Baby Talk: Parental Pressure

Have you noticed there’s a sense of pressure to enjoy certain things? I’ve written about this before in regards to summer. Summer stresses me out because you’re supposed to do all the things, soak in all the sunshine, experience all the activities… No. I’m hot, it’s hot, and I’m sweating. Let me sit inside with the a/c and burn winter candles, please&thanks.

Mom Guilt aside, there’s a similar pressure in parenting to enjoy ALL the things.
“Being a mom is the most amazing thing I’ll ever do.”
“Dad life is the best life.”
“There is nothing as rewarding as changing a poo splattered diaper and rocking a screaming kid to sleep while your coffee gets cold and your dog eats your dinner off the counter.”
You get it.

The reality is many parts of parenting aren’t fun or glamorous or rewarding. But you feel like a complete tool for admitting as much since the whole world has dubbed the experience “mAgIcAl.”

We’ve been working through this in our home.
I love sleep and there are occasionally nights when Moo decides she NEEDS held from 1:45am to 3:27am. I am VERY aware that it won’t be like this forever, that the extra snuggling is something I will miss, and that her need for me is natural. But I still effing hate being awake and sitting awkwardly hunched over in that damn glider. I love Moo. These moments are not magical.

I LOVE being M’s mom. I would not trade it in for anything- including my former freer life pre-kids- but I am so much more than a mom. I enjoy things OUTSIDE of being a mom. I require and demand time alone. I love my daughter so damn much. I love spending time with her, teaching her, taking care of her. But I don’t love every moment of motherhood. No one does. And so often I think there’s an unrealistic pressure that parents should.

I don’t have an ah-ha moment, but I wanted to share these thoughts because if you’re currently in the parenting trench of very tough stuff (teething, sleeplessness, infancy, day 5 of no shower), you’re not alone and you are 100% allowed to say to yourself (& other), “This sucks.” You can dislike it.

And that’s my up lifting Mom Minute for you today 😆 Sometimes it sucks and that’s normal.

(Thanks, Michelle)


Tune in next week when I talk about random exorcism-level vomiting and how to remain cool, calm, and collected when you’re covered in spoiled milk.

Nine Months of Madelyn

Time is a cruel mistress… I love M’s independence and intelligence, but I dislike how fast it all happens. Sigh. But here we are… my kid is NINE months old.

Nicknames: Maddie, Moo, Poodle, Moo Lou, Moo shu, Snoots

Stats: M is 21 lbs. 12 oz.  and 30 inches long. We’re essentially into 18 month clothes now. She is literally half my height- almost.

Likes: Watching people, petting cats, playing in water, eating dog bones (which we strongly discourage), bouncing on her knees or bottom, her lion Donovan & her rabbit Chad…

Dislikes: When someone leaves the room, when she’s not allowed to have dog toys, when the dogs aggressively bark, when she’s DONE eating and I make her wait 0.05 seconds while I wipe her off.

Honestly, she’s a pretty happy girl. Not much makes her mad.

Sleeping: Like a champ. She tucks her arms under her body and sticks her butt in the air. She also sleeps on her side occasionally with her leg kicked up like an adult. We’re down to two naps a day.

Eating: All the things. We’ve had to cut out bananas due to constipation issues (who knew??) but she pretty much eats anything. Not a fan of raw peaches. Big fan of noodles.

Development: The amount of development that’s happened in the last 3 months makes me want to cry. Baby Girl can sit up, crawl around, and pull herself to her knees (not to her feet yet). She’s so determined and can find/hunt/obtain almost anything she puts her mind to. She says dad and dadada, mamama (rarely), and bababa. She copies sounds and hums along to songs. She’s so incredibly smart. She lights up when the dogs pay attention to her.

Personality: I don’t know when/how I put such good energy into the universe to get such a fun and easygoing baby, but I thank the Good Lord Jesus daily. M is happy and chill. She’s opinionated and headstrong, but she’s usually up for anything. She’s smiley. She waves “hi” to anyone that’ll look at her. She LOVES watching and petting animals. She’s truly a joy to be around.

Travel: We haven’t gone far, but we did purchase a camper trailer. After a trial weekend with a borrowed camper we took the leap and jumped on the camping bandwagon. M is a fabulous camper. She likes being outside, sleeps just as well (if not better) in her bunkhouse, and seems to really like hanging in the camper. The dogs have been fantastic, too. Bristol is kind of a spitfire but has really taken to camper life!


Mom’s Summary: Someone told me that every new stage M entered would be more fun than the last. I have found this to be 100% true. She was fun 3 months ago and she’s even more fun now. But it also kills me that she growing up so fast.

In the mornings M usually wakes up around 5am for a small four ounce bottle. (I’d say she does this 5 out of 7 days a week.) When I scoop her up she hugs my neck for a few seconds before looking for her snack. And when she’s done we cuddle for a few minutes before I change her diaper and put her down for another two hours. I don’t love getting up early, but I LOVE this moment with her. It’s my favorite part of the day. I will be so so sad when she no longer needs her early morning snack.

