Hi...I'm Renee!

I'm a busy mom who uses mindless-creativity to easily calm my mind, ignite my joy + savor life. Learn more here.

AFTER I Became a Mama

AFTER I Became a Mama

The other day, I wrote about how I was BEFORE I Became a Mama. Well, today I'm here to write about all the ways I've changed AFTER I became a mama.

As soon as I saw C I knew exactly in that moment what everyone talks about when they have kids...the world literally stops and your heart is bursting with love you never knew before. And, boy oh boy, was I in for some changes after this amazing moment in my life.

  • Yes, I still had a natural birth, but I did tear.  It took me quite some time to recover for this tear, too.  It wasn't fun.  I'm hoping with baby brother this won't be so bad this time...we shall see.
  • As for wearing my new beautiful baby in a baby carrier...well, it didn't happen.  C is just like me and doesn't like to be tight in things.  She NEVER liked being in any carrier that I tried.  So, I was NEVER the mom carrying her baby in the way I thought I would.  At first, it was hard because I had such high expectations for this, but as the weeks went by, I realized that we were getting by just fine without it.  And, it was actually not very comfortable for me either - like mother, like daughter. :)
  • Ah, breastfeeding.  This could be a whole 'nother post.  I struggled with this BIG TIME!  I mainly pumped because of the struggles...and believe me I tried everything I could.  I saw a lactation specialist, but things just didn't seem to work.  And, I struggled with getting enough milk.

I was VERY stressed about this because ME, the Holistic Health Coach, was supposed to be breastfeeding the RIGHT way...not through a pump.  I pumped for almost 4 months (even though I wanted to stop at 3 months, but I didn't listen to my inner gut...I was determined to make it work).  I ended up getting mastitis, which, in my opinion, was meant to happen because I realized I was pushing too much.

Mastitis is something I NEVER want to experience again.  I came down with it on a Friday night and the next day I felt the worst I've ever felt in my life.  I ended up going to the ER and while I was waiting for my antibiotics (it took forever!) my fever spiked again and they ended up admitting me.

The only thing I had on me was my current clothes and a 1/2 charged cell phone.  I had to stay for 3 days and I never got to see D or C because this was the time the swine flu was going around, so they wouldn't let C in.  We're also a military family, so family was no where around...so yeah, I was by myself that entire time and it wasn't fun.

So, let's just say, after my time alone in a hospital room, I realized many things.  I was pushing myself trying to do something that wasn't working.  I was doing too much.  I wasn't listening to my inner gut.  So it took this moment for me to realize I had to let it go.  I stopped pumping and began giving C formula and life was SO much better once returning home.

I do have to say, that when my breastfeeding situation was going on and I'd see others being able to breastfeed and those who promote it as the only way...I felt horrible about myself.  I so wanted this for my baby.  I wanted that connection.  But, it just didn't work out for us.  And, now that I've had the situation that I did, I know that a happy mama is way more important than a stressed out mama.  We all just need to realize that everyone's lifestyles are different and sometimes it can't just be this way.   And because of this, I'll never give any other mama my thoughts on breastfeeding or formula as the way to go.

  • The one thing I didn't let go of was cooking home cooked meals.  For C's first year and after she turned one, I was still making meals as much as I could.  Well, once she turned 2, I ended up stopping because I was burning myself out.  And, not to mention how hard this was with a fussy toddler under my feet.

One of the main reasons why I gave up all these ways I had in store for being a parent when it came to food is that I realized that I can't obsess about this stuff.  Obsessing was leaving me even more exhausted.  I needed to take care of myself.  So I started making one dish per week and other nights I ended up eating mac and cheese out of a box with her.

Another reason is that C has taught me SO much of how we all start off in this world when it comes to food.  Food comes 2nd to C...loving life comes first.  Even the other day, she wanted to play with her Daddy - he swings her around as soon as he gets home from work.  She LOVES this and SO looks forward to it.

He wanted a break and this break consisted of eating a ice cream sandwich.  We kept asking her if she wanted one and she kept saying NO! SWING!   You see, food isn't important because she'd rather be having fun enjoying life without a fork and plate.

Also, C is SO connected to herself.  She knows how much to eat.  If I give her any type of food, she NEVER eats the entire thing, because she listens to her own natural instincts on when to stop and when she's had enough.  I used to be like this, too.  We all did!  C doesn't need any health info on how to eat to help her because she knows!!

