Surviving motherhood: Tips, Hacks and Tricks. #allthingsbaby #allthingsmomlife
I cover topics such as FTM, Pregnancy, newborn, 3 to 6months, baby, quotes, letters to my child, 6 to 12 months, teething, encouragements, all things baby, mom. What to expect as a mother. All about motherhood.
Disclaimer I’m not a doctor. Please check with your doctor before trying any of these tips.
BREAKFAST is the most important meal.
Eat foods with fiber. It gives you much-needed energy.
Take a prenatal vitamin with iron and folic acid every day. It helps with your babys’ growth.
There’s no such thing as eating for two, eat as much as your body needs, your body will provide enough food for your baby.
Get a comfy Chair pillow and raise your legs when you sit down.
Rest, get enough sleep: You are growing a human for crying out loud.
Drink plenty of water. Keep hydrated.
Go to the bathroom even if you don’t feel like going, that’s a tip I learnt to avoid accidents in your clothes.
Visit your gynecologist when you must, don’t skip appointments.
Close your ears, everyone has advice to give and not all advice is good. Listen to your doc, if you are not comfortable about something research on it from trusted sources.
Don’t overwork yourself, take it easy.
Place pillows around your back, between your legs if you can’t afford a pregnancy pillow. Sleep gets rough with a protruding tummy.
Avoid heavy lifting, you can easily tear something important for the baby.
Wear comfy shoes, your feet will praise you for it.
Eat small healthy snacks often and fruits, don’t get too hungry, the only time I ever threw up was when I was too hungry.
Take walks, do pregnancy safe exercise if you can but don’t push too far.
Luke warm baths can ease your aching muscles.
Get up and stretch if you have a long sitting job. Don’t sit for too long.
Stay away from strong heavy fumes.
Educate yourself on the signs of labor
Buy baby things slowly throughout your pregnancy, baby staff is expensive.
Buy diapers, wipes, bum cream and baby clothes slowly in bulk in varying sizes.
Wear comfy aerated clothes that are not snug against you.
Be prepared for anything.
Enjoy every moment, the ups and downs. There’s nothing like pregnancy.
Pregnancy apps, books and groups with women in the same trimester as you help. I would often forget How far I was, the apps and books would help. It was nice to know what developments my baby was going through and what to expect. Groups gave me comfort and motivation because women were going through the same thing I was.
Above all else, a newborn baby needs patience, constant care, love, milk and a place to lay his or her head. These are the things that worked and I used for my newborn baby. The list can be alternated to fit your needs.
A baby app such as Wonder weeks and joining baby groups is a big help. Also note to get different sized clothes from newborn, 0-3 months and 3-6 months and 6 to 12 months. Babies grow out of clothes quickly. It’s also ideal to buy diapers in different sizes and wipes in bulk.
Bath bath / bucket
100% Cotton buds / rolls
Bath soap / gel
Unscented Laundry soap
Unscented fabric conditioner
Baby sensitive wipes
Bottles (depending on need)
formula (depending on need)
Bottle brush/ Sterilizer (depending on need)
Breast pump (depending on need)
Bodysuits/ baby grows
Zip up Onesies (Rompers)
100% scratch mittens
White noise app
comfortable Baby bag
Baby scissors/ nail cutter
3 TO 6 MONTH MUST HAVES!
Apart from the general diapers,
wipes, clothes, this is my Top list of
3 to 6 month must haves.
Disclaimer: Each baby is different and has different developmental milestones. If you have concerns contact your doctor.
Teething toys, teething powder, teething gel, pacifiers, frozen face cloth specifically for baby. You will learn what your baby likes to use and what works for your baby. My baby uses teething toys, his fingers, my fingers and Ashton and parsons teething powder.
Babies this age might begin teething so the drool is real. I once forgot to carry a bib for baby and he soaked through his shirt from the drool.
As you will be getting closer to introducing your baby to solids. You will need a high chair. So your baby can make a mess in one place.
Everything you need for feeding:
Plates, bowls, spoons, sippy cups, staff for cleaning baby’s equipment (that’s totally up to you to decide what you will use).
Baby Meal planner:
A book or planner that has all sorts of recipes or ingredients you can use for introducing your baby to solids. You can buy baby food or you can make your own baby food for baby with these easy recipes. As you know I am a terrible chef and it’s good to have recipes to guide me.
I found two books in a bargain store:
Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Meals in Minutes
Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.
Cloth nappies and Swaddle Blankets:
Sometimes the bibs are just too small. I wrap these nappies and or swaddle blankets gently around his neck and don’t make a mess. I never knew feeding someone could be so messy.
