A Guest Post: What the First Year of Motherhood Has Taught Me

After being told that I couldn’t have children for two years, early 2014 I found out that I was pregnant. I was scared and nervous. I never really looked into learning much about motherhood or anything. So, of course, everyone (kind hearted or not) had to give me lots of advice. Some were helpful (like – Tylenol before shots), others not so much (like – put a little piece of soap in her butt – it will help her poop). There were a lot of pieces of advice that people kept telling me and there were some that I wished people had told me.

My  tiny terror named Serenity

My tiny terror named Serenity

Needless to say, I survived my first year of motherhood. I survived blowouts, allergies, teething, crawling, walking and eating with a baby. I also figured out about balancing life, family, my writing, blogging and singing in my shower with very little (okay a lot) of trouble – it’s still a work in process. Some of the advice I followed worked; others I just pretended I was going to follow them but I didn’t.
No two mothers are the same, but I found some things work better for me than others. I will be the first to say that I am a little weird, (okay a lot!) I have never been an inside the box kind of person and I learn pretty quickly what works and what doesn’t work.

Here are a few things that I have learned through my first year of motherhood!

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  • Don’t sweat the small stuff but don’t skip it either. This is a little odd, so let me explain. The first one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t sweat the small step – like the dishes in the sink, or the laundry in the bathroom. Don’t try to be perfect. Life in no way is perfect, why should you try to be perfect? The second part of that is about the little things your little one does; for example, my daughter discovered her tongue when she was about five months old and decided that she had to lick everyone. I’m not kidding. Anytime I held her, she licked my shirt, my arm, her hands, my face and anything nearby. I can tell you the date she found her tongue (Feb 26, 2015) but I really can’t tell you the last time I scrubbed the woodwork. 😉
  • Stock up on Shout! This was one I really didn’t learn until my daughter started moving. Knees, wrist, bellies, butts and pretty much every inch of a child WILL get dirty; there are just different levels of dirty. Shout works amazingly in pretty much every time. Just keep two or three bottles on hand. It will save some clothes and save you a piece of mind.

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  • K.I.S.S. the laundry. A writing instructor taught me to K.I.S.S. anything I would write. Keep It Simple Stupid. I still apply this to a lot of things, but the biggest one I try to apply this too is laundry. It the never ending story as adults. I try to keep laundry as simple as possible. First off, I use the same detergent for everyone’s clothes. When I first brought my daughter home, everyone told me that I had to use the special baby detergent. Let me tell you; that lasted one load. I have sensitive skin and I have to use the free and clear stuff anyway so for me – it wasn’t difficult to figure out. Also, I sort things before they go in the way by room. That way I can just stick that little pile into that said room and handle it (at a later date).
  • Be inspired by Pinterest but not addicted. This goes out to all the mothers out there that live off that site. I really like that site, but I know my limit. I am not a crafty person. I can do simple thinks like tie a knot. Yep, that’s about it. But since I am a writer, I find lots of information on there. But I spend at most ten minutes a day. I know of people spending hours on there and having hundreds of boards with hundreds of pins but at the end of the day, who has all that time to do them all? Your kids are growing up. Spend time with them now, not through Pinterest as you send them random pins about fixing their broken lives. They are not going to care about the napkins folded like the Empire state building at their second birthday. Let’s just remember the basic goals, keep the children alive and feed and taking showers. That is all we should worry about but at least, that is another topic for another day
  • Your goals aren’t just about you anymore. This one tripped up. Before I had children, I couldn’t figure out why some parents waited until they had children to finish college or get better jobs. I always wondered why they didn’t do that before they had kids. Before my daughter, I thought that our life was okay. We paid our bills, had a roof over our heads, had food and chocolate on our table and we had a running car. What more do we need? Then I had my daughter. That is when I realized that I didn’t want her to follow in my footsteps. beach-holiday-vacation-sand
  • I wanted her to take the path next to me and go further than I could have ever dreamed possible. But how wonder she do that if she never saw me reach for anything? That’s when I realized that my goals weren’t just for me anymore. I wanted to achieve my goals for myself and for her. I wanted to show her that with hard work, she can achieve anything she puts her mind to. Overall, I want her to shoot for the moon!

Well, I am sure that I am going to learn a lot more about motherhood as I go on with this journey. These are just a few things I have learned in the last past year. Like I said before, no two mothers are the same and some advice might help, others not so much. Thank you for reading! Do you have some unconventional piece of advice that you would like to share? Tell me in the comments!

