Four Months A Mommy

When I got pregnant, I had this brilliant idea to start a parenting blog. After hopping onto google with every question I had regarding my pregnancy and being routed to all these websites and bloggers who glamourized everything without really focusing on the harsh realities, I thought to myself that I should do that. I should be the one who tells women that yes, it isn’t easy. Sometimes pregnancy is gross and difficult and sometimes we downright hate it even though we are going to be rewarded with something so wonderful when it is all done.

Another thought I had was that it would be so great because I would have a year of maternity leave and all this extra time.

What a fool I was.

When you read all the blogs and the articles about newborn babies, they will tell you your baby will sleep a lot in the beginning. Mere hours of their days would be spent actually awake. This had me thinking I would get a chance to keep a tidy household, I would organize, I would catch up on reading and writing, I could actually do things with my day that I hadn’t been able to even consider when I had a full time job.

What they don’t tell you is that you will always be somewhat exhausted. Sure, you get used to it, but the exhaustion is always there. They also don’t tell you that although your baby may sleep a lot, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get free time. You will spend about 75% of your time breastfeeding, when you aren’t feeding, you will be pumping (you may end up formula feeding, but you’d be feeding none the less).

When you aren’t feeding or pumping, there is a high chance your baby has fallen asleep on you. What does that mean? Well, that means that it becomes a bit of a hostage situation. Are you willing to stay put and let them enjoy their nap which could go anywhere from one to four hours long (at least that’s how it is with my daughter), or risk moving them to a second location?

In the beginning, using ninja skills that have been dormant my whole life but have suddenly let themselves be known since I’ve become a mom, I would shift my daughter off of me and onto the couch, surround her with pillows and tidy up a bit, maybe do something crazy like have a cup of decaf coffee, do some dishes or pee. It worked especially well if I could get her into her swing where it plays soft tones and gently rocks her.

Now is an entirely different story. The moment I breathe too deeply she is up, staring at me, all signs of sleep completely gone from her face. So, I tend to accept the fact I am a hostage and trying to get myself out of there won’t end well. I keep my iPad close by, hope to accomplish something, anything while I am stuck there and hope to goodness my bladder is somewhat empty.

My mommy brain is like sand on the shore. I write things in the sand and before I’ve even had a chance to read it, the waves have washed it away. Which means that usually I tell myself in the morning that I have to write a blog today, and then my life happens and that thought doesn’t visit me again until I close my eyes in bed at night.

I am losing days, losing time, just completely lost in being a mommy.

And I couldn’t be happier that I am one. Honestly, these last four months have been a lot, there have been ups and downs, there has been screaming and crying and more poo than I ever thought would have been possible, but it’s wonderful.

So, I am sorry if there are those who are looking from these posts. I am living on phone reminders right now, so I will get into the habit of putting a reminder in my calendar for blogs. Being a new mom means you are in a whirlwind, ever now and then the wind dies down and you can catch your breath… but then you just spend that time breathing than getting anything else done.

Any new parents out there, I am there with you, you are not alone.

Readers and friends, I will try my best to try and get at least one blog post out a week… and hopefully my brain isn’t completely mush and it’s readable!

If there are any topics you would like me to write about, feel free to message me and I will be sure to get on that!

My Little Socialite

If you take the baby out of the house, you may take the fuss out of the baby.

For anyone who has been following my blog, Instagram, or Twitter, you will know that my daughter has been going through a bit of a fussy spell. She has been clingy, a magnet for all my attention not allowing me a single moment to myself without showing me just how well her pipes work. I am convinced this is why the Mother Nature came up with her sneaky plan to make babies so adorable, so we let them get away with robbing the life from us, and sometimes we even smile about it.

Here in Toronto, the weather hasn’t been so great. It’s cold, the air is frigid and that means that most public spaces are just breeding grounds for most viruses that are going around now. That means that I have been keeping my daughter in. We have just gotten over a spell of sickness in our house, and the misery going around our little family was unbearable at times. If I can prevent her from getting sick again, you can bet your butt, I will.

