Sharing the 10 things I do to help keep me sane(-ish) as a mama
I’d like to start off by saying that despite sarcasm and maybe a little complaining here and there throughout this blog post, I am eternally grateful for being a mother. This crazy rollercoaster over the past few months hasn’t been easy for me, but I cannot imagine not having Ezra in my life. I love him to the moon and back a billion million times over again, so please don’t take anything I (ever) say offensively or think otherwise! I am forever forever and always grateful and the luckiest to be his mama.
Motherhood – that word had a different connotation to me 9 months ago than it does today.
What they say is true, “you won’t understand someone else’s life until you are in their shoes”. And this could not be more true when it comes to motherhood. I have a new respect for every mama or guardian for that matter out there raising one or a dozen children. This hasn’t been an easy transition for me over the past few months. I have dealt with a little postpartum (not ready to fully share this yet), and I’d be 100% lying if I said that everything was great all the time.
Ezra cries – a lot. He has been a tough baby since the moment he came out. Heck – he even surprised us 4 weeks early. He was colic for 5 1/2 months (no tips on that besides try to stay alive friends), and I have been nursing him on demand for 8+ months now. I choose to nurse him and rarely complain about it, but it does take a toll on ya physically and mentally. It got a lot easier once solids were introduced, but it is a lot to juggle with my work.
Let’s just say Ezra screams and cries more than he laughs (let’s hope is a phase). Around 7 months he finally learned the art of napping in a crib (my legs were going to fall off from walking in that stroller!) And he was sleep trained around 4 months, which made a huge difference for Ezra and also J and I.
I like to think that since Ez is a bit of a moody bubba, it makes his happy times and smiley moments even sweeter. When he laughs, I turn to complete mush. When he waves at me when I come into the room and smiles so big, I just want to cry because I love him so much.
I don’t like to show much of the moodiness on Instagram as I don’t think it is right to share his vulnerabilities. We have had our fair share of ups and downs with him, but I always always remind myself things can be worse. And in the scheme of things, he is doing pretty darn amazing (just bring ear plugs if you come over – ha!).
And while I have yet to figure out how to fully manage the craziness, I have definitely figured out a few things that help keep me sane as a mama. Otherwise I would have probably run away to Bali by now.
Here are a few things I try to do to help keep me sane(-ish). I would also love to hear anything you guys do too. Please share in the comments!! Mama tribe UNITE!
Call a friend or family member
- I do this at least 1-2x per day. I call my mom every single day (hi mom) but I also call a friend as well. Even if it is just for 15 minutes, it feels so great to connect with someone else. You can vent, you can cry, you can laugh! Perk if they live close and you can actually see them in person too, but I love being able to catch up with a friend on the phone as much as I can. When I have Ez with me, this is done when he is in the stroller and we are walking outside or driving. I 100% cannot talk on the phone when I am home alone with him – he loves his attention.
Sign up for Trunk Club
- Guess who walked around Hoboken for the entire summer with holes in their shorts? Ya, this mama! I had no idea I had holes in my favorite denim shorts. Right in the tush part and no one told me. I was so focused on making sure Ezra had a perfect summer wardrobe, that I had no clothes for myself. Then my mom told me about Trunk Club and I was obsessed with the concept. And it requires minimal work/effort.
- Trunk Club is a personal styling service for both men and women. I work with a stylist who curates a Trunk with about 10 items in it based off my needs, budget, style and any preferences. I get to preview the contents of the trunk before it ships to me and give feedback. Plus, you only pay for the clothing you keep. I put the prepaid shipping label back on the Trunk with the items I don’t want to keep and UPS comes by to pick it up! It is epic and I can try everything on in my home (but you can also do this in-person too if you prefer at one of their six Clubhouses!). They even give you packing tape – seriously it is so easy to return!
- You are probably thinking to yourself “uhhh this is probably so expensive”… But it isn’t at all! Your $25 styling fee is applied towards your purchase. It isn’t an additional fee! Plus if you have a Nordstrom card, the fee is waived anyways. Now you know my secret and how I actually own clothing to wear this fall. Between work and Ez – shopping doesn’t really exist. And I use the Trunk Club app so it is done all on my phone! I stocked up on fall basics with my recent Trunk and have been loving everything so much! Plus the team that works there is beyond sweet.
