Real Mom Talk: Mom Style [GIVEAWAY]

I have to be honest here. Ever since becoming a mom, my style has changed. Bye bye to cut-off short shorts, mini skirts, open back crop tops, side boob (nonexistent) exposing camis, and etc. But that doesn’t necessarily mean my style has to suffer, I just modify it to fit this stage of my life – being a mom. I noticed that I started gravitating towards more of “mom clothes”, a little more  covered up, a bit more practical, and a lot more comfortable. Ain’t nobody want to see me flashing my ta-tas bending down to pick Em up! 😛 However, mom style can be cute and appealing too, like this floral wrap dress from PinkBlush! I love the boho style of this dress with right amount of flare but still appropriate for a mom like me. The best part of this dress is that it can also be worn as a maternity dress! I’ll be sure to rock this piece when we are pregnant with a second baby (whenever that’ll be!) – it’s so comfy!

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I’ve teamed up with PinkBlush to offer a $50 gift card to their store. For all you ladies looking for a chic, boho style apparel, head over to my Instagram for a chance to win the gift card to shop PinkBlush!

-m

 

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Real Mom Talk: Mommy Guilt

I don’t think any parent in this world is completely satisfied with their way of child rearing. Like every parent, I do my hardest to provide the best care for Em. With plethora of child rearing opinions we see and hear from others, I always end up second guessing myself on how I’m doing as a mother. Sometimes, we just need to shut the door on those judgments and opinions and be okay with the choices we make on how to raise our children.

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Of course, it took me a while to come to terms with my own mommy guilt. And to be completely honest, I still have moments when I feel like I should have done more. For example, breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is such a hot topic. It was one of the hardest mommy guilt I had to overcome. I never second guessed on being able to breastfeed when I was pregnant, we all know breastfeeding is what’s best for the baby. I looked forward to being able to breastfeed and having those special moments shared between just me and Em. However, I didn’t get to have those special moments for as long as I had hoped. When Em was born, she latched on almost immediately the first time we tried nursing. It was absolutely amazing, and I still vividly remember that first time. I felt like I was doing what I’m supposed to be doing as a mom, providing for my baby. Then with her surgery and stay in NICU, we had to bottle feed her for a while since she couldn’t feed on demand. We had to regulate her breast milk intake until her intestines were working properly. I pumped every 3 hours to feed her breast milk. When she came home from the hospital, she had a really hard time latching on. We went to see a lactation specialist, used the nipple shield, and it just wasn’t working. Em was cranky at feeding because she wasn’t getting enough and as fast as she would with bottles. Even with pumping, my supply eventually decreased. I tried Fenugreek pills, lactation cookies, drank tons of water and Gatorade, but I guess it was inevitable that my supply dried up since I wasn’t being consistent with nursing. After almost 3 months of feeding her breast milk, I decided to let it go, and we transitioned to exclusive formula feeding. It took me a while to be okay with this decision. But with the support around me, I eventually came to terms with it because all that mattered was that she was being fed. She was happy and full, and most importantly, I was still doing my job as a mother being able to provide her with food. It may not be in the form of breast feeding and breast milk, but she was growing and healthy, and that’s all that mattered.

Speaking of still being able to provide for her in other ways like buying formula (stupidly expensive), another mommy guilt I felt was being a full time working mom. While pregnant with Em, I always knew I’d return to work after my maternity leave. I didn’t think twice on it because I loved my job and the career I had. What didn’t occur to me is how I’d really feel once I had Em. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with being vulnerable from all the outrageous hormones in my body from giving birth, but I was SUPER emotional about going back to work. 3 months of maternity leave was way too short and the thought of leaving a helpless baby in someone else’s care was heartbreaking! It was ESPECIALLY tough when Em cried for me when I had to leave her with her nanny for the first week back to work. Rightfully, she was probably scared, it was a complete stranger both to her and me to trust! Although, I’m lucky to be able to work from home where I could still check-in on her when necessary, it was still extremely tough to be away from her 8 hours a day. And to be honest, at 6 months postpartum, I still feel the guilt of being a full time working mother. She spends most of her wake time with her nanny and not me. A part of me wish that I could be a stay-at-home mom, but I know that’s not the reality right now, and I have to make the best out of our situation. I’m just super glad to have found a nanny I can trust, and Em definitely likes her a lot which is a relief. The struggle of juggling work, being a woman, a mom and a wife is real. My home is never nearly as clean as I would like it to be, and I feel like I’m always a hot mess. But at the same time, I’m grateful to be able to contribute financially to our family. Because that means Em and our future children can grow up without feeling the financial burden.

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Though there are a lot of things in our ideal world we wish could transfer to our real world, you make the best out of your current situation. I think the most important thing is to be content with what you currently have. Despite the mom guilt I feel sometimes, I truly love who I am at this time in my life – a full time working career woman, mom and wife. 🙂

-m

Real Mom Talk: Sleep Regression Sucks

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Although I don’t have any previous experience with babies, I think Em was/is a great sleeper for the most part. I know I talked about never getting enough sleep in the previous posts, but that’s pretty normal and expected for parents with newborns. Now, we weren’t as lucky as those whose babies slept through the night as soon as they came home from the hospital. Em was a normal, textbook baby. She slept the right amount of hours according to all the baby books I’ve read, she woke up every 2-3 hours at night to feed which gradually stretched out further to 4-5 hours. She took great naps, 2-3 hours on the dot, and I was even following  the E.A.S.Y. method with a breeze (I didn’t actually purchase the book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg, but read a mommy blog post I found after Googling the E.A.S.Y. method). Go me! Then she started getting older and having a mind of her own – too soon I tell ya! Right around 4 month mark is when their world opens and everything is fascinating and exciting for these tiny humans. Simultaneously, this is also when their sleep starts to become more adult like… Goodbye sleep champ, hello sleep monster!