This past Monday, my best friend came over for a visit. She sat with my daughter while I rejoiced in having adult company. She and my daughter chatted away, almost all signs of her fussiness disappearing as she babbled along, no doubt recounting all of the nonsense I do to try and keep her happy.

Early Friday morning, I got a text message from my 8 year old nephew asking if he could come over and spend the night.

Having the memory of a goldfish lately, I don’t remember if I ever delved into the sleeping arrangements at our house. We have a two bedroom apartment. Before getting pregnant we had a spare room for my husbands family to come and stay in when they decided to come to town for visits. Now it is my daughters room.

My husband and I both agreed that we would keep the queen bed in there because our plan is to move our daughter from the crib, right to the queen bed with rails and skip out the toddler and twin sized beds. We had just bought the frame and mattress in there and if we do have visitors it would allow us to move in there with her and we would give up our room.

Since my husband returned to work, that spare room has been where I sleep with my baby girl since we are co-sleeping, which has worked amazingly for us because she sleeps through the night, coming over to my side of the bed when she wants to eat and then going right back to sleep. It’s made nights amazing.

Having my nephew come over for the night would mean we would have to give up our bed, and the past week, my daughters sleep schedule has been off. She has decided that 4am in the morning is the perfect time to wake up and have hour long conversations with an exhausted mommy.

I knew it would mean I wouldn’t get as much sleep if he came over, but pre-pregnancy my nephew spent at least two weekends a month at my house. We did everything together and I missed it. My pregnancy and my new baby had definitely impacted our relationship.

Sacrificing the sleep was the best thing I could have done. I bonded with my nephew, as did my husband who has always been close with him, and my daughter was over the moon. She loved having him there. Suddenly she had absolutely no use for me unless she was hungry or needed a change.

This week has been a social week for us.

We brought her to my husbands work for an event on Thursday night. I was worried about having her out during one of her napping windows but she was great. We had my nephew over Friday night, Saturday we spent the morning at home with my nephew and headed over to my moms late afternoon. We stayed there until late in the evening.

And she was radiantly happy.

I think as new parents it’s important to put our babies in different environments to see what they enjoy and to give them a chance to thrive, even at this age. She loves being out, she loves seeing people.

Moving into winter and the colder weather is kind of cramping our social style, but it has definitely opened my eyes to making more of an effort to spend our days indoor… but not at home.

Fussy, Fussy, Fussy

For any parents, there is a new F word that we cringe at.

Fussy.

My daughter has been going through a bit of a terrible phase. She seems to be fussy more often than not, and as any parent knows, a fussy baby can eat up your whole day. I spend my days pacing the apartment, rocking in the rocker, dancing like a monkey on the pier for change, all to keep her satisfied.

Before any other parents pop in and ask me if she has colic or gas or reflux or any of those other very important questions. No. She doesn’t.

Her fussiness is not nonstop crying, or being impossible to soothe. It is more like a diva throwing a tantrum, storming to her trailer and refusing to come out to film her scenes at the very end of a very hectic work day. She is calm and happy so long as I am interacting with her. In my arms, she is a happy baby, but I can’t live my whole life with her in my arms.

I feel like the whole becoming a parent journey is glamorized. No one was admitting how awful pregnancy was, no one was talking about how it felt more like a virus you couldn’t kick than the glow often advertised. No one mentioned the excruciating pain of pre-labour that broke you in a way that’s indescribable. They say they often can’t remember the pain of labour, because once they saw their baby, nothing else mattered.

I saw my baby and felt a love that made me feel so full, but once that epidural wore off, the pain and discomfort was there. Bathroom runs were terrifying and despite all the photos I saw of sleeping moms in the hospital, I couldn’t get a single wink of sleep no matter the weight of my exhaustion.

