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

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(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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

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The Motherhood Project: Sarah

” It has made me more patient with myself, and has taught me that things don’t have to be “picture perfect” in the moment in order to enjoy it, and that there is power, connection, and beauty to be found in being vulnerable.”

Name: Sarah | Child/Children’s Names/ages: B-4, P-3, L-2, O-10 Months, Pregnant with Baby F.

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Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: There are so many things that I love about it! I had serious morning/pregnancy sickness until delivery day with our first four babies, [and currently have it with our 5th,] which meant/means lots of throwing up and lots of IV’s during most of it, but there are still so many amazing parts of pregnancy that I really enjoy!:)

How was your delivery experience?: I know everyone’s experience is so different, but I have felt like delivery is so magical. With our first baby, I had a long and rough labor, got a fever and antibiotics, and pushed for 3 1/2 hours. I still think it was a beautiful experience, and at the end of it I was holding a perfect baby boy in my arms. With our second, I had a Pitocin-induced labor, but wanted to try unmedicated and was able to do that. Our third and fourth babies were also unmedicated hospital births! I feel like every way that a baby gets here is a good one and am a huge advocate of women feeling empowered about giving birth!:)

What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: In terms of struggles on the physical side, I’ve had a hard time keeping my milk to nurse longer than 4-6 months! I’m totally open to feeding my babies any way that will get them the nutrition they need, but at first it was hard emotionally since it’s something I wanted to do and felt that my body should be able to do. But, it worked out and all I can ask for in that department is for happy and healthy kids, which they are!

What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: Although I definitely have my moments, I don’t feel like I get too worked up over small things and can laugh off a lot. Which, I feel might be kind of necessary with soon to be 5 kids ages 5 and under! Haha!:) I also try to document each child the best I can so that we can remember each stage!

What is your parenting style?: I don’t know if I really have a style, but I like the kids to make choices, even if they are simple ones. There are rules and boundaries that are expected to be obeyed, especially because they are simple and the kids have agreed to them and even helped us set most of them. We can be strict, but we like to have fun! We [usually, haha] like to hear them out and understand “Why” they did something. We feel like it’s important to make sure they each feel special and that they know they make us happy every time we greet them. We are still figuring out rules and discipline as we go along, and I think since they are all so little, the way we interact with them and discipline will change over time as they get older and understand more!

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?: They are so happy in the morning!:) Also, when they have preschool and come home, lunch is so fun to hear them talk about their day. Sometimes afterwards we wind down to nap time with a movie, which I love, since snuggles are the best.

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: I feel blessed to have so many Moms who I look up to! I have a dear friend with 8 kids who is so sound in her beliefs and the way she teaches her kids; it’s really inspiring. I feel the beautiful responsibility of wanting to make sure I’m taking the adequate amount of time daily to teach our children about things that are important to us as a family, which means anything from family prayer and studying out of the scriptures, to having simple conversations about why it’s important to be kind.

Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: Oh man, I don’t feel like I’m qualified to give advice, haha, but I feel like it’s important to remember what an important work it is that we are doing. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like “enough,” [and other times it might feel like “too much!”] but it is so crucial. I also think it’s important for Moms to have hobbies! So, if there is anyone who feels lost within themselves and in what they are doing, I would encourage them to start saying, “Yes.” Yes to new opportunities and experiences, even if you think you’ll be “bad” at it. You never know what you will fall in love with unless you try! Even if your hobby is taking a bath…sometimes simple things can help us feel validated and happy and can help us remember who we are, or give us the space to clear our minds and steer ourselves in the direction of who we want to become.

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: I like the Costco kids’ section for comfy PJ’s and Jane for both me and the kids!:) I like finding sales online and if I go into a store, it’s usually TJ Maxx or Tai Pan.:)

What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without? Favorite product for your child/children?: I don’t know if it’s technically a product…but chocolate and Nutella should be near at all times.;) I also love my Stekki Bebe wrap because it makes traveling, playing, or swimming with a baby so much easier. Also, my triple stroller. Haha! I might not leave the house as often without it!

How has being a mom changed your life?: I have learned and am constantly learning SO much. I now understand that all-consuming love that a parent can have for their child, and I know that your capacity to love your children and others only grows and grows with each one! By nature, I would like to think I’ve always been this way to some degree, but as a Mom, I feel slow to judge and quick to feel genuine and deep joy for others in their triumphs and sincere love, compassion, and concern in their pain. Being a Mom has brought to my attention and even highlighted my weaknesses, but also my strengths. It has made me more patient with myself, and has taught me that things don’t have to be “picture perfect” in the moment in order to enjoy it, and that there is power, connection, and beauty to be found in being vulnerable.

