This week I’m featuring my blog friend, Bridget from Just A Little Part Of Me! I love Bridget’s blog because I feel like her heart for Jesus shines through every post, and it’s so refreshing to me. Read on to learn more about her and her little girl!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Bridget. Wife to Dave. Mama to Abbie. A part time working mom. Child of our King who is trying everyday to follow hard after God and His will for our family in this sometimes crazy world.
What is your baby's name and how old is she?
We have one daughter, Abigail Elizabeth (Abbie) who just turned 1 on April 3rd, 2012.
Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.
Since I work part time 3 days a week....those days are pretty self explanatory....work, eat, sleep :) I'll focus on the days I am home. Abbie gets up between 6 and 6:30- I nurse her and we play, I eat my breakfast, do my devotion (if she will allow it) and then she goes back down for a nap about an hour after she wakes up. During that time I fit as much as I can in- finish my devotion, workout, shower, and get ready for the day. No I am not supermom....my workouts are only about 20-25 minutes long. Then she wakes up from her nap around 9-9:15 and nurses again. I will be sad when the morning nap is gone. Not sure how I will fit in these things then but we'll cross that bridge when we get there! After she nurses she eats breakfast, and I either eat a snack with her or try and do some kitchen clean up or laundry folding at the table while she is eating. We play, go to story time at the library, run errands, or have play dates after that. She eats lunch at noonish, nurses at around 1 and then goes down for an afternoon nap until 3. Afternoon nap time is typically my downtime- reading, watching a chick flick, taking a nap myself, or catching up on something else that needs done. At 3 she gets up and nurses, eats a snack, and then we play for awhile, or she plays while I work on supper, etc. We try to eat around 6. Afterwards is bathtime and then nurse and down to bed by 7 or a little after.....bedtime = mommy free time, or catch up...whatever needs to be done, and sometimes if I am lucky its time for an in home date with Dave. \
If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?
Happy, Decisive, Funny- I can already tell she is going to be a hilarious prankster.
What's your favorite part about being a mom?
Oh my goodness I don't even know how to summarize this! I have had a job for so long....since back in junior high and am pretty self sufficient. Being a mom and cutting down to part time hours was really hard for me. My hubby and I have worked so long for me to stay at home with our children but we just can't do it yet...hopefully soon! All that being said because now that I am a mom there is nothing I would rather do than spend all day with my baby and any future children we have. I have never been so passionate about anything in my life as I have about being a mother and managing our home. I was scared before she arrived...wasn't sure how I would handle it and if I would run away from home yelling for work to let me come back full time....but I don't regret cutting back on hours for a moment. Even whining, crying, tears, and crankiness aren't enough to send me away for forever...out for a latte maybe...but not to be gone for good :) I think if I have to pinpoint one thing as my favorite it would be the feeling of knowing how wanted and needed you are. I am sure when she is a teenager I will question whether or not she feels this way but for now I will soak it in....I used to kind of be scared of babies. They always cried, but when you have your own, they cry, but most times its cause they are crying for you. This time when you hold them the crying stops....other people's babies don't stop crying for you when they want their mom or dad. I love that. My baby needs me....to nurse, she crawls to my lap to read to her. She clings to me when she is unsure. She presses in more tightly when she is approached by a stranger....cause she wants me. What's hardest is every step of the way there is joy in watching them grow but also sorrow as you let them go a little bit more....its a balancing act, but its the best job in the world!
Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?