No one mentions how for the first month your baby is here, you are shell shocked. You are doing routine sitz baths, covered in breast milk, wearing pads you could use as a raft to escape a deserted island, exhausted, and if you’re breastfeeding, you are living off the couch.

Another thing not a lot of parents are admitting, is that not all babies are easy. Most of them are difficult in their own way… and being a new parent at times, can seem downright awful. Then, something happens that shines this bright light on your heart and reminds you why you wanted this… and then that moment is gone and you’re drowning again.

My daughter is sweet, she is adorable, and I love her more than I can put into words. However, she is a fussy baby. She likes around the clock attention, otherwise she is screaming.

And it’s okay to admit that.

Babies are different. Some are quiet, some are content, some are inconsolable, others are just fussy.

Fussy, fussy, fussy.

As parents, we should talk about this. We should be open to discussing that our babies are sometimes frustrating and despite our best efforts, fussy. It seems most parents will only admit to a fussy baby based on circumstance.

“He’s fussy because he’s sick.”

“She’s fussy because she’s tired.”

“He’s fussy because he’s hungry.”

Let me be the first to say my daughter is just plain fussy. Tummy full, in good health, well rested fussy.

And that’s okay.

Can’t You Just Hold My Baby While I Nap For Five Minutes?

My daughter is going through an extremely clingy phase.

So far, if I had wanted an hour or so to myself, I could put her in her swing or sit her down in her chair for a bit so I could do fun things like get in the shower, eat, tidy up a bit, wash my face, brush my teeth… you know, all the fun things you take for granted before a little mini-you comes into your life.

It all started in Christmas Day when I was really sick. She spent most of the day with daddy and then that night I noticed she was as close to me as she could get, which wasn’t easy, considering I was still under the weather. Since then, she acts as though a single moment apart will be the death of her.

I am wearing her around the house when I go to the bathroom, when I make food, when I eat, even when we are sitting around, she wants to be on top of me.

What this means is moments to myself have been rare, and mama is worn out.

Last night, she decided she didn’t want to sleep. I have to say, I am pretty lucky. Since my husband returned to work and has been working really hectic hours, I have moved into my daughter’s room and we have been co-sleeping. The queen bed in there gives me loads of room to feed her to sleep and roll away. It’s great. Sure, I miss my husband sometimes, but the sleep I get in there compared to when we were all in the same room is worth it.

When my daughter can’t sleep, she gets really chatty.

Above the bed are four vibrant Tiki masks carved from palm tree bark that we brought home with us when we went to Cuba. They are beautiful! My worry was that they may scare her when we first started sleeping in there, but it has been the opposite. She looks up at them and will talk to them for hours. Little coos, exercising her vowel sounds, laughing, grunting, every sound imaginable.

In one way it’s great, because it keeps her pretty occupied. On the other hand, I am such a light sleeper, always have been, and since having my daughter it’s even worse, if that’s even possible. So as exhausted as I am, I just lay there with my eyes closed, listening to her chat, chat, chat.

With her clinginess, her lack of sleep, and her nighttime monologues, this morning I am feeling worn out. Like… extremely worn out.

I was snapping 6am photos of her because when she gets overly fussy, she finds taking photos funny… kids, right?

Anyhow, this blog entry is more for all the moms out there who feel like it’s an endless cycle of spent energy and not getting any back. I am in the same boat as you, I feel your pain and your misery.

Don’t feel alone. There are thousands of new moms, veteran moms, single moms, new and old dads all feeling exactly like you are right now. Being tired doesn’t mean you are not a good parent. Being tired doesn’t mean you aren’t doing everything right,

It just means you’re a parent. Welcome to exhausting, this is your life now!

Surviving A Sick Baby

My daughter has been sick. She has been congested, has had thick mucus, and a runny nose, and it’s been affecting her sleep, her mood, and my sanity.

At 3 months, she is still so small. And congested babies are scary. They breathe almost solely through their mouths at that age, so having a stuffed nose is more than just a little frustrating for them. It impacts their sleep and their eating, two things that are so important at that age.

