How did you know you were ready for kids?
I don’t think I ever had a moment in time where I felt “ready.” It was always in my plan but I don’t think you’re ever really ready for the change that comes when you have a baby. Dave and I were together for 5 years before we got married. We lived together, traveled together, had the best years together just us and when we got married it sort of felt like the next step. I never had a picture in my mind of when it would happen. We sort of trusted the process and it all worked out!
Did you have a “plan” in mind of what time of year/how far apart you wanted kids?
Nope. I haven’t really planned that with any of my boys. My sister and I are 2.5 years apart which was so fun so I think I probably knew that by the time Charlie turned 1 it was time to think about baby #2. George is about 3 years younger than Jack so I think I always wanted a 2-3 year gap. Funny story – I would always tell Dave “next month we are going to start trying for baby!” and then a week later I would take a positive pregnancy test. So we never actually got to “try” (we are so so so so lucky to be able to say that!) and Dave was always disappointed. Ha!
When did you know you wanted three kids?
I have 3 kids in my family, my parents are both 1 of 3 kids – I think I’ve just always felt very happy with that number! Plus my siblings are my best friends and we all have such a special bond with each other.
How did your first baby impact your relationship with Dave?
Not going to lie, it was really hard. I struggled with PPD after Charlie and just felt really disconnected from Dave/alone. After about 6 months I felt like it got better (which sounds so long!). I tried really hard to suffer in silence and ended up feeling resentful for no reason. Dave is such an amazing partner, I’m just not great in transitions and it showed.
How do you decide who is in charge of getting the kids ready and off to daycare each day?
It’s a joint effort! Dave usually drives the boys to daycare but I’ll make them breakfast, pack their backpacks, etc. Then I’ll stay home with George while they go! But sometimes I enjoy taking them, too. It’s a trade off!
How do you make time for romance in your relationship with Dave? First baby coming in September and I am nervous about this!
Hmmm – I think a shift will happen whether you notice it or not. I think the idea of romance has changed a lot in our relationship. Now I find a good conversation, time away from our kids, listening to each other, going on a walk and holding hands – things that can usually seem mundane now feel very romantic. But in terms of sex, just fit it in when you can! Even if that means nap time on a Tuesday 😉
What resources/methods have you found work best for discipline? Fellow boy mom!
So something that I’ve noticed works really well with my kids is when we compliment and reward them for the things that they do right, it leads to much better behavior and listening. Even something so little as getting dressed, brushing their teeth – things that they SHOULD do. When we highlight their good behavior we notice there is way less to discipline. When it does come time to discipline I try to get on their level, stay calm, acknowledge their emotions and tell them how to better behave in that situation. But also lets be serious, I have MANY MANY MANY moments of weakness where I yell and feel terrible and it’s just part of surviving parenthood.
I am SO scared of the actual giving birth part. How bad is it?
Not bad at all! Honestly I would do it again and again and again. Coming from someone who had 3 very textbooks deliveries. But it is the most powerful, exhilarating, beautiful experience.
How do you manage the mom anxiety? Does Equilibria help?
Taking time for myself. Self care, self indulgence, time alone. Equilibria does help me with my anxiety! It helps not bring up anxious feelings in the first place – it sort of keeps me more leveled and at peace with things that usually stress me out. You can read more about Equilibria here and here, LIZADAMS will get new customers 15% off 🙂
I need mom friends! Any advice for connecting with other moms?
Reach out! Put yourself in the position to say yes. Go to classes, go on walks, go to coffee shops, go to the park – even if your baby is 4 months old. I remember having Charlie and taking him to a music class at 3.5 months old solely for the fact that I needed to be around other moms. Even if I knew no one! A couple moms I met at that class ended up being my closest friends in Chicago. Put yourself out there, don’t wait for someone to come to you.
Can you please share what you are doing for George’s naps? I feel like I am a mess!
