Mothering the Mama
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Motherhood is a competition. 

There I said it. 

There is this constant need for your baby to be better then someone else’s, your wardrobe to look better, or your house to be cleaner. I plan to focus on this more from the kiddy side but today I want to focus on the motherhood side.




As I sit here completely under the weather, crying internally and externally for a break, I realize that’s the part of motherhood us mothers hide. 

We feel the need to hide the “bad” parts of motherhood. The parts that show we sometimes fail or sometimes don’t like our kids. 

This week is National Suicide Awareness week. 

Did you know that the leading cause of death for new mamas is suicide?  

That is why motherhood self care is so important to me. 


As moms we internalize so much. We take on our kid's emotions, partner's emotions, and sometimes even what feels like the world's emotions. We struggle in silence and say nothing because you know, “Mamas are the backbone of the family”. 

When I first had Tate I quickly realized how easy it would be to slip into depression. I was not only going through a terrible break up but I was healing both emotionally and physically. I was losing myself. Being a nurse I had seen depression plenty of times. I knew the symptoms to look out for. and how to manage them. By the grace of God I was able to overcome these things and pull myself out of dark places but not all mothers are able to do the same. 


Here’s how you can help a new mama today:


Offer to help but don’t be pushy.

Just a simple “how can I help” will suffice. And then actually help in the way they ask. Be sure to pay attention to the detail and get it done to the best of your ability. This is important or we’ll never ask again. 

Look for ways to help without being asked.

I know contradictory from the first, but us mamas we’re superheroes at heart. We’ll take on more tasks then we can handle because again “Mothers are the backbone of the family”. That being said, we may not always ask for help. Look for ways you can help without us asking. See laundry in the washer flip it in the dryer. Dishes in the sink wash them. Dirty diaper just change it. Trust me, this will speak to us abundantly. 

Don’t criticize. 

I know it sounds simple but you’d be surprised how easy it is to criticize. Sometimes as humans, we don’t even realize when we’re doing it. So that means no “why do the eggs look like this”, “oh my white shirt is now pink” or even “the baby’s late for nap again”. It’s as easy as thinking before you speak. If it could come off as judgmental in any way, don’t say it.

Compliment.

On the flip side provide lots of compliments. Simple things such as, “wow I wouldn’t have even thought of changing his diaper that way”, “I appreciate all you’ve done for the baby and me today”, “You’re an amazing mother”, goes a long way. Remember we’re insecure and not feeling like ourselves right now we need these words of encouragement more than you could ever imagine.

Remind us of our self care. 

We’ve forgotten us. Society tells us it’s all about our baby and family now and we have completely turned off the idea of caring for ourselves. Suggest self care activities without being too forceful. Say things such as: “Hey I can watch the baby while you shower”, “I’m going to come over and watch the baby so you can sleep”, or even something like “Hey I brought you a gift card to get your nails done and I’ll watch the baby when you go”. Trust me that last one will make you a stellar friend. 


These tips are for friends, family, significant others and more. Being a new mama is hard. Our bodies went through trauma and now our minds will go through it for at least the next 6 months.  

To my mamas, life is not a competition.  If you are struggling in the beginning say it! It’s okay to need extra help at some point in life we all do. I cannot personally say I’ve experienced depression personally but I fully understand deep sadness in the beginning of motherhood and have seen it many times before. If you need someone to talk to reach out to your doctor and let them know how you feel. There are so many great resources (not even just therapists!) that they can recommend. 


Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 


If you're a new mom looking for a way to increase your self love when you look into the mirror, sign up for my 4-page workbook all about using affirmations to increase your self care!
I am hosting my first event. Yes you read that completely right.

I HAVE PLANNED AND AM HOSTING MY FIRST EVENT! 

I’m not freaking out, you are... Okay yes, I’m totally freaking out too! 




When I created The Mama Program my intention was not for it to be a bunch of expensive events and social hours. But instead, for it to be the kick in the butt mamas needed to remember their own self care. My hope is it will become a weekend program for moms where they can come and partake in various self care classes that will encourage and fulfill them. 

For now however, it is totally a social hour with reasonably priced events for us mamas to sit, come together and hang. I mean hey, it’s not like we don’t deserve it! 