*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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

The Motherhood Project: Felicia

“It’s amazing how much we can love a little person from the first instant we see them.”

Name: Felicia Houston

Child/Children’s Names/ages: Hank – 20 months

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Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: I loved being pregnant with Hank. I had mild morning sickness that lasted until I was 19 weeks and REALLY swollen ankles the last month. Those are the only things that stand out in my mind, so i really cant say a bad word about being pregnant. It was a magical 9 months -full of worry, of course, pregnancy can be scary- but
oh so magical!

How was your delivery experience?: My delivery was wonderful. I was so worried about it my whole pregnancy. My biggest fear was going to the hospital and being sent home. But in the end, it was kind of a breeze. I had a doctors appointment Monday morning. He stripped my membranes and told me i’d have some bad cramps but don’t go to the hospital. Two hours later the “bad cramps” started. They started to get closer together and more intense. I had no idea they were contraction. I think I said to Kyle probably 30 times, “if these are just the bad cramps i’m not gonna make it. I can’t have a baby.” I called my mom to ask her about it and she said they sounded like contractions and if i wanted to have a baby today i needed to go for a walk to keep them coming closer together. So we
did. At about 5:45 that night they were about 2-3 minutes apart and i started throwing up, so my mom told me to go to the hospital. I walked in so scared they would turn me away – but they didn’t!! I was far enough they let me stay. They gave me an epidural, broke my water, and i progressed really quickly until i got to about a 8 1/2. Then we sat there and waited for a couple hours. At 3:28 am and after an hour of pushing – Hank was finally born. It wasn’t the delivery i had imagined in my head. They didn’t let Kyle cut the cord and i only got to touch him for probably 10 seconds before they rushed him down the hall to the NICU team. But everything turned out fine. After a week in the NICU our sweet little baby got to come home to us. It was a week full of lots of emotions (and hormones), but i wouldn’t change anything about it.

What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: I think one of my biggest struggles is trying to balance being a fun mom while still doing real life stuff like laundry,
cleaning the house, and grocery shopping. Sometimes I think Hank gets board of me cause i’m the parent that folds the laundry and then dad comes home and they build a fort together and get out every toy in the entire house. So during the day I have to make sure I spend enough time just being with Hank and not worrying if my to-do list gets done.

What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: I think my biggest strength is communicating with Hank. –But that is probably Hanks doing and not mine.– I can explain to him why we can’t do something and he nods his head ok and moves on. He rarely gets upset when I explain to him why we cant do something and life just moves on. He’s an awesome little guy.

What is your parenting style?: I’m kind of just a go with the flow kind of mom. I was raised to just go with the flow, so as a mom I am the same way. Hank does have a pretty good schedule, but we’re very flexible. Which means sometimes Hanks nap is in the car. But thats ok with me. I cant handle being in the house all day to keep a strict schedule. So we just go with the flow because every day is different.

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?: My favorite part of the day with Hank is when he wakes up from his nap. He usually takes a good 10 minutes
after he wakes up to really wake up. So for 10 minutes all he wants to do is snuggle with me on the couch. It’s my favorite part of the day. It melts me, and it always gives me a little pick me up to keep trying to be the best mom I can be for him because I feel so lucky he is mine.

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: I look up to so many people with their amazing examples. But of course my main inspiration is my mother. She is
literally the most amazing mom. She was always my best friend growing up and she still is. I call her probably way more than i should. But i don’t care… and i don’t think she does either! 🙂 I hope i can be that kind of mom for my kids.

Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: Just remember we are all making it up as we go. Just try your best to make your baby happy and that’s all that really matters!

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: My favorite place to shop for Hank is Target. They have cute stuff that you don’t have to spend a fortune on. I don’t really have a favorite store for myself. Boring – i know. But it really just depends on the day for me.

What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without? Favorite product for your child/children?: All I need is a Diet Coke a day. haha just kidding. But seriously. It keeps me going. For Hank I love, Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme. I have tried a lot of different things on his dry eczema little legs but every since i started using this his skin has been so soft!! I would recommend it over anything else.

How has being a mom changed your life?: Being a mom has been the funnest, most fulfilling, and most challenging thing all in one. It’s amazing how much we can love a little person from the first instant we see them. I would do anything for Hank, even though he tests my patience everyday. Having a baby of my own has given me a whole new perspective. It makes me love things more, appreciate things more, admire my own parents more, and have better goals for myself. Being a mom is an amazing blessing.

