My husband and my mom were in the room with me and it was just a really nice, calm time. As another funny story, they discovered that I’m allergic to latex, thanks to my epidural; I went 27 years without knowing!
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood is so much about nurturing another person. This little human that I’m responsible for: I feed him, I clothe him, I teach him right from wrong. But in a lot of ways, motherhood is about nurturing myself as well. You matter as much as your children and they want to see you feel good about yourself. They want to see you succeed as much as you want them to succeed.

 

To hear more from Michelle be sure to visit her blog Writing Between Pauses and follow her on Instagram.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 

This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Ashton Taylor

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a self-proclaimed music nerd, and I plan to pass that along to my kids who already love to shake their little groove things. I am a current stay at home mom, and semi-single parent as my husband is gone 14 days out of 21, and I am lucky to go to bed sane some days ha ha.

♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?

I have a terrible toddler and an infamous infant. Spud is 2 and half, and his sister Princess Tally is just over 6 months old.

♥ How do you find your “me time”?

Ha ha ha ha, when I get some I will let you know…. But really my husband is a dream daddy when he is home he gets up with the kids and feeds them breakfast and lets mommy sleep in for a few hours, which is about the extent of my me time.

♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?

The Preemie handbook, when we had my son 16 weeks early that book gave me hope but kept it real.

♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

For our Preemie… A mamaroo, yes expensive but the issue with preemies we were told was over stimulation, and this helps stimulate them with out over doing it because you have full control of the speed and volume of the sound. I did do a blog entry on it.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?

Oh god…. See that’s scary to me, after 5 months in the hospital we were re released 3 times before we were home for good because my son had apneac episodes so sever we had to call 911…. So I would have pushed harder to stay in the hospital the extra 45 days…. Just to make sure. That’s what I would tell myself, trust your gut. A mama always knows.

♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?

I had a master plan in place on putting money away and when I was going to buy things by 4 months along enter my 22 week my water broke and all my plans went out the window. Pregnancy and kids have their own plans. Just go with the flow.

♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?

Don’t stress, relax, and you may have read the baby book, but the baby didn’t.

♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

My son hugging and kissing his sister, he loves to feed her give her, her teething biscuits, and her suss. Watching him be an awesome big brother is my favorite part.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
Spud: My water broke at 1 am when I was 22 weeks along, I was admitted into hospital until I was 24 weeks and 2 days along when I went into active labor and gave birth to my handsome little man who came into this world screaming, at 1 pound 12 oz and 11 inches long. 157 days in the NICU and 33 days in the childrens Hospital, lots of breathing support as well as a few scary procedures, you could bot even tell what his start at life was like.
Princess Tally: I was induced, due to her being over due and my blood pressure was going a little nuts, and was in active labor for 38 hours before they (after i yelled at them to cut her out of me) decided she was not descending and I was in need of a c section. So after another hour of waiting she was here! Screamed once and fell asleep
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood is the hardest, job you could ever sign up for, with more perks that make everything worth.

 

To hear more from Ashton be sure to visit her blog Our Preemie Family and follow her on Instagram.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 

big mo why starting and stopping is self sabotage

Alright, enough with this starting and stopping. Enough with every year making the same resolutions, over and over again. ENOUGH. You have to get mad. As Dave Ramsey says, you have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Give this starting and stopping a rest. We are not a tree. We are not stationary. Every time you stop and start again, you are not just picking up where you left off. You are losing covered ground.

When you’re doing all the right things. Every day you are consistently working towards getting better at your goal. Maybe you trip up one day, but you continue on. You don’t stop. You’ll find you’ll meet this guy I know called Big Mo. Big Mo is the momentum you build by sticking with your plan, with your meal plan, with your goals. This guy is on your side and he only shows up when you stay consistent at your goals. Big Mo is a force to be reckoned with.

He’ll inspire you and bring about an abundance of opportunity and success. The more you keep at it, the stronger he gets, and the stronger you get. Every day you push play on your workout, you write those 500 words towards your novel, you refrain from unnecessary spending, whatever it is you’re shooting for, you take one step forward every single day.

Here’s what happens when you stop.

Big Mo get’s a little smaller on the first day. So this one thing comes up and you choose to put your goals on hold. Because it’s ok, you’ll just pick back up right where you left off right? Wrong. Another day, another missed opportunity. Every day your body gets weaker, that creative writing roll you were on loses focus and you forget why you had a no-spend-month goal in the first place and order pizza because it’s Friday. A week goes by, maybe another. Big Mo is nowhere to be found. You decide the break is over, time to reboot those goals you were working on. Well, guess what. It’s harder now.

