You know what’s super exciting and fun and the best days of your life? Being a new mom. You know what’s terrifying and exhausting and potentially the most challenging days of your life? Yep. Also being a new mom. Today I’m excited to share some words of wisdom from Enozia over at Distracted Momma as she shares 5 tips to help new moms make the transition to parenting a little easier!
Pregnancy is as challenging as is it a blissful period, but when its all over and you finally have your little one in your arms, things start to get a tad bit tricky. Being a mom isn’t easy. If you’re a first time mom, you might even find it overwhelming at times to handle everything from your little one’s sleeping schedule to having your body adjust to breastfeeding.
If that sounds like you, keep reading! We’ve got 5 super actionable tips and tricks to make the entire job of being a mom a lot easier and hassle-free, leaving you with more ‘me’ time.
The key to making things work for you as a new mom is to keep it simple. If you run out of something, look for a swap; if you’re bad at something don’t do it. Confused about choosing the right stuff for your baby? Seek the advice of other moms and see what worked out for them. Choose products that are tried and tested and those that can be relied on as opposed to multipurpose solutions and products.
One of the best ways to make being a new mom a hassle free experience for you is to look for alternatives, and those that are as natural as possible. Stick to using simple and natural solutions for your baby’s little problems. For instance, you can use coconut oil for baby acne or olive oil for your baby’s massage. In fact, these natural oils and products work even better than commercially available products. You can even use coconut oil for diaper rash! This doesn’t just turn out to be healthy for your baby, but pocket friendly too.
Finding a little time to unwind is the way to stay strong throughout the tough post partum phase. If you don’t give yourself time to rest, you’ll most likely get burned out. Don’t hesitate to use all the help you can get. Look after yourself with as much commitment as you would your baby, and watch things get a lot smoother for you.
Be it your spouse, friends or family members- the arrival of your little one will definitely have you surrounded by people asking if you need any help. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to use it. Your newborn will probably also have certain strange habits or actions that you can’t seem to make sense of; if you feel something is prodding your mind a bit too much, visit your healthcare provider or a pediatrician to clear any doubts that you may have.
Share your experiences and troubles to a listening ear- it helps a lot too!
Breastfeeding, among many other approaches, can help strengthen the bond you have with your baby. Postpartum depression is very real. Taking active steps to strengthen your bond with your baby can help you tackle it a lot better. Never underestimate the power of human touch; make sure your baby is in contact with you and your skin as much as possible, especially if you aren’t breastfeeding. Massage your baby, bathe him and spend some exclusive time with him to develop an intimate and strong bond. Co-sleeping is also found to work wonders. These small steps will in time, help you make things easier as your baby will start responding to you and your voice as he starts growing up.
Following these 5 actionable tips can work wonders in helping make parenting an easier job for you. So go ahead and get started on it Mommas! Time to make being a new mom rock!
Enozia Vakil is a freelance social media marketer, blogger and an animal lover at heart.
Distracted Momma is an online resource aimed at helping busy moms do better and make the best of both worlds. Multitasking can get the best of you, and that’s where Distracted Momma comes in to help with the best easy recipes that are kid friendly and healthy, helpful advice to bring up strong and motivated children, strengthen the parent-child bond, tackle common health issues and complaints in kids, activities and games for children, product reviews for the best kids essentials, and a lot more!
Hello lovelies! You know what’s really, really hard as a busy mom? Time management. The phrase “there aren’t enough hours in a day” is so cliche, but it’s cliche because it’s SO TRUE. Balancing the duties of motherhood with trying to run a home, keep our own identities, and not go crazy is not an easy task– especially in today’s world there it’s so easy to be busy all the time. That’s why I’m super excited to share today’s post with you! Becca Day is a time management specialist from Homemakers in Action who helps “undomesticated” homemakers balance the various responsibilities of life. She’s sharing her best time management tips for busy moms with us! If you feel like you’re constantly running out of time in your day, check out these time management tips below.
I get asked all the time “How do you manage it all?” My standard response to this questions is “I don’t know!”– but the truth is there are specific strategies that I have implemented in my life to combat the ‘too much to do and not enough time to do it in’ dilemma. I’ve had no choice but to learn these techniques. I run a blog, a YouTube channel AND a podcast, all while working a part-time job and balancing a baby on my hip! Some days I’ve felt like I want to just give up and stop trying to do so much, but the truth is if you really want something, and you’re really passionate about it, then you WILL find ways to get it done, no matter how busy you are.
