7 Ways to cope with the overwhelming reality of being a new mom

It has been 5 months since we welcomed our son Max into the world and our lives have changed drastically. While we are over the moon in love with our new family member, it is still such a learning process when you are responsible for the well being of another person. There have been moments where I have felt stressed, overwhelmed, and I am not going to lie, even a bit resentful towards my partner, but the more I talk to other new moms the more I realize that this is completely normal.

I wanted to share some ways I have been able to cope with becoming a new mom that has helped me learn how to enjoy our little bundle of joy.

 

Set Boundaries And Say No

My whole life I have been a yes person, I say yes to everything and find myself overwhelmed and exhausted, so when we welcomed our baby I realized how important it was to set boundaries for yourself and say “no” to things that you can’t deal with right now. Try your best to set some boundaries and politely decline offers that are too much for you at the moment. Or if someone does want to come and see you and the baby, don’t be afraid to ask if they can also help out around the house or with some tasks.  You can’t do everything and be everything to everyone. You have to be realistic about your limitations. Take care of yourself and your baby in your own way. That is your top priority. So do things at your own pace and in your own time.

 

Create Routines For You And Your Baby

At the beginning you are just trying to get through each day and you and your baby are getting to know each other, but as you two get more familiar with one another you can start creating some routines or your family. Routines are perfect for new moms who feel overwhelmed by all the unique responsibilities of having a baby. While it’s important to allow for some flexibility with new routines, you can use them as a guideline to help you get into a more organized and relaxed routine with your baby and your new mommy life. Try and integrate activities that help you mentally, like exercise. And there’s no better exercise than walking. And it’s easy to do as a mom with stroller-friendly walks that get you moving together. 

 

Try Not To Get Too Overwhelmed By All The Advice

There is a lot of advice out there on becoming a new mom. But try to remember that everyone’s different and all babies are different. You have to decide what is right for you as a mom. You’re just a new mom who may be going through some challenges. With that in mind, you should try not to get too overwhelmed by all the advice out there. You just have to do what is right for you as a new mom.

 

Don’t Compare Yourself To Other Moms

This one is extremely hard, especially since where I live in Squamish there are so many young families and it is hard not to compare yourself and how you and your baby are doing.  You may be feeling guilty that you don’t have the same “perfect” life as other moms who are also new moms. Maybe your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, or you are struggling with breastfeeding but that is ok! Do things at your own pace and in your own way. Find what works for you as a new mom and your baby. It’s a journey that all moms go through in their own way.

 

Make Time For Yourself

Becoming a new mom often means that you’ll have less “me” time, if any at all. If you’re feeling this way, take some time for yourself. Find time to take care of your mental health by doing things you enjoy. Time for yourself lets you recharge your batteries and remember that you’re not just a mom. Joining group activities like yoga classes is a great way to take time for yourself and be social. Try signing up for different groups. I love taking an hour to myself even if its mommy and baby workouts where we go together. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. I am lucky enough to have my mom in town to let me take some breaks.  

 

Find A Support Network Of Fellow New Moms You Trust

Living in Squamish, I am so lucky to have a wonderful support network. From a great group of other new moms, group activities catered to new parents, and even a medical group called Mountain Maternity that is on hand to help out in the first six weeks, but we are pretty lucky here and so it’s important no matter where you life that you find your own network. Having a support network of fellow new moms that you trust is important for your life as a parent. They can help you feel less alone, stressed and overwhelmed with everything about having a new baby. Try things like joining a mommy and me group or organizing a neighborhood playdate with other new moms in your area.

 

Celebrate The Small Victories

Becoming a new mom is a fantastic journey. But it can also be a bit scary, overwhelming and even frustrating at times. It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed right now. So give yourself a pat on the back. Being a mom is hard. And you’re doing amazingly. Celebrate all the little wins. 

You got this mommas

xo

Mia

Top stroller friendly walks in the Sea to Sky

There is nothing I love more than getting outside and enjoying nature with my dog and new baby, but here is the thing, that new baby happens to be in the 96th percentile. At 4 months, he already weighs 17 pounds and so walks have become a bit more challenging. Thankfully we purchased a Thule Urban Glide stroller, which is great for trails – and so I made it a mission to find some stroller friendly trails along the Sea to Sky that you can enjoy.

Whistler Train Wreck

It’s a short 2.3km in and out walk to a really cool train wreck that happened back 1956. The trail to the train wreck is quite mellow and wide enough for a stroller. You pass by the beautiful Cheakamus river before arriving at the graffiti painted train cars. The trail is also dog friendly. The only downside is the mosquitos can get quite bad, so bring a cover for the baby

 Shannon Falls Lookout

This is a 1km loop trail that is fairly easy and will only take you about 20 minutes to complete. In the winter the snow can make it a little tough to access, but in the summer the mostly gravel path is perfect for a stroller – and the reward of the beautiful view of Shannon Falls is worth the walk. Also a dog friendly trail.

