Okay I have been meaning to write this post for MONTHS. My number one tip to new moms...especially stay at home moms...is to find other mom friends!!!! If you stay at home, you NEED to find other moms that stay at home too--for the sake of sanity. At the beginning of this year, a couple of my friends and I decided to start a play group. Over the past couple of months, it has grown and I just love it. I look forward to it every single time!! So the idea of a play group is that the kids can play together and the moms can talk together. So, I thought it would be fun to go through and tell some of the things that I have found that I have in common with each mom....a couple of things I thought I was the only person on Earth that did that particular thing. This was one of our earlier play sessions...we have a few more mommies and kids now. They are in the photos below.
Trenton's mom Lisa and I both have husbands that are over-protective to say the least. Like they take inventory and want to know the story behind every bruise and scratch...and exactly what we were so busy doing that we couldn't have prevented it in the first place. Haha.
We also both found parenting to be harder than we expected (I think every Momma in this play group could be in this group) and had an adjustment period with our husbands. We had to find the "parenting groove" which led to some spousal bickering--we both have found that groove with our husbands now and laugh regularly about that time in our lives. (Also pictured above is Andrew...his little brother is below...
Isaac and Andrew's mom Yessie and I were the only moms that had more than one child. This is a bonding experience in itself! Haha. We talk about just how much more relaxed you are as a parent after your second child is born!!
I had to include a picture of this little cutie!! One great thing about play groups is that you can get advice, give advice, be there to sympathize, or just here that you are not the only one going through something, and get and give encouragement to one another.....oh, and you get to have a conversation with other ADULTS.
Caedmon's mom Melissa and I both have husbands who are terrified that our child would choke....to the point of maybe not ever wanting to feed them table food. Also, Melissa is potty training and is a good source of advice on the trials that go along with this. For her, bribery works. (c:
This little cutie and my other little handsome man have humbled me in ways I don't even want to go into! All of the girls in our play group agree that we were much better parents BEFORE we had our kids! Haha. Oh, and I am the most absent-minded one of the group so I am sure that I make the other moms feel really put together and organized!! I do it just to help their self-image..haha..I wish...I just really am absent-minded since I added a second child to the family. (c:
Brody's mom Jennifer and I both nursed our sons for the first year and we laugh about how traumatized we were the first time we had to use a breast pump...all of the sudden you picture yourself as a dairy cow and it is a tad bit depressing! Haha. Brody, Lilly, and Stella were all born within 3 weeks of each other. We also have had many discussions on how when your child first starts crawling...you think "Man, he/she is into everything." Then they start walking and you think, "Man, she/he is into everything." And then they get a little bit taller and can get to the counter tops and drawers and you think, "Man he/she is into everything." Then they get smarter and learn how to get around your barricades...etc, etc, etc. So now when we here somebody with their first child that has just learned to crawl say, "Oh he/she is just into everything"....we all kind of laugh inside--just as I am sure mothers of older children do when we say it now too!
Diesel's mom Kerri and I were interns the same year in college. We were also the only 2 pregnant girls in the MAT program. We also both went "stupid" for a while after we had our babies...aka "Mommy brain". That is when you are in the middle of a sentence and totally forget what you are talking about....or go to the grocery store for three things and can't think of any of them....or walk into a room and forget why you came in there in the first place....or you put your keys in the fridge...or run the washing machine without remembering to put the clothes in the washing machine first....just to state a few examples.
Brayden's mom Jenna and I both freaked out a little bit when we went to change our son's diapers for the first time. We were both like, "What do I clean?...Am I supposed to move this? There are just so many hiding spots!!" Haha.
Laci's mom Candice and I both spent the first year of our daughter's life at home....without really getting to know any other moms. I had mom friends...but most of them worked and sometimes you just need to talk to another mom on a crazy day during the day!!! We met at the beginning of this year at the doctor's office and became fast friends. We are both enjoying the stay at home gig much more now that we get out with other families regularly!
If our houses are dirty and we don't feel like cleaning them, Stella's mom Sydney and I both just leave the house. We can't stand to be in it dirty...so we just go to the park or walk around Target or run to happy hour at Sonic...whatever gets us out of the house!!! We also use this tactic if our kids are just having a cranky, tough morning at home. Sometimes just changing scenery fixes whatever the issue is!!
None of us have the exact same parenting style and I think that is GREAT because we get to learn from each other and see that there are several different "right" ways to raise your children--it has taught me not to get so caught up in worrying about whether I am being the "perfect parent" (I never am) or teaching the right thing at the right time and just relax a little and enjoy raising my babies!
The above picture was taken today as we were leaving Sam's Club. Lilly just kept putting her arm around Reid and laying her head on him...seriously moved me to tears it was sooo stinking sweet! Makes me feel like I am doing something right!