About two weeks before Em turned 4 months old, Steve and I started to loosely sleep train her. I read everything from CIO (cry it out) to no-tear sleep training to the Ferber method and everything in between! Can’t you tell I was desperately longing for Em to sleep through the night? ;P I believe 4 months is too young for a strict sleep training. I feel like they are still in that vulnerable stage of development, so I wasn’t comfortable with diving in full force with a strict method. However, we did start a bedtime routine – bath, Pjs, bottle, book, rock while humming nursery rhymes – around the same time every night (8pm ish). We also started putting Em down in her crib drowsy. She’s always been a great bassinet/crib sleeper for the most part. The challenge was putting her down drowsy and having her learn to fall asleep on her own. When I say we loosely sleep trained her, we’d let her fuss and fake cry a bit before going in to her room to console her after putting her down drowsy. The first couple of nights, she fussed and cried which is natural because up until that point, she always had help falling asleep by either of us rocking her to sleep. Whenever she fussed, either Steve and I would go into her room, pat her, stroke her head, give her the paci (if she spat it out), and tell her it’s okay and that it’s bedtime. We didn’t pick her up unless she started crying. After a week or so, she caught on and started falling asleep on her own after we put her down in her crib. She would babble, toss and turn in her crib and eventually fall asleep and stay asleep! She’d only wake up 1 or 2 times at night to feed (still sleeping) and go right back to sleep. SUCCESS! Please give us a gold medal, because we #WINNING! Not so fast…

Then this monstrous thing called sleep regression came for a visit. It was about a week or so after she had turned 4 months old. Steve and I were still feeling like winners because we had this bedtime/sleeping thing down. We even managed to push up her bedtime to 7-7:30pm! But out of nowhere, our sweet little sleep champ did a complete 180 on us and turned into a sleep monster! Em decided without consulting us (LOL) that she is no longer going to go to sleep at her bedtime and will fight us by crying immediately after we put her in her crib. Sometimes she would start crying while being changed into her PJs as if she knew what’s coming next. And when we finally got her to sleep, she’d wake up every 1-2 hours, literally. It also transferred to her daytime naps – goodbye 2-3 hours of naps, hello 30 mins – 1 hr catnaps! It was pure hell. In my delirious state, I was Googling how to get through 4 month sleep regression at the wee hours of the night, e.v.e.r.y. night for a week straight. Speaking of Googling anything baby related, I have learned that everything you read online can be a great resource, but take it with a grain of salt. And yes, everything you find online contradict each other on what works best. In the end, Steve and I did whatever it took to get her to sleep during the grueling week of 4 month sleep regression. We reverted back to rocking her to FULL sleep, forget putting her down drowsy, she would scream her head off. We also used the swing, the carrier and sometimes brought her into our bed (GASP!), don’t judge until you go through it yourself. But one thing that stayed constant was her bedtime routine. Thank GOD it only lasted a week (or so we think..knock on wood that we have jumped over the hurdle), but sleep regression really, really sucks. Big time. Now that we think the storm has passed, Em’s been back to normal – sleeping at her normal bedtime, falling asleep on her own, not waking up at night except to eat once. Actually, I want to note that last night (Feb 22, 2016), she slept through the night for the very first time (YAYYYYYYYYYYY)!! This is a huge milestone for us parents, so I just have to document it. She went down for her bedtime at 7pm and slept until 7am this morning! Did not wake up at all to eat. Hallelujah! I don’t want to be TOO optimistic that she’ll continue to sleep through the night, but she is getting there! Slow and steady wins the race, right?

All in all, we have survived the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. Although it may not have been as bad as what other parents have experienced, it was brutal for Steve and me, and we are so glad it’s done and over with!…At least until the next sleep regression. One thing I learned from all of this is that we have to be flexible. Having a Type A personality, it was tough for me to come to terms with the fact that what I think should work may not work for Emma. Not all babies are the same, so whatever I was reading on the internet or in the books may not be the right path for Em. We just have to roll with the punches! In the end, we do whatever is best for our babies, right? We wanted Emma to have better sleep, so she can be a happy baby even if we had to take a step back from what we thought was a great progress made. After all, these babies are helpless, they just want lots of love and nurture to be able to overcome their developmental milestones. Can you imagine what it’s like being a baby where they are experiencing something new every single day? It’s like sensory overload for their brains! BUT I still would not want to go back to that week from hell..at least not until the next one hits. ;D

So as a first time mom, I wanted to start a series of my mom experiences in the rawest form in order to capture whatever I have going on in my head. This was the first post of the series and hopefully I’ll have many more to come! It’s probably just a lot of my mumbo jumbo word vomit, but hope you enjoyed it nonetheless!

-m