Hey loves, hope you’re having a great weekend! Today I’m kicking off the second round of the Q+A series and we’re chatting all things mamahood! You girls seemed to love the first installment about hair care, so I hope those of you with kiddos will like this one just as much. I got a TON of DMs and I tried to answer most of them below – But before I get into things, just note that I do NOT have it all figured out. Just like all mamas out there, I’m doing my best and what’s best for our fam. But hope you enjoy this real talk post and this answers anything you girls were looking for!
Did you have postpartum anxiety or depression struggles after either kiddo?
Gosh, I think this is SUCH a good question! So I didn’t have full on postpartum depression, but I did have the baby blues with Ava. In all the books and articles I read before having Ava I never heard anyone talk about the baby blues and I really wish I would have. I don’t know the exact statistics, but from what I’ve learned from sharing with you girls and other moms is that it’s pretty common (especially in your first pregnancy).
Basically for the first two weeks after having Ava, I was an emotional roller coaster which threw me and my hubby through a loop because I’m definitely not emotional person. They say it’s all the hormones, lack of sleep and just straight up your whole world adjusting to life with a newborn, but the first few weeks were rough after I delivered Ava. I would just randomly start crying throughout the day (especially in the evenings) and was just really sad. I remember it being so hard because I was happy and loved my baby but I just couldn’t help how sad I was feeling. So I wish someone would have mentioned this to me early on so I would have been somewhat prepared or know that those feelings happen to a lot of first time moms. After all, all you see on Instagram and Facebook are the beautiful images of everyone happy (not exhausted or sleep deprived) and just so in love with their new babies and new life.
I always tell my friends that the first few months are basically survival mode. You’re constantly trying to catch up on sleep and just adjusting to the fact that you are completely responsible for this tiny little human that needs you around the clock. So just know if you’re new mommy that it does get better!!
Luckily after two weeks or so the sadness started to subside but I was actually so paranoid that it was going to happen again with Luca that I had my placenta encapsulated. Oh yes ladies…encapsulated! They say if you encapsulate your placenta it’s supposed to help, so I did it…but I never actually ended up taking them. I didn’t have the baby blues with Luca and I’m so glad I didn’t, only because if I had I would be swearing to you guys that I didn’t because of the placenta pills 😉 I think part of it may have been that I knew what to expect with my second child and I also knew that there was an end in sight (and things would get better after a few months).
Okay hope this didn’t sound like Debby Downer. Every mom’s experience is different but just know that you’re not alone if you’re having a hard time adjusting to mommy hood.
How did you stay so fit after your pregnancy and after?
I would just say put. in. the. work. I gained right at or around 30 with both babies and just really made a conscious effort to eat healthy (indulging occasionally too) and worked out frequently. I shared more on what I did on This Post HERE. It took me about 7 months or so until I really started to feel like my pre-baby body so give yourself some time and don’t feel the pressure to rush back into the gym.
Can you recommend any toddler toys or things Ava just loved? My daughter just turned 18 mo.
Yes! I know the baby/toddler products seem never ending don’t they?! I shared ALL of my favorite products on This Post HERE last week! Strollers, car seats, co sleepers, high chairs and toddler must haves too. Anything we’ve loved in the last six years is on that post!
Have you had to deal with a “threenager” stage w/ Ava? Would love any tips on communicating better or tricks to get over tantrums!
Oh yes! The lovely Threenager stage. Two’s were amazing with both kids but three’s were challenging! You literally just have to ride it out because it will pass. We’ve had the Target checkout melt downs and dramatic episodes at home but we are believers in time out and my kids have had their fair share of time there lol. We would make sure to explain why they were in time out but I will say my kids are stubbbborn and strong willed so time out is always an adventure. Knock on wood but Luca definitely hasn’t been as challenging in that department yet! I totally probably just jinxed myself 😉
I will say though I am also not the kind of mom who gives in to tantrums either. I am definitely the disciplinarian in our household and I have no prob correcting my kiddos in public when they are acting out.
How do you create balance between kids, blogging, working out, and keeping up with date nights with Hubby?
Girls let me just say it is a CONSTANT. FREAKIN’ . JUGGLE. Gosh I feel like I’ll dive more into this section when I do my Q&A on blogging but let me just say it takes NON STOP effort over here. Some days I kick ass and other days I totally lag in certain areas. It’s all about prioritizing. The kids always come first, so pick ups, drop offs, one-on-one time, classroom volunteering, after school activity shuttling… all that comes first, obviously. The two areas that always seemed to get the short end of the stick was my hubby and also the “me” time. I’ve re-prioritized that now and have made much more of an effort to shut off my phone and get back to hanging with the hubs at night.
Once the kids went down, that was usually the time I would hop back on my phone or computer and respond to DM’s, prep posts, edit photos, review contracts and deadlines share on IG stories basically all the work stuff. Butttt that being said one of my new years resolutions was to make more of an effort to put down my phone, so I’ve been really trying to that and getting back to the “us” time a night with the hubs.
