My Apologies to My Friends Who Don't Have Children

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Having a baby changes your life and also the relationships that you have with the people around you. It makes you sympathize and bond with your fellow moms over how it's possible to survive on so little sleep and it unfortunately, can also distance you from your friends who don't have children. I can't say that I blame my friends... I once upon a time didn't have a baby and found it really hard to relate to what my mom friends were going through. I would try to have a conversion with my bestie M. and every 10 seconds was interrupted by: L put that down, L stop jumping, L stop running in the house! Fast forward a few years and our conversations now go something like this:
-Hey M! How are y - Zane don't eat the dog food! - what was I saying? 
-I'm good... tired, busy the usua - L put that down! Leave your sister alone! - what was I saying?
-You were telling me I think about your day yesterday? I don't really remem - Zane stop french kissing the dog! Omg M gotta go. Zane is playing in the toilet.

Mom life changes EVERYTHING. I've teamed up, once again, with my mom friends and we've come up with a list of apologies for our friends that don't have children! Feel free to add your own in the comments below: 

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1 - I'm sorry I was an hour late to your birthday party  - to be honest.. my son threw up all over as I was heading out the door and you're lucky that I showed up at all. You should in fact be buying me a gift. Have you ever tried to wake a baby up from a nap and then show up at a party smiling? Why is your party at 9am anyways? Don't you know this is NAP TIME. 

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2 - I'm sorry that every time we go out I'm always wearing black yoga pants - it's really because no other pants fit me and the black really camouflages all the food stains from my child throwing his dinner at me. Tonight we ate cheerios for dinner because i just couldn't deal.

3 - I'm sorry that my child bit you/hit you/threw something at you - I really am trying to teach him. Listen - if you think you can do better, take him for a day and try. Actually maybe a week. I could use some sleep. Please?

4 - I'm sorry I forgot your birthday/anniversary/first day of work etc. - I run on 4 hours of sleep a day and I can't even remember my own name most of the time, so just be thankful I remember who you are. You really are important to me and I promise one day I will get my shit together and start checking my reminders on my phone... if I can only find it... my son was playing with it somewhere. Speaking of which... were is my son? 

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5 - I'm sorry I had to cancel our plans last minute because the baby was sick - I promise this isn't an excuse. They put everything in their mouth and are sick every week. I would much rather be sitting and having a glass of wine instead of sucking out boogers from my baby's nose (for those who don't have kids - yes this is a thing... and yes you will have to do it. Have kids they said... it'll be great they said.)

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6 - I'm sorry I left your party early - I know I said it was because the baby was going to have a melt down, but I was the one who was ready to snap and felt it would be frowned upon if I started crying in the middle of a crowd of strangers. 

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7 - I'm sorry I can never make it to dinner with my kid unless we eat at 5pm - Kids are assholes sometimes. Especially tired ones. If you want to have dinner at 7pm and want me to bring my son, that's fine. But know that there WILL be a melt down. And my son's screaming is comparable in volume and pitch to a beluga whale so EVERYONE will stare. We might even end up on YouTube when he starts catapulting the food across the restaurant. I'm down if you are... I've been through it all and have no shame anymore. 

All in all, my life has changed... but I promise I'll find that balance again... or a really good babysitter that's always available. I love you and miss you and still treasure our friendship so please wait for me to find my way. :)

 

You May Hate Your Husband Postpartum... But It Will Pass

My friend M. has always been the one I turn to for advice about pregnancy, children and life. She is happily married with 2 beautiful children. I remember like it was yesterday her telling me: Don't make any life changing decisions in the first two months after your baby arrives. You will hate your husband, but I promise it will pass and you will love him again... eventually.

I remember laughing a bit and thinking that although she was usually right, this time she was wrong. My husband is amazing, attentive, affectionate, goes out of his way for me, and will be the best father ever. There is no way I could hate him.  

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Fast forward a few weeks, baby arrives, we're in baby bliss. I am looking at the man who helped me create this beautiful and perfect little baby and I am thinking to myself that M. was totally wrong. How could anything ruin this perfect moment? My husband turns to me with this loving look in his eyes, opens his mouth and says: ."Sweetie I'm tired. I'm going to go to bed".

He. Is. Tired.

I pushed out an 8 pound baby that I carried around for 9 months (during which I didn't have a single good night sleep). I am breast feeding this screaming and colicky baby every 1 hour. I have stitches in my you know what that ache every time I breathe, and He. Is. Tired. I may have thrown something at him at that moment... It honestly is such a blur I don't remember, and unfortunately, it went downhill from there for the next 2 months. When I talk to the new moms around me, they all have different variations of the issues that I faced, but ultimately we all had the same sentiment: how were we crazy enough to marry our husbands and how do we get out of this marriage. I'll blame some of the hatred on the exhaustion and the hormones... but a lot of it is really because our husbands are just sometimes really clueless.

If I sum up the top idiotic things that our husbands did/said, it would include the following: 

1. "Hunny the baby is crying and won't stop. Here, you take him... you know what to do!"

2. "I heard the baby crying all night... did you manage to sleep?" - yes. I slept through the high-pitched screaming of a newborn... said no mom EVER.

3. "It's so hard going to work when you have a newborn at home" - oh yeah? It's hard being able to pee when you want, and have adult conversations and to sit in your quiet office and gather your thoughts?

4. While the baby is screaming his head off "Is everything ok up there? Why is the baby crying" - for the same reason he's been crying since he was born you idiot.

5. "Your pregnancy wasn't that bad... we should have another one" - because you carried around a watermelon in your stomach that pushed on your sciatic nerve and gave you nausea that rivalled the worst hangover you've ever had? And you then pushed out that watermelon? I thought so.