If you’re not new to Mothering the Mama then you know my story and why self care is so important to me. If you don’t, here’s a short recap:

When Tate was about 4 months I realized I was completely losing myself in motherhood. I had no idea if I had showered each day, I barely changed my clothes, and the laundry was piling over; but the baby was fed, clean and happy. Being a mother was becoming my identity. 

Now let me clear this up, being a mother is 100% my greatest joy in life thus far. It has helped me find my passion and true calling in life not only with my son but with other mothers I encounter as well. However, being a mother does not take away from the fact that I still need to care for me. 

The Mama Program is just that. To remind mothers that in the midst of the motherhood chaos, every now and then just check in on you.



Check in questions:

  • How does this make me feel?
  • Am I doing this for me or someone else?
  • When is the last time I did something for me?

In any situation it’s easy for life to take over. Even more so when it feels like you’re the ringleader or a juggling circus trying to balance not only motherhood but your career and family on top of that. But in the midst of it all it is beyond important to never forget you. 

If you’re in the area buy your tickets to the Mommy Spa and Social. Be intentional and schedule some time for you today. Trust me, your family will thank you. 

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

Right after I had Tate I was afraid to breastfeed. Like most new mamas I was afraid it was going to hurt or that it was some sort of discomfort involved. This feeling was strange for me. I mean after all, I am a pediatric nurse.  I’ve gone into plenty of lactation consults, I have counseled many mothers on latch technique and I’ve seen the process done over a 100 times. But when it came to me and my body... I was still so, very afraid.


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Like many other things in life, sometimes fear comes from no real basis at all, other than word of mouth. I had heard so many other mamas say things about breastfeeding that it caused me to be afraid myself. When they asked if I wanted to breastfeed Tate shortly after birth I politely declined saying, “Not yet.” About 30 minutes later, they asked again and I came up with yet another excuse; I was tired. After about 2 hours the lady said to me, alright no more your baby needs to eat. And you know what?

IT DID NOT HURT! 


Debunking Breastfeeding Myths

Let me debunk this myth for you: With the proper latch, proper hold and proper positioning of mama, breastfeeding should NOT hurt. If it does, something is being done wrongly. 

Heres some other myth bubbles I’ll burst for you: 

  • Once you breastfeed your breasts get saggy and never go back to normal. 
    • FALSE: Yes, after breast feeding is stopped, the skin around the breasts tend to be a little less firm. This can be combatted with upper arm exercises to strengthen the skin and tighten it’s hold.
  • Breastfeeding is too time consuming.
    • FALSE: Sorry to break it to you but warming up a pre made bottle takes just about the same amount of time as getting in your breast feeding space and positioning and whipping out your boob.
  • Breastfeeding is only for mamas who want to “be all natural”.
    • FALSE: I’m not even sure what this statement means, but yea. “That ain’t it.”
  • If you breastfeed it will make your baby clingy.
    • FALSE: Whether you breastfeed or not, that baby is going to want to be in your arms non-stop. I mean, they did just come from your belly.

Trust me, there are so many more myths I can debunk but for now — let’s just get on to the facts, shall we?


Things to Do Before Your First Time BreastFeeding

Use your Resources:

Breastfeeding (like anything else in life) takes practice to make perfect. As I said before, even after seeing many, many breastfeeding mamas, I still was absolutely clueless as to what to do when it was my turn.

Mama, hear me clearly now: Do not be afraid to ask for help with anything in motherhood! But especially when you’re about to leave the hospital. It is literally our job to help you. We literally get paid to help you with any issues you have before you leave the hospital. Take full advantage of your resources and help before you have any issues. In short, use the lactation consultant.

Research
Like all parts of motherhood, it’s best to do your own research. Once you decide breastfeeding is for you, I would suggest researching everything about it. The types of holds, feeding periods, consistency of the milk production, let down, breastfeeding products; everything down to even what breastfed baby’s poops are like (because trust me, they are different). Researching before you give birth allows you to have all your questions ready when you do meet with the lactation consultant. You most definitely will still have questions once she leaves, but at least it will give you some ground to start on.

Prepare
Prepare your body, your home, your mindset, all of it. Get it all in. It is said a mom should have 500 calories more a day in her diet while breastfeeding. Prepare your home before birth to have your favorite foods on hand to ensure you are easily able to get this increase in caloric intake. This increase in caloric intake will also help your body produce more milk and more importantly, keep up with the production. After researching your favorite products, buy them and have them out of the package and ready to go for the second you get home. Trust me, you’ll need them within the hour.  