My baby seems to love the crunchy sound of newspaper. Please don’t give your baby a newspaper. There are toys that make that crunchy sound. My son also loves his baby blankie.
Baby touch and feel Books:
Baby begins to explore around him with his fingers. A touch and feel book is the best. Plus my face is also an easy target.
Babies this age go through a major leap which is about 4 weeks to 6 weeks long. You can check out this app: “Wonder Weeks app” for more. Invest in a good comfortable baby wearing tool. I use one by baby sense. It’s called baby wrap carrier.
You can buy or make your own DIY playmat to help build your babies muscles for rolling over and then crawling. And to help her/him keep busy for a short while.
Most importantly, Don't forget your camera.
Your little one will be learning lots of new things and will try them without warning. You will thank yourself for recording these memories later.
9 to 15 months
I feel these are needed because by now most of the things you had from birth are finishing or small. You will need to Stock up on these.
Your child is more independent now. S/He is a toddler.
You will also need comfy walking shoes.
More older toys (building blocks, books, balls, open and close toys, cars, bath toys)
You will also need owie balms (we use Lavender essential oil). Your child is learning to walk or run and climbing on equipment. S/He will hurt themselves often. Don’t feel bad, this is part of growth. You will need a balm that will help with scars and owies. You will also need a first aid kit.
Healthy Snacks: your child is growing and eating more. Get fruits and healthy snacks to keep them going.
Anything to help your child to speak. Your babies vocabulary is beginning, encourage your child’s speech. Talk to them when they speak to you, interpret your day as you go. Encourage them to speak. Play educational videos. Read to them. Sing to them.
Encourage play time or more interaction with other people.
Begin to teach your child ‘no’. At this age my son knows the basic words (dad, go, no, shower, mom, cry, eat, tea, dance, shoes, socks, diaper, sleep).
Becoming a mother has changed me in many ways. I have learned to cook and eat healthy for my son. Because I am breastfeeding I get drained easily. I carry around lots of water and juice to keep myself from dehydrating. I hated drinking water. But now I cry for it. These are my top lessons I’v learned from motherhood.
Motherhood has taught me how love is selfless.
I never knew how much more I could love till my baby was born. It requires me to forget about sleep, play and lots of other things for m noy baby.
Motherhood has taught me to put someone else’s needs before mine. Before he was born it was all about me. But after he was born I go in a shop and I look at what I can get him rather than myself. It’s really hard to buy for myself. #MomGuilt is real.
Motherhood has shed more light to show much my mother cares and loves me.
It has changed the outlook on how I view her. Especially when it comes to think of all the sleepless nights she has when pregnant, with a newborn and lots more to come.
Motherhood has taught me that I am stronger than I think I am. It has given me a sudden reflex I never knew I had when my baby needs me.
Motherhood has taught me that I am worth something and very important. I am not just here. I am very useful, talented and worth happiness.
Motherhood has taught me pure joy and pure love.
I can be having a rough morning, just seeing the smile on my son’s face melts all the stress away. It gives me the strength for the day and a reason to wake up in the morning.
Motherhood has made me mature and I care less about small things that once frustrated me. It has given me strength and wisdom.
Above all else motherhood has given me a smile. A reason to keep get up each morning and live. No matter how rough it gets my son looks up to me. And I know I can do it because of him. It has also showed me I am worth so much more. My son simply loves me. He doesn’t judge me, even with all my flaws.
Blogging is not just about blogging. I learnt this as soon as I began to blog. There are lots of other things involved and you need to have knowledge of. Especially if you are doing it on your own. I quickly learned many terms when blogging and I’m still learning.. This is my list of what I found out:
BEING A BLOGGER MEANS TO
always have a pen and paper to write down random ideas
be a doer
be a graphic designer or know what you doing when designing
be a little tech savvy
be a marketer
be a reader
be a researcher
be a SEO specialist or at least know the basics
be a social media expert in one social media field
be a web designer or know what you doing when designing
be a writer
be an editor
be fun and outgoing
be open and vulnerable to share your most defined secrets
be valuable to other people
create time for your blog
find out who you are
have a free advertising platform
never give up
platform to step into greatness
reflect your personality
talk or write too much in an organized way
to be smart
to share and give
to view the world differently
understand the nitty-gritty
In conclusion, being a blogger has many shoes to fit. S/He is a multipurpose, vast knowing doer. You can ask for help if you can’t manage to do all these things.
