How to Survive the First 3 Months as a New Mom

new mom survival advice

 

I have it rehearsed. When I’m asked about being a mom the answer out of my mouth is almost always, “I love it now. The first three months were brutal. I was just in survival mode.” Some people, like my mom for example, are just newborn people. They love the squishy babies that are so easy to hold and sleep in your arms. I, on the other hand, found the first three months to be exhausting. No doubt because being a new mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through – breastfeeding, food schedules, lack of sleep, lack of adult interaction.

Time has since left me wondering why I thought it was so hard. Finn is mobile now, and I mean really mobile. He wants up, then wants down, then wants to climb the stairs or shut the door in my face. He throws food off of his high chair and is starting to throw tantrums. Why oh why do I prefer this to those early days?

I think the most obvious conclusion is that in those first few months, everything was new. My life changed drastically the moment Finn came into this world. I was learning everything, and most of the time on very little sleep. Even after Finn started sleeping better, I was waking up to pump to ensure he had enough to eat the next day. Breastfeeding was another challenge in and of itself, which only added to the stress.

I’ve put together a list of tips that helped me get through the first couple of months with a newborn. I like to be honest about this type of stuff, because reading about how much women love every moment of being a mom is straight up bull shit.

Keep Perspective

Newborns give you really good days and really, really bad days. Try to keep it all in perspective. I remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed on a bad Finn day fairly early on. Suddenly, I looked at him and thought ‘I may be learning how to be a mom, but he is learning how to be a human’. He had it tougher, no doubt. Cry away little human.

Put Others to Work

Ask them to make you food. If your mother-in-law wants to vacuum, let her. Let your dishes pile up. Ask your husband to take a night feeding. Your body is going through a lot – let it heal!

I found that others wanted to help me and my little family in those first few months. I was reluctant, because I felt like I had to do it all. However, my body let me know that I was doing too much and told me I had to sit down and relax. It was hard for me to loosen the reigns, but once I did, life got easier. Let your family and friends help – and as a reward, let them snuggle the baby 🙂

Get Some “Me” Time

There will be an internal struggle each day between wanting to get sleep, wanting to get things done, and wanting to just chill and watch Netflix. Be sure to relax and give yourself some alone time. I remember getting my nails done with my mom a week after having Finn. David had the baby and that hour was pure bliss. Throughout the next few months I allowed myself to stay up way later than I should have because I simply needed some time alone. I wrote a lot, and caught up on some television shows. It was only a few hours at a time, but it was exactly what I needed.

Break Out of Your Routine

Each new day can blur together in those first few weeks home. Get out of the house, even if it’s just for a few hours. Go for a walk. Go shopping. Plan a trip!

Plan a trip?! Don’t call me crazy! There’s no better time! Baby will never sleep more than they do those first few weeks. Traveling may be a little more extensive, but Baby can fly for free and you don’t have to take any PTO since you’ll be on maternity leave!

Forget About the Baby Weight

One of the hardest things for me was the extra belly weight I was carrying around for months after giving birth. Everything I read said that with breastfeeding, the weight would melt off. That wasn’t the case for me. I had an extra 10-15 pounds on me most of last summer, and I had to buy a lot of new clothes once I went back to work since I was no longer my pre-baby weight nor in maternity clothes.

The Virginia heat made it more difficult for me since all I wanted to do was wear a bikini and sundresses. I had never felt more uncomfortable in my own body than I did those first few months postpartum.

Now that I’m a year out, my body has bounced back better than I could have ever imagined. I weigh less today than I did on our wedding day. If I had known this last summer, I wouldn’t have given the extra weight a care in the world. My advice to you? Relax! If you are breastfeeding, you need those extra calories to feed your baby. Your body just went through a huge traumatic experience, give it the time it needs to recover.

Snuggle!

What I would give for a little extra Finn snuggle right about now. He is such a busy boy, and even though he gives plenty of hugs, he will hardly sit in my lap for more than a few seconds. Take it in! Cherish it! Your baby will grow right before your eyes.

xoxo

PS. Here is Finn’s Birth Story and How I Coped With an Unexpected Pregnancy

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Finn’s First Birthday Party – Photo Diary

first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

finn's first birthday party

my shirt // my jeans // finn’s onesie

 

We celebrated Finn’s first birthday party last Sunday with friends and family. Finn had a smile on his face the entire time! We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives that love and spoil our little man.

David’s step-father’s co-worker handmade Finn’s smash cake! We made it Lion King themed since Finn is OBSESSED with all the music from that movie. I can’t wait until he’s old enough to actually enjoy more than just the songs! David’s aunt made the lion cupcakes – which turned out so cute! My mom is so awesome and found the cutest cookies shaped like the number ‘1’.

Finn went to town on that smash cake and we were cleaning blue frosting off of EVERYTHING. I found the cutest onesie with a little bowtie on it that he sported proudly. Finn’s Aunt Victoria made the board of photos that included each monthly block photo that we have taken over the last year. It was such a sweet gift. Finn’s Grandpa Wayne bought him the ATV – he loves it!

All-in-all it was a wonderful day full of so much joy and love!