So here is the real answer to that much-asked question. Here are the techniques I use to manage it all:
(By the way, if you want to start making the most of your time today, I have a Time Management Toolkit that you can nab for FREE here!)
I spent a stupidly long time messing about with different planning systems. I am quite a creative person, so it made sense to me that I should do a bullet journal or one of those pretty planners with all the washi tape and stickers and whatnot. But every single time I tried to start one of those types of planners, I’d find that I was spending so much time making it look pretty that it wasn’t actually improving my productivity at all– in fact, it was doing the opposite! Also, because it all took so much time, I’d find that I’d stick with it for a couple of weeks, miss a couple of days, and then I’d give up altogether.
I had to come to the realization that maybe those pretty planners just aren’t for me. I started experimenting with more basic systems, both digital and paper, and I have finally come up with a system that actually HELPS me to get stuff done. It’s not attractive – it is literally just a combination of my Google Calendar and a notepad for my daily to-do lists – but it works for me. Everyone has different styles and different ways of absorbing information, so try a few different methods and figure out which one is actually going to work for you.
Yes, I know. You hear people banging on about morning routines all the time. But you know why everyone keeps banging on about them? Because they help SO much! What you do in the morning can be the difference between a productive day and a putting-out-fires-survival-mode type of day. When you spend the first hour or so of your day intentionally, you are setting yourself up for success.
Now, I don’t want you to go and do a Google search for ‘productive morning routine’ and try to copy it. As I said with the planners, everyone is different. For one person, getting a good workout first thing in the morning is the main thing that gets them in the right mindset. But for another person (i.e. me!) the thought of getting up and doing a workout actually makes me not want to get out of bed. For me, the lure of a steaming cup of coffee and getting some work done before my daughter gets up is my jam. Which leads me onto…
You have to have an incentive to be productive. Whatever you have on your to-do list, you have to really want it. For things that you’re really passionate about, like a business or a hobby, that can come quite naturally, but for things like chores, it can be a different story. So how can we make ourselves want to wash the dishes and do laundry?
Well, firstly we need to remember why we’re doing these chores. Why do you want a clean house? My guess is so that you can raise your family in a beautiful, healthy environment. So remember that next time you feel like you don’t want to do the housework. The second way we can make ourselves want to do these pesky tasks is to give ourselves an incentive. How many times have you said to your kids “If you’re good while we walk around the store you can have a snack?” Apply this bribery technique to yourself. Tell yourself that if you’re good and you get everything done on your to-do list, you can have a treat, like maybe a good binge on Netflix!
I always recommend to my readers to keep their to-do lists short, ideally under 5 tasks. If you set yourself 20 tasks to do in one day, it is highly likely you are not going to be able to achieve all of them, which will result in you feeling defeated at the end of the day. However, if you set yourself just a few tasks you are way more likely to succeed, which will result in you feeling like you’re Super Woman when you go to bed. Be kind to yourself and don’t set unrealistic expectations.
Okay, maybe not completely empty, but I try to keep my calendar as clear as I possibly can. Think of your calendar as sacred space. You should only be adding things that are either absolutely essential (like doctors’ appointments and parents’ evenings) or that you are truly passionate about. If someone asks you to do something and you feel sort of ‘meh’ about it, then just politely say no. Remember, every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else!
The Fourth of July: family, grilling, picnics, swimming– and, of course, fireworks. Watching fireworks to finish off your Independence Day is great– unless your a child with sensory processing challenges. Our toddler TJ was recently diagnosed with ASD, and he gets overwhelmed with loud sounds and bright, flashing lights. You can bet fireworks won’t be part of our celebration this year!
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy other fun sensory activities! If you’ve got a child who’s in a similar place, here are some easy and fun ideas to celebrate Independence Day, without the fireworks.
See this little guy? This is our beautiful toddler TJ. He’s just a little over two and a half, has wiry red hair and a personality to match. He loves trains and anything with wheels, and he would spend his entire life outside if we let him. He’s always moving, incredibly clever, and fiercely affectionate. He loves his baby brother and brings so much joy to our lives.
He also has autism.