Nathaniel is growing. He is 5+ months, 23 weeks and 5 days to be exact. I can see a bit of his personality.
He doesn’t like to be ignored. He is strong. He is strong-willed. If he wants something it’s hard to change his mind. He doesn’t like his toys but likes mummy’s toys (cell phone and laptop).
He understands ‘hi’ ‘bath’, ‘eat’, ‘let’s go’, ‘daddy’ ‘mama’ ‘kiss’, ‘change your diaper’, ‘cry’ ‘papu (baby wearing). He says hi, hello and tries to say I love you.
He differentiates between who is family and a stranger. When I am near and far from him. He cries if I am not near. He startles at dad’s cough and sneeze.
He is fascinated by his toes and feet. When he has socks and shoes on, he tries to take them off to play with his feet.
He is having a little bit of solids, one meal per day and getting flavors of new foods. He is still exclusively breastfeeding. He is sitting up on his own. He joins in our conversation.
He kinda responds to his name and follows the direction of my voice. He talks in church. He responds when you speak to him.
We are slowly introducing him to the bottle because he wouldn’t take it. He smiles this beautifully dimpled smile. Loves people if I am holding him. Laughs when I laugh. Reaches out to grasp and hold something.
Cries for what I am eating. Splashes water in the bath. Opens his arms wide when he wants me to carry. He had his first few hours without me at his Nana’s (grandma). He likes to stand, sit up and tries to crawl with his bum up in the air.
He is growing so fast.
Time is flying. *ugly tears proud crying*. I look at newborn babies and I think to myself that Nathaniel was once like that. Nathaniel can’t sit still. He maneuvers his body in odd positions.
He gets stuck and starts to cry. Even when I hold him he throws himself in all directions. My reflex handle has kicked in big time. Speaking of not sitting still, my baby had his first fall. And I cried, I think I cried more than he did.
My baby refuses to sleep all day long. The most he sleeps is 30 minutes and he is up and active after his power nap. He is intrigued by the face. He grasps your face hard.
He let’s out his opinion when he is not happy with something. Nathaniel also checks around to see what he can play with. He pushes my hand away when he does not want me to do something.
I subconsciously think to myself What am I doing? Am I doing it right? Am I a good mother? Is my baby ok, fed, loved, growing well, gaining weight, meeting milestones and more for his age, safe, dressed, clean, happy, satisfied?
You know when they say motherly instinct comes along with the glorious birth of your baby.
That was one of my worries when pregnant. I’ve never done this before. How will I know what to do? I wanted the benefit of raising my son. You can read this write up of reasons-to-become-a-sahm
Well that staff is real hey. Motherly instinct is real. You just know what to do when faced with anything concerning your child. If not research yourself off but trust that inner you that just knows.
My body is having a toll on me. My arms hurt from carrying him all day and my back especially when he is having a rough day. I thought I could be a superhero do it all SAHM. But it is a lot of work.
I got someone to help with chores in the house at least once a fortnight. And I learnt my baby is ok with other people taking care of him too. Right now I’ll say I’m comfortable with my mother only and my husband without me being there.
My best friend Clarissa randomly sent me a text saying that the fact I worry about being a good mother means I am one. I met a lady from church for the first time and she said I am a calm mother.
My 8-year-old brother looked at me and said I am a good mother. And my mother yesterday told me that motherhood suits me after watching me with Nathan for a while.
I sometimes wonder and worry if I’m doing it right. But then I look at my son. He is happy and healthy.
All this positive feedback is very supportive.
It encourages me through the rough days. When I feel I’m not doing right. My son doesn’t care, he doesn’t judge me. His little smile pushes me forward.
He still needs and loves me. I love watching him discover new things. It gives me a whole different perspective to life and I feel rejuvenated.
All you first time mothers out there. The very fact that you are reading this right now means that you care for your child. Well done mom, you are doing a good job. It’s not easy but keep striving and holding on.
I just want to let you know that things will get better. You will find who you are as a mother. It will get easier as you continue to practice. The better you will be. We are still discovering and getting to know our little ones as they discover themselves and the world we live in.
When my son was born I knew from the start that I wanted to be a SAHM. I fell in love with him so deeply and this decision was an easy one. My husband told me to think through it during the months I was on maternity leave and we will talk about it again.
3 months into my maternity leave I still stuck with my decision. We looked into our finances. Asked for advice from my parents and our friends. At the end of it my decision still stood. My husband supported me. Here I am 5 days into when I was supposed to go back to work and still loving it.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a good mother to my kids when I have them. And I always wanted the very best for them. My motherly heart is always drawn to children. I was a big part of my young brothers life from when he was about 3 months to 3 years.
