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Surviving Newborn Life As A Couple

ecoming parents with your spouse is such a beautiful experience. It deepens your connection and love for one another, but it is definitely a challenge to re-calibrate your entire life.


There are a lot of expected changes to a couple when they have a baby; fluctuating hormones, less (or no) sleep, your life suddenly revolving around a squishy little human. 

But one thing that can come as a surprise, is how your relationship with your spouse can change. In the first weeks and months of being parents, Ben and I bickered and argued more than we ever had before. 

Don’t get me wrong, we also spent copious amounts of time all snuggled up together as a family, marvelling at the tiny little toes of our perfect baby. He was incredibly supportive as I struggled through breastfeeding and adjusted to everything. He was, and still is, wonderful. 

But we also spent time snapping at each other, being frustrated or letting passive aggressive remarks slip through.

Day trips helped relieve stress in those early days, and were a lovely way to spend time together
Day trips helped relieve stress in those early days, and were a lovely way to spend time together

I found myself really upset, thinking perhaps we weren’t ready? Perhaps we weren’t cut out to do this? Parenting is no joke, and those first few months can be insanely challenging for a couple. 

It wasn’t until our daughter Willow was around 6 months old, I met a mother with a 6 week old baby, and I realised it wasn’t just us. 

While chatting over a cup of tea, she quietly asked if I had fought with Ben when Willow was born. My response of “OH MY GOD YES!” was instantly met with a sigh of relief and laughter, as I recounted some of our finest relationship fails the first couple months.

This is something that lots of new parents go through, yet both me and this new mom felt isolated and too embarrassed to admit our spouses were driving us crazy. If I had known other new parents experienced this challenging adjustment period, I’d have felt relieved and more at ease with our relationship. 

We’ve since become better at our communication, and have learned to notice unhelpful habits or reactions we have when speaking to each other.

We’ve built ourselves such a solid foundation we decided to get engaged late last year
We’ve built ourselves such a solid foundation we decided to get engaged late last year.

Below are my top 3 tips I have for new parents going through the rough newborn phase. We still practice these today as we encounter new struggles together.

Speak openly & honestly about how you’re feeling

I would tell Ben when I was feeling resentful, even though I knew it was irrational. He hadn’t gone through the physical pains of pregnancy and birth, and I’d be jealous he wasn’t struggling with breastfeeding, or having a baby constantly attached to him. But when I decided to be open, and tell him all the not so nice things I was thinking, we were able to talk them through and share how we felt. 

Be kind & patient with each other 

I would sometimes forget that this was all new for Ben as well. I’d be so wrapped up in how I felt; exhausted, sore, and hormonal. I’d forget Ben was trying to figure it out too. It’s easy when you are sleep deprived and feeling overwhelmed to let tempers rise, and snap at each other. But try to take a deep breath before responding and remember you’re in this together. Be kind, forgiving, and sympathetic with each other, whenever you can.

Prioritise Your Relationship

It’s so easy to get swept up in the craziness and sheer exhaustion that is parenthood. If you feel up to a date night, and have a family member or friend able to babysit, then go out for a quiet dinner together, and spend some time just the two of you. 

This isn’t something we did at all when she was very little. It took us months until we remembered we were a couple and had a life before becoming parents. 

Even if you just take the time to cuddle on the couch while baby is asleep or chat for 20 minutes before bed, any time spent together without your baby, and specifically not talking about your baby, will help give both of you a break. It’s good to remember your pre-baby life, and why you decided to give this whole relationship thing a whirl. 

Prioritising our relationship has kept our family happy and healthy.

Relationships take work, and when you’re parents, it’s all too easy to let your relationship slide down your list of priorities. Becoming parents with your spouse is such a beautiful experience. It deepens your connection and love for one another, but it is definitely a challenge to re-calibrate your entire life. 

Face challenges as a couple, be as open and honest with each other as you can, have the uncomfortable conversations, and try to approach each other with love and kindness at every turn. It’s not always easy, but caring for your relationship in this delicate period will not only make your life easier in that moment, but strengthen and deepen your relationship for years to come. 

Roseanne is the blogger behind the honest and inspirational personal blog Roseanne Writes. Native to Scotland and now calling Canada home, Rosanne helps mothers navigate motherhood while remaining true to themselves. You learn more about Roseanne and follow her personal blog here.

Parenting and The Comparison Game

More often than not, this parenting comparison game sends us into research, with Google becoming our favourite friend, determined to find the way to do it all “right”.

Raising Kids the easy way, forget the comparison game - Lindsay Fricker for Nesting Story

You’ve stopped attending those Mommy and Me groups. You made fast friends with the other mama’s and loved an excuse to get out of the house, but you couldn’t help noticing the other babies. They were all moving through their milestones quickly, some even skipping milestones altogether. Was your baby behind? They aren’t alike at all. You began to worry and decided it would be easier to avoid these meetings. You don’t want to play the parenting comparison game.

Maybe your baby was the one hitting all the milestones – and it wasn’t until your second child came along that you noticed things were different…why weren’t they progressing like their older brother? The anxiety builds. 