Make sure you’re following/in tune with their awake time based on their age. George naps from 9-11am and 1-3pm with a quick cat nap at 5pm. When I put him down, even if he cries, I don’t go in for at least 75 minutes. If he is falls back to sleep and is asleep at that 75 minute point, let him/her sleep until the 2 hour mark. If he/she is awake at that 75 minute post, you can get them up and start the awake time cycle over again. This is all thanks to Bumble Baby’s advice! The amount of food your baby is getting could be a huge part of sleep issues. Kate is a WEALTH of knowledge if you need help.
How do you calm your brain down with all the kid chatter?
Going on a walk, taking a bath, tapping out, getting out of the house, taking some deep breaths, handing them my phone so I can have a moment of peace.
I feel so guilty spending time away from my baby during my free time since I also work full time. Tips?
I can completely relate but YOU MATTER. Taking time for yourself matters. Your baby won’t remember that time that you are apart. You’re an amazing mom and just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to do the things that you want to do. Go do the things! You’re teaching your baby self love and self care and that’s important.
How the heck do you get anything done for work?? I have 2 kids and I can’t handle it.
I DO NOT GET ANYTHING DONE. It’s 10pm and I’m just not working for the day.
Did postpartum recovery get harder with each child for you?
Yes. George was by far my healthiest pregnancy but my hardest recovery/postpartum experience. I’m just starting to feel a little closer to myself.
New mom of a 9-week-old. Do you have any tips for how to be less frustrated with a husband who can’t do much at this stage?
Ugh mama, it’s so hard. I feel you on this. I think just voice your stress about it even if there is nothing he can do. Allocate other tasks to him like bath time, changing diapers, cleaning the house, laundry! Don’t put all the duties on yourself. The more you keep it inside, the more you resent and hate haha. Let it out!
Can you share an update on George’s schedule/routine?
6:45/7am – awake + 8oz bottle
8am – solids
9am – nap
11am – awake + 8oz bottle
12pm – solids
1pm – nap
3pm – awake + 8oz bottle
4:30pm – solids
5pm – 20-30 min nap
6pm – bath
6:30pm – 8oz bottle
7pm – bedtime
My two best friends are due this summer. What can I do to help THEM recover/feel good?
Bring over dinner, hang with them, check in, call, give them extra love.
How do you handle kids being sick? I feel like our kids are sick all the time!
There is nothing worse than a sick kiddo. Lots of extra love, snuggles, tylenol or motrin if needed, hot baths, humidifiers, movies, sleep – basically just relinquish all control and love on your babes until they are better. It’s rough but you’ll get through it!
Breastfeeding! Do you mind sharing your feelings on breastfeeding/how it went with George?
It went wonderfully! We had a rough go at the beginning but we got his tongue tie fixed and we were smooth sailing. I was really sad to end our journey together (he was basically exclusively breastfed until 5.5 months) and I still miss it a lot of days. But I also missed my freedom and knew it was time.
Do your friends all have kids? How do you handle hanging out with friends and not involving kids?
Not all of my friends but a large majority do at this point! Honestly, most of the time I’d rather hire a babysitter so I can actually hang out with my friends. I have outsourced way more help because I’ve realized the importance of filling my cup with friend time. It’s so fun to get the kids together but it’s equally essential to make plans without them. So just hire the babysitter. 🙂
Do you ever feel lonely as a mom? It seems like motherhood can feel so lonely, even when so many other women are moms.
YES! I was just telling Dave that this phase of life can be very isolating. We are all just trying to survive the early years of our children being 1000% dependent on us, leaving very little time for anything else. Again, I think reaching out is huge. Talking to your friends about it, meeting people in similar situations, putting yourself out there. I didn’t do this with Charlie and it was a very heavy time. Looking back I didn’t have to feel lonely but it felt easier to sit in the loneliness, fight through it, then to talk about it. Don’t sit in it – persevere! Put yourself out there because SO MANY WOMEN feel this same way. Being a mom is fucking hard. We don’t show up for ourselves because we spend all of our energy showing up for those around us. Your feelings are valid, your feelings are important, your feelings lead to being a better mom.
What advice would you go back and give yourself as a first-time mom?
Everything I wrote in this post still stands true today. You’re doing great.