Last night, I barely slept a wink. I had my daughter nestled up beside me in bed. My arm under her head to prop her up while she slept and so I could monitor her breathing through the night. She didn’t have a fever, but she was sweating a lot, tossing and turning, and her little moan while she slept broke my heart.

Despite wiping at her face while she slept, her chin, cheeks, and under her nose were caked in dried saliva and mucus when we got up this morning.

Having a sick baby can be so hard to get through, especially if you are a first time mom.

The first thing I would recommend doing is adding a humidifier into the bedroom at night. Since sleeping is going to be difficult for your baby, the humidifier can help take some of the dryness out of the air, and can assist in loosening some of that built up muscles and phlegm while your baby sleeps.

A soothing baby balm can add some comfort before bedtime. Paediatricians have recommended against using a vapo-rub like Vick’s on baby’s because a study was done that showed the cooling effects of the menthol could cause a baby’s already thin airways to narrow, making it harder for your baby to breathe. That being said, there are other unmedicated balms that can be used in replacement. They are mor for comfort. Massaging any lotion on your baby’s chest and feet before bed can help relax them and soothe them to sleep, but the added scents of lavender, eucalyptus, aloe, and other ingredients add to the calming effects.

There is a baby version of Vick’s that is non medicated, and other brands if you wander down the baby aisle of the pharmacy or drugstore.

If you are breastfeeding, try and do it more often. Your antibodies will help baby fight off whatever sickness they are battling, the more they get, the better it is for them and hopefully, the faster they will recover.

Vitamin D. If you are breastfeeding you should be giving your baby his or her vitamin D drops daily. If your baby is formula fed, talk to your doctor about introducing these when baby is sick to help them along.

Warm baths. A warm bath can help loosen some of the build up in their nose and their chest. It’s important to keep the bathroom warm, and where ever your baby may be until he or she gets dressed. Also, try and keep their chest below the water. A cold chest may add to their congestion. I usually keep her bath cloth on her chest during her bath, making sure to re-wet it with warmer water every couple of minutes. These days, I climb into the tub with her that way I can fill the tub more, keep her more submerged, and use my own body heat to warm her in those moments she is not submerged in the water.

Keeping their nose clear. Whether you use the thing I have, which is that ball that you stick in their nose and squeeze to get rid of their build up, or something more sophisticated like the Nose Frida, it’s important to clean out their nose often. Imagine how many times you blow your nose when you have a cold, now imagine you aren’t able to blow it. That’s how your baby feels. Help them out, it will definitely help with their comfort level.

The other thing I do is keep my loved one bundled up. When you are sick you like to be in your PJs with a nice throw on your legs, maybe drinking a hot cup of tea. All of this things point to you wanting to be kept warm. Baby is no different. Put on a nice thick onesie, make sure their feet are covered in socks or slippers, and get them cozy with a nice blanket when they are lying down or even cuddled with you.

Don’t worry, this will pass.

If you are really worried, Baby gets a fever of over 38 degrees, gets over lethargic, or struggles to breathe without relief, bring your baby into the doctors or a hospital. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Remember to follow us on Instagram to get daily photos of my super cute daughter!

@pretending2parent

The Aftermath Of The Holidays

Christmas lights were hung, halls were decked, stockings were filled, presents were wrapped. The pre-Christmas season, excluding the hustle and bustle, is kind of serene. Everything is neat, everything is tidy, everything is kind of like a dream or a wish.

After Christmas is a completely different feel. There are pieces of wrapping paper and cardboard from torn boxes everywhere. The sight of the Christmas tree is a reminder that you are going to have to go through the trouble of taking it down, sooner rather than later. There is a stack of gifts that have no place sitting in plain view, a reminder that you will have to organize as well.