 Mamquam River Trails

One of my favourite walks in Squamish is through the river trails, particularly through the forest that then loops back to the Squamish Golf Course. I just love being in the trees and I recently discovered that this trail is wide enough and easy to navigate with a stroller. Also if you go all the way to the golf course it is quite a nice walk, about 10km total.

 Mamquam Dyke Trail

It is about 4km in length (but you can keep going all the way to the once was Spit). The trail is gravel and easy to navigate with a stroller. You have beautiful mountain and river views for the entire walk.

Stawamus Dyke Trail

Another dyke trail that is perfect for the whole family including a stroller is the Stawamus Trail. It’s a 3km walk alongside the river with gorgeous views of the Stawamus Chief.

Lost Lake Loop

This is a very popular hike in the Whistler area and the main path is a wide gravel path through the forest and opens up to some amazing mountain views.

Loggers Creek Trail

I am spoiled because this one is right outside my house. You can walk with the stroller either on a paved bike and walk lane or through the forest which has been smoothed out by a group of volunteers to make it more accessible for all.

Happy hiking my friends,

xo

Mia

 

 

Simple things you can do to take care of your child’s health

Being a first time mom is truly the hardest – and most rewarding – but definitely hardest job I have ever had. Since my baby can’t talk to me it is hard to know if I am  doing a good job as a parent, and while most days we are winging it – I know the most important thing I can do is take care of my child. 

It isn’t just about taking care of your child physically, but also taking care of their mental health. Here are some tips on how you can do just that.

Make sure that they attend regular healthcare checkups

One of the most important things as a parent is making sure your child stays up to date with healthcare checkups. In Canada we are very lucky to have regular checkups scheduled, but sometimes issues can come up out of the blue.

What if one day your child complains about a toothache? Well you can look for a dentist near me so that they can have their issue seen sooner rather than later. The sooner you take them to see someone about their oral health, the less likely they will experience further pain. 

Limit their technology use

This one is one that I know will be hard but important. My job as a reporter and my passion as a writer means I spend a lot of time online but I know for my child it is important to find a balance.

Effective safeguarding measures should be put into place on technology. Although you might be fine with allowing your children to play with their devices and use the internet, finding a healthy balance is important because it can impact both a child’s physical and mental health. It limits their time spent outdoors being active and also what they consume online can impact how they think and behave. Hence, with limited use, they can be safer mentally.

This doesn’t mean completely eliminate technology from their lives – but maybe limit what devices they can have. A cell phone for emergencies instead of a gaming console. And on top of that maybe you set boundaries of how much time they can use their devices each week.

Another top tip for limiting technology use is to set safeguard limits for the internet. This will limit what they can search and see, which is for the benefit of their own good and mental health. 

 

Talk to them and open them up

Speaking of mental health, it is crucial to take good care of your child’s mental health so that they can maintain positive well-being and happiness. Plus, good mental health can enhance physical health due to a lack of stress. 

I know I was a little nervous about this when I found out we were having a boy because statistics show it can be harder for men to open up about mental health. So I want to make sure I create a safe environment from an early age where my son feels he can talk to me about anything.

Talking to your children and trying to open them up will be amazing for their mental health. Instead of them bottling up their emotions and issues, they can share them with you to attain a resolution and some support. It can be useful to open up to them first to show them the benefits.

Just know mommas you are doing a great job,

xo

Mia

Tips on picking the right stroller for you

There is no beating around the bush, babies – despite their small stature – cost big bucks. I mean you will spend over $500 in diapers alone in the first year. One of the biggest purchase though is your stroller. Once you include add ons and extras, strollers can cost thousands of dollars, and with how many different strollers are on the market it can be an overwhelming experience. Thankfully I did a lot of research so you don’t have to!

Here are some of the top things to consider when purchasing a stroller

What kind of stroller do you want

Did you know that there are six different kinds of strollers. Yes, you heard that right SIX.

  • Full-sized stroller: This is the stroller that will last from infant to toddler – durable and sturdy but on the bulky side
  • Lightweight or umbrella stroller: Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but is lightweight and great for on the go
  • Jogging stroller: Great for people who are on the go and taking the stroller on different terrain. The wheels are usually large and the suspension is better
  • Double stroller: Twins? Planning to grow your family soon? This stroller basically speaks for itself
  • Car seat carrier: Wheels and a frame so you can just add the car seat to create a stroller
  • Travel system: Easy to connect travel system where the carseat can click into the stroller. But many strollers will offer an adapter so that you can use it with a car seat.

So the first step to narrowing down what stroller to purchase is figuring out what kind you want. In order to figure that out you need to consider which one fits your lifestyle best, you need to ask some questions- which brings me to the next point.

Where will you use the stroller

Some strollers can be really big and bulky, not idea for narrow streets. Others can have smaller tires, not great for off road trails. Both of these were important for me to consider since I live in Squamish and I knew I wanted a stroller that would be idea for trails.

How easy is it to use

I knew I wanted to stay active with a baby. I had all these visions of us running on trails together – but realized that would’t be doable if the stroller wasn’t easy to push or hard to navigate. I needed to make sure the stroller was smooth. After doing some research and narrowing down my choices, I decided to go to the local baby shop to try out the different makes and models to make sure the ones I liked were easy to maneuver and handled turns with ease.

