10 things I've learned...

Lily's nearly 3 months old now {I know... How did that happen!?} and though I need Jesus every day to be any resemblance of a good mom, I am slowly starting to understand the inner workings of what being a mom really means. What babies are like. What caring for one is like. What balancing a husband, baby, and friends is like. So I thought I'd share a bit, so if you're in my shoes or one day are, you won't be as clueless as I was 3 months ago :)
  1. Do what you can to continue growing in the Lord, but be FLEXIBLE because your time with God won't look the same as it once did, and that's OK. God knows your desire to meet with him, and he'll bless you for putting in the extra effort. Even if it means reading the Bible on your iTouch while breastfeeding or praying while your changing a diaper, don't give up spending time with Jesus just because you can't sit down with a coffee and have a 2 hour-long in depth Bible Study every day. Adapt to your new life and bring God along for the ride.

  2. Set goals for yourself but don't go crazy. Some days my goal would be to vacuum the rug in Brad's office and I STILL WOULDN'T GET IT DONE. Other days, I'd feel like a super mom crossing things off my list. But lists make me sane and keep me on track. Just set your goals a bit lower than before you were caring 24/7 for another human being... hello vacuuming the rug!

  3. Forgive yourself. Some days will just be a write-off. Baby's off her schedule, dinner is left overs, you're still in your pjs when the hubs gets home. Days like this aren't the norm, but they happen from time to time. And they're not great. But you move on :)

  4. GET A BABYSITTER. Nuf said.

  5. Stay healthy. The first few weeks of Lily's life I was perpetually sleep deprived. It was ugly. And you can't do anything about that, but you can keep drinking water and eating well. And now that L's sleeping fairly well, I still have those days where brownies are considered lunch. That needs to stop...

  6. Friends from every stage in life are KEY. If I go too long without hanging with my mom friends, I start to feel very alone and insignificant, while they're off changing the world, I'm changing diapers... but if I go too long without hanging with my single or married-sans-children friends, I start to feel like being a mom is my ONLY identity... like Lily the ONLY important thing in my life... and that's bonkers. Balance, friends. Get it.

  7. Change up date night. Babies take a whole lotta time and a whole lotta money. It's not realistic (for our family) for Brad and I to take weekly nights on the town, spending a lot of money on entertainment, or restaurants. But date night, like your time with God, needs to adapt, not disappear. Sometimes it means a babysitter and splurging, sometimes it means a babysitter and going on a walk to Starbucks, sometimes it means staying in and cooking a nice meal TOGETHER, other times it means curling up for an episode of Modern family by the computer with a glass of wine after a LONG day. It's a date if you make it one :)

  8. Be a team. We chose to supplement with formula. We chose to sleep train Lily and let her cry it out. We chose it together. Which helped us survive the critics when we chose these sometimes-controversial things.

  9. Your baby is a baby, not an Ivy-Leaguer. I have to tell myself that all the time when Lily isn't "getting" something like sleep habits, feeding, whatever. To say "it's easy" doesn't work when you're talking to someone whose days alive you can still count in double digits. BE patient with your baby but mostly with yourself when you're trying to "teach" them something. ps - Lily is super smart though. She can smile. HA!

  10. Don't give your baby a bath until they've pooped at least once for the day. Gross. But key.


  1. Anonymous13.11.10

    Agreed (times 10). You have learned more than I did when Nehemiah was 3 months. Props. Thanks for being my friend ... for pointing me to Jesus ...

  2. Thanks for this, Em, being about a stage or so behind you this post is going to be key info for me. I look forward to being able to post from my experiences as well and hopefully will do so in a way that benefits other moms too.

    A couple of points that resonated with me already were staying healthy and the fact that I don't have two ivy-leaguers in my house. I credit eating a balanced diet and having water with me 24/7 with helping me survive and even thrive in these first few weeks. It was actually having to stay in the hospital that helped me with this because my meals were delivered to me three times a day and were balanced because they're put together by a nutritionist. They may not have always been tasty but they were there and provided me with milk, water, fruit, protein... all that good stuff and I think it kept me going.

    Of course I have had my share of meals made up of chocolate covered pretzels and a cup of coffee and will probably have many more. :)

    In the NICU and when they first came home we were constantly being told how brilliant and strong and miraculous our babies were. Being born premature of course everything they did from sucking to gaining an ounce to opening their eyes brought praise - for them and for us. So when they have a bad day and can't remember how to latch or wake up to feed after only an hour when they maintained the perfect three hour schedule in the NICU, it is easy to feel like "what happened to our miracle super babies?!" Thanks for reminding me that they are just babies and it's God who did the miraculous by protecting, growing and providing for them. They're just humans who sometimes puke on themselves. :)

    I'm glad we all have each other and our shared experiences. It helps keep me sane, humble, laughing and even more confident as a mom

  3. Emi - where were you when I had babies.....oh, yes, you were the baby :) - you are an amazing inspriration for all those new moms out there....love you!!! xoxox