Mama, Mini + A Big Bowl 'O Caffeine

Mama, Mini + A Big Bowl 'O Caffeine

Seven month ago, just two and a half months into motherhood, I wrote about the ten things that had made my transition into life as a mom as smooth as it could be.

I stressed the importance of laughter; of taking pictures and asking for help. I encouraged myself and other new moms to take time for ourselves; and to sweat as soon, and as often, as possible. And I made a pact to be patient- not only with myself, but with my husband and child as well.

Now, almost ten months a mom, I look back on this list and I still firmly believe in all of these mantras. The gig doesn't necessarily get easier- but rather, it gets different.  But nothing great ever does come easy. And as any mother will tell you- once you master a stage, there's another round of firsts to make your head spin- and add an extra shot to that morning latté.  Mid-night feedings are replaced by teething, replaced by baby proofing, replaced by another hurdle or worry- all of you must learn to navigate in their own, unique way. 

But different as the challenges may be, the same mantras I wrote at two months still apply at ten. I try to practice each and every one daily- some with more success than others.  All of them make life a little easier; none have yet to truly become second nature. 

Here are the ten Mom-Mantras I {still} live by:

Sweat as soon, and as much, as you can

Surprisingly, this was easier for me in the first few months than it is today. Schedules made it easy to squeeze in a workout here and there; and the responsibility of losing fifty pounds encouraged me to get moving more than the need to lose the last ten. But when trips to the gym took a backseat due to inconvenience, I felt it. Bad. I need energy more than ever now that I have a mobile child on my hands. So yes, it's still crucial- Sweat. Every damn day.

Get dressed, every day

This was harder in the early days- back when only leggings and maternity pants still fit and we were essentially on house arrest before baby was vaccinated. But I still fall into the gym-clothes-all-day rut. It can take a little time and effort; but putting on a cute outfit, blow drying your hair and throwing on some lip gloss almost makes you feel like you got that extra hour of sleep. And you need that. 

Mommy time

I needed it then, and I need it now. But I struggle with it more at ten months than I did at two. Now that my baby is an alert, talkative, mobile little human, I find it extra-hard to leave her. Psychologically, it was a wildly easier thing for me to do when she was a little bundle of sleeping joy. That being said, I know I need time to myself, and so does Maddie. Taking a break recharges me, and gives her the opportunity she deserves to bond with the other special people in her life. Now, where's my bubble bath?

Find joy in every moment, even the tough ones

This still can be hard at times; particularly when you believe you've left an unpleasant phase, only to realize you certainly have not. So when Maddie stopped sleeping through the night due to teething- after months of mom's pridefully restful nights- I was less than pleased. But every time I looked at that adorable toothy grin- even through teething tears- I couldn't help but smile, and hug that little thing through the night. And besides, this is just what coffee is for.

Drink coffee, but not too much

It's been months since I've over done it on the caffeine front. But to say I could live without it would be insane. I am often awoken before five- thanks, teeth number six and seven- and crawling around all day is exhausting. So yes- still give me all the caffeine, please.

Be organized

I've had a fairly organized approach to this parenting thing since the beginning- bottles are still washed every night, laundry is done several times a week, and I never leave the house without a blanket, snack and a toy of some sort. So when I found myself out to a lovely afternoon lunch with a girlfriend and a baby who happened to be mid-blowout, I felt prepared. Until a trip to the changing table proved me wrong- no diaper, no onesie, no leggings, no nothing. So you can always be organized, but you'll also always be human. In which case, you laugh.


See number six. If you don't laugh, you'll cry. And sometimes you'll have to do both at the same time. And that's what memories are made of.

Take pictures

Clearly, I do this more than your average Mama Bear- but there's not a phase of my little one's life that isn't well documented. And now that I know first hand just how fast this time flies- for those pictures, I am forever grateful.

Ask for help

At two months this was difficult for me. Not much has changed at ten. And while I'm great at asking for advice, it's the hand-off that I struggle with. I've yet to take many friends and family up on their offers to sit for the little lady- the exception, of course, being my husband, mother, and sisters. And still, even this can be difficult at times. But those few hours of help can truly make all the difference.

Be patient

With your husband. With your baby, and most importantly, with yourself. You're all just learning to exist in this new, beautiful world. Yes, even now at ten months..