Category Archives: Mamahood

For the Sleep Deprived Mama Who Feels Ashamed {Part 1}

My body tightened up, I took a deep breath, and felt the anger filling me.

I tried to stop it. I tried to let go of the tension building in the back of my neck. But it kept growing.

Because no matter what I did he wouldn’t stop crying.

Snuggles. Rocking. Milk. His bed. My bed.

He wouldn’t stop crying…

And I was soooooooo tired.

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Now hang on for a second- this is an honest post. This is me struggling with anger at 5 in the morning when my little one wouldn’t stop crying for no apparent reason.

Now why in the world would I share this with the world??

Because I’m guessing that you, dear mama friend, have been there.

I’m guessing you’ve been sooooo tired you couldn’t think, and right when you thought you were about to sleep, your baby needed you again.

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I bet after hours of loving, and nursing, and rocking, there was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I’m guessing you’ve gotten angry, and then I bet you have felt ashamed.

I’m guessing you have had the best of intentions but at some point have failed.

So today I wanted to tell you, my dearest sleep-deprived-mama-friend, that you are not alone.

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When I was more awake, I felt ashamed. How could I get so angry inside?! Even though I was still taking care of him on the outside, I hated that angry feeling that had seized the inside.

So of course, I called my mom and asked her, what do I do?!

She told me it was normal to get angry. That I needed to learn  that and watch for it – and that was helpful advice.

But I still knew I needed to do some soul searching, and talk to God about it.

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I think the easy thing to do in a situation where we want our actions to change is to just tell ourselves to do better and move on.

But when we really ask ourselves good questions, we get to our beliefs, and there lies the important part.

If our beliefs don’t change, then our actions never will.

Anytime we are looking to change a behavior in ourselves, we can’t jump straight to behavior modification and expect change.

We must first ask ourselves WHY.

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So I had two questions swimming in my brain  that I had to wrestle through as I sunk into my chair with my Bible, pen, and prayer journal feeling ashamed.

  1. Why am I supposed to love?

  2. How can I love when I don’t feel like it?

My thoughts went something like this.

I’m supposed to love my child. But at midnight, and then 3am, and then 5am, it’s so hard! I know I can’t do this in my own strength. I (obviously) fail miserably at times. So, HOW CAN I do it? When I don’t have love to give, where does that love come from?

And slowly as I repented and prayed, and sought His face, this verse came to mind,

“We love because He first loved us…”

Ahhhhh God. I thought. Now we are getting somewhere. So you’re telling me that I can love Wilder because YOU first loved me.

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You loved me when I was completely unlovely. When I didn’t deserve it. Before I surrendered to you.

You gave me the highest form of love you could – the sacrifice of your Son so I could be forgiven and made your daughter and heir.

You love me unequivocally.

You love me patiently and you love me perfectly.

As I was thinking all these things my heart got so full. Want to be humbled?

Think of what you were before you gave your life to Christ. Now I’m not necessarily talking about your lifestyle, but about your position before God (read Romans 3:10-12, 21-24).

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So BECAUSE God has loved me so perfectly and patiently – that is why I need to show love and patience toward my sweet boy.

God calls me to be like Him, and He is always loving, and always patient.

What a marvelous thought.

And next week we will see where that amazing power to love comes from, and answer question #2 so stay tuned!!

Dear sweet mama friend, with circles under her eyes. What you are doing is SO IMPORTANT. Be filled with His love – so that you can give it to others. So that you can give it to that sweet gift of a babe cuddled in your arms. So that you are equipped at 3 in the morning. Press on, dear one. You are not alone.

Was this post encouraging to your heart? Do you have any other thoughts? Please comment below- I want to hear from you!

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The Funny Thing About Answered Prayers

It’s 3:53am.

A little over an hour ago, my little one woke up crying needing a drink of water, and I haven’t been able to go back to sleep since.

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Partially because my tummy hurts – but more on that in a minute.