Those workouts you were crushing last month feel like the first day all over again. You can notice a difference in how you’ve let your nutrition go and how much less energy you have. That novel you were working on requires a read through to remember where you left off. You seem to have forgotten the train of thought you were on and what you were planning next. A waste of precious time. You check your bank account to do your budget again and realize you went over on the ‘eating out’ category by… a lot.

Those are all hypothetical, but they’re very much the truth. See, while you were taking a break, you were taking steps backward. We are not a tree, we are not stationary. We move and flow with life in this weird endless tango.

You may have forgotten what Big Mo looks like, and that’s ok. He’s always a couple days away from showing up. You just have to start, and not stop. No matter what, no matter why.

Sometimes Quitting is the answer.

Now let’s be clear. Some things are not meant to be forever. You have to have a heart to heart conversation with yourself and ask yourself if all this starting and stopping is because of a lack of focus or a lack of PASSION. Once you’ve lost the passion, and you feel like you should go separate ways with what once was your goal, then be honest and ask yourself the hard questions. Don’t keep adding a task to your to do list just because you feel you SHOULD. You need to WANT it. With all of yourself. So keep your chin up. People say winners never quit. But they do quit, all the time. They quit doing things that are not getting them to their goal. And they recalculate often, always ensuring they are headed to where they want to be.

Love, always

Mariangelica

 

Throughout my life, I have tried many things. Therefore it goes without saying that I have failed at many things too. I have been very lucky, in that I have an incredible support group. My parents and siblings have always believed in me. Often more than I believed in myself. I was lucky enough to marry one heck of a supportive husband who let me try new things even when he didn’t understand them. I’ve had supportive people in my life from a young age, but even so, there have been times that I’ve had to deal with unsupportive behaviour from others around me. It made me think about those of you reading, and if perhaps you fall into any one of these ‘maybe’s’. I wanted to share what I’ve observed over the years, and how I push through, no matter who isn’t cheering for me.

Maybe you have that one family member who makes jokes about what you do. That business you want to start, the fitness routine you are on or the healthy eating lifestyle you are committing to. They poke fun at it or make sarcastic comments here and there. All in all, they make you feel shitty about whatever it is you have set your mind to do.

DO NOT. I repeat, do not let them get to you. I’ve had this happen to me, and what I can say is that it’s hard at first. You want to defend everything you’re doing, you want to show them all the facts about why this is a good idea, you want them to be on your side. Because, you know, they’re family. Aren’t they all supposed to support you? Truth is, no, not all of them will. In my case, it was one, in your case, it might be many who stand against you. No matter what, fighting back is exactly what this person wants. They may secretly want to see you fail so that they can feel better about never giving it a shot themselves.

“Look, I knew she wasn’t going to finish that workout program, that’s why I didn’t start, I knew it wouldn’t work” Do you see how sad this person’s life must be, that THIS is the monolog in their heads?

Nowadays I choose to focus on the support and love I receive from the rest of my family. And it’s a big family! Because they are louder. It just depends on who you choose to listen to! If you do fail, because we all know failure goes hand in hand with trying new things, they’ll be the ones saying “I know you’ll succeed next time, I believe in you,” rather than “I told you so.” They are the people that matter, they are your support group. Don’t let their voices be drowned out by the negativity of one sad human being.

Maybe you have that close group of girlfriends, and in your mind, they should be your biggest supporters! They know all your secrets, they know what you’re like at your best and worst times. Why then, when you tell them you’re starting a home business do they refrain from cheering you on, or even supporting your business if they’re in the market for something you offer/carry.

Home Businesses have grown dramatically over the last few years. It seems like everyone you know is making or selling something now, and guess what, this isn’t a bad thing at all. There are these large movements to support local shops, to stay away from big box stores and support those mom and pop shops because we’ll be helping our local community’s economy. Well, guess what, your friend’s business is just that. It’s a place where your dollars go towards their little girl’s ballet class fees or their next family vacation.

It still shocks me when I tell someone about how amazing I think (blank) is because of what it’s done in my own life and have them blow me off when they hear they can get it through me. But then turn around and buy it from Walmart or Amazon. (WHAT?) When one of your closest friends does this, I’ll admit it, it hurts. If you take it personally it can seem like a clear statement that they don’t believe in what you do. That they don’t support you as much as you originally thought, and that at the end of the day, they don’t want to see you win.