*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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

The Motherhood Project: Whitney

“3 contractions later and we had a slimy baby in our arms. I couldn’t stop crying I was so happy and relieved.”

Name: Whitney

Childs Name/Age: Raelyn Grace, 4 months

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Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: I really regret not trying to enjoy my pregnancy more. My 4 previous pregnancies had all ended in miscarriages. I always told myself that when a pregnancy finally “stuck” I would be the happiest pregnant person ever. But my anxiety definitely got the better of me. I spent 9 months being more anxious than I’ve ever been. Looking back I miss that little belly and feeling her kick and ultrasound appointments. I had a fairly easy pregnancy with very few complications. It’s definitely better having her on the outside but I wish I would have tried harder to cherish that time.

How was your delivery experience?: I was induced right at 39 weeks. She had stopped growing, my placenta was showing signs of calcification, and there was low amniotic fluid. I went in the night before for cervical ripening. I’ve never been so excited or nervous in my life. My husband snoozed away on the couch while I stared at her heart monitor… all… night… long. The next morning they broke my water and started pitocin. Labor was a lot faster than we all expected. Before we knew it I was ready to push. My doctor didn’t even have time to change…my photographer almost didn’t make it…3 contractions later and we had a slimy baby in our arms. I couldn’t stop crying I was so happy and relieved.

What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: I consider myself a very “efficient” person. When we brought our baby home my mom stayed with me for a week. I remember telling my mom the “agenda” for the day which included 2 doctor appointments and grocery shopping on the way home so we could be as efficient with our time as possible. My mom laughed, advised me reschedule one of the appointments and we would go grocery shopping another day. Best advice I’ve ever gotten. I’m learning to cut myself some slack especially when I only get one and a half things done off my list.

What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: I’ve felt my confidence grow as I’ve been able to meet her needs. I was so worried that I wouldn’t know what she needed or what was wrong with her. But as I stop and think and follow my gut I’ve been able to slowly begin to understand her and that’s a good feeling.

What is your parenting style?: I would like to say laid back but I’m probably more uptight/ helicopter. I’m so anal about safe sleeping and pretty anal about a schedule. I also check on her a million times. But then other things I don’t care about like if her binky drops on the ground or if my dog licks her- other people would flip a lid. I guess I’m pretty inconsistent and it drives my husband crazy ha ha who knows what I’ll decide to be anal about today! I blame the hormones and lack of sleep 😉

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?: I love when she wakes up from naps. I really miss her and I just want to play with her. Unless I’m napping while she is napping… then that’s a whole other story lol

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: My mom and my sisters are all really great examples to me.

Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: Cut yourself some slack!! Don’t get wound up about what you didn’t get done! Be realistic with your expectations with yourself. It’s really helped me to set one goal for the morning and one goal for the afternoon and as I accomplish those goals my confidence grows. It might be working out, drinking enough water, doing a load of laundry, or taking out the trash. No matter how small it is, it feels good to get it done!

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: I hate leaving the house… AMAZON for everything ha ha
What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without? Netflix/Hulu saved me in the early days. Especially when I was sleep deprived. My baby won’t latch so I am only pumping and being able to watch my favorite shows while pumping by myself makes it less miserable. Favorite product for your child/children? Owlet!!! We are anxious crazies at our house! I couldn’t sleep without it!

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How has being a mom changed your life?: I’ve dreamed about what being a mom would be like for a long time through all our struggles. I had painted this wonderful picture. I was scared I had unrealistic expectations but honestly it’s exactly how I imagined. I never knew I could be this tired and most days I feel like a failure but being a mom is the best! And definitely worth the wait!

*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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

The Motherhood Project: Chelsea

“I feel that in those days we shared really special and spiritual moments as a family that have made me so much stronger as a mother now.”

Name: Chelsea

Childs name and age: Hattie Pearl, 3 months old

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Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: The first part of my pregnancy I was super sick. Then at 10 weeks I started bleeding a lot and had to go to the ER and we found out that my placenta was having some problems. It was a scary moment and I was sure that I was having a miscarriage. The bleeding stopped, baby girl was doing great, and eventually my sickness went away. Until the end of the dreaded 3rd trimester. It was like I was having morning sickness all over again with the nausea and throwing up, not to mention feeling so huge this time around. So did I enjoy my pregnancy? Well let’s just say that I enjoyed being able to feel our little one move around and knowing that your body is capable of growing a tiny human is a really cool feeling.