How easy is it to fold and unfold

I knew a lot of the time I would be on my own with the baby and so I wanted to make sure even with my hands full I knew how to fold and unfold the stroller so I wasn’t ever stuck. In doing my research many strollers boasted about one hand folds, but back to the stroller being easy to use, it is important to test out the folding capabilities, because what might be advertised as “one hand fold” might not actually be the case for us normal folk.

How long do you plan to use it

While you might pay more upfront costs for certain models, they could prove to be more affordable in the long run if they can grow with your child. Certain models can adapt with infant carseats and then carry your child in their toddler years as well.

How important is weight to you

Strollers can be heavy and when you are carrying a baby in a car seat as well – especially if you have a baby in the 97th percentile like mine, well it adds up. But here is the thing some of the more durable jogging strollers are heavier in weight – you just have to decide what is more important to you in the long run.

 

Helpful features to look at when purchasing a stroller

  • Safety features: There are certain safety features that all strollers need to abide by, but for us this was a top priority when narrowing down our options – we didn’t want just the basic safety feature
  • Quality wheels: Living in Squamish we wanted to make sure that the wheels were durable. The stroller was going to have to survive trails and gravel roads so we wanted something that was built to last
  • Storage: A lot of strollers have some great add on options for drink and snack holders, but something that was important to us was how much storage the stroller had so it would make our lives easier when we were on the go.
  • Sun/weather canopy: Some strollers require you to purchase canopies separately, others come with some of these already attached to the stroller.

    What it boils down to

     

    At the end of the day, you really have to decide what are your pros and cons because unfortunately there is no holy grail of strollers that will meet all of your wants and needs. Some points to really consider are cost, what budget are you comfortable with? Lifestyle, what kind of stroller do you need for what you want to do? And longevity – can this stroller grow with my family? Some of even these key points might require some sacrifice, for example we wanted a jogging stroller for our outdoorsy lifestyle, but we also love to travel – quite the predicament. We narrowed it down to three options, the Thule, Nuna, and Uppababy. At the end of the day the ability to be active on trails with our baby won out and we went with the Thule Urban Glide 2 all terrain stroller and the Nuna car seat with an adapter.

    It took hour and hours of research, multiple trips to baby stores, and test driving our neighbours gear but I am so happy with our decision because I get to go jogging and hiking with my baby daily and being out in nature with him is the best feeling in the world.

I know trying to find the right stroller can be overwhelming but I hope that these tips will help make your choice for this big investment a little easier.

Good luck mommas,

xo

Mia

 

My experience with Lovevery play kits

Being a new mom is extremely challenging. You have to get into a good feeding routine, and sleep training, and then there are those milestones that even though everyone tells you not to worry about them too much, you still worry way too much. Because of this I did a lot of reading and research into toys that could help my baby’s development and hopefully help him reach those milestones – although again I try to tell myself daily that every baby is different and will develop in their own time.

In my endless google searches I came across Lovevery. On the website it states that the play products are designed by child development experts to help children get what they need at every stage of development. If you read further, the website has more information on exactly who those experts are. Different doctors that specialize in neuroscience, experts in Montessori learning, and psychologists to name a few. And so I ended up connecting with Lovevery after Max was born to see if I could give their products a try.

The first kit that we got was the 3-4 month play kit. When the kit arrived it came with instructions on how to use each toy that was included and at what stage to introduce them into playtime. In the box we found contrast cards, a soft book, a mirror card, a rubber teether, crinckle bag, silicone teether, wooden rattle, framed mirror, rolling bell, and hand to hand disk. I was surprised at just how much came in the kit.

The instruction book came with talking points for 3 and then 4 months. Different things to expect from your baby and things your baby may like at this point in their lives and then went into detail about each play thing. Why it is useful at this given age and how to use it. It really took the guess work out of how to help my baby develop with these items and as a new mom made the hours and hours of play time each day (which don’t get me wrong I love but sometimes don’t know what to do) make more sense.

And as soon as Max hit three months he  started to thrive with these toys. He loved looking at the mirror for tummy time, grabbing the soft book, and rolling the bell. It was amazing to see the wonder and enjoyment in his eyes but also see developmental leaps start to happen. Grabbing with both hands at just three months, rolling onto his side around that time too. I was impressed to see his progress in such little time.

Takeaways from working with Lovevery:

  • It takes the guesswork out of play time 

I never had to take time to do my own research when it came to toys. They sent them straight to my door each month with a guide on how to play with them and when.

  • There is a variety of toys 

You don’t just get one or two toys each month, you get a handful that all have different uses which I really loved. We had rattles to work on our hearing senses, teethers for touch, and mutli-coloured toys for sight.

  • They are child safe and sustainable 

If you watch my work on the Weather Network you know how important sustainable products are to me. I love that these toys are built to last and made with sustainably harvested wood and nontoxic paint.

I am a big fan of Lovevery and cannot wait to watch max continue to grow with these toys.

Happy play time mommas,

xo

Mia