My parents were working and I volunteered to stay at home with him. Some people thought he was actually my son because of our closeness. So I had an experience with children. And I would help in Sunday school at church.
Here are my top reasons to become a SAHM and some challenges I have experienced. I have only been a SAHM since my son was born that’s 4 months ago.
I am a deep lover. I want to show my son how much love I have for him. How he can trust me and learn to depend on me. To be free and open with me. Every relationship needs to be built.
Being a SAHM is a big way to build especially with a person so young its difficult for them to understand what love is. I want to be his first example of true love. This involves constantly sacrificing myself to meet his needs.
I was working at a call centre for 4 years It was my first job and I got comfortable and stayed. No matter what challenges I faced, how alone I felt in a place full of people, I stayed.
Pregnancy and birth showed me a lot of things I did not know about myself. It revealed to me how comfortable is not always the right thing for me.
I chose to be happy. My son brings me this happiness. I did this job for the money. But now I am pursuing happiness.
I refuse to miss my sons milestones. Being the first to hear his real laughter, to see him smile, watching him discover his fingers. To watch him think of a strategy of how he will get himself up to sitting position because he didn’t like laying down and so much more.
I want to witness the event as it happens and not the foretold aftermath. Oh the joy of the first hand discovery, I felt part of it as I watch him discover, learn and grow. It’s a deeper connection. Plus I get all the hugs and kisses. He looks for me in a room full of people. When someone holds him, he turns to look at me instead of whoever is carrying him.
I am his whole world. I am all he knows. He depends on me for everything and knows I meet his needs. When he is in tears, or hungry I help him feel better. His eyes light up when he sees me. And that melts my heart. I feel it’s because I get to spend so much time with him.
I refuse to let him grow up in a system. Or have some other person grow him. He is my son and my husbands. Why should someone else have an upper hand when it comes to growing him?
I get to hug him all day. I miss him when he is asleep. We go through the stormy days, the teething days, the immunization days and the leaps together. He isn’t alone. This means my arms, back and neck ache. But when he gives me a stifled smile in between his moments it puts me together. I can do this We can do this. We learn each other. I also get to see all sorts of issues in his diaper changes more. LOL.
I am exclusively breastfeeding. I don’t even use a pump because he rejects the bottle. This is more bonding time for me. No one gets to see how hungrily and greedily he gulps down every drop of milk. How his eyes roll back because it is too delicious for him. How my massive headache goes away when he sucks. Engroged breats cause headaches.
How peaceful and calm he looks because he is in his happy place. This also means I get the little but hard pinches when he tries to shove the boob into his mouth. And I can’t go away from him for long because he has to feed often. Plus in the beginning I felt a little used because milk was all he wanted from me. As he is growing older he is starting to see me for other things too.
I developed attachment issues like my son.
I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him. I mean him leaving me. And liking the nanny or day care teacher more than me. Excuse me but I am the one who carried him for 9 months. I had to endure the oh so wonderful ills of pregnancy. So allow me to stare into his beautifully intense eyes as long as I want.
I have heard horror stories about nanny and daycare. While this may not be applicable to all but who knows your story isn’t the one? I’m not taking the risk. I know where my son is, what he is doing, who he is associating himself with and most of all I know he is absolutely safe.
Yes I can’t keep him from all the dangers of the world and he will reach a stage where he will need to venture out but I will try my best as a mom to keep him as safe as I can. And teach and pray he learns the skills to survive and pray he is safe. God keeps him safe. Safe under my watchful eye.
I can now do my own thing. I have flexible time.
And not lose myself in the day-to-day 7am to 5pm job. That was not who I am. I can do what I like to do. In between the naps or with baby wearing. I can go to online school (university). I can blog and do DIY, listen to music all day long, enjoy my closet space as I am an introvert. It’s perfect for me.
I looked at my salary and it was very little to make ends meet. I couldn’t pay rent. All costs resulted in more than what my salary was providing. Plus I only want one child. Even if we have another every child has different needs.
In conclusion, I am absolutely grateful to this opportunity I have to spend with my son. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Even with some rough days I am glad I am a SAHM. I am blessed. The top reasons to become a SAHM are:
The other day, I posted in my Stay At Home Mom group. I just feel so tired, exhausted, drained and finished. I was wondering if this is normal. Is being a SAHM so darn hard? I only have one boy. He is 5 and a half months. How do people with more than one feel and manage?
