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5 Things I Didn’t Know Until I had a Baby

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. You must be 21+ years old to try Poise Impressa Bladder Supports. #LifeAfterLeaks #CollectiveBias5 Things I didn't know until I had a baby

Every now and again I look at my oldest child and think how big she’s gotten.  Somehow 6 whole years have passed since I became a mom.  SIX.  The fact that I’ve been doing this thing called motherhood for six whole years blows my mind.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what it was like before my kids, while other times I sit and laugh at just how silly and naive I was back then…because, I’ll be honest – there were things that I thought I knew before I had kids, but I was wrong.  Completely and totally wrong.  Here are just 5 of the things I didn’t know until I had a baby:

The true definition of the word “tired”.  Everyone tells you that you will lose sleep when your baby is born, but what they don’t tell you is that it practically ceases to exist.  I sit and laugh at how I used to be “so tired” before having a baby, because the reality is, I had no idea what tired was before having kids.  Those first few weeks of motherhood – with a baby who may sleep 20 hours a day but none of those hours happen to be during the nighttime when you actually want to sleep – will redefine the word tired in a way you wish didn’t even exist.

Breastfeeding is hard.  In my head, I thought my baby would be born, she’d latch right away, and I’d breastfeed for at least 6 months.  Cue the choir of angels singing our praises.  Except, it wasn’t like that at all.  About a year before I had my first child, a friend mentioned to me that it could be painful at first, but I never expected that it would be physically difficult.  And I certainly didn’t know that there was an entire category of professionals and support groups dedicated to the cause.

Mommy wars and mommy guilt are real, and they start early.  I thought these were things that only resided in mom’s heads before I became a mom myself, but low and behold, they’re real.  Want to feed your baby store bought baby food instead of making your own?  Someone’s going to have an opinion on that and tell you all about it…so you can doubt yourself and feel guilty.  Same thing goes for returning to work, formula vs. breastfeeding, the type of birth you had, and a myriad of other mom topics.  It’s a vicious cycle, go easy on yourself.

Your body won’t be the same.  Okay, so you might lose all the baby weight.  You might even lose more than just the baby weight and have a rockin’ post-baby bod, but your body will change after birth.  Your feet might get bigger.  You might carry weight differently.  Or, you might leak.  Yes, let me be the bearer of bad news and tell you that it’s very possible that you’ll experience life’s little leaks after giving birth while you sneeze, laugh, work out, or a ton of other inopportune times.  It’s one of those dirty little secrets of motherhood that other moms don’t tell you before you have your child, but you quickly learn after.

So what do you do about it?  Get Poise Impressa Bladder Supports.Poise Impressa Sizing Kit

I first saw Poise Impressa as I was shopping online at and was intrigued because while they look like tampons, they work much differently.  You see, Poise Impressa is designed to prevent leaks rather than absorb them.  It’s a bladder support.Poise ImpressaPoise Impressa Sizing Kit Size 2

Simply use the sizing kit to find your perfect fit by starting with the size 1 and working your way up through the sizes until you stop experiencing leaks.  And remember, the sizes aren’t dependent on your dress size or the amount you leak, it’s only about what’s comfortable for you and what prevents your leaks.Poise Impressa Bladder Supports Sizing Kit

Just one of them can be used for 8 full hours and doesn’t need to be removed to go to the bathroom (please note, Poise Impressa cannot be worn during your period or while you’re pregnant).

Your body might not be the same, but you can still be confident as you head off to the gym, run to that meeting, or chase your kids around the park.Poise Impressa fits discreetly in your bag!

Spontaneity is dead.  Remember when you would get an idea to go somewhere or do something or eat something and you’d go do it right away?  Yeah, that isn’t going to happen anymore.  Because leaving the house will require diaper bags, travel systems, toys, snacks, multiple changes of clothes, sunscreen, backup toys, backup snacks and so many other things that weren’t even on your radar before the baby arrived.  Trips will require even more.  Date nights will require sitters, finite times, and early wake ups the next day.  So you might want to pass on that third glass of wine because they’ll be up the next day at 6am whether you’re ready or not.  Luckily they’re cute, so you won’t mind giving them the last bite of your dinner…and your entire dessert.    FB_LowRes_Everett-071

Is there anything that you feel you were wrong about or didn’t know before you had a baby? Have you noticed your body change since birth? If so, have you tried Poise Impressa Bladder Supports?