So when that happens then I feel behind on the work stuff but you have to prioritize. As mentioned about I’ll dive deeper into this topic in my blogging Q&A coming up but just know that I definitely don’t think i’ve found the perfect balance and not sure if I ever will.
If you’re a mom – especially of multiples – you know that your whole day can revolve around your kids. Especially once we had two kids we just felt like two trains passing in the night because you’re constantly trying to juggle all their stuff. We’ve made a mandatory date night EVERY single week and it’s the absolute best! We so look forward to it every week and I can not pressure you girls enough to do the same! 😉
As for the working out, I am trying to get back to working out at least 4 days a week but my work schedule is so full that I’m only getting to go about 3 times a week. (But I’m also trying to make more of an effort to squeeze “me” in more, too!)
What’s your favorite double stroller for everyday use?
So I’ve had three and loved different things about each one! So Check out my Mama Must Have Products post from last week where I went into detail about EVERY stroller we’ve owned!
Was it important to you to have a support system? Classes? Mom friends, etc? Given you said you didn’t have a lot of family on the West Coast near you guys. And if so, can you go into how you attained that?
Great question! So I think it is super important to have mom friends and a support system! Motherhood is a tough journey filled with a million different decisions, so having a solid group that understands 5:3o dinners, why you’re 40 mins late or shares your new found love of wine on weeknights (before 5pm lol) is def important…especially for first-time moms.
I was the first of my group of friends to get married and to have a baby, so after I had Ava it was a bit of a transition friends wise. I honestly didn’t really make mom friends till Ava started preschool but I was also busy blogging a lot (as some of my Honeybee Fam may have been there 😉 and without sounding cheesy, I truly felt like a lot of my readers were my mom friends. I was so lucky to have such big (supportive) mom reader base and can’t tell you how much it helped me as a new mom. Some of us were starting mommyhood together on here and some of you already had kids and gave valuable advice that I learned a lot from, too. So whether it’s signing up for local mommy and me class or joining a Mom FB group, I definitely think it’s helpful!
How do you fit in a workout regularly?
This is another juggling area but my advice is do what you can when you can. I really want to share my at-home workouts with you guys (currently trying to find the time to shoot and share it!) but I had some workout equipment that I will share that I do at home! I 100% recommend getting a gym membership with an amazing kids club. Even if it’s a little more expensive I would say it’s worth it. When the kids are under a year they won’t fight you on going to the gym but once they hit around 2-6 you want to have a kids club they are excited to go to. Because letssss be honest, it’s hard enough to get motivated to go the gym as is, let alone if you’re trying to talk your kids into wanting to go too.
Also I HIGHLY recommend getting a treadmill (or DREADmill as I like to call it;) at home. You can find one great ones under $1000 and I think they are an investment definitely worth making. We’ve had ours for probably 8 years now and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it. I love having the option of hopping on it when I’m short on time and always feel better after a quick, hard 30 mins of cardio. I would do that a ton when my kids were younger and napping. I would bring the monitor with me in the garage and hit the treadmill hard before they woke up.
What’s your approach to discipline? With regards to siblings fighting/teasing one another? Food? Attitude towards mommy/daddy?
We’re big on respect so I’m definitely a discipliner. We are just getting into the fighting and teasing stage but have to say Luca is so lucky because Ava is SO good with him. She’s always checking on him and sharing with him so they don’t fight too often. I mentioned above, we’re big on timeout and also taking away iPad etc when they are in trouble. All that being said, I also was raised with three older brothers so I know there is going to be fighting and teasing and usually they squash it themselves.
Any swaddles and baby carries you recommend?
I tried several but sharing my absolute favorite on my Mama Must Have Products post last week!
How do you see your friends while juggling everything else?
Pencil. It. In!
Just like date nights with the hubby, dates with your girls are important too! Don’t loose those friendships… Make the effort even if you have to book it weeks in advance. With older kids in sports, siblings and after school activities we are currently at that stage where all my mom friends have to get our planners out and literally book weeks in advance. It’s comedy hour trying to pick dates that work for everyone but still do it! I will say though at this stage (at least for me) you do become A LOT more selective with your friends and who you make time for. Your free time is so rare that friendship these days is all about Quality over Quantity! Can I get an amen?! 😉
What kind of bassinet or sleep set up did you have when the babes were just a few months old and sleeping in the same room as you?
We used two different ones for the first few months when Ava and Luca were newborns and shared both on my Mama Must Have Products post HERE.
I want to know which babe was easier/tougher. I need some reassurance that things get easier and you make it through!
Gosh it’s hard to say but I think Ava was probably the hardest. Probably because she was my first child and I think the whole transition itself really caught me off guard. Like people tell you your world changes but you really have no idea how much it changes. Luca is wild but for some reason (knock on wood) even his melt downs and tantrums weren’t as bad as Ava’s. That being said, every kid if so different and just know that it DOES get easier!!
