Hi! One of my favourite things about the mama blog community is meeting other moms who have endless support for one another. This week, I am beyond excited to team up with an incredible mom and career woman, Lindsey Richardson Staples, for my first blog takeover! I want to thank Lindsey from the bottom of my heart for sharing her discoveries as a new mama. If you are a mama-to-be or mama of many, you’ll love reading about her highs and lows of balancing it all.
Hello! I’m Lindsey, a career-focused wife who decided to have a baby after 15 years of
marriage. My daughter turns 4-months old this week and I blog about balancing work,
marriage and motherhood with our love for food, wine and travel. I would like to
thank Reg for inviting me to be a guest blogger on her site. I hope you can relate to
what I’ve learned and I would love to hear about the changes you’ve experienced since
becoming a mother! Keep up with me over at Delicately Balancing Life.
Shortly before I gave birth to our daughter, my husband said to me “are you scared
to become a mom” and I said to him “I’ve already been a mom for nine months, I
became a mom the day I found out I was pregnant.” I didn’t even think twice about
the changes I needed to make: giving up alcohol, soft cheese and sushi, trying to rest
and care for by body and most importantly, reduce my stress. We believed that our
temperament would pass on to our daughter, so we made a concerted effort to stay
mellow! And it worked. We have a very chill kiddo; hard to say if it is because of our
efforts to remain as stress-free as possible or if it is a fluke, but either way, I am
pleased with the result.
As someone who wasn’t sure I would ever have a child, I’ve learned a lot about
myself since becoming a mom and here are my top 10!
My Body Can Do What I Need It To
I was fortunate to sail through pregnancy virtually symptom-free; I had zero days of
morning sickness and generally felt good through my pregnancy. I felt like I was
meant to be pregnant – pregnancy agreed with me and I loved it! I loved laying
awake in the morning feeling our daughter move and kick. I felt like a super human.
I also had zero doubt that I would have an epidural; you don’t get an extra award in
life for enduring the pain of natural birth. Hook mama up to the epidural and let’s
get this baby out pain-free. Hah! I had about 90 pain-free minutes before my
epidural stopped working. Our daughter was born after 5 hours and 34 minutes of
labor. It was mind blowing pain. I vividly recall saying “no, no, no” with each
contraction as I thought I couldn’t keep going. But keep going I did and our little
angel was born – I DID IT! My body did it! My body recovered like a champ and I am
so grateful to have experienced growing and birthing a life. It is truly a magical,
I’ve learned that we can push ourselves to accomplish what seems impossible when
faced with no other choice.
I Don’t Need 8 Hours Of Sleep Nightly
Functioning with sleep deprivation was one of my biggest fears as I thought about
having a baby. I love sleep! I’m pro-status when it comes to falling asleep. Gratefully
our daughter is a good sleeper, but on the days when she has been awake through
the night, I pour myself an extra cup of coffee and life goes on!
I’ve learned the true value of caffeine and that my daughter is adorable, even at
It’s Ok To Cry
This is a tough one for me because I pride myself on being strong and strong people
don’t cry. Or at least that is what I’ve always thought. I was wrong. I cry as I watch
my daughter experience life and learn to stand and reach for toys. These milestones
are simultaneously small and giant. She has so much to learn but has come so far in
four short months. Getting to see life through her eyes is an honor that brings me to
I’ve learned to cry tears of joy.
It Is Possible To Love Someone As Much As I Love My Husband
When I was pregnant my well-intentioned friends told me that when our daughter
was born I would experience love like I’ve never known before. This scared me. I
didn’t want someone to replace my husband as my #1 love. I was afraid that I loving
her more meant loving him less.
I’ve learned that it is possible to love equally.
I Don’t Resent Giving Of Myself
The honest title for this is actually I don’t resent my daughter. After work I used to
love coming home, pouring a nice glass of wine, ordering in dinner and watching my
favorite reality show on Bravo. I was worried that not having the freedom to do
nothing but exactly what I wanted to do at any moment would lead to me resenting
my daughter. I’m relieved that this didn’t happen. Instead, when I get home from a
long day, I enjoy baby snuggles and story time….with a glass of wine in hand!
I’ve learned that I still have gas in my tank, even at the end of the hardest days.
You Don’t Have To Go On House Arrest After Having A Baby
We always said that our daughter would fit in to our lives, not the other way around.
We were determined not to stop living, but we didn’t know how easy that would
actually be. We went out for our first dinner, daughter in tow, when she was three
days old. We took our first trip to Napa with her when she was 10 days old. And we
haven’t stopped since. A lot of new parents put themselves on house arrest, so their
children aren’t comfortable in public. Our daughter is the opposite; she is more
content running Sunday errands and lunching on the patio of our favorite sushi
restaurant than she is cooped up in the house.
I learned that children are comfortable in the environment they are raised in.
I Need Boundaries
I can’t be all things to all people at all times. I have to say no. I have to set my phone
down and not respond to work emails at any hour of the day or night. I owe this to
my daughter. I have to protect our time as a family. Our party of three comes before
anyone or anything. Period.
I’ve learned my boundaries are OK with those who love us and care about us.
Family. Is. Everything!
I honestly have no idea how people have children without a tribe of family members
within a 15 mile radius. We are blessed to have a LOT of family nearby and I don’t
think we could do this without them. An extra set of hands to hold her, or to watch
her when we are at work or need a date night is a blessing.
I’ve learned that it’s OK to ask for help and that people are almost always willing to
Happiness Is Being A Grandparent
My parents have turned in to completely different people since our daughter was
born. My dad, the stoic business man, melts in the presence of our daughter. My
mom, who lived 2 hours away for the past 20 years moved back home when I
became pregnant and has a love for our daughter that goes so deep it is a joy to see.
I’ve learned that my parents were meant to be grandparents and I’m happy I gave
them that title.
I Am The Mother I Never Thought I Could Be
Even after I got pregnant I wasn’t sure I would be a great mom. I knew I would be a
fine mom, but I just didn’t think I would be a natural mom. I thought it might be a
little like brushing my teeth my left hand – clumsy but it gets the job done. Somehow
mother-instinct set in and I know things I never knew before. I recognize a hungry
cry from a dirty diaper cry. I know when she needs to be held and when she needs to
have alone time. There’s a learning curve but it isn’t anywhere near as steep as I
thought it would be. Four months in and I feel like a natural mother, like I was
meant to do this. Like I’m nailing it – daily!
I’ve learned to follow my instincts because mother knows best….most of the time.
I’m sure that these are only the tips of the iceberg, I have a lot more learning and
growing to do as a mother, but I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do so,
alongside my amazing husband and supportive family and friends.