So if I give her some M&M's, she NEVER eats the entire bag or bags...she only takes just enough.  And because of this, I don't worry about anything she eats.  She's teaching me to go back to this.  And, I don't want her to grow up and be like me and be so focused on "good" and "bad" foods.  I want her to stay focused on her natural instincts when it comes to ANY type of food she eats.

So we're now a house where NO food is off limits and I don't push any type of food on her.  I let her guide me.  And, she also has the stomach the size of her fist (like ours is, too!), so she doesn't need much to fill her up.  And, also, I had to let go, because at this stage she only wants certain foods.  I know she'll grow out of this and eat more variety, but I can't exhaust myself it.

And, trust me, right now, food and I aren't friends like we used to - mainly, what I mean by this, is that I don't really want to menu plan and think of all kinds of amazing meals to make because right now I'm feeding C all day long...so when it comes to making dinner, I just wanna make something super quick and then go on to spending quality time with my daughter.  C and I always eat the same breakfast and lunch, but when it comes the end of the day and dinner...I've let go.

She now eats things that I NEVER thoughtI'd give her....juice (and lots of it -  it is fruit and veggie though), mac and cheese in a box, fruit gummies, cheerios (yeah...I was only gonna give her organic snacks and I was SO against cereal before this), pasta with butter (this is a daily thing now, especially now that I'm pregnant), chips, pringles, etc.  Sure, I still give her food that we make, especially eggs and chicken, but I don't stress over it like I used to.

And, as for D and I, I hardly cook during the week.  We usually end up cooking on the weekends together since one of us can watch C. I still buy organic, but I now buy way more conventional foods than I ever have.  Where we live now, I don't have the option to get as many local foods as I was getting when we lived in Virginia and when we first had C.  I take this as a sign that it was time for me to let go.

My poor husband.  He's been through it all with me...soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and now whole milk.  He actually can't believe the stuff that I'm eating and allowing C to eat.  He's even said,  "C, if you could of heard your mother 3 years ago, she would have never let you have that."

And, what's great about it all, I feel SO much better that I've calmed down the food obsession I've had.  You see, I've been a health nut since 8th grade.  I've tried everything that was ever said was good for you in the media.  Now that I'm a mama, I don't want my daughter obsessed with food.  I feel that right now the media is out of control when it comes to this and I can't fill my head with it anymore.

So, yes, I've changed BIG TIME in this area.  And, I'm glad I have.  We're all better off. :)

OH, an I still make my smoothies and I add some green powder goodies to them, but I don't do it all the time anymore.  I'm now in place of enjoying ALL food, not matter what it is, and without putting a label of "good, bad, organic, conventional, etc."  - well, I've eased up, because it's hard to just change 100% after years...YEARS...of living this way.

  • Ah, cloth diapering.  Yeah...I NEVER ended up doing this.  By the third trimester with C, my mind was spinning with information, so trying to learn about the cloth diapering system just sent my mind in overdrive.  I ended up finding some great diapers that are eco-friendly and they've worked great for us.

At first, I loved that they were eco-friendly.  I did end up trying conventional diapers, but they just didn't work out for us.  C ended up waking up in the middle of the night because they were cold and very, very wet.  The original ones we picked out never woke her up at night.  So now I use them because of that more than because they're eco-friendly. We also get an amazing subscription deal on them from Amazon, so we've just kept them.

  • Vaccinations...I ended up giving C the Hep B shot in the hospital.  At this time, my doctor and I had a conversation that day after C was born, but I felt like I was run over by a truck, so I didn't want to argue with him and I did it anyway.  She also had the solution in her eyes, too.

I have friends who didn't vaccinate at all and friends that did.  For me, it came down to, well, either way, I'll feel bad if I don't vaccinate and something happens and I feel bad if I do.  I also realized that I vaccinate my dog and I really don't want C to come down with anything.  I don't agree with how long the vaccination list is these days, but I ended up spreading them out and I felt better about that.

  • Toys...I still buy her wooden toys, but, yes, she played and still plays with plastic toys.  I've let go of it needing to be all natural, but I haven't let go of drowning her in tons of toys.  It's the teacher in me.  I did my student teaching in a first grade classroom that was FILLED TO THE MAX with stuff.  Students were tripping over things and I would lose my pen all the time (I had to buy a pen that I wore around my neck).