It wasn't easy for me. It took me about 10 months to get back down to my pre preggo weight. It was hard work. 4 months post partum I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (your body doesn't make enough of the hormone that helps keep your metabolism up...therefore I wasn't burning many calories). I lost about half of my baby weight after leaving the hospital and started working out and trying to eat healthier after my 6 week post partum check up but my weight hardly budged. I think under normal circumstances had my thyroid not been an issue I would have steadily lost the weight. Even now 6 months after being diagnosed we are still working on regulating my dose....I think we are at the right dose now though! I have bloodwork in a few weeks to check, but I am feeling much better! I think my biggest tips for people in general who have normal metabolisms is don't starve yourself to lose it right away...if you are breastfeeding you need calories to make milk! So don't worry about it. Focus on eating good foods not brownies and cookies (but do enjoy one every now and again!) Workout as you feel up to it. Working out post partum was much harder than I thought it was and that is normal. Your body just did a major thing! Give yourself time to heal and if working out means starting out with a short walk...well you have to start somewhere! Relaxin is in your body for about 5-6 months post partum so go easy on yourself and ease into your new routines. Workout wise I did Jillian Michael's 30 day shred, and am now working on Insanity ( I do it in shorter increments though cause I don't have enough time to do the full workouts on a daily basis).
What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?
Loaded question....I wish I could say we were better at this but we aren't. My husband is working full time and going to school full time right now so time is close to non existent. We try and make time every week to watch our show (Parenthood) together or a movie. We do spend a lot of our Saturday mornings while Abbie is taking her morning nap- chatting or catching up. Dave's parents live down the street so if ever need a quick lunch date on a weekend its not too hard to make it happen. If we are going to be really honest....don't forget about sex ladies.....it's important! Make time!! (that's all I am going to say on the matter :)
Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?
Miracle blankets!!! Hands down the best swaddler ever invented. They are literally baby straight jackets and have no way of allowing a baby to escape.
My Bum Genius 4.0 snap diapers...love them! I can never imagine our house doing anything but cloth cause I love them so much.
Footie zip pajamas...feet don't get cold, zipper works faster than snaps. I seriously want them in all sizes so my daughter can wear them until she leaves the house :)
What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?
Again time as a family in our household is hard. We have done a few things- trip to the zoo, a camping trip on Lake Michigan, a couple other camping trips, the discovery museum. I guess my favorite would have to be our first camping trip. It was when Abbie was about 8 weeks old, and we got set up, spent our first night there which was fairly chilly so I spent most of the night making sure she was cuddled close to me and warm,and the next day it just poured. Our entire campsite was under water. We sat in the tent with Abbie hoping our tent wouldn't leak and it didn't...can't believe that one cause it was literally sitting in 2-3 inches of water. Finally when there was a break in the rain we packed up as much as we could. It started pouring again so we ran Abbie to the car and waited while Dave packed up the tent in the pouring down rain. It was sad cause it ended sooner than we had hoped but it was our first real trip away as a family together and it makes for a good laugh now! On the plus side of our busy schedules, Dave's parents have gifted us a week of their timeshare in Colorado for the week after he graduates in May....absolutely cannot wait!!!
Any advice for first-time mothers?
Breastfeeding- one of the most rewarding yet most difficult experiences of my life. Push through it, it’s so worth it! But if you decide it is just not working for you...you aren't a failure for that and don't let anyone tell you differently, however if you really really want to and are just frustrated and not sure how to make it work seek counsel! Lactation consultants, other nursing moms, heck, head over to my blog and contact me. I would love to offer you some advice!!
I'm a pretty big advocate for natural childbirth. Don't get me wrong...labor hurts. I also know its a touchy subject. No one is wrong for what they choose to do for their labor. My biggest advice for first time moms is just to educate yourself on your birthing options and then make a choice as husband and wife as to what works best for you, all the while still being flexible because birth can be pretty unpredictable.
Body image post partum- its hard. You beat yourself up cause the minute the baby is out you realize you aren't pregnant anymore and you still have a belly. Give yourself a break. Enjoy the life that God just used your body to make. Cherish and take care of your body that was chosen to do so.
Above all in whatever you do, do what is best for your family. Do what God calls you to do as parents and as man and wife...follow hard after Him and be obedient to what he calls you to, and if you do that...there is no reason to compare yourself to what others are doing or are not doing. You don't need to feel guilty if something didn't work and you had to try something else. God gives us each unique abilities and roles. Trust Him!
Thanks Bridget! Check out Bridget’s blog to read more about her!