Let it go
I know, totally easier said than done, but any stories you’ve heard from friends, family, colleagues, etc. — let them go. It will be so much easier to actually breastfeed when you let go of what “so-and-so” said it should feel like, or should look like. Remember, we are focusing on facts here!


Now, we’re ready to start breastfeeding.  

Your first time you feed will be scary. Just like life, trying new things can be scary but after the first time you try it, you realize it really wasn't all you made it up to be. Think of this with breast feeding. Just give yourself the first few times and then make a judgement.  


Here are my top 5 tips for breastfeeding:

  1. Remain calm. Hunched over back, clenched jaw, sweating forehead; that sounds terrible, doesn't it? Don’t let that be you when you breastfeed. Instead, get into a nice comfortable position, and relax not only your body but your mind, too. Allow your body to flow and do its thing. It sounds so funny but I used to literally visualize my milk coming down from my body into my baby’s mouth. It may sound silly but it worked, I never had one real issue with milk production. 
  2. Get prepared before you start. Before your baby even gets fussy or you know the time is coming set up your space. Get your book or TV ready, get the blankets ready, get all your tools ready and in one place because once you sit down to feed that baby — that’s it. You’re at their discretion now when it comes to you getting up. One  of my favorite products was the Milk Snob nursing cover. It was stretchy and light weight which worked perfect in public. Even better, it doubled as a car seat cover that I used in the cooler months to block out the wind from baby boy. My other favorite item was the My Brest Friend nursing pillow. It’s a little thicker than a boppy and more sturdy. Since having had a C-section, it was difficult for me to support Tate’s weight a lot in the beginning and this served as a life saver because it was easy for him to lay directly on it without me having to hold it too much and he was higher up for my comfort. There are plenty of products out there. Find your products and get everything situated. 
  3. Get your feeding schedule down. Now this applies mostly to baby’s first few months of life. Starting out it’s easier if you feed your baby on a schedule and don’t wait until they call for food. It keeps from having a frantic baby and mama in the long run. In the beginning you’ll be getting a hang of baby’s sleep schedule, wake schedule, your wake schedule and sleep schedule... It will be a lot. Throw in feedings and it can be easy to forget! Offering the breast every 1-2 hours for baby’s first few months of life is a good way to get your baby on a schedule to know when the milk is coming but it also helps your body to know when it’s time to let some milk down for that baby, too. Now notice I said offer the breast. This means if you’re giving the breast to your baby every hour and they seem uninterested or do not want to latch, do not fret. Try pushing back to every 2 hours and go from there. Sometimes your baby not taking the breast simply means they are uninterested in it right now. Just be sure to pay close attention to make sure your baby is still taking in the right amounts of milk. Another additional benefit of feeding on a schedule is if you wait to feed until baby tells you they are ready to eat, it could be a moment of stress. Baby is screaming because they’re hungry you’re now rushing frantically to get set up and this situation is even worse if you are in public. To avoid that, feed your baby on a schedule.
  4. It’s all in the hold. Remember we talked about being comfortable well this goes for your positioning, too. There a few different types of holds that you can position your baby in to make it comfortable for both you and them. Refer to the picture below for images of them. Personally, the football hold was the easiest for me. As a new mom having to manipulate baby’s head to my breast, my nipple to their mouth and hold them secure was a lot. The football hold gave me the most control of these things.


  5. Relaxxxxx. I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH! You're let down literally depends on it. Your body will not let down as much milk as needed as a result of being clenched and tight. This is why your position (not only in your house) but also with your baby, matters so much.  


Being a new mama is hard. Each time you enter a new phase it will feel like it was harder than the one before. It will feel tough and down right impossible. But you are mama, hear you roar! You were literally meant to do this job and there is nobody better at it for your baby then you. So cut yourself some grace. Breastfeeding is a difficult journey and even more as a new mama. You feel lost, confused, defeated, disappointed at times and more. But never let those emotions stop you from what you set your mind to. You and your body are made for this.

Take time for you too mama,

Aysia B.



Aside from your birth plan, one of the most important pre-baby arrival decisions you can make is choosing your baby's pediatrician. 

