Postpartum and Beyond

Utilize your Village

Once to twice a week my parents will take Little P for the day. Usually Friday is my dad’s day and my mom will get Saturday or Sunday depending on her plans and what I have going on. I never thought anything of it until one of my friends pointed out that Little P is with one of her grandparents a lot. Now, that friend probably didn’t mean it in a rude way, but I’ve noticed there can be a lot of judgement thrown around when someone else is watching your baby.

I’ve seen a good number of, “you’ll never see me leaving my baby at my mom’s so I can go do *insert something here*”. I think, for the most part, the comments are directed at people who go out and party consistently or are always doing things minus the baby. To an extent, I see the party point. It would have to be close to a daily type of thing for me to start to judge it though.

It annoys me that comments are being made at all though.

Yes, I’m a stay at home mom currently, and up to twice a week, I take Little P to one of her grandparents’ houses and take the day to myself. I love my daughter with all my heart. I cherish every moment I get with her. I also cherish moments I can get away from her. That doesn’t make me a bad person or parent. It’s nice to clean, relax, and get work done without one eye suspiciously following a seven month old. I mean really, you just start doing one thing and then there’s silence? What has that child gotten into already?

I think once you have a kid people forget that you’re still your own person. You essentially become two people: you and the baby. I’ve noticed this more so with women. However, I’m speaking from experience. I don’t see why a stay at home dad wouldn’t be faced with the same struggles. “Oh, where’s the baby?”, “No baby today?”, or even “Would you like to go do *insert not baby friendly activity here*” which would be directed to the other parent.

Why are my options as a newer parent either be excluded or be judged for taking me time?

I am grateful for my daughter and all the challenges she brings. I’m also grateful for parents who allow me a day’s worth of peace. I’m a parent and that comes first, but I’m also me still. I’m still introverted and value my space. I’m still bipolar and need to take care of myself.

They say it takes a village to raise a kid and I’m happy I have a village I can utilize when I need them. It helps me to recharge and refocus. I get to come back as a better mom and partner every time I get her back at the end of those days.

If you’re a parent and you “don’t need a break” from you kids, then I applaud you. Maybe one day you’ll know what I’m talking about, or maybe you never will, but please don’t go out of your way to make someone else feel bad for taking a break from their kids. We all have our own system and ways to make life work.

All right, I think that about wraps it up for today. Let me know what you guys think! Did it feel like I was getting onto a soapbox? Can you relate?

Have a great day and I will see you next time.

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Postpartum and Beyond

Why I Make my Baby Food

When I was pregnant I had never realized that there was an option to make baby food. I had assumed that only option was to buy it. I did a bunch of research and book reading on raising children and I stumbled upon baby food recipes. This had opened up a whole new world of options for me. So, I decided to at least give it a try once we start moving on to solid foods.

I gave store bought foods briefly and decided that homemade baby food was the definite option for me. So here are a few reasons on why I prefer to make my own baby food.

Save Money

There’s very few things that I enjoy more than saving money. This is one of the main reasons why I make baby food. A pound and a half of fruits (or veggies or meats) can make about 15 ounces of baby food.

Some math:
Let’s say that my daughter eats two ounces of solids per meal with three meals a day. Once a day, she’d be eating a total of six ounces. I’ve seen four ounces of Gerber baby food going for as low as $0.99. So, for a full day I’d be spending at least $1.98. Two pounds of carrots at the store (I used Smith’s) is $1.49. I get two and a half days worth of food for $0.50 cheaper.

Obviously, different foods will cost different amounts, but on the whole, you’re saving money.

Combinations

I notice that a lot of the stage two foods are already combinations. Which I totally get because you want some more exciting flavor combos for your little ones. My concern here is my little one not liking it and me not being able to tell which part of it wasn’t for them or even being allergic and still not knowing what caused it. It would also be a bummer to find an interesting combination and then not be able to get it because it contained an ingredient my little one was allergic to (or didn’t like.

With making my own food none of that matters. I can make any stage as a single at first and then combine from there. Plus I get to come up with the combinations, which is kind of fun.

Texture

So, I did try a couple of store bought foods for Little P. One was Gerber and the other Beech-Nut Organic. Both were stage two and a little on the thin side. I like being able to control both consistency and texture of the food. Once I got the okay from my pediatrician I started making my food thicker and Little P loved it. I also get to have her try different consistencies in the same meal. For example, she can have a thicker avocado and a thinner sweet potato one right after the other.

Fun

I really enjoy making food for her. This just happened to be an added bonus since I didn’t know it would be fun when I decided to make baby food. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen and making things.

Pregnancy

What Pregnancy Trends I Skipped

The only real pregnancy celebration that I remember people having when I was younger, was the classic baby shower. Nowadays people have fancy pictures to announce their pregnancy, gender reveal parties, baby showers, maternity photos, and even the month to month pregnancy update photos. There’s a lot to take care of and it is understandable that people want to document and remember this time in their lives.

I had a very simple pregnancy. We decided to skip out on a lot of the extra stuff. There’s nothing wrong with them. It just wasn’t our kind of thing. Now that I’m no longer pregnant I’ve taken a look back at my experiences and here are the things that I’m glad that I had, the ones I’m glad I missed, and what I wish I experienced.

Glad to Experience

Birth Announcement: All right, compared to others, my birth announcement was probably pretty average. It did feel really nice to post it to social media and have my friends and family all congratulate us though. The announcement also helped me reconnect with an old friend as well. She was always really nice throughout my pregnancy and checked up on me to see how I was doing. I wouldn’t have gotten that experience with my friend if I hadn’t done an announcement.

3D Ultrasound: We did two of these. The first was early and the second was late in the pregnancy. This was honestly a really beautiful and great experience. The detail is way better than the doctor’s office, and while those ultrasounds are nice, with the 3D ultrasound I really felt like we were seeing and connecting with our daughter. Plus, we got to share the 3D ultrasound with both of our parents, who really appreciated the experience as well.

Month to Month Belly Pictures: I didn’t think I was going to be into this one. I saw some really cute ones that people did though and decided I might as well partake. I’m glad I did. I didn’t do anything fancy. I just put how far along I was in the corner of the picture. It is so crazy to see the changes though. I like being able to see how my body changed and how I grew closer and closer to becoming a mother.

Glad to Pass

Gender Reveal Party: I’m sorry, I just find this one to be pointless. I’m glad people can have them and enjoy them, but it’s not an experience I needed. I also waited to reveal the fact that I was pregnant until I knew the gender of the baby. So, my birth announcement included the gender. It seemed much simpler and I’m glad I did it that way instead.

Baby Shower: Yes, we skipped on the baby shower too. Honestly, not upset. Maybe if my parents didn’t go overboard with making sure I had everything then the baby shower would make more sense. They did take care of a lot and friends and family who were farther away took care of a lot of the rest.

Wish to Experience

Maternity Photos: I obviously took pictures while I was pregnant, but I wouldn’t mind having more professional looking images. Let’s be honest, a lot of the poses are pretty cheesy, but I think overall the experience of actually having the pictures taken would be fun. This would’ve been a good way to get my husband involved too.

Thoughts

Overall, no regrets for my pregnancy experiences. I only posted the birth announcement on social media everything else I kept private. Most of these experiences seem tied to sharing on social media, which wasn’t something we were ever interested in.

Obviously, every person is different. If you want to experience these things, then go at it. Plan those parties and do whatever you want. If you don’t, then don’t be too worried about missing out. Experience your pregnancy however you want to.

Now let me know what you think. What are some pregnancy experiences you skipped out on or wish you experienced?