How was your delivery experience?: Well I went to the hospital both the Monday and Tuesday before Hattie was born on Wednesday but got sent home even though I was dilated to a 4. My contractions just weren’t consistent enough. My water broke at home (I was going to go to work that day but my boss advised me to stay home, thank goodness) and almost instantly my contractions came on so fast and strong, they were 2 minutes apart. First, I thought I was going to die because of the pain, I am wimp and do not handle pain well. Then I thought I was going to have my baby in the car on the way to the hospital. But when I got to the hospital, I got an epidural and it helped. Seriously, props to moms who do it naturally. Contractions are no joke. When I got to the hospital I was 4 and a half centimeters dilated but quickly dilated to an 8, then soon after a 10. Hattie was still up too high so the nurse wanted to try to let her come down a little before I started pushing. I remember laying there telling my husband “I can’t believe this is it, I can’t believe she’ll be here so soon” it is such a surreal experience. While being in labor I got really sick. I started to get a fever and really nauseous. The nurse was trying everything to get my fever down but it just kept going up. Once I started pushing, I was throwing up in between pushes. They had me push for an hour, and then rest for an hour. I was so miserable. Thank goodness for my sweet husband who never left my side and kept cheering me on. Hattie’s heart rate was also getting dangerously high. So, the nurse had to call the NICU team in before she was born to be ready to get her when she came out. Once she came, she was covered in meconium and the NICU team instantly grabbed her and cleaned her up and checked her out right there in the delivery room. When they gave her to me I felt instantly bonded with her. I knew her and I know that she knew me. We got to hold her for a little while. That first time with just my husband and I in the room with her was so special, she truly was a little piece of heaven. We then had some family who came in and held her for a little bit too. But the nurse kept looking at her with a concerned face. She kept telling us “Sorry, I just feel like she’s not breathing right and I just need to listen to her lungs”. Bless her heart for being so attentive because she was right. She had the respiratory therapist come in three different times while being in the delivery room. I was getting so stressed that something was wrong with our perfect little baby, but the respiratory therapist kept telling us that everything was okay.  We got in the elevator to go down to the mother baby unit and that was the last time I saw our sweet girl that night. They immediately took her to the NICU and she began her week long stay there. We found out that her lungs weren’t expanding enough and she also had an infection that she got from my placenta. I instantly felt like everything was my fault and that my body had failed me because I didn’t keep our little girl healthy. But the nurses and doctors in the NICU were truly amazing, and they kept telling me that it wasn’t my fault and that I was a strong woman and a great mom. When Hattie was first born and I saw other people having their babies, I almost got a little envious of how they could keep their baby, and snuggle them when they wanted, and take them home when they got released from the hospital because we didn’t get that experience. But I honestly wouldn’t change our experience for the world. Because even though Hattie was in the NICU for just 7 days, I feel that in those days we shared really special and spiritual moments as a family that have made me so much stronger as a mother now. I think for me, that experience is what I needed in my life at that time.

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What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: I’d say my biggest struggle right now is how paranoid I am. I hate how paranoid I get about things or people being around our daughter if they’re dirty or sick. I know its normal with moms and their first babies, but I’d also like to chalk it up to her rough start to life. And it honestly bugs me that I’ve turned into “that mom” who makes everyone put hand sanitizer on before coming within three feet of her.

What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: Right now, I’d say that my biggest strength when it comes to being a mom is almost being able to tell what Hattie needs. It’s taken me a while to figure it out, and there is still a lot I need to learn and honestly I’m not always right, but I like that I know when she’s tired or hungry or needs a diaper change or just to be held a certain way.

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?: Since I have started back at work, I’d say my new favorite part of the day is the evening. I love swaddling her up for the night before she goes to bed. She cuddles up and falls asleep in my arms and I melt every single time. I really do feel like it’s a bonding experience for both of us. I am seriously obsessed with my child.

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: I would have to say my own mother of course. I have gained so much respect and appreciation for her. When we brought Hattie home from the hospital my mom stayed the night with us that first night, even though she lives like 5 minutes away. I cried when she left the next night because I would miss her. She truly is such an amazing mother and I hope that someday I’ll be half the mom she is. I also think that my mother-in-law and all of my sisters are an inspiration too. They all have different parenting styles but they all are wonderful loving mothers who are the best examples to me.