The holidays leave behind a chaos most people don’t really talk about. There are toys that need batteries, toys that need to be returned because they don’t work the way they should, confusing gifts you have no idea what to do with. The fridge is full of leftovers you don’t want to throw away but you know you will have to.

The days between December 26th and January 2nd are a blur. You never quite know what day of the week it is, where you are supposed to be, or what you are supposed to be doing.

This year, my husband and I were smart. We usually have two holiday celebrations; one with my family on Christmas Day that is a little bit more traditional. The big family running around, kids screaming, the turkey and the stuffing. Gift exchange, cheesy games, all that fun stuff. We also have a second celebration with his aunt and uncle who are his only family that live here in the city with us.

My husband’s holiday work schedule is torturous. Last year he had three days off, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day. This year he only had Christmas Day off. Which meant he was going to do more running around than he would like if we were going to do both celebrations.

We did the small celebrations with his aunt and uncle on the 17th, which meant he could spend what little time he had close and around Christmas with his baby girl, the only Christmas gift we really wanted this year.

I’ve had to check the date today three times, because I am still in that wormhole. I kept telling myself I would put things away these past few days, but I haven’t. Today, my daughter and I are wrapped up on blankets on the couch because she is a little under the weather.

I started writing this blog entry thinking maybe I would offer some tips and guidance on how to get things done during the holiday aftermath, however, I don’t have any. For parents, this may be some rare time you have when you are off from work and your children are home from school. My advice would be: enjoy it!

Do all the things you wish you could do with your kids when your schedule is full. Go for walks, play outside, just spend quality time together and ignore the chaos Christmas left behind. There will be time enough to deal with all that later.

Happy Holidays!

Follow us on Instagram @pretending2parent

Being Sick With A Baby

It was the night before Christmas, I was sitting on the living room floor doing some last minute wrapping when a wave of dizziness hit me. Furrowing my brow, I shook my head, drank a glass of water and shook it off. Then the saliva in my mouth thinned, my jawline started to quake and I got to my feet, running full speed to the bathroom just in time to sink my face into the porcelain.

After emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet, I got up with a few thoughts in my head. My first thought was more of a worry. I wondered if the IUD was doing it’s job, if something had possibly gone wrong and if I were pregnant, only a short three months after giving birth to my daughter.

The memory of her delivery was still fresh in my mind, my body still wasn’t completely back to normal, and I was no way ready to partake in this journey again.

My second thought was that maybe the chicken I had put in my Chicken Alfredo pasta was past it’s prime and this was my body’s way of letting me know.

My third thought was about breastfeeding. I had been told by my doctor that I could pretty much breastfeed through almost any illness. However, certain medications can affect your breastmilk supply. So a lot of the time you will have to just soldier on through certain sicknesses, if you plan on breastfeeding while sick. I am not one to take medication for a cold, but stomach related things I usually try and take something.

Diarrhea and vomiting are two things I try and put a stop to as quickly as I can, and these were two very aggressive symptoms I was experiencing.

Although digestive aids such as Tums are safe during both pregnancy and nursing, medicines like Pepto Bismol aren’t recommended for nursing moms. This meant that I was going to try and power through with lots of water, some ginger ale, a bucket and high hopes.

My symptoms started at 8:45ish in the evening. I was running to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. After vomiting for the 6th time, I started to get the chills. Cladding my thickest robe and fuzziest socks, I slowly made my way to bed. Between waking to get to the bathroom, chills, and hot flashes, I got maybe about an hour of sleep that night. Luckily, my daughter slept right through the night.

My hope was that I would wake up, stomach and bowels empty and feel more like myself.

The soft coos of my daughter roused me at around 9am. I summoned the small amount of strength I had to get over to her, but my arms were shaking. I didn’t trust myself to even attempt to pick her up. I woke my husband, told him he was on Daddy Duty, ran to the bathroom before climbing back in bed.

This was not the Christmas I had been expecting.