Let's face it, you discuss just about everything with your partner before the birth; nursery furniture, safest car seat, strollers, birth plan, etc. Many families forget to talk about one of the most important decisions: Who's going to be your baby's pediatrician? Before your baby is born you are expected to have their doctor chosen and one year of appointments already scheduled. For us personally, we were a little behind the ball. So once I got home after delivery — the race to find a pediatrician was on. Luckily, I had all the right tools that lead me to be very successful when choosing baby boy's pediatrician.





Think it all through

When making the final decision on your child's pediatrician, make sure you sit and truly think of all the things that are important to you in a doctor. 

  • Education:  How important is your doctor's education to you? For me, this wasn't that important. Being a nurse I know how important it is to be fresh out of school and needing the experience but having no one trust you. Yes, it takes a little more trust since these physicians don't have a ton of background experience, but hey they have to start somewhere. Plus, check-ups are pretty routine, how much could they mess up?
  • Accolades:  Is the pediatrician you are considering featured in any magazines or well-known published articles? Have they spoken at any conferences? Any top ranking in the state? Many providers have a lot of accomplishments under their belt, but it's up to you to decide if any of that stuff is important to you. When choosing a pediatrician for my child, I definitely was impressed by any mentions of accolades for a certain provider, but it was not anything that helped in my final decision making. Instead, it was like icing on top of the cake. (Though icing is absolutely my favorite part of a cake.)
  • History:  The same way you have a job history, so does a provider. It's important to decide if having knowledge of your provider’s history is important for you. In my search, this was very important. I wanted to know any medical errors/malpractices, any fires/not eligible for rehires or any blemishes the pediatrician had on their work history. Which leads me to my next point. 



Do your research

Similar to every other major decision in life, you really shouldn't make a big decision like finding your child's doctor without first doing some research. There are a few ways to get this research done.

  • Internet:  Yes, you very well can throw your potential pediatrician's name in google and see what comes up. But more than likely it won't bring up the real facts you want to know. There are websites such as Health Grades, as well as Vitals, that help you find out specific information about each provider. Information including: work history, medical practice history (i.e. any blemishes on their record), their education, their age, their gender, any accolades and more. These websites are trusted websites with accurate and specific information that will give you more of the type of information you need before choosing the right doctor for your child. I most definitely ran my son's doctor's name through sites like these a time or two. 
  • Word of mouth:  We all know that sometimes the best advice you need, comes from straight from the source. The best information you can get about a pediatrician is going to come from another trusted family, and them discussing their decision on why they chose that pediatrician. SO... go ahead! Ask your friend that just had a baby who their pediatrician is. Ask your family members with young children their reasoning for choosing their pediatrician.  
  • Your doctor:  And my biggest recommendation is ask YOUR doctor! They've counseled plenty of women on choosing their baby's doctor within those last few prenatal visits and if anyone is going to have a vast knowledge on doctors in the area — they will. And even if they can't tell you local doctors, they can at least give you a place to start.



My Top 4 Reasons for Choosing My Son's Pediatrician

When choosing my pediatrician it came down to 5 main points and these were what I used each time we moved and had to find a new pediatrician. 

  1. Proximity:  If you know me, you know I'm always late... so my doctor being close was a must. It's hard enough getting myself out the house on time, but add in a newborn and it was basically setting me up for failure. Having my doctor close to our house was necessary for those "flying out of the house 10 minutes before the appointment was supposed to start" moments.
  2. Insurance:  If I don't have to spend extra money, I don't want to. Having a physician that was covered by our insurance was another must. I didn't mind paying a co-pay, but helping a provider pay off their Benz payment for the month was not in my intentions.
  3. Family/Friend Recommendation:  Similar to when I said word of mouth, I needed to personally know someone whose child went to my physician's office. The best form of advice is true experience. I value my friend's and family's opinion, so getting feedback on their pediatricians was very important to me. 
  4. Likability:  If it's one thing my son's father will tell you about me (aside from me being amazing), is that I am very picky. Whether it is food, homes, cars, clothes; I have my opinions and they are very strong. I felt the same way when it came to my son's doctor. If I had to sit in an office with them every month for 30 minutes plus... I had to be able to like them. Might sound superficial but this was important to me. And not only that I liked them — but that Tate did, too. During our meet and greets I watched how the pediatricians interacted with both Tate and us as his parents.


