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I was scared at night

This post was created in partnership with PediaVit.

During my pregnancy I was scared at night.

When I was pregnant with my son Holden, my first baby, I would feel the fear creep in after dinner, as the sun set.

First pregnancy

Walking up the stairs to my bedroom, I could feel the fear increase with each step. My breathing would become heavy and slow, my chest tight.

“Can I do this?” I would think to myself.

As I arranged my pillows, preparing my bed for my new round shape, my husband Mike would look at me with knowing eyes, as I moisturized my hands and plugged in my phone, while staying eerily quiet.

“Are you okay?” He’d ask.

“Yes.” I’d lie. I didn’t want to tell him that I was full of doubt and was scared of the night. I didn’t want to tell him that I was scared of change. That I didn’t know if I was strong enough, or if I had what it took to be a mother. I didn’t want to tell him that I was terrified I would stumble, crumble and fail as I faced breastfeeding and the sleepless nights.

I was scared at night.

But then something happened. When I woke, the sun peering through our curtains and Mike slowly climbing out of bed at the sound of his alarm clock, the fear was gone. What replaced the fear was excitement, anticipation and strength.

I went through my day riding that wave of confidence, dreaming of what could be and what’s to come.

That night, once again as I looked at the clock, laying on my sofa, so warm, and so blissfully distracted by the T.V. series Mike and I were watching, the fear began to creep in. I knew I had to head to bed. But I dreaded climbing those stairs.

I dreaded, pretending to be okay, while I was pushing the panic down, deep inside.
I feared the night. I feared motherhood.

As I arranged my pillows, remembering the extra pillow to squeeze between my knees, I remembered the morning and how I felt.

I closed my eyes for a second and held onto that feeling of courage and excitement. I said to myself, “you’ve got this.”

I did.

I was able to push the fear out of my mind, and said again and again to myself, “you’ve got this, just wait for the morning.”

It became my mantra.

It was my mantra the first week after Holden was born, as night approached, and the exhaustion and pain from cramps and breastfeeding would come. I would say “you’ve got this,” to myself as tears rolled down my cheeks, and Mike knew to just let me cry and let me feel the fear.

mother holding newborn

It was my mantra when Holden was two, and wasn’t speaking. I would say, “you’ve got this” to myself as I sat in the speech therapist’s office, feeling my fear and watching my son while problem solving our way through.

mother and toddler

It was my mantra when I found out I was pregnant with our second baby, a complete surprise. I told myself, “you’ve got this” as I wrapped my mind around being a mom to two.

mother and son walking on beach

It was my mantra every night as I arranged my pillows on my bed to accommodate my massive belly… carrying two babies. My twins.

twin pregnancy

My twins were born in the morning. As I held my babies in my arms, looking at their tiny faces. Knowing that I was a veteran mom and that this would be my biggest challenge yet. There would be days that I would stumble, crumble and fail. I knew that, I allowed myself to feel the fear. Then I took a deep breath and said, “you’ve got this.”

newborn twins

And I did.

Motherhood is scary. It’s around 95% problem solving. It’s a beautiful mess. But feeling the fear, stumbling, crumbling and failing is part of the journey. And there are ways to make things just a bit easier for you along the way.

family

I have partnered with PediaVit to remind moms and moms to-be, that you’ve got this. PediaVit provides products that help to maintain your baby’s good health. This includes Vitamin D3, which helps the body absorb and use calcium and phosphorous – both important ingredients to the healthy development of strong bones and teeth. With their new Vitamin D3 Drops, all you need is one drop onto the breast, bottle, or finger and your baby receives the required daily dose. For more information about PediaVit and your baby’s health, head to http://www.pediavit.ca/en/

Make sure this product is right for your baby. Always read and follow label instructions.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by PediaVit. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of PediaVit.

Weekend clothes vs daycare and school clothes for my four kids – how I separate the two


This post was created in partnership with Kids & Company.

