A Mother’s Realization

 

All of us must admit, before we were mom’s we thought we knew what motherhood was like. We thought we knew what it was like to be ‘tired’ and ‘busy’ and we all thought our bodies would just bounce back after having our first little one. I am sure that there are a lot of realizations that I have had over the last 2.5 years that most of you have also had, and I am probably missing a few from my list, but here is what I have realized over the last 2.5 years.

1) My body is never going to be the same– Sure, pre Kai I was a size 0-2, now I am a size 4 with hips. Do I miss the fact that I can fit a size zero? Sure, at times I do, but then at other times I do not even think about it. This is my body after bringing a life into the world. Sure, if I work just a little harder at the gym and dedicate more time to myself, then I could probably get to that size two again, but right now, that is not really a top priority for me. Although in my twenties I believed that I would be one of those skinny mom’s. Ha! How amazing reality is, isn’t it?

2) My social life will look different- That has definitely changed for sure. I came to the realization that spending time with my son is a little more important than going to a pub or local restaurant, having a bottle of wine, and then being hung over the next day. Those days are gone! My social life now consists of play dates, meeting my friends for coffee, or just going for dinner or lunch where myself, and my girlfriends are basking in the glory of being able to sit and actually chew our food. So, yes, my social life is definitely different.

3) My group of friends will change– This definitely changed for myself and many of my girlfriends once they had their baby. First of all, my friends who are single or who are married with no kids, sometimes don’t understand when you decline an invitation because you are tired or your son was up half the night with the flu. Or they host a dinner party where dinner is served at 7 and you know you have to get home to put your little one to bed by 8. They can bask in the luxury of being able to live their lives on their own terms and on their own schedule, whereas I am responsible for another human being, so our priorities are definitely different. Will some friends understand? Sure. Will some stop calling? Yep! But you know what? That is ok! I made new friends via play dates, through my sons daycare, and my social circle has become more robust, just with a different group of individuals. Just remember, everyone who enters our life is there for a reason. Some will come and some will go. This has been a hard realization for me, especially at the beginning of motherhood.

4) Being on Mat Leave was the Hardest Year of my Life I thought when I went on Mat Leave I could take my time, get things done, take care of my son, and take a nap here and there. What I didn’t realize is that I would be exhausted from waking up every three hours, that I wouldn’t be able to nap while the baby napped because that is when I could actually get things done like housework, and that the days would fly by. I found that I didn’t really get to enjoy my year with Kai because I felt like I was in a daze of sleepiness half of the time. So Mat-Leave was hard, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I got to see Kai take his first steps, say his first word, and him and I had the chance to bond for that whole year. But Mat-Leave was definitely not as easy as I thought it would be.

5) My Marriage Will Change– My husband and I have been together for almost 13 years and almost married for 5. Do we have our ups and downs? Absolutely (and any couple that says they don’t, is lying). We are a typical married couple. But, once Kai arrived, things changed. We learned quite fast that we parent differently (yes we talked about how we would parent pre-Kai), and that we had to make time for our marriage, whereas before, we always had time for the two of us. If we wanted to go to a movie together, we just went. Now, we have to arrange a sitter two weeks in advanced and we have to prep everything for the sitter and Kai before we leave. So now, our marriage has just changed a little now that Kai is a part of our lives, but I wouldn’t change our life together for anything!

6) Being A Mom Is Not Always Easy- I always knew that being a Mom would be a lot of work. My mother, to this day, is the best mother in the world. She was always there for me and my sister, and always did her best to give us every opportunity to be successful in our lives. When I first held Kai in my arms, I thought to myself, I am going to be the best mom to this little cutie no matter how hard it may be! But, everyday I struggle still with decisions I have make as a mom, and I often question my parenting. I often question my decisions, my disciple techniques, my parenting style, etc. I have realized that being a Mom is not as easy as I once thought but I am doing the best I can. In the end, as long as Kai is happy and well taken care of, then I am doing a good job!

In the end, I hope what I shared is similar to what you all have realized in becoming a new mom. Please share some of your realizations as well. Have an amazing day and thank you for reading. 🙂

 

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Mommy TimeSavers

Now that I am a mom, I find that the minutes, hours, days, months, and years are just flying by (Yes my mother was right!). But I am also finding that I have to be a little more savvy with my time. Things like going to the mall and browsing for Christmas gifts for at least two-three hours are no longer an option right now. Sure, I may be able to browse the Mall again one day when Kai is ten, but right now, he doesn’t enjoy it, and I end up feeling rushed and flustered.

So, I thought I would share some of my time savvy strategies with all of you busy mom’s and dad’s out there. I recommend all of these tips for everyone. Enjoy 🙂

1) Online Christmas Shopping- Pre Kai I loved shopping in the Mall! I used to pick up a Starbucks, stroll in and out of stores looking for deals, and just enjoyed the experience. Now, the tables have turned. I did 80% of my Christmas Shopping online this year. Why? The deals are so much better, there is a better selection and variety of items, and most of the time the shipping is free. So, what would take me at least an hour to gather together at a mall, takes me twenty minutes online and it’s shipped right to my door. Also, if you need to return an item then you can usually just return it back to the store. Easy, breezy!

2) Grocery Shopping Online- This is a dream, especially when my husband and I go away with Kai to see my family back home in Ontario and we know we are going to come back to an empty fridge. I go online, purchase my groceries for when I return and bam they appear on our doorstep while we are putting our luggage away! No longer am I stressing to get to the store as soon as we get off the plane to get fresh milk for the morning. There are three companies I have used; Save on Foods, Thrifty’s, and Spud.ca (for organic fruits and veggies). Also, sometimes these online grocery stories have amazing deals where you save $20.00 and get free delivery for your first purchase. I have girlfriends who are mom’s that only do their grocery shopping online and they say they save hundreds of dollars a year on groceries because they plan their meals ahead, and only purchase exactly what they need. If you don’t like the idea of delivery, that is ok, some stores will get your items for you and you can stop at the store and just pick up your order. It’s that easy. It is a time, money, and at times a headache saver because most kids hate grocery shopping.