Don’t let this negative train of thought ruin the plans you have for your business or service this month. Don’t waste your precious energy on trying to figure out WHY they did it, just take it as a learning moment. Were they clearly aware they could have bought this product from you? Did they just see it at the store and were reminded of your recommendation and picked it up without any malice in their actions?

You see, it isn’t all about you. It’s about the end result. If your friend is now eating healthier because of something you recommended, or they are getting a better night’s sleep because of an essential oil mixture you endorsed, just be happy for them. Yes, it hurts sometimes. But when we focus on why we do what we do, all of this negativity goes away. When you focus on helping people and making their lives better, no matter what goods or services you provide, you will feel more fulfilled with all you accomplish.

You can’t control what other people do, but you can control how you react to it. And this is by far the best way to let icky moments pass and prepare yourself for all the goodness that is to come!

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated no matter what unsupportive behaviour comes your way:

I wrote a post about dealing with unsupportive people in general. In it I break down many of the reasons people choose to be unsupportive. I wrote it after receiving some messages from women in my wellness online group about their family or friends playing these unsupportive roles in their lives. If you liked this post you may find some more insight in this ither one too. Check it here: Dealing with unsupportive people.

Remind yourself of your Why.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? Focus on that and only that. With a strong enough why you can achieve anything no matter what life throws your way.

Write down your goals and don’t let anything or anyone sidetrack you.

Push that negative family member’s comment aside. Brush off the fact that your friends don’t support your business and keep going. A goal that is not written down is just a dream. Read up on how to make the most out of your month and crush those goals!

Read personal development.

I recommend Personal Development often.. Show me a person that is not succeeding and I will show you a person that isn’t reading personal development.

Connect with others doing what you’re doing.

Find other entrepreneurs, bakers, business women. Whatever your field, there is a group out there waiting to be found. If you really can’t find one, then make one, you may be what other’s have been waiting for.

Believe in yourself.

Because at the end of the day, this whole thing depends on you and how much you care about it. Believe, be positive, be efficient with your time, work hard, and work from a good place in your heart. The rest will come as it must. I wrote this post about moving on from failure. It may help you learn to believe in yourself again.

This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Dominique

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m 32, live in Florida but originallyfrom Ohio. I was diagnosed with PCOS at 15 and was told the likelihood of having my own children was slim to none.

♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?

I have 1 child, a daughter. Her name is Rozlynn but I call her jellybean, she is 9 months old.

♥ How do you find your “me time”?

“Me” time is hard to find. Especially now that I’m a SAHM. I find me time when she is napping or when my bf is home and watches her so I can be alone for a bit.

♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?

I was given What to expect when you’re expecting and both of Jenny Mccarthy’s books on her pregnancy. (Her books were more funny than informational)

♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

I loved our bassinet, it had a mesh covering we could zip and take outside.  Kept her close and let her get fresh air and kept the bugs out. The baby Bjorn and the wrap I have for her have been life savers. The wrap/baby carrier helps me when she doesn’t want me to put her down but I need to get house work done. I could wear her for hours with the wrap and she’s completely content

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?

Congratulations,  take it slow and enjoy every moment.  Even the bad…they will only be this size once.

♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?

My original plan was to have a nest egg of money set aside for medical costs and doctor visits. To be “financially stable”….but that didn’t go as planned since she was a surprise. We had just been told 5 months prior that due to my PCOS I didn’t ovulate and we would have to try fertility treatments to conceive. …boy, did I prove that doctor wrong. We bought as much as we could on our own and were blessed to have 2 showers and received a ton of diapers and wipes. ..if I had it all to plan all over again I would try to have a larger diaper supply stocked.

♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?

TTC – Stressing yourself will only make it worse, don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do and enjoy life. Don’t lose hope…miracles happen everyday

New mom – You will have bad days but remember you are doing your best and it’s OK to not get everything done. Your child will be this size once, enjoy it and them…you can clean, cook and do laundry later

♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

Besides the first time I held her, I’d have to say the day she said her first word, “mama”…music to my ears.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.

We were induced a week early. I was in labor for 2 days, when my water finally broke and it was time to push. After we started  the doctor realized her head was stuck and my blood sugar dropped to the 60’s so he decided we needed a c-section to try to ensure neither of us went into any medical emergencies. My boyfriend was with me through it all and she finally arrived , perfect and amazing.

♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood, the scariest,  craziest, most fun, fulfilling, rewarding and thankless journey you will ever take.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too!