You attend your scheduled doctor’s appointment, only to see your baby’s measurements slide off of the carefully plotted curve. You take it on as if it is your fault – you can’t produce enough milk. Why can’t your body do what it’s supposed to? (Side note – this is NOT your fault).

Then there is the guilt you may find in the safety of your own extended family. Everyone has an opinion on how your child should be raised – “Co sleeping is a bad idea. They will never be able to sleep on their own.” 

You somehow make it through the infant year, but are struggling your way through toddler-dom, you have “that child” in the preschool play. Or, you find yourself into the school-age years before their struggles in math class have you worried they won’t be able to be “whatever they want” when they grow up. 

Looking for Answers

These feelings of worry, guilt and anxiety exist for most parents – in one way or another. When it strikes – we can easily panic. More often than not, this parenting comparison game sends us into research, with Google becoming our favourite friend, determined to find the way to do it all “right”. 

But this is what the “right” way to parent looks like –

Hopefully, this makes it clear. If you’re looking for an easy guide to parenting, there isn’t just one to choose from. Parenting is HARD. There isn’t a one-sized-fits-all answer to any of our questions. There can be answers if we put in the work, holding fast to a series of trials and errors. 

We are the Experts of Our Children.

It is so important that we take action against these feelings of anxiety and worry. They can prevent us from seeing our children clearly. They can rob us of the precious time we have with them, or even keep us from providing our children with what they need, when they need it. 

Our first step in being the expert of our children, is going to be in taking care of ourselves. We’ve all heard the adage, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. 

As soon as we begin to harness these feelings of worry and guilt, we will be able to see the comparisons for what they are – comparisons. There is no “better”, only different. Being an early walker does not necessarily mean you will be winning gold medals in the Olympics for track and field, and being a late talker does not discount you from winning awards for Public Speaking. 

In tracking milestones and making comparisons, keep your focus clear. What is the purpose? If it’s to feel some sort of satisfaction or sense of hierarchy, you are doing it wrong. Parents, stop playing the comparison game. 

As every child is unique, so is every family. When it comes to raising our children, only we know what will work best for ours. By being able to take the concerns of our doctors, along with those of our extended families, and make healthy comparisons between our kids and others their age, we will ultimately be able to understand what our child’s needs are. 

Even more, as we keep reading these articles handing out advice on child development, we will be able to pick and choose the strategies that will ultimately work for us – ensuring our ability to help our children to grow and learn where their strengths and interests lie, which is ultimately all we could ever ask for.

Lindsay Fricker is a mom of four – two plus twins. Kindergarten teacher by day, Lindsay enjoys helping others find ways to navigate the ugly parts of parenting, while keeping their sanity and positively supporting their children. You can read more from Lindsay here or follow her on Instagram @serendipity.six.

The Best Products to Effortlessly get your SPF In

We all know we should be wearing sunscreen during the summer. We’ve been hearing it since we were kids, but actually remembering to put it on every day can be the last thing on your mind, especially while running a household.

Schools out for the summer, which means your busy mom life just got a heck of a lot busier!

Picture this: You’ve got all the kids home, it’s only 11 am and everyone has been awake since 6 am. The amount of coffee you’ve ingested (average 4 cups) is no longer working. To save your sanity you gather the crew, get them dressed and ready for outside and head to the park to let them burn off some energy and to give yourself a mental break. You get home a couple of hours later and realize, you forgot to put sunscreen on and now you’re as red as a tomato.

Sound familiar?

We all know we should be wearing sunscreen during the summer. We’ve been hearing it since we were kids, but actually remembering to put it on every day can be the last thing on your mind, especially while running a household.

Luckily for us, with all the skin health and sun safety awareness now, there are a ton of great products on the market that can help you can get your SPF in, effortlessly!

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF 50

What if I told you I could simplify your life by giving you a product that worked as your face serum, face moisturizer, foundation, concealer, and your sunscreen? No, this isn’t a magical product that doesn’t exist. The IT Cosmetics CC cream does just that! It’s filled with powerful skin antioxidants that heal and improves your skin while you wear it, it’s an ultra-moisturizing product that doesn’t make you oily or greasy, it has a full coverage but skin like finish that works as well as a foundation and concealer, and it has an SPF 5o to keep you protected in the sun!

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 60

This is actually the product that Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist uses to give her that signature JLo glow all over her body. I know, crazy right?! This ultra sheer sunscreen spray goes on with minimal hassle, feels weightless on the skin, has an SPF 60, but leaves you with an amazing glow that makes your skin look healthy and moisturized. If it’s good enough for JLo, it’s good enough for me, amirite ladies?!

The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants

There are plenty of SPF infused moisturizers out on the market now, but if you want one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg with the quality of a high-end product, look no further. The Ordinary is an online-only brand that sells high-quality skincare products at a drugstore cost. This sunscreen is only $10! Plus it’s filled with all the amazing skincare benefits so you don’t have to worry about your sunscreen clogging your pores and breaking you out.

Super Goop Poof Part Powder SPF 45

Nothing hurts more than a sunburn on your scalp. This powder sunscreen can be applied on your part, without gooping up your hair (despite the brand name) and protects you from the dreaded part sunscreen. It’s small enough to be tossed in a purse or diaper bag so you can grab it while you’re on the go!

