Thank you to Shop Pink Blush for providing the look for today’s post
Big changes are coming to the Stratton Household. This is my last week at work, and it is extremely bittersweet.
I had the blessing of scoring a job working completely from home, on social media, making a salary pay. And I gave it all up for her.
While so many moms dream of a stay at home job, let me tell you it’s harder than most jobs that are in person. I was supposed to only work 40 hours a week, ya know the norm, but if you are a social media user you’ll understand how hard it is to shut it off and stay logged out. I was finding myself working at 5 am or 10 pm when I was supposed to be clocked out. This isn’t a complaint, because I absolutely LOVED it. But I realized I was putting my baby on the back burner and not being the best mom I could be. If you read my last post, you’ll know that my dream was to always be a mom. To be technical, it was my dream to be a stay at home mom. I didn’t want to miss out on a second of my babies lives and would take happiness over a paycheck any day.
When my best friend, and caregiver for Sav, told me she was moving it threw a wrench in my tracks, but a good wrench. I had been struggling with my work/life balance for the past month or two and this was the sign I needed that told me I need to be home now.
I loved my job and while I’m not longer working there, I plan to take all of the skills I learned with social media marketing and apply it to my blogging life. There are skills and lifelong friendships that can never be forgotten, so for that I am thankful.
Ultimately, my mental health and body have been suffering. I was constantly feeling stressed and torn between working and taking care of a baby which isn’t good for anyone’s mental state. Also without me realizing, I had began to skip meals and not stay hydrated because any “down time” I had was spent working or breast pumping. I am below my pre pregnancy weight and I need to work on getting back up to a healthier me, which is super important since I am providing nourishment for another human too.
People will most likely call me crazy for quitting, which I probably am a little, but being there for her is my number one priority. I was ignoring her cries for phone calls and would feel guilty for having to choose between the two. She now has my full undivided attention, and that’s the best Work from Home job I could ever ask for!
Leaving my career also allows me to have more time for my blog, which is where I feel like it all started. I’m excited to take it to the next level and continue to work with companies. Also, I now get to spend all day in my pajamas if I want to which is super awesome, especially when I have cute ones like these from Shop Pink Blush to lounge in. I don’t have to start work at a certain time, and although I’m now “working” 24/7 my little boss rewards me in cuddles and I no longer have to choose where my time is going.
Here’s to the next chapter of becoming a stay at home mom, my dream job.
Let me preface this by saying, I didn't have a typical twenties to begin with. I don't drink, I don't party, and I married my husband when I was eighteen. But, let me tell you I don't regret giving up my twenties to be a mom.
My dad was visiting and I was telling him about how my best friend is almost done with college, but will have a few more years since she's going to be a Veterinarian. He was shocked and said "wow, she's already almost done with school?" And I explained how we were 21 and how people my age are almost graduating college. Then I looked down at my baby and thought out loud how I took a different path and traded a degree for a baby.
Im sure to most people my age, having a baby right now would just be insane. This is normally the time to socialize, go to college, establish your career, and date a little. My husband asked me jokingly if I'd rather have a degree and heck no! I'll take my baby over college any day.
I've known since I was younger I was destined to be a mom. In Kindergarten, we had a career day parade where we were to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. I carried my baby doll in proudly and claimed I just wanted to be a mommy.
My hope is that those who began their Motherhood earlier than 'normal', know how amazing and strong you are. Just a few years ago, I was a teen in high school and now here I am with an angel that I couldn't imagine a life without her in it. I made this decision for me, and I know other young moms have felt shamed which hurts my heart. I know it's probably not easy for everyone to understand, but to be a mother is the greatest honor and sometimes that blessing comes sooner for others.
I think about what I really and truly gave up by choosing to be a mother so soon. I probably gave up ever getting a full night's sleep again, and my body has stretch marks on my once flat somach. I gave up my back seat of my car that could've been for friends, for her car seat and all of the baby things I wouldn't dare leave the house without. I gave up being able to do simple life tasks like eating for a little person who relies on me to hold her constantly.
Becoming a mother has taught me so much and to become selfless. You have to grow up a lot and your first thought is no longer about you and baby will always come first. I look at my sweet babe and think about her future, who will she become, and how I get the privilege to raise her to be that person.
