Farewell Magic Sleep Suit

I feel like sleep can be a sensitive subject for new moms. Honestly, we’ve been pretty lucky in our house as far as sleep goes and I am eternally grateful for that. Jack started out sleeping in a Rock N Play next to our bed, and transitioned to his crib at about 8 weeks. This was probably a more difficult transition for me than it was for him. He slept in Halo swaddles until he muscled his way out of those at around 4 months.

IMG_4332
Sleepy little Jack, pre-coming home from the hospital all snug in his Halo 

At this point, he was wiggling his arms out of the swaddle and smacking himself awake throughout the night. After doing some research, we decided to invest in a Baby Merlin Magic Sleep Suit . After a few nights of getting used to it, this thing was amazing. Jack started sleeping longer and longer stretches at night, eventually sleeping through the night. Of course we’ve had many nights when Jack was up 1-2 times more than he usually does, but for the most part he slept long stretches.

IMG_5047
Alright, so he wasn’t a huge fan at first (mostly of not being held) but he definitely got used to the suit!

So the magic sleep suit has indeed been magical… until last night. We rarely have to wake Jack up, but we needed to leave early to drop Ryan’s car off to get work done. When we went in his room to wake him, he was face down, with his knees pulled up toward his chest a little bit. We both panicked slightly, since baby sleeping on back has been drilled into our heads, and it’s probably so much harder to roll yourself back over with the suit on. So that means it’s time to say farewell to the wonderful, magical, baby sumo wrestler suit. Time to try sleeping in just footie PJs. Jack has already been up once since bedtime, but I was able to soothe him back to sleep pretty quickly, so I’m a little nervous about what is in store for us tonight. Wish us luck as we embark on the next phase of the baby sleeping adventure!

Does anyone have experience transitioning their baby out of the Magic Sleep Suit? How did it go??

P.S. Tomorrow night will be my first full night away from Jack. I am already freaking out about this! Not the best time to be trying something new with sleep!

 

Continue Reading

Anxiety

One of the main purposes of writing this blog is for me to document how I am taking care of my own mental health. I have always been an anxious person, but after Jack was born, that anxiety increased. I’ve been having conversations with friends and family about possibly working with a therapist to better manage this, I know enough about anxiety from treating other people with it that my thoughts and emotional responses to things aren’t always “normal” (what is a normal, anyway). But I’ve always been a stubborn, “I can take care of this myself” type of person, so I decided that I will try to manage my anxiety myself with the skills I know and teach.

My mom says this is why doctors are the worst patients.

With all of that being said, I am committed to seeking professional help if my anxiety worsens, and I really encourage anyone else dealing with depression, anxiety, or anything else to do the same (easier said than done, I know). Unfortunately, there is a huge stigma surrounding mental health in our country. It can feel scary or shameful to admit that you’re struggling with something… but there is absolutely no shame in that! As a therapist, I think “I should be able to manage this better, this is what I do for a living after all”. 

It’s not that easy.

That’s why I want to talk about it.  How I’m feeling, what I’m doing to take care of myself. Disregarding fear or any unwarranted feelings of shame, because every mom has anxiety to some degree, and we should talk about it together and support each other through it. Anyone willing to join me in a discussion? 

Continue Reading

Mindful Mama

One of the techniques that I talk with client’s about on a daily basis is mindfulness. Basically, mindfulness is practicing being aware of the present moment and the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of the moment. Accepting all of these things non-judgmentally and with self-compassion. Sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately it’s not as easy as it sounds! It takes a lot of practice. Despite how often I talk about mindfulness, I so frequently find myself caught up in thinking about things that happened earlier in the day or about things I am anticipating (either with excitement or anxiety). So when I catch myself zoned out from the present moment (especially when I’m with Jack), I try my hardest to shift my focus to the present.

I had two experiences in the last 24 hours to practice being mindful. Last night, Jack was up multiple times for long periods of time. While we sat rocking together, I tried to train my focus on the sounds of his breathing, the fan in his room, the humidifier. I felt the weight and warmth of him in my arms. The soft glow of his nightlight let me focus on his features, and I shifted my breathing to be slow and controlled.

IMG_6012

This picture is from last week, not last night, but how could you not want to be focused on that sweet face?

IMG_6072

This morning, I woke up early to try to get ready for work before Jack woke up. I don’t usually do this, but I decided to sit outside and enjoy my coffee mindfully.  Again, focusing on the present moment. It was such a different experience than how I usually have my coffee… cold after it’s been sitting on the counter and I’m rushing around having sips here and there.

Mindfulness has so many mental and physical benefits, and is an important aspect of treating depression and anxiety disorders. So let’s practice some mindfulness! Breathe mindfully, be aware of the quality and pace of your breathing. Eat mindfully, focus on the taste, texture, smell, and appearance of your food. Chew it slowly, savor it. Be aware of your surroundings, what do you hear, see, smell and feel? If you want a little more guidance than this, google mindful meditations and try something out.  Our babies will only be little for so long, let’s be in these special moments while we have the chance. Let’s take time to be mindful of ourselves to be the best Mamas we can be. We deserve it.

What did you do to practice mindfulness this week? Let me know in the comments! 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Take a Deep Breath

This may be the scariest thing I have done. Not just writing a blog, but promoting it. Putting my thoughts, emotions, and ideas out there and actually asking others to witness it all. Sharing my life and encouraging others to experience it with me, successes and struggles. Letting myself know that my thoughts are valid and they are worthy of other people reading, if they care to do so.

So, welcome to Mommyhood and Mental Health! As scared as I am, I am so glad that you are here. These thoughts have been tumbling around in my brain for a while now, so I’d like to start by explaining the purpose of this blog.

MommyhoodLife goes by fast, and I don’t always remember the little things. I desperately want to remember as much as I can about this special time with my first child. I want to process what we’re going through as a new family and what I am going through in my new role as Mom. My son is 7 months old, so I’m still pretty new to the parenthood game. That leads me to…

Community. Being a new parent is hard! Through this blog I want to build a community of parents who support each other non-judgmentally. There is way too much parent shaming going on these days. I want this to be a place where we can talk about things we are experiencing with our kids or as parents without fear, with people who get it.

Mental Health. I’m a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC). Through my career I have grown passionate about certain mental health topics that I think a lot of new moms can relate to. I also want to use this space as a way of taking care of my own mental health (again, being a new parent is hard). I want to talk about the things I’m doing to take care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally so that I can be a better person for myself and my husband, and a better mom to my son.

Let the adventure begin!

 

 

Continue Reading