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Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: I would say, it really is okay to ask for help. If you’re struggling, do NOT be ashamed of how you are feeling. Don’t feel guilty if you’re sad. It’s okay to talk about the struggles. I remember telling my sister-in-law while Hattie was in the NICU that I was just sad, and that I really had so much to be grateful for because at least Hattie was a full-term baby, and at least she was coming home soon, and that there were so many babies in there with way worse conditions and for a lot longer, but I couldn’t help but feel sad and guilty for feeling sad. I felt guilty even just telling her. But I love her response because she told me “yes, it really is great that Hattie is not worse. But do not let yourself feel guilty for being sad. You have every right to feel the way you feel” and it’s true. Whether your child is healthy or not, a newborn or 4 years old, it doesn’t matter, being a mom is hard and sometimes you just feel sad. Every mom has every right to feel the way they want to and they should not feel guilty for it nor should they feel like they can’t talk to anyone about it.

How has being a mom changed your life?: Oh my goodness being a mom is truly the best experience. I never knew that I could love someone as much as I love Hattie. I also have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father than I have being a mother, my testimony of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me has grown immensely. Being a mother is the greatest opportunity that I have ever been given, and I am so grateful.

*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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

The Motherhood Project: Mary

“I’ve thought about all the jobs I’ve ever had, and motherhood has been my favorite.”

Name: Mary 

Child Name/age: Anthony, 8 months

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*Bridgett J Photography

Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: Yes! I absolutely loved being pregnant. I was very lucky and didn’t have bad morning sickness.

How was your delivery experience?: Haha…I remember it being fun, but my husband tells me I don’t remember it correctly. I got the epidural as soon as I could, and I cried during it, but then loved it. I would say the epidural was my scariest part, but totally worth it. I was in labor for about 15 hours and everything went pretty smoothly.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom? Keeping my house clean….
What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom? Surprisingly, I am so patient with Anthony. I would have never considered myself patient before, but I guess parenthood has changed me.

What is your parenting style?: Is ‘helicopter parent’ a style? Haha! Since he’s still young, I wouldn’t say I have a style yet, but with him being our first, I’m very protective of him.
What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children? Evenings before bedtime. He gets super giggly and happy. He loves when both my husband and I are home with him, and he’ll just laugh at us easier.

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: My own mom. I remember having an emotional time after my baby was born and I was so impressed with my mom for having 5 babies. I told her that it’s sad that I had to have my own child to really appreciate all she has done for me!
Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost? I’ve always told myself that if there was a perfect way to parent, we’d all be doing it that way. But there isn’t, so we just try our best.

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself?: Hobby Lobby
Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: Carter’s and Old Navy.

What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without?: Lotion- Walmart brand. So fancy.
Favorite product for your child/children?: MAM pacifiers – they’re the best!

How has being a mom changed your life?: Although it can be exhausting, I like having someone to care for. I’ve thought about all the jobs I’ve ever had, and motherhood has been my favorite. Someone once told me that they love that they (moms) are their children’s best friend. I could be out of site for a couple minutes, and the smiles he gives me when he can see me again just melts my heart. Okay, did anything I say actually answer this question? Those are just reasons why I love being a mom.

*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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com

 

The Motherhood Project: Courtney

Back by popular demand – The Motherhood Project! I am excited to be featuring a mom every week on my blog! If you want to be featured or know someone you would like to nominate to be featured, read the information at the bottom of this post and we’ll make it happen! xo

“Being a mom has changed me, it has given me new goals and dreams, it gives me a purpose. It has helped me with patience, compassion, sympathy, unconditional love.”

Name: Courtney | Child: Bentley, 9 months

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Did you enjoy your pregnancy?: When I found out I was pregnant I was only 4 weeks along and was so excited. We took a few pregnancy tests, but the second line was always so faint so finally I went and got my blood drawn to get a for sure answer! It’s crazy all the thoughts and emotions that go through your head when it is finally real! I dreamed of that moment throughout my whole childhood and now it was really happening! I thought I was in the clear from morning sickness until it hit really hard around 6 weeks and lucky me it lasted until I was 17 weeks pregnant. I threw up constantly usually 2-3 times a day. My normal daily activities made me nauseous such as brushing my teeth, taking a shower, driving. Haha don’t worry I still did all these things, but it definitely wasn’t enjoyable. Then of course with pregnancy comes hormone changes, my poor husband. You know he is a keeper when he sticks around through all the crying, puking, and getting mad for no reason. Then after 17 weeks it was uphill I started feeling baby move. I finally looked pregnant not chubby, and things started getting closer and closer. Third trimester is the biggest test of patience! You finally hit 30 weeks and for some reason your brain things ok I am ready, but baby isn’t and you still have the longest 10 weeks ahead of you. Accompanied with body aches and not sleeping very well, I waited and waited! Looking back now I am grateful for those last few weeks. My baby was so big in there I could see him move and feel everything he was doing. I loved being pregnant and and excited for when I get to experience that again.