Two weeks ago, we got home from Honduras, shot a wedding, then packed up and drove to Vegas for a few days for a photography conference.

With all the busyness, I’ve been a little quiet on social media & texting just to recover a bit.

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There are many stark differences between the small town I was living in, Siguatepeque, in Honduras, and Los Angeles, California.

Besides the language difference, food difference, transportation difference (Wilder was the only baby I knew who used a car seat. Seeing babies held by moms riding on motorcycles was a norm)- there were also the cultural differences of just being in a smaller town.

We lived minutes from our dear friends, and visited them almost every day. Showing up unexpectedly was fine too.

In small town life, it’s normal to make plans to see a friend the same day, as opposed to weeks in advance which is more typical for Los Angeles, and probably big cities in general.

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As I was flying into the endless grid of lights of the big city, I was excited, but I also had a little lonely feeling enter my heart as I thought about all the “busy”ness.

Don’t get me wrong – I am so blessed to have many good friends in Los Angeles.

But I’m a little sad that the culture here and well, the fact that there are SO many people, make it almost impossible to make plans and see friends within a day or two.

I think it also has to do with how spread out LA is – many of my good friends live over 30  minutes away.

In my prayer time the other morning, I recognized this sadness, this loneliness, and talked to the Lord about it. “Lord please bless my friendships! Please show us we have true friends amidst the busy culture!”

And then, the next day,

My whole family came down with a terrible stomach flu.

Oh, parenthood.

You parents who have dealt with sick little ones are probably laughing with me. Yep, here it is. The first major illness.

I’ve never been sick with a baby before. It takes being sick to a whole new level. Waking up to baby puke on you, and trying to comfort your little one, while trying to wash off, and successfully washing yourself off only to have them puke in your hair right after….and then the house.

You think your house has been a disaster before but it’s never looked quite like this, saltines mashed into furniture and carpets, cheerios in strange places. It’s experiences like these that definitely build endurance! (parents can I get an amen?!)

My first time with a sick baby, and Lukas and I are sick too. Mercifully, the Lord allowed our sicknesses to be about 24 hours apart, so I could rest and puke one night while he took care of baby, and then I could watch baby while he was in the worst of it.

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Lukas and I had no idea what to do with a sick baby. So what did we do? Post on facebook of course. Minutes into Lukas posting and asking advice on what to do, we had so many of you reaching out with tips.

Friends came out of the woodwork bringing us groceries.

It didn’t matter that we were sick “last minute”. It didn’t matter that many of these friends lived over 30 minutes away. What mattered was that we had a need and they did what they needed to do to care for us and love on us, and be there for us.

Talk about God answering my prayer!

The funny thing about answered prayers is that you never know how God will answer them.

In this case, a stomach flu was a tool that showed me how abundantly blessed I really am.

I found this quote the other day, and it has stuck in my mind ever since. I think it sums up friendship so well.

“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you” and proved it.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a big city or a small city, the true friends will be there for you when you need it most.

And I’m so thankful for that.

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Do any of you feel tired by the busyness of living in a big city?  How do you make seeing your friends a priority? Are you tired of making plans with people weeks in advance? How do you do it? I would love to hear from you!

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5 Baby Tips for the Adventurous On-the-Go Mama

I’m a photographer, an entrepreneur, actively involved in my church, and I own a couple other small businesses that keep me busy. I also love to travel and go on adventures.

I’m also a mama to a busy one year old -my favorite (& hardest!) job 🙂

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Last year, we traveled to South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Washington, British Columbia, the Yukon, Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, and Honduras.

All with a baby.

From August through December of last year I wasn’t home for more than  2 weeks at a time… that’s 5 months of travel.

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People ask me all the time how I do it… but to be honest, I think of all the amazing mamas out there with like 5 kids, and wonder how THEY do it! I mean I only have one, and I’m not running around to soccer practice. But at the same time, I do work from home, and I do travel alot as you can see!