Please let us know what your daily work from home schedule is! I have a hard time balancing my work and mommy life.
You are not alone on this! As mentioned, I totally struggle with balancing everything too. I have been wanting to do a daily schedule post for you guys so I can go into more detail so let me know if you want o see that and I’ll post it for you girls.
Where did you find maternity clothes that weren’t God awful?! I am starting my second trimester and stocking up on pretty maxis bc I am not about the maternity style life.
You know I actually get asked this question frequently still. SO here is what I would say… try and hang on and rock your non maternity clothes as long as you can! I used the hair tie trick with my jeans till maybe around 5 months or so. I will say (especially if you’re going to have more than one baby), definitely invest in one pair of classic style maternity denim. I bought a pair of Paige Dark Denim Maternity Jeans and LIVED in them. You can also find some really good deals on new but cheaper designer maternity denim on eBay. I found a pair of Hudson wide leg maternity denim (because you girls know I love my wide leg denim!) there when I was prego and justified buying a more trendy because I bought them for much less.
Maxi Dresses are a no brainer and if you’ve messaged me about maternity clothes before, there’s a 99% chance I referred you to These Rachel Pally Dresses. They are non maternity and have SO much flow and stretch that they can accommodate a 9 month prego belly! They are bit pricey but the quality, fit and fact that they aren’t maternity and you can wear after pregnancy is worth the splurge!
I also feel like this topic deserves a full post so stay tuned for some prego picks for my Mama’s to be!
Do you give your kids probiotics and multi-vitamins? If so, what kind?
Yes! They LOVE these yogurts call Pro Bugs (they’re in squeeze/drinkable pouch with a little monster on the front) and I get them from Whole Foods. I’ll share a snap on my IG stories for you girls!
Would you talk about when things started to feel more natural/life felt more normal? I have a one year old and still feel like I’m getting used to this whole mom thing/things still seem hard to do, etc. Would love to hear how you handled easing into the new world that is motherhood and when things started getting easier.
LOVE this question too! So again, every mom’s experience is different but I have to say I’m with you. After I had my first child, it took a solid year till I started to feel a little more “settled” in my mom role. The first year is just so many unknowns and adjustments especially if you’re the first one out of your friends to have a child.
I still felt like the old me but I was a mom and my life was completely different. I think things started really settling in and getting better after a year and then by 2 years even better. Then I told my hubby we better have another or I may change my mind about having a sibling. Things start to get easier and you start to get your lives back a little so we wanted to have our second (and then it starts over again). Then you have a second and wonder why you used to complain that going to Target with one child was a lot of work lol. Omg sorry maybe this was only my experience but again a lot of work but it is ALL SO WORTH it!
Schedules please! Also, adjusting to life with two and any tips and tricks for life with two babes 🙂
As mentioned above, sometimes life with two is a game changer but on the other hand you are mom pro by now so it’s a much smoother transition than your first. We have an almost three year age gap between Ava and Luca and it’s worked so great for us. I knew I wanted the transition to two kids to be as smooth as possible. I wanted to have Ava potty trained, in her own big girl bed and in pre school a few days a week before Luca came and have to say it was so helpful! Life with two babes is definitely more of juggling and as mentioned above you’ll say to yourself “what was I complaining about with one” lol but seeing siblings together is absolutely priceless! Life gets busier and the hubby’s are a little more stressed and involved this time around, so make sure you squeeze in those date nights because they will be well deserved!
What advice would you give to a first time mom? What are things you wish you would’ve known/done differently?
I pretty much always just causally mention that the first few months can be rough (aka survival mode) and the first year is an adjustment but it DOES get better. So hang in there! I think it’s important for moms (especially new ones) to know they’re not alone.
Gosh and things I would have done differently?! Hmmmmm I don’t know! At the time as new parents we were second guessing everything but it seemed to work out so there’s nothing that immediately comes to my mind about doing differently. Oh wait yes, I would have trusted my mama instincts and waited to start Luca in pre school. He clearly wasn’t ready last Fall but I kind of let my hubby make the call on that one because he was convinced he was ready but I just thought it was too soon. I shared on here that we ultimately ended up pulling him out because he was having accidents, but he will start back this year and I think he’s DEFINITELY ready now!
Did you sleep train? Why (not)?
We did with Ava at around 4 months and I have to say it was the hardest two weeks of my life but it was the best thing we could have done for all of us! Truly! There are tons of different ways to sleep train so I recommend chatting with your pediatrician and then finding what works best for your fam.
What is your parenting style? Are you very strict? Or more into ‘unconditional’ parent or something else?
Oh yes, I am definitely the disciplinarian in our household. There’s lots of love but they definitely know when mom’s serious because daddy on the other hand is very chill. 😉
Okay! Sorry for this super lengthy post but I hope it was helpful! I really enjoyed doing this Q&A as you girls had some really great questions! If you have any other questions leave them in the comments and I’ll try my best to get to them! You can also check out a ‘best-of’ baby and toddler products post HERE too!