I spent most of the day sleeping, running to the bathroom, and breastfeeding. I had a FaceTime call with my family, my husband had gone over to bring their gifts and bring home some food.

Being as sick as I was, I definitely have some tips for you mommies with a young baby going through it.

This is one of the times when breastfeeding really came in handy. It was so much easier to just lay her in bed beside me, sleep while she ate and have my husband take her when she was done. Although, if your baby is formula fed, it would eliminate baby’s contact with you all together, allowing you to get some rest… so either feeding method provides benefits.

Breastfeeding your baby through your sickness would be giving your baby the antibodies it needs to fight off the sickness you are currently battling, and lessens the chances of them catching it in the first place.

Feed your baby until they are full so they are more likely to nap.

Drink lots of liquids. Ginger Ale can help soothe an upset stomach, water is best, and Gatorade and Powerade are good if you can’t keep anything down.

Throw out a lifeline. This is the most important thing you can do if you have a sickness you need to sleep off.

If your partner is not available to help you for the day, reach out to someone else who can. Having someone around to keep baby busy and entertained between feedings and naps will help you get all the rest you need.

Outside of those things, I would suggest making sure any medications you take don’t have an impact on your milk supply in any way if you are feeding, try and limit face to face contact with your baby (my daughter loves kisses and chewing on my face, so this was something I had to keep her from doing).

Hang in there, we may be superheroes, but we are not super human and we get sick sometimes. It will pass!

The Hustle And Bustle Of The Holidays

My daughter recently turned 3 months, and it seems she is becoming more and more fussy over time. In the last few weeks, she has shown a strong distaste for her car seat. Whenever I start walking towards it, she freaks out and starts to cry. There are some days when I think to myself, ‘Oh my goodness, she is actually not making a peep. Perhaps this time will be different.’

Then sure enough, she opens those pipes up and lets me hear it. Usually the first ten minutes in the car are an excruciating test of my patience and willpower. In a way, hearing her wail like that breaks my heart, but another part of me has my eye twitching because I need to go out and get things done, especially now.

For all those people thinking ‘We’ll, why don’t you get another car seat? Maybe it is just the seat she doesn’t like.’ Thank you for the suggestion, but I have taken her to Babies R Us and out her in every seat they have to offer and it makes absolutely no difference. She wants to be sitting completely upright, and she is still too young to transition to that style of seat. *insert dramatic crying face here*

Now, with Christmas a mere day away and the two of us struggling to come up with an agreement for her to mellow out just a tad so I can get more done, I have put a lot of what I had to get done down to the very last minute.

Having a 3 month old around the holidays can either put you in Christmas overdrive and turn you into Will Ferrel in Elf,

Or it can turn you into the Grinch like me.

This year with all the growth spurts, the constant mood changes and just good ole fashioned fussiness, I haven’t had any of the Christmas spirit rubbing off on me.

For any parents that are also going through this phase with their babies and wondering how in the heck they are going to be able to get out and get things done without having a screaming, unconsolable baby in tow I will say that having a forward facing carrier where my daughter can see out has been a life saver.

I have ditched the stroller (which is actually great because I can use a cart in store) and strapped my fussy Rain Cloud who is usually my Sunshine to my chest and she is loving every moment of it. My husband and I always say she is a nosed girl (curious) and boy, were we right.

Once she is able to see everything that is going on, it has completely quieted her down and mellowed her out. Getting her back in the car in a headache and a half, but I guess I can’t have everything.

Yesterday I went out and finished up what little shopping I had left to do. It was a great feeling to have it done but it was miserable out and my daughter wasn’t adding any sunshine to my day with her soggy attitude.

I was talking to a friend about her son who is two months older than my daughter. I said to her “Why didn’t you ever tell me there were patches that were this rough? Was your son just constantly an angel, or what?”

Letting out a long sigh, she confessed “God no! My son was a nightmare. There were days that I would put him in his car seat and he would just cry and cry. Eventually, I would break down, take him out and sit on the couch and cry myself. It was so frustrating.” When I asked her why she never told me, she said it was because she felt guilty.