Shiseido UV Lip Color Splash  Broad Spectrum SPF 30

One of the most forgotten, but most sensitive, spots for sunburns is your lips. But the though of applying regular sunscreen on my lips makes my stomach turn. This Shiseido Lip Color is a tinted lip balm that has SPF 30 in it so you can apply it with your makeup and not have to worry about your lips getting burnt, or applying sunscreen to them!

The Best SPF beauty products - Elyse Morency for Nesting Story

By finding ways to incorporate SPF products into your daily routine you can protect your skin and in the most effortless way!

Happy summer and enjoy the sunshine, Mamas!

If you want to learn more quick makeup tips that you can add to your everyday makeup routine, check out www.elysemorency.com. You can also find Elyse on Instagram at www.instagram.com/elysemor/ where she talks about the real and raw life of motherhood and makeup!

Our DIY Mudroom Renovation Recap – Here We Go Again!

I feel like I am living a deja vu lately with our renovation progress. Have you ever gone through renovations? Actually a better question would be, have you ever gone through a renovation process that you, (but mostly your husband), is DIYing?

We are and ugh, it’s such a stop and start process.

I have to remind myself how far our home has come since the first time we walked through it seven and a half years ago. The entire kitchen and family room were dark brown. The kitchen counters were dark brown and even the zipper-looking backsplash… brown. The rest of the house was dark blue, and when you combine that with the dark stained staircase we have, well, it felt like a cave.

But as this house sat on the market, scaring perspective buyers away with it’s unappealing palette, I saw potential. We have customized our builder home to exactly fit our family of six’s needs. You would have to pry me out of here now.

But sometimes it’s hard to forget how much you’ve done and it’s easy to focus on the never ending to-do list. Our home is bright and airy now with light grey walls. We have expanded our living space to include an outdoor dining and living area. We finished our basement creating a lot more space for our kids to play and watch movies.

But one of the best decisions we have made is creating a beautifully and very functional basement laundry room.

laundry room renovation
basement laundry room

Moving our laundry room to our basement is allowing us to create a dream mudroom nestled between our kitchen and our garage. This dream mudroom will house a dog shower, lots of storage, and an area for all of our kids’ school bags, shoes and snow gear.

dream mudroom
I cut this photo out of a magazine years ago of a mudroom/laundry room by Muskoka Living as inspiration for our mudroom.

Although I wish I could say this blog post is a big reveal of our mudroom, it’s more like a reboot. You see, we got going on it last summer with demolition, new floor tile and the framing of the dog shower and then our brutal Canadian winter hit and we had to put the whole project on hold until the warm weather came again.

Last week I spent some time moving all of our stuff to our front hall closet and doing a big declutter to prep for the completion of this renovation. Watch as this all unfolded…

In case you missed it, here is our mudroom journey up until this point…

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube so that you don’t miss a video!

The Easiest Tomato and Avocado Summer Dip

Growing up in an Italian household, we were lucky to have parents that poured, and continue to pour their heart and soul into harvesting a garden from spring into fall.  Fresh vegetables and herbs were only a few minutes walk away, which at the time we didn’t realize how spoiled we actually were. Tomato and cucumber salads were a daily staple in our kitchen….and the juicier the tomatoes, the better. The combination of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and feta-such simple ingredients, but a flavour explosion in your mouth!

My father would stop and pick up fresh Italian bread on the way home from work for us to tear apart and dip into the juices.

Fast forward to my kids, they love it and request it just as much as my siblings and myself did, and it being so healthy and simple to make, I can’t say no.

I’ve done a few different variations of this recipe but my most recent has turned into a new favourite of my families.  Combining our two favourite dips, guacamole and tomato salad seemed like an obvious recipe to create. It really couldn’t be easier to make and I guarantee people will be asking you for the recipe.  The sweetness of the tomatoes, the creaminess of the avocado and the saltiness of the feta-magic. Best served with a chilled glass of white wine or a delicious margarita.

You can use corn chips to dip into this variation of guacamole, as a side dish, or my personal favourite, spread on toasted sourdough bread.  

Now that we are into the warm weather of summer, the vegetables are local, fresh and easily accessible.  What’s better then sitting in your backyard during our long summer days and nights enjoying a healthy dip that’s bursting full of flavour?

Tomato Avocado Dip

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup onion, choose your favourite, red or yellow

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon Basil, chopped

4ounces feta, crumbled

2 avocados, chopped

salt and pepper to taste  

This dip is best made ahead of time, stored in the fridge, allowing the flavours and dressing to marinate.  Chop and add the avocado just prior to serving the dip. Turn up some latin music, pour yourself a refreshing drink, and just sit back and relax.  Maybe even close your eyes and pretend you’re on a beach in Mexico.

I hope you guys give this recipe try and love it as much as I do.

Lori xo

Lori is a thirty something year old mom of four, living in the little town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Her passions include her family, fashion, and food. She loves preparing simple and delicious recipes that both kids and adults will enjoy.