Let’s start this post off with prefacing the fact that I am an A-type, OCD personality through and through. However, with all things parenting and motherhood, this just doesn’t go well with raising three little boys. I’ve learned in my almost five years of being a mom that I have to let go and let God. Literally. Like so many things are completely out of my control. And my job as a mama to these three little loves of mine, is to do the best that I can by going with the flow of our happy, but chaotic days.
While this is a lesson learned in time, I think all moms can agree that we’re always striving to be a relaxed mom, even when life makes it hard to succumb to it on a daily basis. I’m not going to tell all of you to get out there and have three babies. But, for me, it took somewhere between being a mom to one to being a mom to three to learn this valuable lesson.
You see, when I was a first time mom, I was all about Dr. Google and schedules. My world was completely rocked with being a new mom. Especially the whole “no sleep” part of caring for a newborn. As many moms have experienced first hand, I learned why sleep depravity is used as a torture tactic. No lie, it’s one of the first things that I enlighten upon my girlfriends who don’t have any kids. Call me naive, but I assumed newborns slept all the time. So it didn’t mean anything when people used to tell me to sleep now before baby comes. And boy did I hear it a lot. While I don’t tell my friends that same annoying phrase, I do let them know that sleep is something that you learn to live without as a mom to newborn babies.
Between babies #2 and #3, I have changed a lot in the way I parent my babies. Whether it was by force due to accommodating more than one child or just by learned confidence in my mothering abilities, these past 4.5 years have turned me into a relaxed mom. Here are a few tips on how to be a more relaxed mom:
Trust Your Instincts! (But Don’t Overreact)
This one is so hard to do, especially as a first time mama, but listen to that tiny little voice inside your head. The one that says hey, the babe feels a little warmer than usual today. Or hey, I haven’t seen that mark before. Listen to yourself, but don’t overreact. Trust your instincts and go with what you know! If something’s off and you don’t know what to do, call your pediatrician and/or nurse helpline and get help/reassurance. If it’s something you’ve dealt with before, trust yourself enough to follow through! After three babes, I’ve been through enough fevers to know when it’s just a ‘wait and see’ situation or a ‘head to urgent care’ situation.
Trusting myself and my parenting abilities has taken so much anxiety off my shoulders. I try not to overthink any given situation and go with the flow of what comes to me naturally. As a contrast to the examples above, I’ve also had situations where I was the only person that realized something was off with my babies. Whether it was an undetected dairy sensitivity or persistent jaundice discoloration, knowing when to (over)react has given me peace of mind when it comes to parenting my babies. No one knows your babes like you do, mama.
Take Breaks! (And Don’t Feel Guilty)
Some (most) days, I put the baby down for a nap and turn on Netflix for the older boys. It’s literally for thirty minutes (usually less), where I zone out. I scroll through my phone or I watch a Netflix show of my own. Sometimes, I just clean or go to the bathroom without having little hands grabbing at me for another snack or a clean diaper. While it took me a few tries to not let the mom guilt sink in, these days I am all about the midday break for me.
Wanting a break doesn’t make you a bad mom! And I guarantee that after the little refresh, you will be more relaxed and content with your babes! I swear it’s the only way I survive my solo parenting days.
Enjoy the Moments! (And Put That Phone Down)
I’m hugely guilty of being distracted by so many things throughout the day. I’m always trying to do ALLTHETHINGS because there’s always something to be done. But the days that I’m (extra) happy and relaxed are the days where I step away from it all (especially my phone). Just like the break I take for myself, I make sure that I take time to really enjoy my kids. Not just caring for them, but sitting down with them, and just being with them.
These days, I’m all about getting out with the kids. You might think I’m crazy, but I love taking all three boys out, even when it’s to run a quick errand. I know it sounds like a lot of work for little return. But, I would take the fresh air over sitting stir crazy at home any day of the week. It helps also that I’m not obsessed about nap times and schedules as I was the first time around. I can still remember how I gave myself so much grief if I missed a nap time or when bed time was delayed. While I’m grateful that all three of the boys are great sleepers, nowadays, I’m totally okay with a late(r) bedtime here and there.
Use What You Know! (And Pinterest the Rest!)
With all three of my babies, I have go to baby gear and products that I’ve bought over and over again. Aden & Anais swaddle blankets have been a favorite of mine since A! I love that they have so many uses: swaddle, blanket, car seat cover, nursing cover, burp cloth, etc. The new prints by ED Ellen DeGeneres Baby Collection are so adorable and sold exclusively at my favorite baby gear store, buybuy BABY.
There’s always Pinterest for you to look up the latest and greatest in all things baby gear and products. Because, let’s be real, there’s a new product coming out every other week. And for those of you like me who need to see products in person and test it out, head to your local buybuy BABY! Their product experts are so friendly and well-versed in the latest baby gear! They will put your mind at ease with whatever you purchase that you won’t have a second thought to the quality of any products you purchase for your babes.
Swaddles: ED by Ellen Degeneres
Socks: ED by Ellen Degeneres
Burpy Bib: ED by Ellen Degeneres
How to Be A Relaxed Mom