Dressing four kids can be a daunting task. Between the expense and how often my kids destroy, or grow out of their clothes, it can be a weekly job to keep up with. Fortunately I have found a rhythm that works for our family that not only saves us money, it squeezes every bit of life out of each piece of clothing.

Simply put, I have separate clothes for my kids on weekdays, (daycare and school days), than I do for the weekends. Because, let’s face it, our kids tend to get messy at school and daycare.

I’ve always said, “a dirty kid is a happy kid.”

Nothing makes me happier than at the end of a hot summer day, when my kids have played in our backyard the whole day and they walk up to me, filthy, covered in dirt, sweat, and sticky popsicle goo and the only option is they have to go right into the bath, before sitting down to dinner. In my opinion, that is a great childhood.

kids in the summer

kids playing in dirt

So when my three-year-old comes home from daycare, with food-stained sleeves, paint all down the front of their shirt, and a little hole in the knee of their pants, with a big smile on their face, I know they’ve had a great day.

toddler painting at daycare

So, how do I stay so relaxed about the inevitable clothing destruction? They wear old hand-me-downs and used clothing during the week.

toddler cleaning table

In our house, our son get his older cousin’s hand-me-downs, Beau gets her older cousins, and our twins get their older sisters. It’s the perfect solution. Occasionally I will head to Wal-Mart and stock up for the big kids, but I have more than enough clothes that trickles down to our twins.

Simple.

This way I am not spending a fortune on adorable outfits to last seven days each week on our four kids. I only splurge for weekend outfits, which shrinks my shopping list a lot.

So next time you don’t know what to do with that massive unexpected bag of hand-me-downs a family member left on your porch… save it for the weekdays.

Finding a childcare that not only gives me time to build my career, but that my kids also love has been such a wonderful aspect to having more of a work/life balance.

Kids & Company not only has the flexibility I have needed with my unique schedule, but the incredible fresh, from scratch meals they provide for my kids each day (which they actually eat), fills me with such confidence with my choice in childcare.

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Whether it’s their Grab ‘n’Go snacks, parent workshops, or their complimentary care for date nights and shopping days outside of regular hours, nothing has been forgotten.

Here’s where it gets exciting… right now Kids and Company is waiving the registration fee (a $150 value) for Nesting Story readers! Just email amcnaught@kidsandcompany.com to access this exclusive offer.

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kids & Company. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of Kids & Company.

I love my kids more than I love a clean house

Sometimes I will sit and reflect on me, pre-kids, just after Mike and I got married and we moved into our first home and just laugh at myself. I was so obsessive and anal about cleaning that I would barely even sit down to watch a show in the evening with my new husband. I was always “SOOO BUSY.” Ha!

I didn’t even know busy.

A lot has changed since then, (four kids, careers and a move later), and I have been through a lot, especially after adding each child to our family. My expectations have definitely been adjusted, and although my house is rarely spotless, I feel like I am doing a pretty good job.

Exhibit A – Photos I just took of my home in it’s current state

Messy living room

Messy family room

Messy kitchen

Messy bedroom

I’ve started to get in the habit of listening to a chatty YouTube video when driving in my car kids-free, and one this morning, on my way home from Walmart had me nodding my head in agreement constantly.

It was a video of Anna Saccone answering some questions from viewers. As a mom of three, she had some great insight into motherhood. Here are my favourite takeaways…

She talked about how she hasn’t felt depression sink in with her second, or third kids because she doesn’t have as much time to sit and over-think.

I couldn’t agree with this more. When people ask me about having four kids, my answer is, with one kid it’s hard and you overthink all the time. Plus if there is a lull in time you think you should be singing a song, be making homemade baby food, or reading a book. When you aren’t doing those things you feel guilty for putting your feet up.

When you have more than one kid, you are busy, in fact you feel like you are on a hamster wheel, but it isn’t nearly as hard and you don’t over analyze every decision.

I can’t tell you how many times I say to myself, when moving from one child’s crisis to the next child, “well kid, you’re going to be okay because you have to be okay, there are other people waiting in line.” I swear my kids as a litter of puppies are way happier than when my son was an only child.