6. "Can you please turn down the baby monitor. I'm trying to sleep and the noise from the baby is keeping me awake" (you may throw a pillow at his head when he says that one)

7. "I'm going to go for dinner with my friends while the baby sleeps... is that ok?" - ok so first off, the baby doesn't sleep. Second, no. It's not ok. I want us to suffer together.

8. "Sweetie the baby is crying! Are you going to go see what's wrong?" - thanks for letting me know! I was momentarily deaf and didn't hear the screaming baby down the hall. Let me run faster so that you aren't bothered by his crying.

9. "You're so lucky you're on mat leave. Where do I sign up? It is so much easier to be home than to go to work" - when he says that one, I recommend leaving him with the baby for 1 day while your cell phone is turned off. That's all it will take, and I guarantee you will never hear that again.

10. " Why are you so tired? Just sleep when the baby sleeps!" - yes... and all the laundry will magically get done, and the dog will get walked, and the groceries will appear in the fridge.

Being a new mom is such a whirlwind of emotions and unfortunately your husband will never understand what you are going through. He will never understand the shock of seeing your own body postpartum, he won't understand the surging hormones, he won't understand the exhaustion, and he definitely won't understand the physical recovery from labour and breast feeding. 

I promise you however, that as things get easier with the baby and you start to fall into a routine, your husband will be able to contribute more and he will get on your nerves less (I didn't say not at all... just less). You will start to remember why you fell in love with him.... until the next baby arrives :)

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Space Saving Tips for Condo Living With Baby

Living in a condo or a small house with a new baby can be challenging if you don't do it right! It's really easy as a first time mom to get caught up in all the gimics and cool gadgets that flood our social media streams (I'm a sucker and buy everything). What is really necessary and what really helps save space? Here are my top 5 recommendations to make condo living with a baby a breeze. 

1. Leave toys in boxes until baby is old enough to use them - and keep the boxes for later!

Fisher Price Jumperoo

It's so tempting when you receive gifts for baby to rip them open and assemble them in anticipation of using them. Baby is 2 months now and the toy says it's good for babies 3 months+ so assembling it now will save time right? Perhaps... but it will also leave your rooms feeling cluttered and make you feel like you're missing space. Boxes are more easily stacked and hidden under cribs, in closets and in storage rooms than assembled toys are. Babies also develop at different rates, so a 3 month+ toy may only interest your little one at 4 months or maybe even 5 months. Moreoever, by the time your little one is ready to use this new toy, you may be able to put another one away! We recently got a Jumperoo as a gift and when assembled, it will measure about 3 feet long x 3 feet wide and 3 feet high, whereas the box fits perfectly under baby's crib.

I also recommend keeping the boxes for certain items so that you can easily store them when baby outgrows them. A couple great examples are your baby's infant car seat and vibrating chair. They are awkward shapes and will take up a lot of room in your storage unit or garage and may even get damaged unless you put them back in their box.

2. Toy boxes and decorative storage bins should be your best friend

Pottery Barn has some really cute bins!

Pottery Barn has some really cute bins!

If you live in a condo or small house, chances are you don't have the space for a designated play room. As baby grows, toys, blankets and books will slowly invade the common living areas in your house so storage bins are a great way to keep the clutter off the floor. It will also save you from having to run from room to room trying to clean up toys all the time. Toy boxes are great for baby's room and they can double as a bench or reading nook when baby gets older :)

3. Units with drawers are more practical than ones with hangers

When looking for a dresser or extra piece of furniture for the baby room, I can't stress enough how much units with drawers and cupboards have saved our life. I was a bit apprehensive at first because who really wants to fold baby clothes, blankets and bibs, but they have been the secret to keeping my sanity! I have filled my drawers and cupboards with bins and baskets that leave me feeling as though there is organization amongst the chaos. There's a bin for baby's toiletries, a bin for cloths, a bin for burp towels, and bin for diapers etc. It also means that there is no wasted space and no need to buy teeny tiny hangers for baby clothes. Moreover, when I have a screaming baby and need to put things away fast, drawers conceal the mess until I have time to go back and put things away properly :) 

4. A collapsible baby bath tub is a must

Baby bath tubs take up SO MUCH space and when you live in a condo and are struggling as it is to find somewhere to put everything, compact is essential. We found an amazing collapsible bathtub by Boon called the NAKED bathtub that is great for infants and toddlers. It has two positions (incline and regular) that make it easy to use for parents and safe for baby. It also has a hanger built in so it can drip dry from your shower when you're done using it! I've included some pictures of it below! Another alternative is to give baby a bath in your sink, however depending on how big your baby is and how big your sink is, this isn't always an option.

5. Resist the urge to buy everything all at once for baby

It's a totally normal feeling to be so excited for the arrival of your new baby and to want to be overly prepared - especially when the nesting urge kicks in. But when living in a smaller space, I don't recommend stocking up on things that baby won't need for the first new months. Just as I recommended leaving toys in boxes until they will be used, I recommend buying items as you need them because other items will be able to be put away. An example in my life is Zane's rocking/swinging chair and a Play Yard. Both, I believe both are necessary and super helpful, however at Zane's age now, he uses the MamaRoo on a daily basis whereas he's too little to use a Play Yard - he can't move anywhere yet so I don't need to keep him confined. Instead of having both set up in my living room (which would take up a lot of room), once he outgrows the MamaRoo, I'll go and buy a Play Yard and put it where the MamaRoo currently is!

I hope this short list will help all you mamas! I could go on and on with space saving tips, but I'll save a few for a later date! Don't hesitate to reach out to me and let me know if you have any tips or questions. I would love to hear from you :)

xox Tovah

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