A few months ago, I took TJ in for a checkup with our family doctor. Because he wasn’t talking as much as other children his age, she put us in touch with an early childhood organization that helps toddlers and preschoolers develop. After a few weeks of meetings, tests, and lots of paperwork, we got the diagnosis I had been dreading: TJ was on the autism spectrum.
The time since the diagnosis has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. We’ve had good days, bad days, and days straight from Hell. If you’re in a similar place, have friends who are, or think your child may have some sort of sensory or developmental challenges, know you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid.
Hi friends! I love writing for you here on Delightfully Frazzled, but I also love getting to share the words of others who can offer you different wisdom. Today I’m super excited to introduce Pachi, a pediatric sleep consultant who is passionate about helping kids (and parents!) get better rest. She’s sharing her opinions on the swaddle: why she recommends it, when to stop using it, and how to effectively transition out of it. She has some great tips for helping newborns sleep better! If you’re a new or soon-to-be parent, check out her great advice. You can also find more helpful articles and resources at her website!
As a baby sleep expert and a newborn care specialist I get asked often lots of questions about the swaddle. “Is a swaddle a prop? Is it useful? Where do you stand on a swaddle? When do I start the transition from the swaddle to a sleep sack?”
Hi Beautiful Humans. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to live in a world where physical beauty truly doesn’t affect us? As a mom of two (and just as a woman!), I struggle with how I think about my appearance on a daily basis. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to Natalie today! Natalie is an image coach and mother of two, and she’s here to share some of her wisdom about beauty, loving our bodies and accepting who we are– both as moms and as women. I’ve loved working with Natalie, and her work touches my heart! I hope her words bless you today like they’ve blessed me.
Don’t you think that’s true? The more we feel we’re on top of everything the more we radiate and the more people radiate towards us! We all have that one friend who always seems to have it together, who never worries about people looking at her, judging her or talking about her– and we envy her carefree attitude to life. But, being comfortable with yourself is not an easy ask, especially when we are bombarded on a daily basis with societies idea of “Perfection.”
Hey Beautiful Humans! Today I’m excited to share another fabulous mother as part of our Everyday Wisdom from Everyday Super moms series. Bethany from Biracial Bookworms is an international educator and mother who has raised a little one all over the world. Check out her amazing story!
My name is Bethany. I am married to the most amazing man, Tony, who I met overseas while teaching in Turkmenistan (Central Asia). My husband works for the US Embassy, so for the last 8 years, we have been traveling around the world together doing what we love most professionally. (We have lived in Turkmenistan, Egypt, Ukraine, Latvia, and most recently in Mauritania (West Africa).
My daughter was born in Cairo, Egypt in 2011; she is currently in Kindergarten. She has attended the International Schools I have taught at overseas, so moving to DC area with the vast diversity makes her feel right at home. We just moved back to the U.S. in June 2016, and currently live in the DC area (a 3-year assignment) and our second baby girl is due to arrive in just a few weeks.
With my oldest daughter, I loved everything pumpkin. I could not get enough! If anyone brought me pumpkin bread at school, I would cry and hug them, which thankfully in Egyptian culture, was acceptable!
With my current pregnancy, I love anything lemon. I had Lemon Ricotta pancakes at The Cheesecake Factory recently and was literally in HEAVEN. I have gone over 8 months without any aversions at all, until just this week when my husband was marinating steak recently and used apple cider vinegar. The smell took over the house and I went outside on the balcony in the freezing cold and snow just to run from the smell.
I was named after a city (Bethany, Israel) so I wanted to continue the tradition with my children. My first daughter, (Havana Jordan) was named after Havana, Cuba and the middle eastern country of Jordan. I will be giving birth to my 2nd daughter in about 3 weeks and we are still deciding between Laurel (California), Serena (Chile), or Victoria (Victoria Falls, Zambia).
We moved to Mauritania (West Africa) in 2014 and most of the streets are lined with garbage. People in the city are consistently throwing trash out their windows or down on the ground as they walk and it is culturally normal. I myself was shocked by this, but I did not realize my 3 ½ year old was soaking it in as well. After only a few weeks of living there, on a walk with neighbors, she threw down the juice carton she had finished on the ground. I immediately reacted and asked her to pick it up saying “we throw our garbage away in the trash can; it is not polite to throw garbage on the ground.” She responds with “but that is where Africans throw their trash.”