There’s Comfort in Being “Done”

Yesterday, my husband brought it to my attention that this will be the first odd-numbered year where we don’t have a baby.  Crazy, right?  But it’s true.  Every other year since 2009, we’ve welcomed a new baby into our family.  Each time, I unpacked and packed our stash of newborn sleepers, knowing that those clothes were going to be coming out again in the future…when we had another baby.  There was always another pregnancy on the horizon.  More maternity clothes, more baby clothes, more bottles and pacifiers.  I found comfort in knowing that there were more pregnancies and babies to come.

In fact, I wondered back then if I’d know if I was “done” having kids.  I’d seen so many of my friends lament over whether to add to their families after having a child or two and read all too many blog posts from bloggers who were unsure if they were ready to call it quits, I was scared that I wouldn’t know.  Or, what if we disagreed?  What if one of us declared that we were done, but the other wasn’t?  That was a big huge fear.

And it’s not like the question wasn’t going to come up, because when you have 3 kids everyone (quite literally, everyone) wants to know if you’re done.  As enthusiastic as people are when you announce your first pregnancy, and as eager as people are for you to immediately pop out a second child after having your first, they are just as excited to hear that you’re done after having 2 kids.

But now, 6 years after we first added to our family, there are few things that I’m more certain about than being “done”.  I confidently reply, “Yes!” when people ask, because we are done…and, surprisingly, I’m not sad about it.  At all.  Sure, there are days when it hits me like a ton of bricks (I just about cried real tears the day I realized that I no longer have a reason to be shopping in the newborn and infant section anymore), but for the most part, I’m glad that we’re moving forward.  I’m excited to watch my little kids grow into bigger kids.  I love our family exactly as it is.

Easter Family Picture

In all those years of being comforted by having another pregnancy to look forward to, I never expected that I’d find that same comfort in being done.  There’s definitely and somewhat surprising comfort in being done.

DIY No Sew Door Bumper

DIY No Sew Door BumperOn Sunday, Everett slept in until 9:30.  Nine thirty!  Don’t get me wrong, the kid’s always been a decent sleeper, but that’s unheard of even by his standards.  I had to fight the urge to go in and make sure he was still breathing.  As I laid and tried to relax while waiting for him to wake up (because as a mom I’m not longer programmed to sleep quite that long) I realized how quiet the house was…almost too quiet.  And then I realized it – there were no slamming doors.  With the girls gone at their grandparent’s house, there was no one to run in and out of my room asking when breakfast would be served or if I could turn on the tv or if I could get their clothes for the day, each time slamming the door behind them.  And just moments before each slam I find myself helplessly begging, “Don’t slam that door!”  I feel like it’s my weekend anthem.

Mom problems.

So when Poise approached me to discuss yet another mom problem – light bladder leakage – and asked me to find a creative way to recycle my period pad, I just knew that there had to be a solution to two mom problems.  Light bladder leakage is a problem that affects 1 in 3 women. Often caused by physical changes due to pregnancy and childbirth, light bladder leakage is most definitely a mom problem.  Triggered by laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercise, light bladder leakage can be an embarrassing problem for so many moms, especially during the summer months when shorts, skirts, and bikinis are part of the dress code.  And because so many women don’t know any better, their using bulky period pads to combat their light bladder leakage instead of Poise.  The new Poise Thin Shaped Pads are specifically designed to protect against light bladder leakage and give you the security you need this summer.  Poise Thin Shape PadsSince Poise clearly has light bladder leakage covered, it was time to do something else with my period pad.

Which lead me to the question – “What if my kids couldn’t slam the door and wake up the baby?”.  Suddenly I thought back to a fancy baby boutique I went to before Greenleigh was born and remembered seeing a fabric door bumper.  At the time I didn’t know what you could possibly need one for, but now…well…now I understand.  Since my sewing machine is currently out of commission, I decided to make this a quick and easy no sew project.  No doubt I’ll have one on every door by the time the girls return!DIY No Sew Door Bumper Instructions

You will need:
Hot glue
Period pads (any brand)

Step 1 – Cut two pieces of fabric to 5 inches wide and 4 inches long.  I did this by measuring on one piece and then layering the pieces and cutting them at once.  Then take one of your pieces of fabric and lay it with the pattered side up.