Until next time…

Steph Wenburg is a mom of a beautiful one-year-old, who likes to rearrange the house on a drop of a dime. Once she has put the house back together, Steph can be found here at stephwenburg.com where she talks about writing, motherhood and her current work in progress that is she is hoping to publish. Come, follow her down the rabbit hole.

Monday Mom Confession #5

All of the traveling that I have been doing this month with the kids has sparked this edition of Monday Mom Confessions. We’re doing two separate trips a week apart with 8 total flights which means a lot of time is spent in the airport. I have quite a few things on my list that makes life easier when traveling with kids. One of which being using the family restroom; for everything.

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I really dislike the single people traveling without kids that use the family bathroom. When we’re waiting to use it, an old dude that is all alone comes out, then I walk in and smell shit; It takes a lot for me not to say something. Then I got to thinking… I’m not really that much better.

I use the family restroom for pretty much everything. I go in there when I personally need to use the bathroom, to change diapers, to repack the diaper bag, to discipline, or whatever it is that I need to do. I guess I have the excuse that I have the two kids with me and it would be near impossible to get them to stay in a stall while try to go to the bathroom really quick but whatever.

By the time I get Everett to use the bathroom, I get to pee, change the babies diaper… It can be up to a 20 minute ordeal in there. Any other parent knows that all of that is not a quick thing. I probably twiddle my thumbs a little bit while I hope that no one knocks. Whatever. Here I am admitting that i’m quite excessive in the usage of it. Am I going to stop? Nope. Probably not.

Happiness is Homemade {Link Up Party}

We’re glad you are joining us at Happiness is Homemade Link Party this week! Can you believe that this is the last week in October? Have the leaves finished changing colors where you are? Are you ready for Halloween? If you need more ideas for your Halloween party food, then check no further! Happiness is Homemade had some spooktacular link-ups last week and we’re featuring four of them this week!

Be sure to visit our features and show the bloggers some love!

HIH 3 Hosts

The place where you can find new recipes, be inspired, motivated, and creative. We have it all and the best bloggers linking up!

You’re next – join us!

We love seeing all of your links. Please remember to visit a few other links and share some love and meet some new friends!! Feel free to share the party with others.

We love new and old friends so let us hear from you!

Have a fabulous week!

Read More »

Eczema: Fight the Itch with Aveeno®

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for AVEENO® Eczema Therapy. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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There is nothing in life more frustrating for me [or my babies] than the itch of eczema. No one in my house has a particularly severe case of it but when any of us get flair up’s we’re miserable. If you have eczema, you know that even the smallest patch of it can be unbelievably uncomfortable. I have a hard enough time with it so I can’t even imagine what my kids have to deal with because theirs can be much worse.

Eczema is actually just a term for a group of skin conditions that cause it to become red and/or irritated. According to WebMD, 10-20% of infants and children actually experience this. So it’s incredibly common but doesn’t always require a trip to the doctors office. Now that there AVEENO® and the AVEENO® Baby Eczema Therapy Collection you can easily relieve this awful symptoms at home.

AVEENO® and the AVEENO® Baby Eczema collection were developed by leading dermatologists and awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. The ingredients are formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal and are 100% fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. I noticed a difference in my skin and both of my kids skin after just one use!

One of my favorite products in the line is the bath powder. It leaves their skin unbelievably soft and almost instantly soothes any irritation that they had going on.

One of my favorite products in the line is the bath powder. It leaves their skin unbelievably soft and almost instantly soothes any irritation that they had going on.

Aria approves.

Aria approves.

The AVEENO® line is proven to work on 4 of the most frustrating symptoms when treating eczema:

  1. Itch
  2. Roughness
  3. Dryness
  4. Irritation

Trying to use it on my sleepy little lady after bath time. As you can tell she's working on getting more teeth.

Trying to use it on my sleepy little lady after bath time. As you can tell she’s working on getting more teeth.

I have decided to just use AVEENO® instead of my regular lotion and instead of the lotion that I was using on the kids after bath time. When you use them on a regular basis they can help to prevent the symptoms associated with eczema. While there is no current cure for most cases, with proper regimen, symptoms can be managed.  If I can fight the itch before it even happens, I’m happy.

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Happiness is Homemade {Link Up Party}

We’re glad you are joining us at Happiness is Homemade Link Party this week! Over 200 links this week – HOW do we decide on just FOUR to feature?!?!?! Love a challenge and this one was tough! Keep the links coming people! We love it! I love all of the Halloween link-ups and the Fall themed ones, too.

