I have found as a new mom, that all of my favorite items for Lila came as a recommendation from another mom, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite products. Think of it as my word-of-mouth recommendation to you!
I will be blogging about these products under the title “Liz’s List.” Let’s get this started.
Lila is in the throes of teething and recently while visiting with my sister, she gave me this teether for Lila to try out. It’s called the Zo Li Gummy Stick.
Lila went absolutely bonkers for this thing – chewing on it with earnest for thirty minutes straight. I immediately ordered some for our house.
The stick shape is the perfect size her for little hand to grasp onto. And the tip is made of a soft, gel-like bristle to massage her gums. I also like that it’s BPA & Phthalate free. And for $10, this is a product I don’t feel guilty buying.
These little sticks have become my go-to mommy cheat. When Lila starts getting fussy, I pop one of these in her hand and she is occupied for a good twenty minutes. I will warn you though, she gets suuuuuper slobbery while gnawing on it. I resorted to putting a bib on her to catch the excess saliva.
Anyway, there’s my first Liz’s List recommendation. :) If you have any products you love and think I should check out, let me know!
PS- I also revamped my blog design. Do you like it? I added some new features along the right side. You can also sign up to get an email ping with my new posts (on the right too).
It’s true! I am officially taking the plunge into full-time-mommy hood.
Even before Lila was born, I had a lump of worry in my stomach regarding whether I would continue to work or stay home with her. Those closest to me assured me that once she was here, I would know what I wanted to do. Either I would feel like there was no way I could be away from her or I would feel like I couldn’t wait to get out of the house.
Yeah, well that realization never hit. In fact, after she was born I was more confused than ever. On one had I was obsessed with my new baby. But on the other, those first three months are a lot of mind-numbing repetition and isolation.
After nights of worrying about what to do, I decided to return to work and give it a few months so I was making a decision based on the reality of our situation and not the stresses of adjusting to day care, pumping at work etc. That was in February.
Throughout the months back at work, it became increasingly clear that what we were doing was just not sustainable. You see, both Luke and I commute 45 minutes (in opposite directions), Luke travels internationally twice a month (leaving me a single mom), we don’t have much family nearby to help (just Luke’s brother) and our nanny (who we found at a much lower rate than typical for our area) is moving abroad in August.
Our day-to-day life looked like this: Lila was away from her parents for 10 1/2 hours a day, we only spent about 45 minutes with her before bedtime each evening and the rest of our time home was spent getting ready to do it all over again the next day. We were tired and stressed out.
After some sleepless nights and a few breakdowns, I followed my gut and decided to quit my job to stay home with Lila full time. Thankfully we are blessed to be in a financial situation where we can afford for me to be at home. We are also moving to Reno so Luke’s commute will only be five minutes vs 45 minutes, so his daily quality of life will be much better.
Once the decision was done, I finally felt peace in my heart, which told me it was the right one for us.
Heading into this new stage of life, I am both really excited and slightly terrified.
On the excited front, I am looking forward to being able to spend more time together as a family now that we aren’t commuting so long. I am happy be with Lila all day. Plus I won’t miss any of her firsts. And generally, I’m looking forward to living life for awhile … getting back to things I used to love to do but had to give up because I spent so much of my time working, like playing volleyball or acting.
On the terrified front, I am scared that by quitting my job, I am losing a part of myself. I am a dork in that I genuinely like my job. I am good at it and I like the fulfillment I get from excelling in the office. Taking time away may mean I permanently end my career, which I don’t want to do.
Also, this may sound odd, but I don’t want to totally lose my identity to motherhood. I don’t want to just be “Liz, Lila’s Mom.” Does that sound bad? Finally, I fear that I will be lonely and isolated being home with her all day. Especially since we’re moving to a city where I don’t have any established friendships.
I’ve decided to use this next year as a test of sorts, to see if I’m cut out to stay at home. I am hoping to find a work situation that I can do from home, part time (so if you know of any social media/marketing gigs like that, let me know!). My plan is to get into a routine as quickly as possible, with set activities I do with Lila every day of the week so we are getting out – like joining a moms group, story time at the library and parent/baby swim lessons.
Finally, I am going to carve out some time for myself. One day a week I plan to volunteer with Hospice, I am going to get serious about learning to golf, I’m going to do Dailey Method twice a week (on-site daycare!) and I found a volleyball league I can do one night a week. I am not going to feel bad about doing things for myself either … a happy mommy makes for a happy family, right?