Having a baby now has lit a fire under me. I have felt so lost for so long and had only one plan: to be a mom. Now, I have more motivation because I need to provide for my family and be a great example for her. She is my motivation to work and to figure out what I want to go to college for. It may have taken longer for things to fall into place, but more importantly I get to grow into my twenties with my little one in my arms.
The holiday season means a lot of traveling for me and my family. It used to be a whole lot easier, and now with our baby there are certain things that have changed for us! I have gathered the guide to surviving car trips.
It all starts with a good car. Thankfully, our car is the perfect size for the three of us. But soon we will outgrow it and will need something bigger. Cars.com is a great resource to find new and used cars for sale as well as read reviews! Finding the perfect car fit for your family is a must. Think about if you want gps, a center console, have enough cup holders, and if you have adequate trunk space.
Packing your car with snacks will save you a lot, and prevent you from having to run into a lot of gas stations. You will want to spread out your stops as much as you can, and have you ever tried to run into a gas station holding a soiled diaper baby, and then grab snacks? Not a fun time y'all, learn from my mistakes. Pack a few different snacks (salty and sweet) and a good stock of water bottles and juice.
Put together an emergency back up of all things baby. I'm talking diapers, wipes, bottles, and clothes that stay in your car. This is a stash you absolutely don't touch until you have to, which you most definitely will. When the time comes, you'll be thankful.
Traveling with an infant can be a great time, so if you have a road trip coming up soon enjoy it! Happy Holidays!
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RegisteringforBaby #CollectiveBias
Just when you think you have it all figured out... you finally do become pregnant and feel in over your head. Trust me, this whole world of motherhood can feel very overwhelming. As a first time mom I knew the basics of how to prepare for a baby, but there are many things I learned along the way and afterwards. Here is what every expecting mama should know all compiled into one place. Motherhood doesn’t have to feel too impossible! Also if you are a Target-aholic, this is the guide for you.
Preparing Your Home
In your last month of pregnancy, start looking into different meals you may enjoy and create a freezer meal stock. I’m such a picky person so this gave me the reassurance that I wouldn’t starve after having my baby, and I would still have a home cooked meal handy. Invest in the tin foil casserole pans and make a few of your favorite meals and store them away! Also don’t just think dinner, breastfast tacos are great to store in the freezer and keep well. If you have family and friends insisting to help, give them your favorite recipes or let them surprise you!
When it comes to the nursery, it's either a parent's favorite part or most dreaded. Buying things for your baby’s nursery can feel overwhelming. There are just so many furniture options and expectations put on the perfect nursery! Let me tell you, a perfect nursery doesn't exist. Just when you finalize everything, once baby comes you'll find that this piece of furniture makes more sense there, or you need a bigger rocker and could do without the giant changing table. Whatever it may come down to, you will find your own flow and what makes sense for your lifestyle. You only need essentials and can add your own personal flair to them. A crib, diaper changing station, clothing storage, a bouncer or swing, and a chair for you to rock your babe in. You don’t have to go overboard but these are all great things to have in your baby’s room or sleeping area.
A huge lifesaver that I learned quickly when it came to the kitchen is make a baby station. Set up a bottle drying rack, and dedicate a cabinet area to baby bottles, spare pump parts, pacifiers, brushes, and medicine, like TYLENOL®. Having this all in one central station will make life so much easier, especially for those late nights when you don't want to be rummaging through your cabinets! You want to always be prepared, so I highly recommend sterilizing everything beforehand. This was something I didn't even think about doing, and having to quickly sterilize all of our bottle and pump parts when our baby was here, and hungry, was no fun.
Along these same lines, wash all of their clothes, blankets, and towels. Anything your baby will be using you will want to prep first with a wash! Be proactive and don't wait until the last minute like I did.
Baby Shower & Registry
Now if this is your first baby, chances are you are gearing up for your baby shower. Which means, your guests would greatly appreciate you to put together a baby registry. I used Target Baby Registry and let me tell you it made life so simple! Yes there are a million options for everything, but Target has a tab for a checklist so you don’t forget anything. Some of my favorite things I added were a car seat (I’ll explain why later!), Johnson’s® Bath Discovery Set, burp cloths, bottles, diapers, wipes, boppy, crib sheets, and of course clothes. I also made the registry for my own need and marked certain items as most wanted for my guests to have as a guide, so they didn’t feel obligated to buy big ticket items. Target Baby registry does offer Group gifting though, making it easy for guests to contribute together for larger items!