In Ukraine, all of the jarred baby food had a ton of sugar included. So, I bought baby cookbooks and a quality blender and taught myself how to make my own baby food. It was out of necessity, but because I started early with introducing my daughter to spices and flavors in her food. This translated into her being a fantastic eater to this day. In my classroom, I have a LOT of picky eaters. I thank God daily for my daughter eating whatever I make for her with no problem.
Recommended books for baby food:
Recommended baby food websites:
Do not buy into the guilt. There are so many who will judge you for being a working mother; this is not going to change. You know what your family needs and how to best meet those needs. You know if you are connecting with your children even when you work outside the home. Take time to reflect on the balancing act, but do not apologize to those who have chosen to stay at home. Both stay at home mothers as well as working mothers are rock stars and champions. We mothers need all the encouragement we can get; let’s all remember we are on the same team of raising amazing kids.
In March, 2015 (my daughter had just turned 5) we were on holiday in Sydney, Australia. We get in the elevator in our hotel where a man in a hat and his wife are inside.
My daughter Havana: (skipped inside) Hello!!
(The man turns around and my husband and I try not to geek out when we recognize it is Rod Stewart)
H: Watch, I can snap!
Rod Stewart: Wow, amazing! Can you whistle like this? (Demonstrates)
H: No I can’t whistle, but I can sing! (Starts freestyling a song she knows and then with her hip jutted out and all sassy then says); Can you sing???
Rod Stewart: Not like you, that was fantastic!
Havana: I know right!
My husband and I immediately dropped our jaws that our little one had just asked an internationally famous singer if he could sing as well as she could.
I didn’t start learning a second language until I was in middle school. Even then, it was a class you took for 45 minutes a day at school. I traveled to Mexico frequently (I grew up in San Diego), as well as had many Hispanic co-workers, friends at school. I wished I was more fluent then and now. I’ve taken language lessons overseas in every country we moved to, but learning languages as an adult is so much more difficult. For this reason, we started teaching our daughter multiple languages from the day we brought her home from the hospital. We hired a nanny that would only speak the local dialect to our daughter while my husband and I were working. My daughter speaks 3 languages and working on her 4th as a Kindergartener and I could not be more proud (or more jealous).
I could write a book about the things my daughter has taught me, but the biggest thing I think I have learned the past 6 years is watching her compassion for others and animals. She delights in helping, whereas I would either not notice or not care. She has taught me so much about slowing down to enjoy the smaller moments when I tend to be running a race all the time.
I feel humbled all the time at the mistakes I continually make with parenting. I have to remember that I will never get it exactly right and I have to apologize and move on in parenting just as I do in my marriage, my career, etc. Having your child repeat your behaviors and mistakes you are not proud of is very humbling, and a great reminder that I am only human. It makes me a lot less judgmental of a person when I see my weaknesses reflected in my daughter.
You know your child the best. Everyone you meet will have advice and you cannot possibly follow all of it or please everyone. There will always be a critic no matter what you do, and in this day and age where we google everything and the opinions make us think that we are failing at the parenting thing… do not be discouraged. You are your child’s best advocate and trust your instincts. Never back down from fighting for what you feel is right for your child.
Bethany Edwards has been a professional educator for 10 years with solid background in design and development of educational programs in literacy and curriculum development. Currently Bethany is taking a reprieve from classroom teaching to have another baby after returning recently to the United States. Her background includes teaching in grades K-8th, Curriculum Coordinator, Literacy Coach, Mentor Teacher, and Reading Specialist. She has taught in California, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Ukraine, Latvia, and Mauritania. She and her husband, Anthony, and their daughter live in Alexandria, VA and are enjoying spending quality time with their family traveling, playing sports, and cultural events.
Hey Momma. You are pretty incredible, you know that? You are hard-working and super cool and so, so important.
Can I be vulnerable with you for a minute? (Seeing as I can’t actually hear you as I type this, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume you answered “yes.”) My first 2 years as a mom were the hardest of my life. I didn’t have a support system, I was dealing with major undiagnosed depression and anxiety, and I thought my struggles were completely my fault. I was convinced I wasn’t cut out to be a mom. Mothering my beautiful son, who should have brought me immeasurable joy, sent me into a state of panic and desperation almost daily.
Something needed to change. I needed help. I needed to take care of myself.