3) Library Holds- If there is a book that your son or daughter needs for daycare, or there is a book that they are interested in and you know that they won’t read it for long, you can actually log online to your local library, choose the books you want, and the librarians will pick the books out  for you and place them on the reserved shelf for you to pick up after work or whenever you have time to stop at the library. I learned this the hard way when I tried to look for one specific book for Kai at the library after work and the bookshelf was a mess. You could tell that some cuties had taken some books out and everything was just so disorganized, I could not find the book for 15 minutes. I left the library in a rush to get back home to pick up Kai from daycare without the book in hand. Now, I just log on, choose the books I want, and then stop by the library and check them out. It takes me two minutes. Of course I still take Kai to the library just when he wants to browse and take his time, but when we are in a rush, this is a great way to save time.

4) Special Events Tickets Online- I know that many of you probably do this already, but if we take Kai to a festival, or any special event, I always purchase my tickets online beforehand. We never wait in line for tickets or just try our luck to get them. It is such a relief when you show up to an event and you basically just walk in while other parents with crying kids are waiting for their tickets. We just show up and we are in to the event. That saves time and headaches all around. Yes, sometimes there is an additional charge to purchase the tickets online beforehand, but ask yourself how much your patience and sanity is worth, lol. I bet you it is worth more than that $8.00 surcharge.

5) Albums- Yes, I did create a pretty awesome album for Kai when he was first born, just so he could have some old school photos to touch and look at when he gets older but there is such an easier way to get his albums done. Now I just log on to Shutterfly, upload all my photos I took from Instagram and Facebook and load them up on the pages that I designed. It is so user friendly, fast and cost effective! The best part, is that you can still be very creative with the design. You can choose everything from the design of your cover, to the colour and prints of the pages, to writing your own personal messages, everything is super easy and it is relatively cost effective! I love using Shutterfly to create albums, calendars, just about anything and everything and it is a huge time saver.

So, those are just a few tips that I use to save time. Please feel free to add and comment to my post 🙂

Being a Mom in the 21st Century

Being a Mom in the 21st Century

When I found out that I was going to be a Mom in 2011 I was elated! Right away I announced my news to all my family and friends, once we were past the first trimester mark, and everyone was elated. My husband was beyond excited and so was I. I knew though, that deep in my heart it was going to be trying at times to be a mom because in the near future I was going to be fully responsible for another human being. The game was about to change, but I, of course being naive, thought it would be easy to be a mom. But, two and a half years later, I must confess, it has been anything but easy.

It wasn’t until I was talking with my grandmother on the phone the other day, when I was telling her about how amazed I was that she was able to raise three kids, as I was struggling with my sanity to raise just one, that she said to me, “Ya but Karla, you have it harder than I did!” My response to that was, “I don’t believe that for a second Grandma”. But then she made some sound arguments. When she had my mother, my uncle, and my aunt, she was a stay at home mom. Yes, the times were hard, yes money was tight in the 1950’s but you know what, she had less to juggle. Today, moms are expected to do a lot more and to be a lot more than their mother’s and their grandmothers. Let me explain.

As mother’s of the 21st century, we have to juggle many roles and do them well, or else we are faced with questions, judgment, and an overall feeling of defeat. We are expected to be understanding and patient mothers who enroll our children in numerous afterschool activities and play dates. We must also excel at our jobs, keep the house in order, be an amazing and attentive wife, and look amazing doing all of it. The expectations placed on mother’s today and the roles we must manage have increased, hence an increase in tired and overwhelmed mothers, myself included.

Who has placed these expectations on us? Well, I don’t think there is just one person or group of people to blame, but I do think there is a bunch of factors that play a role in how myself, and other mother’s today, are feeling overwhelmed. Some of these people and groups of individuals range from other mother’s, to bloggers, child psychologists, and even our own mother-in-laws. In the end, it all comes down to not wanting to fail as a mother or to be perceived as a failure. For myself, I want to be the best mother, wife, sister, and best version of me I can be. But, by letting these roles take over my expectations of myself, I have quickly learned that I cannot be the everything for everyone and something has to give.

So, as a mom, my new goal is to aim for more balance and a little more harmony in my life. That means that some days I may pick up Kai from daycare and I may look like a hot mess, or I leave the dishes in the sink till the next morning, or I take a nap in the middle of the day instead of going for a coffee and a walk with a girlfriend. In the end, I have learned that in order for me to achieve harmony, I need to listen to my needs for once, and not just the needs and expectations of others. I have to stop judging myself as well as worrying about what other people think. It’s not easy, but I am working on it!

Hence why I have started this blog. I love reading, writing, and just being able to express myself, and that part of me was lost when I had Kai because I just could not fit it in to my day. Today, I am starting my own blog and am excited about it. I would love for other mother’s and father’s to share, contribute, and respond to my blog because as a community of parents, we can encourage and support each other on this bumpy road, otherwise known as parenting.

Yes, being a Mom in the 21st century is not easy, and yes there are days when I often wonder if it is ever going to get easier, but I do know one thing, that my little one, just like your little one, is not going to be little forever. So, we must be the best mom and parent that we know to be, while also achieving the balance and harmony we deserve, in order to make it through the trials and tribulations of our reality in raising a little one.