Can you believe it’s already been three months since Charlotte was born? Cuz I can’t. This time around has gone by even faster than it did with Garrett. Much to my surprise, since it felt like I was holding my breath the whole time with him – dreading the day my maternity leave was up. Now with Charlotte, things are just more complicated – I have a 4 year old literally running circles around me, I’m trying to navigate this whole freelance world, we’re still getting settled into our fixer upper, and I’m working on expanding the blog/styling arm of my brand. It’s such a double edged sword too, because you want to soak up every moment but at the same time you kind of can’t wait to have that 4th trimester behind you.
To say that my skin care routine took a back seat once I had kids is a drastic understatement. To be honest, I was never that committed to a routine to begin with. To be even more honest – I was that annoying friend in high school who never washed her face, and for the most part didn’t have the same skin problems as my peers. Since then, I’ve had the occasional hormonal acne and fine lines as much as the next gal, but one thing is for sure – nothing says “Hi, I’m a mom” more than dark circles.
I would have posted this sooner, but it’s taken me some time to gather my thoughts after the tragedy in Vegas. When I was single (or just prior to starting a family), things like this would happen in the world, your mind tells you how horrible it is, and you react like any compassionate person would. But it’s like the minute you have a baby, you no longer think with your head. In fact, it’s as if all of the world’s emotions get sucked into your heart and BAM – you’re a mom. You no longer just fear for yourself, you fear for these innocent little people who you created, and your mission in life is to protect that innocence for all it’s worth. But the duality is that you still have that logical pre-mommy side of your brain telling you that it’s impossible. That they will get to an age where they will become aware of the bad things that happen around them, outside of this parental bubble you’ve created, and you come to grips that this “age of innocence” is over. You accept your job as parents to raise them to be good people who fight for what’s right. Period.
Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it – it’s just easier this time. I haven’t been shy expressing the struggles I had as a first time mom to Garrett. Anxiety, guilt, shame, control (or lack there of) – you name it, I felt it. But with Charlotte, it’s as if those heavy clouds that hung over my head the first year of Garrett’s life, were never even in the forecast. I’m not sure if it’s due to my hormones not being as imbalanced – I keep saying that maybe my body rejected the boy hormones, and that’s why it’s easier having a girl. Or maybe it’s just that there really is such a thing as (and I cringe as I say this, cuz I really do hate the label), a “good baby.”
So excited to announce my first guest blog post for the uber sweet baby/children’s sleepwear line, Westyn Baby. Now that summer has officially come to a close (can you hear that collective mommy sigh of relief?), I felt it was only fitting to welcome all the kiddos (ok, it’s really for the moms) back to school with a little tongue and cheek piece 😉 Here’s an excerpt below, but you can read the full post on Westyn Baby’s blog!
I think we can all agree on one thing. Moms come in all shapes and sizes. Some moms are “Pinterest” moms, some moms are “so cool you’re not even sure those are really their own kids” moms, and well, some are quite frankly just a hot mess (which, if we’re being totally honest, is all of us – amirite?). But no place, and I mean NO place, brings all these moms together in one glorious clash of cultures than – preschool. Here are some of the mom-types I encountered in our first year of preschool, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at motherhood the same.
1) The “Veteran” Mom
To be honest, this mom was the one I was most intimidated by. Not in like a “she’s so cool I can’t talk to her” kinda way. It was more because she had clearly been doing this preschool mom thing for a while, probably with two or three kids rotating through the program over the past six years, and she’s got this thing on lock down. I’d watch her from the safety of my car, as to not get burned by her supermom radiation, as she’d usher not only her kids but two other moms’ kids to and from their classes with ease and grace. On the last day of school she can be heard making a flippant remark to her son’s preschool teacher that “she’d better go since it’s the last day of errands sans kids”. Oh yah, and she says what we’re all thinking because, well, why not?
Our sweet baby girl (who we can now call by her actual name, Charlotte Madeleine Murray), was born Friday July 21st at 3:47 am, at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 in long. Garrett dubbed her with one last nickname – “Twinkle Toes” – when he met her in the hospital, and not gonna lie – it kinda stuck. He also couldn’t help but notice the “Italian trademark” of dark hair covering her ears, to which he inquired, “Why does baby sister have so much fur?” LOL. It’s hard to believe that just this past Tuesday was my original due date, but this little lady had other plans. She shocked us with what we’re now calling our “trial run” the Wednesday night before, which sent us to the hospital and then back with irregular contractions 3-6 min apart. So come Thursday night, I told the hubs that I was just going to ignore any weird contractions I was feeling. Easy enough, that is, until 1 am rolled around and I got up to go to the bathroom, after tossing and turning for lord knows how long, only to realize my contractions were 2 min apart and had me buckled over in pain. Yep, it was the real deal. So we called our sweet neighbor again to come stay at our house with Garrett until my MIL could make it over, and Grant literally flew down the freeway to the hospital 40 min away – with me white-knuckling the passenger door handle the whole time.
Today was just like any other day, except not. Garrett woke up way before mama was ready, but just in time to give daddy a great big bear hug before work. Then I rolled my pregnant self outta bed to make breakfast and jump in the shower before heading to my 32-week checkup. Baby girl got a clean bill of health from the doc, and I took Garrett on an impromptu “2nd breakfast”, as I like to call it these days, to Dunkin Donuts (mostly because I missed the chance on National Donut Day and felt ashamed of my pregnant self). I worked on the nursery all morning – organizing the closet, hanging up little girl clothes (eek), and rearranging things, etc (p.s. I can’t wait to do the final reveal, if I can just get my act together!). Garrett went down for a long nap and that’s where the day got good. After all, it’s not every day that you get to sit on the couch after nap-time, cuddled up with your toddler to watch yourselves on TV.
Remember those TV ads from the ‘80s with the close-up of a greasy fried egg sizzling on the skillet, followed by the ominous “This is your brain on drugs?” Well, consider this my updated millennial PSA for all you mamas and mamas-to-be out there. But instead, imagine a close-up shot of your feet with a flip-flop on one and a work flat on the other (which one of my fellow colleagues totally did), followed by the words “This is your brain on baby.”
To try and “momsplain,” as I like to say, all that I’ve learned since having my first child three and a half years ago – would quite possibly need a blog dedicated all to itself. I’d call it “You Know Nothing, First-Time Mom” (where all my GOT fans at??). Enticing idea, but instead I’ve decided to do a little run-down of my single favorite baby registry must-have that just might get you through those second (or third, or fourth) baby blues.
Sure, we’ve all heard the old adage “everyone can use more friends.” When you’re a new mom though it’s crucial, and I’m talking DEFCON 1 level crucial, to find friends that will not only be there for you – but literally carry you through this motherhood thing. I’m speaking from experience when I say, these eight “Mom Friends” need to be sought out, vetted, and secured before you ever even think of pushing out another human from your who-ha.