The Target registry is not only great to help you stay organized and not forget anything, but it’s also amazing for saving! I’ve mentioned before in the past, you will receive a 15% off discount that will be emailed 8 weeks before baby's arrival date to provide savings on anything left on the registry. I used this towards our car seat and it was super! Downloading the Target Registry app makes keeping your list handy so much simpler and you can even scan products if you want to add them while in store.
You will receive a Welcome kit too. Registrants can pick up your gift at Guest Services for $50 worth of coupons & handpicked samples. This is a great way to try out different products before committing. And who doesn’t love gifts?
Shop my favorite registry items by clicking on the photo!
When it's time for baby to arrive, you'll want to make sure you have all the essentials to take to the hospital. I did a separate blog post on this, but basically pack yourself clothes, toiletries, slippers, a robe, nipple cream, pads, nursing bra, phone charger, camera and charger. You can download the full checklist here! Don't feel like you have to overpack, but you definitely want to make sure you feel comfortable during your hospital stay. So if that means packing your pillow and a sleeping mask, do it! Also, during your stay you'll most likely have amazing nurses that will give you everything to keep you comfy. Take home these pads, peri bottle, ice packs, anything they give you: take it. These supplies are going to help big time during your postpartum recovery. I'm serious about the peri bottle and ice packs, you'll thank me later.
Along the lines of packing, go ahead and pack that diaper bag because you will be so sleep deprived when it's your baby's 2 day check up. Pack diapers, wipes, spare outfit(s), socks, feeding (formula, bottles, whatever you need to feed them!), burp cloths, and a blanket. I know it will feel strange packing a diaper bag for a baby that isn't here yet, but having these essentials packed already will make it easier if you need to add anything extra that you may find yourself needing!
As a new mom, this all can make you feel in over your head. Trust me when I say, you will not be able to remember everything and it rarely all goes according to plan. This was a hard reality for me because I like things to be organized and have no surprises; boy was I in for a treat! As you are expecting the arrival of your new babe, know that you got this. Give that baby love, and don't feel bad if some days aren't as smooth as others. No one expects you to be completely sane on two hours of sleep, enjoy this time, and take all the help you are offered! Motherhood is the best time of your life and you are going to do amazing.
My dress is courtesy of Shop Pink Blush. Thank you for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own.
Something I didn't really consider during any point of my pregnancy was the aftermath. I have been pretty open about how hard it has been, and it's only recently getting easier. While I know everyone loses weight differently, for me accepting my new body has been a struggle. I haven't felt the same and have been feeling really down with the body I've been left with post pregnancy. I am now below my previous weight, but I have a mom pooch and zero booty. It's so weird how much our bodies change when carrying a child, so you can only anticipate how much they will change afterwards. Embracing your postpartum body is easier said than done and your body does not go back to normal overnight (or within 2 months as I'm learning). I've voiced before how much wearing my maternity clothes and loose clothing in general has helped me cope, which is still my method to staying positive.
This dress, that you can check out here, allows me to stay on trend with the collar cut out and still feel comfortable with this new body I have. I love that it is loose around my waist, giving me comfort and confidence. I'm not saying you need to always hide your new figure with loose clothing, but give yourself time to adjust! If you want to rock whatever clothes you want, go for it! We are moms now and our bodies have gone through an amazing experience and we have the marks, flab, and squishiness to prove it.
I have found embracing your body will come at your own speed, but it will come. Baby blues, and postpartum depression, are very real and adding in this to the mix is tough. We are all so beautiful and while our weight or body shape may not be the same as before, we should all embrace this new chapter in motherhood.
So embrace your mom bod and wear clothes that make you happy! I love this dress from Shop Pink Blush and how they have trendy woman’s clothing. Y’all know how much I love rocking floral, and I love the cool tones in this dress. I also wore this for my baby’s blessing if you were wondering where it was from! It was a hit and was the perfect dress for the occasion.