Moms And Babies - Michelle

This week I'm featuring Michelle from She Said! I found Michelle's blog a couple months ago, and I love reading her thoughts on life and her sweet baby girl!

I really enjoyed reading Michelle's interview when she sent me her answers, especially her advice for first-time mothers in the last question - I could have written that bit myself!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 26 year old first time mommy to a beautiful little girl. I live in sunny San Diego with my husband, James. We love the Lord and He comes first in our household. We are tattooed parents and we come from very large and open/accepting families. I work full time unfortunately, but I soak up as much time as I can with my family when I am home. I love blogging, especially because there are so many supportive mommy bloggers out there, but I only blog on my breaks at work so that way I don't take away time with my family.

What's your baby's name and how old is she?

My little girl is named Chloe Darling and she is 6 months old. She is growing up so fast!

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Ok, here is the breakdown. Although, we are usually all over the place, so I feel that there is really no "typical" day.
We are always go go go, luckily Chloe is ok with that.

Wake up & get ready for work
Find some 5 minute cuddle time with the babe before we leave
Work (James and I work together, luckily)
Come home, catch up about Chloe's day with our nanny (my sister)
Then each afternoon is different and consist of various things: cleaning, worship practice, bible study, taco Tuesdays with family, catching up with old friends, shopping, going out to dinner, apartment hunting, etc..

The day is spend just getting everything checked off our to do list and running errands or hanging out with friends and family and all the rest of the fun or tedious things we didn't have time to do on the weekday afternoons.

Wake up early to take James to worship practice (we only have one car)
Chloe and I spend the rest of the morning in Denny's until church starts (it's too far away to go back home after dropping James off early at church)
Lunch with church friends
Then relaxation and family time. Go to the park or the zoo or something outdoorsy. We try to squeeze in a movie on Netflix every now and then.

If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

She has an independent, calm and happy spirit. A good mix between her dad and I.

What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Oh man, all of it is my favorite. The love that I have for this little girl is ridiculous (in a good way). I think my favorite favorite part is being needed by her. She will look around the room to find me. When she is sleepy she only wants James or myself and snuggles into my chest to rest. My second favorite part is watching her experience things for the first time. I feel so blessed to be able to witness what it is like to see things through her eyes. I can only imagine what it is she actually is thinking, oh but those expressions across her face when doing or seeing something for the first time are priceless!

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

BREASTFEED! I was not able to move after birth for about 2 weeks, but the pounds just shed right off because I was breastfeeding Chloe every 2.5 hours. I lost all my baby weight within the first 2 weeks and now I am working on getting rid of what I gained on top of my normal weight before I was pregnant. I have been really bad at it, but I know it consist of eating better and exercising.

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

I am not gonna lie, we haven't really gotten to do all that much as a couple alone. We have only gotten to go on 1 date night since we have had her (lack of a free babysitter). However, James and I work together and see each other 24/7 so we get to spend some time together alone at our lunch break at work and in the car rides going to and from work. We also stay up REALLY late just to get some alone time in after baby has gone to bed (she sleeps around 10:00pm). We usually are like walking zombies for the first couple of hours every morning, but it is worth it to us. Another thing is to PRAY TOGETHER. Relying on God and bringing him into your relationship will make it 100 times better!

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

I would say any type of baby wearing carrier. I get to work on the things I need to get done around the house AND spend some close time with my little one all at the same time, that's called "killing two birds with one stone". We go for walks, take her to the zoo, and spend some time dancing and singing around the house with her in our Baby Bjorn. She loves it because she LOVES to look out when holding her and I love it because sometimes my arms just need a break.

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

Park time, for sure! We all love the fresh air and cool breeze and just being outside in general. Chloe loves to wiggle her feet in the grass. We take a blanket and some lunch and spend some quality family time usually at Balboa park, but any park will do. It is so beautiful and relaxing, we even usually take a little nap, haha.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Well, as a first time mommy myself, I still have a LOT to learn. But I will pass on two bits of advice that I have gotten from my pastor, a mother whom I admire greatly.

1. All babies cry. Just accept it and move on. Stop letting it stress you out. Babies will even cry for no apparent reason some times. Just because your baby cries does not make you a bad mother. And don't think for a minute that your baby won't cry in public. Because they will and you will be totally embarrassed and think everyone is staring at you and you will think your child is having the most horrendous melt down that anyone has ever seen. Chances are, it is not as bad as you think it is. And most people sympathize with a baby crying because they have been there before.

2. Have your child adapt to YOUR lifestyle. This was something I had a hard time dealing with. For a while, I felt that I was a bad parent because Chloe had no set schedule and that schedules seemed to be the talk of the mommies everywhere. Then I realized that neither my husband nor I have a set schedule. If you are a person like me, you are always go go go. I was so worried Chloe was going to be a baby that has a crazy sleep/eating schedule and that she would only be comfortable at home. I was worried our lifestyle would have to change and we would be constrained as to when or if we would be able to go or do something. I was worried because we are always doing things with other people and things for the church and with one car it was going to be nearly impossible to be home every three hours for Chloe's set schedule times (although, if she was a schedule baby, I would totally make those sacrifices). I prayed that she would be an easy going baby that would go around our time schedule and that she would adapt to our lifestyle. God definitely answered our prayers! She falls asleep late like we do and sleeps in late like we do. She doesn't have a set nap time and usually just takes her naps in her car seat while we are driving because our schedule is so unpredictable.

Don't feel bad if your baby isn't adjusted to a set schedule. I think her adapting to our lifestyle helps me be a better parent because I am not stressing out about time constraints nor feeling that I am losing out on the things that I like to do and the events that we are involved in, leaving no resentment, feeling of being left out or feelings of regret what so ever. Chloe is a very happy baby and this lifestyle of ours we made work for her.

I do want to say that I am not knocking anyone who's baby is on a set schedule, you know what your baby likes and what type of lifestyle they do best in, just do what best suits your family as a whole, not just baby.

Thanks Michelle! Check out Michelle's blog to read more about her and her family!

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Anna said...

Great interview! I've really enjoyed reading these, Callie. Thanks for including mamas with such a variety of life situations.

Tatiana said...

She sounds so sweet and her baby girl is just too adorable!

Amanda said...

I've really enjoyed reading other mom's perspectives and learning from their advice as I prepare to be a first-time mom. What a great idea to interview these lovely ladies!

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

i love michelle's blog. and i really liked her answers. :)

Libby's Life said...

I am absolutely loving these interviews. They are so darn helpful to know that I am NOT alone in how I feel sometimes on so many things. I am so glad I found your blog and these wonderful interviews with these amazing momma's. They all have so much insight. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next mom & babies interview. :)

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