How was your delivery experience?: I walked into one of my one week check ups at 8am and 37+5 weeks pregnant and I knew something was off. I didn’t sleep at all the night before I was up with body aches and a few contractions. So right when i walked into my doctors office to get checked in my water broke. I felt a huge gush of water down my legs I went to the bathroom and yes I was definitely my water. I walked out of the bathroom and told my doctor I thought my water broke, she took me into the room to check and yes it had broke and it was time for my little man to come. She wheeled me over to L&D and I got checked In and changed. She checked to see if I was dialated and I was only at a 1+ she let me labor until about 3 then I asked for an epidural! Finally some relief. They started pitocin at 4 and by 5 I was a 6, they checked again an hour later and I was at a 10!! Finally time to push! I started pushing at 6 and pushed and pushed, my epidural stopped working from my waist up so I could feel all my contractions in my stomach and had really bad back labor. I pushed on my side for most of my delivery. Finally after 3 hrs of pushing my sweet boy made his entrance sunny side up with his umbilical cord wrapped around his head. They plopped him on my tummy cut the cord and rushed him to the bed to do some respiratory work. Luckily I didn’t tear! Finally my sweet boy was here, 6lbs 12oz and 20 inches long. And the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?: Being a mom I have struggled with sleep deprivation, I am still nursing and that drains me. He is still eating through out the night and then of course through the day so I feel tired constantly, but I wouldnt change that for anything, I am so grateful for our breastfeeding journey! Us moms always push through it though right. To help with energy I make sure to drink water and eat enough to maintain my energy and produce milk for my baby.

What’s your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?: When I became a mom I realized I am a pretty patient person. All the crying and rocking baby to sleep can be frustrating. In the beginning I thought I knew what was best turns out my baby did. I just have to watch for his ques to help schedule his day. Recognize when he is tired or hungry or not feeling good. I have noticed that he needs a night time routine to wind down in order to go to bed. Patience comes easier when you are always around your child when you know what to expect and you know what those little ques are.

What is your parenting style?: I never want to enable my child. I love watching him explore, get dirty, and have fun. Of course there are some boundaries on that when it comes to safety because if I let him he would be sticking his little fingers in every outlet in the house. He loves to play in the dogs water and food bowl, and sometimes I let him he just wants to splash or feel the dog food between his fingers. Babies are so curious and I have loved letting and watching him explore that and find new textures and figure out how things work by touching them or putting them in his mouth.

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?: Mornings, my little man wakes up so happy and talkative. He is constantly smiling and laughing. We wake up and get the toys out I love watching his little mind start working so quick, he wants to touch every toy and crawl all over the house, say good morning to the dog of course by crawling all over his bed and pulling on his ears!

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?: My mom, she has raised me in a way that taught me to love myself to trust myself and she always made sure to tell me how much she trusted me. She was always transparent as a mother. She has taught me all I know about being a mother. She has the answers to all my questions and supports me in all I do. She has always made sure I know how much she loves me and that is something I will always make sure to tell my children!

Advice for fellow mothers who need a little boost?: Just keep trying, none of us are doing it right we are all just trying. And what is best for us is probably the worst for many others. Motherhood is a game of trial and error. Just keep smiling through it and keep trying.

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your child/children?: For myself I love shopping at hope avenue, old navy, or target! For my baby I love h&m, and old navy!

What’s one product for yourself you can’t live without? Favorite product for your child/children?: COCONUT OIL!!! We both use this and I use it for everything moisturizer, shaving cream! And it is the only thing I use on his skin! It gets rid of red bum and makes his skin so soft!

How has being a mom changed your life?: Being a mom has changed me, it has given me new goals and dreams, it gives me a purpose. It has helped me with patience, compassion, sympathy, unconditional love. It has helped my marriage the connection and love we have for eachother has grown so much. It has modivated me to do things like get into shape or make more money! Being a mom is challenging and rewarding and the best thing I have ever done!

*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! ceeceesparkles@gmail.com