Step 2 – Cut a piece of your elastic to 4 inches long.  Make a loop with your elastic and then hot glue it in the middle of one end of your fabric, approximately one quarter of an inch from the end.  You should be gluing this to the patterned side of your fabric, not the back of the fabric.DIY No Sew Door Bumper

Step 3 – Once the hot glue is dry, glue three sides of the fabric.  Place the second piece of fabric on top, patterned side down.  Press down along the edges.  You want the patterned sides to be in the middle and the back of the fabric facing out.  Allow a few minutes to dry.DIY No Sew Door Bumper Instructions

Step 4 – Using the elastic, pull the fabric right side out.  Use your fingers to push out the corners.DIY No Sew Door Bumper Tutorial

Step 5 – Cut the period pads down to size and then remove the adhesive strip from the back.  Place your pieces of period pad into the fabric, laying them flat on top of one another.  I ended up using 2 full pads in my door bumper, but each pad was cut in half.No Sew DIY Door Bumper

Step 6 – Tuck in the edges and hot glue the elastic on first, before gluing the door bumper shut.DIY No Sew Door Bumper In Process

Then place it on your door and enjoy the quiet in your house. DIY No Sew Door Bumper TutorialAnd if you’re interested in trying Poise pads and lines for free (yes, FREE!) be sure to click here for your free sample!Poise

How to Survive Going Back to Work After Having a Baby

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreshAndGlow #CollectiveBiasHow to Survive Going Back to Working After Having a Baby

For me, the worst part about maternity leave – other than the sleepless nights – was that it had to end.  And after my second two children I seriously wavered about whether to go back at all.  I can’t even explain the anxiety that I felt in the weeks that lead up to my return to work; I worried about everything.  Now, over a year since returning to work after my third child, I can honestly say, I’m glad that I went back…and trust me, those are not words that I thought I’d ever say.  The key for me was finding a routine that worked for us.

So if you’re going back to work in the near future or unsure if you should, here are a few of the things that helped me survive the first few weeks and months back in the office.  And remember, every day gets a little easier.  Promise.How to Survive Going Back to Work after Having a Baby

Start off easy.  While I was happy to go back to work after having my first, nothing could have prepared me for the chaos of those first few days back at work.  The hours felt longer than ever, nothing in my office was where I left it, and I had about 1,892 emails to sift through.  Okay, so the emails isn’t an exact figure (perhaps just what it felt like?), but going back to work full time after being away for 9 weeks was hard.  My transition with Everett was much better since I went back part time and made a point to visit the office in the 2 weeks before returning.  If part-time isn’t a long term option at your job or for your budget, consider going back part time for the first 2-4 weeks to ease the transition.

Bring your baby to the office.  Okay, not literally, but bringing lots of pictures your baby to decorate your office or cube, can help a lot.  You might want to consider scheduling a portrait session in the week or two before going back to work, so you can have some updated pictures of the two of you to put on your desk beside those adorable newborn pictures.How to Survive Going Back to Work

Keep your child care provider’s information handy…and use it!  Dropping my kids off at daycare for the first time was never easy, but that first day always got easier after I called to check on them.  I even gave my daycare provider a heads up that I’d be calling to check on Everett and then called (twice).  They were happy to take the call and I was happy to have the peace of mind.  Besides, if your daycare provider isn’t willing to give you a little assurance here or there, they probably shouldn’t be your daycare provider.

Keep quality time in mind.  One of my biggest struggles going back to work was watching the amount of waking hours I spent with my babies drop drastically.  On maternity leave it was the two of us all day long until my husband came home from work or my other children came home from school, but once I went back to work I only saw my baby for a few hours per day (an hour in the morning and a couple hours at night).  Once you go back to work, try finding an activity that you can do one-on-one with your child.  A friend of mine recently tried waking up a little earlier and adjusting her start time at work so she could play with her son in the mornings.  I, on the other hand, prefer to add a bit of snuggle time with just Everett at the end of the day before bed.  It is no doubt the best part of my day and can often help me unwind from a long day at the office.

