My top 5 thoughts for new moms, after my first year

If you know me at all, I take any chance I can to be reflective – think about growth, change, and life. Now that Elizabeth is 1, I’ve done a lot of reflecting! From the months that Troy worked out of town (until Elizabeth was six-months-old), to him finding new work, to building deeper relationships as a new mom and figuring out what I need in this new season of life to thrive – it’s been a huge year. I actually had friends tell me, “You need to decide what helps you thrive as a Mom.” It was liberating, the though that I was given the freedom to choose to thrive as a new mom. And a little scary. What? You mean, someone can’t just TELL me what to do? There isn’t a manual for every stage that I can follow?

For me, it goes without saying that as a new mom, I needed a lot of Jesus and a lot of coffee 😉  If you’ve followed along this passed year here, you may have seen the refining and drawing close that God has done in my heart.  The ways, or moments, I have found to still lean in to the Lord and learn more about Him. In my heart, I feel a deeper love for God than I did a year ago, and that makes me happy. Because that is His work in me, not of my own strength (because there has been reduced amounts of that this year!)   I think God holds new moms especially close, and I hope that you, as a future parent, give yourself a lot of grace as you grow in to a very important, amazing, challenging, and beautiful new role in life.

I read this the other day and thought it was so beautiful… Isaiah 40:11 (NLT), “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”

This is for those of you moving into parenthood who maybe don’t have a lot of friends or siblings to glean from… Take what works for you, and hopefully it will help you along your journey xo

My Top 5 Thoughts For Future Moms…

  • Hormones are natural, okay, sometimes hard, and are just a part of the process

Sometimes I like a good cry, but if I don’t know WHY I’m crying, then I’d really rather not. Like, can we just get this over with and move on? The first month especially I would have random bouts of tears about who knows what, and I tried my best to embrace them as part of the healing process, but it isn’t easy! I had friends encourage me in those days that it’s okay to have a good cry – life has just drastically changed. But if you can look at hormones as a sign of life – our body regulating itself, changing as it needs – it’s actually a beautiful thing. Some things that are uncomfortable are meant for our healing and we just have to be okay with that. (key the soft music that signals that I am still majorly allowing the Holy Spirit to work on this in me!)

That said, it’s okay to cry. Lean in to your husband, let him hold you. Your body just gave LIFE so it’s going to take time, and changing of hormones, to re-regulate.

I also felt lots of anxiousness at times. I was so nervous about putting her in her car seat (hello new parent!), or driving with her on my own, at first. It seemed like such a daunting task to now have this little human to take everywhere with me! Worry about a new little human that is now in your care is natural, just make sure it doesn’t consume you, or that you have someone to talk to if it does. That said…

  • You NEED other moms

This isn’t even a suggestion, it’s an absolute necessity! They say it takes a village to raise a child, well, I think it takes a village to raise a mom!! Before and since Elizabeth, I have felt so surrounded by friends from advice to texts of “It’s okay, that’s normal” kind of thing. I also have a mom’s group at church, and have been blessed to have friends to do coffee and playdates with throughout this journey. Without a doubt that has eased my worries, questions, doubts and fears as a new mom. You need people who have been there before, even if every child is different.

  • Get used to change. It’s now constant.

Just when I felt like I was starting to get the hang of a schedule, or what Elizabeth was doing, she’d go and do something new! Or have a night, or day, where sleep was out of the question, and I had no idea why. I’d cram my brain, trying to think of what I’d done different or what may have thrown her off. But at the end of the day, I had to realize she’s a baby growing at rapid speeds, and it just is what it is.

I’d like to think that motherhood is teaching me to go with the flow more. A bit 😉 That’s not a natural state for me, so I am sure that part of my personality will continue to be challenged and grow as she continues to change!

  • You really will love every stage

I LOVED four-months-old. She was sleeping steadily, happy happy baby. Gave us her first giggles around that time. And then teething. And then eating. And then dropping a nap. And moving. But you know what? There was still something in each change that knocked our socks off with cuteness that we loved and adored. Even though I loved the first 12 months so so much, I know that as she grows into herself, we will keep loving every stage – challenges and all.

Aside from marrying Troy, becoming a Mom has been the best gift – and also demanded the most from me. Your time is no longer your own, and you learn to become super organized and multitask (not successfully every time! I have burned A LOT of things this year!) But it takes ALL of you. But it’s also thoroughly worth it. I know some day, when our babies are moved out, Troy and I will look back and think “those were the best years”, raising our family. So I intend to soak up every minute the best I can.

  •  Love your home, and get good at being at home.

Before Elizabeth was born, I was doing contract work from home – due to timing of getting married, my work, moving, etc. I wasn’t able to find full-time work, so I actually never had a maternity leave. God has been faithful to provide!

That being said, being home a lot before she was born was an absolute gift. I had a huge transition after we got married and moved and I went from working in an office full of colleagues, to working at home in a 500sq ft suite.  I’m sure glad we had our dog! It was a MAJOR adjustment, filled with a lot of emotion and learning to give myself some grace. If you want to read more about that season of life, you can buy my book here, called After I Do.