I can’t believe our next update will be ONE YEAR.

Baby Talk: Dear New Mom

Happy Thursday. This has been on my heart so I wanted to get it out.

Dear New Mom,

First of all, congratulations! Secondly, how are you? Welcome to what I would describe as the hardest month/six weeks of your life. I am 7 months and 3 weeks into this parenting thing and, admittedly, we both have a long way to go… but there’s a massive difference between where you’re at and where I’m at, so I wanted to give you some encouragement.

Let’s get this out of the way: there is nothing wrong with you.

If you want to do laundry and organize the pantry while baby sleeps, do it. If you want to hold your baby while she sleeps, do it. If you want to take a nap while he’s snoozing, do it. There isn’t a wrong way and you shouldn’t feel guilty. Listen to your body and your brain.

But also… tell your brain to can it. You’re going to feel guilt. Guilt over a dirty house. Guilt over “spoiling” your baby (<< impossible.) Guilt over wanting to hand baby off to a visitor while you do dishes/nap/shower(/cry).

Stop that. Guilt only sucks whatever energy and stamina you have left. There is no wrong way to survive the first month as long as you’re taking care of your brain and body.

But let’s talk about your body. Girlfriend… it’s straight up broken– whether you pushed baby out or underwent a cesarean. (And if you adopted you’re STILL not running at 100% because babies suck the life out of you no matter what.) I know it takes all your energy to stand or roll out of bed for the 100th time to feed a crying baby. I know you pee when you sneeze… or cough… or move. I know there are stretch marks and swelling and ouchies everywhere. I know your boobs hurt.
Not to mention your brain and your hormones and your insides…

The six week gap between birth and your first appointment is B U L L S H I T . If you need to see the doctor sooner, do it. (I went twice- once for PPD and once for an infection.) Give your body what it needs- antidepressants, sleep, Tylenol, etc. Even if you’re breastfeeding, the doctors can work with you and figure out how to help. Talk to them.

And now for the most important part: accept the help (& do so without feeling guilty!).

If you have a spouse, let them raise that baby, too. They’re not helping you or watching the kid, they’re raising their child. If you have family nearby that you trust and love, accept their help. Let them spend the night or drive you to your doctor appointment or pick up the groceries for you. If you have a trusted neighbor let them come over and rock the baby to sleep while you shower. Say YES when you need the help or want the break. I was bad about this & I regret it.

I know you’ve heard this before & I hope it’s not coming across as unsolicited advice.

Please know that sometimes these are not the golden days… Sometimes these are the make-it-or-break-it days. You’re tired and sore; it’s tough to truly enjoy anything in those moments. But the days will get better and better. Motherhood will start to feel more natural over time. Your baby will recognize you and smile at you. You will figure out how to squeeze in sleep and brushing your teeth and maybe even a shower.

It doesn’t get easier necessarily, but you get much much better at it. And you’ll realize that all things end- good or bad. The crying, the sleepless nights, the snuggles, the helplessness… it will all end eventually and you’ll come out on the other side.

For the new moms in my life, if you want to reach out I am available. You can vent, ask me to mask-up and hold your baby, or run to the grocery store with a long list.

You will get through this. Your baby will thrive. You are doing a fantastic job. ❤️

Six Months of Madelyn

Yesterday our Lylee Girl would’ve been 9. I’m so sad she’s not here, but I do feel her presence in both Mads and Bristol. It took a baby and a puppy to mend that big ol’ bearsize-hole in our hearts. 

And today I’m here to share M’s 6 month update.

Let me repeat that… 6 MONTHS. akjsdkfsjdhfjnsdkjfhsd. W H A T ! ! ?

Who took my baby and left me this adorable, cuddly, animated child?

*sigh*

Nicknames: Maddie, Mads, Moo, Moo Shu, Lou

Stats: She had her wellness appointment last Thursday. Our little chunk is 18.5 lbs and just shy of 28 inches long (& that puts her in the 97th percentile). Yeah, she’s wearing 12 month clothing. UGH.

Likes: Her puppy siblings; she is obsessed. Baths and splashing in the water. The breeze and Daddy gently blowing on her face. Watching Dad mow the yard back and forth. Walks. Bright colors and music on TV shows. Putting things in her mouth.

Dislikes: Being too hot or having the sun in her eyes too long. Being overly tired, but also being forced to take a nap. Mom taking away the things she’s trying to put in her mouth.

Sleeping: M goes down around 7pm and sleeps until 5am, takes a small bottle, and snoozes until 8am. Sometimes she sleeps right on through until 7 or 8am.
She’s supposed to take three naps but sometimes she fights (& wins) when it comes to that third one… She does great in her crib for naps now!

Eating: Formula still, but we’ve added in adult food! M has tried broccoli, mashed potatoes, avocados, bananas, peaches, strawberries, and sweet potatoes. I think broc & ‘cados are her favs.