I learned from this experience and I'm now a stickler on only having certain toys out at certain times.  I also rotate C's toys in and out.  She has lots of toys, but I just don't have them all out at one time.  I feel like she's calmer (and I'm calmer) when our house only has certain toys out.

  • As for C's lotions and shampoo's...I still buy natural ingredients for her.  I loved the soap I got for her and we ended up keeping it.  As for her shampoo, she uses an Aveda brand that my stylist recommended.  But, I feel like her skin needs more natural ingredients and still to this day I only use coconut oil on my skin and nothing else.
  • My opinions of others parenting completely left me after becoming a mom.  I will never, ever judge or criticize the way someone brings up their child.  I learned that EVERY lifestyle is different and I have no idea what those parents are going through.  Some days are SUPER tough - exhuastion, sleep deprivation, frustrations, lack of "me" time, so  I have no right to put my view on anyone.  What I learned the most is that no one knows what it's like until they've been there.
  • I don't regret living a somewhat granola lifestyle.  I still have a lot of with me, but I'm definitely NOT that person 100% anymore.  I still love REAL food because it tastes so darn good, but for now, if I'm not giving it to family, I'm OK with that, because at this season in my life, I have to do easy so I can take care of myself.
  • When I was alone for 10 weeks as a single mommy, TV watching became more and more of an activity in our house.  Before, I said C would never watch a lot of TV.  Well, TV became my sanity and savor.  We still watch TV, too.  We don't sit and watch all day long, but we do watch it more than I ever thought we would.  Sometimes this mama just needs those times so I can recharge my batteries.  I mean, heck, I watched a ton of TV and I'm fine.

I know one day I'll be back in my kitchen more and making more meals from scratch, but if I have to buy conventional ingredients for it, I'm OK with that now.   I still don't like every ingredient on some of the products I buy (and I did give C an organic formula and I'll do the same for baby brother), but I can't let this control my life and I don't want it to control my kids lives.  And, just like with the TV, I ate nothing organic and I'm fine!

I had to go through all of this to get where I am today.  If I didn't become a mama, I'm not sure if I would have connected with my inner creative self.  Maybe one day, but I always said C is the reason why I've changed.

My creativity connection sparked when she was in my belly and now that she's here and I'm in full-on-mama-mode, all my food and nutrition thoughts have lessened and all my creative thoughts have blossomed.  I'm SO focused on creativity than I ever have been in my life and makes me SO, SO happy...and I want my kids to NEVER lose their inner-creative sparks.

And you wanna know how I know this? When I went to the hospital tour for baby brother, it was filled with first time moms.  The questions they were asking were the same ones I asked, too.  But, this time, I was SO relaxed about it all.  My only concern was if all the hospital rooms had windows so I could have natural lighting to take pictures of baby boy and if I delivered at 2 am, would I be able to get food (because with C, I didn't get any food until 6 am and I was starving!!).

It's been quite the journey so far and I'm pretty happy with the mama I've become and I'm excited to see where I go after having baby brother.

One of my favorite, favorite doodling artists, Aimee at Artsyville, says it best (and I bought it right away as soon as I saw it because it explains what happened to me to a T!).

get her fresh and magical spirits here

Yes, C made me an entirely new being and I'm SO grateful!

And, lastly, I have to share Goddess Leonie's post with you, just in case you can relate to what I've written here.  I began changing over a year or so ago, so when I read her post, I was amazed with how much it related to me and my journey as a mama.  I didn't go through as many things as she did after she became a mama, but I especially connected to part where her and her husband wrote out their lists on what they wanted as parents, because wow, his list really made me see that I was doing too much and putting very high expectations on myself (just like she saw!). It's such a great reminder of letting go and letting in love.  It's a very long post, but definitely worth the read.

Stay tuned for the last part of this series where I'm gonna share what I'm gonna do differently when baby brother is here.

If you had kiddos, did they create a new you?  If so, I'd love to hear!  

Until next time...

{life IS colorful}


How I'm Gonna Do Mamahood with Baby #2

How I'm Gonna Do Mamahood with Baby #2

BEFORE I Became a Mama

BEFORE I Became a Mama