Every time the anxiety about my new role creeps in, I remind myself that this opportunity to soak up Lila’s baby years is a great blessing. And that I never want to live my life based on fear of change and the unknown. Plus, if I find myself going crazy at home, nothing is permanent.
I start this new adventure next week and will surely blog about my transition along the way. I fully expect it will take some time to get settled into a new groove, so thank you in advance for your support and encouragement.
I knew writing this post could be controversial considering all the SAHM vs Working Mom media buzz. And someone close to me called me out on a few things in this post (rightfully so).
First, I wrote that I was happy I could “parent Lila myself.” This was a little misleading. I don’t mean AT ALL that daycare moms aren’t “parents.” More that there were things they do at Lila’s daycare that I didn’t like (like rocking her to sleep vs. letting her put herself down) that I am looking forward to being able to do my own way.
Also, I don’t mean to infer that moms who use daycare or nanny’s are “missing” parts of their kids lives. It was just for us, with our long commutes, the time away was stretching to 10 hours or more, which I didn’t feel comfortable with.
Please know that I have MASSIVE respect for all moms – working or staying home. Both jobs have their sets of challenges and rewards. I admire any mom who can find a happy balance between their work and home life. :)
When I was a little girl, people would often ask me what I wanted to be when I got older. Depending on my age or interests, the responses varied - an actress on broadway, a professional volleyball player, a city girl living in NYC. One response that always stayed with me though was … “I want to be a mom.”
I’ve just always known that motherhood was the key to unlocking my full happiness. Something about the notion of having someone to love and care for, who will love me completely as well felt right in my heart. I couldn’t wait to see what my kids would look like, what their personalities would be and who they’d grow into.
The day we brought Lila home from the hospital was one I will always remember. I took her down to her nursery to show her the tree, crib and pictures we had lovingly hung for her. Then I sat in the rocking chair, held her to my chest and began to sing a lullabye.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartache. Whatever you wish for you keep. Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come shining through…”
I couldn’t quite finish before I choked up and began to cry. It dawned on me as I was singing this song to my sweet newborn baby that my dream had in fact come true … I was a mommy.
Since then, motherhood has been everything I dreamt it would be and so much more. I’ve said this here before, but just being around Lila fills me with happiness. Before her I felt like I was constantly looking for the next thing … a new home, a new city, a new job . But now that she’s here I feel completely content.
Mother’s Day this year – my first as a mother – was another special day (one of so many this year). I spent the day with Luke and Lila. Taking it slow. Enjoying food together. And ending with me carrying a sleeping Lila to bed. It was lovely.
Of all the dreams I have for myself in this lifetime, the most important to me is to be the best mommy I can and to cherish the simple moments with my family. Even if I do nothing else besides be a good mother, I will leave this world fulfilled and at peace.
Sadly we’re back from vacation. Those first days back to work are always the hardest, right?
We had a terrific time with my family in Palm Desert. I quickly realized however that vacation means something different than it used to now that I’m a mom. Lila had no trouble transitioning to a new place for the week, but the whole “lets sit at the pool all day” thing sort of gets derailed when you have a baby that needs shade, mild temperatures and a place to nap.
So our days ended up being more like wake up, play with Lila in the condo, let her nap, go for a walk, play on the deck, let her nap and around 5pm, when the sun is lower, going to the pool for a dip.
This was Lila’s first time in a pool ever. At first she was a little skeptical and didn’t like the coolness.
But flash forward a couple days and she LOVED the pool. She’d get a huge smile and squeal with glee whenever we took her in. She especially thought it was hilarious when her dad would go underwater and blow bubbles.
We had a blast making memories together in the pool. I was pleasantly surprised that the pools at the Marriott time shares were all salt-water vs. chlorine. I felt better about having Lila in salt water vs. chemicals.
At night, ones the babies were asleep, the adults in my family sat out on the deck playing the most hilarious game on earth – Cards Against Humanity. I seriously have never laughed so hard in my life. This is a game perfect for families who don’t hold anything back … I’m warning you now, things can get uncomfortable if yours isn’t like that!
The other really special thing we did was take family photos as an anniversary present to my parents (celebrating their 35th!). I arranged for Ann Keen, a photographer in the area to meet us at our condo to capture our family.
Didn’t these turn out fantastic? I’m thinking I’ll use the last one for Lila’s baptism invitation coming up in June.
There’s so much more I could tell about our vacation. But this post is long enough. The main point I want to get across is that I just love my family and am so happy we got to spend an entire week together.