Get fresh air for 30 minutes
- This is SO important you guys! Get the beep out of your home every single day. Even when it was insanely cold out in February, I was strolling outside. I would put 10 layers on Ezra and myself and get out that door. Even if it was for 30 minutes or so. It feels so good to leave your house and see other humans in the flesh. I usually walk to the grocery store, run an errand, anything. If you don’t live in a city setting, drive to a near by shopping center or store or park. The fresh air does wonders for me personally. Plus I also work from home, so it is way too easy to just stay inside all day and not get that gulp of fresh air.
Say yes to help + invest in help
- I may be stubborn in many ways, but not with help. If someone offers to hold Ez for me or feed him or anything, I am like “UM YES THANK YOU!!!!!” I also recognize that I am very lucky to have my parents and in-law’s who I know I can call whenever I need anything. Not everyone has this in their lives so this can be really challenging for those who don’t. But even if you don’t get along with a family member and they offer to help you for a bit, think before immediately saying no. It may make you feel better!
- I have Ezra’s bestie (aka nanny) who comes during the work week. I run my business all by myself and have never hired an assistant or anyone to help out. No manager, nada! It is just me and sometimes Jordan will help if he can. I saved up for Ezra’s nanny and she is an angel. She loves Ezra so much and it warms my heart to see how much they love each other. Nannies are not something everyone can afford, and I am very fortunate to have that extra income to spend on this thanks to my business.
- Some of my friends who do not have nannies have a mother’s helper who comes a few hours a week or they send their kids to daycare for a couple of hours a day. Literally anything that helps take some of the stress of your plate works! Many colleges and universities in areas have students looking for help. I also always hear from other moms and nannies or babysitters looking for jobs.
- If someone offers to help you – ACCEPT IT! And if you can, budget some $$ to put towards help for your bubba.
Eat the food you really want to eat
- I stress eat. I emotionally eat and to be honest, I don’t care. Sure, 90% of the time the food is “healthy” and made with real ingredients blah blah blah. But I really just focus on eating food that I want and crave. I eat a bagel every day. I eat dessert usually 2x a day. I should eat more greens than I do. I definitely have to much sugar at times, but it makes me happy. My body and mind are under enough stress with Ez, I don’t need food to make me feel more stressed. I eat what I want, not what I think I should be eating. This also means having an entire pizza when we order from the place next door (they are smaller pies!!!!)
Buy flowers for your home
- Putting some fresh eucalyptus or blooms in your home, is such an instant mood booster. I get some fresh ones every week at the store and they just add an immediate splash of happiness to the room. Doesn’t need to be fancy – eucalyptus are usually pretty affordable and they smell so good!
Do a face mask
- This is SO easy to do!! Takes 1 minute to put on and another to wash off. I have worn a face mask while feeding Ezra many of times. Granted he gets a little confused at first, but now it actually either makes him giggle or calms his crying down when he sees how crazy I look.
Get your nails done/pedicure
- You are probably rolling your eyes at this one. But I remember the first manicure I got post Ezra. Jord watched him for me and I went in between nursing sessions. I left the nail salon feeling like I was going to prom. Granted the manicure chipped the next day thanks to washing all the bottles and cleaning up diapers, but it still made me feel good! Pedicures are easier since they’ll stay a bit longer. Plus if your baby naps easily in the stroller, you can even bring them to the salon. Ez only naps when stroller is moving so I haven’t done this yet. But I have also seen the sweet people at the nail salon play with babies when mamas get their nails done!
Join mom group/find a tribe
- I’d be in a gutter somewhere if I didn’t have my mom crew. And no, I’m not at the park doing stroller aerobics (totally ok if you are though). I have met some amazing mama friends here in Hoboken and through the Internet (lol) and it is soooooo helpful having a support system. I have a handful of mamas with kids of all ages and it is so helpful to be able to call one for help or just to vent. One of my neighbors (from our fertility journey) has a baby the same age as Ezra. They are only 3 weeks apart and we are able to go through all of the milestones together. Aka call each other crying 24/7 when there is a crazy developmental phase going on or teething etc. I also love having mom friends with older kids because they always have great advice/suggestions. I learned that most cities have a Facebook group too. I am in the Hoboken mommies group and these women can rule the world – let me tell ya!
Hide in a closet and scream for a couple minutes
- …I’m not kidding with this one. There are times when I am feeling overwhelmed and crazed and Ez has having a non stop screaming fest. I will put him in his activity center or somewhere I know he is safe for 2 minutes. Then head into the closet or bathroom for a minute or so and just scream. It feels SO GOOD and makes me feel better. Call me crazy but it works!
Sending love to all my mamas out there!!
Thank you Trunk Club for sponsoring this post! It means so much to me to partner with such amazing brands I love and believe in!