Making life decisions is hard; making them for your children is even harder. From cold remediesskin care and more there is so much we just aren't sure on as parents, and the right pediatrician can prove to be a big help. But don't forget life is all about trial and error. If you choose the first provider and they don't work out, move on! Go on meet and greets where you sit and meet with different doctors, voice your expectations and then go from there. If you don't find the right doctor the first, second or even third time remember it is okay! Eventually there will be one you love. Don't stress yourself, just take the time and you'll come to the right decision. Also, just like all other parts of motherhood — allow no one to sway your decision (except for Dad of course haha). You know what's best for your baby, trust yourself on making the right decision. 

As a nurse, my son's doctor was very important to me. By following these steps listed above I was able to choose the right pediatrician that worked for my family without too much added stress!

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 



This past weekend I took Tate to his FIRST professional sporting event. If you know my family, then you know it was only right that baseball was it. And when I tell you he rocked it, he couldn’t have done a better job! Literally no crying, no tantrums and he stayed awake the entire time! Baby boy was a champ and this mama is proud.



If you’ve been reading the blog for a while then you know that Tate’s dad is a professional athlete. Once we got pregnant I knew that baby boy going to games was going to be a part of his culture. Home games, away games, scrimmages, practices, walk throughs; you talk about it I’ve lived it for 10 years +; the only difference this time around, was I was expected to have a baby in tow.

In the past 3 years I have traveled to plenty of different NFL stadiums. Some ultra nice ones have daycare or child care places in them our stadium for the last 3 years however, did not. So baby boy being amongst the sea of fans was something I was just going to have to get used to.

Keeping a baby entertained at home is no easy task, so imagine trying to entertain a baby in a cramped, over stimulated, loud space- yea pretty much impossible. But not quite. As all things in life, it’s all about finding the right tools for the trade.




Here’s how I kept baby boy entertained at his first professional sporting event:

 1. Dancing. If you’re baby is anything like mine then music is his favorite past time. If you yourself have never been to a professional sports game, let me give you a little tid- bit on what it’s like. There’s lots of noise, booze, music; sounds like a high school party right ?! Trust me it’s better. They play music, tell a fun fact or play little field games every time out or dead moment of the game. For me this worked in my favor. Instead of having baby boy sit the entire time, when they played music I would stand and dance with him or let him stand and dance in between the seats. He had a blast and it helped keep him from feeling bored or stagnant.
 2. Food. Tate would eat all day if you’d let him. A little snack here, meal there, and boom you have a full on baby gazelle just grazing along. One suggestion I’d have is pack the snacks! Crackers, yogurts, fruit everything. And of course you cannot go to a professional sports stadium and not have a hotdog! That’s literally my favorite thing on the menu. P.s. if you’re going in the hot summer months like we did yesterday stock up on water and fluids!
3. The game. I mean duhhh that’s what you’re there for! Now it depends how old your baby is, but for Tate he’s at the stage where he understands the look and point. Every time they threw the ball I would point in that direction so he could look. Anytime the fans cheered I’d pick him up and make him cheer too! It’s important to me that he not only attends the games but that he eventually gets into and understands the entire culture around the games.
4. Free play. Just like when we work a 9-5 we need a little break every now and then, they’re babies and they for sure need a break more than us. Taking them up with you while you go grab that food and letting them just run wild and free is always a good time. It’s exercise for you and them and helps them burn a little extra energy. Plus, after they get done they’ll be so tired they’ll sit still, at least for a few extra minutes anyways.
5. Backup plan. And just all things in life with a baby, you have to have a plan B. Now I know some mamas are going to cringe at this, but we are an iPad loving family. With the right shows and programs you can totally entertain and teach at the same time. Our back up plan is always a quick Netflix or youtube moment. Around about the 6th inning Tater tot started to get a little restless and started fussing. He asked for a show I whipped it out and he barely watched until the end of that inning then got right back into the game. It was just enough to distract him and give him time to enjoy something else for a little. If this is not for your family, try something else! Like coloring, physical toys or even a book to read! Check out my restaurant activity toolkit here and maybe even bring it along to your sporting events!



Though Tate will probably go to many of his dads professionally games without me now, he still has plenty of games to go to with mama and it is an experience I truly enjoyed experiencing together for the first time. It’s important to make memories with your kids and it’s important for our mama sanity that we both enjoy them. Because let’s be honest, once baby’s unhappy, nobody’s happy!


Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B.



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