Pamper yourself.  It’s hard to remember to take care of yourself after you have a baby, but adding going back to work into the mix can make it even harder.  Schedule some time for yourself into your day planner, whether it be shopping, a quick cup of your favorite coffee, or maybe just a spa day in your own home after the kids have gone to bed.How to Survive Going Back to Work After Having a Baby Softsoap Basket

A friend of mine went back to work earlier this month after having a baby girl and I made her a small gift basket full of all the little items to make the transition easier – soothing tea, decadent chocolates, an eye mask for a more restful night sleep, and Softsoap Fresh & Glow Hydrating Shower Cream and Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish containing 100% real extracts for a relaxing shower at the end of the day that’s sure to make her skin look great.How to Survive Going Back to Work after Having a Baby Softsoap Orange KiwiIt’s an easy way to pamper yourself on a daily basis, whether it be before going into work or after you get home.  And unlike some of those pricey spa products, Softsoap can be found in the Bath Soap aisle at

How did your transition back to work go?  What made it easier for you to return to work?

No, I Don’t Want to Hold Your Baby…

No I don't want to hold your babyLast weekend, while my family was out at breakfast, we ran into a family we hadn’t seen in years.  Since it had been quite a while, their family had grown and they had just recently had a baby.  As we struggled to catch up quickly in the busy restaurant, she introduced us to their newest addition – an adorable little girl, about 6 months old.

And then it happened.  She extended the baby towards me…and I knew exactly what the next words out of her mouth were going to be.  “Do you want to hold her?,” she asked.

You see, the problem with this inquiry is that there’s no nice way to say no.  There just isn’t.  And yet, I still didn’t want to hold her (ridiculously cute) baby.  All too experienced with this situation, I tried to reach out to gently touch the baby’s hand and smile at her instead.  Unfortunately, with the angle that the mom tried to “deliver” the child into my arms, it resulted in a strange and awkward face/arm petting event where I again told the mom how cute her daughter was (seriously, she’s adorable).  After it was all over, and as awkward as it might have been, I still breathed a sigh of relief because I didn’t have to actually hold her baby.

Make no mistake, I love my children and held them all. the. time. when they were babies.  In fact, I still hold them often.  Just ask my 5 year old who refuses to wake up every morning for school causing me to have to carry her down the stairs because I don’t have time for a fight I can’t win at 7am.  Or my 3 year old who has decided that I’m better than furniture, and – without any notice – will plop herself down on my lap make her self comfortable.  And if there’s ever an Olympic event where someone has to rinse and load dishes into a dishwasher with one hand while holding a nearly 1 year old with the other, Everett’s trained me for the gold medal.  No one else has a chance.

But hold someone else’s baby?  Um, no.

The awkward occurrence last Sunday morning isn’t the first of it’s kind, nor will it be the last.  More and more often, I feel like I’m put in the situation where I’m politely declining or downright dodging babies that are being thrust into my arms, because people assume I want to hold them.

Except I don’t.

Honestly, I just don’t feel the need to hold them.  And if I’m absolutely candid about it, as flattered as I am that a parent would trust me with their beloved child, holding other babies makes me uncomfortable.  Truth is, before having my own babies, I wasn’t much of a baby person.  I wasn’t someone who babysat other kids or gushed over random babies in public.  It’s not that I don’t like other people’s babies, it’s just that I like them slightly better from afar.  The love and bond that I have for my kids – that makes me want to hold them – doesn’t exist between me and other children.  And that natural, “I love babies” that seems inherent in most other women, just I don’t have.

Of course, like anything else, there are exceptions.  For example, if I’m visiting a friend with a new baby and the baby starts to fuss just as the mom starts to do something in the other room, I’m happy to help out by holding her baby.  But in that case, I’m really helping the mom out, not getting a baby fix.  It’s so difficult to get things done around the house with a newborn, and if I can help a mom out – either by doing things around the house for her or holding a baby while she does things around the house – I’ll do it.  Do I get a warm fuzzy sensation from holding a little baby?  No.  But I’m helping a mom out and I like that.

I often question what makes people ask or assume that I want to hold their baby.  Maybe it’s what they think friends do.  Maybe because I’m female (goodness knows, I get more inquiries than my husband…even though they have a much better chance of a “yes” with him).  Or maybe it’s because I already have children.  Or maybe it’s because every other person on Earth wants a baby fix and I’m the only one struggling to find a polite way to say no.  I’m not sure.

While discussing this post with a friend of mine – who is very much a Baby Holder, and will hunt people down to hold a baby – it became apparent that this is one of those things where you either are or you aren’t.  So which are you – a Baby Holder or a Baby Dodger?