This seems to be a common theme for parents, especially mothers. We feel guilty about telling the truth and admitting how hard this all can be. We sugar coat everything to other women, other parents, and at the end of the day that is not helpful, all it does is make struggling parents who are going through the thick of it, feel worthless and like crap.

Why?

Why must we throw a cloak of deception over parenting?

It’s hard, it’s rough! There will be days when you don’t shower, there will be whole afternoons that pass where you don’t eat, nights where you don’t sleep. You will sometimes feel like a prisoner inside your own home, all you movements monitored by this demanding infant.

Being a parent isn’t always as wonderful as people sell it as, and that’s okay to admit. That doesn’t make us bad people and it sure as heck doesn’t make us bad parents.

So give yourself a gift this year, and allow yourself to be honest and human, and guilt-free!

You deserve it!

Christmas At 3 Months Old

Saying I am The Grinch would be putting it lightly. I am not, and have never been a Christmas person.

December is a stressful months for me. I have three siblings celebrating birthdays, which can be pricey, not to mention I come from a big family which in the past has required a lot of gift buying. Three years ago I put my foot down an implemented a Secret Santa within my family. We got to buy one great gift, and everyone buys for the kids. It definitely eliminated some of the stress and hurrying around.

However, I still have never been one to get into the Christmas spirit.

This year, as an exhausted new mom, it has been especially hard to summon even the smallest amount of Christmas Spirit.

My husband and I decided it wasn’t worth the added stress or hassle to exchange gifts this year, thank goodness. Knowing that has definitely taken a load off my shoulders. Instead we decided we would do a couples spa day, and have my sister watch our daughter. It will be great to relax and unwind together, and feel like a couple once again.

A common question I have been getting lately is what we got for our daughter for Christmas. To be frank, we haven’t gotten her anything.

Why?

Because we buy things she needs constantly, and stockpiling things she needs for a single day when she won’t even realize anything special is happening just didn’t make sense to us. We have bought her a lot of interactive things lately as she is growing and slowly becoming independent. Chairs where she sits upright, toys that sing and light up, activity mats, and these days none of that comes cheap.

We’ve been giving them to her as we feel we need them. On days tummy time isn’t going well but she still needs exercise the new activity mat was brought out, and a plush car for her to sit in. Life as a new parent is hard, and all these things make things seems just a little bit easier.

With that in mind, waiting to open and use them until Christmas didn’t make sense.

Yesterday I opened up this PlayGo car that sings, flashes and is perfect for her to sit in for an hour or so on the floor exercising her neck and core strength. She has been overly fussy lately, drooling a bunch, which may hint the early stages of teething are upon us. Putting her in this yesterday gave me half an hour to myself where I could sit nearby and sip some decaf coffee and just breathe.

I pushed her around on the floor in it for a bit, and parked her under the tree where she could marvel at the lights and give me a little more time to run to the bathroom. I mean, technically if it stays under the tree, it is still a gift, right?

There are so many new parents I see that pile things for the baby, perfectly wrapped, under the tree and to be perfectly honest, I don’t see the point of if. At 3 months, my daughter won’t remember this Christmas. We have our photos with Santa for the photo album, and she has everything she needs. I am sure there will be gifts for her from my siblings at my mother’s house when we got over for Christmas dinner, not to mention my mother in law always sends a care package around Christmas. She has more than she needs, and now wrapping and running from store to store shopping for her makes things easier on us.

Next year, when she is older and can actually enjoy herself, we will put in a lot more effort for the holidays. This year, we are planning on just relaxing a bit while we can.

If you are a new parent who did go a little overboard this Christmas with your new arrival, that is great! Good for you! I am not telling you to do anything differently. I am just letting you know what has worked for our family this year, and letting other parents know, that if you didn’t there is nothing to feel guilty about.

Do what works for you and your family.