Had I not had that time to adjust, I can see how going from working full-time, maybe 2-3 weeks off, and then a baby arriving, can cause some people to spiral. What? I now have to be home alone all day with this baby? I think that if you can get used to being home a lot, and loving your four walls, then that will go a long way to helping your adjustment once baby arrives. Have some flowers, pretty pictures, nice pillows, or whatever… have some sanctuary. Because being a new mom, especially the first year, requires A LOT of home time, and you want to enjoy it as much as you can. Naps and sleep are a priority, so for me, there were a lot of days where either we didn’t go out, or we had quick one-hour errands and then back home again. I learned to shop for groceries online and schedule around her schedule as much as I could.

I think it was God’s gift to me to have some lengthy time at home before she arrived, as it helped me adapt when our little bundle arrived, because I was already quite used to being at home a lot!

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There you are friends…my top 5 thoughts if you are becoming a Mom (or Dad!) in the next little while. God is holding you close!

xo

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Happy first birthday to our girl, Elizabeth Grace

Ok, so people were right – it flies by! So much change, so much joy, so much LEARNING and letting go! I wrote this little poem as an ode to our girl as we celebrate all that she is and all she’s becoming…

A girl who was curious from the beginning, pledged to God is what your name means.

Our hearts wept with joy when your lungs cried out, “you’re safe now,” I whispered in your ear.

We’ve had our parenting moments, of bliss and frustration.

No one can prepare you for the journey, they were right.

And we wouldn’t change any of it.

We watch you as you grow, personality coming alive.

Your Lizzie-isms make us laugh, you’re such a treasure.

This year has flown by, now here to embrace the girl you’re becoming.

But time, could you slow down, just a bit?

Know that Daddy and I are here, always, when you need a hand or hug.

I pray you love Jesus, have rich friendships, and a heart that is brave and tender.

I pray that you know great love, joy and peace… and a handsome prince… some day 😉

You are loved, wanted, and treasured, our Elizabeth Grace.

Love, Mommy xo

 

 

 

 

Baby bump at home

As the weeks disappear quickly, we are getting closer and closer to meeting our baby girl! Last week Troy captured a few pictures of me and baby belly, just around our home. I think he did pretty great! We have booked a photographer for her newborn photos, but since I’m not a fan of cheesy maternity pics, I just wanted some simple ones to remember this season by. Now we just need to sneak Troy into some! 😉 Here’s me at 32 weeks pregnant with our little girl…

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Nursery progress … preparing for our daughter

I’ve always wanted a little girl. The girly-girl in me loved the idea of having a little one to dress up, shop with, bake cookies with, and to teach all the little things that will one day (hopefully!) make her an amazing young woman who loves Jesus.

Troy and I are still deciding on her name, though we have narrowed it down to a couple. We may just have to meet her and see her to know for sure! We went through all our family history of female names and unless we want to name her Blodwin, Lydia, Dorothy, Agnes, Florence, or Margaret – then she will have her own new name 🙂

Before we even found out we were having a baby girl, I started a Pinterest board for nursery ideas – dreaming. If you know me at all, then it’s no surprise that mint/robins egg blue, soft pink, and gold are the colours in her nursery. I want a “whimsical nature” feel. I have a thing for birds lately, and have always loved flowers. I saw this idea below for a mobile (found here) that I am to make in the next couple of weeks for over her crib. How cute is that? If you follow me on Instagram, I will post a picture when mine is finished!

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Her room is our old office, so it has built-ins and a large window. It is the most peaceful and well-lit room in the house. There will be plenty of shelving space for books and stuffed animals! When I have the whole room complete (sometime by March 20!), I will do an updated blog post, but for now, here is us… preparing for our Baby Girl Lupul…

This is a bunch of decor I’ve collected, and the vintage/girly/whimsical look I am going for. I found this wonderful artist off Etsy that did the verse and prints for me. I have a collection of old hats that were my great-grandmother’s, and one or two of them will definitely be making an appearance in her nursery! I have had the blessing of time to collect and prepare for her nursery, for which I am so thankful! I know many women are working full-time or have other children to tend to while pregnant, so I am savouring the quiet and time I have right now before she arrives!

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Before I knew we were having a girl, I came across this verse and it literally jumped out at me. I knew this was her verse!
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We made this board hanger out of some old barnboard that I had aged to look like wallpaper, along with some doorknobs we had hidden in our garage. I love it so much!
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This morning’s view 🙂 The lamp will go, and a changing pad will go on top of course. I aim to find a floor lamp for beside the rocker. I might add more art to this wall, I may not. We shall see!FullSizeRender (5)

I found the perfect fabric at Fabricland and we ordered foam from a mattress store (way cheaper than ordering at Fabricland!). I bought the pink pillow covers and put them over pillows I already had. The white one I found at the thrift store and gave it a wash, and it’s good as new! For now, our dog Pippa is still enjoying her favourite view here 🙂
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When we have settled on a name for her, I’d like a lovely monogram or her name above the window here. To the left is an old rocking chair (we were just gifted with this weekend!) and some floral/bird art will go on the wall. Yes, the crib needs some outfitting yet! 😉 It’s a small space, but will be cozy and pretty and I love it already!
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Okay Baby Girl Lupul, 10 weeks until we get to meet you!

Love you already,
Mommy xo