Monday, July 18, 2016

Mommy Style Monday: What I Wish I Knew

I remember sitting in church as a newlywed and listening to a woman give a talk about motherhood. She shared a story about her "to do" list and how "painting my toenails" was a reoccurring item on the list because she was always too busy with other things to get that one little thing done. She was unable to fulfill this indulgence, week after week. Being the naive, newlywed I was, I thought she was being a little ridiculous- "How hard is it to paint your toenails?? Seriously?" 
Fast forward to today and I now understand her small struggle. It may not have been that she didn't have the time to paint her nails, but that other things have taken priority. I know when I have a trivial thing on my "to do" list that can only be done after bedtime, I often dismiss it. Instead I watch a show with my husband, get some blogging done/read other blogs, or get some chores done. Because at the end of the day, I'm tired and relieved that Gwen is finally asleep! I wish I used my time a little more wisely and practiced drawing or working on ways to advertise my photography. That's something I need to work on. Some moms are great at growing creatively and pursuing their dreams outside of motherhood, and I applaud them. Those women are my heroes and they inspire me. 

Right. I had an idea of what it was like to be a mother before actually becoming one, but really, I was naive, as most childless people might be about parenthood. Here are some things I would tell my past self about being a mom:

1. You're not a strict as you think you are.
My past self would think, "Sleep training? Leaving the baby to cry in the crib to fall asleep? Discipline? No problem!! I won't bat an eye!" And then the hypothetical baby was my baby and I had become accustomed to co-sleeping (because its honestly the easiest option for nursing moms). You can ask me about my personal thoughts on sleep training, just not on the internet. Honestly, my thoughts are complicated. And when it comes to discipline- when's the right time to start that? I'm not sure Gwen understands being put in timeout when she misbehaves, but let's not get into that! As you can see, there are things that I wish my future self will tell me about discipline. 

2. Don't you dare judge other moms/parents.
I think I learned this one while I was pregnant with Gwen. It all starts when you become pregnant and everyone has different opinions about labor and delivery. I knew that I shouldn't judge other women for choosing to deliver their baby in a different way than me and I definitely shouldn't judge other moms that choose not to breastfeed. Those were the two big "no nos." But it was so easy for me to judge other people's parenting styles. I completely regret thinking this way! I was so harsh. It's such a struggle to raise a human being to the best of your knowledge and ability. Every time I might disagree with a mom I think to myself, "They may not agree with my parenting choices, but I would hate to think that they're judging me for it and/or thinking of ways I could 'improve.'" So I dismiss these thoughts and instead think, "I have no idea what it's like to be this person. I can tell that she is a good mom. There are so many good ways to parent!" 
*Related*- Never give another mom unsolicited advice! Seriously! You may be talking with another mom and venting about mom struggles, but unless she specifically asks for your opinion or advice, don't give it. Just listen to her. Also, never do this if you're not even a parent. I cringe at the thought of my past self replying to a couple of moms' Facebook statuses asking for motherly advice. I can only imagine that they rolled their eyes into oblivion. I do not blame them. 

3. Be open to changing your mind and accept chaos. 
Babies grow and change all the time. It may make your life easier if you're open to changing plans and being flexible, because although we don't like to admit it, our kids are kind of in charge. Not in the sense that we should succumb to their every whim, but that we need to listen to their needs and act accordingly. 

(^after Gwen ran away from me)

Thanks for letting me share the things I've learned so far about motherhood! Make sure and check out these other mothers' ideas and thoughts. I can't wait to read everyone's stories :) 

Kiana at Glitter & Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand
Monica at It's All About
Erica at Good Job Momma
Justine at Little Dove
Amy at Harris Inc.
Bekah at These Are The Days

If you're interested in participating in the next Mommy Style Monday, visit these blogs:
Glitter and Donuts


  1. Agree agree agree!! Especially about the unsolicited advice. Never liked it, never will. I know people have the best intentions it's just so freaking annoying!!!!! Also your hair is so adorable short!!!! You're making me think of chopping mine again.... gahh!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I totally agree with #3! I always try to have the same routine and when things aren't going the way they have been I freak out! I have to remember babies change and so I have to be more flexible.

  3. You're such a fun & amazing mom! That sweet Gwen adores you so much!

  4. Love this post and your outfit!! I have no clue about discipline! I'm such a push over really. And then I read things and I'm like I'm ruining her forever! Haha. But I think she's still too young, so hopefully not ruined yet. :)

  5. Such great thoughts!! And beautiful photos too. We both talked about not judging. Isn't it funny how humbling parenthood is?!

  6. these pictures are so sweet! i love what you said about unsolicited advice. it's so easy to think our way is best, but in reality every mother is different and every child is different and although we might not all agree on every topic, i think we can all agree that we are just doing our best and want the best for our kids.

  7. All of these are sooooo true!

  8. I used to get so angry when my daughter refused to nap. So much wasted energy! I love that children are very forgiving and that you can always start over the next day. 😊

  9. For real. And it's the worst when it comes from a childless person!!!
    Thanks! You should cut your hair! If you wanna

  10. I kinda just copy what I see other moms do when it comes to discipline, haha. It's always surprising when you realize that your kid understands more than you think they know, so that makes me feel like Gwen should understand what it means to be in time out. It doesn't help that these things take repetition and consistency. I'm so impatient!

  11. I noticed that we both mention not judging, too! And thank you!

  12. You look gorgeous! I love your insights. When it comes to judging other parents, I always tell myself my favorite quote from Amy Poehler's book, "good for you, not for me!" Just because someone does something different from the way I do it doesn't mean they're wrong or bad! It's just what's good for them. Motherhood really makes you introspective!

  13. Your blog speaks to me in so many ways. I agree 100%. I just had my first baby 4 months ago and I am regretting every single bad thought I had about strangers and their parenting styles. IN FACT. I am currently in Mesa, looking for a place to live, and my baby starts freaking out in the car while we are trying to get back to the hotel. It was one of those really BAD freak outs where she is just completely fatigued. I was literally sitting in a gas station parking lot with my screaming child whipping my boob out trying to calm her down. Haha. It was ridiculous. Lesson learned.. No judgements ever again. LOVE your blog! xo

  14. You look stunning! That skirt *heart eyes*


  15. Beautiful pictures!! Totally agree with all of this! I think since we put so much energy, love, passion, devotion and research into what's best for own kids, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking "our way is the best way", but every family has different dynamics, struggles, interests, influences etc, and there is no way God intended for all us moms to be the same! You seem like a sweetheart! God bless!
    - Rose

  16. First off your outfits are darling! Secondly I totally agree with everything you wrote!! Great post mama

  17. Oh, that is tough! Especially in the AZ heat!!
    So you're moving to Mesa? Welcome! I'm in Chandler, right next door. Good luck apartment/house hunting!
    And thank you so much for the sweet comment :)

  18. Motherhood is so intimidating to me! There are so many different approaches and (unsolicited) opinions that it seems overwhelming... From what I can tell you're doing a pretty amazing job though! Both you and Anne are hashtag mom inspo.

  19. Your little one is so adorable, love these pictures of the two of you. And I love your opening story because I'm right there with you. Painting my toenails is something that is always on my list but keeps getting pushed back! It wasn't such a problem but now with kid #4 I always feel like I'm playing catch up. You would think it wouldn't be that hard to find the time, but it's like you said, there are other priories.

  20. Thanks, boo! I love to hear that ;)


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