Anna also talked about trying to keep her house clean and everything in it’s place. She said she’s let go a bit because let’s face it, she has three kids and six dogs. You could drive yourself crazy trying to keep your house spotless with that much chaos.

So, when the mess starts to really bug her, she reminds herself that she loves her kids more than a clean house.

So simple, yet such great advice!

Watch her video for these, plus more great bits of insight into motherhood…

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A calm came over me when I realized I was stressed, and I was able to put the chocolate down

stressed mom

I did something yesterday that I never do. I bought and ate a chocolate bar mid-day.

Really, this is something I don’t do. But yet I found myself on a Sunday afternoon, escaping the chaos at our house, at the store in our neighbourhood picking up coffee and buying a chocolate bar.

I snuck into our house, back into the chaos as Mike waited for the all-clear to head back to our basement, (which we are finishing), to continue working on it, while I made my way back to our living room, and plopped myself back into the midst of the laundry I had been folding, with a coffee in one hand and my chocolate bar concealed in a bag in the other.

I waited as kids zipped passed me, not noticing that I was packing heat, before I stole my first bite. I sat there for the next ten minutes, folding laundry, sipping coffee, eating chocolate, while ignoring fights, mess, too much screen time and the sound of drilling coming from our basement.

What is going on here? I had been stress eating more days than not. What was triggering this need for sugar and carbs?

Then it hit me… this whole finishing our basement project was seriously stressing me out. Not to mention that our twins have not napped in over a month.

Ohhhh I’m stressed, that’s the feeling I am having lately.

It’s kind of funny that it took me so long to realize that those two elements in my world have been causing me so much stress.

The basement, on one hand, was supposed to be done in September, but between contractors cancelling, Mike trying to find time here and there to hack away at it, and life in general, it’s been delayed. I am crossing my fingers at this point that it will be done for Christmas.

We’ve also been holding most of the kids toys hostage, (out of necessity, not intentionally), in a storage area in our basement, along with our seasonal bins of clothes, other than a few I rescued and am now co-habiting with upstairs.

The kids and I miss their dad, we miss the space down there, and we generally feel like life has been on pause. Add naps being over, and we are all going a little cooky.

Toddler's silly face

But when I was able to pinpoint why I’m stressed, and recognize that it was circumstantial and temporary, this calm washed over me.

Maybe I don’t have to gain five pounds while we finish our basement. Maybe I can plan better for the weekends, go take a bath, read a book, or fall down a Netflix rabbit hole while we are in this mini survival mode.

For me, it’s pinpointing that feeling that is making my heels drag that is half the battle. Once I know what it is, I can problem-solve, which for this “doer” is the best medicine.

Join us for our weekend and my confession about our lengthly basement renovation…

Don’t forget to like Nesting Story on Facebook, follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my channel on YouTube so that you can keep up with my journey through motherhood!

Why I do what I do and the mistake I made when I became a mom

making cookies

For me, before becoming a mother, I thought motherhood was my end game. In fact for the first few years after becoming a mom, I gave up my identity thinking that is what a great mother does.

Instead that made me miserable, resentful and dull.

I realized that being a great mom meant finding my own path and still having my own identity, so that I am happy and joy-filled, which spills over to my kids and husband who I love fiercely.

Years later I made myself a promise as I lay on our couch, growing two babies inside of me, feeling my identity slip away once again…

twin pregnancy

I would live life fearlessly and share my journey with others.

My hope is that my family can connect with moms who are trying to find themselves again, who wonder if it’s okay if she takes her own path. Moms who are finding their journey very different and a little more terrifying than they anticipated. Parents who are lonely and just want to feel a little more normal. Moms who are lying on their sofas, growing life inside them, not knowing what is about to come.

I am so excited that I am now sharing my journey on Baby Center’s YouTube channel as well. Check out our first video and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Center and hit the notification button so that you don’t miss a video!