Be sure to visit our features and show the bloggers some love!

Be a part of our awesome team and sign up for a Co-Host spot for November by completing the Rafflecopter below! It’s easy and takes no time at all.

HIH 3 Hosts

The place where you can find new recipes, be inspired, motivated, and creative. We have it all and the best bloggers linking up!

You’re next – join us!

We love seeing all of your links. Please remember to visit a few other links and share some love and meet some new friends!! Feel free to share the party with others.

We love new and old friends so let us hear from you!

Have a fabulous week!

Read More »

Happiness is Homemade {Link Up Party}

We’re glad you are joining us at Happiness is Homemade Link Party this week! Halloween is fast approaching and so many of you linked up your recipes and projects for this holiday that it was so hard to just choose 4 to feature this week! I actually wanted to feature each and every one of you that linked up last week – so much awesome talent. We would love to see what you have this week and once you have linked up, please visit some of the other blogger’s post and send them some love!

Be a part of our awesome team and sign up for a Co-Host spot for November by completing the Rafflecopter below! It’s easy and takes no time at all.

HIH 3 Hosts

The place where you can find new recipes, be inspired, motivated, and creative. We have it all and the best bloggers linking up!

You’re next – join us!

We love seeing all of your links. Please remember to visit a few other links and share some love and meet some new friends!! Feel free to share the party with others.

We love new and old friends so let us hear from you!

Have a fabulous week!

Read More »

Ghost Bananas & Pumpkin Clementines

GhostandPumpkin1

This little treat is probably one of the most simple things you can do in the kitchen. I am in love with it because 1) It gets my kids excited to eat some fruit and 2) it requires almost no effort on my part.

Ghost Bananas & Pumpkin Clementines

Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Clementines
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Lettuce

Instructions

  1. Cut the bananas so they're able to stand.
  2. Place chocolate chips to look like eyes and a mouth. I used mini chips for the eyes and a regular sized one for the mouth.
  3. Peel clementines.
  4. Place any green veggie in the top hole of the clementine to look like the leaf.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.momtails.co/2015/10/ghost-bananas-pumpkin-clementines/

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Pick-a-Shape Pumpkin Face

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This simple project was a lot of fun since my little man is obsessed with 1) shapes and 2) doing any type of craft.

All You Need Is: 
Construction Paper
Scissors
A glue stick
The ability to cut out shapes (I doubted myself on this one)

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I cut out quite a few options for the stem, eyes, nose, mouth, ect. We went through all of them and talked about all the different shapes. Teach them things while they’re having fun, right?

Then I let him glue them while showing him where different things are located on the face. Double learning situation for the win.

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Chances are you already have these materials in your home if you have children of the “crafting” age. It’s a really quick, mess free, perfect project to do for Halloween.

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PS. Don’t judge my child and his lack of pants. We’re potty training and the last thing we need right now is another layer of clothing to take off when we have to run to the bathroom.

Mess Free Foot Print Ghost

I’m all about doing crafts with the kids. It’s an awesome way to spend some quality time together but often quite messy. I originally wanted to paint their feet, stamp them, and create ghosts that way. I don’t know about your kids, but mine never want to stay still. I can see me painting them and then them tracking paint all over my entire house. It was just a hassle that I didn’t want to go through. I decided to go ahead and try something a little different.

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These guys are as simple as tracing your child’s foot, cutting them out, and decorating however you choose! Everett is not quite three yet but loved trying to trace his foot. He couldn’t get passed how much it tickled. I also let him use some kid scissors to try to cut them out on his own. You can imagine how well that went.

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Materials Needed:
* Construction Paper
* A Pen / Crayon to Trace
* Scissors
* Feet
See, it can’t get much easier or mess free than that. 

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Egg Carton Spiders

Egg Carton Spiders

These are so adorable and such a fun decoration to have around the house at Halloween. My toddler had a blast painting the egg cartons. He probably had too much fun because quite honestly, I’m still finding bits of black paint in places where it shouldn’t be. Regardless, this is a quick and easy project for the holiday.

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Step one: Cut the egg cartons into individual pieces to make up the body of the spider.

eggcartonspiders3Step two: Get to painting and then wait for the bodies to dry.

Step three: Once dry poke holes through the sides to slide the pipe cleaners though. I ended up using a pen to kind of drill tiny holes.

Step four: Slide the pipe cleaners though the holes that you have made. Bend the legs however you see fit.

Step five: Glue on eyes. Draw on eyes. Decorate however you so choose.

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