My body seems to be failing me. The little irritating aches and pains are getting to me. Somehow through it when my baby needs me, boom I’m there, all smiles and energetic.
This is a summary of what my SAHMs had to say
We all go through this at some stage. You are giving and giving but are you taking care of you?
That’s when it hit me. I am overwhelmed. Me. Me. Me. It sounds so selfish to think of me when my baby needs me. When my husband needs me. I need to clean the house. I also need to prepare food. What about me needing me?
But then I shot myself in the foot because I posted earlier talking about taking care of myself so I can take care of others well. Blah blah. It’s easier said than done but so important. Think of it like a broken machine that needs oil. No matter what you do that machine will be rusty and slow.
Till you put in oil, it will function much better.
It’s so overwhelming. I forget to drink water, have a healthy meal, relax in the bath, not think and stress. Sit down and drink hot chocolate. Coffee is gross since pregnancy so that’s not an option for me. One lady literally screamed in my ear ‘DRINK WATER’ persistently.
I tried that yesterday you know. Drinking water. It’s something I haven’t done in a while. I had like 3 glasses of it throughout the day and that helped. My headache eased and my body felt calmer. So thank you lady WATER helps.
I was encouraged that other women felt the same way and I wasn’t just losing my mind.
So what do you need to do when you feel overwhelmed SAHM?
Take a break. If you got no one to take baby away for a bit of time. Take a break when he sleeps. Do something that cheers you on.
Drink lots of water.
Play some music.
Go for a walk alone to the grocery store.
Lock yourself in your bathroom, make sure baby is in a safe place first and scream or shout.
If you do have someone, have them hold baby for a bit while you shut the door and pass out.
Allow your SO, MIl, SIL, BIL, granny to take care of baby or cook dinner. Buy take aways once in a while. Or ready-made dinner with Checkers’ Ready to Chef meal in South Africa.
Let the dishes and house chores slide.
Spend all day in bed if you can.
Hire a nanny for the day while you rest.
Get house cleaning help.
Buy yourself some comfy, fluffy house shoes. And a beautiful flowy gown.
Pamper yourself. Go to a spa if you can. Better yet make your own DIY spa. YouTube has lots if tutorials on that.
Other things to do when you feel overwhelmed:
Do your hair and nails. Put some make up and perfume on. If you look good, it helps to make you feel good.
Sit outside and get some fresh air.
Have some fruits, oranges for vitamin C. Some ladies from the group suggested multivitamins.
Take it easy on yourself. Don’t bend over for small things. Your house will never be sparkling clean.
Watch comedy movies. Dance, laugh, create. Laughter is good for the soul. Refocus.
Read a book or short story.
Listen to your favorite podcasts.
Some more Tips to stay sane:
Join your local library for fun events. Have hope that it gets easier as time goes on and you figure yourself out as a SAHM.
Have you time. Why? Because you matter. Join and connect with other moms.
Go out everyday. Don’t suffocate yourself and your baby the four corners of your house. You will lose your sanity.
Smile. Look at the good. Shift your concentration and mindset. Why are you doing this? What is the good in it?
Talk to someone in a similar situation like I did. It helped me feel much better and they gave me good advice.
What motivates you? Do that.
Eat healthy snacks. Or indulge in that fantasy of chocolates you have been craving for. Just for today.
Cry it out. Yes when the tears want to flow don’t stop them. A good cry let’s all the frustration out.
Hey, remember that hobby that you loved to do but don’t have time to do it anymore. You can do it when baby is asleep. Even if it’s a few minutes of it. Take advantage of the quiet time while it lasts.
Baby wearing frees your hands so you can do other staff for you. Blog. Do something towards your blog. Schedule, research or read comments. Tell yourself this all the time: ‘I matter. I will take care of me’. Love yourself.
Most of all sleep. Take a nap. Rest when baby rests. Get off your phone, off social media and sleep. That reminds me, I gotta go to rest now.
We are all in the deep end and not sure how to do it, just winging it and hoping for the best as one mama told me.
In conclusion, It’s ok to have down days and feel overwhelmed. When you do take a step back and relax. Just a reminder, incase you forgot: HEY, Super Hero Mama you got this! You are doing a wonderful job. Believe in yourself. Take care of you. Cut yourself some slack.
These are the job titles you can have as a work at home person. Working from home brings in the flexibility of time. You are your own boss. You can self motivate. Working from home allows you to have time to spend with your family and friends while still earning an income. It is a side hustle or can be full time. It helps pay the bills. You have the comfort of a friendly environment to work in.