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Happy First Birthday Finn!

My little man-

You are the best thing that has ever happened to your Dad and I. You brighten our days with your cheesy grin and you have taught us so much about ourselves as people and parents. This last year has flown by! You have changed so much in this short year and I am so lucky to continue to watch you grow as you get older. I love watching life through your eyes! Thank you for choosing me to be your mama.

Love,

mom xoxo

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Finn at 12 Months

finn 12 months

My little baby boy is ONE tomorrow! I know, I’m such a sap. This year has flown by and I can’t believe May 19th is here again. Looking back on all the memories of Finn’s first year has been so much fun for me. He has changed so much and I hardly remember him as a cuddly little newborn. He is so much fun these days.

Parenting:

I did a deep dive on this one in yesterday’s post, but let’s just say I’m happier now than I’ve been in a long time!

Physical Growth:

Finn is closing in on 30 lbs. Time for a new carseat! His official weigh in comes next week at the doctors, but he is one solid little boy. He moves so well, and he is days away from walking. I’m actually convinced that he has all the ability in the world to walk, but he thinks crawling is easier and faster so he gives up. However, when I hold one of his hands, he walks just fine. It’s coming… soon!

Mental Growth:

Finn has started to point and ask “ducckk?” to just about everything. He talks to his brother, Juneau, a lot. (He also feeds him his dinner from his highchair and then laughs about it.) He is very headstrong – he has found the dog food bowl and beelines for it whenever he gets a chance. When he notices me or David looking at him, he teases us as if he were going to grab it and then gives us his little grin. He’s too smart for his own good!

Finn loves to read. I mean, he’s obsessed with it. He brings us books over and over again for us to read to him. He also loves to read to himself, which is actually my favorite thing in the world.

Sleep:

Thank you Lord for blessing us with a good sleeper! Still going strong from 7pm to 7am with one or two naps throughout the day.

Eating:

Finn is pretty much eating everything that we are. At the moment, he’s really into graham crackers and deli meat, not at the same time of course. We’ve officially switched to cows milk and he has taken to it just fine. He is also getting better with bigger pieces of food. I cut up some cantaloupe for him and he would bite off manageable sizes for himself. So adorable! I’m obsessed with everything this kid does, so apologies for the gushing.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:

  • Finn has started bouncing on his bed. When we go to get him in the morning, he would rather stay in bed and bounce than get up!
  • Finn has the fake cry down. OMG, this kid. It’s absolutely hilarious and soooo fake it’s so obvious.
  • His cheesy grin. Is there anything better?

finn 12 months

finn 12 months

finn 12 months

finn 12 months

finn 12 months

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Motherhood Check-in: One Year

motherhood

I’ve been holding onto every moment the last week or so as I’ve come to the conclusion that, no matter how hard I try to slow it down, my baby boy will turn one on Friday. This last year has been a whirlwind. I’ve learned so much, slept so little, and grown leaps and bounds. I’ve become more anxious but care less about what others think. I’ve watched a person grow from a tiny infant who needs mama for everything, to an independent and hilarious little boy. I’ve cried a lot, I’ve laughed even more, and I have given more kisses than I ever thought imaginable.

I’m an emotional mess, as I would assume most moms are on their first child’s first birthday.

As I did for my niece on her first birthday, I’ve been putting together a slideshow of photos and videos from Finn’s first year. It’s been crazy to see the pictures of him as a newborn – hearing that soft little cry that used to wake me up in the middle of the night. We’ve caught some really memorable moments on camera – his first smiles, his first rolls, when he first sat up on his own, his first time crawling. I’m so grateful for technology so we can relive these times.

I guess now that I have a year of motherhood under my belt, I should be considered a veteran at this. At least that’s what I thought I would feel a year ago. However, I’m still learning – and I’ve come to the realization that as Finn gets older, I’ll have more and more to learn alongside him. I’ve always looked at other moms thinking they were so effortless. But being one myself, I can admit that I’ve never felt so insecure in my entire life. I am constantly wondering if I’ve read to Finn enough, if I’ve fed him enough, if I’ve dressed him correctly for the weather. I have so much admiration for other moms now that I’m one myself!

Being a mom has put my priorities in order. My little family is everything to me, and I work every day for them. I’ve also forced myself to prioritize me, because I’m constantly doing for others. I’ve taken solo trips this past year. I’ve started a business. I’ve taken up barre class.

I’ve also had to ensure that my marriage is number one. David and I have always been so spontaneous, so we’ve learned to plan ahead for date nights, turn off the TV and phones to ensure quality time together, and I finally had the courage to travel without Finn in April to spend the weekend with my man. David has been such a great partner this last year and I love watching him with Finn. Being a mom and watching him as a dad has made me fall in love with him all over again!

I read a quote the other day that said “The days were long, but the years were short” and I don’t think I could’ve wrapped up this year any better. I swear I just got pregnant. I swear Finn was just born. And yet here we are, on the eve of the anniversary of me going into labor, getting ready to celebrate the birthday boy!

I’m so lucky to be Finn’s mom and I’m so excited for him to become a walking, talking little toddler. I can’t wait to live this life with him and his daddy!

 

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