The pre-baby jitters before becoming a first-time parent have to be the most nerve-wracking! At least I hope that is the case. We are for sure going to have a second, and I dream that it is going to be easier the next time around. Everyone please just tell me that’s the case.
Getting that nursery stocked is one task every parent focuses hard on. I am sure you can all relate to that fear of thinking, “Do I have everything I need? What if I don’t?!”
Well, if you don’t, it's OK! You’ll learn that when your baby comes, you are always going to need something you didn’t realize beforehand. As I have mentioned before, each parenting experience is different and beyond personal.
You might find something essential that another parent doesn’t. However, to help get your inspiration churning, I listed some of my must-haves that I will definitely make sure I have again for baby number two. Hope this helps!
My Must-Have List:
Hatch Rest Sound Machine
Baby Pee Pads
Pehr Crib Sheets
Upang UV Bottle Sterilizer
My Brest Friend Pillow + extra cover (maybe even two extras)
Motherlove Nipple Cream
Burt's Bees Burp Cloths
Halo SleepSack Swaddles
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
Ubbi Diaper Pail
Mustela Baby Face Stick
Doona Car Seat & Stroller
Spectra S2 Breast Pump
I'm Not Listening to Mom-Shaming
I think mom-guilt is inevitable for any mom – whether of a newborn or thirty-year-old. We are always thinking of the should-haves or could-haves when it comes to our kids, right? On top of that, when we aren’t being our own worst enemy, mom-shaming comes into play.
How horrible is that?! I can speak first hand that judgment from others on how I parent is devastating. I am in a position where strangers have complete access to comment on my life. Yes, I am so grateful that I have built a platform for people to find support in motherhood, mental health, and more. But, at the same time, it can be really hard to receive “feedback” from people I do not know (and who really do not know me) on what I am doing to mother Sonny.
From “I can’t believe you hold the door closed when he tries to come out of his room at 3 am” to “He looks like a girl! CUT HIS HAIR!” to “You really need to not cut his grapes like that…”— the judgement has felt overwhelming at times. I am trying really hard to not care what other people think in most of my life. This has become ESSENTIAL when it comes to what people think of my parenting.
I am an amazing mother. My son is smart, beautiful, kind, hilarious, unique, talented, silly and so much more. This is contributed to the fact that I am mothering him the way he needs and the way I need to parent. (FACTS!) When you feel judged or unsupported by others, take a step back and look at your bubble. Your child is loved and you are doing the best you can each moment of each day. We do not need to let the comments, unsolicited advice, or opinions of others intrude on our worlds as parents. Stay true to yourself.
P.S. I HIGHLY recommend you check out Cluster’s new feature called Office Hours!! They have all of their experts contributing certain amounts of hours each week to help you all out and answer your questions!! 100% free to sign up!
Why Breastfeeding Made Me Feel like a Failure
For me, breastfeeding was difficult from the start, and thinking back, I wish I’d stopped earlier and not put myself through all the torture that I did. I used to wonder why no one warned me about it. Well, the reason is our experiences are all so different. It's impossible to truly warn or prep someone for something so complicated and personal. I agonized over every feeding, dealt with immeasurable emotional and physical pain, and put so much pressure on myself that I managed to get mastitis three times.
Mastitis is the excruciating condition of clogged, infected milk ducts. It sounds awful, and it is. My boobs were beyond tender. It felt like knives were jabbing into my chest, not to mention the crushing accompanying flu-like symptoms. For the first month of Sonny’s life, I gave breastfeeding my all. I tried everything to make it work, and began to feel like a failure as a mother.
Eventually, I switched to pumping which brought its own set of issues. I was still in pain and felt like a milk machine instead of a mom. After six months, I stopped pumping and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
When you struggle with breastfeeding, you are forced to turn to nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, family, friends, etc. for help but deep down you wonder if they have agendas too. Is the advice they're giving you best for you or best for the baby? The hardest part is making a decision that is best for you OVER your baby because that is what is best for BOTH OF YOU.