I definitely don’t think I have all the answers, but if you like to adventure, you’re always on the go, and you have a baby, I hope these tips help you out!

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  1. Use a wrap or baby carrier

    When Wilder was tiny, 0-6months, I always used my wrap. I have the Sollybaby and I love it because it is so light weight and I feel like I’m just wearing a t shirt.  Does your newborn not like the baby wrap? Give it time! They have to get used to it. And make sure you’re using it correctly.

    Another tip for using your wrap – wrap it on you at home before you go to the store, so that you don’t have to do it in the parking lot and let the ends of the wrap touch the ground.

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    When Wilder started getting bigger, and more curious, I started using the Lillebaby complete airflow carrier because he loves being front facing. (I picked the airflow because I live in a year round warm climate)I love it! I always keep my Lillebaby in the car so it’s ready to go! I have a pacifier clipped to it so I always have one handy.

    Strollers are fine for some things, but I’ve found that babywearing is SO much quicker for being an on-the-go mama. I don’t have to pull it out, set it up, and strap him in. He just goes with me (and I get a little work out 😉  )

    One time I was traveling out of state by myself with baby, and I tried to take my stroller to the airport with me to see if I liked it better than just baby wearing. It was the worst mistake I ever made! Well, not really haha. But I absolutely hated it! It took forever finding all the elevators, I had to wait in line with all the wheelchairs, and one of the pieces of my stroller broke off. At one point I ended up holding Wilder, folding up the stroller, and carrying it AND my carry on just so I could use an escalator.

    If you love using your stroller at the airport and it works for you great! But I think I am just so used to the ease of babywearing! Now when I have multiple kids we’ll see what happens… 😉

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  2. Get a good nursing cover for on the go nursing

    I’ve nursed on the beach, in the car, at the airport, in a restaurant, you name it. For our lifestyle, I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t keep going just because I had a baby. I also didn’t want to always run to the car for feeding. So I love having a simple handy cover that fits in my diaper bag!

    I have this one from Target, but there are plenty out there. One reason I love the style of mine is because I can naturally see baby’s face and there’s more airflow because of the rigiflex neckline.

  3. Teach your baby to sleep through noise

    From day one, we didn’t close baby’s door during nap time, or make the room dark, or anything like that. He got used to having random noise and can now sleep in the car, on the plane, in his car seat at a restaurant, or at a friend’s house.

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    Now, he isn’t perfect every time, but now he knows it’s sleepy time when we give him his special blanky and put him down. When people are at my house, they are frequently amazed that I can just put him down and walk away when it’s nap time.

  4. Know your baby’s routine/ schedule so you can plan errands accordingly

    For the first nine months or so, we used the Babywise schedule so Wilder was nursing every 3 or so hours and we had him on the Eat, Wake, Sleep routine. That was so helpful cause I always knew what was next, what he needed, and he was always full and happy.

    Even if you’re not super into “scheduling” your baby will fall into a natural schedule, so learn them, so you know what they need throughout the day and can plan to be out and about when they are rested, full, and happy.

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  5. Keep your diaper bag always packed and ready to go, and in it’s place

    Keep it stashed with plenty of snacks, water or whatever you are giving your baby depending on their age, plenty of diapers, wipes, rash cream, toys, 2 extra outfits, and disposable bags for soiled diapers. Find what works for you.

    Here are 10 things I keep in my diaper bag . This was when Wilder was exclusively nursing so now I need to add snacks in there! Wilder is 14 months now, and I’ve found that cheerios can keep him entertained and sitting happily on my lap for a long time, so when I’m in a restaurant it’s awesome!

    Also make sure you have a place your diaper bag goes so you can always find it. A shelf in the closet in baby’s room, in the closet by the front door, etc. The last thing you need when you’re running out the door is to have to spend a ton of time looking for it!

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Hopefully these 5 tips will help you be able to go out there and do what you do best – adventure!!! 😀

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What about you? Do you have any other helpful tips for on the go mamas?