The Motherhood Project: Emma

“I think about myself a lot less. I’m sure this is true of most moms. It’s impossible to think about yourself constantly when you have a little human depending on you!”

Name: Emma

Childs Name/Age: Addie, 2 years old

Matheson Family-0010.jpg

(This family photo is from when she just barely turned one haha. We need to do new pictures!)

Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: YES!! I LOVED being pregnant. I didn’t experience much discomfort until the last week or so. While i was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to have a million babies because I loved pregnancy so much! That soon changed though because postpartum was really tough for me.

How was your delivery experience?: I labored naturally for 3 days. It wasn’t bad the first day, but I couldn’t eat, drink or sleep much, so by the end I was dehydrated and exhausted and couldn’t progress. I planned on natural delivery but ended up getting an epidural. I felt a million times better after getting the IV. Just being rehydrated was so nice! And then once I had the epidural I was able to rest. I used the hypnobirthing method, which was a lifesaver. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without hypnobirthing! My husband was a fantastic birth partner. I also had a doula, but Pat talked me through every single contraction. Addie aspirated meconium at birth, and subsequently contracted a lung infection. Right after she was born she was rushed off to the NICU. I didn’t even really get to do skin to skin. She had to be on oxygen and IV antibiotics. Shortly after entering the NICU, they discovered that we had ABO blood incompatibility. Basically, sometime during labor, my blood entered her body. I have O+ blood and she has A blood. My blood cells started producing antibodies against her blood cells, which is a huge problem. It was really scary for us. A week later everything had cleared up and she was good to go home. Looking back now, and comparing to other’s NICU experiences, ours was a really short one. However, ANY time in the NICU is hard- physically, and more so emotionally. We were so grateful to live in a place with access to such good health care so that our little girl would be ok.

What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: Patience? Balance? Being a mom is so hard! It is 100x harder than I expected it would be. I didn’t expect it to be easy by any means, but there was just so much I had no idea about (and I research a LOT haha). So far the worst part about parenting for me has been potty training. I never knew how angry I could be at my child until I was potty training. It was really hard. But now that she has been trained for a while, I am SO glad we did it! I’m proud of both of us haha.

What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: I am pretty good at talking to Addie. I am not a very chatty person, but I knew from the beginning that talking to your baby is important. Since the beginning I have forced myself to talk to her about almost everything, and now it comes pretty naturally. I tell her what I’m doing, I tell her why we are doing things, I tell her where we are going in the car, etc etc. She is a big talker now, and asks lots of questions. I love it. I also make it a point to read to her everyday. I think that’s really important.

What is your parenting style?: I am instinctively a very protective mom but I’ve had to teach myself to take a step back to let Addie learn to recover from falling etc, and I’ve really had to learn to not gasp or make a big deal about when she gets hurt. If I do gasp, she almost always cries. When I don’t make a big deal out of stuff, she usually just moves on. I like to let her play by herself throughout the day. I remember reading that it’s OK to let your kids be bored. They don’t have to have a planned activity every single second of the day. Sometimes my first instinct is to turn on a show for her, but then I have to tell myself- “no, she can play instead of watching tv”. She is usually pretty good at entertaining herself, and it makes me so proud when I find her quietly playing/exploring while I’m cooking or cleaning or whatever. And nothing is cuter than finding her laying on her stomach, looking at a book. I always have to take a picture when I find her like that because IT IS SO CUTE!

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?: I don’t think I have a favorite part of the day, but my favorite times with Addie are when she is either super cuddly (this doesn’t happen a lot, so every time it does I cherish it!), or when we are giggling together, or just when she is super happy and smiley. When she smiles big, her eyes turn into crescent moons and her cuteness makes me want to hug her so hard and kiss her cheeks. I usually do!

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: Anyone who is patient! Patience is something I really struggle with. It takes a lot of energy for me to calmly respond to something that causes me frustration.

Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: Don’t compare yourself to other moms! I am guilty of this, but you just can’t compare- it doesn’t ever help. Everyone is different! Everyone’s kids are different! And all those mommy bloggers who look like they have it together everyday, don’t. No one does. If you have a crappy day, just remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day, and that you can make that day different than yesterday, in a good way!

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself?: Right now it’s Old Navy. Lately their stuff has been so cute, and they always have good sales going on. Also.. Amazon! I have never shopped online so much in my life! It’s so much easier than taking a toddler out all day haha

Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: Old Navy. I have also really loved H&M- their prices are SO cheap, and the clothes are so cute.

What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without?: My epilator! Seriously, this thing changed my life. I use it on my legs and armpits, and i only have to do it once a week at most. And because it pulls the hairs all the way out, my skin stays smoother longer, and the regrowth is soft and thin. When I shave, I have regrowth the next day, but when I use the epilator i’m smooth for about 5 days. It’s so nice!

Favorite product for your child/children?: Eucerin Eczema Relief cream. Addie has had small spots of eczema since she was about 6 months old. It’s a lot better now and only flares up every now and then, but I still use this thick cream on her after every bath.

How has being a mom changed your life?: I’m going to answer this question with a list haha
-I have never lived off of so little sleep before. I only did one all nighter during college, and that was to pack up my dorm. She started sleeping through the night around 16 months I think, which was and is a HUGE blessing. Before then I woke up with her multiple times a night, every night.
-Before becoming a mom, I was pretty content being at home all day. I’m a homebody at heart. But now I NEED adult interaction during the day at least every couple of days. Even if it’s just talking to other moms after music class for 15 minutes. I love being at home but sometimes you just have got to get out of the house. It’s like a reset button!
-I’ve been a germaphobe for as long as I can remember. I always have hand sanitizer in my bag- just in case. If you are sick don’t come near me haha! Since becoming a mom though, I’m a lot more relaxed about germs. I even sometimes eat food that has fallen on (my) floor *gasp*. I guess I figured if my kid was eating stuff that fell on the floor, and it didn’t kill her, I could do it too haha.
-I love having a little buddy with me all day. My husband works full time and is also doing his masters degree full time. I would be so lonely if it weren’t for Addie!
-I don’t get embarrassed about that much stuff anymore. For example, I regularly sing and dance while we are shopping just to keep Addie entertained.
-I think about myself a lot less. I’m sure this is true of most moms. It’s impossible to think about yourself constantly when you have a little human depending on you!
-Overall, I guess parenthood has taught me about what really matters in life. Are we together as a family? Are we happy?
-I have wanted to be a mom my whole life- I’m grateful to be blessed with a daughter!

*If you have anyone you’d like to nominate to be featured on the blog (yourself included) send me their email or phone number and I will contact them/you!

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