Development: She has learned SO much since her 3 month update! She rolls like a champ, grabs at everything, and smiles at us all day long. She laughs, but we’re still waiting on that deep, hard belly laugh. She babbles (“dadadadada”) and squeals and watches everything around her. She can sit up but still needs a spotter. (Balance is hard.) She can stand with help, but no steps. She wants to crawl SO badly but she hasn’t figured out how to get her legs under her and use them yet.

Personality: Man… she is so happy most of the time. A do-it-myself attitude is starting to come through, but she’s the sweetest little diva. She snuggles in at night and she definitely has a special love for her dad…but when she’s tired or fussy or just moody she’s a momma’s girl.
I love how chill she is. We can go somewhere and she’ll just sit on my lap and people-watch. All she needs is some shade, a comfy lap, and sometimes to suck on. She’s a happy girl. I love it.

Travel: L O L Ugh. By this time she should’ve been to Dallas, Texas and Dayton, OH. Possibly South Carolina, too. But we’ve been at home in Ohio.


Mom’s Summary: These past three months have been the absolute best. My hormones have sorted themselves out, we’re all getting a decent amount of sleep (albeit restless because I still wake up & check on her), and we’ve banked extra time at home watching M grow.
COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our lives and business, but it’s given us extra time with M and it was time I didn’t know I needed & wanted. Don’t get me wrong- there were stressful and awful moments- but it was a special opportunity for us to spend a month and a half with just her. I love being her mom more and more every day.

And that’s it for six month! Will we have a walker by 9 months? Only time will tell, lol.

**All photos by the insanely talented Jackie Beachy ♥**

Baby Talk: It Didn’t Work Out

In my opinion, admitting one’s failures is humbling. I think it also shatters the perfect image that’s so easily fronted online. I will never ever claim to be perfect (although I’m plenty arrogant… cue the humbling).

Before M was born, I had a plan. Then we brought our fresh baby home and realized plans are meant to be ditched. Back up plans are also good for ditching 🤷

If you’re a parent and you find yourself having to alter your course, I’m just here to tell ya you’re not alone or a failure or wrong. That’s just how life goes sometimes.

And here are some things that just didn’t work out…

B R E A S T F E E D I N G
We tried. We went all in and registered for the pillows and bags and pads and creams. We got a pump from our insurance company and we spent $$$ on a lactation consultant both before and after M’s arrival.

And you know what? It just didn’t work out.

It took me a week to make that decisions and I struggled HARD for those 7 days (and I wrote about it), but once the decision was made I never looked back.

C O – S L E E P I N G
According to the internet, co-sleeping and bed-sharing are different. Regardless, I mean sleeping in the same room.

We started M in the bassinet in our bedroom for her first 3 weeks. During week four we put her in her crib to start, then brought her into our room after her first middle-of-the-night bottle. Then we did it after the second feeding. Eventually she just stayed in her crib all night.

We HATED sharing a room. Every time M made a noise I woke up. I laid there terrified that K or the dogs would make a noise and wake M. We had to keep our room warmer than we typically would’ve. And truly, I just needed “my space” back in some part of my life. So we kicked her out.

Listen… we have a video monitor, I check her often, and we’ve done all the other steps to reduce SIDS. I am a paranoid momma and I wouldn’t put my child at risk. Also… from the start she slept (and sleeps) SO DAMN WELL on her own in her room. We’ve noticed she’s got a slight independent flare to her (holla ‘atcha girl!) and she does very well by herself.

D A Y C A R E
Once I headed back to work we thought M would spend half her time with family and half her time at daycare. Two things derailed this plan. First of all, we have almost NO daycares around us… and the ones that do exist have 3 out of 5 stars. I wouldn’t send the dogs to a daycare with that rating.
Also, turns out I am TERRIFIED of M getting RSV or Hand Foot & Mouth Disease soooo….. sticking her in a room with a bunch of other children is a hard no from me right now. I’m fine with parks and family and all that, but I know people send their sick kids to daycare and I’m not all about that. She’ll learn to share and socialize some other way for now.

*(I am very grateful that I have the privilege to make this call- our family is AWESOME for keeping M during my work days.)

N O   S C R E E N T I M E
Hahahahahahahahahaha. I’ll just go ahead and see myself out.

M loves Mickey & The Roadsters, Puppy Dog Pals, & Sesame Street. She typically only gets an hour or less of TV when we’re home, but I imagine that will change over time, too.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will not affect her likelihood of graduating high school. I think we’re safe.


Parenting is effing hard. When things don’t work out, don’t beat yourself up- spend that valuable time with your kid(s) and find an alternative.

Fortunately, we’ve had some things work out beautifully. M is on a pretty decent (sleep) schedule. We’ve had much success with cloth diapers. We’re about to start baby led weaning & I can tell M is excited about food.

I struggled with quitting breastfeeding and I cried the first few nights M wasn’t in our room… but things pan out how they’re supposed to and you’ve got to go with the flow sometimes. I’m proud of us for the things we’ve stuck to- those decisions have shaped our parenting journey.